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Bitcoin.com Applies for CFTC-Regulated Futures Exchange

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Bitcoin.com is trying to get Bitcoin Cash listed on an officially regulated futures exchange in the United States. The asset in question is currently the #4 cryptocurrency on CoinMarketCap with a market cap of $5.3 billion, although this is far smaller than Bitcoin’s market cap of $185.5 billion.

The fork of Bitcoin has been struggling to get recognition ever since splitting off but despite spending a lot of money on marketing and even an exchange, the altcoin has been languishing in the rankings. As David Shin, the head of Bitcoin.com’s exchange unit, says:

“Within a year I want to make that the second- or third-largest market cap. To get from No. 4 to No. 3 or No. 2, we have to see more volume”.

The lack of volume suggests a lack of interest, and Shin claims to be already in talks with the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), which is in charge of futures markets in the United States. Also, Shin wishes to speak to the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), which hosts the biggest Bitcoin futures exchange in the United States.

It is easier said than done to list a cryptocurrency on a United States futures exchange, however. The CFTC has rejected many proposals for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency futures markets, and at this time there are only a couple of Bitcoin futures markets in the United States, which are on CME and Bakkt. Additionally, even if successful, the process of getting a new futures market approved by the CFTC can take many months or sometimes well over a year as was the case with Bakkt.

 

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Bitcoin Whale’s Dump and Buy Moment Could Have Stalled Market’s Bull Run

Bitcoin’s shedding of nearly USD 1,000 over a 24-hour trading period may have been caused by some speculative whale trading according to some market analysts.

Cryptocurrency’s prestige market leader dropped 8% on Monday, causing the market to go into an immediate downspin; one that could have earned a single speculator millions of dollars.

The cause could be a sudden sell of Bitcoin lead by one trader who shifted 25,000 bitcoin, worth more than USD 200 million, from a private wallet into a Coinbase account, according to a crypto-whale tracking Twitter bot. This was followed by 14,000 bitcoin, worth USD 112 million, being moved from Coinbase to another wallet, then a further 11,000 bitcoin, worth USD 88 million.

One Reddit user managed to get down the action as they saw it:

The BTC dump today was completely manufactured. About 20-30 mins before the dump, a whale moved 25k BTC (worth $215M) to Coinbase. About an hour after the dump, a whale moved 14k BTC (worth $112M) from Coinbase to another wallet. 40 mins after that, a whale moved 11k BTC (worth $88M) from Coinbase to another wallet. 15 mins after that, a whale moved 10M USDT from one wallet to another.”

As is the way, altcoins followed suit with Ethereum, XRP, Litecoin, EOS, and Bitcoin Cash all dropping some of their recent gains. Currently at the time of writing Bitcoin is trading at USD 8,034.24.

 

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Kraken Joins Other Exchanges in Delisting Bitcoin SV for “Toxic” Behavior

Kraken Joins Other Exchanges in Delisting Bitcoin SV for

Major US cryptocurrency exchange Kraken has decided to delist Bitcoin SV (BSV) after polling its clients on Twitter over the past few days.

In a largely expected move given the response by other major exchanges, Kraken stated that BSV’s behavior was not in keeping with what it regards as ethical. The California based exchange’s official press release stated that BSV had “…engaged in behavior completely antithetical to everything we at Kraken and the wider crypto community stands for

The alternative crypto’s popularity nosedived after pseudonymous cartoon space-cat “hodlonaut” was threatened with legal action for disputing the legitimacy Craig Wright’s claims to be the founder of Bitcoin.

Since Bitcoin SV forked from Bitcoin Cash in November of last year it has been on a downward spiral. Only major exchange OKEx is continuing to run against popular opinion with rumors that it may be forming a BitcoinSV-centric cryptocurrency exchange called Float SV, with a launch planned for later this month, although it remains to be seen if the tide against BSV is too much and it too caves in and delists, abandoning its offshoot exchange idea in the process.

The poll gathered over 70,000 votes, with 71% of respondents voting to delist the currency. Kraken didn’t hold back on their condemnation of the alternative crypto’s moves to attack those refuting Wright’s claim. Kraken added:

“It started with fraudulent claims, escalating to threats and legal action, with the BSV team suing a number of people speaking out against them. The threats made last week to individual members of the community were the last straw.”

 

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Amazon Streaming Service Twitch Removes Cryptocurrency Payment Choice

Amazon Streaming Service Twitch Removes Cryptocurrency Payment Choice

Amazon streaming service Twitch has reportedly removed its payment options of both Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash.

A Reddit user first noted the change which was then confirmed in the thread by many others, several of whom vowed to cancel their subscriptions due to the removal of both cryptocurrency payment choices. ”Well, I’m taking action now, canceled all my subs + sent them a ticket,” a poster wrote under the handle 1John8Lare.

Twitch had used a BitPay payment gateway for users who wished to pay for their subscriptions with BTC or BCH. The cryptocurrency payment option was first added in mid-2018 and initially included options for Ethereum and Litecoin.

While Twitch has not openly commented on the removal, it has been speculated that it could be due to a low transaction volume and many users not realizing the option even existed.

It was reported in March that the latest software update for Streamlabs, a streaming software popular among Twitch users to receive tips, had removed the platform’s cryptocurrency payment feature also. Streamlab users were able to collect cryptocurrency tips by linking their account to Coinbase.

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Breach Leaves 450,000 Users of Cryptocurrency Exchange Coinmama Vulnerable

Breach Leaves 450,000 Users of Cryptocurrency Exchange Coinmama Vulnerable

A large scale hack affecting 30 companies and a breach of 841 million records inclusive of 450,000 records from cryptocurrency brokerage firm Coinmama were posted on a dark web registry, in a security report on its blog last Friday.

The hacker had reportedly published the hacked users’ data from the previous heist on the dark web’s marketplace and had eight of the recently hacked websites put up for sale at 2.6 bitcoins, or about USD 9,350. The perpetrator may be interested in selling the other data for Bitcoins as with other leaked data.

In the official statement released by the exchange, it said: “We believe the intrusion is limited to about 450,000 email addresses and hashed passwords of users who registered until 5 August 2017.” As at press time on Friday, the exchange said there had been no evidence of the data being used by the perpetrator.

Coinmama currently serves about 1.3 million users as a cryptocurrency brokerage firm that allows users to use their Credit or Master Card to purchase a range of 7 cryptocurrencies to include Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Cardano, and Qtum.

While reports from cybersecurity firms looking into the matter show basic speculations about the hack, the crypto exchange has said that it has taken measures to understand the scope of the hack and has reached out to users who were affected in the breach to update their account security, whilst protecting their funds and data.

Security breaches continue to be a major concern in the crypto industry as bad actors plaguing the industry constitute bad labels. Despite crypto processes involving complex cryptographic algorithms and supposedly airtight security measures being put in place by service providers, users are still tasked with the responsibility of ensuring the security of their data and possibly offline security measures.

Earlier this year, New Zealand cryptocurrency exchange had been hacked and had significant losses, though, a few days back it was given the green light to resume operation. Recently, a cryptocurrency exchange in Istanbul reportedly lost USD 2.4 million to hackers. Although about USD 256,000 had been recovered, still the blight of such occurrences still has its damning effects on the industry.

One of the major concerns of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) with regards to cryptocurrency is custody infrastructure. This has been a core deterrent in approving Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) applications which if approved could steer the industry in the direction of institutional investors.

Cryptocurrency is yet to gain its footing in the mainstream market and while this data heist was done across other non-related ventures, however, for a cryptocurrency-related venture to be caught in the web, further slights the emerging economics of cryptocurrency.

 

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Another Altcoin Developer Makes Satoshi Nakamoto Claim

Yet Another Bitcoin Cash Developer Makes Satoshi Nakamoto Claim

Convincing other people to believe one is Satoshi Nakamoto may appear to be one aim of Bitcoin Cash forks in recent history.

First, it was Craig Wright of Bitcoin SV who declared himself as the legendary Bitcoin creator and now, one developer of Bitcoin Cash ABC (the other fork of Bitcoin Cash) is purporting to be the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin: enter Amaury Sechet.

In a series of Tweets, Sechet tried to lay claim to the Satoshi crown by using a similar technique used by Craig Wright, before the latter’s bluff was called. Sechet wrote some pre-existing signatures of the Bitcoin Network along with pointed instructions to verify them.

While Sechet may be pulling a fast one, when it comes to the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto, there is never a shortage of pretenders hoping to mislead newer members of the Bitcoin community. And when it comes to Bitcoin forkers, abandoning the world’s most popular cryptocurrency doesn’t seem to have lessened their desire to declare themselves its creator.

 

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Coinfloor to Launch Derivative Crypto Futures Amid Tough Market

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Top UK cryptocurrency exchange Coinfloor has told Bloomberg, that it is venturing into the derivatives market despite the seemingly poor market outlook and fierce competition in the futures market, with physically-delivered Bitcoin futures the new emerging derivatives for the asset class.

The CoinfloorEX spinoff of the Coinfloor cryptocurrency exchange will be offering the new physical Bitcoin futures services to sophisticated Asian traders. Meanwhile, it has been renamed to Coin Futures and Lending Exchange (CoinFLEX) for this purpose.

According to the CEO of CoinFLEX Mark Lamb, who is also a co-founder of Coinfloor, “bear cycles in crypto can go on a long time, but ultimately it’s an asset class which is one of the most fascinating, volatile, which is great for traders”. Lamb also downplayed the current market condition, confident that crypto will someday become globally accepted, saying that “it has the potential to be one of the major currencies in the world”.

CoinFLEX will have its base in Hong Kong. The proposed derivatives will include physical futures for Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Ethereum with leveraging of up to 20 times. Comparatively, top cryptocurrency exchange BitMex, also having a sizeable market in Hong Kong, will be a competitor as it also offers leverage of up to 100 times on some of its contracts. However, CoinFLEX has the advantage of physical delivery as against cash settlements that are prone to manipulation.

Prominent crypto movers have been named as members of a consortium owning the project, including Roger Ver, Mike Komaransky and Trading Technologies International Inc. Meanwhile, Coinfloor is also reported to be retaining an equity stake in the new venture.

It would seem that the market for institutional investors is constantly being expanded with multiple derivative options. “Crypto derivatives could become an order of magnitude larger than spot markets and the main thing that’s holding back that growth is the lack of physical delivery,” said Lamb.

Last year, talks about the proposed Bakkt platform – an Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) project – constantly drove up the expectations of cryptocurrency holders and investors. Its recent announcement included a successful seed round funding of over USD 182 million, and a scheduled launch early this year, however, the date “will be amended pursuant to the CFTC’s process and timeline”.

Another derivative platform, ErisX, recently reeled in USD 27.5 million from Fidelity Investments, Nasdaq Ventures, and other investors during a seed funding round. It is also waiting for approval from financial regulators before launching this year.

Recently, the Japanese financial regulator hinted on the possibility of the launch of exchange-traded funds (ETF) that will be based on the new asset class.

 

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Ethereum Set for January Spike, to Start Year on Positive Note With Constantinople

Ethereum Set for January Spike to Start Year On Positive Note with Constantinople

Ethereum has been earmarked by many cryptocurrency experts as heading for a massive spike in value early in 2019 as its Constantinople hard fork approaches.

Ethereum which recently lost its spot as number 1 altcoin by market cap to Ripple has developers hoping that its hard fork scheduled for January will make the transition from Proof of Work (PoW) to Proof of Stake (PoS) more effective and boost ETH’s market value moving into the new year.

In terms of development, Ethereum is lagging, while other competitors such as Ethereum Classic (ETC), Cardano (ADA), Lisk (LSK) and Quantum (QTUM) are progressing with far more intent. Despite “the sky falling” as some commentators have maintained, Joe Lubin, Ethereum co-founder, asserts that Ethereum protocol development is accelerating. He suggests that this will result in “the continued maturation of the token economy, which will see many exciting consumer utility tokens and tokenized security launched in the new year.”

The common view is that ETH is now well positioned for a price boost prior to the release of Constantinople, not only regaining its position as the leading altcoin platform. Clearly, though the Ethereum team is hoping for a more successful outcome than the last hard fork, Bitcoin Cash, leading to heavy market losses and a hash rate war.

Constantinople is scheduled for the middle of January 2019 and designed to increase the speed and efficiency of the Ethereum network, as well as making it more economically viable than the current status quo. Ethereum Classic (ETC) will still remain in play after the fork.

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OKEx Seeks Branding Boost with English Premier League Partnership

Malta-based leading global Bitcoin exchange OKEx has partnered with England’s prestigious football showcase, the Premier League, in order to raise its profile among football supporters.

Prominent trading data outlets cite OKEx as one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. In August 2018, both Live Coin Watch and the CoinMarketCap listed it as the world’s second largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume and markets served.

As a result of the partnership, OKEx will now be able to advertise at major games between high-quality teams. This is seen as a major boon for the company as matches in the Premier League frequently return gates of over 40,000 attendees. Liverpool, for example, has a stadium capacity of 54,000 and is sold out on most games.

Digital banners have become the latest way to advertise at football grounds of teams in the top flight. The exchange will begin with advertising during football matches until 10 December, including those of Arsenal, Chelsea, and Liverpool. OKEx Head of Operations Andy Cheung commented on the new partnership:

“We are very thrilled to see that digital technology is getting more accepted and adopted in the sports industry and we are proud to be part of it… Through the games, we want to connect to the audience, getting them to know more about the applications of digital technology, and we look forward to exploring a longer-term partnership to support the sport.”

To boost its advertising campaign, attendees at the games are encouraged to take photographs of the digital banners and place on OKEx’s Twitter page. Three winners will then be picked to win USD 50 in December.

The exchange has been in hot water recently, having had to cancel a number of transactions resulting in losses for affected customers. It appears that through Bitcoin Cash futures, OKEx has mounted a rapid recovery with recent trades of USD 135 million helping the exchange to bounce back.

Cheung described how sport and cryptocurrency have been finding a common platform, particularly with a number of recent endorsements by clubs and individuals, particularly in the world of football:

“We speak a universal language in the world of football. It is entertaining enough to connect people and unites them, regardless of tribe, race, color or tongue… It is agreeable to say that blockchain technology has similar standards and ethics. It is very amazing to see that digital technology is getting wide acceptance and even used within the sports industry. So, we are very delighted and honored to be part of this feat.”

 

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UK Must Become Global Leader in Crypto Innovation

A UK expert has suggested that Britain must seize the opportunity and push cryptocurrency forward to become a global leader in digital assets. The comments were made by eToro UK managing director Iqbal V Gandham, who advised UK government backbencher Nicky Morgan on the Government’s Treasury Select Committee and its Digital Currencies inquiry.

Morgan served as Economic Secretary to the Treasury from October 2013 to April 2014 and as Financial Secretary to the Treasury from April to July 2014. In July 2017, Morgan was elected Chair of the Treasury Select Committee following the 2017 General Election. She later went on the become Secretary of State for Education.

Gandham claims that the UK must act now to get “ahead of the curve” to “foster innovation” in the cryptocurrency space and that as a global leader has the potential to have a major impact on the financial sector by pushing crypto innovation.

As the flagship cryptocurrency faces another unexpected drop in value with the Bitcoin market cap falling below USD 100 billion for first time since October 2017, the eToro boss suggests that a risk-based approach is needed to push mass adoption of the digital currency arguing, “If the UK is going to have any say in blockchain and crypto innovation and is going to lead the world, it needs to act in 2019“.

The latest drop in Bitcoin’s price can be laid firmly in the lap of the upcoming hard fork of Bitcoin Cash, according to CNBC’s Fast Money commentator Brian Kelly, which broke away from Bitcoin in August of 2017 in order to boost the number of transactions, suggesting, “When you do a software upgrade, everybody usually agrees. But in this particular case, everybody is not agreeing.”

A major sell-off in cryptocurrency markets on Wednesday has continued into this morning’s activity on Asian markets. The aggregate cryptocurrency market capitalization dropped by USD 15 billion over 24 hours Wednesday, according to CoinMarketCap.com.

 

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