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Singapore Venture Capital Firm to Launch Blockchain Accelerator for Start-Ups

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Singapore

Singapore venture capital firm Trive Ventures, formerly known as Tri5 Ventures, has unveiled a blockchain accelerator aimed at later-stage start-ups, with the backing of a government agency here.

Its six-month Tribe Accelerator programme will emphasise product development and the mass adoption of blockchain, with decentralised applications or back-end digital solutions that tap distributed ledger technology, said the South-east Asia-focused investor on Tuesday (Dec 4).

Eight start-ups will be picked for the initial cohort, with the incubation programme to kick off in the first quarter of 2019. Partners include government body Enterprise Singapore, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Singapore’s Venture Hub and South Korean blockchain network Icon Foundation.

Trive Ventures, which typically invests in technology start-ups in the seed to Series A funding rounds, previously worked with the Singapore Government as an accredited mentor to early-stage start-ups.

Mr Jonathan Lim, director of start-up and global innovation alliance at Enterprise Singapore, said in a statement provided by Trive Ventures that the agency welcomes more deep-tech accelerators.

“By working with Tribe Accelerator, we hope to create more innovative and disruptive blockchain start-ups to capture growth opportunities locally and overseas,” said Mr Lim.

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Attorney General James Announces Court Order Against “Crypto” Currency Company Under Investigation For Fraud

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Attorney General Letitia James today announced that her office obtained a court order enjoining iFinex Inc., operator of the Bitfinex virtual asset trading platform, and Tether Limited, issuer of the “tether” virtual currency, and their related entities, from further violations of New York law in connection with an ongoing activities that may have defrauded New York investors that trade in virtual or “crypto” currency.

“Our investigation has determined that the operators of the ‘Bitfinex’ trading platform, who also control the ‘tether’ virtual currency, have engaged in a cover-up to hide the apparent loss of $850 million dollars of co-mingled client and corporate funds,” said Attorney General James. “New York state has led the way in requiring virtual currency businesses to operate according to the law. And we will continue to stand-up for investors and seek justice on their behalf when misled or cheated by any of these companies.”

In papers filed with the Manhattan Supreme Court, the Office set forth certain findings of its ongoing investigation into Bitfinex and Tether. Today’s court order requires that the operators of the companies immediately cease further dissipation of the U.S. dollar assets which back “tether” tokens while the Office’s investigation continues, and produce documents and information, including material called for by the Office’s previously-issued investigative subpoenas. The companies are also barred from destroying, deleting, or permitting others to delete, potentially relevant documents and communications, including documents and communications stored on any self-deleting or “ephemeral” computer applications.

In September 2018, the Office of the Attorney General issued its Virtual Markets Integrity Initiative Report, which set forth the findings by the office about the practices of “virtual asset trading platforms” that operate, or were believed to operate, in New York. Among the findings set forth in that Report, the Office highlighted the “substantial potential for conflicts between the interests of the platform, platform insiders, and platform customers.”

In November 2018, the Attorney General issued subpoenas to Bitfinex and Tether, which are owned and operated by the same small group of individuals, and claim not to do business in New York. As alleged in court papers filed by the Attorney General’s office, the Bitfinex trading platform allows New Yorkers to purchase and trade virtual currencies, including the so-called “tether” stablecoin, a virtual currency the companies long claimed was “backed 1-to-1” by U.S. dollars held in cash reserve.

The filings explain how Bitfinex no longer has access to over $850 million dollars of co-mingled client and corporate funds that it handed over, without any written contract or assurance, to a Panamanian entity called “Crypto Capital Corp.,” a loss Bitfinex never disclosed to investors. In order to fill the gap, executives of Bitfinex and Tether engaged in a series of conflicted corporate transactions whereby Bitfinex gave itself access to up to $900 million of Tether’s cash reserves, which Tether for years repeatedly told investors fully backed the tether virtual currency “1-to-1.”

According to the filings, Bitfinex has already taken at least $700 million from Tether’s reserves. Those transactions – which also have not been disclosed to investors – treat Tether’s cash reserves as Bitfinex’s corporate slush fund, and are being used to hide Bitfinex’s massive, undisclosed losses and inability to handle customer withdrawals. The Office’s filings further detail how the companies obfuscated the extent and timing of these corporate transactions during the Office’s investigation.

Issued pursuant to General Business Law section 354, a provision of New York’s Martin Act that confers broad powers on the Attorney General to investigate and halt fraud in connection with securities or commodities, the court order bars the operators of Bitfinex from further draining the cash reserves of Tether, or taking personal distributions or dividends from the reserves. The order also compels the companies to produce relevant documents and information which, to date, they have failed to produce to the Office of the Attorney General. A copy of the court order can be viewed here.

The Attorney General’s Virtual Markets Integrity Initiative Report provides information about virtual asset trading platforms, and the risks to retail investors in these products.

This investigation is being handled by Senior Enforcement Counsel John D. Castiglione and Assistant Attorney General Brian M. Whitehurst of the Investor Protection Bureau, and Assistant Attorney General Johanna Skrzypczyk of the Bureau of Internet and Technology, supervised by Chief Deputy Attorney General for Economic Justice Christopher D’Angelo, Investor Protection Bureau Chief Kevin Wallace, and Bureau of Internet and Technology Chief Kim Berger. Legal Assistant Charmaine Blake is assisting in the investigation.

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Why Merging Cryptocurrency With Today’s Payment Platforms Should Generate Rising Revenue Streams

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Bitcoin Severely

A report by McKinsey & Company on global banking, projected that global payment market revenues are poised to approach $3 Trillion by 2023. As cryptocurrency payment platforms become more common… that number should rise… but the purveyors of traditional payment methods may have to get over their initial reluctance to this new disruptive technology… or they could miss the boat! A recent article in the Bitcoin Exchange Guide addressed this subject:

“One of the longtime fears that the traditional financial world seems to have about cryptocurrency is its potential for overtaking payment systems. People who are comfortable with the archaic system do not want to see a broader market… However, as the technology behind cryptocurrency and blockchain finds more use cases, the disruption of the current payment system may not be far behind. Active Companies in the industry include NetCents Technology Inc. (CSE:NC) (OTC:NTTCF), Xunlei Limited (NASDAQ: XNET), PayPal Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: PYPL), Pareteum Corporation (NASDAQ: TEUM), Riot Blockchain, Inc. (NASDAQ: RIOT).

The report continued: “Lisa Ellis is an analyst with MoffettNathanson… (recently) stated that she believes that cryptocurrency’s global acceptance could change payment systems. To be clear, she does not believe that the big names like Visa, Mastercard and PayPal will be pushed aside anytime soon, but the… idea of crypto replacing (the traditional standards) is worth exploring. Cryptocurrency has this unique quality of remaining independent of any specific country, and the way that it has jumped in as a saving grace to many countries suffering from hyperinflation is a reprieve.

NetCents Technology Inc. (CSE:NC) (OTCPK:NTTCF) (Frankfurt:26N) BREAKING NEWS: NetCents Technology is pleased to announce that it has begun processing cryptocurrency transactions for its first charity partner, HS Aware.

NetCents is a strong believer about being able to invoke change. Change not only on its business side but more importantly throughout our communities with initiatives that positively impact people’s lives. On March 7th, the Company launched its Charity Impact Initiative and we are proud to announce our first charity partnership with HS Aware.

NetCents is providing all registered charities and non-profits free cryptocurrency processing. Any charity that signs up through this initiative is able to accept donations and sell their merchandise and tickets with zero processing fees. Interested charities can visit https://net-cents.com/partners#partners-form to learn more and sign up.

“HS Aware is excited to remain an innovator in the non-profit space by now accepting cryptocurrency donations to fund our future initiatives and events,” stated Maria Goguen, President of HS Aware. “We’ve had a lot of interest to begin accepting donations in crypto to further support the HS community and now through this partnership, we are able to. We are thankful for any and all support members of the community want to give.”

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LedgerX looks to Join Bitcoin Futures Party as it Makes a Big Push Towards Retail

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Hyperledger

In an interview with The Block, LedgerX co-founder Juthica Chou said the firm, which is better known for supporting the trading of options tied to bitcoin, submitted a request for a designated contract market license from regulators, which would allow it to offer the new bitcoin futures product. The announcement comes after a slew of other trading firms have announced similar products, such as Bakkt, ErisX, Seed CX, and CoinFLEX.

In the trading of physically-delivered futures, customers are paid out in bitcoin at the expiration of a contract, whereas cash settled futures pay out in USD. CME Group offers a cash-settled product. In November, LedgerX filed for the necessary license to offer the product to retail clients and it is currently speaking to regulators.

The new futures product is part of a broader retail push for the firm via a new platform, dubbed Omni. The new platform will support trading of futures, swaps, and options for retail users. In recent months, LedgerX has shifted its strategy away from large investors and bulge bracket banks.

“I think at this current time we don’t see the demand growing among really large institutions and banks. We are still a $85 billion market cap for bitcoin — really just the size of a large stock,” Chou said. “Right now we see the opportunity towards the other end of the spectrum.”

The firm counts over 200 institutions as clients for its physically-delivered swaps product. As for the future product it plans to support, Chou said the firm has an advantage over its rivals inasmuch as its been trading similar products longer than anyone else.

“We’ve been doing LedgerX since 2014 … tons of people have announced plans to do this but ultimately we are the only ones that have done it,” she said.

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New French Law Allowing Life Insurers to Offer Investments in Cryptocurrencies

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France

In France a law was recently passed known as the Pacte law (Plan d’action pour la croissance et la transformation des entreprises, Action plan for the growth and transformation of enterprises). It will allow life insurance providers to invest in crypto-currencies and tokens without any limitation on the amount that can be allocated.

Les Echos report that a dual provision of the announced act will allow insurers to invest, this will be done through specialized professional funds, in crypto-assets. FPCIs (Fonds Professionnel de Capital Investissement, Professional Capital Investment Funds) which will also be impacted by the measure.

The Pacte law was passed by the French government this week in the National Assembly allowing the insurers to offer life insurance policies exposed to crypto-monies. They note this is the first type of such a product and will be popular in the country.

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Blockchain

Flexa Raises $14.1 Million to Catapult Retail Blockchain Adoption

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Cryptocurrency

Flexa, the pioneering payment network uniting retail and blockchain technologies, announces today that it has raised $14.1 million in funding, led by Pantera Capital, 1kx, Nima Capital, Access Ventures, and other strategic partners. The funding announcement precedes the company’s public launch in May 2019.

The Flexa network enables retailers to take control of their own payments by reducing costs, overhead, and fraud through frictionless, instantaneous, and reliable blockchain-based settlement. Flexa’s upcoming mobile app also helps customers make practical use of the cryptocurrencies they already own, unlocking the hundreds of billions of dollars stored in the global crypto ecosystem.

“The anti-fraud and cost benefits of global cryptocurrency payments are enormous, but there are many barriers to mainstream adoption for merchants and consumers alike. Flexa’s going to change that, and very quickly,” said Tyler Spalding, Co-Founder and CEO of Flexa. “With this funding, we’ll continue to develop our network infrastructure to support our retail network and strategic partners.”

“Flexa is one of those extremely rare applications in the cryptocurrency space that actually touches consumers in an impactful way while also solving a major problem of high fees in payments today,” said Joey Krug, Chief Investment Officer at Pantera Capital. “I’m excited to see people actually be able to spend their crypto!”

Flexa will announce a major product rollout in May, at the Consensus conference in New York City.

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Bitcoin

Mybitcards.com Announces a New Distribution Partner CardCash.com to Sell its Bitcoin Gift Cards in the USA

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Bitcoin core

Mybitcards.com, the company that makes purchasing Bitcoin as simple as buying a gift card, has today announced a new distribution partner for their Bitcoin Gift Cards: www.CardCash.com.

Mybitcards.com has been successful in helping newcomers and seasoned crypto-investors alike purchase Bitcoin by simply purchasing a gift card and then transferring the purchased Bitcoin into a wallet.

Its leadership in the Bitcoin gift card space is not accidental. Various team members have been creating payments solutions for the crypto industry since 2012, while other team members have been in the gift card and payment processing industry for over 28 years.

This partnership has opened an easy Bitcoin purchasing option to millions of new users without the need to deal with exchanges.

“Partnering with CardCash.com allows more people to buy Bitcoin just like they buy any other gift card — quickly and hassle-free,” says Ed Gieske, CEO of Mybitcards.com™ “It’s a much simpler and quicker way to purchase Bitcoin.”

The addition of Bitcoin Gift Cards™ is a lucrative move for gift card retailers, and even more so for their customers. People already go to CardCash.com looking to buy a gift card at a discount. Since Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have already demonstrated that their price can grow, purchasing a Bitcoin gift card provides an interesting opportunity for investment.

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Jamaica Stock Exchange and Blockstation Sign Historic Agreement Bringing Regulated Digital Asset Trading to Investors

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Blockchain-Link

The Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) is proud to announce the execution of an historic Master Agreement with Blockstation, a leading Canadian FinTech company, becoming one of the first stock exchanges in the world to sign an agreement to enable live trading of digital assets and security tokens in a regulated and secured environment.

Blockstation provides one of the first end-to-end digital asset trading platforms for the stock exchange network, offering compliant listing, trading, clearing and settlement of digital assets and security tokens to the entire ecosystem of broker-dealers, investors, depositories and regulators.

The JSE and Blockstation completed the Master Agreement following a successful live-trading pilot, which included participation from the JSE’s broker-dealer members and the Jamaica Central Securities Depository (JCSD).

“Blockstation has been a good partner over the past year, working closely with us and our stakeholders to ensure that their platform satisfies every requirement,” said Marlene Street Forrest, Managing Director of the JSE. “This is an unprecedented opportunity for the JSE to diversify its product offerings and attract new listings and inbound investments. We welcome retail investors and companies both locally and around the globe to trade digital assets under a safe, efficient and transparent regulatory framework.”

Named the world’s best-performing stock market in 2018 by Bloomberg, JSE stocks have surged nearly 300% in the last five years, more than four times the next best performing national benchmark and over five times the S&P 500’s advance.

The JSE plans to leverage the new agreement with Blockstation to:

  • Support international Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) by providing them with a streamlined and simple process for raising capital in a compliant and transparent manner through security token offerings (STOs).
  • Demonstrate market leadership by showing the financial community that digital assets and cryptocurrencies can be traded safely through trusted broker members like any other security, in full compliance with regulations.
  • Create an inclusive, regulated market that is more accessible to institutions, as well as non-accredited investors who would otherwise be excluded from lucrative opportunities in the digital asset space.
  • Streamline the public disclosure process for SMEs, making it easier and more cost effective to list shares and other assets.

“We are incredibly excited to reach this milestone in our partnership with the JSE, bringing digital assets including cryptocurrency and security tokens to mainstream investors,” said Jai Waterman, Blockstation’s Co-Founder and Chief Enterprise Architect. “Digital assets are the future of capital markets, and our turn-key solution paves the way for traditional financial institutions to easily adopt this new, game-changing asset class. We look forward to being part of the evolution of finance going forward.”

A limited pilot to trade bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) through the JSE and participating broker-dealers will be launched soon. Retail investors can register and reserve their seat at:  https://blockstation.com/pilot

About Jamaica Stock Exchange

The Jamaican Stock Exchange (JSE) is an affiliate member of the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE). The JSE offers a fully electronic, efficient, secure market with world class regulation, trading and clearing systems, and settlement of transactions. More information about the JSE and its subsidiary, the Jamaica Central Securities Depository (JCSD) can be obtained from the JSE website; www.jamstockex.com

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Aave Announces a Recovery Program for “Crypto Addicted”

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Bitcoin

AAVE, a UK-based fintech startup, today revealed its rehabilitation program aimed at helping people who are addicted to cryptocurrency.

During the crypto market peak of last year, a lot of people bought digital currency. Today, most of these individuals now experience hard times, holding their tokens in the hope that the market recovers and value increases. After seeing how crypto winter has harmed the mental and even physical health of many lives, Aave has decided to invest some resources in a solution to help the community: Crypto Harmony Program.

“We are proud of this initiative and convinced that we can make the difference. We saw many people giving up their lives and suffering without even knowing. As an active part of the crypto community, we could not remain passive in front of this and we decided to invest in this project,” said Aave CEO Stani Kulechov.

The program was firstly announced two months ago to restricted groups of people to be tested on some patients. After achieving the desired results and improving the dedicated facilities, the company is now ready to go public and help the entire community. The program consists of 12 steps and lasts from one to three months, depending on the patient’s level of addiction.

“I was completely out of my mind. I heard about Crypto Harmony from one of my friends and my life changed. They helped to get out of this self-destructive cycle, and I started to get real utility out of my coins. For sure, from now on, no more hold, just spend,” said Pablo Candela, one of the first patients at the Zug center.

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#DeleteCoinbase: Best Cryptocurrency Exchanges For Smart Traders

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Trade

Coinbase is one of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, and became the poster child for crypto alongside Bitcoin during the cryptocurrency’s meteoric rise to $20,000 in 2017.

Since then though, Coinbase has seemingly done everything in its power to put itself at risk in the face of increasingly stiff competition in the emerging market. The firm’s asset listing policy has resulted in new assets being added to the platform in an extremely slow and frustrating manner, there was a recent scandal where Coinbase acquired a team of former hackers, and most recently, Coinbase upset its entire user base by increasing their fee structure for regular users with reasonable amounts of capital, while lowering fees for their wealthiest clients.

The recent turmoil created by Coinbase themselves has prompted a social media campaign dubbed #DeleteCoinbase, aimed at convincing Coinbase users into sending their funds to a different exchange, and deleting the Coinbase app from one’s smartphone.

Comparing Other Crypto Exchange Fees Against Coinbase Changes

While Coinbase is faltering, they are potentially creating an opportunity for their fiercest competitors to swoop in, and steal customers and ever-important market share.

For transactions under $100,000, Coinbase has raised their total fees by 33%. Coinbase had been known for its 0% maker fee, with a low taker fee of 0.30%. With the most recent change, Coinbase now charges 0.15% on maker fees and 0.25% on taker fees, taking the total fee from 0.30% to 0.40%.

Another US-based cryptocurrency exchange, Kraken, beats Coinbase but only by a tiny amount, offering 0.14% on maker fees and 0.24% on taker fees. Bitfinex, another popular cryptocurrency exchange sets their maker fees at 0.1% and their taker fees at 0.2%.

Elsewhere in the cryptocurrency market, fees are even lower. At Binance, maker and taker fees are just 0.1% each for any orders under $400,000 or 100 BTC. And that’s not including the 25% discount traders can gain by electing to use BNB to pay for fees.

PrimeXBT, a relative newcomer making waves for their 100x leverage and cutting edge trading tools, appears to offer the most attractive fee structure for the most active traders on the market today. Rounding out their offering, are the lowest fees out of any exchange at 0.05% across any trade type.

Binance and PrimeXBT To Lead Cryptocurrency Game in 2019

Not only should traders consider leaving Coinbase behind due to the ever-growing trading fees that put them far behind the rest of the competition, the Coinbase platform itself leaves a lot to be desired, and leaves crypto traders wanting more from their experience.

While Binance has a great reputation for safety and security, and can open traders up to a massive opportunity in trading altcoins for profit, that profit is currently limited due to the tight trading ranges across the market. Binance only offers simple buying and selling of assets, so there is no way traders can profit from the falling cryptocurrency market. Sell orders don’t increase profits, it only protects capital from dropping due to asset value declining. Throughout the bear market, cryptocurrency prices have only fallen lower and lower, making a buy-to-profit strategy a losing one.

PrimeXBT on the other hand, allows traders to profit from both rising and falling cryptocurrency prices by allowing them to “go long”, or “short” the market. In addition to being able to profit whichever way the trend takes us, PrimeXBT offers 100x leverage.

100x leverage is the most serious trader’s solution to profiting during sideways trading, as we are currently seeing throughout the crypto market. When trading ranges contract and prices consolidate, volatility disappears and price swings are smaller, fewer, and further in between. By margin trading with 100x leverage, traders can profit from even the smallest price movements.

In addition to 100x leverage and the ability to short sell against the market, PrimeXBT has all of the traditional features from other cryptocurrency exchanges, as well as a host of cutting edge features not found anywhere else in the space. Traditional exchange order types such as market, limit, and stop orders join OCO (one cancels the other) orders and protection orders. These advanced order types can help a trader get the best entry or exit price, and generate the most profit possible.

Conclusion

Coinbase cannot remain a market leader if it doesn’t listen to the needs of traders everywhere. Traders want low fees, many assets to choose from, the ability to trade with leverage, and advanced order types.

There is a massive variety of exchanges to choose from each with unique benefits, but the leaders in the cryptocurrency market remain obvious. Traders who are looking to invest in and hold a variety of altcoins for long-term growth should choose Binance. For active traders seeking to generate the most profit from their capital, who want to profit from both rising and falling markets, and generate profit from even the smallest price movements using 100x leverage – PrimeXBT is definitely the place to go.

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CoinMarketCap Cryptocurrency Benchmark Indices to Launch on NASDAQ and Bloomberg

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Crypto Exchange

CoinMarketCap launching two cryptocurrency benchmark indices on NASDAQ GIDS, Bloomberg Terminals, Thomson Reuters Eikon (Refinitiv), and Börse Stuttgart. These indices will be the most comprehensive ones on the market, covering the Top 200 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization, one including Bitcoin, and one without.

Our cryptocurrency benchmark indices will help users to quickly reference and track the general performance of the cryptocurrency market. Including 200 cryptocurrencies weighted by market capitalization, the headline index CMC Crypto 200 Index (CMC200), which includes Bitcoin, essentially covers more than 90% of the global cryptocurrency market. Another index excluding Bitcoin, CMC Crypto 200 ex BTC Index (CMC200EX), has also been created to track the performance of the market without the influence of Bitcoin, a cryptocurrency dominating ~50% of total market capitalization at the time of writing.

“We are excited to launch and share these indices with the market,” says Brandon Chez, CEO of CoinMarketCap, “These indices will promote greater accessibility to cryptocurrency data in an easier-to-digest format. In partnership with Solactive, our chosen index administrator, we hope these professionally-calculated indices will serve to expand the reach of cryptocurrencies into the larger financial markets.” – Brandon Chez, CEO of CoinMarketCap

At CoinMarketCap, we pioneered the use of the terms “market capitalization” in the cryptocurrency space back in 2013, when we needed to a way to quickly compare other cryptocurrencies to Bitcoin. We also created the term “circulating supply”, inspired by the concept of “public float” in equities. We also popularized “Bitcoin dominance” as a quick indicator of Bitcoin’s market capitalization against the value of all other listed cryptocurrencies. With the indices launching today, we aim to capture these data points in a single, easy-to-use index performance number that can efficiently describe the state of the cryptocurrency market.

The market capitalization for each cryptocurrency calculated as “price multiplied by circulating supply”. The circulating supply metric used by CoinMarketCap accounts for locked, reserved or non-saleable coins or tokens that cannot affect the price of a cryptocurrency, and hence are not factored into a cryptocurrency’s market capitalization.

Solactive AG, the independent German index provider, will calculate and administer the CoinMarketCap indices to exacting standards and strictly adhere to the stated methodology, such as rebalancing the index quarterly accordingly. The company counts among its index-calculating capabilities a Cboe Bitcoin Futures index launched in December 2017. Administering over 3,000 custom indices, Solactive is well-placed to provide and uphold the standards required to launch and maintain these comprehensive, market-wide indices in collaboration with CoinMarketCap. Solactive is fully compliant with the IOSCO Principles for Financial Benchmarks.

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