Could Dark Pool Pave Wave For Huge Crypto Boon?

The cryptocurrency market tends to get spooked when large trades occur. However, one new ICO hopes to change that with its latest blockchain technology.

According to Coindesk, Republic Protocol completed an ICO for its token called REN to the tune of $30.5 million. The goal is to allow for huge crypto trades with less of a downside.

Taiyang Zhang, CEO of Republic Protocol told Coindesk, “One of the biggest problems is there is a huge price slippage with any of these cryptocurrencies, especially when you are trying to trade large amounts.”

REN would allow for a trustless alternative system for crypto trading. Market volatility causes issues for whale traders in that the rest of the market follows causing prices to steeply drop, so of course, a solution to that is beneficial for the market as a whole.

The new platform will allow traders to send specific detailed parameters of a trade to the dark pool. The dark pool works to find the best trades based on a trader’s parameters, or it will decline the trade if it’s not possible. All of this will happen without people seeing what a trader is willing to do.

Zhang said, ”I think what’s really important is it’s provable that no one can see inside this dark pool at all. There’s no information asymmetry. Everyone gets the same information.Where a dark pool could be very handy is, instead of negotiating prices or even trusting OTC (over-the-counter) brokers, it’s a way to place an order trustlessly.”

Plans for the platform to go live in Q3 of 2018. Could you see using the dark pool for large trades?

Hong Kong To Delist ICO Tokens Deemed Securities

Hong Kong made strong moves to step up regulation on initial coin offerings (ICOs), which it deems securities.

Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) released a statement revealing it sent warnings to seven exchanges that were based in or strongly connected with Hong Kong warning them to delist tokens affiliated with ICOs.

According to Coindesk, the move was part of a larger push for the SFC to warn consumers about the risks of cryptocurrency investing.

The statement said, ”Most of these cryptocurrency exchanges either confirmed that they did not provide trading services for such cryptocurrencies or took immediate rectification measures, including removing relevant cryptocurrencies from their platforms.”

In addition to the exchanges, the SFC also contacted seven ICO organizers who are soliciting investments using coins the commission considers to be securities.

Ashley Alder, the SFC’s Chief Executive Officer said, “We will continue to police the market and enforce when necessary. But we are also urging market professionals to do proper gatekeeping to prevent frauds or dubious fundraising and to assist us in ensuring compliance with the law.”

It looks like, at least in Hong Kong, that ICOs fall under securities regulations, and will have to operate as such. ICOs are also seen as securities in many other places throughout the world although many investors enjoy them as a way to grow their crypto portfolios while supporting ideas and technologies they feel are strong.

Binance Halts Trading While Denying Hack

It’s happened many times before. An exchange halts trading, and later news or rumors of a hack hits, and people lose lots of money. So far, Binance denies it’s been hacked despite the fact that the exchange halted trading.

Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange is experiencing a prolonged system upgrade, which it says is the reason for the halt in trading. Meanwhile, users are unable to trade or withdraw until 4 a.m. UTC on Friday.

According to Coindesk, the exchange released a statement that said, ”We will allow a 30-minute window where users can cancel open orders prior to trading being opened. We will continue to update every two hours until the upgrade is complete.”

Because news of the outage didn’t come until Wednesday, many customers found themselves in a limbo when it came to trades and withdrawals. Despite many user fears, those who run the exchange vehemently deny that it has experienced any type of hack.

The exchange, which launched in the summer of 2017, is one of the largest in volume trading as much as $500 million a day, so any major issues with Binance could lead to problems overall for cryptocurrency investors.

Blockchain Cold War: Scare Tactics Or Real Threat?

Could there be a Blockchain Cold War coming? One former Bush security advisor warns of the possibility.

Juan Zarate, a former deputy assistant to U.S. President George W. Bush and a former deputy national security advisor for combating terrorism, is credited with helping create sanctions that cut off terrorist funding in the post 9/11 era.

However, now Zarate fears that blockchain technology could undo all the work he did to put pressure on enemies of the state.

Zarate, a Coinbase advisor since 2014, told Coindesk, “There are nefarious actors out there, including state actors like North Korea and Iran that are looking to the use of digital currencies and related technologies, at a minimum as a way of circumventing the current global order which limits their access to capital. But ?these capabilities and technologies could also be a way for them to try to undermine global financial commercial systems at some point.”

Despite his concerns, Zarate does support blockchain technology, but he just wants to ensure it isn’t used by those with evil intentions to carry out terrible crimes. He also believes that governments must be transparent in blockchain usage because of the ease with which governments are able to use cryptocurrency to avoid sanctions.

In fact, reports point to a Bitcoin war chest that North Korea is amassing to avoid sanctions.

While Zarate feels optimistic about crypto, he said, “we need greater transparency and not less, if we hope for these technologies to take hold.”

Overall, while blockchain technology is exciting, without proper technology it could have unintended consequences on the US and World economies should it be used inappropriately in the future.


Forbes Richest People In Cryptocurrency List Shines Light On Digital Currency

Forbes annually publishes lists of the world’s richest people. For the first time ever, the publication compiled a list detailing the world’s richest people in cryptocurrency.

According to Coin Telegraph, Forbes Editor Randall Lane said with the list the publication aimed to provide “a snapshot of a pivotal moment, part of the transparency needed to pull crypto away from its provenance as the favorite currency of drug dealers and into the adolescence of a legitimate asset class.”

Of course, figuring out the wealth of the world’s richest crypto tycoons wasn’t an easy task compared with its world’s richest people list.

The list contains five categories of crypto rich including “idealists, builders, opportunists, infrastructure players and establishment investors.” To appear on the list, people need at least $350 million in cryptocurrency worth. Not surprisingly, some estimates on the list could be off. Plus, some people may have been left off the list

Forbes staff writer Jeff Kauflin explained it well when he wrote that the “newly minted crypto rich live in a strange milieu that blends paranoid secrecy with ostentatious display.”

A decentralized, encrypted payment system outside of the traditional world financial system certainly comes with a shroud of secrecy. In fact, anonymity drew many investors in the first place.

Of interest, the average age of those on the list is 42 compared with those on the traditional list. The smaller sample size probably accounts for some of the discrepancies, but certainly not all.

Despite the difficulties, Forbes rounded up 19 people to include on its first ever richest in cryptocurrency list. The publication referred to those on the list as Prophets of the Boom.

Alas, most of us don’t appear on the list… this time.

Chinese Payment Provider LianLian Pay Joins Ripple Blockchain Network

Despite the fact that China plans to crack down on overseas cryptocurrency trading, Chinese payment provider LianLian joined RippleNet, which is a payment service that facilitates cross-border transactions.

According to Coindesk, LianLian Pay announced it will join Ripple’s xCurrent solution. The goal is to provide same-day cross-border transactions for its existing customers.

Since 2003, People’s Bank of China-authorized LianLian has operated as a third-party payment solution for its e-commerce partners, and this new technology will help give customers even more payment options.

CEO of LianLian, Arthur Zhu said, “With RippleNet, we will further enhance that experience by offering customers instant, blockchain-powered payments across the 19 currencies that we currently support.”

This move allows existing RippleNet customers access to the Chinese market, which could be big news for Ripple as well as LianLian. This exciting announcement means that Ripple’s xCurrent solution has over 100 customers, and looks poised to grow even more in the future.


Can Crypto Self Regulate? CTFC Commissioner Wants Industry To Try

No doubt, Crypto regulations are here to stay. Now it’s a question of who will create the governing rules?

At yesterday’s Senate hearing, details about how and why crypto regulation is necessary were discussed at length. Overall, the tone of the hearings was cautiously optimistic, which is reasonably good news for investors and those considering investing.

After the hearing, Brian Quintenz, a member of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission suggested perhaps the industry could and should regulate itself.

On Tuesday at a cryptocurrency event in New York, Quintenz pointed out, ”One of the other takeaways from yesterday was you didn’t hear either chairman say ‘no, absolutely not, this is not safe, we must stop this at all costs.’ No one said that.”

The reason Quintenz and others felt that the industry should self-regulate is due to the nature of how long passing and enacting new regulations about cryptocurrency in the U.S. will take. That, combined with the fact that the market is worldwide, means that digital currencies might do well in self-regulating ahead of government regulations. In that way, they can help set the framework for possible future laws surrounding the new technology.

Adam White, the general manager of the Coinbase’s GDAX, also said that the group plans to be open to working with the government on the issue. He said, ”I think we embrace regulation at Coinbase. We recognize that regulations are a complementary part of the financial system in many ways.”

Others in the marketplace also embrace regulation like Ripple andBitPesa.

Ultimately, investors shouldn’t fear regulation, and instead, they should seek to back entities and cryptocurrencies who openly work with governments for realistic regulation as the entire system moves forward and grows.



Australia’s Major Banks Decide Against Bitcoin Buying Ban

Australia’s major banks, ANZ, NAB, and Westpac, confirmed they have no plans to ban customers from purchasing Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. This is a different approach than that of UK-based Lloyds Banking Group, and US banks JP Morgan, Bank of America and Citi.

Previously, large banks around the world decided to ban customers from using credit cards to purchase crypto in an effort to defray the potential cost of defaulted debt should markets crash.

ANZ told ABC the bank “does not prohibit customers buying digital or cryptocurrencies, or accepting them as a form of payment.” Despite that fact, the bank does monitor transactions for suspicious or fraudulent activity.

Westpac simply has no restrictions regarding cryptocurrency purchases at this time.

As for National Australia Bank, a spokesperson said, ”ASIC advises that, as most of the virtual currency exchange platforms are generally not regulated, customers may not be protected or have any legal recourse if the platform fails or is hacked.” Because of that, occasionally card transactions are denied if the bank feels the customer is at risk of fraud.

Some people wonder if these recent bank policies are truly for customer protection. In fact, it’s possible that banks are trying to keep themselves in business as cryptocurrency threatens to make them obsolete. Even so, banks are unable to stem the flow of money into the crypto marketplaces as people rush to get in on the wave of the future.


CFTC and SEC Warn Against Crypto Pump And Dump Scams On Social Media

Both the  Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) warned against cryptocurrency pump and dump scams.

On Thursday, The CTFC issued a release detailing the possibility of scams with pumping and dumping coins. The released joined its earlier warning this month about investing in crypto retirement accounts, according to Coinbase. This warning comes after an earlier SEC warning of similar scams surrounding Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs).

The CTFC’s statement said, ”Customers should not purchase virtual currencies, digital coins, or tokens based on social media tips or sudden price spikes. Thoroughly research virtual currencies, digital coins, tokens, and the companies or entities behind them in order to separate hype from facts.”

This sage advice serves any crypto investor well. Typically you don’t know who’s behind a keyboard pumping something up online.

In its statement, the CTFC outlined how a scam of this type might look.

It wrote, “Some pump and dumps use false news reports, typically about a famous high-tech business leader or investor who plans to pour millions of dollars into a small, lesser-known virtual currency or coin. Other fake news stories have featured major retailers, banks, or credit card companies, announcing plans to partner with one virtual currency or another. Links to the phony stories are also accompanied by posts that create false urgency and tell readers to buy now.”

The good news is that although its scope is limited, the CTFC intends to seek out and stop those who use these types of methods.

Confirmation: Coinbase Reveals It Overcharged, Drained Customer Accounts

The popular cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase accidentally charged its customers as much as 50 times too much on credit and debit cards. In many cases, this unexpected overcharging drained bank accounts or maxed out the credit cards.

More than one customer highlighted the discrepancy it what charges they expected versus what charges actually occurred on Reddit. While it’s often difficult to separate fact from fiction in online crypto forums, in this case, the discrepancies were all too real.

According to a Bitcoinist report, a member of Coinbase’s team took to Reddit to confirm the situation.

Justin_coinbase, an official member of Coinbase’s engineering team, wrote, “We are actively investigating some reports from our customers about unexpected credit or debit card charges appearing on their statements from previous Coinbase purchases. We can confirm that the unexpected charges are originating from our payment processing network, and are related to charges from previous purchases. To the best of our knowledge, these unexpected charges are not permanent and are in the process of being refunded…”

Ultimately, Coinbase is investigating the situation and in an update, another Coinbase team member revealed the issue originated downstream from the service, and that the exchange is working to correct the situation.

Coinbase is a wildly popular U.S. exchange, and more than 13 million registered users use it to trade Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Litecoin.