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PwC Collaborates With Cred, Co-Founder of the UP Alliance and New USD Stablecoin

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PwC, a global professional services firm, has formed a joint business relationship with Cred to help the marketplace understand key considerations in quickly moving towards enhanced standards that build confidence and trust in the crypto ecosystem and usher in the next 100M users of crypto assets.

“We are excited to work with Cred to help increase industry awareness regarding how the asset backed digital token ecosystem can be secured and scaled on behalf of participants along the digital asset value chain, said Grainne McNamara, US Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Leader, PwC. “We are eager to leverage our proven industry experience to support a quickly developing asset class and its associated market infrastructure components. We believe this exploration of the blockchain infrastructure and associated operational frameworks can help the industry develop an increased level of comfort.”

Many investors are looking for crypto assets that can be pegged to a stable fiat currency such as the US dollar, but these assets require a reserve ledger built for decentralized assets, that can provide 100% transparency and value substantiation. PwC’s experience will provide valuable perspective on how standards can be enhanced to facilitate a more transparent set of reserve functions, stablecoins and deposit and yield products. PWC will also provide valuable insights on governance, security, risk management, and controls to help shape the future of the ecosystem and associated industry practices.

“PwC’s commitment to the crypto community at large sends a very strong message to retail investors, mainstream financial services providers and the crypto enthusiasts that the world is moving toward decentralization, transparency and accountability in a system that will evolve beyond the need for trusted intermediaries,” said Dan Schatt, Cred co-founder and President. “This will help the ecosystem evaluate key considerations as standards are enhanced relative to the creation and management of stablecoins and universal digital assets that support mass adoption of crypto assets.”

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Coinsquare Acquires StellarX, a Global Decentralized Crypto Platform

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Coinsquare, Canada’s cryptocurrency trading platform for trading Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies, announced it has acquired StellarX. The acquisition of StellarX comes on the heels of Coinsquare’s December 2018 acquisition of BlockEQ, which will be rebranded to become the anchor wallet for the StellarX platform.

“We are deeply committed to ensuring that the cryptocurrency market thrives, and adoption is key”, said Cole Diamond, CEO of Coinsquare. “Stellar is the fastest payment network in the world and we see enormous potential to create industry leading services on StellarX to further broader adoption”.

StellarX is the first full-featured trading app for Stellar’s universal marketplace. It operates as a true decentralized exchange, meaning users retain sole custody of their funds, trades are executed against other users, and StellarX has no access to funds.

Megha Bambra, BlockEQ cofounder, will now lead StellarX. Megha and her new team of Toronto-based developers will continue to build out the product roadmap announced by Stellar last fall. As part of the acquisition, StellarX will continue to operate and grow under its own brand.

StellarX will be a wholly owned subsidiary of Coinsquare, based in Bermuda and will look to apply with the regulators there to become licensed to operate and scale its offering under Coinsquare’s compliance leadership.

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Stablecoins Like Gemini Dollar Strengthen the Case for Crypto E-Commerce

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Following Chimpion‘s January announcement that it would offer automatic stablecoin conversion for merchants, chairman Alex Arnaut spoke about the important role that stablecoins will play in the widespread adoption of crypto e-commerce. Arnaut showed particular enthusiasm for the new e-commerce project’s adoption of Gemini dollar (GUSD), the world’s first regulated stablecoin.

“Our team was very excited to add Gemini dollar to our starting lineup of stablecoins and to receive their support for the Chimpion project,” said Arnaut, who made a name for himself in the e-commerce industry as COO of Shopping Cart Elite before launching Chimpion. “As the first regulated stablecoin, Gemini plays a critical role in the crypto e-commerce space. It makes it so merchants can instantly convert crypto payments into a USD equivalent. Gemini dollar is a regulated, U.S. dollar-backed stablecoin, so holders don’t need to be concerned about the whereabouts of their funds.”

With the rapid rise of cryptocurrency in recent years, speculative behavior has caused considerable volatility in the overall market. This created a lot of buzz around cryptocurrency, but made it difficult for merchants to adopt it, as $1,000 worth of Bitcoin one day might be worth $600 the next. The need for a readily-convertible coin with relative stability sparked the emergence of stablecoins, cryptocurrencies backed with stable assets (typically the US dollar).

As a steady store of value, early stablecoins attracted significant popularity. However, the crypto community began to realize that the existence of the US dollars supposedly backing these stablecoins could not be verified, even if the issuer seemed trustworthy.

In 2018, GUSD was launched with regulation from the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS). As its website states, “Gemini dollar combines the creditworthiness and price stability of the U.S. dollar with blockchain technology and the oversight of U.S. regulators.”

With automatic stablecoin conversion, Chimpion merchants can set their wallet to instantly convert payments they receive in cryptocurrency into GUSD or other chosen stablecoin. From there, they can easily convert the stablecoin into their own fiat currency and invest it back into their business. This allows merchants around the world to take advantage of the speed, cost savings, and accessibility of crypto e-commerce without the uncertainty of the crypto market.

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Crypto Survivors Find a Rare Lifeline

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Michael Novogratz

Desperate to survive the collapse of their market, cryptocurrency diehards are reaching into the financial tool kit to raise some old-fashioned cash.

They’ve begun selling derivatives linked to digital tokens to squeeze something out of their depreciating assets. Their need is so acute that ventures run mainly by software developers and tech experts are negotiating the terms with financial pros who earned their chops on Wall Street.

It’s the cost of surviving what’s come to be known as the crypto winter—and a stunning turnaround from the mania that drove Bitcoin up by 1,400 percent in 2017. The most valuable token is down about 80 percent from its peak. For the other side of the trade, it’s an inexpensive way to bet on a rebound.

“Anyone sitting on a stockpile of tokens saw in the bear market of 2018 that their business is at the mercy of crypto prices,” said Sam Bankman-Fried, chief executive officer of Alameda Research, a quantitative trading firm for digital assets in San Francisco. “It can be crucial for those players’ survival to have some cash if digital asset prices go down.”

Miners, who produce new coins and verify transactions, as well as companies that raised money in the initial coin offering boom of 2017, are having to get creative to keep the lights on. They are among the main sellers of derivatives similar to covered call options, a trade popular among stock investors.

Options trading has also been propelled by a growing crowd of ex-Wall Street professionals who have quit traditional assets for crypto. Key players include QCP Capital and Akuna Capital, firms staffed by former employees of hedge funds and high frequency trading shops.

While Bitcoin futures, which were introduced in late 2017, trade on public markets managed by regulated companies such as CME Group Inc., most options trades, which began appearing about six months ago, are private bilateral contracts. That means official statistics are hard to come by.

Interviews with a dozen crypto traders and investors from New York to Sydney yielded a variety of estimates on sales volumes, from $125 million per month to $500 million, and differing views on whether the main users are professional counterparties trading between themselves, or the miners who create the digital assets and other large token holders.

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Why Do the Youth Choose Crypto Currency?

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One of the answers can be found in the book “Generations” published in 1991 by Neil Howe and William Strauss known as the founders of the generational theory. The authors of this theory proposed to define 20-year generational periods, but these are just approximate intervals, they can vary within several years and are a little bit different from the intervals described by other researchers. Certain features developed under specific conditions of child‑raising environment characterize each generation. For example, habits and needs related to quality, speed and amount of information form values and a certain attitude towards life in general. For millennials known as Generation Y (born between 1984 and 2000), digital technologies and the absence of territorial boundaries are an integral part of everyday life. They decide whether a certain topic is interesting in 8–10 seconds. They easily manage their money using mobile apps, receive education in master classes and online courses and prefer flexible working hours and co‑working over office work.

In its research, the Markswebb Rank & Report analytical agency cites numbers, which show the differences in attitudes of Baby Boomers and Generations X, Y and Z towards new technologies. Baby Boomers (born between 1943 and 1963) are tradition-bound people, face‑to‑face communication plays an important role in their lives, and only 11.9% of them pay for goods and services online. The representatives of Generation X (born between 1963 and 1984) are always busy, they actively take part in development of the Internet as they were born at the time of its emergence. Founders of Google, Tesla, Facebook and Amazon belong to Generation X. When it comes to using the Internet, whether it is buying clothes, booking tickets, looking for a job or even buying an apartment or a house, they are about as good as millennials. Today, 53% of all online purchases are made by Generation Y. But Generation X prefers to spend more time on social media than millennials, they like being in front of a personal computer and viewing news feeds on Facebook about 7 hours per week. Social networks as a free way of communication with the outside world have a huge potential for further development of digital civilization.

Generation Z, i.e. those people who were born after 2000, are the main users of new technologies. The digital world belongs to Homelanders, who absorb information faster than modern technologies provide it. According to Marc Prensky, who also studied the generational theory, the oldest representatives of the digital generation are still teenagers between the ages of 14 and 15, and they will have to use, develop and improve the technologies, which are currently being created by millennials.

Choice of the Youth — Crypto Industry

Millennials are inherently multi-tasking, they quite willingly learn about new things, have no experience of financial losses and easily see income opportunities. Such characteristics partially explain the interest shown by Generation Y towards the crypto industry. Technological awareness of millennials also contributes to frequent use of high technologies, execution of various operations using crypto currency, from its creation and mining to raising digital capital.

The youth are more interested in creating and using programs, apps and services for estimating financial strategies and managing funds via smartphones. Unwillingness to spend time on studying complex financial schemes and lack of fundamental knowledge inherent to Baby Boomers and Generation X, who are always engaged in the economic and financial fields, do not mean that Generation Y is losing out to other generations. Millennials simply spend time and resources more efficiently and are very good at high technologies.

The emergence of online investment companies, services and digital platforms greatly facilitates the processes related to carrying out financial operations both for personal use and professional activity.

For example, Wealthfront (2008) makes it possible to transfer options to a diversified portfolio of funds traded on the exchange. In addition, it allows accumulating desired savings (for education, travelling, etc.), groups together all accounts and provides an opportunity to analyze expenses and incomes.

The Betterment functionality (2008) provides an opportunity to automatically accumulate and allocate assets.

Motif Investing (2010) is both an investment broker and a social network where every person can invest in a project according to their own interests.

Oval, startup company (2016), offers to deposit a small amount of money to the user’s digital account for each incoming or outgoing transaction. Thus, regular passive income is ensured.

The Bitbon System (2017) is a digital platform providing an opportunity to invest money or find investors for projects.

Most digital services and platforms issuing their own crypto currencies and tokens, which are based on a democratic and decentralized nature of Blockchain technologies, raise no objections from the youth. Blockchain is a perfect environment for developing a social network: it stores personal data, no intermediaries are necessary to carry out transactions, and interaction among the network participants is absolutely transparent.

Digital currency and blockchain-based platforms are becoming a tool for financial independence of Generations Y and Z as they meet all requirements of freedom and equality.

Reasons to choose crypto currency:

  1. Financial crisis of 2008 created a sense of disappointment in the stock markets. This was also the year when the first crypto coin, Bitcoin, emerged, which gave a new hope to the youth.
  2. Seeming simplicity of investing. You can invest a small amount of money and receive passive income by using your personal computer or other devices (telephone or smartphone).
  3. The decentralized Blockchain system ensures independence from the influence of public corporations on the financial system.
  4. Digital freedom erases boundaries and provides access to information at any time and via any device.
  5. Crypto industry completely changes the labor market.
  6. The value of money changes. Generation Y pays more attention to solving environmental issues, whereas “mining” money is considered to be a computer game.

In 2019, the crypto industry marks its tenth anniversary, and there is a solid foundation for its further development. Principles of the Blockchain functioning and possibilities of its use in various fields are already clear to all generations. The rate of use and acceptance of digital technologies in everyday life mostly depends on understanding their functioning principles. Crypto currency has become a symbol of social justice and a key to the new global financial system.

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Litecoin Foundation and Beam Cooperation Announcement

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The Litecoin Foundation has approached Beam about possible cooperation to implement Mimblewimble via Extension Blocks on Litecoin.

One of Beam’s goals is to advance privacy in cryptocurrency space and promote Mimblewimble protocol, and we are glad to provide Litecoin Foundation with our help and expertise.

We have started exploration towards adding privacy and fungibility to Litecoin by allowing on-chain conversion of regular LTC into a Mimblewimble variant of LTC and vice versa. Upon such conversion, it will be possible to transact with Mimblewimble LTC in complete confidentiality.

It is our joint intention to publish any and all the work done as part of the project under a permissive open source license to let the community benefit from it.

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100X Bitcoin Leverage: PrimeXBT Platform Goes LIVE!

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Today signals a turning point in global cryptocurrency markets and the direction that the sites supporting them are taking, as the doors to one of the world’s most sophisticated new trading platforms swing open, and a waitlist of over 150,000 traders from 175 countries around the world are finally able to see what all of the hype has been about.

PrimeXBT won’t be competing with existing crypto-asset exchanges – instead they’re positioned to use technological foresight and connections within the industry to be dominant, both in the retail and institutional sectors of the market. 

This comes in no small part from the powerful combination of advanced functionality and strategy-driven options, such as leverage-trading of up to 100x, the ability for traders to short-sell cryptos and by providing aggregated liquidity from 12 separate providers, concurrently and instantaneously.

By providing this functionality-suite initially for Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin and EOS, opportunities to short-sell Litecoin or to leverage EOS at 1:100 are uniquely available now on PrimeXBT.  With the addition of many more crypto-assets planned, the potential to enact similar trades on an even broader range of assets will be possible over the coming months.

Unsurprisingly, much of what has already been publicized about PrimeXBT in the lead up to today’s launch outlines the creation of a trading toolset more closely in alignment with large traditional asset trading platforms. 

While only a tiny minority of crypto-based exchanges allow traders to leverage trade assets like Bitcoin or Ethereum, and even fewer provide the ability to short-sell during bear conditions, PrimeXBT has embraced the mantra of selecting and combining the widest range of options available for traders to-date.

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Advanced Features Providing Traders with a Competitive Edge

Incumbent crypto-asset platforms have been slow to realize the market demand for modern features that are suitable for a growing user-base, consisting of ever more sophisticated investors.

Where once simple functionality was enough for a new and developing industry, explosive adoption throughout the past few years and the potential for 2019 to be the biggest growth year yet has seen a maturation of typical trader and the strategies being used.

This, coupled with a move by hedge funds and other institutional traders into crypto-asset markets recently, has created the clear need for next generation trading platforms offering features in-sync with higher-powered trading strategies.

PrimeXBT has taken this challenge in its stride, bucking the trend to produce yet another cookie-cutter exchange, and dramatically superseding what has come before by tailoring a feature-driven interface for modern traders:

  • Fluidly-adjustable leveraging from 1:1 up to an industry-leading 1:100
  • Mechanisms provided for short-selling, not only for BTC pairs, but for ALL assets.
  • Instantly-available volume aggregated from 12 providers simultaneously, ensuring optimal price-acquisition and mitigating against slippage.
  • Lower trading fees than any other major trading platforms, with early-adopters securing fees at ¼ of the cost of trading at Bitfinex.
  • A wide range of specialized order types, including stop-loss, OCO (one-cancels-the-other) and protection orders.
  • The complete removal of any KYC requirements, and anonymous sign-up using an email alone, all within less than 1 minute until accessing trading accounts.
  • Unlike many other platforms, deposits can be made in fiat and cryptocurrencies via Changelly’s integration with PrimeXBT systems.
  • Easy-to-use and easy-to-customize professional user interface, providing multi-screen support, advanced charting software and a comprehensive walkthrough tutorial.
  • Robust financial-industry-grade security protocols, utilizing cold-wallet storage, address whitelisting, cryptographic password hashing and 2-factor authentication as standard on all accounts.

Any one of these features provides greater power to develop profitable strategies – when combined together, they provide the unprecedented ability to access crypto-asset markets with a versatile and comprehensive toolset.

The value of the addition of a broad range of functionality isn’t in the functionality itself, but in the new and untapped opportunities that are provided for traders and investors.

A Unique Feature-Set Facilitating Unique Opportunities

Professional traders understand that opportunity predominantly falls within outlier situations, away from the pack, and by discovering and developing an edge over competitors using any resources available.

What are some of the edge-case opportunities open to the 130,000-strong army marching into PrimeXBT today?

Ability to Short and Leverage ALL of the 6 largest-marketcap cryptocurrencies

No other platform in the world provides the distinct opportunity to generate returns on the top 6 cryptocurrencies, irrespective of market conditions. While shorting is commonplace in traditional markets, PrimeXBT provides the cryptocurrency industry’s widest selection of high-liquidity shortable pairs. 

When combined with the ability to leverage trades at a rate of up to 100 times the initial deposit amount, opportunities that would not be possible otherwise and that have the potential to yield incomparable ROI’s, are available exclusively at PrimeXBT.


Lower fees exposure opportunities in High-Frequency Trading (HFT)

Advanced strategies such as arbitrage and market-making use the cost of platform fees as a determining factor to profitability, and the potential to execute on a particular trader. 

By providing a fee structure lower than other major platforms, PrimeXBT allows traders to customize HFT strategies to include trades that would typically be unprofitable at higher-fee exchanges.

Simultaneously-Opposing Trades Allows for Advanced Risk Management

PrimeXBT provides the unique ability to hold opposing positions concurrently on any given trading pair.  Instead of being forced to enter naked positions with full risk if the trend moves against them, traders are now able to develop strategies that incorporate hedging by placing weighted trades in the counteracting direction.

While features such as leveraging are undoubtedly powerful, the true power lies in developing leveraged positions with calculated risk management utilizing hedging for safety.  This functionality reflects PrimeXBT’s goal to provide professional trading tools to beginners and experts equally.


Instant Access to PrimeXBT – the Time for Waitlists is Over

After months of anticipation, registrations and preparation.. PrimeXBT is now LIVE!

Tens of thousands of new users are logging into their new accounts following the lead up to today’s launch event.  But to get your first look at the platform’s features and user interface, there’s no need to join the back of a waitlist.

Be one of the first to experience the power of PrimeXBT at https://PrimeXBT.com, and for your chance to earn from the wave of new users signing up in the coming months, be a part of the highest-paying crypto platform referral program at https://PrimeXB.com/referral/.

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Coinbase Launches Paypal Withdrawals

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Last year Coinbase announced support for PayPal in the U.S., and today Coinbase expanding that support for PayPal withdrawals to all E.U. customers and customers in European Free Trade Association countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland). Coinbase strive to make Coinbase the safest and easiest place to use cryptocurrency — offering convenient withdrawal options like PayPal is another big step towards that goal.

Before PayPal, SEPA and UK Faster Payments were the only options for European customers to withdraw funds. Part of our commitment to being the safest and easiest is to support the preferred transfer options for our customers around the world. As one of the world’s easiest and most widely-used payment platforms, adding PayPal as a withdrawal option for European customers offers another great option for withdrawing their funds.

To get started, sign in to Coinbase and link your PayPal account to your Coinbase account. Select your PayPal account as a payment option when withdrawing your cash balance to easily move your funds.

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Kraken Acquires Crypto Derivatives Trading Platform and Index Provider, Crypto Facilities, in Nine-figure Deal

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Kraken, consistently rated the most secure digital asset exchange 1 and leader in euro volume since 2013, today announced the acquisition of Crypto Facilities, a world-leading, regulated cryptocurrency trading platform and index provider. The combination creates a global leader in cryptocurrency spot and futures trading.

London-based Crypto Facilities offers individuals and institutions transparent, secure, 24/7 trading on a range of cryptocurrency derivatives. A pioneer in the industry, the firm was the first regulated entity to list futures on Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple XRP, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash. The firm is also the leading cryptocurrency index provider, calculating the CME CF Bitcoin Reference Rate that powers the CME Group’s Bitcoin futures. Users value the high integrity, low latency marketplace that Crypto Facilities provides under the regulatory supervision of the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority.

The acquisition of Crypto Facilities reinforces Kraken’s commitment to meeting client demand for innovative products and services that complement its core spot exchange and white-glove OTC service. Eligible Kraken clients will gain access to futures on six cryptocurrency pairs 2, providing a highly efficient way to trade and hedge cryptocurrency in any market environment.

Trusted by more than 4 million clients in over 190 countries, including professionals, institutions and authorities, Kraken delivers seamless trading in 20 digital assets and 70+ currency pairs, and offers the industry’s most popular advanced charting, trading and portfolio tracking tools through Cryptowatch.

“I’m thrilled to welcome the Crypto Facilities team into the Kraken family,” said Kraken CEO Jesse Powell. “We are excited to introduce eligible clients to these industry leading futures and index products. Over the coming months, our teams will continue to enhance and expand these offerings. We’ve got great stuff in store for traders and institutional clients in 2019.”

Timo Schlaefer, Crypto Facilities CEO and Founder, said: “It has been our mission to build the most sophisticated, powerful and user friendly cryptocurrency trading platform. Teaming up with Kraken allows us to innovate the next generation of products and tremendously boosts the value we are able to provide to our clients.”

Crypto Facilities will remain London-based, benefiting from the regulatory oversight of the Financial Conduct Authority, one of the world’s most forward looking and innovation-focused regulators, and reflecting Kraken’s commitment to the UK as the leading financial and cryptocurrency hub in Europe.

The nine-figure deal is Kraken’s largest acquisition to date and one of the largest the industry has seen. Kraken’s previous acquisitions include major Bitcoin exchanges Coinsetter, Cavirtex and CleverCoin; the award-winning wallet funding service Glidera; and the popular multi-exchange charting, trading and portfolio tracking platform Cryptowatch.

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Crypto Exchange Mystery Deepens as Board Seeks Court Protection

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The Vancouver-based company’s board of directors said Thursday it filed for creditor protection in a Nova Scotia court to gain time to address “significant financial issues” affecting their ability to serve customers, according to a statement on its website. A hearing is scheduled Feb. 5.

“For the past weeks, we have worked extensively to address our liquidity issues, which include attempting to locate and secure our very significant cryptocurrency reserves held in cold wallets, and that are required to satisfy customer cryptocurrency balances on deposit, as well as sourcing a financial institution to accept the bank drafts that are to be transferred to us,” the firm said. “Unfortunately, these efforts have not been successful.”

The statement comes two weeks after QuadrigaCX tweeted of the “sudden passing” of its founder and Chief Executive Officer Gerry Cotten, who it called “a visionary leader who transformed the lives of those around him.”

QuadrigaCX was involved last year in a legal dispute with Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce over about C$26 million ($19.8 million) in cryptocurrency transactions.

All of this has raised speculation on Reddit’s online forums, where posters are wondering aloud if the business was a scam, calling for class-action lawsuits and even concocting conspiracy theories that call into question whether the CEO is even deceased.

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Nasdaq Is Now Working With 7 Cryptocurrency Exchanges

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Cryptocurrency exchanges that want to use Nasdaq’s proprietary surveillance technology need to have more than money. A team of about 20 people contribute to an elaborate due-diligence process aimed at ensuring that any exchange that wants to use the technology, which scans for fraudulent transaction patterns, is technically capable and morally inclined to use the powerful software wisely.

Exchanges that pass the test (and can foot the bill) will be granted access to the same surveillance technology Nasdaq uses to verify to its clients that trading volume is as free from fraud and manipulation as possible.

Seven cryptocurrency exchanges have passed Nasdaq’s muster so far, according to a Nasdaq representative speaking with Forbes, though only two, Gemini and SBI Virtual Currency, have been publicized. As more cryptocurrency exchanges seek to lure new customers, Nasdaq’s technology is already being used to attract institutions and traders accustomed to more mainstream venues.

During a briefing on the state of the industry with members of media today at Nasdaq’s offices, Tony Sio, Nasdaq’s head of exchange and regulator surveillance, discussed the questions every cryptocurrency exchange must answer.

“Historically, we don’t do such a large vetting process for our clients because they are much more well-known,” said Sio. “But as we started working with less well-known names, startups, then we realized we needed to do this check process.”

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