Bitfinex $1B IEO Raise Could Pressure Bitcoin Lower 7219

On Saturday, reports revealed that Bitfinex, one of the largest crypto exchanges in existence, unveiled official plans to sell $1 billion worth of an asset called LEO. While this seems innocuous, a leading analyst warns that it could be a detriment to Bitcoin (BTC).

As reported by NewsBTC previously, last week, Dovey Wan, the founding partner of Primitive Ventures, revealed that Bitfinex was planning to raise $1 billion through the sale of company-branded crypto tokens through an on-platform initial coin offering, more commonly referred to as an IEO. Some took this news, however, as a joke, noting that there’s no way that the Hong Kong-headquartered exchange would enlist such a strategy, especially after last week’s news that it is in precarious legal and financial standing.

Per a document published by Chinese cryptocurrency investor Zhao Dong, first reported on by The Block, however, the IEO is entirely legit. As Wan revealed, Bitfinex does intend to sell $1 billion of the cryptocurrency. Funnily enough, however, Larry Cermak of The Block has said that $600 million of the funding round has already been allocated to private investors, reported to be industry insiders, Bitcoin whales, and Asian venture capital firms.

On the matter of the token itself, the document hinted that LEO may be very similar in use to Binance Coin (BNB). More specifically, Bitfinex will purportedly spend up to 27% of its monthly profits to purchase LEO tokens, acting somewhat as a dividend for holders. It was also stated that if the exchange gets the $850 million it is owed back from Crypto capital, a Panamanian crypto-centric payment processor that is currently in the middle of an intense legal debacle, and the thousands of Bitcoin lost in a historical hack, Bitfinex will be able to buy back LEO with most of that capital.

Utility-wise, LEO can be used to reduce the rates they pay on the crypto exchange’s market. Taker fees for crypto-to-crypto pairs, lending rates, and withdrawal fees will all purportedly be subsidized for LEO holders.

Negative Bitcoin Price Action Catalyst

While this news seems to be independent of the broader cryptocurrency market, Tom Lee, Fundstrat’s head of research, has postulated that this $1 billion raise could actually be a negative price action catalyst for Bitcoin. The prominent commentator explains that $1 billion worth of new tokens will have a negative impact on BTC and other digital assets, as the market needs to “absorb” an influx of LEO tokens.

Lee, however, seems to be leaning bullish overall, despite the news regarding LEO. Per previous reports from this outlet, the Fundstrat co-founder remarked that the fact that BTC has rallied despite the Tether “FUD” might just be an early sign that “crypto winter is ending.” He adds that if Bitcoin continues to hold strong, failing to react to the constant inundation of Tether-related news for two more weeks, he “would be inclined to argue that this is [another] reason [why] crypto winter is over.” This isn’t the only development making the analyst bullish, however.

During a recent CNBC segment, Lee took a gander at blockchain statistics, specifically that of Bitcoin. He opined that the transactional value of on-chain transfers has turned positive on a year-over-year basis, signifying that BTC is still seeing constant use for its intended purpose, in spite of the brutal conditions in the market. What’s even more positive is the fact that average daily transactions processed on the Bitcoin chain are reaching near-all-time highs, but that the transaction fee market has yet to bubble notably.

Secondly, the long-standing cryptocurrency optimist looked to the fact that BTC has moved above and held on top of its 200-day simple moving average. Throughout Bitcoin’s history, and the history of other liquid, tradable assets, the aforementioned technical level has been seen as a kind of ‘make or break’ point, in that holding above it signals that bulls have the upper hand. Combine this with the fact that Bitcoin’s daily chart recently printed a golden cross, which saw the 50-day simple moving average cross over the 200-day, is another reason, in Lee’s eyes, that “spring” might finally be inbound for digital assets across the board.

Lastly, and arguably most importantly, is the growth in trading activity in cryptocurrency markets, especially over-the-counter (OTC) desks. Citing closed-door conversations, Lee explained:

“We surveyed OTC brokers, who are really important in facilitating institutional investors, and they’ve all talked about a 60% to 70% increase in activity/number of clients and trading volume per client. Fundamentals are improving; technicals are improving, and activity by HODLers too.”

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6 ARRESTED IN THE UK AND NETHERLANDS IN €24 MILLION CRYPTOCURRENCY THEFT 3693

Today, the UK’s South West Regional Cyber Crime Unit (SW RCCU) in a joint operation with the Dutch police (Politie), Europol, Eurojust and the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) has arrested 6 individuals after a 14-month long investigation into a €24 million cryptocurrency theft.

The five men and one woman were arrested in simultaneous warrants this morning at their homes in Charlcombe, Lower Weston and Staverton (UK) and Amsterdam and Rotterdam (the Netherlands).

The theft, which targeted users’ Bitcoin tokens, is believed to have affected at least 4 000 victims in 12 countries, with the numbers continuing to grow.

The investigation relates to typosquatting, where a well-known online cryptocurrency exchange was ‘spoofed’ – or recreated to imitate the genuine site – to gain access to victims’ Bitcoin wallets, stealing their funds and login details.

This case was referred to the European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) and the Joint Cybercrime Action Taskforce (J-CAT) hosted at Europol after the British authorities identified possible suspects living in the Netherlands. Operational support delivered by EC3 since February 2018 allowed the J-CAT to coordinate the international cooperation between the different EU Member States involved.

In addition, operational meetings were organised at Europol’s headquarters between the British and Dutch authorities, allowing for the smooth exchange of intelligence and evidence which led to these successful arrests. A coordination meeting was also held at Eurojust to prepare for the action day.

Bitfinex to Complete Platform Upgrade on June 26 4127

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On Wednesday June 26, both Bitfinex and Ethfinex will be offline for up to seven hours as we commence a platform upgrade designed to enhance the stability and scalability of the iFinex matching engine.

The platform upgrade will require taking all iFinex trading platforms offline for the duration of the maintenance period. This means that traders across both Bitfinex and Ethfinex will be unable to trade, view or access their wallets during the update.

We kindly ask all our traders to plan ahead accordingly and make the necessary account adjustments prior to the start of the platform upgrade.

What this means for traders

The June 26th update is designed specifically for us to be able to deliver a more sophisticated trading experience, further separating Bitfinex from the remainder of the digital asset trading space. This includes, amongst other things, laying the foundation for the launch of derivatives trading on Bitfinex.

Traders across both Bitfinex and Ethfinex will not be required to take any actions:

  • All funds will remain safe and unaffected throughout the platform upgrade, and will not be at risk at any point.
  • No orders will be executed during downtime. All open orders will be kept (regardless of price movements) and resume once the platform is back online.
  • Users will not be liquidated during downtime. However, traders should be aware that if the price moves significantly during this time, they are at risk of liquidation as and when the platform is reopened. In line with this, we kindly ask all traders to review their margin requirements and assess the risk of market movement on their open margin positions before entering the maintenance window.

Whilst the platform upgrade is set to take place on June 26th, this date is largely dependent on broader cryptocurrency market conditions and the chance exists that the upgrade will be postponed if market movements are deemed too volatile.

We appreciate that up to seven hours is a significant length of time in digital asset trading, but we ensure our active user base that we have taken every measure to make this upgrade as seamless as possible.

For more information on the day of the upgrade, please refer to the Bitfinex status page and Twitter account for official progress. We will let our users know 5 minutes before the platform re-opens. Trading will start 10 minutes after the platform is accessible again.

The eToroX Libra Implementation 4353

Facebook’s announcement this week about its cryptocurrency Libra has far-reaching potential. eToroX’s Labs Blockchain Science team, comprising Chief Blockchain Scientist Dr. Omri Ross, Peter Emil Jensen, and Johannes Rude Jensen, was quick off the mark to investigate how our eToro tokenized assets (and the technology behind them) would work on Libra’s initial prototype, and how well it suited our specifications.

By exploring Libra’s capabilities, and using Move IR (the intermediary representative layer of what will eventually be the final programming language), they successfully managed to implement an initial version of eToro tokenized assets on the Libra Network.

Using a previous incarnation of an implementation that targeted Ethereum as a basis, the team wrote and executed a basic implementation for creating digital asset infrastructure (tokenization capabilities) on Libra.

Our Top Two Takeaways

1. In Move, resources (data structure types) cannot be moved or copied — an extremely constructive and beneficial capability, especially for digital assets, since it prevents accidental duplication and loss.

2. Contrary to other blockchain languages, Move does not allow publishing data on behalf of other users. Because of this, it requires users to acknowledge this beforehand, thereby giving users full control of which data is associated with them.

Read the full report of eToroX’s Libra Implementation on Github.

AI and blockchain solution for insurance industry BlockClaim raises seed funding 5437

BlockClaim

BlockClaim, the first hybrid artificial intelligence and blockchain technology solution developed for the insurance industry, has successfully completed its seed funding round with a £500,000 investment.

Developed at Imperial College London, BlockClaim uses the very latest advanced data science techniques to provide insurers with AI-powered fraud filtering and blockchain claim automation. It allows insurers to simultaneously detect fraudulent claims and process claims in record time thanks to groundbreaking capabilities such as intelligent claims-routing and self-learning fraud detection.

Features such as an image recognition AI module can be used to automatically detect damage to vehicles in the event of an accident claim and validate whether it’s genuine or fraudulent. The system can also scan phone and email conversations for inconsistencies and irregularities, helping insurers automatically weed out fraudsters, resolve claims faster and offer a better standard of customer service. BlockClaim delivers a cost per claim reduction of 20% along with significantly reduced settlement times.

The seed funding round attracted investment from global technology investor, Amadeus Capital Partners, whose previous investments include Graphcore. Amadeus is known for its focus on AI and machine learning, cybersecurity, healthcare and SaaS. It has invested over $1 billion since 1997 and specialises in taking high-growth companies global. A number of highly successful insurance executives and business angels also backed BlockClaim in its seed round.

Niels Thoné, CEO of BlockClaim, says, “BlockClaim brings the insurance industry into the digital age with state-of-the-art engineering which couples the power of machines and distributed ledger technology with over two decades of industry experience. The rapid advancement of data science allows us to provide unprecedented objectivity and context automatically in areas that were hitherto only subjective. This makes it much harder for fraudsters to pass through the net.”

DrawBridge Lending Offer Bitcoin SV Non-recourse Loans with No Margin Calls 5098

Bitcoin SV

In another cryptocurrency first, you can now secure loans against your BSV. Chicago-based DrawBridge Lending now offers BSV non-recourse loans with no margin calls. Not in the future but today, as DrawBridge CEO Jason Urban explains: “Recently, we loaned an entity a seven-figure sum secured by BSV and BTC posted with a third party regulated custodian. The interest rate on this transaction was 3%, well below standard market rates. We are able to lend the money at this rate by putting the collateral to work with the use of standard derivative option strategies.”

The main benefit of DrawBridge’s loan product is that the borrower can keep their BSV coin but generate sufficient returns to pay down the cost of funds. The borrower is free to deploy the cash proceeds for its own needs while retaining ownership, and potential price upside, of their coin. In this particular case, BSV price rallied 150% after the loan and the client retained the price appreciation which they would not have been able to do if they had simply liquidated the coin.

This is a noteworthy milestone for the BSV ecosystem for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it demonstrates that trade desks are willing to engage in options trades with BSV coins. This speaks volumes of how BSV is perceived by the professional trading community. Secondly, as the trading of derivatives on the coin becomes more widespread in the BSV ecosystem, finance professionals will create more useful products to deploy and unleash the full potential of the asset.

Calvin Ayre, owner and founder of the Ayre Group and CoinGeek, and supporter of BSV added: “When I first heard about how DrawBridge Lending were expanding into BSV, I was blown away by how obvious the business model was and, obviously, delighted to see further real-life business utility for the only coin that does it all.”

NB: The options are traded on the basis of a standard legal agreement called ISDA Master Agreements. These are common in the traditional financial world but are in the early stages of adoption in the digital world.

Which Coins Will Likely To Be Affected By The Binance Shutdown By The US? 6241

Binance has recently announced that they will no longer allow access of US traders to the exchange, starting September 12, 2019. Although Binance has stated that they will be partnering with Bam Trading to create a US compliant exchange, there is still no time frame on when this will be active – and we can also assume that it will be a minimal function, to begin with for US customers.

In the meantime, we can assume that the volume for the majority of cryptocurrencies that were available to US customers on Binance will now suffer significantly over the next few months as US customers have limited options to trade the cryptocurrencies elsewhere.

The following chart shows which of the coins which are listed on Binance are also listed on other US exchanges. Those include Coinbase, Bittrex, Poloniex, Kraken, HuobiUS, and eToro.

The research is very eye-opening as it shows how the majority of cryptocurrencies will now struggle to find liquidity after the Binance US closure.

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Cryptocurrencies such as AE, HOT, LINK, NANO, ONE, VET, and WTC will have nowhere to trade for US customers. These cryptocurrencies should see a significant drop in volume during the upcoming months as they have nowhere for US customers to trade from, as of writing this. Of the above, Harmony (ONE) was the latest IEO on Binance Launchpad.

Binance Coin (BNB), the native token of Binance, will only be available to trade on eToro. In fact, there are quite a few top-flight coins that will be available to trade on just one US compliant exchange, including ARK, BTT, IOTA, PIVX, and ZIL. These cryptocurrencies are lucky to have one exchange but will still see a significant fall in volume coming from US customers after the Binance anticipated shutdown.

Veteran Altcoins At Less Risk
Although the previously mentioned cryptocurrencies may be in trouble, there is still a handful of cryptocurrencies that will be available on a range of US compliant exchanges that will not be affected by the recent Binance closure. These include cryptocurrencies such as XRP, DASH, XLM, ETC, ZRX, and ZEN – which are all on more than 4 US compliant exchanges.

The bottom line is that the recent Binance closure will send ripples throughout the entire cryptocurrency industry. Binance is the worlds largest cryptocurrency exchange with the highest reported volume. However, a large proportion of this volume is coming from US customers. After the US customers have been restricted, we will most certainly see a substantial drop in the amount of volume coming into the market. What is for sure, is that CZ, the CEO of Binance, is already working on a solution for his US customers.