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Bitmain IPO Dream Sinks Further After 2018 Q3 Earning Reports

Bitmain IPO Dream Sinks Further After 2018 Q3 Earning Reports

According to Coindesk, cryptocurrency mining rig manufacturer Bitmain lost USD 500 million during its Q3 financials due to a prolonged bear market, citing a recent update on its financial results to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEx).

According to a source, the company fell short of its quarterly earnings by as much as USD 500 million. In a previous report it submitted to the exchange, it reported earnings for the first half of the year as having USD 1 billion as profits.

The company’s portfolio had reportedly dropped in valuation by as much as USD 100 million at the end of the third quarter compared to the beginning of the quarter. Being a major stakeholder in the Bitcoin Cash fork, it held a lot of stake in the asset, however, the market downturn had severely traumatized the price of the asset to as much as a 70% loss. Its other major assets holdings like Bitcoin, Ether, Litecoin, and Dash had lost 39%, 67%, 42.68%, and 64.31% respectively.

Bitmain had filed for an initial public offering (IPO) with HKEx in August 2018 to allow it list its shares with the exchange which may possibly improve its financials. However, the company has experienced many constraints on all sides. On the part of the exchange, it had claimed that the industry is still immature for such a leap, and the resulting earnings report for Bitmain further buttresses its point.

For months, many crypto-related ventures have been up against an uphill battle of weathering the storm stirred by the bearish market of 2018. For the most part of the year, aspirations to return to the all-time high seasons gradually waned, instead, many companies began to adjust. For Bitmain, it had to deal with the internal restructuring that saw a reshuffling of management staff, office closures of subsidiaries, and layoffs of its staff.

The chances of Bitmain’s IPO to gain approval from HKEX gets slimmer with the numerous challenges besetting the mining hardware giant.

 

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Mt Gox Trustee Allegedly Sold $318 Million Worth of Creditor BTC, BCH

Mt Gox Trustee Allegedly Sold 8 Million Worth of Creditor BTC, BCH

A sell transaction of over USD 318 million has been uncovered, according to leaked screenshots of transactions and order book data shared on GoxDox.com of transactions between BitPoint cryptocurrency exchange and Nobuaki Kobayashi, the trustee of now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange Mt Gox.

GoxDox is a site that has supported the cause of the victims of the defunct exchange. The site suggested that the funds may indeed have had something to do with an alleged liquidation of 60,000 Bitcoins and Bitcoin Cash, as the funds were transferred from BitPoint exchange to the trustee’s account, noting: “Unless BitPoint is being really generous, we’d wager the reason they are depositing billions JPY into the trustee’s bank account is because they were hired to sell the Mt Gox Estate’s BTC/BCH.”

It appears that the trustee may have approached Kraken’s CEO Jesse Powell on the matter of liquidation, who however, advised against the move, suggesting that the trustee should do it in an auction or over the counter (OTC) desk considering the volume of BTC to be sold in order for it to have minimal effect on the market.

“Instead of taking Kraken’s advice, the trustee decided to (1) sell, (2) not tell us how he sold, and (3) hire a different so-called ‘cryptocurrency expert’ to sell the BTC/BCH,” the source said.

Kobayashi had been accused of similar actions in 2017 and 2018 and was allegedly the cause of the price decline at the time when he sold off USD 400 million worth of Bitcoins and Bitcoin Cash. However, he denied he was responsible for the price crash saying that:

“Following consultation with cryptocurrency experts, I sold BTC and BCC [BCH], not by an ordinary sale through the BTC/BCC [BCH] exchange, but in a manner that would avoid affecting the market price, while ensuring the security of the transaction to the [greatest] extent possible.” Still, he hasn’t disclosed how he managed the liquidation of the asset.

He further said: “The method of sale of BTC and BCH was approved by the court as well – I would like to refrain from explaining the details of the method of sale.” In his opinion, saying more would affect the future sale.

According to the source, Redditors had pointed out that “the trustee’s withdrawal of BTC from the MtGox estate’s wallets correlate to Jan/Feb drops in BTC;s price”, with supporting documents.

Moreover, after Kobayashi sold USD 400 million of Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash from December 2017 through February 2018, Bitcoin News reported that no more bitcoins will be sold off, which at the time was good news to the creditors as the civil rehabilitation enable them to share BTC 137,891 reserved. However, it remains to be known what led to the recent sell-off if true, and why protocol had been broken with respect to the counsel provided by Powell.

For the creditors, the filing of claims was extended last month for those who didn’t meet the initial deadline. Meanwhile, Mt Gox CEO Mark Karpeles awaits the court’s final verdict with regards to embezzlement and exchange data manipulation charges which netted him USD 3.1 million belonging to customers during the latter months of 2013. The long trial is expected to end on 15 March 2019.

 

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Wikimedia Foundation Partners with Bitpay to Expand Crypto Payments

Wikimedia Foundation Partners with Bitpay to Expand Crypto Payments

The American non-profit and charitable organization behind Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, has partnered with BitPay, a leading company providing Bitcoin payment processing services for merchants.

The partnership will allow the foundation, which has already provided a Bitcoin donations capability to the multilingual, web-based, free encyclopedia, to now add BCH donations through BitPay. BitPay’s chief commercial officer, Sonny Singh, who predicted at the end of last year that a USD 15,000 to USD 20,000 Bitcoin price would be a feasible outcome by the end of 2019, commented on the new partnership:

“Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash are one of the cheapest payment options available so more money goes to charity rather than paying fees. Wikimedia does so much good around the world that it is a privilege to help them raise money.”

Singh was quick to point out that altcoins would be less fortunate than Bitcoin and would “never come back”, and the flagship cryptocurrency’s return to fortune would be driven by large company investment, some of which is already planned.

BitPay’s success has been notable in the industry with over USD 1 billion in transactions over the course of 2018 with record high revenues from transfer fees. Pats Pena, Director of Payments and Operations at Wikimedia Foundation commented on the new step:

“Our donors have shown an increased interest for different cryptocurrencies, so accepting Bitcoin Cash was a natural next step. We accept donations globally, and we strive to provide a large variety of donation options. It’s very important that we can get international donations processed in ways that are efficient and cost-effective.”

 

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UK OTC Firm Gets Derivatives Go Ahead from Regulator

UK OTC Firm Gets Derivatives Go Ahead from Regulator, CFDs

The UK watchdog, Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has granted permission for London based firm B2C2 OTC Ltd to deal in cryptocurrency CFDs.

“Contracts for Difference” (CFDs) are designed for traders to predict crypto price fluctuations allowing them to profit from rising or fallings markets. The FCA’s acceptance of the B2C2 OTC Ltd application is seen as unexpected given the stance of the UK regulator last year when it said that it was unlikely to give any credence to CFDs. At the time it stated:

“Firms conducting regulated activities in cryptocurrency derivatives must, therefore, comply with all applicable rules in the FCA’s Handbook and any relevant provisions in directly applicable European Union regulations.”

B2C2 OTC’s CFD product now offers exposure to Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC) and Ripple (XRP), which the company’s founder Max Boonen suggests gives traders opportunities to become involved in the markets without the “risks associated with crypto custody.”

While the FCA has reportedly been considering a more direct role in managing cryptocurrencies and tokens, a new consultation paper released last week has been seen as an attempt to make things clearer for investors and the cryptocurrency community for future regulatory purposes. A statement from the FCA indicated a need to clarify current guidelines and changes in how cryptocurrencies are regulated, suggesting that the paper “will alert market participants to pertinent issues and should help them better understand whether they need to be authorized and what rules or regulations apply to their business.”

 

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ATMs Still Gaining Popularity Globally with 5 Daily Installations

ATMs Still Gaining Popularity Globally with 5 Daily Installations

The installation of cryptocurrency ATMs continues around the world as it has done throughout 2017, despite the crypto market downturn.

Newly-published figures indicate that new installations have taken the number of extant machines around the globe past the 4,000 total. This illustrates the degree to which users are increasingly needing a convenient way to access their crypto assets.

According to industry statistics aggregator Coin ATM Radar the current installment rate is now 4.9 a day. The new data breaks down the spread of crypto ATMs, suggesting that actual locations have changed little with the majority of the machines still being located in North America, followed by Europe with roughly a third of the North American total which currently has 72% of the global total actively in use.

Hong Kong represents Asia’s biggest market for crypto ATMs, accounting for 0.8% of the world’s active ATMs. In Europe, Austrians and the UK public are the most prominent users of machines on that continent. Lagging behind is Oceania, which includes major crypto user Australia, South America. The African continent has only 0.2% of the global usage, despite an increased interest in cryptocurrencies in 2018.

In the US, the country showing the biggest increase in installations in 2018 with 1,259 new active ATMs, California (473) and Illinois (250) have the largest number of machines in the country. The figures show that Bitcoin is supported by 99.9% of the world’s 4,167 machines.

The token break down shows a  59.5% support for Litecoin (LTC), 49.3% support for Ethereum (ETH) and 33.9% support for Bitcoin Cash (BCH). Dash (DASH) is supported by 17.9% of ATMs, while Monero (XMR), Dogecoin (DOGE) and ZCash (ZEC) are each supported by 3% or less.

 

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Reddit Founder Claims Crypto Market Needs a Crash Before Take Off

Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian has remarked in an interview with CNBC that he believes that a crash in the cryptocurrency market as seen over the past few days is needed in order for the market to stabilize and mature over time.

The Reddit entrepreneur feels that focus on software development and infrastructure within the cryptocurrency industry are important factors in building a stable future. He also suggested that the falls in cryptocurrency prices would have the effect of sifting out the undesirables in the industry from the genuine contributors, and those in for making quick money.

The Reddit founder feels that innovations being created now will have longevity and although blockchain pitches he has received may be fewer in number, Ohanian claims that they have more potential than those he was receiving in 2017.

Over the last few days, Bitcoin has suffered its biggest losses in over eight months. Although, after falling to USD 5,202 on 15 November, after a little price correction, trading picked up today at $5552.17 (time of writing). The newly hard forked BCH has fallen by 15% and is trading at $387.41. Brian Kelly, the founder, and chief executive officer of BKCM, has blamed the hard fork for the crypto market crash. Mati Greenspan from eToro says he saw it coming:

“The movement we saw today seemed to be the run-of-the-mill volatility surrounding Bitcoin and a breakout that’s been weeks coming….It’s difficult to say where it ends. No one can really predict.”

Forbes contributor Clem Chambers noted a correlation to the spike in the bond market:

“The obvious culprit causing this dump is Bitcoin Cash, the ‘wannabe’ Bitcoin usurper, which forked from Bitcoin last year. It is forking again and there are competing forks and all sorts of conniptions are expected. It sounds plausible this is causing the move but the fact the bond market spiked at the same time suggests something else is going on to me.”

Stephen Innes who heads up trading at Asia Pacific of Oanda Corporation suggested that the crash was an even worse scenario than he had anticipated and that pre-BCH online chat had the effect of creating doubt and uncertainty among investors.

Ohanian sticks with his view that the crash is necessary, arguing that during hard times people start to focus on the essentials.

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UNICEF France Now Accepting Multiple Crypto Coin Donations

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has announced that its French office now accepts cryptocurrency donations.

UNICEF France has followed up on other cryptocurrency related initiatives it adopted this year, to add 9 popular digital currencies to its website donation portal. The donation option features most of the popular coins including BCH and BTC.

The United Nations Children’s Fund is a United Nations program headquartered in New York City that provides humanitarian and developmental assistance to children and mothers in developing countries. It is a member of the United Nations Development Group. UNICEF currently works in 190 countries and territories around the globe.

This is not the first case of UNICEF using cryptocurrency to facilitate and fund their projects around the world. Earlier this year the organization announced a program designed to use donors’ computers to raise fiat currency through cryptocurrency mining.

The website, the nucleus of the new project, is called The Hope Page and is able to mine the cryptocurrency Monero using donors’ computer processing power through Coinhive, a crypto-mining service. In February, it launched a similar program to support children in Syria, affected by the lengthy civil war in that country, using donors’ computers to mine Ether. Talking about the latest of the fund’s humanitarian projects to support children around the globe, director of UNICEF France, Sébastien Lyon stated:

“Cryptocurrency and blockchain technology used for charitable purposes offers a new opportunity to appeal to the generosity of the public and continue to develop our operations with children in the countries of intervention.”

Recently, there’s been a significant increase in charity events related to crypto. Some of these have joined a growing establishment of charities accepting Bitcoin donations such as Electronic Frontier Foundation, Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, WikiLeaks, Antiwar.com, Watsi, Water Project, Code to Inspire, Bitgive and Epic Change.

Despite the trend, charities claim they are still underfunded, and opening up to numerous cryptocurrencies is one way of opening up other channels for donors to support essential projects.

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