Srp 17

Mid-Week Bitcoin Dump Not Caused By Chinese Ponzi: Researcher

Wednesday’s Bitcoin flash crash was not due to a sell-off from Chinese ponzi scam, PlusToken, a researcher has claimed. Sid Shekhar, the co-founder of London-based, TokenAnalyst, said the disputed coins were moved earlier on the blockchain.


We Can All Relax, It’s A False Alarm

As Bitcoinist reported on Thursday, cryptocurrency influencer, Dovey Wan, brought the $3 billion scam to the attention of the international crypto-community on Twitter. Analysis from Peckshield suggested that about 1000BTC from PlusToken had flowed into Huobi and Bittrex since July.

The reporting of this just after the crash which saw bitcoin price dip back into four figures led many to correlate the two.

However, the TokenAnalyst review shows that very few PlusToken-associated addresses held any significant number of bitcoin and moved them recently. According to Shekhar:

It doesn’t look like any of these addresses are exchange owned. So that was enlightening. We’ll keep an eye on this to see if they do move the 100s of millions into exchanges at some point.

But Can We Really?

The reason that very few Bitcoin addresses associated with the scam contained much in the way of coins, was because they had already moved. TokenAnalyst did find thousands of bitcoin on the ledger belonging to the PlusToken team. But much of this money filtered into Bitcoin mixing services about a month ago.

This correlates with Peckshield’s data that the coins started moving nearly-July. Its findings were only that about 1000BTC flowed into exchanges. The rest, according to the new research by TokenAnalyst, flowed into mixers.

Something caused the market to crash on Wednesday. Wan tweeted of unconfirmed reports by Chinese traders that someone was continually dumping 100BTC batches onto Binance. It is not inconceivable that the freshly mixed coins from the PlusToken scam were being pushed onto exchanges for conversion into fiat.

But of course, we always want a nice simple explanation for any market movement. Something that we can point to, and sagely say… “ah, yes. this was the reason.” because there isn’t a lot of comfort in “just because…”

What’s your theory for the recent bitcoin price dump? Let us know below! 


Image via Bitcoinist Image Library

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Srp 15

Chinese Ponzi Scam Floods Exchanges And Hits Bitcoin Price

According to Primitive founder, Dovey Wan, the latest Bitcoin sell-off is down to a major Chinese ponzi scheme. Little known outside of China, PlusToken scammed over 200k BTC and 800k ETH, which are now hitting exchanges in batches.


Not Another Bitcoin Ponzi Scam

Started mid-2018, PlusToken was a classic Ponzi scheme offering high-yield investment return. There were four layers of membership structure, offering increasing dividends. By early 2019, it had a claimed 10 million members.

The core team were apprehended by police two months ago and will be in jail for decades, according to Wan. However, the reported $3 billion of cryptocurrency they scammed out of members has not been recovered.

Many of the Bitcoin wallet addresses used are believed to be multi-sig, leading to speculation that some key holders remain at large.

The Bitcoin Sell-Off Began In Early July

Security audit firm, Peckshield, has been monitoring money-flow from the PlusToken wallets, and found that since early-july about 1000 BTC has gone into Huobi and Bittrex exchanges. Funds have been moving in small batches of 50-100 bitcoins per batch.

Unconfirmed reports from Chinese traders suggest that someone has also been consistently dumping 100BTC batches onto Binance. This is also believed to be related to PlusToken.

Not News Until Now

One of the big questions around all this is ‘Why are we only hearing about it now?’.

Again, according to Wan, there are three main reasons that exchanges have not paid attention. The main one being that the scam has not been known outside of China, with the possible exception of South Korea.

Added to this, Chinese exchanges didn’t act because the case has officially been ‘closed’ by Chinese police. Finally, police didn’t work with the exchanges, because cryptocurrency exchanges are officially banned in China.

So What Should We Do?

Both Peckshield and Chainalysis are monitoring the coins involved in the scam, but exchanges must also get involved. There is potentially little that can be done about tokens which have already been cashed out. However, exchanges are able to freeze incoming tokens relating to known scams.

The important thing is to ensure that the relevant parties are aware of the situation. Because, 200,000 BTC flooding the market is bad news for everyone. Unless you missed out on buying sub-$10k Bitcoin last time?

Do you think this scam is the cause of the latest crypto market flash crash? Add your thoughts below.


Images via Shutterstock

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Srp 07

Binance Issues Statement on ‘False KYC Leak’; CEO Comments

Binance has formally denied that it has lost control of some of its user data as rumors continue to swirl around a possible hack.


Hacker ‘Extorting’ Binance

In a statement issued August 6, the major cryptocurrency exchange said it was investigating the claims, which revolve around a hacker demanding 300 BTC in return for withholding traders’ personal data, including passports. 

The threats, which Binance now acknowledge are genuine, came via a Telegram group which has amassed over 10,000 members. 

In the statement, Binance explained that the alleged data set showed “inconsistencies” compared to genuine user information, such as a lack of an internal watermark. It thus remains unknown as to whether any of the documents are genuine or related to Binance.

“We are still investigating this case for legitimacy and relevancy. After refusing to cooperate and continuing with his extortion, this individual has begun distributing the data to the public and to media outlets,” the statement warns.

“…At the present time, no evidence has been supplied that indicates any KYC images have been obtained from Binance, as these images do not contain the digital watermark imprinted by our system. With that said, our security team is hard at work pursuing all possible leads in an attempt to identify the source of these images.”

CZ Reprimands Users Accidentally Aiding Attacker

On social media, CEO Changpeng Zhao (known as ‘CZ’) requested users not share the address of the Telegram group or spread misinformation based on nonofficial sources.

“Don’t fall into the ‘KYC leak’ FUD. We are investigating, will update shortly,” he tweeted earlier Wednesday. 

Some sources, including CZ, state that the data involved stems from a previous scare in 2018 which involved both Binance and fellow exchange Kraken and the current hype is merely a regurgitation of old news. 

The statement further suggested this was the most likely explanation, noting that at the time, the would-be hacker refused to demonstrate the authenticity of the haul. 

“On initial review of the images made public, they all appear to be dated from February of 2018, at which time Binance had contracted a third-party vendor for KYC verification in order to handle the high volume of requests at that time,” it reads.

“Currently, we are investigating with the third-party vendor for more information.”

Binance has remained broadly free of serious security compromises in its brief history. An exception came earlier this year when a hacker managed to steal user funds worth $41 million. Binance subsequently refunded users from its own pocket.


What do you think about the alleged Binance user data? Let us know in the comments below!


Images via Bitcoinist Image Library, Twitter: @cz_binance

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Čvc 11

Binance Debuts Margin Trading As Bitcoin Volatility Hits Markets

Malta-based cryptocurrency exchange giant Binance has formally launched margin trading for most of its users following months of speculation. 


Long-Awaited Bitcoin Trading Feature Goes Live

In a blog post July 11, executives released the platform’s latest product, along with a dedicated guide on how it works. 

Margin trading, while available on several major exchanges to date, incurs a significant risk of funds loss if the trader controlling them is not aware of their technical characteristics.

“Margin trading is the latest development in Binance’s effort to push the industry forward and toward the freedom of money, expanding its trading offerings,” the blog post reads. 

“Margin trading allows traders to borrow funds to increase leverage, providing higher profit potential than traditional trading. However, this also comes with a greater risk, given the current volatility of the cryptocurrency market.”

The unveiling ends a period of several months during which Binance slowly dropped hints it was working on margin trading, followed by evidence of testing.

Risky Bitcoin Business

In June 2019, demand for leveraged financial tools tied to Bitcoin 00 and other cryptocurrencies is higher than ever, as markets return to levels not seen since before the 2018 bear market. 

Huge amounts of capital come and go at the hands of margin traders daily, social media users often noting how sudden movements in the Bitcoin price trigger giant liquidations in a matter of minutes. 

This week, a Bitcoin uptick saw $44 million worth of liquidations on derivatives giant BitMEX in just a single morning.

Margin trading essentially involves borrowing funds to use as collateral while betting on a token’s price moving in a certain direction. Should the bet go wrong, the trader faces liquidation.

Bitcoin Sheds 11 Percent

Binance’s product is now available to everyone with an eligible account; this means that those residing in the US, Syria, Iran, North Korea, Crimea, Canada, Japan, South Korea, and Cuba are currently unable to join in. 

The situation remained the same as Binance rolled out previous new tools such as its expanded decentralized exchange (DEX), while executives admitted that it would be impossible to prevent anyone from using a decentralized structure. 

News of the margin trading meanwhile went some way to stemming losses of Binance’s in-house Binance Coin 00 token, which delivered 24-hour losses of 6 percent.

Following a downturn in the Bitcoin price, altcoin markets have broadly slumped, shedding up to 20 percent overnight as BTC/USD fell by around $1500.

Last month, BNB had reached new all-time highs of close to $40 per coin.


What do you think about Binance’s margin trading launch for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter: @binance

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Čvn 01

This IEO Crypto Token is Up 800% After Binance DEX Launch

Crypto figures were urging caution June 1 after the first token to trade on both Binance and Binance DEX saw suspiciously high trade volume.


Harmony Outperforms BNB Crypto Token

Harmony (ONE), which constitutes Binance’s latest initial exchange offering (IEO), saw over $600 million in volume in the 24 hours to press time, according to data from CoinMarketCap.

The token is the first to debut on both Binance’s regular platform and its newly-launched decentralized exchange, Binance DEX.

Executives had generated considerable buzz around the move through a concerted publicity campaign prior to the launch, which included a giveaway to promote ONE among prospective investors.

Analyzing the trade figures, however, veteran crypto social media voices appeared less than impressed.

“It’s up by 800%+ from (the) IEO. Wouldn’t recommend chasing this,” the Twitter account known as Squeeze summarized, noting ONE/USD trading at $0.025.

“I’ve been eyeing this for a while. This has very huge hype. But not gonna buy at this price. Will wait for dips in the coming weeks. If it moons hard, I don’t mind missing this. Plenty of other choices.”

Binance DEX Whirlwind

Harmony was little known before its Binance hook-up, with the launch of the DEX having already sparked major excitement among traders.

As CoinMarketCap confirms, Binance’s decentralized platform saw larger volumes in five hours than its biggest competitor, IDEX, achieved in 24.

“By tomorrow it will have done more volume than all DEX’s combined,” trader and journalist Dan Clarke forecast Saturday.

As Bitcoinist reported, Binance itself has seen a broad turnaround in its recent fortunes since recovering from a $41 million hack at the start of May.

Following a week of downtime, full functionality resumed May 15, with the platform’s in-house token, Binance Coin 00, forming the basis of a separate giveaway to reward users who stayed loyal during the platform’s difficulties.

BNB subsequently outperformed, reaching new all-time highs against the US dollar this week as it passed $35 for the first time.

The token, which can also be used against discounted trading fees on Binance, is now the seventh-largest cryptocurrency by market cap. 24-hour volume at press time was $560 million – still just short of ONE.

Separately, the exchange’s own research this week announced a changing trend in the crypto industry more broadly. After over a year of low appeal, non-crypto lay consumers were finally beginning to pay attention to Bitcoin 00 and altcoins again.

In addition, institutional investor interest was developing much more quickly, analysts said, a phenomenon which itself was contributing to the base of new Binance traders.

What do you think about Binance DEX and Harmony? Let us know in the comments below!


Images via Shutterstock, Tradingview.com

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Kvě 10

Top 5 Biggest Crypto Exchange Heists in History

The news of the Binance hack left the cryptocurrency industry rattled. Although, it turns out that a massive $40 million’s worth of BTC doesn’t even register this heist among the worst. Check out the five biggest exchange hacks in crypto history.


The 5 Biggest Exchange Hacks in Crypto

5 biggest crypto exchange hacks

As you can see from the above image, the Binance hack comes in a measly sixth place. There’s no doubt that the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange will recover from its stinging loss.

The hacker only targeted Binance’s hot wallet which holds just 2 percent of all the exchange’s BTC. In fact, CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) is already chalking it up to a “lesson learned” (albeit an expensive one).

And, it could have been way worse–just ask Coincheck, the Japanese exchange that still takes first place in the biggest exchange hacks in crypto history.

1. Coincheck (Jan 2018)

According to cryptocurrency intelligence agency CipherTrace, 2018 eclipsed all other years as far as exchange hacks go, with Coincheck leading the way. To kickstart the year that would also be the longest bear market for the industry, Coincheck was hit by hackers stealing more than 500 million NEM cryptocurrency (around $530 million).

NEM stuck the blame firmly on the ‘relaxed security measures’ of Coincheck even though it was only its cryptocurrency XEM that was stolen. No hard fork was carried out and Coincheck, for now at least, retains the top place on the list.

2. Mt. Gox (Feb 2014)

Eclipsed in the dollar amount stolen, the Mt. Gox hack is still undoubtedly the most infamous exchange hack of all time. It’s still the largest Bitcoin heist, in fact, with an eye-watering 850,000 BTC snatched by hackers (around 6 percent of all available BTC at the time).

Up until the start of 2014, Mt. Gox handled some 70 percent of all the world’s BTC transactions. By February of that same year, it was declaring bankruptcy.

While some 200,000 of the stolen BTC was recovered, other users remain hopeful of recuperating their funds. A trustee Nobuaki Kobayashi is now in possession of over 141,000 BTC and 142,000 BCH and is supposed to return them to their rightful owners. The question is, when?

3. BitGrail (Feb 2018)

Shady as they come Italian exchange BitGrail lost some 17 million Nano tokens worth around $170 million in the third biggest exchange hack in crypto history.

While the hack was revealed in 2018, the plot around the story soon began to thicken as users became aware that the exchange had been targeted previously and was insolvent for a number of months prior.

Moreover, its owner Francesco Firano tried to place the blame on Nano, requesting a hard fork to recuperate the funds. This was denied and the blame was laid squarely on BitGrail. In 2019, a court ordered Firano to return the missing funds to BitGrail customers.

4. Bitfinex (Aug 2016)

Controversy over Tether and one of the largest ever exchange hacks in crypto history, it’s a miracle that Bitfinex is still standing. The hack happened in August 2016 when more than 120,000 bitcoins were stolen causing the value of BTC to plummet within hours of the attack.

Users were compensated, however, unlike in many other situations, but they were paid out in BFX tokens rather than BTC.

5. Zaif (Sept 2018)

Losing around $60 million in cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and MonaCoin, Zaif was the second major Japanese exchange to lose funds after Coincheck earlier in 2018. This lead to Japan’s FSA to carry out an investigation of the incident.

They later found out the much of the stolen funds were traded on exchanges including Binance and Huobi. Hackers did this by creating hundreds of accounts and depositing just 2 BTC in them all, thus not triggering Binance’s AML red flags.

Don’t Keep Your Funds on an Exchange

We’re watching history repeat itself time and again. Hackers already stole over $356 million from exchanges in Q1, 2019.

The Binance attack is just another in a never-ending security breach waiting to happen and the moral of the story is always the same. Don’t keep your funds on an exchange. If you do, you’re putting your cryptocurrency at risk.

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Kvě 08

‘Shocked He Went There:’ Crypto Takes Sides On Binance’s Alleged Bitcoin Reorg Plan

Cryptocurrency’s best-known figures continue to debate exchange Binance’s handling of its $40 million hack amid claims executives planned to undo past Bitcoin transactions. 


Binance CEO Rejects Reorg

In a lengthy debate still playing out on social media, Binance received mixed reviews after CEO Changpang Zhao appeared to suggest there was a plan to conduct a reorganization (‘reorg’) of the Bitcoin blockchain. The step would theoretically allow the transactions involving the bitcoins hackers stole from Binance May 7 to no longer fall under their control.

At the same time, an entire day’s worth of user transactions would become void.

Reorgs to fix erroneous transactions are extremely difficult to do for decentralized blockchains — and, in the case of Bitcoin’s, de facto impossible due to the consensus demands required.

As Bitcoinist previously reported, more centralized blockchains can conduct similar activities more easily. EOS, for example, reversed transactions late last year in an episode which likewise attracted negative attention.

While Zhao subsequently explained that the idea remained hypothetical following discussions and that Binance would not pursue any form of the reorg, some reactions criticized him for mentioning the topic.

Mike Novogratz, the Galaxy Digital CEO and major Bitcoin bull, vented rare comments on the topic after Zhao drew a comparison between his plan and efforts by Ethereum (ETH) developers several years ago.

“I am shocked that (Zhao) even went there. Talk of forking or reorganizing the blockchain is close to heresy,” he wrote on Twitter. “When the (Ethereum) community did it the project was like 5 months old. A baby. Bitcoin now has $100 (billion) market cap and is a legitimate store of wealth.”

Back: Reorg ‘Not Happening’

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin also added a rebuttal, arguing Ethereum’s actions did not constitute a reorg.

“Ethereum did a surgical irregular state change. We never even considered actually rolling back the chain to undo the hack; the collateral damage from that (reverting a day of *everyone’s* transactions) would have been huge and possibly fatal,” he tweeted.

Binance’s back-up fund will cover losses endured by users, while the event appeared to have little impact on buoyant cryptocurrency markets, Bitcoin price shedding $200 but subsequently rebounding.

Mentioning the press handling of the hack as complicating perceptions, veteran cryptographer and Hashcash inventor Adam Back meanwhile took the opportunity to reiterate the difficulty of manipulating the Bitcoin blockchain.

“A Bitcoin reorg is just not happening, and I doubt any Bitcoin industry, miners nor developers considered it either,” he summarized, referencing previous, considerably larger, exchange hacks which came and went without such measures coming to pass.

What do you think about Binance’s remedial measures? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter.

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Dub 20

Binance CFO Talks About His ‘Exciting’ Journey in Exclusive Interview

It was the last hour of the final day at Paris Blockchain Week Summit. The charismatic Binance CFO Wei Zhao had been speaking back to back. Yet, despite the time and the fact that he must have repeated himself over and over for two solid days, he seemed undeterred. Wearing jeans and a Binance hoodie, he bounded up to meet me, vigorously shaking my hand, clearly enjoying being the man of the moment.


If this were a celebrity party, Binance would be the VIP guest. Changpeng Zhao (CZ)’s creation seems unstoppable. Every project wants to be on Binance, from regular token listings to holding IEOs on the Binance LaunchPad. The Binance Chain has just launched, its native BNB token is climbing in price, and the company has the power to influence the entire community and delist tokens at will.

Binance Won’t Be Leaving Malta Any Time Soon

Minister for Digital Affairs Cedric O later said in a press conference that one of their goals was attracting Binance to France. Yet Zhao confessed to me that he had no idea the French had pushed forward new regulation until now.

With a rather high taxation rate for crypto companies at 30 percent, regulations around ICOs (that no one’s doing anymore) and a lot less flexibility than Malta, it looks unlikely that Binance will move to France anytime soon. Although I wasn’t privy to any backroom chats.

binance cfo wei zhao

My interview was with Wei Zhao, the man partially responsible for Binance’s epic growth. “I help companies to scale and to grow,” he tells me. Binance now has over 400 people in 30 countries. That’s “a decent sized organization.”

One thing that I have helped to launch is our fiat to crypto offering. In January, we launched our fiat to crypto, pound to BTC. We’re also doing Singapore. Last year, we launched in Uganda… My approach has been basically to build up our presence in the regulated world and build up more fiat.

Bridging the Traditional Financial World with Crypto

With a background of working in traditional finance, and grooming companies to go public, it’s unsurprising that another major focus of Zhao is institutional investors.

“I worked in Hong Kong, so I’ve been CFO for about four different companies, two of which went public. So, I am quite adept in dealing with bankers, and working with bankers, I am a banker myself. I helped to launch our OTC trading services, Binance off-exchange services. I help bring people from traditional bond traders and that type of trader to cryptocurrency.”

Indeed, the surge in Binance’s OTC trading drove the company’s near $80 million first-quarter profits.

What It’s Like Working at Binance

I ask why he made the leap from traditional finance to crypto. He says he would not have done it for any other company than Binance.

I think we are really different from other companies. Most are just exchanges, but we really fiercely want to make an impact in the world… The journey has been awesome so far and I’m in it for the long haul.

One of the best things about his job? Traveling to different places. “I flew around the world four or five times already,” he laughs.

It does speak to the borderless nature of cryptocurrencies. Yes, it’s a digital business but at the end of the day, it’s still a human business, it’s a very human business. The reason this industry is growing so much is that people in this industry travel so much. Like 10 times more than in any other industry.

There’s nothing like human interaction, face to face human talking about things, that’s how you can really impact change.

Does the Recent Leap in Bitcoin Mean the Bear Market Is Over?

It’s not a decisive “yes” when I ask if the bear market is over. Zhao pauses and leans back in his chair. There’s a short silence before he forms his answer, leading me to believe the opposite may be true. But with the most profitable exchange in crypto, bear market or no, nothing’s stopping Binance. He says:

I think there’s generally a lot more interest across the board despite adverse regulation and other adversities. You see general interest in bitcoin from traditional industries, and the rest of the world is showing interest in projects and I think all of it will contribute to the continued growth of the market. The fact that people are thinking “how is this going to impact my business?” Facebook JPMorgan… it lends credibility to the space.

I ask if companies like JPMorgan and Facebook lending “credibility” is rather ironic, considering how Bitcoin was born. He replies:

You need a push which is driven by guys like Facebook and JPMorgan, that gets people thinking about how that’s going to impact institutions and the market. It lends credibility, mindshare, and shows that our actions are getting noticed, that’s what it takes.

What It’s Like Working with CZ

So, what’s it like working with one of crypto’s biggest personalities? “Awesome, it really is awesome!” he enthuses, “he’s extremely transparent, diligent and extremely honest, he’s also extremely intelligent, and very patient.”

changpeng zhao cz binance

I ask if he was in complete agreement about the recent delisting of Bitcoin SV, to which he nods his head. Presumably, he’s been fielding questions on the subject all day long and his answer is extremely diplomatic.

“We have a very rigorous delisting process, and we also have a regular quarterly review. This quarter a lot of the comments we’ve written out our rationality… I don’t have any other comments on that.”

Finally then, who does Zhao believe that Satoshi Nakamoto is? Clearly, not Craig Wright.

“I think its a community,” he replies. “It’s like ‘I am Bitcoin’, you know that movie? ‘I am bah, blah blah’? It’s like that with Bitcoin. It’s a community. And we’re surviving… I believe that every day that you survive extends your survival… There is a reason why he or she wants to remain anonymous, because it’s not important, it’s a community.”

What do you think of Zhao’s comments? Let us know your thoughts below!


Images via Shutterstock

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Dub 15

Mexico Sets New Bitcoin Volume Record After Trump’s Remittance Threat

Bitcoin price remaining above $5000 resulted in new trading highs for several countries worldwide last week, the latest data shows.


Mexico, Venezuela Post Record Localbitcoins Volumes

According to monitoring resource Coin Dance, which tracks trading volumes on peer-to-peer exchange platforms Localbitcoins, Paxful and Bisq, certain markets continued to see spikes in Bitcoin activity.

As Bitcoinist reported, the moves form part of a trend which accelerated in many places in line with Bitcoin price climbing steeply earlier this month.

As with the previous week, it was Venezuela, Peru, Mexico, Kazakhstan and others leading the way over the past seven days, Localbitcoins data confirms.

The period to April 13 was especially successful for Mexico, which set a new all-time trading record of 10.67 million pesos ($568,000) on Localbitcoins.

The peak contrasts sharply with the previous week, in which 8.6 million changed hands, and just clipped the previous record of 10.62 million set in March 2018.

Topping the list of motivations for the behavior remains US foreign policy, president Donald Trump threatening to target traditional fiat-based remittance channels. This, Bitcoinist explained, opens up the door to Bitcoin as an alternative.

A glance at other jurisdictions tracked by CoinDance tells a similar story, while Venezuela joined Mexico in beating all its previous weekly records.

In terms of the country’s highly-volatile fiat currency, the Sovereign Bolivar (VES), last week saw the equivalent of 30 billion units trade across Localbitcoins, beating the previous all-time high of 26.4 billion set the week before.

Kazakhstan, Tanzania Get Taste For Bitcoin

Beyond South America, as before, Kazakhstan continued its trading boom, also setting higher volumes last week than ever before – 55 million tenge ($145,000).

The uptick accompanies political upheaval in the Central Asian country, after veteran president Nursultan Nazarbayev unexpectedly quit his office last month.

In a fresh wave of interest, Tanzania also produced recent highs, with 165 million shillings ($71,000) across Localbitcoins. The country’s all-time high of 294 million from April last year, however, remains intact.

As Bitcoinist noted, the Bitcoin price surge also led to the reemergence of other Bitcoin financial phenomena. Focused on Asia, both Chinese and South Korean buyers began paying fiat premiums for cryptocurrency this month.

In China, over-the-counter purchasers of stablecoin Tether (USDT), from which they can diversify into other assets, faced higher CNY prices than their USD counterparts.

South Korean exchanges meanwhile saw the return of the so-called ‘Kimchi Premium,’ a mark-up for Bitcoin and other assets in won terms which last week averaged around 1.5 percent.

According to data from CoinMarketCap, overall 24-hour trading volumes for Bitcoin on regular exchanges totalled approximately $10.9 billion Monday. Adding altcoins, the figures reaches just over $38 billion.

What do you think about last week’s Localbitcoins volumes? Let us know in the comments below!


Images via Shutterstock, Coin.dance

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Bře 05

Binance CEO: No Profit-Sharing With Users Due To BNB Security Status

Cryptocurrency exchange Binance will not share profits with holders of its in-house token due to regulatory hurdles.


‘You Don’t Want That’

That was the decision from CEO Changpeng Zhao (known as CZ), who shed light on the issue during an informal social media Q&A session on March 4 hosted by UK-based trading platform eToro.

Asked whether the exchange, which has seen phenomenal success in its short lifespan, would recycle its profits back to investors in its Binance Coin (BNB) token, Zhao said the drawbacks outweighed any advantages.

“No, that would make (BNB) a security, and you don’t want that,” he responded to an eToro user on Twitter.

As with Binance more generally, BNB has seen its value soar as the cryptocurrency is used, among other things, to offer discounts to traders on fees.

Currently the eighth-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, BNB has so far avoided the issue of securities regulation in countries such as the US — where the topic has become a major talking point in the face of shifting regulatory stances.

As Bitcoinist reported, an ongoing debate over whether the number-three cryptoasset, Ripple’s XRP, is a security has long enveloped industry commentators.

binance coin BNB

Exchanges Dodging Bullets

Zhao’s desire to avoid any exposure to potential securities rules thus speaks to a broader trend among cryptocurrency exchanges to circumvent jumping through unnecessary regulatory hurdles.

Platforms such as Bittrex— like Binance’s expansion to multiple overseas jurisdictions — have, at the same time, sought to segregate the US and non-US traders by offering different tokens on each with an eye to simplifying regulatory obligations and minimizing complications.

BNB, meanwhile, continues to attract attention beyond the question of security status. As Bitcoinist reported, Zhao himself described a report analyzing its value last month as “almost scary” in its thoroughness.

Authored by Kyle Samani of Multicoin Capital, the report concluded the token’s value is underrated. BNB/USD currently trades around $11.50, with the pair’s all-time high in January 2018 reaching just under $25.

What do you think about Binance’s position on profit-sharing? Let us know in the comments below! 


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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