Pro 12

Coinbase Slammed For Venezuela ZCash Airdrop Being an ‘Advertising Strategy’

US cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has received intense criticism for giving Venezuelan families a grand total of $1 per day – in altcoin ZCash, which it added to its books days previously.


Scroogebase?

In a blog post December 11, executives claimed that the initiative dubbed the “12 Days of Coinbase,” was meant to “empower those who don’t have enough.”

Coinbase completed a rollout of ZCash 00 to its own traders December 5, the price of which currently sits at its lowest since April 2017.

“Recipients can purchase food and basic supplies at a local store that accepts payments in crypto, subsidizing everyday expenses — this $1 USD equivalent per day can buy 1–2 kilos of protein or 2-kilos of starches and vegetables,” the post reads.

The initiative will award 100 families $1 daily for three months via GiveCrypto, a spin-off enterprise from Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong.

As soon as the plans went public, however, both Coinbase and Armstrong himself faced a barrage of negative publicity ranging from skepticism over their efficacy to outright disgust.

Starving Venezuelans Turn to Bitcoin Mining in Desperation

On Twitter, commentators, including those living in poverty-stricken Venezuela, said the priority of schemes such as this and that of fellow altcoin Dash 00 was not to help those in need but rather to market altcoins.

Venezuela, they suggested, was being used by $8 billion Coinbase as a guinea pig to serve its own aims.

“I do not see how donations from # cryptocurrencies help individuals in (Venezuela),” José Rafael Peña, editor of Spanish-language cryptocurrency news outlet CryptoNoticias wrote.

I have seen so many campaigns to give away crypts to individuals, that I only see it as an advertising strategy for those who plan to donate them.

‘You Piece Of Sh*t’

Others were much more damning.

Addressing Armstrong, software developer Udi Wertheimer lambasted what he viewed as a display of miserliness.

“The ‘Venezuela meme’ has been overused by ‘crypto’ scammers for years now, but I’m shocked to see Brian do the same,” he tweeted.

“Giving $1-worth of Zcash to Venezuelan families? (Get the f*ck out). Give them USD cash you piece of shit. Unbelievable[.]”

Coinbase’s publicity woes had continued from last week. Publishing an article about the exchange’s plans to introduce 30 new altcoins to its books, TechCrunch – perhaps inadvertently – gave it a URL describing Coinbase as “dabbling in shitcoins.”

The move became an incongruous hit on social media, seeing comments from some of the cryptocurrency industry’s best-known names.

What do you think about Coinbase’s charity giveaway? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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Lis 10

Cryptocurrencies to Target for the Next Bull-Run (OAX, XLM, HOT)

Cryptocurrencies OAX, HOT, and XLM are worth looking into if you’re looking for coins with the best chance to outperform Bitcoin price in Q4 2018. 


Small Cap Vs. Low Price Cryptos (A Trader’s Mindset)

The mindset of a cryptocurrency trader in a bull vs. a bear market is vastly different. During the last bull-run, two types of cryptocurrencies had a tendency to ‘pump.’ Ones with very low market caps on big exchanges and those with very low prices.

The coins with low market caps, dedicated teams, with the network to get listed on top exchanges should be acquisition targets heading into the next bull-run vs. the alternative of buying low priced coins.

A very low market cap coin with major unknown quarter four events: OAX, should perform exceptionally well in the short term. 

The market sentiment has continued to shift from the summer of 2018 through the beginning of quarter four. With crypto personalities and technical analysis pointing to a December bull-run, the question becomes fairly obvious: How does one take advantage of the shifting of market sentiment and the possible impending moonshot?

Amusement park ride

The last bull run which concluded 2017 had two main types of cryptocurrencies that saw significant pumps. These two types included very low cost per coin cryptocurrencies regardless of their market capitalization. The other type were coins that had a very low market cap. Coins with a low market cap are the coins which should be targeted vs. the ones that the price seems “cheap” on.

Most individuals who are not accustomed to cryptocurrencies do not realize the importance of market capitalization vs. actual price.

For example: consider 2 cryptocurrencies, one is trading at $0.50 the other at $2.00, the first has a market cap of $100 million, the second has a market cap of $5 million.

Which is the better investment if both are about to have $1 million in demand of the cryptocurrency generated by an announcement?

The answer is the second, with a $5 million market cap and $2.00 price. The reason for this is if $1 million of demand is generated for a cryptocurrency with a $5 million market cap the total market cap will increase to $6 million. This 20% increase in market cap will be reflected by the price increasing by 20%, from $2.00 to $2.40.

The first coin with a market cap of $100 million would now have a market cap of $101 million and the $.50 crypto would have increased to $0.505. If you purchased the cryptocurrency with the lower market cap you would make 20% compared to 2% for the coin with the higher market cap.

With all else equal it is always a better idea to target a lower market cap cryptocurrency vs. one with a ‘lower price.’

OAX has one of the smallest market caps on Binance and is my #1 acquisition target for this reason, along with many others. For those wanting a lower price coin with a significantly higher market cap HOT and XLM are fantastic options.

OAX

OAX 00 is one of the lesser known and discussed cryptocurrencies, which is a great reason to begin targeting it before the Twitter personalities and “whales” begin their accumulation. OAX is also listed on the highest volume exchange, Binance, which is notorious for solely listing tier 1 projects.

So what is OAX’s project that impressed Binance enough to list?

I had the pleasure of discussing with the OAX team many aspects about their project during a recent interview. According to Wayland Chan who is the Technology Lead of the OAX Foundation, by the end of 2018 OAX will “deliver a stand-alone DEX using the work done building a scalable layer 2 solution.” This very significant event is not listed on cryptocurrency calendar websites nor is it commonly known in the space.

What is most impressive about OAX’s decentralized exchange (“DEX”) is that they plan to have an “off-chain order book, off chain order execution, as well as no custody of user assets.” OAX could be the scalable solution that DEX’s have sought for years. The OAX project is very ambitious but having secured a Binance listing their legitimacy should not be challenged.

The first prototype of the DEX was delivered in June and since the developer have been finalizing the layer 2 solution using off-chain solutions to solve the performance problems of blockchains.

According to OAX’s Technology Lead,

We’ve made huge strides…and expect to soon announce some big news that will definitely rock the boat.

As much as I pressed I was unable to get an inside glance at what this ‘breakthrough’ was.

This year, OAX was trading as high as $2.28, having dropped to under $0.35 since. With their platform becoming a reality, now is the perfect time to acquire a position. The future of OAX looks very bright. OAX plans to have a layer 2 working prototype by the end of 2018. Their DEX has the potential to revolutionize the exchange community and the scaling difficulties they face.

ICOs were all the craze at the end of 2017, DEXs are becoming the next craze with looming regulations and government crackdowns already underway. With decentralized exchanges becoming the new ‘hot thing’ and the bear market coming to an end, OAX clearly is an acquire and HODL for traders and investors alike.

OAX is one of the few cryptocurrencies that could re-approach their all-time high, once the crypto community awakens to the significance of their project.

HOT

How does HOT (Holochain) 00 compete against other cryptocurrencies in the space?

HOT has a lower “price per coin” than OAX but their market cap is almost 20x higher than OAX’s. This means if both HOT and OAX received the same amount of publicity the price of HOT would move 5% while the price of OAX would move 100%.

This is the main reason targeting smaller cap cryptos with platforms on the cusp of development makes for better “moonshot” investments than targeting a crypto with a $100 million-plus market cap.

However, HOT does get a unique award for being the least expensive coin on Binance (even though it has a huge market cap). During a bull run new ‘dumb’ money enters the market and they flock to both the cheapest coin and the ones with the lowest market caps (once they get a bit smarter). HOT qualifies as the “cheapest cryptocurrency on Binance,” and therefore money will likely flow into it the minute the markets start moving North.

Understanding market caps makes those looking to choose between HOT and OAX, pick OAX very easily. However, when choosing an investment, it is important to look beyond the market cap. How is the team? What is the product or platform?

Holochain is distributed hosting, owned and run by the users. The goal of HOT is to facilitate businesses and communities to build the next internet paradigm. Their goals seem to be extravagant but the team is continuously pushing forward with their roadmap.

For those wanting to capitalize on new ‘dumb’ money rushing into the crypto space in the next few months, HOT is not a bad option. OAX will likely to provide much higher returns than the larger market cap coins like HOT, however, diversification should not be overlooked for short-term profits.

XLM 

XLM (Stellar Lumens) 00 has been all over the news this week with their announcement of the Blockchain wallet giving away $125 million XLM.

This coupled with their likely imminent addition to Coinbase makes them a short-term speculatively play receiving a lot of attention. With a market cap in the Top 10 cryptocurrencies and a coin value of under $1.00, XLM could post impressive gains.

Stellar: Headed Towards $1?

However, that “moon” that everyone is searching for is unlikely to come from a cryptocurrency with a $1 billion-plus market cap. One can expect reasonable gains following a Coinbase listing but that is truly what all are HODLing for at this point.

Even though XLM is unlikely to post gains associated with coins that have less than a $10 million market cap, they still have plenty of exciting developments occurring.

XLM has partnered with IBM to allow them to use their Stellar network to bring more transparency into their payment structure. Analysts have predicted this partnership could actually replace the current SWIFT/IBAN structure as the global standard. If this partnership results in anything relevant XLM will have moon potential even as a $1 billion-plus market cap cryptocurrency.

Another one of XLM’s unique partnerships is with Veridium and IBM to tokenize carbon credits globally. This is one of many partnerships that will make XLM relevant for the short and long term.

The projects for XLM continue with Stellar X. This is Stellar’s version of a DEX. Also:

  • Open Garden is a project that allows users to turn their phone into a hotspot while earning a reward in XLM for data used.
  • TillBilly is Stellar’s version of a point of sale system, easing the burden of a paper receipt.
  • SmartLands looks to tokenize agricultural lands on the Stellar Network.
  • Sure Remit is one of the leading remittance networks in Africa that allows the transfer of funds. They have partnered with Stellar and have branches in Kenya, Rwanda, and many other African countries.

The list of partnerships and use cases for XLM go on and on. XLM is a great long-term HODL when compared to other cryptocurrencies in the Top 10. However, for significant short-term gains, lower market cap cryptocurrencies with major under the radar events are better options.

Cryptocurrencies Ranked By Risk

As new money rushes into the crypto space it will likely end up in 1 of 2 places: very low-cost coins, or very low market cap coins. Regarding percentage return, it is always better to target low market cap coins, not just ‘low cost’ coins.

This is why OAX is a favorite this week with their DEX on the horizon, a 1 on 1 interview, and a Binance listing; this project is well positioned being one of the smallest market cap coins on Binance. With little public awareness regarding their underlying news, OAX could be one of the most significant gainers of quarter four. If OAX ends quarter four with a market cap of $28 million, it will have returned over 200% for those reading this article.

HOT will likely be a target of ‘dumb’ money searching for a cheap coin on the biggest exchanges. Once they learn what a market cap is they will likely switch their position. The HOT project is a great one, but regarding undervalued cryptocurrencies, there are better options.

XLM may be a Top 10 cryptocurrency but with a Coinbase listing seeming imminent and partnerships that compete with Ripple they will likely post positive returns in the short-term. This is important as they are positioned for long-term success as well. Their short-term gains will likely be inferior to those with micro-caps but their guaranteed success long term reduces a great amount of investor risk.

Those seeking the highest risk, highest reward crypto should target OAX. Those wanting a safer play that is likely to still post positive gains, XLM is the choice. For those wanting to chase dumb money entering the market HOT is an okay choice, but OAX will likely still post better returns based on their market cap being 1/20th of the size.

To read the Crypto King’s prior articles or to get in contact directly with him, you can on Twitter (@JbtheCryptoKing) or Reddit. The King is the founder of ANON and actively trades cryptocurrencies.

[Disclaimer: This views expressed in this article belong solely to the author and do not reflect the views of Bitcoinist. They are intended as opinion for educational purposes and should not be taken as financial advice.]


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Říj 16

Amid Brexit Uncertainties, Coinbase Announces a New Dublin Office

Coinbase has announced the opening of a new office in Dublin. The decision to move shop to the famed Irish city may be part of a plan to hedge Brexit uncertainty by expanding the company’s presence across Europe.


San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase continues to expand its presence across Europe. October 15th the company said on are opening a new office in Dublin Ireland after considering a number of locales across the European Union.

Coinbase made the announcement through a Tweet and a blog post by Vice President of Operations and Technology, Tina Bhatnagar. According to Bhatnagar, the Dublin office will allow Coinbase to “[…] tap into the city’s diverse talent pool and long-standing support for technological innovation.”

Bhatnagar noted that the exchange is currently hiring for roles in the new office. Team members will be complimenting current Coinbase operations in London, and will also play host to new business-related functions.

As of press time, the Coinbase careers page lists a handful of open positions located in Dublin. These include opportunities as Support Analyst, Compliance Manager, and Sr. Product Manager.

Dublin

Hedging Bets In A Post-Brexit World?

Coinbase U.K. CEO Zeeshan Feroz made a point to say the expansion to Ireland was part of a strategy to “better service our customers.” Feroz told CNBC through a phone interview that the European Union was the company’s “most significant market outside the U.S.”

However, some speculate the decision by Coinbase might be part of a plan to offset the ramifications of Brexit by boosting their presence across the European continent.

According to CNBC, Feroz thought the uncertainty surrounding Brexit “played some part in the decision.”

He explained how the company believes Ireland was a good spot for expansion since it is a growing technological hub, home to a range of talent, and an English speaking nation.

Staff Shakeups Continue At Coinbase

The decision by Coinbase to open up a Dublin office and seek out some new talent is another sign the company is looking to increase their clout and even shake up personnel if necessary.

In early September, Bitcoinist reported that the Coinbase had managed to double their staff while hitting their 2018 hiring target.

Earlier in the year, Coinbase opened up an office in Portland, Oregon and hired new workers after coming face to face with a flurry of criticism for not being prepared on the customer service front.

More recently, the company announced the departure of Adam White, Coinbase’s fifth employee. Around the same time, Charles Schwab Board of Directors Member Chris Dodds was introduced as the newest member of the Coinbase Board.

What do you think about Coinbase’s decision to select Dublin as the location for a new office? Let us know in the comments below!


Images and media courtesy of Bitcoinist archives, Twitter (@Coinbase).

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Říj 03

Coinbase Brings on Charles Schwab Exec to Expand Influence

Coinbase recently announced that a Charles Schwab board member would be joining the exchange’s board of directors. Coinbase is also reportedly looking to close what could be a $500 million deal with Tiger Global.


San-Francisco based digital currency exchange Coinbase, long seen as an industry leader, appears to be expanding their financial influence even more.

In an October 2nd blog post, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong said the company is adding Chris Dodds of Charles Schwab to their board of directors. Dodds currently sits on the board of directors at Charles Schwab as a senior private equity advisor.

Armstrong wrote how Dodds’ experience in the financial and accounting fields would “be an asset to the Coinbase leadership team as we focus on scaling our business.”

The CEO classified the addition of Dodds as part of an effort to,

[…] expand our financial services capabilities as we head into this next chapter for the company and the cryptocurrency industry as a whole.

Charles Schwab

Eyeing the Future

The news about Dodds is not the only reason why Coinbase has been in the headlines recently. The company is currently conducting discussions with Tiger Global and its shareholders about an investment that could total $500 million.

Speculation holds the popular digital exchange could boost their coffers by about $250 million while spending up to $250 million to buy out investors.

If the deal were to go through, estimates are Coinbase would then be valued at roughly $8 billion.

This figure would place the company towards the top of highest-valued start-ups in the United States, while would seemingly lend a big boost of credibility to the cryptocurrency industry.

The $8 billion figure is roughly the same figure the company valued itself at  in April when they pitched an equity package to Earn.com investors.

Even though Coinbase’s operations have been impacted by relatively rough market conditions in 2018, they received a valuation of about $1.5 billion last summer, just before consumer interest in virtual currencies skyrocketed as the year closed out.

The company also said in September that they had hit their 2018 hiring target after a report from Business Insider noted the number of Coinbase staff members was at around 500.

Board of Directors

Building on Recent Activity

The latest round of news from Coinbase only builds on what has been an active past few weeks for the company. At the end of September, Coinbase announced a new range of investment tools that seemed to be focused on new digital currency investors.

These new tools included Coinbase Bundle and Coinbase Learn, along with educational Informational Asset Pages. Just a few days prior, Coinbase said they had changed their listing policy to boost the number of offerings.

The new policy permits creators to send in listing applications without having to pay a fee — as opposed to simply waiting to be contacted by Coinbase. Coins are now able to be regionally listed if they are deemed compliant with applicable regulations.

What do you think about the recent activity on the Coinbase board? Let us know in the comments below!


Image courtesy of Bitcoinist archives, Shutterstock, Twitter/@coinbase.

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Zář 27

House of Cards? Trade Volume of Big Exchanges Questioned

Amid market turbulence and general cryptocurrency uncertainty, some speculate fast-growing exchanges may be manipulating — or outright lying about — their trade volumes.


Questions about inflated exchange volume have long plagued the cryptocurrency world.

Outcry is now intensifying as once-unknown exchanges are enjoying seemingly smashing success in the midst of market slowdowns and uncertainty.

Reporters from Bloomberg recently wrote about the curious case of the BitForex exchange. Once relegated to obscurity, the platform has now been busy reporting about days where transactions exceed $5 billion dollars.

BitForex Vice President Garret Jin said the trading surge was just due to its transaction mining system, a practice some say is just a set up to inflationary wash trading activity.

Overall trading volume across the industry is expected to grow by 50% in 2019, but some are starting to wave a red flag while scrutinizing the alleged astronomical growth of once-small exchanges.

Scattered discourse on this topic has swelled in the past few months as more people in the industry believe exchanges are dramatically overstating their trading volume. This is done by offering incentives to inflate, or by simply turning a blind eye to blatant abuse on exchange platforms.

Allegations Everywhere

Allegations about fake trading volume are certainly not new. Just a few days ago, the popular exchange Coinbase fired back at New York Attorney General Barbara D. Underwood regarding its trade volume.

Bitcoinist reported that Attorney General Underwood alleged Coinbase “[…] disclosed that almost twenty percent of executed volume on its platform was attributable to its own trading.” Coinbase Chief Policy Officer Mike Lempres wrote:

Coinbase does not trade for the benefit of the company on a proprietary basis

In a March Medium post, trader and investor Sylvian Ribes noted his belief that the volume of fabricated cryptoassets was more than $3 billion dollars.

Ribes specifically called out OKEx, claiming 94% of its volume was nonexistent after allegedly reviewing publicly available data.

Others like EverMarkets Exchange CEO Jim Bai, see the problem of fraudulent volumes as just an ecosystem immaturity issue, asserting how legitimate exchanges will eventually pop up that

Provide enough real, beneficial structural incentives so that people won’t be misled into trading on questionable venues.

A Secret Brought To Light?

In August, the Blockchain Transparency Institute released a sweeping report alleging that 70% of the top 100 exchanges on sites like CoinMarketCap are “likely engaging in wash trading by at least 3x their stated volume.”

There are people who see these types of shady trading practices an instance of “everyone’s doing it, so I’m doing it,” according to Neil Woodfine of Clavestone.

According to Woodfine and Eterna Capital’s Asim Ahmad, inflated volumes from exchanges are likely due to automatic high-frequency trading strategies — a practice that has been regarded as concerning by the New York Attorney General.

How big of an issue do you think exaggerated or fraudulent exchange trade volumes are? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Bitcoinist archives, Shutterstock.

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Zář 26

Lamassu Unveils New Line of Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency ATMs

On September 24th, Lamassu announced the introduction of their new line of cryptocurrency ATMs to the public. Lamassu calls its new line of ATMs, “Sintra.” The ATMs herald a new line of ATMs as another crucial step in crypto’s march towards widespread consumer use and accessibility. 


Growing Industry

According to CoinATMrader.com, there are currently roughly 3,750 crypto ATMs installed worldwide. Lamassu has been producing cryptocurrency ATMs since 2013 when they produced their first, which was called the Bitcoin Machine.

While that number sounds impressive, and the number of the crypto ATMs installed continues to grow steadily, it is important to put that number in context. Information from Data.gov, for example, indicates that there are over 5,500 bank-owned ATMs in New York State alone. Crucially, this ATM count does not include independently managed ATMs at convenience stores and other retail locations.

Cost

Pricing for the new crypto ATM’s ranges from 5,200 EU for the cheapest Duoro II model, to 8,900 EU for the highest price Sintra Forte model. The mid-priced Sintra model costs 7,500 EU. The Duoro II model is the newest model of Lamassu’s original Crypto ATM, and features one-way fiat to crypto conversion, while both the Sintra and Sintra Forte feature two-way conversion.

The new models offer a bevy of features, designed to make buying and selling crypto through the machines as painless as possible. The machines feature a sleek, futuristic look, and are all crafted in Portugal. The body of the machines is crafted out of 2.5mm steel for extra durability.

Owners of these machines can configure their ATM’s to take almost any major currency, and support conversions from fiat to Bitcoin, Zcash, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and Dash.

While Lamassu does not directly facilitate transactions on the ATM, it does offer a backend exchange trading engine that can steer conversions to liquidity providers. Lamassu’s engine is currently connected to BitPay, Bitstamp, Kraken, and Coinbase.

Fees and Regulatory Issues

ATM operators have control over the fee structure charged by their machines and can profit by either charging direct fees or adjusting the spread charged by their liquidity provider.

On Lamassu’s website, the estimates indicate that a machine needs roughly $800-$1,000 worth of daily transactions to break-even. Lamassu estimates that the average monthly turnover on their machines is roughly $20,000 and rising.

The Sintra line of ATMs features numerous compliance features, but investors interested in purchasing and managing a machine need to do their due diligence regarding the legality of operating an ATM in their jurisdiction.

Prospective ATM operators in the United States must ensure they are following both federal and state laws. Bitcoin ATMs would currently fall under the criteria of “Exchangers,” according to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. In turn, they must register as “Money Service Businesses.” If you are interested in purchasing a machine in the United States, this primer is a handy starting point.

As interest in Crypto continues to grow among the retail investing community, ATMs will likely be a key “on-ramp” for investors into the crypto industry.

What do you think of Lamassu’s New ATMs? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Bitcoinist archives, Shutterstock, Lamassu.is

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Srp 25

Over $6 Billion in Daily Trading Volume Faked Across Top 100 Exchanges

A new report found that over 70% of the top 100 exchanges on CoinMarketCap are engaging in excessive wash trading from three to thousands of times their stated volume.

[Note: This is a guest article submitted by researcher Marco Paez] 


Two-Thirds of 24 Hour Trade Volume May Be Fake

It’s been a month since CoinMarketCap (CMC) made changes to the way they post exchange volume stats after being called out by multiple sources for supporting bloated volume numbers. An adjusted volume metric was added to the site which changed up the rankings substantially, however, the new adjusted rankings still seemed to be suspect by many in the industry.

Released this week, research compiled by the Blockchain Transparency Institute (BTI) gives clearer insight into how massively overstated the daily volume numbers actually are. Tallying up the volume numbers of the top 130 exchanges, the report found that over $6 billion in daily trade volume is being faked, comprising over two-thirds of the total 24-hour trade volume.

Released this week, research compiled by the Blockchain Transparency Institute (BTI) gives clearer insight into how massively overstated the daily volume numbers actually are.

The largest offenders in the top 10 include Bibox, which appears to be wash trading their volume over 85x, Bit-Z to over 469x, ZB over 391x, LBank 4400x. The worst of the bunch is BCEX at over 22,000x.  All of these exchanges trail Binance in the daily unique visitor’s statistic between 50 and 600x.

The top exchange in the USA is Coinbase, which climbs the ranks up to #3. Another big mover into the top 10 is Bithumb at #4 which overtakes Upbit as the largest exchange in South Korea. Upbit is currently under investigation for fraud, money laundering, and wash trading which correlates with data showing an over-reporting of their volume by 11x.

Binance sits at the top of the chart at #1 with a massive amount of unique daily visitors to back them up.  Bitfinex slides into the number 2 spot behind their high dollar clientele and $10,000 minimum deposit for entry.

KuCoin, Cryptopia See Big Gains

A large chunk of the top 25 exchanges have dropped all the way out of the top 100. According to the data, these exchanges typically have less than 1,000 site visitors per day. The majority of these exchanges also seem to be mass produced, as they all appear to be using the same UI and trading engine.

Coinex, which was left out of CMC’s adjusted volume rankings due to transaction mining, finds itself inside the top 25 using this data. Other transaction mining exchanges such as Coinbene and Bit-Z dropped well outside of the top 25 exchanges from their previous rankings.

Kucoin and Cryptopia are the biggest movers-up the charts landing in at #19 and #24, and moving up from #58 and #90 respectively, after watching all the fake volume ahead of them disappear. Both of these sites have unique daily visitor counts in the top 10 of all exchanges. The BTI report notes that many of their customers are trading on low volume and low market cap coins, which keep them outside of the top 10.

The research team states they used data obtained from SimilarWeb on website traffic coupled with order book research conducted by Sylvain Ribes. His report detailed excessive slippage rates of top 15 exchanges including Okex, Huobi, Lbank, and Bit-Z. The combination of these data sets was plugged into a new formula which produced a vastly different top 25 than what is being reported. A rundown of their methodology for the rankings can be found here.

Data collected from SimilarWeb also reports many of these offender exchanges getting up to 90% of their referral volume from rankings pages, overwhelmingly from CMC. This naturally incentivizes wash trading by any exchange looking to move up the ranks.

When compared, the slippage data of the known respected exchanges and monthly traffic data appears to be in correlation. Binance, Coinbase, Bittrex, Bitfinex, Kraken, Poloniex, and Kucoin all have monthly visitor counts well above the rest of the top 100 exchanges as well as very low slippage when their order books were checked.

The report notes that although their data is reported with an accuracy of 1:1 this does not mean there is no wash trading going on, just that none could be proven using their current model.

The report notes that although their data is reported with an accuracy of 1:1 this does not mean there is no wash trading going on, just that none could be proven using their current model.

Lending credibility to these top exchanges, it was recently reported that Coinbase is building a new system to monitor suspicious trading activity known as the Coinbase Trade Surveillance Program. The system in place is one of the ways Coinbase says it is using to prepare for the $10 billion of institutional money waiting to move into the space.

Gemini also started a similar program in April when it partnered with Nasdaq to monitor its marketplace. Nasdaq’s SMARTS Market Surveillance technology is currently monitoring activity across all of Gemini’s trading pairs. Gemini moved up from #26 to #14 in the BTI rankings.

These types of initiatives continue to be implemented as the space matures in preparing the market for institutional investors. With more important ETF decisions looming this year, these exchanges seek to prove to the SEC that they’re doing due diligence in securing their platforms from manipulation.

BTI’s full rankings list of the top 130 exchanges can be found here.

What are your thoughts on misrepresented and overstated value among major exchanges? Let us know in the comments below!


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Srp 04

‘We Don’t Want to Compete with Coinbase’ – Says Binance CEO

Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, shared some of his big ideas on the future of blockchain and cryptocurrency with Fortune magazine this week. And it’s probably worth listening to the man running the biggest crypto-exchange in the world.


The future is not now, but is decentralised

Binance acquired Trust Wallet this week, and here at Bitcoinist, we focussed on the benefits of adding a mobile wallet to its services. What was perhaps underplayed was that Trust Wallet also acts as a browser for decentralized apps (dApps).

Whilst dApps have currently come to the fore, take-up has been slow, partly due to limited functionality and substandard user-experience. This is something that CZ believes will start to change before too long.

He predicts a move into messaging and social media within the next two years, followed by fully-fledged blockchain-based e-commerce. Let’s not forget that Binance is currently partnering with Malta to create a decentralized banking system.

Specialist blockchains will conquer all

A blockchain like Ethereum is great for hosting dApps, although its throne is constantly under attack from newer, faster rivals. But CZ believes that all blockchains designed for general smart contracts, will ultimately be too slow.

His vision is of a future consisting of many custom ledgers designed for specific purposes. He mentions tools like Komodo and Tendermint, which can create just such custom blockchains.

There is enough in the pot for everyone

Considering Binance’s meteoric rise to prominence, you may expect some form of rivalry between it and previous top crypto-company, Coinbase. But according to CZ, the relationship is more like a mutual love-in.

He says that Binance doesn’t want to compete with Coinbase and Gemini in places like the United States, due to the lawyers and lobbying. It is more than happy working in places like Malta, where it can have a more direct relationship with the administration.

“In developed markets, there’s more money to be made but more regulation and it’s saturated with competition,” he said. “We don’t want to compete with Coinbase and Gemini. The strategy there requires lots of lawyers and lobbying.”

In actual fact, he says that both Binance and Coinbase appreciate the groundwork being down by the other in their various jurisdictions.

Thin on the ground

Of course, predictions aren’t exactly thin on the ground in the cryptocurrency world. And only time will tell what the future will actually bring.

But based on past results (which are not an indicator of future performance), you would have to suggest that CZ has a certain industry insight.

What do you think about CZ’s comments? Share your thoughts below!


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Čvc 01

New Coinbase Pro Platform Off to a Rocky Start Amid Flurry of Criticism

Digital currency exchange Coinbase shuttered GDAX on June 29th and transitioned to Coinbase Pro. The new interface is marketed as an upgrade but has received a lot of initial criticism.  


Coinbase has been very busy over the last few days. Responding to criticism about failures with their customer service, the exchange said on Thursday how they are planning to open a new office in Portland Oregon.

An official announcement from the company says the new location will be hiring for roles based on “customer support, finance, compliance, IT, and HR.” The news comes a few weeks after the exchange officially opened an office in Japan to help “accelerate the global adoption of cryptocurrency.”

Yesterday, Coinbase officially said goodbye to GDAX and invited people to start using the new Coinbase Pro. A company blog post said gdax.com would not be accessible after June 29th, but part of it still apparently lives on, as the design team has emulated GDAX’s interface in one of Coinbase Pro’s color themes.

Hello Coinbase Pro

Coinbase Pro General Manager David Farmer wrote in a blog post how the new interface was built on top of the GDAX trading engine. After June 29th, all GDAX balances and trading history are now automatically seen on Coinbase Pro.

Farmer said GDAX’s API would be functioning until December 31st, 2018 and encouraged those on Coinbase Pro to migrate their API usage away from GDAX.

Coinbase has been advertising the purported upgrades and advantages of Coinbase Pro over the last couple months. A company blog post from May said the platform is “completely dedicated” to the needs of the cryptocurrency trader.

Along with the automatic migration of transactions and balances, Coinbase Pro features a new design that is intended to make “the trading experience easier and more intuitive.” The company says it also has a simplified deposit and withdraw process, better charts for users trying to find historical data, and a new portfolio “that lets customers easily see an overview of their account orders and balances.”

Coinbase Pro touts a variety of benefits on their homepage, including an “industry-leading API”, FDIC insurance protection for USD balances up to $250,000 per customer, and 0% maker fees.

The company said their vision is to give users the ability to “interact with digital assets in new and unique ways,” including through services like staking and protocol voting.

‘This Does Not Look Good’

Coinbase Pro said in a June 29th tweet how a number of customer feedback suggestions from the previous two weeks were live on the platform. This included layout optimizations, more theme options, and a bigger market selector.

But many of the early reactions to the new Coinbase Pro have been negative, and a growing number of people seem to be taking to the internet to try and problem-solve through issues.

Criticism started to emerge on Coinbase Pro’s official Twitter announcement. One user commented and said the new platform is “not a step for the better” and questioned if the team’s “UI or UX designers quit?”

Another said the platform’s GUI was slowing down their computer, pointing out how their utilization was above 25% “the moment the switch to pro occurred.”

Reddit community /r/coinbase experienced a flurry of activity after launch, and a lot of the commentary was not positive.

One user posting on June 30th called for a “Coinbase Pro boycott” after noting they had not seen a “single positive response to Coinbase Pro.” They said they would consider trying to get used to the new platform since Coinbase offered “relative safety” with holding funds, but said it was otherwise “complete garbage.”

Some users said the ability to zoom and scroll back on charts was a positive, but others mentioned how some features were not really usable on mobile devices. One user asked how they can get the GDAX page layout back and questioned if the new platform was even tested before being rolled out. Another simply said the new design was “two steps backwards.”

A couple of people seemed to take things into their own hands and posted ideas and suggestions in response to criticisms about Coinbase Pro.

One user recommended people make their own dashboard with the API in order to customize the platform to avoid issues. Another posted a “fix” for Coinbase Pro’s apparent lagging for high volume traders, which included minimizing browser width to “make the site usable again.”

Since Coinbase Pro is so new, team members are assuredly working on smoothing out any issues and figuring out what needs to be changed. But only time will tell about how many the initial complaints and criticisms will be addressed in future updates.

What are your thoughts on the new Coinbase Pro? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter 

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Kvě 24

From Russia with Love: How Cryptocurrency and Blockchain are Finding Their Feet

· May 23, 2018 · 9:00 pm

In the West, crypto markets continue to battle with the regulatory uncertainty as the SEC and other regulatory bodies take their time to decide which camp they sit on. At the same time, things are not much rosier in the East either where China is yet to warm up to cryptocurrencies.


Blockchain has been around “long” enough to show the proof of concept in that by utilizing blockchain it is possible to streamline a number of processes, both on the governmental and also corporate levels. This then has prompted an exponential rise in fintech start-ups looking to challenge the status quo and disrupt the standard ways of storing, organizing, and extracting data sets. However, the actual implementation of blockchain technologies across much of Western Europe and even the US has been constrained by the regulatory uncertainty.

On the one hand, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) are yet to put a fundamental framework forward to appease concerns surrounding utility vs security token model. While in Europe, an introduction of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which is perfectly suitable for blockchain applications, is being rushed through by compliance and HR departments with such haste that blockchain is far away on their radar.

In Blockchain We Trust

In Blockchain We Trust

Russia is an interesting case when it comes to the world of ICOs. On the one hand, it is a great place to source technical experts for your blockchain related ventures. The price tag might be astronomical but at least you know what you are getting for the labor and that is quality, reliability and of course security. So, with one piece of the puzzle sorted comes the tricky bit, finding a suitable business partner and this is where things go wrong… really wrong.

One of the most depressing and worrying statistics that has come out of the Russian Association of Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain (RACIB) is that around half of the ICO funds in the country that were raised in the past year – amounting to $300 million – have gone to pyramid schemes.

Economic and political uncertainty, together with numerous corruption scandals has really dented investor appetite for projects in the country. It is very much high-risk, high-reward based game when it comes to investing in Russia and when combined with the volatile nature of the currency, this perception is unlikely to change anytime soon. The regulation and oversight by the government can help alleviate some of the concerns relating to fraudulent activities but at least for now, the crypto community is yet to “sanction” Russian projects altogether.

In the meantime, the likes of Blackmoon (BMC) will remind budding entrepreneurs and investors of the success stories and there is, of course, hope that the government, which is actively looking at ways to promote and integrate digital economy, will not be overly involved in regulation aspect.

On the subject of regulation, it was reported that the Russian State Duma’s Committee for Legislative Work will support the first reading of an initiative that will add the basic norms of digital economy to the Russian Federation Civil Code. The initiative itself does not mean that digital currencies will now become a legitimate means of payment and instead, a separate law developed by other regulatory bodies, will outline conditions for using digital currencies as a payment method. The initiative will also look to treat a digital confirmation by a user in a smart contract is equal to his written consent.

What Does Russia’s Future Hold?

Over the course of 19-20 May 2018, Moscow hosted one of the largest cryptocurrency summits of 2018, with over 200 speakers and over 3000 participants taking part in the event. While the event may not carry the same weight as Consensus, which took place earlier this month, or d10e, it was an important event for the country that stands at a crossroads with the technology. The decisions that will be made by the government need to be made in the spirit of blockchain and with the aim to further technological, as well as economical, advancement as opposed to being the means to destabilize the Dollar.

The commissioning of the crypto-rouble is not far-reaching enough. Anyone looking for inspiration should turn to Dubai and their smart-city plans. According to Smart Dubai, which is conducting government and private organization workshops to identify areas that will benefit from the overhaul, the strategy could save 25.1million man hours, equivalent to $1.5 billion in savings per year for the emirate. It has been noted that the fast majority of improved efficiency will come from moving to paperless government.

What do you think of the latest developments in Russia and can it reform and lead the way in providing a sound base for crypto projects? 


Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, Shutterstock

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