Bitcoin longs outperform shorts on Bitfinex but bullish signals were not identified

The drop was witnessed on Bitfinex and the total BTC shorts on the exchange was yet to recover some of its early year margins. Bitmex was the other …

According to a recent report, it was observed that the capital flowing against Bitcoin in terms of short trading declined severely over the last few months. The drop was witnessed on Bitfinex and the total BTC shorts on the exchange was yet to recover some of its early year margins.

Bitmex was the other exchange which entertained such form of trading, and the same scenario was seen on the exchange as well. Amount of capital placed on bitcoin longs is currently more than the amount placed on bitcoin shorts.

Source: datamish

According to datamish.com, an estimated $200 million worth of BTC [around 20,000 at current BTC prices] was placed on the short margin on Bitfinex which witnessed a major drop in May. Similar drops took place on a couple of occasions afterward and the final slump in July subsequently brought the total margin short below 5000 BTC.

It was believed that the nature of these buy-outs suggested exertion of a single user or a small organized group. The drops also did not occur during rapid price fluctuations as traders may have closed their trades intentionally after paying off losses or getting paid in gains.

The trade against Bitcoin shorts asserted a sense of bullish trend but interestingly the capital going out did not move into long position of Bitcoin. Investments in long positions exhibited progressive growth since July but the increment has been less than 10,000 BTC and it did not balance the estimated 20,000 BTC that came of the depleting BTC shorts.

At press time, the total margin longs on Bitfinex was 27.4K BTC and the total short margins were recorded to be 12.64K BTC. At current prices, over $300 million were bet on Bitcoin longs whereas less than $130 million were bet on Bitcoin shorts by traders.

Mark is a full-time member of the Editorial team of AMBCrypto. With his five-year experience as a business editor for one of the largest dailies in the US, Mark brings sanity and order to our editorial team. Mark is a business major and loves building automotive parts when he’s not working. Email him at mark@ambcrypto.com or editor@ambcrypto.com

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Hodl Hodl Wants You to Clone Its P2P Bitcoin Exchange

Hodl Hodl plans to make its software freely available so anyone can launch their own version of the peer-to-peer bitcoin exchange. Announced …

Hodl Hodl plans to make its software freely available so anyone can launch their own version of the peer-to-peer bitcoin exchange.

Announced Saturday at the Baltic Honeybadger conference in Riga, Latvia, the plan is, in part, a recognition that Hodl Hodl’s business model is vulnerable to regulatory crackdowns.

“History teaches us that if a government wants to shut you down, it will,” Hodl Hodl CEO Max Keidun told CoinDesk.

Open-sourcing the code for its smart contracts, which Hodl Hodl intends to do sometime next year, is a way to deal with the threat, Keidun said, explaining:

“Let’s imagine, our domain gets blocked — some activist would be able to just take the code from Github, fork it and launch something new.”

Already, people in Africa, Asia and Latin America have reached out to the company, asking about such an opportunity, he said. “Peer-to-peer is something emerging markets, in particular, are interested in.”

Rare breed

Hodl Hodl is a rare animal in the 2019 crypto world: as a matter of principle, it focuses on bitcoin (the only cryptocurrency that the company’s founders trust), it doesn’t do know-your-customer (KYC) checks and it has no plan to start.

Why not? “Because we don’t like three-letter abbreviations,” Hodl Hodl’s CTO, Roman Snitko, joked in a slide for his presentation to the Riga conference.

In all seriousness, Hodl Hodl is averse to holding the sensitive personal information that financial institutions are mandated to collect from customers under global anti-money-laundering (AML) regulations.

“We think KYC/AML does more harm by exposing law-abiding users to fraudsters and criminals,” Snitko told CoinDesk. “The information and documents users upload to exchanges has been stolen many times in the past. It also does very little to prevent actual money laundering and criminals from using those services. They always find ways.”

Yet regulators across the globe are tightening the screws on the industry to identify the parties to transactions. Most notably, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an intergovernmental body, has directed its member countries to make exchanges collect and store information about who their customers trade with.

Winds of change

Hodl Hodl’s founders believe they don’t have to identify customers because the exchange never takes custody of users’ funds.

Rather, it lists offers to buy or sell bitcoin and provides an escrow service in which the seller locks bitcoin in a multi-signature smart contract until the buyer sends fiat. Releasing the bitcoin requires 2 out of 3 signatures, belonging to the buyer, seller, and Hodl Hodl (which steps in as a referee when there’s a dispute).

“We don’t touch the crypto, don’t match users automatically and don’t keep funds in our wallets,” Keidun said. “We create multisigs in a public blockchain,”

In the same June guidance, the FATF said even peer-to-peer platforms may be subject to such regulations in cases “where the platform facilitates the exchange.” It’s unclear whether Hodl Hodl’s escrow service counts as “facilitating.”

But the founders see the way the wind is blowing.

“We’re not switching to the open-source model exclusively because of the regulatory pressure,” Snitko told CoinDesk. “In fact, we haven’t experienced any due to the fact that we’re a non-custodial exchange. However, we do foresee regulators becoming more desperate in their attempts to contain the spread of bitcoin and we refuse to be the victims of desperate actions.”

Passing the reins

At some point, Keidun and Snitko might hand management of Hodl Hodl to others so they can focus entirely on supporting and upgrading the code. (The exchange says it has no head office; employees work remotely, serving 10,000 users worldwide.)

“We want to create a community around us, so that at some point we could pass the reins to other people,” Keidun said. There is no timeframe for that yet.

In his Riga presentation, Snitko also announced Hodl Hodl’s intention to open “a bitcoin smart contract app store.”

Another way people can utilize the code is payments for e-commerce, and in the coming months, the team will focus on making the technology plug-and-play, so people who are not proficient coders can easily deploy it in their online store and accept bitcoin.

“We want to launch a platform for bitcoin smart contracts, so that anyone who wants to sell homes online or do [over-the-counter] trades could use it,” Keidun said, adding that it might be a multi-sig with more than three signatures and it can be used for multiple use cases.

Aside from bitcoin-to-fiat trades, Hodl Hodl’s multi-sig escrow is used in a peer-to-peer predictions market when people bet on things like the price of bitcoin or publicly traded stock, sports results and other measurable outcomes. A real estate platform is also in the works, with a launch tentatively scheduled for 2020, Keidun said.

Image of Roman Snitkoon the stage of the Baltic Honeybadger conference by Anna Baydakova for CoinDesk

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Forget French, German, And ECB Warnings, This Is The Real Threat To Bitcoin, Crypto, And …

Bitcoin and crypto investors were put on notice this week when French and German government officials backed European Central Bank (ECB) plans …

Bitcoin and crypto investors were put on notice this week when French and German government officials backed European Central Bank (ECB) plans for the development of a rival to Facebook’s libra and bitcoin.

The ECB has said it’s planning a public digital currency that could leave Facebook’s libra dead in the water.

However, the most serious new threat to bitcoin, cryptocurrency, and the likes of Facebook’s libra, is from Danish politician Margrethe Vestager, who was this week appointed the European Commission’s executive vice president for digital, as well as retaining her role as the E.U.’s competition commissioner.

bitcoin, bitcoin price, Facebook, libra, crypto, Margrethe Vestager, image

Margrethe Vestager, who has made a name for herself as the E.U.’s competition commissioner, was this week handed vast new powers as the European Commission’s executive vice president for digital.

dpa/picture alliance via Getty Images

Earlier this week, both France and Germany said they could block Facebook’s libra in Europe due to the risks it poses to the financial sector while backing the ECB’s proposed development of an alternative public cryptocurrency.

“France and Germany consider that the libra project, as set out in Facebook’s blueprint, fails to convince that those risks will be properly addressed,” France’s Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire and his German counterpart, Olaf Scholz, said in a joint statement issued at a meeting of eurozone finance ministers in Helsinki, it was first reported by Reuters, a newswire.

In June, social media giant Facebook revealed plans for its libra digital currency, something it wants to serve as a global currency, putting it in direct competition with U.S. dollar and provoking the ire of U.S. president Donald Trump.

ECB board member Benoit Coeure, meanwhile, branded Facebook’s libra plans “a wake up call” that would spurring action from the E.U. to create its own bitcoin rival, adding: “We need to step up our thinking on a central bank digital currency.”

“We encourage European central banks to accelerate work on issues around possible public digital currency solutions,” Le Maire and Scholz said.

The bitcoin price has soared so far this year, climbing some 200% as expectations around Facebook’s libra, and bitcoin and cryptocurrency interest from some of the world’s biggest technology companies, has driven a fresh wave of bitcoin investment.

The power of predominantly U.S. tech giants has caused consternation among many European countries in recent years, with Margrethe Vestager taking action against Facebook, iPhone-maker Apple, and search titan Google.

Vestager’s enthusiastic pursuit of these companies has lead to accusations she hates the U.S. from president Trump.

In a worrying development for the likes of Facebook and other ambitious technology companies, Vestager has this week been put in charge of revamping how the E.U. regulates the digital world, and has unparalleled control over the bloc’s bitcoin and crypto policy.

“Margrethe Vestager will coordinate the whole agenda and be the commissioner for competition,” Ursula von der Leyen, the E.U. Commission president-elect, told reporters on Tuesday. “She will work together with the internal market, innovation and youth, transport, health and justice.”

Bitcoin, bitcoin price, crypto, ECB, libra, Facebook, chart

The bitcoin price has rallied so far this year but remains far below its all-time high set in late 2017.

Coindesk

Elsewhere, bitcoin and crypto investors and companies can take some solace in the E.U.’s financial services commissioner, Latvia’s Valdis Dombrovskis, who has appeared approving of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in the past.

Earlier this year, Christine Lagarde, who is set to replace Mario Draghi as president of the ECB, warned that cryptocurrencies are “shaking the system”—something that could signal a change in the ECB’s approach to bitcoin and crypto and potentially spur adoption.

Facebook applied for a payment service license for libra this week in Switzerland, though regulators warned libra could face rules that typically apply to banks.

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CF benchmarks Gets Approval from the British Financial Watchdog

Amongst other things, the initiative was said to be geared at spurring the increased adoption of Bitcoin Cash, while also providing enough of a boost to …

CF Benchmarks, a cryptocurrency index provider, has secured the green light from British financial authorities to become a Benchmark Administrator under the European Benchmarks Regulation (EU BMR) statute.

According to a report published on news medium CoinDesk, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Britain’s financial regulator, provided authorization for CF Benchmarks to be recognized as an administrator on Friday, essentially confirming that the company’s indices can now be used by financial institutions across financial products in Europe.

The company went on to announce the development in an official tweet posted in the early hours of Friday.

Formerly known as Crypto Facilities, CF Benchmarks is noted for being the index provider for the Bitcoin futures contract provided by the CME Group. The company was acquired by cryptocurrency exchange Kraken back in April 2019, in an undisclosed nine-figure deal which the exchange claimed will help its clients to gain access to futures on six crypto trading pairs.

However, it would seem that CF is now expanding its reach across several borders as well. In an interview with the news medium, Sui Chung, the company’s chief executive, hailed this development as being a watershed moment in the European cryptocurrency space.

Moreover, he is right. Besides, being the first crypto benchmark provider to be regulated by the FFC, CF Benchmarks is now the first index provider across all territories within the EU.

“Here in Europe the use of indices and provision of indices is regulated, so for all regulated firms in Europe if they use a benchmark then they have to make sure that it comes from a regulated benchmark provider,” he explained.

Chung added that the European Union has some broad regulatory benchmarks for its financial institutions, adding that indices are usually applied by banking institutions, stock trading firms, and other asset managers for a wide array of reasons. He confirmed that they are all captured in scope of regulatory requirements, adding that this will come into full effect as from January of next year.

Chung also confirmed that there is also a growing interest in the company’s indices. While he refrained from giving any names, he did confirm that several firms have expressed interest in launching financial products that will track an index.

He also touched on the prospect of the looming Brexit having an effect on the company’s regulatory status, claiming that the firm intends to keep its U.K. license regardless of whatever resolutions are reached with the country’s planned exit from the European Union.

Summarily, he said, “Even in a Brexit scenario this particular piece of financial regulation has equivalency status between the U.K. and Europe.”

The development is great or people who would like advanced financial access to cryptocurrencies than the conventional Bitcoin trading, and it further cements the status of cryptocurrencies as viable investment vehicles.

In the early hours of Thursday, Forbes also reported that Bitcion.com, another popular crypto exchange, is now looking into the prospect of launching derivatives products in Bitcoin Cash.

Amongst other things, the initiative was said to be geared at spurring the increased adoption of Bitcoin Cash, while also providing enough of a boost to propel it into the top 3crypto assets by market capitalization.

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Largest Bitcoin ATM Network Coinme Raises New Funding from Ripple’s Xpring

Xpring is Ripple’s developer initiative that focuses its investments in … and cryptocurrency retirement options such as a self-directed IRA and 401(k).

Coinme, which provides kiosks and ATMs for digital currencies, raised $1.5 million in a Series A-1 financing round that included Ripple’s subsidiary Xpring and Blockchain Finance Fund, the company said.

Proceeds from the funding will be used for additional licensing to expand its U.S. and international coverage.

Co-founder and CEO Neil Bergquist told CoinDesk that Coinme is licensed to operate bitcoin ATMs in 29 states and will apply for further state licenses in the near future. As for international markets, Coinme has set its eyes on Europe, Central and South America given the high popularity of cryptocurrencies in these countries, Bergquist added.

Xpring is Ripple’s developer initiative that focuses its investments in blockchain technology companies and is the firm’s first investment in the bitcoin kiosk industry.

Bergquist said Coinme raised $4.5 million in total in its previous financing, including $3.5 million in convertible debt, partly from Coinstar over the last few years, and $1.5 million from a venture fund in early 2017.

With more than 2,500 locations, Coinme currently services the largest bitcoin kiosk network in the world. Coinme began as a bitcoin exchange in 2014 and integrated its services with the coin-to-cash Coinstar machines in January.

The Coinstar kiosks allow customers to exchange bills and coins for a code sent to their mobile device that can be used to redeem up to $2,500 of crypto. The partnership was announced earlier this year with the kiosks mainly placed in public venues such as supermarkets.

Crypto kiosks and Bitcoin ATMs have quickly grown in popularity as coin use proliferates.

Data from Coin ATM Radar shows a nearly five-fold increase in the number of active crypto ATM installations since 2017. Earlier this summer, bitcoin ATM LibertyX surpassed 1,000 kiosks under service.

Outside of the kiosks, Coinme provides concierge trading, high-volume transactions for institutional investors, and cryptocurrency retirement options such as a self-directed IRA and 401(k). Bergquist said one of the services provides white-gloved transaction services to high-net-worth individuals with a minimum investment of $5,000.

The new funding will also go towards developing online wallets for retail investors to help them use cryptocurrencies for payments and remittance.

ATM image via CoinDesk archives

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