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Square Cash Quietly Reveals It’s Avoiding Public Cryptocurrency Exchanges

In its recently published quarterly report, Square revealed it’s channeling Bitcoin trades from its Square Cash application to private brokers instead of public exchanges.


Jack Dorsey’s Square Cash application enabled Bitcoin purchases and sales for most users early in 2018, adding to its consumer payments suite. Though overall, Square’s profits are substantial, it’s not making a fortune on Bitcoin trades just yet. Square reported just $400,000 profit on $37 million worth of revenue from Bitcoin for quarter two, 2018.

Square hasn’t announced that it has moved to over-the-counter (OTC) trading services for its Bitcoin transactions. The published quarterly report instead quietly revealed that Square “purchases bitcoin from private broker-dealers,” to facilitate Bitcoin trades for users of the application.

Why Over-the-Counter?

There could be a number of reasons behind Square’s choice, firstly it could protect Square from some of the Bitcoin price volatility seen on public exchanges. Sudden large sellouts from weighty Bitcoin owners and market “whales,” move Bitcoin’s price far quicker than on OTC desks. Meltem Demirors, chief strategy officer at CoinShares told CNBC:

Working with a broker likely gets Square better pricing and better execution services than floating orders on the open market, as well as more confidentiality.

Secondly, the company could be looking to avoid some of the security issues and hacks associated with public cryptocurrency exchanges. Private brokers and OTC services may also be providing Square with faster Bitcoin transactions while at the same time hiding Square’s market activity from competitors.  

Square Cash App

Potentially, the move also gives Square more visible compliance from its use of institutional style trading facilities. Square has yet to comment on the matter.

OTC Bitcoin Trading Increasing

A recent study by TABB Group, if accurate, shows that OTC trading of Bitcoin may have overtaken daily Bitcoin trading volumes on public exchanges. Certainly larger trades of Bitcoin by millionaire investors and institutional investors moving over, along with Bitcoin associated enterprises, may be fuelling OTC service demand.

TABB Group puts OTC trading of Bitcoin at $12 billion dollars worth per day, but the study has been refuted by some. According to statistics from coinmarketcap.com daily trading of Bitcoin via public exchanges is around $4.3 billion.

What do you think an increase in OTC Bitcoin transactions means for cryptocurrency markets?


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Bitcoinist archives

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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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India Becoming the ICO-Marketing Hub for Crypto Platforms

· April 4, 2018 · 3:00 pm

India may be most well known for its Taj Mahal and Golden Temple. However, it is gaining a reputation in the crypto community as a place to find an extremely affordable provider of marketing services.


Marketing can be expensive, whether in-house services or outsourcing. In the fast-moving crypto world, it will also help in determining how successful your ICO will be. This in itself is a multi-billion-dollar industry, with, according to The Times of India, almost $3 billion being raised last year.

Having similar features as the good old crowdfunding business model, ICOs first rely on making their target market aware of their platform’s services before getting them to part with their hard-earned cash or crypto. This is where the marketing part comes in, and it also seems that this is where Indian marketing agencies are coming in too.

A Different Way of Marketing

More and more crypto platforms are outsourcing their ICO-marketing needs to predominantly Indian agencies. Not only do they offer a cheaper choice, these firms are also using apps like Telegram and crypto-industry-specific platforms to market these ICOs. This is quite significant as it means that these start-ups won’t have to deal with the recent bans by Google and social media giants, Facebook and Twitter.

However, even without the bans, Salim Ali does not believe that these big corporations are the way to go anyway. Ali is the CEO of Loyakk, a “blockchain-powered enterprise relationship management platform”, with an upcoming ICO. He said:

Facebook and Google AdWords hardly generate demand (for ICOs). Only a person new to the space would be googling about it.

Growing Business

Growing Business

Karnika Yashwant is the CEO of Key Difference Media, a Chennai-based marketing agency. He had this to say:

Two or three months ago, there were only a few platforms that helped in advertising. Now, a company going for an ICO will have a few hundred proposals from new marketing companies that are sprouting in India.

Yashwant has provided marketing services for 14 ICOs, most of which were led by European clients.

Saving Money

In addition to crypto community groups on Telegram,  ICO clients usually also choose to advertise through a range of crypto websites. In the case of the latter, Yashwant added:

For a banner in a cryptomedia website, you’d have to dish out $10,000 a week.

This is a hefty sum, but usually payable in fiat or virtual currency. However, even though an ICO could net millions, platform founders could be looking to save money in the initial stages, which could be why the more affordable option of Indian agencies could be so alluring.

What do you think of crypto platforms using cheaper Indian marketing agencies for their ICOs? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, DepositPhotos

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Bitcoin Price Stagnates, What Happens Next?

Source: bitcoin

Bitcoin coins

This week has witnessed tension in the world of Bitcoin. For the most part, the currency has been on a relative bull run since this price observance series began. Users witnessed a bit of a drop amidst worry regarding claims made by a certain Dr. Wright, but afterwards, the price found its way back on the rise.

Also read: Bitcoin is Back: Price Rises Nearly $15, Returns to $460

Bitcoin Price Movement Slows Down

For the first time in a while, bitcoin has hit a bit of a stagnant position. With a $4 drop at press time since our previous price piece, it’s safe to say that not much is in the works, and those of us who recently experienced terror or fear are taking this as a potential moment to ease the adrenaline in our systems and enjoy some much-needed relaxation.

Right now, the sentiment regarding where the price will go next appears to be split right down the middle, with some confident it will explode in its trek up north, and other feeling the coin is destined for a spill. YCombinator president Sam Altman, for example, believes bitcoin is about to enjoy a particularly high note in what he feels will be a glorious future. The Silicon Valley entrepreneur explained on Twitter:

“I am currently the most bullish on bitcoin I’ve been, and all my bitcoin friends are the most bearish. Hmm.”

Others, however, feel the strains of positivity leaving their mindsets. As one source states:

“The market is struggling to make a new high since last week. Could this be the final push to resistance? At the time of writing the push has not produced a new high (since last week) in any of the exchange charts… Traders would be prudent to wait for the market to either establish trade above the resistance zone – or below the rising trend line support – before opening a position.”

The lack of certainty regarding bitcoin has got some of us sitting on edge. By now, however, we should be completely aware that bitcoin is not always predictable, and could change at virtually any moment. The simple fact is that if we haven’t gotten used to this, it’s probably time to turn away and never look back. But many of us refuse to do so simply because our trust for bitcoin is there and refuses to leave. Sure, certainty is never an option, but those of who deal in bitcoin on a regular basis are fully aware of the safety, independence and other benefits it wholeheartedly offers, and we can only stare upon bitcoin’s future with wide, proud eyes and see a large, luminescent glow emerging from the end of the winding tunnel.

Do you foresee a drop a rise in the btc price price? Post your comments below!


Images courtesy of leaprate.com.

The post Bitcoin Price Stagnates, What Happens Next? appeared first on Bitcoinist.net.

Bitcoin Price Stagnates, What Happens Next?

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