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Coinbase to Offer New Crypto Trading Pairs for British Pounds

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has announced it will begin rolling out new order book trading pairs for British pounds (GBP) on Sept. 7 for traders based in the U.K.

David Farmer, general manager of Coinbase Pro, wrote in a blog post on Thursday the order book exchange will offer trading services for GBP against ethereum, bitcoin cash, ethereum classic, and litecoin, in addition to bitcoin that is currently available.

The company said each new offering will first go through a post-only phase and then a limit-only stage before full trading services can be available, such as limit, market, and stop orders.

Farmer further explained in the post-only phase, the exchange will only allow users to post limit orders but matching will not be available for at least 10 minutes.

After that, limit orders will start matching but no market orders can be submitted. The limit-only phase will also take another minimum of 10 minutes.

The news follows a report in early August that Coinbase enabled direct withdrawal and deposit services for GBP for the first time through the Faster Payments Scheme.

It replaced the traditional method of converting GBP to euro which normally took days to complete a bank transfer.

The GBP trading offering also comes months after the U.S. exchange secured an e-money license from the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority, paving the way for Coinbase to expand its services to the U.K. and Europe.

Coinbase image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

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Bitcoin Trading: e-bike Business Owner’s Account Shut Down by High Street Banks.

Scott Snaith, the owner of 50cycles – an e-bike company, recently had his bank accounts frozen by two prominent banks in the United Kingdom. Snaith is accusing both banks of discriminatory practices due to his involvement in cryptocurrency trading. The case follows a pattern of similar occurrences in the UK and Ireland.

Between HSBC and Barclays

According to iNews, Snaith had two personal and one business account blocked by HSBC and Barclays earlier in August. Snaith is adamant that the account freezing carried out by both banks was due to his cryptocurrency trading activities. This conclusion is based on the fact that his accounts were shut down merely hours after exchanging Bitcoin for fiat money via a registered P2P trading platform.

Snaith believes that the action taken by both banks constitute financial discrimination, saying:

My two personal bank accounts and business account were frozen for using a well-known Bitcoin trading site. No unlawful activity has taken place but just because the word ‘Bitcoin’ was mentioned my accounts were locked instantly. A ‘senior fraud advisor’ then closed my complaint off – leaving me with no choice but to take the issue to the Financial Ombudsman for appeal.

Image result for scott snaith 50cycles

After a vociferous complaint from Snaith, HSBC reversed the freeze order, but Barclays refused to do the same. The 50cycles owner says he will no longer bank with Barclays as the situation has even led to him losing a member of staff due to his inability to pay salaries. According to Snaith, UK banks are anti cryptocurrency and are doing their best to frustrate the nascent industry.

Bitcoin Discrimination

The UK isn’t the only place with widespread complaints of discriminatory practices by banks against cryptocurrency firms. In June, Bitcoin brokers in Ireland accused local banks of systematically denying them access to banking services. The Bitcoin traders said the situation had forced many of them to either shut down their offices or move to friendlier locations.

In countries like India and Iran, their respective central banks have banned local commercial banks from even facilitating cryptocurrency transactions. Since late 2017, governments, as well as financial regulators, have enacted strict measures against alleged malpractices in the burgeoning virtual currency space.

What do you about the practice by High Street banks of closing accounts of people involved in cryptocurrency trading when no such prohibitions exist in the UK? Keep the conversation going in the comment section below.

Image courtesy of BikeBiz.com.

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Alibaba Payments App to Step Up Scrutiny Over Crypto OTC Trading

Ant Financial, the payments affiliate of Alibaba, is cooperating with Chinese regulators to scrutinize peer-to-peer cryptocurrency trading using its Alipay mobile app.

Beijing News, a media outlet administrated by the Communist Party, reported on Friday Ant Financial is now beefing up efforts to monitor both merchant and customer accounts as well as notable sites that integrate the Alipay gateway to facilitate over-the-counter (OTC) crypto trading.

A spokesperson from Ant Financial told CoinDesk that “Alipay adheres to the principle of not providing services for virtual currency transactions,” adding:

“We have been and will continue to closely monitor over-the-counter trading activities. If we find any transactions that we suspect are related to virtual currencies, we take appropriate measures including, but not limited to suspension of related fund transfers and permanently restricting payment collection functions of accounts involved.”

However, the company did not offer details on whether or how many accounts it had already found with crypto trading involvement.

The news follows yesterday’s report that Chinese financial regulators are now seeking to block the internet access to over 100 overseas crypto trading platforms that are still providing services to Chinese investors.

WeChat Pay, another prominent mobile payments application launched by the internet giant Tencent, has also been monitoring and blocking accounts that are suspected of handling crypto transactions, as CoinDesk reported previously.

Following the notable ban on crypto trading and initial coin offerings from People’s Bank of China in September 2017, major Chinese exchanges all shifted their businesses overseas but continued to offer crypto-to-fiat OTC trading.

Alipay, WeChat Pay and bank transfer have since been used as ways for Chinese residents to purchase cryptocurrency assets.

Alipay image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

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Regulators Seek to Block 124 Foreign Crypto Exchanges Available in China

Chinese financial regulators are moving to block more than 100 overseas crypto exchanges that are offering trading services to Chinese residents.

Shanghai Securities Times, a mouthpiece of Chinese financial regulators, reported on Thursday the China National Fintech Risk Rectification Office identified so far 124 trading platforms with overseas IP addresses but available in the country.

To continue cracking down crypto trading activities in China, the Office will step up its efforts to monitor the space and block the internet access to these trading platforms, the report said.

Authorized in 2016 by China’s State Council, the National Fintech Risk Rectification Office is a government agency that tackles on financial risks related to issues like peer-to-peer lending and cryptocurrency trading.

In September 2017, the People’s Bank of China notably announced a rule to ban initial coin offerings (ICOs) and crypto trading in the country. Following the notice, major exchanges based in China at the time moved their businesses overseas.

Currently, the internet access to several major exchanges by trading volumes such as Binance, OKEx, and Bitfinex appears to be unavailable via IP addresses in China.

Today’s report also said the agency will permanently shut down domestic websites and official accounts on the WeChat messaging app if they are found to be providing crypto trading and ICO services.

The agency further indicated it is in talks with third-party payments vendors that are required to scrutinize and halt accounts that are suspicious of handling cryptocurrency transactions, the report added.

The news came just two days after several Chinese cryptocurrency media were banned from operating on WeChat, as reported by CoinDesk.

WeChat’s owner Tencent confirmed with business media Caixin on Wednesday the reason for the ban was because these accounts were found to have provided crypto trading and ICO services. Some of them were ordered to shut down permanently, the report said.

Barrier image via CoinDesk

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

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China Seeks to Block Access to 124 Foreign Crypto Exchanges

Chinese regulators are moving to block more than 100 overseas crypto exchanges offering trading services to domestic investors.

Shanghai Securities Times, a mouthpiece of the Chinese financial authorities, reported on Thursday that the China National Fintech Risk Rectification Office has so far identified 124 trading platforms with overseas IP addresses but that are still available in the country.

The office now plans to step up its efforts in monitoring the space and to block internet access to these trading platforms, the report said.

Authorized in 2016 by China’s State Council, the National Fintech Risk Rectification Office is a government agency that aims to protect against financial risk related to issues like peer-to-peer lending and cryptocurrency trading.

In September 2017, the People’s Bank of China notably announced a rule banning initial coin offerings (ICOs) and, in effect, crypto trading platforms in the country. Following the notice, major exchanges based in China at the time moved their businesses overseas.

Currently, internet access to several major exchanges such as Binance, OKEx, and Bitfinex appears to be unavailable in China.

Today’s report also said the agency will permanently shut down domestic websites and official accounts on the WeChat messaging app if they are found to be providing crypto trading and ICO services.

The agency is also in talks with third-party payments vendors that are required to scrutinize and halt accounts that are suspected of handling cryptocurrency transactions, the report added.

Just two days ago, several Chinese cryptocurrency media outlets were banned from operating on WeChat, as reported by CoinDesk.

WeChat’s owner Tencent confirmed with news source Caixin on Wednesday that the ban was instigated because the accounts were found to have provided crypto trading and ICO services. Some of them were ordered to shut down permanently, the report said.

Barrier image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

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Coinbase Increases Daily Cryptocurrency Transaction Limit to $25,000, Enables Instant Trading

Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange platform in the United States, has taken another step in improving the user experience of traders on its platform. The San Francisco-based exchange service has increased its purchase limit from $25,000 a week to a day.

Daily Cryptocurrency Purchase Limit Now at $25,000

Coinbase, on Tuesday (August 7, 2018) announced some changes to its trading policies geared towards improving the user experience of its customers. The platform announced the changes via a post on its blog.

Traders using the San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange platform can now purchase up to $25,000 a day, instead of $25,000 a week. With this 7x increase, US customers can avoid multiple layers of approval and inconvenient delays when purchasing cryptocurrencies. The exchange platform decided to raise the threshold to give its customers a seamless trading experience.

Coinbase Cancels Buy/Sell Limits

The cryptocurrency exchange platform has done more than increase the purchasing limit. It has also canceled the restrictions on how much a client can buy or sell at a time. This can take effect after the client’s funds have reached the startup’s wallets.

Before now, clients using the Coinbase accounts had limits to the amount of cryptocurrency that could be purchased or sold due to security and regulatory compliance issues. These limits, however, varied and was based on factors such as payment method used, purchase history, account age, amongst others.

These restrictions have unfortunately made transactions a chore, as they became tedious and time-consuming. In trying to make cryptocurrency transactions less exhausting, Coinbase decided to cancel buy and sell limits for ease and convenience.

Instant Trading

Taking effect on August 7, 2018, Coinbase customers can trade cryptocurrency immediately after making their purchase. They would no longer have to wait for five days for funds to settle.

The San Francisco-based exchange platform says that these new features will apply only to U.S. customers who have completed the identity verification process. According to the blog post:

With this update, customers will receive an immediate credit for the funds being sent from their bank account. They can then buy and sell crypto to and from their USD wallet right away, but cannot send their funds off the Coinbase platform until the funds coming from their bank have settled.

Coinbase announced on August 7th that it had successfully launched Ethereum Classic and was accepting transfers of the digital asset. The cryptocurrency exchange platform also happily announced that it had resumed operations in Wyoming after a three-year hiatus.

What do you think about the changes made by Coinbase? Keep the conversation going in the comment section below.

Image courtesy of the Coinbase Blog.

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Markets Tech Firm to Launch Crypto Derivatives Exchange

Interactive financial markets technology platform LevelTradingField is launching a cryptocurrency derivatives exchange using the ethereum blockchain.

Dubbed CADE, the exchange is set to go live this September. It will list ERC-20 tokens which track bitcoin, ether, litecoin, bitcoin cash, ripple and monero, with more to be considered on a rolling basis, according to a press release published Friday.

These tokens will allow traders to reap the economic benefits of investment in crypto without actually owning any of the digital goods.

All derivative tokens on CADE are to be priced in LUSD, a stablecoin pegged to the U.S. dollar and guaranteed for by the company.

The press release notes that this type exchange could be used in a variety of beneficial ways, not just for cryptocurrency traders, also but miners and long-term investors.

On the other hand, the release also notes that CADE will only accept participants who have successfully passed through a “robust compliance framework” in order to ensure that know-your-customer and anti-money-laundering standards are upheld.

Last year the company launched a Bitcoin Market Predictor attracting participants to bet on the future price movements of bitcoin in a game of skill akin to fantasy sports betting. More recently, LevelTradingField also announced a new partnership with global connectivity provider, NetXpress, to feature a cryptocurrency feed for users consolidating data from major cryptocurrency exchanges.

Exchange display image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

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Coinbase Resumes Cryptocurrency Trading in Wyoming After Three-Year Absence

Coinbase has announced the resumption of cryptocurrency trading service in the state of Wyoming. This announcement comes after three years of the platform ceasing all operations in the “cowboy state” due to regulatory issues.

Coinbase Renews Money Transmitter License in Wyoming

The largest cryptocurrency exchange platform in the U.S., Coinbase, has resumed cryptocurrency operation in Wyoming. It recently renewed its money transmitter license, which allows customers to trade cryptos on the platform. This renewal comes after a three-year absence in the state.

In 2015, Coinbase suspended operations in Wyoming. This was due to the Wyoming Money Transmitter Act which required all exchanges to double reserve the assets of state residents. Three years later, in 2018, new legislation was signed into law, which eliminated the issue of the double reserve.

The San Francisco-based platform worked with many people to make crypto operations in Wyoming a reality once again. David Miller, Wyoming House of Representatives Majority Floor Leader, Senator Eli Bebout, and the Blockchain Task Force were instrumental forces. Also, Governor Matt Meade and the state legislature helped in amending the act and signing the new legislation into law. This new law gives Coinbase and other compliant crypto companies the opportunity to serve its customers in Wyoming fully.

According to the Coinbase blog, the company stated:

We are encouraged by this positive transition for Wyoming residents and businesses to once again enjoy the enhanced innovation, economic activity and social benefits of this new technology. Our aim is to be the most trusted cryptocurrency brand in the space, and as part of that, we seek excellence in compliance and advocate for common-sense policies that allow for innovation. We will continue collaborating with legislators and regulators across the U.S. and worldwide as we work to create open financial system for the world.

Coinbase Continues Expansion Push

Recently, Coinbase announced that it was considering the addition of a few coins to its Custody suite. In an announcement released on August 3rd, the platform emphasized that the crypto assets were for storage only. The new digital coins are 37 in total, and they include, XRP, XLM, ADA, ZEC, BTG, EOS, amongst others.

The San Francisco-based platform is further pushing itself as it recently launched the Woocommerce plugin, an e-payments app for web-based marketplaces. The platform stated that the new feature would allow payments for crypto merchants globally. In a statement made by the company, it said:

We’ve been hard at work the past few weeks and are happy to announce a WooCommerce plugin and a few other new features.

Woocommerce is very popular on the e-commerce platforms and has a penetration of about 28%. The San Francisco company hopes that the majority of websites will allow digital payments to expand its overall adoption.

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Line Corp Establishes Cryptocurrency Exchange Service in Singapore

Line Corporation is on the verge of launching its cryptocurrency exchange service in Singapore. Takeshi Idezawa, the Line Corp. CEO announced the move during a company conference on Thursday (June 28, 2018). Line is Japan’s biggest messaging platform. It becomes the latest social media company to take an active interest in the cryptocurrency business.

Introducing Bitbox

The company’s cryptocurrency exchange platform named Bitbox will be established in Singapore. Inside sources at the company revealed to local media outlets in Japan that the platform is scheduled for launch in July 2018. Bitbox will offer over 30 different virtual currencies including Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum.

Traders will only be able to carry out crypto/crypto market transactions as Bitbox does not plan to offer crypto/fiat trading pairs. Cryptocurrency trading on the platform will attract a flat fee of 0.1 percent. Commenting on the Bitbox launch, Idezawa said:

With cryptocurrency, we are going to take our challenge in financial services global.

The services of the trading platform will be available to users from all over the world, except for Japan and the United States. There are plans to offer the Bitbox website in 15 different languages to cater to the needs of its expected global user base.

Line Corp Making Significant Strides in the Cryptocurrency Space

The company also stated it will adopt a more robust implementation of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. Idezawa mentioned that Line Corp. was serious about establishing the emerging technology as the heart of its business strategy, going forward. The plan, according to the company, is to use blockchain technology as the nucleus of the process of unifying its three core business segments – media services, commerce, and entertainment.

Idezawa also declared that the company was seeking ways of reducing its reliance on advertisement revenue. Thus, Line Corp will leverage the potentials of blockchain and cryptocurrency. The company aims to challenge for a higher market share in areas dominated by rivals such as WhatsApp. According to the company’s CEO:

There isn’t a system in place right now that can monetarily reward users’ contributions to [sic] a service. Linking service growth to compensation for contributors in a token economy could unlock a great deal of new value.

Social Media Companies and Cryptocurrency

Line Corp. isn’t stopping at establishing the Bitbox crypto exchange platform in Singapore. The company also plans to issue a cryptocurrency token as well as a Bitbox smartphone app. By so doing, the platform app will be separate from Line’s messaging service. Inside sources also report that the company has struck a deal with blockchain security firm, BitGo Inc., to provide internet security protocols for the platform. Earlier in the year, Line signed inked a partnership deal with Icon (ICX).

Line which is owned by South Korean Internet behemoth, Naver isn’t the only social media company in the crypto space. Telegram and Kik have also made significant inroads into different cryptocurrency related projects.

What do you think about Line Corp’s exchange service in Singapore? Do you think other messaging platforms will follow in Line’s footsteps? Keep the conversation going in the comment section below.

Image courtesy of phys.org.

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Barclays CEO Pushes Back Against Crypto Trading Desk Reports

The CEO of Barclays says the U.K. banking giant has no immediate plans to launch a cryptocurrency trading desk.

According to a report from the U.K media outlet Financial News on Tuesday, Barclays CEO Jes Stately made the comments in response to shareholders’ questions during the bank’s annual meeting.

Staley said the bank has no plan to set up a crypto trading desk amid recent rumors about its possible move into the market, saying that cryptocurrency represents “a real challenge for us” at present.

The news follows a report from CoinDesk earlier this month that indicated Barclays was gauging interests from its clients regarding launching a crypto-specific trading service.

While a spokesperson at the time had already stated that the bank might not move ahead with the launch, Staley’s remarks again signal that the bank is formally ruling out the possibility of launching a crypto trading desk – at least not for now.

That said, Staley admitted that the bank is exploring cryptocurrency-related businesses with those regulatory issues in mind.

As reported previously, by setting up an internal common domain model, the U.K.-based bank has perhaps become one of the biggest supporters for making blockchain a reality in the derivatives space.

Barclays image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.