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Stablecoin Supremacy Battle Heats Up; Binance Lists USDC, Tether Below a Buck

Once up a time there was crypto and fiat. If you wanted to trade in altcoins you had to first buy Bitcoin. Tether changed all that when it came onto the scene on Bitfinex in 2015, today there are a slew of stablecoins all competing for supremacy.

USDC Listed on Binance

The controversy surrounding Tether coupled with its recent volatility has led to the birth of several similar dollar pegged stablecoins. Once has been created by Coinbase and partners at Circle, USD Coin. On Thursday USDC was granted a new realm of legitimacy when Binance, the world’s top crypto exchange by trade volume, announced that it would be listing new pairs.

According to the announcement Binance will be offering two new USDC pairs for Bitcoin and its own Binance Coin (BNB) as of November 17. To quash the auditing concerns that plagued Tether, the exchange added;

“Additionally, for increased transparency, USDC has engaged a top-ranking auditing firm to release monthly balance attestations of the corresponding USDC and USD balances held/issued.”

USD Coin is only a few months old but it is growing in power as an alternative to USDT. It still has a way to go though, with daily volume, according to Coinmarketcap, at $16 million, compared to $4.7 billion in Tether trade. However, with USDC available on Coinbase and now Binance, its usage is expected to grow rapidly especially when more trading pairs are introduced.

According to the company blog “Circle and Coinbase co-founded the CENTRE Consortium with the goal of establishing a standard for fiat on the internet and providing a governance framework and network for the global, mainstream adoption of fiat stablecoins.”

If complete transparency and audits are forthcoming it may not be long before USDC surpasses USDT however the centralization issue raises its head again when one company is holding all of the cards. This is especially true if Tether continues to show volatility and inability to maintain its dollar peg.

Tether in Turmoil

During the recent crypto rout Tether fell to $0.964 whereas USDC actually hit a peak of $1.06. The Gemini Exchange’s GUSD spiked at $1.18 according to CMC. At the time of writing USDC is still trading over a dollar and USDT is under it. Fortune has noted that if Tether collapses “it could deliver a shock to the crypto markets that makes this week’s wipeout look like a hiccup.”

The good news is that there are now several alternatives to Tether in addition to USD Coin, such as TrueUSD (TUSD), Gemini’s own GUSD, Maker DAO’s Dai, and the Paxos Standard Dollar (PAX). So traders are no longer tethered to Tether, go ahead and take your pick, some are even offering more than buck right now.

Image from Shutterstock

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Binance Distributes Both Bitcoin Cash ABC and Bitcoin Cash SV, Opens Trading Today

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Binance Distributes Both Bitcoin Cash ABC and Bitcoin Cash SV, Opens Trading Today

In their announcement, just the day after the hard fork happened, Binance confirmed that they have completed the distribution of both Bitcoin Cash ABC (BCHABC) and Bitcoin Cash SV (BCHSV) to all eligible users.

“BCHABC and BCHSV balances were each distributed to users in a ratio of 1 BCC = 1 BCHABC and 1 BCC = 1 BCHSV, based on the snapshot of all Bitcoin Cash (BCC) balances taken at 2018/11/15 4:40:00 PM (UTC).

Binance said that they will open trading for new BCHABC/BTC, BCHABC/USDT, BCHSV/BTC and BCHSV/USDT trading pairs at 2018/11/16 8:00 AM (UTC).”

They have removed all prior BCC balances from user accounts and all BCC trading pairs have been delisted from the exchange. As they claim, deposits and withdrawals of BCHABC and BCHSV will open after they deem the blockchains and wallets to be usable and stable.

In their announcement before they explained that the the Bitcoin Cash hard fork may result in two different chains, Bitcoin Cash ABC (BCHABC) and Bitcoin Cash SV (BCHSV). They also confirmed that they will halt trading in all existing Bitcoin Cash markets, including BCC/BNB, BCC/BTC, BCC/ETH and BCC/USDT, at 2018/11/15 4:40:00 PM (UTC).

It is already then clear as a day that Binance was preparing for the two potential scenarios:

One scenario included the possibility that the Bitcoin Cash hard fork does not result in a second coin. In that case, Binance would resume trading on all original Bitcoin Cash pairs.

Even though Binance still didn’t make an official announcement, it has quietly created a BCHSV trading pair, which brings us to the second scenario, where Binance is replacing all Bitcoin Cash (BCC) balances with BCHABC and BCHSV, distributing each at a 1:1 ratio based on the aforementioned snapshot taken of Bitcoin Cash (BCC) balances.

We have already wrote about first Bitcoin hard fork that happened in August of 2017. The Bitcoin development team then has disagreed internally over how Bitcoin should scale. Should Bitcoin continue using small blocks, or move to larger block size to accommodate transaction traffic.

The Bitcoin Cash was then imagined as a cryptocurrency that was based upon larger block size for scaling. The two camps parted ways. Most notably, Craig Wright (claims to be Satoshi Nakamoto) and Roger Ver broke off toward Bitcoin Cash evangelism. Since August of 2017, many Bitcoin Cash followers have expressed their views to the public. Views that lobby BCH as the prime candidate for crypto use and adoption.Roger Ver is famous for his efforts to further BCH as the go-to crypto payment option.

It seems that the hash war so far does not have a winner, with both tokens continuing to fight for supremacy in a dramatic software update.

Expecting the Crypto Bull Run

Earlier this week Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao gave the speech where he put his belief to the crypto market saying that it’s still in good position.

Binance registered revenues of over $3 billion in the first half of 2018, while the crypto-market saw its value decrease from $800 billion in January to sub-$200 billion at the time of writing. Pioneer cryptocurrency Bitcoin has fallen by 70 percent, while XRPand Ethereum have seen 80 percent losses. The most affected are altcoins and hyped-ICO tokens, which have dropped over 90-95 percent.

Asked about the reasons of a bull run, Zhao stated:

“Even if I don’t know what will catalyze a bitcoin bull run, I am certain it will happen. Sooner or later, something will trigger it.”

After its ouster from China following the crypto ban in 2017, Binance established its safe haven in the crypto-friendly state of Malta. The crypto exchange is making consistent efforts to foster crypto adoption. The Binance exchange is largely open to list new crypto tokens to its platform. Last month, Binance worked towards adding new stablecoins to source further liquidity in the crypto market.

While Jihan Wu is already congratulating the BCHABC community for the “result”, it may still have a chance to change, although it’s very unlikely.

Despite the lower amount of block, BCHSV still has many pendings, whereas BCHABC has them all cleared and counted. The number of mined blocks has been changing in the past couple of minutes only, which showed that the “pendings” are somehow clearing out.

Bitcoin developer, Jimmy Song, recapped this, what we now know maybe as one of the most anticipated hard fork

He claims both versions of BCH are mining at a loss, which means both miners are bleeding money, unless both “go up a lot versus BTC”.

Still, he notices that both BCHABC and BCHSV are losing about $500K per day collectively in terms of opportunity cost, looking at the exahashes each versions have.

A the end, he concludes that the “winning” BCHABC is actually making the chain more centralized, as they’re trying to avoid “a shadow mining attack”, something that many wouldn’t have thought of.

Despite the unlikelihood of the result would be showing the opposite than the current state, it’s probably best to just wait and see until everything is stabilizing and back to normal.

Binance Distributes Both Bitcoin Cash ABC and Bitcoin Cash SV, Opens Trading Today

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Binance CEO: Crypto Market Still in Good Position, Real Crypto Volume Remains Unknown

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Binance CEO: Crypto Market Still in Good Position, Real Crypto Volume Remains Unknown

Currently, many investors are concerned by the market slump which results in low trade volumes. However, the CEO of Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, is not worried about the current market trends. Changpeng Zhao believes that “sooner or later”, something will trigger a bull run.

Speaking on CNBC Africa’s “Crypto Trader” show, Changpeng Zhao expressed his rather positive attitude towards the current market situation. When Ran NeuNer, CEO of OnChain Capital and “Crypto Trader”, asked what catalysts could be significators of the market’s next bull run, Changpeng Zhao said:

“It is a tough question, I don’t really know how to predict which catalyst will be the trigger.”

Moreover, Zhao said that the real trading volume remains unknown:

“What I’ve heard is the OTC market is at least as large as the live recorded volumes [on exchanges]. So that is at least 50 percent of volumes that is not being reported on CoinMarketCap. But we’re not heading to that business, so we don’t know the real volumes.”

The CEO of Binance explained that the current cooling down of the ICO market is not a bad sign, as the market is still maturing. And many projects are now focused on delivering actual products, services, and tokens, with a view to attract investors. The arrival of institutions “may be a really strong trigger,” according to Zhao.

In September of this year, Binance CEO shared his optimistic view of the crypto market as well. He stated that the crypto market will grow 1000 times and more.

Binance’s Formula for Success

Over the past 11 months, the cryptocurrency market has lost more than 70 percent of its valuation, which is the fourth biggest correction in its 10-year history. Currently, the volume of Binance is down nearly 90 percent since January because of the correction and partially because of the high level of stability demonstrated by Bitcoin over the past three months.

However, the number of active users and the amount of Bitcoin deposits that Binance holds are steadily increasing. Recently, Binance surpassed giants like OKEx and Huobi in terms of trading volume, number of active users, web visitors and also API volume.

Zhao said:

“Compared to January [of 2018], we are probably down 90 percent. So we only have one-tenth of the trading volume compared to what we had in January. But, compared to like a year or two years ago, we’re still trading at huge volumes. Business is still okay, we are still profitable, and we are still a very healthy business.”

He furher added:

“Right now we are still signing up a steady amount of new users every day so from what we are seeing, it’s very healthy actually. The number of new users and the amount of crypto we hold are increasing very steadily. So if you look our cold wallets, the amount of BTC we hold, we have just seen an increase in people depositing Bitcoin to our exchange.”

According to Zhao, “there isn’t a secret recipe”. Binance “may have gotten lucky in its early days”, and this luck was complemented by the exchange’ decent product and customer service staff.

Yesterday, Binance announced the research of a new analytical division, Binance Research, set to prepare institutional-grade research reports to increase transparency and improve the quality of information within the cryptocurrency space.

Binance CEO: Crypto Market Still in Good Position, Real Crypto Volume Remains Unknown

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Mining Giant Bitmain Sues Unknown Hacker for Alleged Theft of $5.5 Million in Crypto

Bitman sues unknown hacker who allegedly stole $5.5 million worth of crypto by using Binance and Bittrex wallets for manipulation of MANA token.

China-based Bitcoin (BTC) mining giant Bitmain has sued an anonymous hacker for the alleged theft of cryptocurrency worth $5.5 million from Bitmain’s account on Binance in April, according to a lawsuit filed with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington at Seattle on Nov. 7.

As stated in the court document, an unknown hacker, referred to as “John Doe” in the case, managed to take over Bitmain’s Binance account and used stored Bitcoin to manipulate the price of altcoin Decentraland (MANA) and then steal the profits.

Bitmain says in the court document that the amount of the company’s losses “exceeds” $5.5 million in “Bitcoin and other digital assets,” and specifying that the defendant was able to steal “approximately 617 BTC.” The document cites that the unauthorized action took place on April 22, when Bitcoin was trading at around $8,935.

The document also explains that as a part of the “scam,” the unknown hacker used two of their own accounts on now-second largest crypto exchange Binance, as well as on Bittrex, with around 2.3 million MANA already acquired on Bittrex. “John Doe” reportedly placed purchase orders from Bitmain’s digital wallet offering to buy MANA “and other digital assets” with Bitmain’s bitcoins at a price that was “far above the going market rate.” The defendant also allegedly further artificially inflated MANA’s price by using Bitmain’s BTC to buy Ethereum (ETH), which was then used to buy MANA.

According to the lawsuit, the hacker further carried out a number of orchestrated trades in the reverse direction between BTC and MANA from Bitmain’s wallet and their own, eventually reportedly completing the theft by transferring BTC from their Bitmain account “ultimately into a digital wallet on the Bittrex cryptocurrency trading platform.”

In Mid-October, Cointelegraph reported that losses caused by hacks of crypto exchanges in the first nine months of 2018 have exceeded the numbers for the whole year of 2017 by 250 percent, with $927 million stolen.

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Binance Ranked First in Exchange Rankings Report, Easily Surpassed Okex, Huobi and Others

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Binance Ranked First in Exchange Rankings Report, Easily Surpassed Okex, Huobi and Others

Crypto-to-crypto exchange Binance has attained the number one spot in global crypto exchange rankings released by the Blockchain Transparency Institute. The ranking chart provides interesting insights into the number of Binance users and trading volumes. Moreover, it also gives a glimpse into the performance of other exchanges over Binance.

As we can see, Binance has surpassed giants like OKEx and Huobi in terms of trading volume, number of active users, web visitors and also API volume. The 24-hour volume at Binance tops over $1 billion with more than 160,000 24-hour web users. The immediate competitor OKEx is still far behind with just $700 million daily volume and just 30,000 daily users.

Leveraging Low Market Cap Crypto Tokens

In the last two years, a number of ICO projects and crypto tokens have made way to the crypto market. Although the success/failure rate of these projects is a different issue, Blockchain Transparency Institute (BTI) notes that exchanges favoring new token listings come to the limelight quite early.

However, extremely high transactions volumes and opaque listing fees of these exchanges is a controversial issue. The BTI researcher team notes that exchanges are still keen on coins with low market cap. This helps them pull huge volumes while providing irresistible offers and creating hype around the crypto token.

“We also found many of these exchanges to be preying on low market cap coins which are desperate for the recognition and volume of a top 10 or 25 exchange. In many of the crypto projects we spoke with, this also involves supplying the exchange with a large amount of tokens which are then used to massively inflate volume numbers on CMC, luring in prospective traders from other exchanges with much lower, but real volume,” the BTI team said.

However, in an effort to legitimize the crypto market, top exchanges like Binance are requesting for high listing fees anywhere between 5 BTC to 60 BTC. Such steps can possibly lead to a decline in the number of suspicious steps taken in the crypto space.

“Our initial report on exchange volumes revealed many top 100 exchanges on Coinmarketcap using wash trading to gain a marketing advantage over their competitors. We found many of these exchanges gaining 80-90% of their referral web traffic from CMC alone. In our recent token project interviews, we have found this allows these exchanges to ask from 5 BTC all the way up to 60 BTC for listing fees.”

Several Good Initiatives from Binance

After its ouster from China following the crypto ban in 2017, Binance established its safe haven in the crypto-friendly state of Malta. The crypto exchange is making consistent efforts to foster crypto adoption. The Binance exchange is largely open to list new crypto tokens to its platform. Last month, Binance worked towards adding new stablecoins to source further liquidity in the crypto market.

Moreover, Binance has also launched its own Blockchain Charity Foundation to promote blockchain-related activities. The foundation is working to reduce the anomalies of listing fees for new crypto tokens. Last month itself, the exchange started donating all of its listing fees to its charity division.

Binance Ranked First in Exchange Rankings Report, Easily Surpassed Okex, Huobi and Others