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Cryptopia Crypto Exchange Resumes Trading on 40 Crypto Pairs

New Zealand-based crypto exchange Cryptopia has reopened trading on 40 trade pairs following a mid-January hack.

New Zealand-based cryptocurrency exchange Cryptopia has resumed trading on 40 trade pairs, according to a tweet from the firm on March 18.

In the tweet, the company announces that it has “resumed trading on 40 trade pairs that we have quantified as secure. We will continue to expand this list as we clear more coins.” The update follows the exchange’s recent announcement of the plans to reopen trading on its platform by the end of March, following a $16 million hack in mid-January.

In January, Cryptopia suspended services after detecting a major hack that reportedly “resulted in significant losses.” The platform had initially informed the public it was undergoing unscheduled maintenance, issuing several updates before officially disclosing the breach.

After the initial reports of the hack, further evidence reportedly surfaced that hackers were siphoning crypto out of the exchange as late as two weeks later.

As previously reported, Cryptopia’s co-founder Rob (Hex) Dawson said that the company re-launched its website in read-only form on March 5, however the platform showed the balances as they were at Jan. 14, 2019, the date of the hack. The exchange explained that the website could be used to reset passwords and two-factor authentication credentials, which is also a top priority issue in terms of client support at the current stage.

Hex also specified that users who had lost their cryptocurrencies would start to see a section dubbed “Withdraws on your account for those coins.” He explained that transaction IDs (TXIDs) for the withdraw orders will not exist on the network, but include details on how the coin had been impacted during the event.

Today’s tweet faced a mixed reaction from the community, with some users welcoming the company back and others accusing Cryptopia of trading manipulation:

“Cryptopia manipulate trading at some extent. they open trading with wallet offline and no announcement.”

Another user said:

“what are you talking about? you took my BTC  i saw withdraw history : INTERNAL WITHDRAW: on March 18 2019….. i want my BTC back!!!!!!!”

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Report From Former CFTC Chairman Calls for Advanced Crypto Regulations

A recently published report from former CFTC chairman Timothy Massad has called for better regulations on crypto assets.

A recent report published for the Brookings Institution is calling for enhanced regulations on cryptocurrencies. The report was authored by Harvard University fellow Timothy Massad, who served as chairman of the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) during the administration of Pres. Barack Obama.

The report dubbed “It’s time to strengthen the regulation of crypto-assets” addresses the purported need for better regulation on digital currencies, the illicit use of cryptocurrencies, as well as measures for reducing the risk of cyber attacks. The report also provides direct recommendations of how to improve existing cryptocurrency regulations.

Per the report, there is a gap in the regulation of crypto assets that contributes to fraud and weak investor protection, which is partly represented by the fact that traditional standards required for securities and derivatives market intermediaries are not applied to cryptocurrency trading platforms.

Massad writes that cryptocurrency exchanges are not properly regulated, making them vulnerable to fraud and manipulation, as well as conflicts of interest, which raises the need for regulations to minimize operational risk and implement system safeguards.

The report points out that insufficient regulatory supervision creates broader risks in respect to cyber security and illicit payments, which results in more hacking attacks.

The former CFTC Chairman suggests that the U.S. Congress has to address the aforementioned issues by developing regulatory oversight of the cash market for crypto assets, trading platforms and other intermediaries that operate in the market.

Both the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the CFTC are purportedly competent enough to regulate the industry, so there is no need to establish a separate agency. The report states that Congress should authorize the SEC to regulate cryptocurrency circulation and regulation of trading platforms, custodians, brokers and advisors.

The legislation should also set forth core principles, rather than specifics for regulations, the same way Congress has done for futures and crowdfunding, Massad states. He added that the industry should continue to develop its own self-regulatory standards.

In January, Jeremy Allaire, the CEO and co-founder of crypto finance company Circle, said the biggest regulatory hurdle facing crypto today is the lack of clarity from the SEC. Allaire wrote in a Reddit AMA session:

“The biggest and most immediate regulatory hurdle we face is the lack of specific guidance from the SEC on how to classify various crypto assets. We believe many are clearly currencies and commodities, and there needs to be more specificity on what are really securities. This can unlock a lot of market activity, and also clearly enable the growth of a market for crypto-based securities.”

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TNW: Binance Lite to Allow Australians to Purchase Bitcoin at Newsagents

Binance Lite will enable the exchange’s Australian customers to buy Bitcoin with fiat money from supported newsagent stores.

Major cryptocurrency exchange Binance is expanding its “Binance Lite” service to allow Australian residents to purchase Bitcoin (BTC) at newsagents, technology news outlet The Next Web reported on March 19.

The new service Binance Lite — which will initially be introduced in Australia — is purportedly set to enable customers to buy digital currency with fiat money from more than 1,300 supported newsagents within the country. The service currently supports only the purchase of Bitcoin, although it will offer more digital currency and fiat options at a later date.

Before using the service, customers are requested to pass account verification, including Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering procedures. Following that, users will be able to place an order online, deposit cash at a newsagent, and receive their Bitcoin “within minutes.” Australian customers of Binance Lite will reportedly be required to pay a five percent fee for operations.

Earlier this month, CEO of Binance Changpeng Zhao hinted at the creation of a new fiat-to-crypto exchange in Argentina in a tweet. Following the tweet, crypto news website CoinSpice reported about an agreement between the government of Argentina with Binance Labs — the exchange’s investment and social impact arm — to co-invest in blockchain projects that are backed by the exchange.

In January, Binance added support for credit card cryptocurrency purchases through its partnership with payment processor Simplex. Zhao said then that the exchange’s clients can purchase digital assets with credit cards and “start trading in minutes.”

Last November, Binance confirmed to Cointelegraph that it would use an automated KYC application provided by financial software firm Refinitiv. This will purportedly allow Binance to integrate the World-Check Risk Intelligence database into their internal workflow and streamline the screening process for onboarding, KYC, and third-party risk due diligence.

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Binance Launchpad Hosts Its Third ICO With Celer Network Raising $4 Million

Binance’s exclusive token launch platform Binance Launchpad completed a $4 million sale of Celer Network (CELR) tokens.

Binance Launchpad, the token launch platform of the major global crypto exchange Binance, has completed a $4 million sale of Celer Network (CELR) tokens, the company wrote on March 19.

The tokens sale was completed in 17 minutes and 35 seconds, with all 597,014,925 CELR tokens sold in a single session.

As the company announced two weeks ago, the CELR token sale only accepted Binance’s own cryptocurrency Binance Coin (BNB), with each CELR token worth 0.000434 BNB or $0.0067 dollar equivalent. One BNB could purchase 2,303.35821 CELR tokens. The minimum investment amount was set at $20, while the maximum contribution amount was capped at $1,500.

Binance Launchpad is an exclusive token launch platform of Binance that is designed to help blockchain startups raise funding to develop products targeting cryptocurrency adoption. As such, Celer Network represents a layer-2 scaling platform that aims to enable off-chain transactions for both payment transactions and generalized off-chain smart contracts.

Previously, Binance Launchpad hosted two major tokens sales such as the Fetch.AI (FET) and the BitTorrent token (BTT). The BTT sale concluded on Jan. 28, with investors purchasing all 50 billion BTT tokens, worth of $7.1 million, in less that 15 minutes. The FET token sale raised $6 million dollars on Feb. 25.

At press time, Binance is the second largest crypto exchange by daily trading volume, having been slightly overtaken by Hong Kong-based OKEx. Yesterday, trading analytics platform The Tie published research claiming that 90 percent of trade volumes reported by crypto exchanges may be incorrect.

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Japanese Company Launches New Stablecoin Pegged to the US Dollar

A Japanese company has launched a ERC-20-compliant stablecoin that is pegged to the U.S. dollar and supported by major Ethereum crypto wallets.

A Japanese company has launched an ERC-20-compliant stablecoin that it says offers “absolute decentralization, maximum security and a reliable source of stability in the face of volatility.”

As its name suggests, USDDex is directly pegged to the United States dollar, helping traders to move their money into crypto without exposing themselves to the erratic price movements seen in other major digital assets such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.

The company believes that its stablecoin could become a viable alternative to fiat and trigger the mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies, giving employers a safe way of paying their workers’ salaries while enabling consumers to make purchases with confidence.

USDDex firmly believes that 2019 is going to be the year of the stablecoin, citing research that suggests that the monthly trading volume of the first five such coins in the market has now exceeded $100 billion. Indeed, even major corporations are getting in on the action, with reports suggesting that Facebook is engaged in a top-secret project to launch its own.

The fixed rate of USDDex means that one of its tokens equates to $1. Adaptable to both centralized and decentralized exchanges, the firm says that its cryptocurrency is supported by most major Ethereum wallets, including MyEtherWallet, MetaMask, Ledger and Parity.

Presently, the company is also preparing to list on 20 exchanges, including HitBTC, Stellar, Bibox and Changelly.

Reliable and stable

The company says that every USDDex stablecoin is collateralized in excess, meaning that those who own this cryptocurrency are inoculated against wild price swings, irrespective of how the market behaves.

More than 800 trading pairs are also supported, enabling users to switch from Ethereum, Bitcoin, XRP, EOS, Litecoin and hundreds of others to USDDex with ease.

USDDex is available here

In a video explaining its vision, USDDex executives argue that stablecoins are essential if crypto is going to be used on a widespread basis, as right now, prominent coins and tokens only prove beneficial to speculative traders.

Ayako Nakamura, the company’s chief marketing officer, explained: “USDDex introduces the breakthrough technology and the possibility to develop an independent, transparent and potentially more stable monetary policy than ever before. The priority in the corporation is interaction with leading decentralized exchanges.

“The highest level of estimated reliability is provided by open-source code — proved by a repeated comprehensive security audit as well as open information of each USDDex token. Everyone can review this information.”

An experienced team

USDDex’s CEO and founder is Hitoshi Shibata. The entrepreneur — who is part of a working group on blockchain integration into Japan’s banking sector — started the business after leaving a 15-year career at Mizuho Financial Group. According to the company’s website, he “successfully developed and implemented complex economic projects for governmental and private organizations” while serving in this role. He believes that decentralized stablecoins are going to represent the next big breakthrough in the crypto industry — and in the past, he has invested in blockchain projects including 0x and Binance Coin.

He is joined by Naoki Sakamoto, the chief operating officer; Masaki Hatano, chief technology officer; Jiho Hong, chief information officer; and Ayako Nakamura as CMO. Tatsuo Okuda, Naoki Tamura and Satoko Kudo all serve in an advisory capacity.

The company raised funds in a closed round in December 2018, and says this initiative exceeded expectations after achieving its target in a matter of hours. An additional sale of limited amount of USDDex stablecoin with 45 percent bonus is launching on March 19, one month before the stablecoin is officially offered to the public. The company says its main goal “is the open and active participation of the crypto community in the life of the project.”

Learn more about USDDex

Disclaimer. Cointelegraph does not endorse any content or product on this page. While we aim at providing you all important information that we could obtain, readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company and carry full responsibility for their decisions, nor this article can be considered as an investment advice.

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QuadrigaCX Co-Founder Michael Patryn Is Actually Convicted Criminal Omar Dhanani: Report

QuadrigaCX’s co-founder Michael Patryn is allegedly formerly known as Omar Dhanani, who operated a credit card fraud scheme in 2002.

A co-founder of controversial QuadrigaCX exchange was reportedly involved in multiple criminal activities in the past, Bloomberg reports on March 19.

Michael Patryn, who co-founded Canadian crypto exchange QuadrigaCX along with Gerald Cotten in 2013, was previously known as Omar Dhanani, a person that was involved in multiple crimes in the United States, Bloomberg states.

$145 million in clients’ crypto assets was found to be missing from the QuadrigaCX exchange after its co-founder and CEO Cotten died at the age of 30 from complications of Crohn’s disease in December 2018. The exchange is now ongoing legal and financial proceedings amid the controversy over the missing funds, having appointed Ernst & Young as an independent monitor in its creditor protection case.

Patryn reportedly left QuadrigaCX in 2016, citing a fundamental disagreement with Cotten over the listing processes for the firm. According to Canadian newspaper Globe and Mail, Patryn and his partner, Lovie Horner, remain two of QuadrigaCX’s largest shareholders, although he has not had any involvement in the company’s operations since 2016.

While Patryn has recently denied the allegations that he and Dhanani are the same person, Bloomberg reportedly acquired official Canadian records saying that Patryn legally changed his name twice — first losing his last name, Dhanani and then replacing his first name, Omar — in 2003 and in 2008.

Dhanani, one of the alleged past identities of Patryn, was reportedly sentenced to 18 months in the U.S. federal prison for being involved in identity theft related to both bank and credit card fraud back in 2005. According to Bloomberg, 22-year-old Dhanani pleaded guilty to operating shadowcrew.com in 2002, a now-defunct marketplace that trafficked over 1.5 million stolen credit card and bank card numbers.

In 2007, Dhanani also admitted guilt in separate criminal cases for for burglary, grand larceny and computer fraud, Bloomberg reports, citing California state court records.

Per Bloomberg’s allegations, Patryn reinvented himself as a Bitcoin (BTC) entrepreneur after he was deported to Canada. According to Patryn’s LinkedIn profile, he is now based in Vietnam, and has been serving as founder and chairman at fintech Ventures Group (FVG), a Canada-based blockchain incubator.

Patryn provided few details about his 13-years working experience before QuadrigaCX on LinkedIn, only specifying that he worked in many digital currency-related firms from 1999 to 2013.

Recently, Cotten’s widow Jennifer Robertson revealed that Cotten was funding the exchange with his own money while it was in litigation with a major Canadian bank.

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New Report Warns 87 Percent of Cryptocurrency Exchange Volume Is Potentially Suspicious

A reports from trading analytics platform The Tie shows that the majority of exchanges may be faking their exchange volume.

Almost 90 percent of cryptocurrency exchanges’ reported trade volumes may be incorrect, new research from trading analytics platform The Tie warned in a digest released on March 18.

Reporting on figures gathered from 97 exchanges, researchers found that the vast majority of the volume claimed to come from users may not in fact exist.

The revelations came as a result of calculations of lesser-known exchanges versus well-known businesses such as Binance and Kraken.

“In total we estimated that 87% of exchanges reported trading volume was potentially suspicious and that 75% of exchanges had some form of suspicious activity occurring on them,” The Tie wrote in social media comments on the findings. The organization added:

“If each exchange averaged the volume per visit of CoinbasePro, Gemini, Poloniex, Binance, and Kraken, we would expect the real trading volume among the largest 100 exchanges to equal $2.1 (billion) per day. Currently that number is being reported as $15.9 (billion).”

Exchanges have often fielded accusations of volume misreporting: a similar reported issued in March 2018 warned of similar problems with data from exchanges.

Then, as now, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) took industry participants to task, arguing listing resources such as CoinMarketCap added to the confusion.

“Why do exchanges fake volumes?” he queried on Twitter following The Tie’s report. CZ also wrote:

“(CoinMarketCap) is [the] highest traffic website in our space, and [the] biggest referrer for all exchanges. Ranked high on CMC has benefits for getting new users. BUT at the expense of DESTROYING CREDIBILITY with pro users.”

Zhang repeated similar claims about CoinMarketCap which appeared in December, focusing on the the top 25 Bitcoin (BTC) trading pairs.

Last month, meanwhile, Cointelegraph reported on how overall exchange volumes had dropped to their lowest levels since May 2017.

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Report: Major South Korean Crypto Exchange Bithumb to Lay Off Up to 50% of Staff

Major South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb is reportedly slashing up to 50 percent of its workforce.

Major South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb is reportedly cutting up to 50 percent of its workforce, a report from CoinDesk Korea stated on March 18.

According to the report, an unnamed official has confirmed that the exchange will reduce its staff from 310 (at the start of March) to around 150, and is offering a voluntary redundancy plan and training support to employees:

“Voluntary retirement is part of our support program for former employees and is intended to provide assistance and training for job placement. Apart from that, [Bithumb’s] trading volume has decreased compared to the previous year, [so] we are trying to provide internal measures. We will continue to add necessary personnel for various new businesses.”

To press time, Bithumb has not responded to Cointelegraph’s request for comment.

Amid the crypto winter, Bithumb’s reported move to reduce its head count has been preceded by a host of other firms in the sector; mining giant Bitmain, blockchain software firm ConsenSys, decentralized social network Steemit and crypto exchanges Coinsquare and Huobi are among those to have made significant cuts in recent months.

According to CoinMarketCap (CMC), Bithumb has seen roughly $1.3 billion in trades over the 24 hours before press time. The exchange was removed from CMC’s global exchange rankings in January 2018, due to the site’s concerns over reportedly “extreme divergence in prices from the rest of the world” on the platform and its fellow South Korean exchanges.

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Japan Introduces New Regulations for Cryptocurrency Margin Trading

The Cabinet of Japan has reportedly approved new regulations in regard to cryptocurrency margin trading.

Japanese financial regulators have reportedly introduced new regulations for cryptocurrency margin trading, local news agency Nikkei reported on March 18.

The Cabinet of Japan, the executive branch of the country’s government, has reportedly approved draft amendments to Japan’s financial instruments and payment services laws, limiting leverage in cryptocurrency margin trading at two to four times the initial deposit.

Margin trading is the use of borrowed funds from a broker to trade a financial asset, thus forming a collateral for the loan.

The new rules — which are reportedly et to come into force in April 2020 — will require cryptocurrency exchange operators to register within 18 months of that date, which will purportedly enable the Financial Services Agency (FSA) to introduce relevant measures in regard to unregistered cryptocurrency “quasi-operators.”

Following promulgation of the new regulations, entities dealing cryptocurrency will ostensibly be monitored similarly to securities traders in order to protect investors. Additionally, cryptocurrency operators will be divided into groups to identify those engaged in margin trading and those issuing tokens through initial coin offerings (ICOs).

With this move, regulators reportedly aim to secure investors from getting caught up in Ponzi Schemes, as well as encourage legitimate companies to practice offerings as fundraising tools.

In January, the FSA revealed that it was considering the regulation of unregistered firms that solicit investments in cryptocurrencies. The development is reportedly a bid to close a loophole in the country’s existing regulatory framework, in which unregistered firms that collect funds in crypto rather than fiat currencies remain in a legal gray zone.

Back in August 2018, the commissioner of the FSA said that the agency wants the cryptocurrency industry to “grow under appropriate regulation” in order to find the “balance” between consumer protection and technological innovation, noting:

“We have no intention to curb [the crypto industry] excessively. We would like to see it grow under appropriate regulation.”

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New Zealand: Hacked Exchange Cryptopia Expects to Resume Trading by End of March 2019

The hacked New Zealand exchange launched the Cryptopia Loss Marker, which will be used in the rebate process for hacked accounts.

Cryptopia, the recently hacked New Zealand crypto exchange, has posted an update on March 17 concerning its plan to resume trading on its platform, which is expected by the end of March.

In the post, Cryptopia’s co-founder Rob (Hex) Dawson stated that the company is entirely committed to reopening the exchange. Hex provided Cryptopia customers with data about the ongoing rebate process, as well as general recommendations for interacting with their accounts.

Cryptopia relaunched its website in read-only form on March 5, with the platform showing the balances as they were at Jan. 14, 2019, the date of the $16 million hack. The exchange explained that the website can be used to reset passwords and two-factor authentication credentials, which is also a top priority issue in terms of client support at the current stage, Hex wrote.

In the new announcement, Cryptopia provided details about the rebate process for customers who lost funds as a result of the hack, adding that the exchange is working to ensure that the process is compliant with local laws.

Hex specified that users who lost their cryptocurrencies will start to see a section dubbed “Withdraws on your account for those coins.” He explained that transaction IDs (TXIDs) for the withdraw orders will not exist on the network; however, they will include details on how the coin was impacted in the event.

For each withdraw order, users will also see a subsequent deposit of a Cryptopia Loss Marker (CLM) — a TXID that will stand for the lost coins — which will also not be represented on the network, the post says. Hex noted that CLM is not a coin, but represents the amount lost of each coin for each user in New Zealand dollars (NZD) at the time of the event, adding that it cannot be traded to date.

In the announcement, Cryptopia’s founder also said that users are now able to cancel their standing orders through the website, while the API is still disabled. The exchange strongly warned its users to refrain from depositing funds into old Cryptopia addresses.

In the aftermath of the Cryptopia hack, the exchange had noted that they would not resume trading until they were sure that user balances were secure.