As many companies have started their own journey into the blockchain world, in many areas there are lot of people that are not really...
As big companies have started to notice more and more lately, that blockchain really is a disruptive force that will bring changes into many...
One of the most recognized crypto exchange Coinbase has unveiled today 15th of May their plan to attract big institutions into the cryptocurrency and blockchain world. With the offering of a couple of products like “Coinbase Prime” that will target the institutional investors with sophisticated trading and data tools. This new trading platform will be separate from their well known GDAX exchange. Their general manager Adam White has stated: “At Coinbase, we welcome these developments as they help accelerate the world’s adoption of cryptocurrency by bringing new capital, greater awareness, and additional infrastructure to the space. This movement requires institutional grade products and services, something Coinbase has been developing with leading institutions and which we are proud to formally launch today”. Another product that was announced was “Coinbase Markets”. It is the company’s brand new electronic marketplace that will be managed from their new Chicago office. This will provide a centralized liquidity pool, putting all of the company’s products in one place. “In the past few months, over 100 hedge funds announced plans to trade and invest in cryptocurrency, signaling heightened interest from institutional clients and financial services professionals for a source of liquidity and custody for their digital assets” the company has stated. Officially has been confirmed that the company is launching the Custody service in partnership with ETC, which is a SEC-regulated broker-dealer. This service provides a special level services to enable institutions to keep their coins with Coinbase. It is an effort to go beyond and offer a higher standard of service in the level of what institutions require. “We have leveraged our experience safely storing more than 20 billion dollars of cryptocurrency to create Coinbase Custody, the most secure crypto storage solution available,” said Coinbase’s general manager Adam White in their statement blog. And the last but not least is the Coinbase Institutional Coverage Group. This product was designed for special type of customer service that banks need. This group will be operated from Coinbase’s New York City office. These announcements from Coinbase come at a special time when big banks like Goldman Sachs have been making prepares to launch their attack into the crypto sphere. For companies like Coinbase this is a clear sign that they also need to step up their game and build all of the necessary tools and infrastructure to accommodate the needs of the big players in the traditional finance sector. There have been also attempts of others like Circle. A small firm that offers new and inventive products called block trading which is a tool for helping institutions to make large transactions. There is also the Robinhood app, a popular choice for millennials that very recently had announced their big plans for transforming the cryptocurrency trading experience and bringing it to a whole other level. The statement of Adam White the general manager of Coinbase also confirms this: “We think this can unlock 10 billion dollars of institutional investor money sitting on the sideline. We are seeing a rapid increase in attention awareness and adoption in the cryptocurrency market.”
It has been announced in the city of New York today May 14 by the CEO of the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) that they are starting a blockchain initiatives. They include launching a New York City Blockchain Resource Center and a publicly open competition for blockchain based application in order to improve the city’s public sector. A statement had been released by the NYCEDC informing the public that the Blockchain Resource Center will be used as an educational institution for the public and will help everyone who wants to lunch a new venture enabling a closer relationship between the government and the blockchain industry. The New York’s blockchain competition is planned for the end of 2018 and is taking the experience of organizing by the New York BigApps contest. NYCEDC had put out a proposals request for organizations that would run this competition. That will involve organizing workshops for the government employees about blockchain and the use cases but also free educational workshops for the public. The President and CEO of NYCEDC James Patchett has stated: “We’re a global leader in finance, real estate, media, and tech - all industries seeing incredible innovation from this new technology. The City is putting a big focus into blockchain to find out how we can grow the industry and make sure it’s creating great opportunities for New Yorkers.”
Chris Lee the CEO of one of the biggest crypto exchanges in the world OKEx have resigned. He left the company in a special moment when they have just reported the largest turnover in the market on a world scale. As he had stated in an email today (14th of May) the reasons were simply personal as quoting “starting a new life”. A separate public statement issued by his spokeswoman, Chris Lee have said working for OKEx was as quoted “greatest pleasure and an honor” and that he will make a comeback into the world of blockchain and crypto after a short break to spend some time with his family. No specific reasons were given for his departure. As of the past 24 hours OKEx has handled well over 2 billion dollars worth of cryptocurrency trades thus making itself the worlds most actively traded crypto exchange according to Coinmarketcap.com. OKEx has seen an uptrend in the global ranking for over some time and recently had performed an overtake of Binance as the biggest by volume trading crypto exchange. There have been some reactions from some of the popular crypto figures and other social media commentators raising skepticism about the trading numbers given by OKEx. Some even suggested that the company was as stated “up to its old tricks” relating to the event from a few years back when OKEx’s parent company OkCoin had been involved into a scandal over allegedly fake trading volume. This event had the former OKCoin’s CTO and now current CEO of Binance Changpeng Zhao revealing an alleged accusation that OKCoin has violated a breach of contracts.
Another day, another dramatic event driving the prices in the crypto world. This Friday the 11th of May has been a pretty rough day for the crypto exchanges. A big turbulence in the South Korea’s biggest crypto trading platform Upbit has shaken the market. Prices of coins have started to crumble after a South Korean news sources had reported that the cryptocurrency exchange Upbit has been investigated by the local police for allegations of fraud. The Upbit’s headquarters in Seoul the capital of South Korea have been raided by investigators. Upbeat have been blamed for faking its balance sheets and deceiving their investors. A suspicious movement of funds from the exchange to a personal accounts of its executives had been also reported. The investigation into this unfortunate event is still ongoing and the police has yet to report on the situation of the matter. The info given from the South Korean authorities had stated: “We have secured hard disks and accounting books through confiscation. Analysis is expected to take days.” Adding that the final report on the Upbit case will be released next week. There has been a statement released from the Upbit’s side too saying: “Upbit is currently under investigation by the prosecution, and we are working dilligently. Upbit services such as all transactions and withdrawals are operating normally. Your assets are kept securely in your account, so you can rest assured that you can use Upbit services.” There has been a lot of cracking down on the crypto industry in South Korea in order to combat speculation and combat possible illegal activities such as money laundering. These types of raids had been done over the past couple of months by the Korean authorities on several small crypto venues, ICO’s and financial institutions from domestic exchanges. Example of a similar event happening in Korea was last month’s investigation on Coinnest. The exchange was charged with embezzlement and fraud, getting their chairman Kim Ik-hwan detained. The South Korean exchanges have also been listing cryptocurrencies at much higher prices than the exchanges from the other countries. These moves have led the CoinMarketCap team to remove most of the Korean exchanges from their listings. Although South Korea is a small country it is one of the world’s most significant trading centers taking the third place right after U.S. and Japan. According to ABC News at least 20% of the cryptocurrency trading in the world is taking place is South Korea.
One of the most popular stock trading apps Robinhood, had made headlines once again. This time with its newest funding round of 363 million dollars. According to their official statement published on 10th of May They have also acquired a new valuation at 5.6 billion dollars. This funding round has been led by multiple investment firms like DST Global, Iconiq, Capital G, Sequoia Capital and KPCB, making Robinhood the second most valuable fintech startup in the U.S right after Stripe, the online payment company. “I think the real ‘X factor’ that made investors even more excited about being a part of Robinhood was seeing our ability to, with a very, limited workforce, to ship three brand new products in these last six months, while maintaining and growing one of the largest brokerages in the U.S.” - said Baiju Bhatt, Robinhood’s co-founder and co-CEO. These kinds of moves had bringed as Robinhood has stated 2 more million users to the platform totaling at 4 million users at the moment. Robinhood had been a unicorn in the brokerage scene with its zero commission trading when it first started offering stocks and options trading and later adding the option to also trade Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Robinhood Crypto launched this February, and is available in only 10 U.S states at the moment but there plans to expand to the whole country as fast as they get the appropriate licenses for every state. The CEO Baiju Bhatt is very confident that they will very soon become if not the first, at least break among the top of the most well known cryptocurrency trading platforms stating in his own words: “We expect by the end of the year to be either the largest or one of the largest crypto platforms out there. But we also really feel we’ll have the absoulte best experience for investing in crypto as well - from having a large variety of coins available to a more favorable cost structure-mainly no commissions- to just quality product.” Although Robinhood has aspirations to become one of the biggest players in the crypto world, in the end it will have to face all of the big banks of Wall Street. They seems to have finally started to catch up on the idea of crypto trading and some of them like Goldman Sachs and the New York Stock Exchange have announced that they will open cryptocurrency trading desks and planing to offer Bitcoin swap contracts in a very near future.
Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin announced a speedy implementation of network scaling - sharding. However, changes in the structure and principles of the platform will entail the need for a hard fork network.
Providers FairFX, Exchange4Free, RationalFX, UniPAY, and MoneyMatch will use the API solution xVia technology to make payments through RippleNet and expand into emerging markets.
The second largest Spanish bank, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA), became the world's first financial institution to use blockchain technology to provide its lending services. A loan of EUR 75 million was issued to one of the bank's corporate clients.