Crypto Exchange Bithumb Considers Issuing Its Own Digital Coin

Bitcoin was priced at $8,286.5 by 1:00 AM ET (05:0 0GMT) on the Bitfinex exchange, meaning that it went up 1.0% over the previous 24 hours;; Ethereum which is the world’s second largest cryptocurrency by market cap managed to gain 5.1% at $564.84 on the Bitfinex exchange;; Ripple’s XRP token …

Today, April 20th, latest crypto-related news has two main areas of interest.

Cryptocurrencies have been continuing their rebound and this morning’s figures are looking great for the main cryptocurrencies, as you’ll be able to see below. Other than this, another exciting news is that South Korean-based crypto exchange Bithumb is planning to issue its very own digital coins in Singapore.

Here are the latest figures

  • Bitcoin was priced at $8,286.5 by 1:00 AM ET (05:0 0GMT) on the Bitfinex exchange, meaning that it went up 1.0% over the previous 24 hours;
  • Ethereum which is the world’s second largest cryptocurrency by market cap managed to gain 5.1% at $564.84 on the Bitfinex exchange;
  • Ripple’s XRP token surged 10.7% higher to $0.81957 on the Poloniex;
  • Litecoin went to by 2.3% to $145.0.

Bithumb is taking into consideration its own digital token

Bithumb, on the other hand, reported that it is considering to issue its own digital token, named Bithumb Coin, in an initial coin offering (ICO), local media revealed on Thursday, April 19.

The ICO is set to be conducted in Singapore, and if you’re wondering why this is the chosen location, the reason is that this kind of fundraising route is banned in South Korea. South Korea banned all ICO-related activities in the country back in September 2017 due to a very enhanced risk of financial scams.

The expected launch date and the size of this venture have not yet been disclosed in the reports so we can’t offer more in-depth details for the moment.

The news regarding Bithumb’s plans to issue its own coin come right after reports that Chinese-based crypto exchange Huobi decided to release its own token as well. They released theirs back in January, and it’s called the Huobi Token.

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Cboe Settles Bitcoin Futures Contract with April Expiration

Bitcoin futures contracts are cash-settled and meant to allow investors to develop effective strategies based on the settlement of a single auction price provided by crypto exchange Gemini. For comparison, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), which launched Bitcoin futures products during the …

Cboe Global Markets (Cboe), the futures exchange that launched Bitcoin futures trading in December 2017, conducted the settlement of the Cboe Bitcoin (XBT) futures contract with April expiry, which is the fourth contract settlement carried out since its introduction.

The settlement price was displayed in line with the Gemini1 Exchange Bitcoin auction by 4:00 pm on April 18, 2018, at $8,055.68. On Coinmarketcap, Bitcoin’s price was $7,913 at that time.

Bitcoin futures contracts are cash-settled and meant to allow investors to develop effective strategies based on the settlement of a single auction price provided by crypto exchange Gemini. For comparison, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), which launched Bitcoin futures products during the same period, depends on the so-called Bitcoin Reference Rate. BRR is determined from the average price of several crypto exchanges (including Bitstamp, GDAX, itBit, and Kraken) every day between 3:00 pm and 4:00 pm London time.

Cboe Bitcoin futures represent a type of investment product that does not directly imply ownership of Bitcoin but focuses on its price, using the cryptocurrency as an underlying asset. It was launched on December 10, 2017, about a week before CME’s similar product. As of April 18, over 557,000 Bitcoin futures contracts have been traded across expiries since the day of launch, which equals a notional value of about $5.7 billion.

Cboe’s Bitcoin futures are trade exclusively on its platform. However, investors can access the instruments via other online platforms, among them eTrade, TD Ameritrade, InteractiveBrokers, TradeStation, Wedbush Futures, PhillipCapital, Advantage Futures, and RJO Futures.

The previous settlement was conducted on March 15, with the settlement price determined at $8,236.11. The next one is scheduled for May 16, 2018.

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State of Cryptocurrency Regulations Part 13: What Israel is Doing With Cryptocurrencies

Israel has a very special place in the world of technology. The Startup Nation is unsurprisingly home to some of the best cryptocurrency startups, so it also becomes an important nation to study if one wants to understand the global regulatory scenario of cryptocurrencies. So in this article we’re going to …
Israel
Tel Aviv, Israel

Israel has a very special place in the world of technology. The Startup Nation is unsurprisingly home to some of the best cryptocurrency startups, so it also becomes an important nation to study if one wants to understand the global regulatory scenario of cryptocurrencies. So in this article we’re going to do that. Let’s get stated:

Current Legal Status of Cryptocurrencies in Israel

Cryptocurrencies are legal in Israel for payments and trading both, but doing the former is not an easy job because country’s law doesn’t recognize them as ‘currencies’. Instead, Bitcoin and all other cryptos are treated as “assets” under Israeli law, which makes using them as means of payment more difficult. If any Israeli businesses receive payments in cryptocurrencies, they can’t report those transactions in their account books as ‘payment received’ transactions. Instead, those transaction will have to be reported as barter transactions, which would require extra paperwork.

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Now as far as trading of cryptocurrencies is concerned, it’s permitted but with a steep price tag. Traders are required to pay 25% capital gains tax every time when they sell their crypto assets. Miners, businesses involved in cryptocurrency trading or individual traders who trade cryptocurrencies on a regular basis, on the other hand, are required to report profits and losses just like any normal business and pay Corporate Income Tax on their income. They also need to pay VAT at the rate of 17%.

Cryptocurrency Regulation in Israel: Recent Developments

Israeli cryptocurrency regulation story stared from December last year when country’s stock market regulator announced that it’s planning to de-list cryptocurrency companies from Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. Critical decisions related to cryptocurrency regulation followed the announcement in order given below:

  • In January Bank of Israel (the central bank of country) announced that cryptocurrencies are assets, not currencies.
  • Soon Israel’s tax authority also echoed the words of Central bank and confirmed that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will be taxed as assetsinstead of currencies. Within five days country also started drafting the taxation rules for cryptocurrencies.
  • In February Israeli Tax Authority (ITA) revealed about the taxation rules officially for the first time, reiterating the factthat cryptocurrencies will be taxed just like any other assets at capital gains tax rate of 25% while businesses would be subject to marginal rate of 47%. The authority also instructed investors to report their holdings within 30 days and arrange for prepayment of taxes.
  • Finally, more clarification about the status of cryptocurrencies was provided by Israel Securities Authority (ISA) last month. ISA made it clearthat asset classification of cryptocurrencies doesn’t mean that they will be treated as securities. Instead, they’ll be considered “properties” unless they’re controlled by a centralized entity and are developed for the purpose of investment alone. Any cryptocurrency that is decentralized and has been developed for the purpose of consumption will not be considered a security, ISA said. Therefore, it became clear that according to Israeli law Bitcoin is a property instead of security.

Fortunately, Israeli legal authorities are also quite supportive of cryptocurrency companies as long as they don’t do anything illegal. In February country’s Supreme Court stopped Leumi Bank, one of the largest banks in Israel, from closing the account of a cryptocurrency exchange.

Future of Cryptocurrency Regulation in Israel

Since Israel has just announced its cryptocurrency taxation rules without any complicated regulatory mess, we can expect things to remain so in near future. In the long term they may also introduce a complete regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies as other countries are doing, but that will take some time. So for now Israeli regulatory climate is pretty stable and positive as long as you keep paying the hefty taxes.

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Venture Captalists Pour $133 Million into Stablecoin Startup

I am excited to announce today that Basis (formerly Basecoin) has raised $133M in a private placement from Bain Capital Ventures, GV, Stanley Druckenmiller, Kevin Warsh, Lightspeed, Foundation Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, Wing VC, NFX, Valor Capital, Zhenfund, INBlockchain, Ceyuan Ventures, …
· April 20, 2018 · 2:30 am

ICOs and cryptocurrency startups have been slumping recently due to the bearish signs which were seen in the first quarter of 2018. However, Basis, a promising start-up, has broken that trend by raising over $133 Million U.S. in private funding.


A cryptocurrency startup by the name of Basis (formerly named Basecoin), has just announced that they have raised over $133 Million dollars in funding from well-known venture capitalist firms.

Three Princeton grads just got $133 million from Silicon Valley’s hottest investors for a cryptocurrency that could actually replace money https://t.co/bGrEmadqF3pic.twitter.com/sCiOk3CMpU

— Business Insider (@businessinsider) April 18, 2018

These firms include GV (Google Ventures), Andreessen Horowitz and Sky Capital just to name a few.

Nader Al-Naji, the CEO, and co-founder of Basis, announced on Medium:

I am excited to announce today that Basis (formerly Basecoin) has raised $133M in a private placement from Bain Capital Ventures, GV, Stanley Druckenmiller, Kevin Warsh, Lightspeed, Foundation Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, Wing VC, NFX, Valor Capital, Zhenfund, INBlockchain, Ceyuan Ventures, Sky9 Capital, and many more.

However, reports indicate that Basis started their funding campaign as early as 2017, when cryptocurrencies really began to hit the mainstream.

Basis was founded by three Princeton graduates in hopes of creating a stablecoin which would help to bring stability to the cryptocurrency market.

A common theme seen with cryptocurrencies is their volatility and unpredictable price actions. This has created an environment where more conservative investors are wary of investing due to the higher levels of risk in comparison to stocks or bonds.

cryptocurrency investing

Compared to traditional equity markets, the cryptocurrency market often experiences higher levels of volatility, with 5 percent days being commonplace.

Al-Naji put it best:

The price volatility of cryptocurrencies is one of their biggest barriers to widespread adoption,

Surveys have found that one of the primary reasons why investors are unwilling to put money on the cryptocurrency space, is due to the high risk which they are known for. Since the start of 2017, Bitcoin has gone from $1000 to $20,000 and everywhere in between. Before mainstream adoption arrives, it makes sense that the cryptocurrency market will need to stabilize and find a solid ground as to become more appealing to traditional investors.

By introducing the Basis stablecoin, the Basis team hopes to create an environment where people are actually willing to spend cryptocurrencies instead of trading or ‘HODL’ing them as a store of value.

Basis plans on doing this by creating an algorithm based ‘central bank’ which would allow the value of the currency to inflate and deflate “just like a real currency.”

At the moment, it is unclear exactly how exactly they plan to accomplish this. Although seeing that they have support from leading VC funds, there is a high likelihood that they have promising prototypes which have impressed the eyes of investors.

But What Are Stablecoins?

Stablecoins are cryptocurrencies that use certain on-chain applications to help emulate prices of values that are not specific to the cryptocurrency market. Tether, the most prominent cryptocurrency by market-cap, links their token to the U.S. dollar, with the cryptocurrency trading at just around $1.00 U.S. at all times.

But What Are Stablecoins?

However, stablecoins can also be linked to other values, with some projects looking into linking the price of their stablecoin to gold and a variety of other assets.

The only requirement for stablecoins is that they are linked to a relatively stable asset, something that is often highly liquid and widely accepted. However, there was some news earlier this month, with a new cryptocurrency looking to be linked to Habanero peppers, this being a rare exception to the prior rule.

Stablecoins and their respective companies hope to provide the benefits of the transparent and decentralized blockchain while still holding value with a stable, digital asset.

Unlike, Tether, who has been under fire due to transparency issues, Basis hopes to become the future of stablecoins, which will help propel them to become a larger financial player, in the ever-growing cryptocurrency space. Despite this previous goal, Basis hopes to go even further by reaching beyond the cryptocurrency space to become a source of financial stability all across the world’s markets.

The CEO of Basis stated:

We believe Basis can help solve this problem of currency instability for people in the developing world. By providing anyone with an internet connection access to a stable and secure medium of exchange for the first time, we believe Basis can significantly increase the efficiency of the economies of developing nations.

How will Basis fare against established stablecoins like DAI and Tether? What will make this different than other Stablecoins? Please let us know in the comment section.


Images Courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter

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FINNIES: How a Brisbane-based startup protects global initial coin offerings from hackers

Brisbane-based cyber security company Entersoft has successfully helped launch and protect $US1 billion of initial coin offerings to the world market without a single hack or lost token value. And the security support service for ICOs, which includes anti-phishing and smart contract security, has been …
Business Insider is the proud exclusive media partner for the 2018 Finnies, the annual Fintech Australia awards recognising leadership and innovation in the nation’s financial technology sector. Jobs for NSW is the presenting partner of the Finnies. Read more on the awards. »
Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images

Brisbane-based cyber security company Entersoft has successfully helped launch and protect $US1 billion of initial coin offerings to the world market without a single hack or lost token value.

And the security support service for ICOs, which includes anti-phishing and smart contract security, has been operating for just 10 months.

Entersoft has since mid-2017 helped more than 30 companies launch ICOs, including blockchain startup Havven which in March this year raised $39 million in what is seen as Australia’s largest ICO.

Entersoft helped shut down scams, including 24 phishing sites and 17 Medium pages.

UK-based virtual and augmented reality company ImmVRse in March announced it was using Entersoft to provide cyber security for its upcoming token sale.

Entersoft is one of the entrants for FinTech Australia’s Finnie awards, across the “excellence in cyber security”, “establishing global market presence” and “excellence in fintech support services” categories.

Winners of the 2018 Finnies, the second year of awards, will be announced June 13.

Entersoft employs white hat hackers, some with ex-military intelligence backgrounds, who use their collective 40 years’ of experience to secure ICOs ahead of a launch. It has six staff in its Brisbane office.

Entersoft’s fees are based on a success-based model.

Mohan Gandhi and Paul Kang launched Entersoft in Brisbane in 2014. Indian-born Gandhi previously had a cyber security business in Bangalore in India. Brisbane-born Kang was working on cyber security issues at an Australian construction company.

The two met in India in November 2013 and the next year Gandhi decided to move to Australia to launch Entersoft. The company has since also set up an office in Hong Kong.

Gandhi says there’s extremely strong demand for cyber security services for ICOs

According to some estimates, more than $US400 million has been lost from ICO hacks since 2015.

Mohan Gandhi. Image: supplied.

“The majority of the hacks happen due to phishing scams through fake URLs and social media accounts, a lack of security around token sale websites or through exposing flaws in smart contracts,” Gandhi says.

“We have been able to successfully shut down these scams in all ICOs we have supported.”

Gandhi says the Australian Government should work with the fintech and cyber security industries to encourage people to come to the country to undertake ICO fund-raises.

“With its highly-regarded financial services regulation, and other fintech-friendly policies, Australia should be a natural world destination for ICOs,” says Gandhi.

“Other countries have generally taken a neutral or hostile position to ICOs, while Australia has laid out a roadmap for how they can be undertaken.

“ICO fund-raises can bring significant investment into Australia, as they generally require cyber security and legal support, along with the need to construct a white paper and build technology platforms.

“Despite the recent volatility in digital currencies, there is still huge global interest in ICOs with some many hundreds of these fund-raises expected across the globe over the next six months. This is an industry Australia should be chasing.”

Chinese-based startup InvestDigital in January raised $US23 million in an Australian-based ICO. The legal advisor for this fund raise said: “Australian regulators are particularly well informed in relation to cryptocurrencies and seems to have put more resources into understanding this sector than others.”

Analysis by CoinTelegraph says Australia was one of only four countries, alongside the US, Gibraltar and UAE, that had specifically regulated in favour of ICOs.

In late January, Entersoft beat companies from around the world to be named as the 2017 FinTech Startup of the Year at the Financial Technology Awards in Hong Kong.

* Business Insider is the proud exclusive media partner for the 2018 Finnies, the annual Fintech Australia awards recognising leadership and innovation in the nation’s financial technology sector. We will be bringing you all the best stories from Finnie entrants and Australia’s fintech industry in the lead-up to the gala awards ceremony on June 13. Jobs for NSW is the presenting partner of the Finnies. Find out more here.

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