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Winklevoss Twins Say They’re ‘In Talks’ About Joining Libra Association

Gemini founders Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss say they are open to partnering with former rival Mark Zuckerberg on Libra.

Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss — Bitcoin (BTC) bulls and founders of the Gemini crypto exchange — say they are open to partnering with archrival Mark Zuckerberg on Libra.

CNN Business reported on Aug. 19 that the twins are not allowing their notorious and drawn-out settlement with Zuckerberg stand in the way of a potential collaboration.

In talks to join the Libra Association

Whether or not a partnership will finally materialize, Cameron told CNN that Libra represents a step towards mass adoption of cryptocurrency, underscoring:

“I think there is a day in the future where we can’t live without crypto, or imagine a world before crypto.” 

As CNN notes, the twins’ proactive promotion of crypto-regulatory matters could make the duo an attractive partner for Facebook, given the widespread alarm the latter’s Libra project has already sparked among governments and regulators globally. 

The twins revealed they have been in talks about joining the Libra Association — the newly-created, independent governance consortium for Facebook’s planned token —  which currently counts 28 founding members and should expand to 100 by the time of Libra’s launch.

Tyler and Cameron noted, however, that they still need to learn more about the details of the project before deciding whether or not to join the Association, as well as whether to list Libra on the Gemini exchange.

The Libra Association has reportedly declined to comment on any ongoing negotiations with partners.

All the internet titans will embrace crypto

According to Cameron, Facebook may be the first tech titan to attempt a native cryptocurrency launch — but it won’t be the last:

“I think that internet companies have to have a crypto strategy, and I think a lot of them are thinking about their own coin projects. They’re probably watching Libra and Facebook to see how that fares as they develop it.” 

He forecast that Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google will follow suit, isolating Amazon in particular as a solid contender:

“Amazon can probably get packages to literally any place in the world, even if the last mile is on a dirt bike or something […] very ironic, that the physical stuff we can move all around the world and we can’t get money to a lot of places around the world.”

Earlier today, Cointelegraph reported that the design for the Chinese central bank’s planned state-backed cryptocurrency is reported to have been influenced by Libra’s unveiling.

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Winklevoss’ Gemini Crypto Exchange Hires New Chief Security Officer

The Gemini platform, founded by the Winklevoss twins, has hired a new chief security officer with cybersecurity experience.

Gemini, the cryptocurrency exchange and custody founded by the Winklevoss twins, has hired cybersecurity expert David Damato as its new chief security officer (CSO). Damato was previously the CSO of cybersecurity firm Tanium. 

Tyler Winklevoss announced the new hire in an official blog post on Aug. 19. According to the blog, Damato previously created and led a cybersecurity team at Tanium that provided security services to government agencies, Fortune 500 firms and numerous banks.

In the announcement, Tyler Winklevoss emphasized that Gemini has always had a security-first mentality, citing its SOC2 Type I examination — a type of audit — and its hardware security key-based solution for account security.

Foray into the Chicago Mercantile Exchange

As previously reported by Cointelegraph, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME Group) added Gemini as a constituent exchange on Aug. 8. According to the CME Group’s announcement, Gemini will be one of four major crypto pricing indices on CME starting Aug. 30. 

In June, Gemini opened up offices in Chicago that will serve as an engineering hub to support trading and custody operations. In opening the offices, Gemini reportedly hired former engineers from major United States-based crypto exchange and wallet service Coinbase. Gemini is headquartered in New York and also has offices in Portland, Oregon. 

Gemini is the 77th-largest cryptocurrency exchange according to adjusted trade volume, with a 24-hour trade volume of $16.5 million, according to CoinMarketCap.

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Gemini Exchange Added to CME Group’s Pioneering Crypto Benchmarks

The Winklevoss twins’ Gemini platform is being added as a constituent exchange for the Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s cryptocurrency reference rates.

The Winklevoss twins’ Gemini platform is being added as a constituent exchange for the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME Group)’s cryptocurrency reference rates.

As revealed in an official tweet from CME Group on Aug. 8, Gemini will be included in four major crypto pricing indices as of Aug. 30.

CME Group Bitcoin, Ether Indices

As reported, CME Group launched its first two crypto pricing products — the standardized reference rate “CME CF Bitcoin Reference Rate” and the spot index “CME CF Bitcoin Real-Time Index” — back in November 2016. 

Both were heralded as major stepping stones toward the professionalization of Bitcoin (BTC) trading and the acceptance of the asset by stalwart traditional trading giants.

In March 2018, the Group launched two analogous products for Ether (ETH): the “CME CF Ether-Dollar Reference Rate” and “CME CF Ether Real Time Index” in partnership with United Kingdom-based crypto futures-focused exchange Crypto Facilities.

Ahead of the addition of Gemini, these pricing products drew on transactions and order book activity data from major industry trading platforms such as Bitstamp, Coinbase, itBit and Kraken (Coinbase is, however, not cited in relation to CME Group’s Ether products). 

Crypto index fever

CME Group was notably preceded by the New York Stock Exchange’s NYSE Bitcoin Index, which went live in May 2015 — a product that NYSE operator Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) claimed was the first-ever exchange-calculated and disseminated Bitcoin index.

Since these early offerings, crypto pricing products — many targeting institutional clients — have become increasingly more sophisticated and widespread. 

This June, the half a million traditional traders using the Reuters and Bloomberg financial terminals were provided with access to a new AI-powered index for the 100 strongest-performing cryptocurrencies and tokens.

London-based crypto data provider CryptoCompare launched an Exchange Benchmark product this year ranking over 100 global crypto spot exchanges worldwide, having previously announced a partnership with Nasdaq to release a new crypto pricing product, as well as a joint venture with BitMEX to build a crypto futures dataset.

At the end of April, Nasdaq introduced XRP Liquid Index (XRRLX) to its global data service. Nasdaq had previously begun listing Brave New Coin’s Bitcoin Liquid Index and Ethereum Liquid Index.

In March, CoinMarketCap announced the launch of two cryptocurrency benchmark indices on Nasdaq Global Index Data Service, Bloomberg Terminal, Thomson Reuters Eikon and Börse Stuttgart.

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Crypto Apps Stagnate Despite Bitcoin (BTC) Rally Past $10,000

Crypto Not on the Rise on Google or Apple’s App Store

As Bitcoin (BTC) and other crypto assets started to rally in April and May, users started to suggest that search interest for “Coinbase” and “Blockchain” on the Apple iOS App Store was on the rise. Indeed, many reports corroborated the fact that if you were to look for apps that were “trending” last month, cryptocurrency wallets would have graced your screen.

The thing is, data published via Bloomberg suggests a very different story than the aforementioned points. Per a recent article from the outlet, which cites data from App Annie (an analytics provider that looks at apps downloaded from the iOS Store and Google Play Store), the download count for crypto-related applications is nearly the same for H1 2019 and H1 2018, at 67 million and 65.8 million respectively. This comes despite that Bitcoin has rallied over 200% since the bottom, which is stellar compared to BTC’s dismal performance in the first six months of 2018.

Similarly, Google Trends states that search interest for the “Bitcoin” and “crypto” terms remains less than 20% of what was seen at 2017’s peak, meaning that the mainstream has yet to pick up on this space in spite of BTC’s recent growth.

crypto

These data points could imply that investors that left the space are entering once again, or that institutions, most of which presumably don’t use mobile applications to store and track crypto, are finally starting to foray into the industry. Whatever the exact specifics, the App Annie and Google Trends data points aren’t bearish per se.

China, A Different Story

Interestingly, it’s an entirely different story in China. Instead of institutions driving crypto interest, it seems to be a primarily retail audience. Chinese source cnLedger recently pointed out that according to a number of “online data service providers”, a crypto asset-related app is trending on China’s iOS App Store.

Exchange giant Huobi’s mobile application is now, according to the sources, the seventh most searched for keyword in the aforementioned marketplace. Considering that Apple sells some 40 million handhelds each year, this is quite the statistic. This implies that tens of thousands, maybe more, were (and are continuing to) searching for the crypto app.

Simultaneously, WeChat keyword analytics have accentuated a massive uptick in the volume of “Bitcoin”. More specifically, as Twitter user Louis Aboud-Hogben notes, the past ninety days have seen keyword volume for the Chinese term for “Bitcoin” skyrocket by five times.

It is unclear why this has been occurring, but there are a few theories: Firstly, comments from Chinese technology legends about Libra have presumably increased interest in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Secondly, as the US-China trade war has raged on, investors have begun to seek a safe haven in Bitcoin, especially after safe haven media lauded it. And thirdly, the simple bullish price action led to increased interest.

Photo by Yura Fresh on Unsplash

The post Crypto Apps Stagnate Despite Bitcoin (BTC) Rally Past $10,000 appeared first on Ethereum World News.

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Brazilian Exchanges to Integrate the Real-T, a Stablecoin Pegged to the Real

Cryptocurrency exchanges in Brazil will purportedly be among the first platforms to offer a stablecoin pegged one-to-one with the Brazilian real.

Brazilian cryptocurrency exchanges are rolling out support for a stablecoin, according to a report by Cointelegraph Brasil on June 26.

Brazilian platforms including PagCripto, Nox Trading, 3xBit, and Bitcambio, are reportedly slated to be the next adopters to issue this new stablecoin — pegged one-to-one with the Brazilian real —  Real-T (REALT).

As explained in its whitepaper, the “Real-T Token” is an Ethereum-based ERC-20 stablecoin that is “strictly pegged” to BRL. The paper claims that the company behind the token, Real-T Tecnologia S.A., will publicly share its bank statement to provide evidence for full backing of Real-T in fiat money.

The paper also notes that most stablecoins are currently pegged to the U.S. dollar — including Tether (USDT), Gemini Dollar (GUSD), and USD Coin (USDC) — whereas the Real-T would purportedly be the first stablecoin for the real.

REALT was original launched on the exchange CBX on May 10. According to this announcement, REALT is available for deposit and withdraw, as well as for trade with USDT.

As previously reported by Cointelegraph, the Department of Federal Revenue of Brazil (RFB) has announced new regulatory policies for crypto exchanges, which are to be implemented in September. 

Exchanges are now reportedly required to inform the RFB on user transactions in order to guard against tax fraud. The RFB also specified that exchanges based outside of Brazil must disclose transaction data when its monthly value surpasses $7,750.

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Winklevoss’ Gemini Exchange Launches Chicago Office to Serve as Engineering Hub

New York-based Gemini exchange adds a Chicago office in a move to extend engineering expertise for the platform.

Winklevoss brothers-led Gemini crypto exchange is launching a new office in Chicago, the firm officially announced on June 27.

Headquartered in New York, Gemini adds its new Chicago office to their existing office in Portland, Oregon, Gemini co-founder Tyler Winklevoss wrote in a Medium post on Thursday.

According to the statement, Gemini’s Chicago office will act as an engineering hub, and reflects the company’s goal of providing a “safe and reliable institutional-grade infrastructure” for trading and storing crypto. In the post, Tyler emphasized the city’s role in the global financial system, referring to Chicago as the “birthplace of commodities markets.”

As part of the initiative, Gemini has reportedly hired former engineers from major United States-based crypto exchange and wallet service Coinbase, according to a report by crypto news outlet Coindesk. The group of former Coinbase employees were reportedly laid off when Coinbase shut down its Chicago office in April 2019, focusing on the development of its machine engine efforts in its office in San Francisco.

Tyler Winklevoss wrote that the new Chicago team has “deep expertise in matching engines and marketplaces,” and will be focused on the development of the “core platform” for Gemini, as well as optimizing the existing services on the platform.

The initiative has followed a news that Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss have seen their fortune more than double to reach a total $1.45 billion as Bitcoin (BTC) hit a 17-months high of above $13,700 yesterday, June 26.

Meanwhile, Bitcoin recently saw a massive decline by around $1,400 within minutes after a recent Coinbase crash.

In a recent interview with Cointelegraph, Tyler stated that Facebook’s Libra project is “huge validation” for the crypto industry, considering it another revolutionary step by the firm’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who is a well-known rival of Winklevoss brothers.