Coin Desk

Ripple Partners With Chinese University for Blockchain Research Program

Coin Desk, RIPPLE
Ripple has partnered with a top Chinese university for a blockchain research program. The Institute for Fintech Research (THUIFR) at Tsinghua University in Beijing announced last week that the scholarship program would focus on global regulatory policies and blockchain development. Selected students will also get to participate in corporate visits and events. Ivy Gao, director of international cooperation and development at the university, said that the initiative is aimed to provide students a “comprehensive view” of global blockchain regulatory policies, adding that he believes it would help students with their “future research or career in the field of blockchain technology.” Eric van Miltenburg, Ripple’s SVP of global operations, said: “The program’s goal – to provide students with opp
Seed CX Launches Spot Bitcoin Trading in Bid for Big-Money Investors

Seed CX Launches Spot Bitcoin Trading in Bid for Big-Money Investors

Coin Desk
Seed CX has taken its first big step to bring institutional investors to the crypto space. The Chicago-based exchange startup announced Wednesday that it had launched a bitcoin spot trading market for its major clients, offering a regulated platform with “a deep book of liquidity.” Interested clients can access the market through a web API, a graphical user interface or the financial information exchange (FIX) protocol, according to a press release. Seed CX, which has raised $25 million since its inception in 2015, is now offering a licensed exchange for institutional trading and settlement. At some point in the near future, it will begin offering a market for crypto derivatives regulated by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). “We’re offering truly institutional level sup

Gold Price May Offer Clues About Next Big Bitcoin Move

BITCOIN, Coin Desk
Bitcoin (BTC) traders could get cues from an apparent negative correlation that has developed between bitcoin and gold prices. Gold picked up a strong bid at $1,196 on Nov. 13 and jumped to $1,300 on Jan. 4, possibly due to a sell-off in the weakening U.S. dollar. The greenback was down against most currencies in last two months of 2018 on growing speculation that the Federal Reserve (Fed) could decrease or pause interest rate hikes in 2019. Bitcoin, however, did not benefit from that broad-based sell-off in the dollar. The cryptocurrency instead saw a revived bear market with a convincing move below $6,000 on Nov. 14 – a day after gold found takers around $1,200 per ounce. That price action indicates that the two assets are inversely correlated. Validating that argument is the 90-day corr
Pennsylvania Clarifies That Crypto Exchanges Are Not Money Transmitters

Pennsylvania Clarifies That Crypto Exchanges Are Not Money Transmitters

Coin Desk
Pennsylvania’s Department of Banking and Securities (DoBS) has clarified that crypto exchanges and service providers do not require a money transmission license to operate. The DoBS published the new guidance for the U.S. state’s crypto industry on Wednesday, following a number of enquiries from businesses, it said. The department explained that as bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are not “money,” the Money Transmission Business Licensing Law or the Money Transmitter Act of Pennsylvania does not apply to crypto trading platforms. According to the act, only fiat currency or the U.S. government-issued currency is considered money. “To date, no jurisdiction in the United States has designated virtual currency as legal tender,” the department said. The act states that parties conducting the
Bitfury Releases Merchant, Developer Tools for Bitcoin’s Lighting Network

Bitfury Releases Merchant, Developer Tools for Bitcoin’s Lighting Network

BITCOIN, Coin Desk
Blockchain technology firm Bitfury has released a suite tools aimed to drive adoption of bitcoin’s lightning network. Although the network is still under development, Bitfury announced a comprehensive product list to support the tech on Wednesday, including an open-source lightning wallet and hardware and software tools for merchants and payment processors to accept payments. It also released developer tools and a public lightning network node called “The Peach” to let bitcoin users open or create payment channels. The product bundle is designed to make using the lightning network “easier for vendors and consumers to use,” Bitfury said. A layer-2 payments technology that debuted on bitcoin early last year, lightning enables transactions with near-instantaneous confirmation speeds without h
Crypto Exchange Bithumb Seeks US Listing via Reverse Merger Deal

Crypto Exchange Bithumb Seeks US Listing via Reverse Merger Deal

Coin Desk
Bithumb, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges by trading volume, is looking to go public in the U.S. through a reverse-merger route. Blockchain Industries, an investment firm focusing on the crypto and blockchain industry and traded on the U.S over-the-counter markets, announced Tuesday that it had signed a binding letter of intent (LoI) agreement with Singapore-based BTHMB Holdings, the holding company of Bithumb, for the reverse merger deal. A reverse merger is also known as a reverse initial public offering (IPO), wherein a private company acquires a publicly-listed company to bypass the lengthy and complex process of a conventional IPO. Once the deal comes through, the combined entity would be known as Blockchain Exchange Alliance (BXA), potentially becoming the first U.S.-liste
50 Cut as $60 Million Blockchain Project Nebulas Lays Off 60% of Staff

50 Cut as $60 Million Blockchain Project Nebulas Lays Off 60% of Staff

Coin Desk
The company behind the Nebulas blockchain project has gone from a team of 80 people to just 30, CoinDesk has learned. After gaining attention in August for its decision to delay its token distribution, including holding onto founder tokens for a period of 10 years, the company has undergone a series of layoffs that have seen peripheral elements of its roadmap shelved, at least pending a recovery in the market for Nebulas’ NAS token. “One of the reasons was the market price kept going down,” Becky Lu, a spokesperson for the company, told CoinDesk. NAS, meant to power a protocol that is itself seeking to measure and score other blockchains, debuted at $2, but is currently selling for a little more than a quarter of that price now, according to CoinMarketCap. Once a top-100 cryptocurrency, th
Bakkt Makes Initial Hiring Push for Bitcoin Futures Exchange

Bakkt Makes Initial Hiring Push for Bitcoin Futures Exchange

Coin Desk
Ahead of its hotly anticipated launch, bitcoin futures exchange Bakkt has launched a hiring campaign. Eight new job posting were published Tuesday on the company’s website. Bakkt is looking for several experienced software developers, including mobile and blockchain developers; an institutional sales manager with experience in North America or Asia; and three higher-level positions including a director of finance, director of security engineering and director for blockchain engineering. An institutional-grade regulated exchange for crypto derivatives founded by the Intercontinental Exchange (the New York Stock Exchange’s parent company), Bakkt was expected to go live on December 12 last year, but the launch was postponed twice. It was initially delayed to until January 24, with the company
What We Learned in 100 Crypto Talks With Institutional Investors

What We Learned in 100 Crypto Talks With Institutional Investors

Coin Desk
Jeff Dorman, partner at crypto asset management firm Arca Funds, spent 18 years on Wall Street and in fintech before turning his focus to developing crypto asset strategies and products.  This article originally appeared in ‘Institutional Crypto,’ a weekly CoinDesk newsletter focused on the nexus of Wall Street and crypto assets. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own.  —————— Through meetings with over 100 institutional investors over the past four months from California to New York, one thing has stood out most − an overwhelmingly positive response. These endowments, family offices, pensions and other institutions are enthusiastic about crypto assets despite an overall pullback in crypto valuations upwards of 75 percent from their all-time highs. This is remarkable.
Sapphire Tech Targets Grin Cryptocurrency With New GPU Miner

Sapphire Tech Targets Grin Cryptocurrency With New GPU Miner

Coin Desk
Hong Kong graphics card producer Sapphire Technology is launching a new line of miners targeting the privacy-focused “grin” cryptocurrency. Sapphire announced the launch of its RX 570 16GB HDMI Blockchain Graphics Card on Tuesday, saying it would be “the first of a new family” of products designed to mine grin and other cryptocurrencies. The product is not yet on sale, but will be available to order “soon.” According to the firm, the new product is “one of the few solutions” designed for the Cuckatoo 31+ proof-of-work algorithm underpinning the network and, as such, claims it would lead “to higher rewards for early miners.” Sapphire’s global VP of marketing, Adrian Thompson, said the company was “thrilled” to launch new blockchain products, referencing both the RX 570 and potential future