Cryptocurrency

Bitcoin and the crypto market is once again crashing hard

It’s not been a pretty year for anyone who owns Bitcoin, but the last 24 hours has been a period to forget as the cryptocurrency dropped below $100 billion in market cap for the first time in more than a year. You have to go back to the end of October — the 29th to be precise — for the last time that the total circulation of Bitcoin in the market dropped below $100 billion. It looks like this will be the first 24-hour period to hold that rate — so much for the relative price stability that many in the industry had complained about, be careful what you wish for! The dip follows a decline that took Bitcoin’s price below the mark $6,000 for the first time this year — it has since plunged below $5,600. That, in turn, caused havoc in the altcoin market with valuations plummeting double-digit pe...

One of crypto’s longest-running exchanges has been sold

One of the longest-standing crypto exchanges has new owners after Europe-based Bitstamp was sold to South Korea’s Nexon, marking the gaming firm’s second such acquisition. The acquirer is NXMH, a Belgium-based PE and investment firm owned by NXC — the parent of Nexon — and it will take a majority 80 percent stake in the business for an unknown fee. The New York Times’ Nathaniel Popper suggested earlier this year that Bitstamp was in the process of being sold “to South Korean investors” for $400 million, but NXC declined to comment on the price when asked by TechCrunch. NXC acquired 65 percent of Korea-based exchange Korbit one year ago for 91.3 billion KRW, or approximately $79.5 million at the time. Bitstamp was founded in 2011 by Slovenian entrepreneur Nejc Kodrič with an initial €1,000 ...

As Tether flails, cryptocurrency exchanges launch rival stablecoins

The promise of Tether, the digital currency pegged 1:1 to the US dollar, was that it could provide the benefits of a cryptocurrency while providing a fiat -backed peg against price fluctuations. But the currency has fallen below the $1 in recent weeks, right as a range of competing currencies are becoming available to meet the growing interest in the so-called “stablecoin” sector. It’s certainly not a coincidence. Stablecoins are digital currencies pegged to a stable asset, such as gold or fiat currencies, or backed by collateral (that could also be a cryptocurrency), or even an algorithm that governs the approach to expanding and contracting the money supply. The goal of every stablecoin project is to achieve the scale and adoption of modern monetary systems, as a store of value and also ...

Coinbase lets you buy and sell USDC stablecoin

A few weeks after Circle announced the launch of USD Coin (or USDC for short), Coinbase also announced that customers can now buy, sell, send and receive USDC on Coinbase. A USDC is a token that is worth exactly 1 USD. Its value is going to stay stable against USD — hence the name stablecoin for this type of coins. Unlike traditional cryptocurrencies, you can be sure that the value of your USDC wallet isn’t going to fluctuate like crazy. It opens up new possibilities and use cases. While Coinbase lets you hold USD in your Coinbase account, this isn’t safe. If somebody hacks into your account, you could end up with an empty wallet. That’s why you should always try to control the keys of your wallet and transfer your coins to a safer wallet, such as a Ledger wallet or at least a software sol...

Even the world’s largest crypto exchange needs help from traditional VCs

Crypto-anarchists may not like it, but money doesn’t buy everything. Sometimes, you just need the help of a traditional venture capitalist. Binance is the fastest growing company in crypto — having risen to become the world’s largest crypto exchange based on trading volumes in under one year — but even it needs help from the old guard. Earlier today the exchange firm, which is officially headquartered in Malta, announced that it has landed an undisclosed investment from Vertex Ventures, a VC firm belonging to Singapore sovereign fund Temasek. The deal is aimed at launching Binance’s fiat-to-crypto exchange in Singapore which is in beta right now but expected to launch fully, with regulatory compliance, before the end of this year. VCs have long invested in crypto and crypto exchanges — $8 ...

Cryptocurrency wallet startup Cobo raises $13M Series A to enter the U.S. and Southeast Asia

Cobo, a cryptocurrency wallet startup headquartered in Beijing, has raised a $13 million Series A to enter new international markets. The round was led by DHVC and Wu Capital, a family office based in China. Cobo plans to expand in the United States and Southeast Asia, in particular Vietnam and Indonesia. Cobo is also now taking pre-orders for Cobo Vault, a hardware wallet (pictured above) that it claims is military grade. Cobo’s Series A brings its total funding to $20 million so far. Cobo Wallet allows users to store both proof-of-stake and proof-of-work coins. One incentive for people to pick the app over its competitors is the ability to pool proof-of-stake assets with other users so they can increase their chances of mining and validating new blocks on the blockchain. Since launching ...

Blockchain media startup Civil is issuing full refunds to all buyers of its cryptocurrency

Many doubted The Civil Media Company‘s ambitious plan to sell $8 million worth of its cryptocurrency, called CVL.  The skeptics, as it turns out, were right. Civil’s initial coin offering, meant to fund the company’s effort to create a new economy for journalism using the blockchain, failed to attract sufficient interest. The company announced today that it would provide refunds to all CVL token buyers by October 29. Civil’s goal was to sell 34 million CVL tokens for between $8 million and $24 million. The sale began on September 18 and concluded yesterday. Ultimately, 1,012 buyers purchased $1,435,491 worth of CVL tokens. A spokesperson for Civil told TechCrunch an additional 1,738 buyers successfully registered for the sale, but never completed their transaction. Civil isn’t giving up. T...

Binance will disclose listing fees and donate them to its own charity

The biggest cryptocurrency exchange wants to make its coin listing process a bit less sketchy. In a Medium post on Monday, the company said that moving forward it would disclose fees that arise in the process of getting a coin listed on the exchange and donate all listing fees to charity. Specifically, its own charity: Blockchain Charity Foundation, “a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of blockchain-enabled philanthropy towards achieving global sustainable development.” According to the blog post, Binance will allow any team trying to get listed to name its own fee, which the company now calls a “donation.” Binance says that it will not “dictate” that amount nor is there a minimum fee for a project to get listed. The decision to open up about its listing fees is like...

Crypto giant Binance looks to the future with fiat trading and a decentralized exchange

Binance, the one-year-old startup that appeared from nowhere to become the world’s top crypto exchange, is making major moves as it enters the next phase of its business. That includes a plan to offer fiat-to-crypto trading in international markets and the release of a decentralized exchange to complement its current trading site. The company routinely trades more than $1 billion in crypto volumes daily — even in this current bear market — but to date it has only allowed crypto-to-crypto trading. That’s primarily down to the need for regulation in order to offer fiat currency conversation, but that’s set to change. Speaking at a Coindesk event in Singapore last week, CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao revealed plans to launch a slew of local exchanges offering fiat conversation in markets across the ...

It looks like Coinbase is preparing to add a lot more cryptocurrencies

Coinbase aspires to be the New York Stock Exchange of crypto, and it is taking a small — but not insignificant – step to offering a lot more cryptocurrencies after it revamped the process of listing new digital assets. The exchange currently only supports just five cryptocurrencies — Ethereum, Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum Classic and Litecoin — and the process of adding each one has been gradual. The company would announce plans, and then later announce when listing the asset. The idea being to reduce the potential to send the value of a token skyrocketing. (Since support from Coinbase potentially adds a lot more trading volume.) That clearly isn’t a sustainable process if Coinbase is to add “hundreds” of tokens, as CEO Brian Amstrong told an audience at TechCrunch Disrupt it eventually...

Singapore is the crypto sandbox that Asia needs

Singapore Blockchain Week happened this past week. While there have been a few announcements from companies, some of the most interesting updates have come from regulators, and specifically, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). The financial regulator openly discussed its views on cryptocurrency and plans to develop blockchain technology locally. For those who are unfamiliar, Singapore historically has been a financial hub in Southeast Asia, but now has also gradually become the crypto hub of Asia. Compared to the rest of Asia and the rest of the world, the regulators in Singapore are well-informed and more transparent about their views on blockchain and cryptocurrency. While regulatory uncertainties still loom over Korea and Japan, in Southeast Asia, the MAS has already released its...

The 21-day bitcoin challenge

There is a documentary series currently airing on iQiyi, China’s Netflix equivalent, about a Chinese bitcoin enthusiast who attempts to survive 21 days by merely living on 0.21 bitcoin, or $1,300, without any help or donations. He You Bing is traveling and carrying nothing with her, and she has to retrieve food, housing, and basic necessities all through bitcoin transactions done on her phone. Interestingly, she is also doing this challenge in some of China’s largest cities including Beijing and Shenzhen. Her name is something of a nom de guerre – a nickname, with “You Bing” directly translating to “having a disease,” and the whole name alludes to the girl’s over-enthusiasm for bitcoin. It’s a fascinating time for making this attempt. In the last few weeks, there have been numerous reports...