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What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a digital crypto-currency with no single point of failure due to its decentralized peer-to-peer architecture. The source code is publicly available and changes to the reference Bitcoin client are made via concensus within the community. Advantages of Bitcoin include irreversible transactions (i.e. no possibility of chargebacks as with credit cards), pseudo-anonymous, limited and fixed inflation, near instant transactions, multi-platform, no double-spend and little to no barriers to entry and more. It was created by an anonymous person known as Satoshi Nakamoto. Find out more at

Bitcoin Latest News

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Posted on 16 October 2018 | 9:52 am

The Price Of Bitcoin And Equities Are Correlated - Forbes


The Price Of Bitcoin And Equities Are Correlated
Bitcoin is not meant to be an asset that is correlated to things like commodities and equities. However, it is--and if you are a chart-watcher you have likely seen bitcoin move in line with other markets. The clearest example of this has been shown in ...

Posted on 16 October 2018 | 8:38 am

Australian State Eyes Blockchain Upgrade for Property Transactions

The New South Wales state government is trialing blockchain tech from ChromaWay as part of a bid to digitize property conveyance by next summer.

Posted on 16 October 2018 | 8:30 am

Crypto Exchange Bitfinex Restarts Fiat Deposits Claiming 'Improved' Process

Cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex says it has rolled out a new process for depositing fiat currency after it halted the service last week.

Posted on 16 October 2018 | 7:40 am

Decred Is Turning Its Entire $21 Million Crypto Treasury Over to Investors

Decred is handing control of its $21 million treasury and all aspects of the protocol, from consensus through staffing, over to token holders.

Posted on 16 October 2018 | 6:59 am

Bitcoin Price Is Defending One Key Support for the Fifth Month Running - Coindesk


Bitcoin Price Is Defending One Key Support for the Fifth Month Running
Bitcoin (BTC) defended a key long-term price floor as it recovered from the three-week lows near $6,200 hit on Friday. The leading cryptocurrency looked set to pierce the 21-day exponential moving average (EMA), which has been serving as a strong ...

Posted on 16 October 2018 | 5:07 am

Is The Correlation Between Stocks And Bitcoin Real? - Forbes


Is The Correlation Between Stocks And Bitcoin Real?
Market analysts have repeatedly asked whether stocks and bitcoin are correlated. Long story short, it depends on one's time frame. In the short-term, there are certainly instances where stocks and the digital currency have moved in tandem. During 2017 ...

Posted on 16 October 2018 | 5:00 am

Bitcoin Price Is Defending One Key Support for the Fifth Month Running

Bitcoin's recovery from three-week lows has kept a key long-term moving average support intact.

Posted on 16 October 2018 | 5:00 am

LINE's Crypto Exchange Lists Its Own Token Against Bitcoin, Ether

Messaging giant LINE's Bitbox exchange has made its LINK token available for trading against bitcoin, ethereum and tether.

Posted on 16 October 2018 | 4:00 am

Colleges Are Baffled by Bitcoin Donations - Bloomberg


Colleges Are Baffled by Bitcoin Donations
Bitcoin—unregulated, notoriously volatile, and sometimes stolen by hackers—raised every one of those concerns. But back in 2014, the private liberal arts college in Tacoma, Wash., happened to have a number of alumni pioneering cryptocurrencies and ...

and more »

Posted on 16 October 2018 | 3:15 am

Another Top-10 Crypto Exchange Is Adding 4 Stablecoins This Week

The Huobi exchange has announced it will add support for four U.S. dollar-pegged cryptos, a day after OKEx did the same.

Posted on 16 October 2018 | 3:00 am

Mike Novogratz: Institutions Will Get Into Bitcoin in Q1-Q2 2019 Bringing 'New Highs' - Cointelegraph


Mike Novogratz: Institutions Will Get Into Bitcoin in Q1-Q2 2019 Bringing 'New Highs'
Investor and cryptocurrency bull Mike Novogratz has fine-tuned his Bitcoin price outlook, repeating to Bloomberg Monday, October 15, that it would not break $10,000 in 2018. The Galaxy Investment Partners creator, who is known for his optimism about ...
Novogratz: Bitcoin Will Breakout in 2019, But Institutions Still Want CryptonewsBTC
Novogratz Says Bitcoin Rally Likely to Take Place Next YearBloomberg
Bitcoin's [BTC] surge will be fueled by institutional investors; will be one of Fidelity's first clients, says NovogratzAMBCrypto

all 16 news articles »

Posted on 16 October 2018 | 2:39 am

Do These Indicators Suggest a Bitcoin Price Rally Early in 2019?

Bitcoin often turns technical analysis on its head, and might be about to do it again.

Posted on 16 October 2018 | 2:00 am

China's Bitcoin Dominance Is Worrying Trump's White House -- And Pushing It Toward Ripple - Forbes


China's Bitcoin Dominance Is Worrying Trump's White House -- And Pushing It Toward Ripple
China is, by some distance, the undisputed world leader in bitcoin mining — with Chinese mining pools controlling more than 70% of the bitcoin network's collective hash rate (a higher hash rate is better when mining cryptocurrencies as it increases ...
XRP and Bitcoin [BTC] to be weaponized by political forces, reports allegeAMBCrypto
Bitcoin (BTC) Surges Above $7K, Plus Ethereum, Ripple and XRP, Tron, Litecoin, Monero: Crypto News FlashThe Daily Hodl
Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin and Ripple Daily Analysis – 14/10/18FX Empire
all 148 news articles »

Posted on 16 October 2018 | 1:38 am

Ethereum Foundation Awards Nearly $3 Million in Startup Grants

The Ethereum Foundation has awarded 20 different startups and individuals a total of $2.86 million in its latest grant program round.

Posted on 15 October 2018 | 11:23 pm

Paxos Says $50 Million in Price-Stable Cryptocurrency Issued So Far

Paxos claims it has so far issued a total of $50 million-worth of its Paxos Standard crypto stablecoin since its official launch last month.

Posted on 15 October 2018 | 9:18 pm

Ethereum's Next Blockchain Upgrade Faces Delay After Testing Failure

Ethereum developers say Constantinople may be subject to delays following Saturday's test network release.

Posted on 15 October 2018 | 8:55 pm

Atari Founder Nolan Bushnell's X2 Games Acquired by Global Blockchain

Atari Founder Nolan Bushnell's X2 Games Acquired by Global Blockchain

The man who created Atari has moved on to blockchain-based gaming. Neil Bushnell’s X2 Games has been acquired by Canadian-based Global Blockchain (BLOC), a crypto investment firm, in hopes that Bushnell’s expertise will lead to another gaming industry revolution — this time with the help of blockchain technology.

The move will see the Canadian company align its existing efforts to tokenize gaming platforms with X2 Games' expertise for game development.

BLOC will also merge sections of its media and entertainment business with those of X2 Games Corp. and create a subsidiary for its enterprise and exchange activities, to be run by BLOC's current management and operational team.

X2 Games is a blockchain-based games publisher that builds multiplayer gaming experiences, leveraging blockchain technology to create unique gaming experiences for conventional and experimental platforms. X2 Games was created by American businessman and founder of Atari Inc. Nolan Bushnell and acclaimed digital animator Zai Ortiz, known for creating visuals for Iron Man's J.A.R.V.I.S system holograms among others.

Bushnell, known as the "Godfather of the Video Game Industry," is a Video Game Hall of Famer and has been included on Newsweek's list of the “50 People Who Changed America.” Bushnell is no stranger to creating blockbuster games with unique "never-been-seen-before-designs." In addition to launching the first Atari 2600 console into the home gaming market, Bushnell also created Chuck E. Cheese, a video game entertainment center hybrid.

With the acquisition, Blockchain Global will advise X2 Games' team on the integration of blockchain technology in video games. Bushnell will also become co-chairman of BLOC.

Bushnell hailed the alliance saying the creativity of both companies will drive them forward, in a statement made in the release.

“Without that first charge of creativity, nothing else can take place. This acquisition by BLOC will integrate X2 Games’ innovative game development studio and intellectual property within BLOC’s portfolio of blockchain assets allowing new and revolutionary games to be developed together.”

BLOC President and CEO Shidan Gouran told Bitcoin Magazine that BLOC is passionate about integrating the blockchain into real business use cases.

“Since we began discussions with X2 more than a year ago, it was always clear that there was a synergy between our companies. Now that our company has taken on a greater gaming focus, the decision to combine forces with X2 came naturally. We’re both very excited to get moving on our first projects together, and we look forward to changing the world of video gaming in the years to come.”

Steven Nerayoff, BLOC's chairman, said the blockchain company has been able to develop three separate companies and is positioned to "disrupt blockchain from the perspectives of mining, exchanges, and innovation." In addition, he believes segmenting the firm's "competencies and resources" would allow them to incorporate the strengths of new partners such as X2 Games.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 15 October 2018 | 3:06 pm

Bitcoin Breaks Out Of Its Malaise Following Tether Panic - Forbes


Bitcoin Breaks Out Of Its Malaise Following Tether Panic
Bitcoin prices rallied today, approaching $7,000 and reaching their highest in a month after markets responded to concerns about tether. The value of bitcoin rose to $6,960.98 today on the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index (BPI), its highest since Sept. 5.
Bitcoin steady, Tether still trading at a discountMarketWatch
Bitcoin Price Jumps as Cryptocurrency Traders Become Wary of Tether 'Stablecoin'Fortune
Bitcoin (BTC) Price Watch: Triangle Resistance Break and RetestnewsBTC -CoinDesk -CNBC -Bloomberg
all 226 news articles »

Posted on 15 October 2018 | 2:07 pm

OKEx Lists Four New Stablecoins

OKEx stablecoins

Digital assets platform OKEx has added four stablecoins to its listed assets.

According to a support notice published by OKEx, the Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange says that TrustToken's TrueUSD (TUSD), Circle's USDCoin (USDC), the Gemini Dollar (GUSD) and Paxos Standard Token (PAX) are now live on the platform. These four will join Tether’s USDT, the only stablecoin listed on the exchange prior to this announcement.

With the addition of these assets, OKEx now features more stablecoins than any other cryptocurrency exchange.

TUSD, which was launched in March 2018, is currently trading on popular exchanges Bittrex, Digifinex and Binance. In addition to this, other newcomer, fiat-collateralized stablecoins USDC, GUSD and PAX came to market last month. Circle’s USDCoin is available on Poloniex, the exchange acquired by Circle earlier this year and on South Korean Hanbitco and Everbloom.

Paxos, which issues and redeems PAX tokens one-to-one against the U.S. dollar, trades on Binance, while the Winklevoss' GUSD is available on its native Gemini exchange, HitBTC, Bibox, LATOKEN and others.

OKEx, the second largest global exchange by volume according to CoinMarketCap, will start accepting deposits for the four new listings today, October 15, 2018, at 09:00 UTC. The digital asset platform will begin spot trading for the token pairs against bitcoin and tether tomorrow, October 16, 2018, at 06:00 UTC.

The listing of these tokens comes on the heels of tether (USDT) losing its peg, falling by as much as 8 percent against the dollar on October 15, 2018. At press time, Tether is trading at $0.96, according to data from CoinMarketCap, though Kraken has the coin trading at $0.92 against its USD trading pairs.

Confidence in the most popular stablecoin had been falling over the perception that Tether, LLC, the distributor of tether, doesn't hold enough reserves to fully back all the USDT in circulation. In the meantime, other stablecoins have begun encroaching on Tether’s market dominance.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 15 October 2018 | 1:42 pm

As Tether’s Peg Slips, Bitcoin Price Is Distorted Across Market

Tether peg slip

Tether’s peg is slipping, and an exchange-wide firesale has led to major price discrepancies between bitcoin’s BTC/USDT and BTC/USD trading pairs across the market.

In the early hours of October 15, 2018, Tether’s USDT was trading at $0.92, the lowest asking price the coin has seen in 18 months. At the time of writing, the stablecoin still hasn’t made up enough ground to retain its $1 peg. On most markets, it’s currently trading around $0.96, though this figure is tied to bitcoin trading pairs. Against the USD on Kraken and Bittrex, it is trading at $0.92 and $0.90, respectively.

A combination of exchange activity, related FUD and scuttlebutt could be the catalysts behind the sell-off. Bitfinex suspended fiat deposits on October 15, 2018, “for certain customer accounts in the face of processing complications,” a blog post reveals. In addition, Binance temporarily suspended USDT withdrawals for “wallet maintenance” due to “network congestion,” a measure taken after the exchange extinguished rumors that said it would soon delist tether.

The discount has bitcoin trading at something of a premium against tether on exchanges with USDT/BTC trading pairs. On Binance, Huobi and Bittrex, for example, 1 BTC is trading for nearly 6,700 USDT.

Contrast this with bitcoin’s price in USD/BTC markets and it becomes clear that tether’s sell-off is distorting prices across exchanges. On Coinbase Pro, Kraken and Gemini, bitcoin is trading at roughly $6,400 against USD pairs, an indication that bitcoin’s proper asking price is much lower than its oft-cited USDT pair would advertise. This has led to an inflated price averaged on CoinMarketCap of $6,650.

It’s important to note that the “premium” bitcoin is going for on tether-listed exchanges is less of a premium and more of a price distortion, given that tether is trading below its peg. The price of bitcoin for these pairs has spiked as a result of the sell-off, but if you sold USDT for BTC and then attempted to resell this BTC for USD, the arbitrage opportunity would be nullified by the price differential between BTC/USDT and BTC/USD pairs.

Notably, Bitfinex’s USD/BTC pair is out of line with other exchanges that offer fiat pairs for bitcoin. On Bitfinex, 1 BTC is trading at $6,900, a figure the even superseded its price against USDT on other popular exchanges. An inauspicious discrepancy in its own right, Bitfinex’s data may rouse additional skepticism when we take a look at its USDT/USD pair. At the time of writing, 1 USDT is trading at exactly $1.00 against its pegged asset in actual U.S. dollars, while, as we noted earlier, the same trading pair on Kraken and Bittrex is going for $0.92 and $0.90, respectively. Seeing as Tether and Bitfinex are under like management, the stark departure in price for USDT/USD markets between Bitfinex and other top exchanges could be cause for further concern.

This jumble of numbers and price differentials leaves more questions asked than answers, aggravating the uncertainty that likely led to the sell-off in the first. The price gap between bitcoin’s USD and USDT pairs puts tether’s risk premium at just under $500 (7.62 percent), according to

As the discrepancy in prices across exchanges illustrates, this risk premium denotes the difference between how much bitcoin is trading for in BTC/USDT versus BTC/USD pairs. Ultimately, the figure could indicate that market confidence in Tether is waning, as looming uncertainty over whether Tether has enough funds in the bank, amidst other banking troubles, has shaken investor trust in the market’s number one stablecoin, which accounts for 98 percent of all stablecoin trading volume.

Tether’s troubles comes after a slew of new stablecoins have proliferated in the market. Its two largest competitors, MakerDAO’s DAI and TrustToken’s TUSD, launched earlier this year, while regulation grade coins like Gemini’s GUSD, Paxos’ PAX and Circle’s USDC launched last month as well. In addition to these, the industry’s first algorithmic stablecoin, Kowala’s kUSD, is now in its mainnet’s alpha version, though the coin has yet to begin trading on the open market.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 15 October 2018 | 1:06 pm

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Talking Crypto-Investing With CoinFund’s Founder and “Chief Alchemist”

Talking Crypto-Investing With CoinFund’s Founder and “Chief Alchemist”

On the latest episode of Epicenter Bitcoin, our hosts interviewed Jake Brukhman, the founder and managing director of Coinfund, as well as his chief alchemist Aleksandr Bulkin. The pair came to discuss some of the philosophy that goes into running a crypto fund, as well as some of the difficult business decisions they have to make on the priorities of investments, before talking about some of the promising technologies they are involved with.

As a rare treat, this episode also begins by introducing a new host to the regular lineup of the podcast. Dr. Friederike Ernst adds a precise and informative voice to the line of questioning in this interview with Coinfund, and her presence is sure to be a welcome feature on future episodes. Meher Roy, a regular host of the show, joined her in leading a thorough discussion of the issues at hand.

When asked what makes a crypto fund a crypto fund, Brukhman responded that there is essentially an entirely new asset class at play: crypto assets. He added that “each new asset class has unique properties that influence the people investing in it.”

To fully take advantage of these features, a fund must be structured with these assets in mind from the beginning. Sometimes, he claimed, a crypto fund heavily resembles a venture capitalist fund, while at other times it will deal with enough high-liquidity assets to more closely resemble a hedge fund.

Bulkin added that flexibility is absolutely paramount in this environment, adjusting business strategies not only to the whims of the market but also to new technologies, which is why his job title is “Chief Alchemist” rather than a more traditional title related to software development or managing. After all, he claimed, it’s always hard to predict where the space is going.

The remainder of the episode goes further into detail about the daily operations of the company, although Brukhman does at one point refuse to go into too much detail about their specific assets for security reasons. The whole discussion serves as an informative introduction to the crypto fund space.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 15 October 2018 | 11:37 am

Fidelity Is Launching a Crypto Trading Platform

Fidelity Investments, one of the world's largest financial services providers, is launching a crypto trading and storage platform.

Posted on 15 October 2018 | 10:52 am

Fidelity Launches Institutional Platform For Bitcoin And Ethereum - Forbes


Fidelity Launches Institutional Platform For Bitcoin And Ethereum
Fidelity Investments is spinning off a stand alone company dedicated exclusively to bringing cryptocurrencies to institutional investors. Called Fidelity Digital Assets, the limited liability corporation based in Boston will provide enterprise-grade ...
Fidelity Says It Will Trade Bitcoin for Hedge FundsWall Street Journal
Bitcoin Is Getting a Big New Backer in Fidelity but Investors Are Lukewarm on the NewsBarron's
Despite the Crash, Bitcoin Is More Mainstream Now Than Ever BeforeInverse
Ethereum World News (blog) -Financial News -AMBCrypto -Business Wire
all 143 news articles »

Posted on 15 October 2018 | 10:30 am

IMF, World Bank Set Framework Around Fintech Advances

IMF, World Bank Set Framework Around Fintech Advances

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank have weighed in on sovereign considerations and global implications of blockchain and other financial services technologies.

The Bali Fintech Agenda, released at the conclusion of their annual meeting, distills the issues and concerns around disruptive technologies like distributed ledgers and smart contracts. The 12-point agenda intends to provide guidance to countries in their assessments of policy options around specific circumstances and priorities.

“Countries are demanding deeper access to financial markets,” World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said in statement on the agenda framework. “The Bali Fintech Agenda provides a framework to support the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly in low-income countries where access to financial services is low.”

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde echoed the sentiment. Pointing to the estimated 1.7 billion adults around the world without access to the financial services sector, she said, “Fintech can have a major social and economic impact for them and across the membership in general. All countries are trying to reap these benefits, while also mitigating the risks.”

As outlined in an IMF press release, the focus of the 189 member countries must include the following goals:

Embrace the Promise of Fintech

Especially for low-income countries, small states and the underserved, fintech can hasten access to financial services and financial inclusion, deepen financial markets and improve cross border payments and remittance transfer systems.

Enable New Technologies to Enhance Financial Services

By facilitating telecommunications and digital infrastructures, countries foster open and affordable access and ensure a conducive policy environment.

Reinforce Competition and Commitment to Open, Free and Contestable Markets

Enabling a policy framework addressing risks around market concentration and moving to foster standardization, interoperability and transparent access to key infrastructures ensures a level playing field while promoting innovation, consumer choice and access to high-quality financial services.

Foster Fintech to Promote Financial Inclusion and Develop Financial Markets

Enabling countries to leverage promising new pathways for economic and financial development supports growth and alleviates poverty. Achievement toward this end entails the inclusion of fintech in efforts toward financial and digital literacy “while fostering knowledge-sharing between public- and private-sector players, civil society, and other stakeholders.”

Monitor Developments Closely to Deepen Understanding of Evolving Financial Systems

Information-sharing and exchange supports improved monitoring and includes the maintenance of dialogue with current industry leaders and innovators as a means of identifying emerging opportunities and risks and to “facilitate the timely formation of policy responses.”

Adapt Regulatory Framework and Supervisory Practices for Orderly Development and Stability of the Financial System

As issues arise around emerging financial technologies, regulators and policymakers must be prepared to modify and adapt frameworks to a degree proportionate to risks. “Holistic policy responses may be needed at the national level, building on guidance provided by standard-setting bodies.”

Safeguard the Integrity of Financial Systems

Mitigate risk around criminal misuse of fintech through use of technologies that strengthen anti-money laundering compliance and combat financing of terrorism.

Modernize Legal Frameworks to Provide an Enabling Legal Landscape

Legal frameworks that fail to keep pace with fintech innovation and evolving global markets undermine the general trust and reliability of financial products and services. It’s important to enable a legal framework with clear and predictable rules.

Ensure the Stability of Domestic Monetary and Financial Systems

While fintech could help central banks improve services — including the potential issuance of digital currencies as well as expanding access to and improving the resilience of payments services — monetary policy must also safeguard financial stability and even expand social safety nets when necessary.

Develop Robust Financial and Data Infrastructure to Sustain Fintech Benefits

The integrity of the financial system must maintain resilience to cyber attacks and other disruptions. Robust infrastructure development includes implications that reach beyond the financial sector and move into the digital economy as a whole. Issues here include data ownership, protection and privacy, cybersecurity, operational and concentration risks, and consumer protection.

Encourage International Cooperation and Information-Sharing

International cooperation assists in ensuring effective policy responses to foster opportunities and to limit risks that could arise from divergence in regulatory frameworks. “The IMF and World Bank can help in facilitating the global dialogue and information-sharing” with an eye toward building a global consensus.

Enhance Collective Surveillance of the International Monetary and Financial System

As fintech continues to blur financial boundaries and amplifies interconnectedness, spillovers and capital flow volatility, the potential to affect the balance of risk in global financial security increases.”The IMF and World Bank could help in improving collective surveillance and assist member countries via capacity building, in collaboration with other international bodies.”

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 15 October 2018 | 10:01 am

Sony Builds Digital Rights Management System on a Blockchain

Japanese electronics giant Sony has developed a blockchain-based digital rights management system that may see commercial rollout.

Posted on 15 October 2018 | 10:00 am

Binance Pauses Tether Withdrawals After Denying Delist Rumor

Binance suspended tether withdrawals Monday after pushing back against rumors that the exchange would delist the stablecoin.

Posted on 15 October 2018 | 8:51 am

US City Mulls Roll Out of Tougher Rules for Crypto Miners

Plattsburgh, New York, is considering stricter requirement for commercial cryptocurrency mining farms operating in the city.

Posted on 15 October 2018 | 6:46 am

Startup Bringing Blockchain Privacy to Central Banks Wins $15 Million Funding

Blockchain startup Adhara, which aims to bring zero knowledge proofs to central bank systems, has secured $15 million in new funding from Consensys.

Posted on 15 October 2018 | 5:21 am

Bitcoin Price Spikes But Bull Reversal Is Still $1K Away

Bitcoin is solidly bid Monday amid a sell-off of the tether stablecoin, but the bulls still need a move above $7,400 to confirm a bullish reversal.

Posted on 15 October 2018 | 5:10 am

Coinbase Ditches Its Index Fund in Favor of a New Retail Feature

Coinbase index fund

Coinbase – one of the largest digital currency exchanges in the U.S. – is nixing its index fund designed for accredited investors and shifting its focus to a new retail product, The Block reports


Coinbase first announced its fund back in March of 2018. The project was designed to give institutional investors easy access to the digital currency market by offering them an index that represents a basket of Coinbase’s listed assets. During this time, Coinbase representatives stated that they were “seeing strong demand from institutional and high net worth individuals.”

However, now the index fund has failed to attract an appropriate number of clients. Coinbase was reportedly unable to garner necessary revenue from the project and has since decided to move on to other endeavors.

The latest retail product entitled the Coinbase Bundle, launched at the end of September. Using the feature, investors can purchase an assortment of the coins offered on Coinbase with one click. Minimum purchases begin at $25. Differing from an index fund, Coinbase Bundle does not offer fixed methodologies, nor does it provide rebalancing options.

This is not the first feature of its kind. Circle introduced its clients to a similar product entitled Circle Invest, which allows users to buy up to 11 different tokens in a single investment. Circle also sports a lower purchasing minimum of merely $10. While the product has garnered solid reviews on Apple’s App Store, it remains unpopular amongst everyday users, and currently holds the #734 spot amongst finance apps according to App Annie.

Founded in 2012, Coinbase is a broad company that covers trading, institutional brokerage and venture capital. It has amassed more than 20 million users, though active user activity has fallen by roughly 80 percent this year.

The company has worked hard to expand its team and has brought several renowned figures from the financial and tech industries on board, including former Instinet CEO Jonathan Kellner. Kellner will lead institutional sales and support for Coinbase beginning in 2019. He will work with the exchange to build an over-the-counter trading business, allowing Coinbase to better compete with exchanges such as itBit, Gemini and Kraken.

Furthermore, the company is looking to hire 100 additional employees for its New York office, where they’ll join a campaign to bring more Wall Street vendors to the crypto industry. Recently, representatives have stated their desire to employ roughly 1,000 individuals by the end of the year.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 12 October 2018 | 7:27 pm

Singapore-based Blockchain Consortium Buys Majority Share in Bithumb

Bithumb acquisition

Singapore-based BK Global Consortium has paid 400 billion won (approximately $350 million) for a majority stake in South Korean Bithumb, the world’s third-largest cryptocurrency exchange, according to a local news outlet.

BK Global Consortium is a blockchain investment firm under BK Global, a Singapore plastic surgery medical group owned by Kim Byung-Gun. The Consortium had held a minority position in Bithumb for a while and was the exchange's fifth largest shareholder until today's announcement.

The new deal will see the consortium acquire a “50 percent plus one share” of the holdings of Bithumb's largest investors, BTC Holdings Company. The move, once finalized, would give the Consortium a controlling stake and make Kim the largest shareholder of Bithumb.

Bithumb is presently the largest digital asset platform in South Korea by trading volume. South Korea emerged as one of the hottest spots of the crypto market last year. Investors were so crypto-hungry that they had to pay a premium on every digital currency they purchased compared to investors in other parts of the world.

The Consortium, under the leadership of Kim, has plans to create a stablecoin for the exchange in the near future, according to the news outlet. There are also plans to launch a global decentralized crypto exchange (DEX) in partnership with blockchain firm One Root Network and a blockchain e-commerce payment system with the aim of reducing "virtual currency price volatility and settlement fees."

Kim is increasing his stake in a cryptocurrency market that he is massively optimistic about. He founded an initial coin offering (ICO) consulting firm called ICO Platform in Singapore earlier this year, and he is also known as an early cryptocurrency investor.

This news comes on the heels of an announcement by the exchange's shareholders who revealed the platform's earnings, showing net profits of 39.34 billion won (about $35 million) in the first half of the year, despite a rocky June where the exchange lost $40 million to hackers.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 12 October 2018 | 2:53 pm

Coinbase Has Just Added ZRX, Its First ERC-20 Token

ZRX Coinbase

Making good on a promise it made back in March of this year, Coinbase has just added its first ERC-20 token. ZRX, the token of the 0x (pronounced “zero x”) protocol began trading on Coinbase Pro (formerly GDAX), the exchange’s professional trading platform, on October 11, 2018.  

"Once sufficient liquidity is established, trading will begin on the ZRX/USD, ZRX/EUR and ZRX/BTC order books. ZRX trading will be accessible for users in most jurisdictions, but will not initially be available for residents of the state of New York," Coinbase Pro general manager David Farmer wrote in a blog post spelling out the details of the launch.

Coinbase said trading of ZRX would happen slowly and in stages. “If at any point one of the new order books does not meet our assessment for a healthy and orderly market, we may keep the book in one state for a longer period of time, or suspend trading…” Farmer wrote. Per the exchange’s policy, new coin trades on Coinbase Pro first. The exchange said it would make a future announcement when ZRX began trading on and the Coinbase mobile apps.

Last year, the popular San Francisco exchange crafted a strict new asset listing policy after getting itself into hot water when a botched bitcoin cash (BCH) listing led to accusations of insider trading.  

A lot has changed for Coinbase since. At one point during the crypto bubble, the exchange boasted a user base of 13 million. Following December 2017, however, Bitcoin lost more than 60 percent of its value, a loss that has cut into Coinbase’s business. In fact, Bloomberg reports that the number of U.S. customers buying and selling on Coinbase has declined by 80 percent.

Amidst all of this, Coinbase has been working diligently to expand its offerings.

A year ago, the exchange carried only three coins: bitcoin (BTC), ethereum (ETH) and litecoin (LTC). That changed when it added support for bitcoin cash (BCH) in December of 2017. In March 2018, the exchange announced plans for a crypto index fund available only to accredited investors. And in June 2018, the same month it launched its index fund, Coinbase added a fifth digital asset: Ethereum Classic (ETC).

Efforts to add new coins continued from there. In July 2018, Coinbase announced it was exploring several new assets. One of those was ZRX (newly listed); the others were Cardano (ADA), basic attention token (BAT), Stellar Lumen (XLM) and Zcash (ZEC). And in September, the exchange announced “Coinbase Bundle,” a product for the average investor.

Last month, Coinbase even announced a new asset listing process by which anyone with a token can apply to have that token listed on the platform.

Most recently, Coinbase told The Block on October 12, 2018, it was shutting down its index fund aimed at wealthy investors, due to lack of interest.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Posted on 12 October 2018 | 2:50 pm

Crypto Cybercrime Has Tripled Since 2017; Nearly $1 Billion Lost in 2018

Cybertheft report

Most digital exchanges are unregulated and therefore unqualified to safely process cryptocurrency transactions. They don’t employ necessary know-your-customer (KYC) tactics, and roughly $1 billion in digital asset funds have been stolen since the start of 2018.

These are the unsettling claims made by a new report released by blockchain and virtual currency forensics firm CipherTrace.

The most popular target currency still appears to be bitcoin, and one of the document’s key findings is that roughly 97 percent of bitcoin used in illegal transactions or that stem from criminal activity are sent to unregulated digital exchanges that enforce weak anti-money laundering (AML) tactics. An exchange is considered lacking in AML mechanisms if it does not regulate illegal drug dealing, maintain records over time, report suspicious or large transactions, or enforce KYC regulations, the report details.

In addition, nearly 5 percent of all bitcoins received by unregulated exchanges come from criminal transactions, and some of the world’s top exchanges have laundered as much as $2.5 billion in BTC.

To uncover these findings, researchers at CipherTrace examined over 45 million cryptocurrency transactions through roughly 20 of the world’s largest and most dominant exchanges. A transaction was marked as “criminal” if it came from a dark market website or through means of extortion, ransomware, malware or terrorist financing.

To fully comprehend the damage, the authors also examined crypto funds reported stolen in 2017 to see if the last nine months have been more devastating. According to the report, over $900 million of the more than $1 billion reported stolen in 2018 was taken in just the first three quarters of this year, meaning that the amount of theft has more than tripled since last year.

However, most of these losses can ultimately be blamed on the massive Coincheck hack that took place in January. That one theft was large enough to account for more than half of the reported losses in CipherTrace’s study. Other major hacks that occurred throughout 2018 include those on South Korean exchanges Bithumb ($30 million) and Coinrail ($40 million), as well as Japan-based Zaif ($60 million).

While the document discusses several methods of crypto theft, the most common one appears to be phishing, in which mass, customized extortion occurs through email and other electronic means to garner cryptocurrency-based ransoms. Other common methods include advanced malware and targeting employees of cryptocurrency exchanges directly.

The report also mentions SIM swapping. Though the report indicates that this is still a relatively new method of theft, SIM swapping is an insidious process by which a victim’s phone number is transferred to a thief’s SIM card. The thief then uses the number to change passwords and access the victim’s accounts.

Researchers also mention many of the regulatory actions taken against crypto-hackers, many of which have occurred in the third quarter. Among the most prominent are AMLD 5, which was passed by the European Commission on July 9, 2018. The new ruling states that by January 20, 2020, all AML and counter terrorism funding (CTF) laws presently applied to banks and traditional financial institutions will also apply to digital currency platforms. AMLD 5 also enforces identity checks for every new customer.

In addition, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is looking to apply all its present standards designed for traditional monetary establishments to virtual currencies by the end of June 2019. It is also seeking to ensure these standards are implemented in every nation. Currently, there are several countries that the FATF classifies as “rogue states,” or regions that deny compatibility with FATF goals and refuse to cooperate. These include Syria, Pakistan, Iran, Tunisia and Yemen among others.

However, the authors do take note of several countries working to instill appropriate regulation of virtual currencies and blockchain businesses. Two that really stand out are Malta and Canada, the former having established several licensing requirements for initial coin offerings (ICOs) and similar funding ventures scheduled to go into full effect on November 1.

Canada is also seeking to bring crypto regulation to new heights by requiring payment processors and digital currency exchanges be treated as money service businesses (MSBs). This will require stronger KYC rules for all crypto-related business. Should this law pass, it will go into effect in late 2019.

To view the full report, click here.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

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