Tag: Business News

OKCoin Founder Buys Hong Kong-Listed Firm in $60 Million Deal

OKCoin Founder Buys Hong Kong-Listed Firm in $60 Million Deal

Coin Desk
Mingxing “Star” Xu, the founder of cryptocurrency exchange OKCoin, has become the largest individual shareholder of a public company listed in Hong Kong via a $60 million acquisition. LEAP Holdings Group, the construction engineering firm acquired, announced the competed deal on Wednesday. OKC Holdings Corp, the parent company of OKCoin, purchased about 3.2 billion shares of the company for HK$0.15 (around $0.02) per share to achieve the takeover, it said. OKC Holdings is now the largest shareholder of LEAP Holdings, owning 60.49 percent of its stock and having the same percentage of voting rights. As a result, the exchange is a step closer to a possible back-door listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX). Xu holds the majority stake in OKC Holdings with 52.32 percent ownership throug
New Exchange Claims It Can Tokenize Shares of AirBnb, Uber, SpaceX

New Exchange Claims It Can Tokenize Shares of AirBnb, Uber, SpaceX

Coin Desk
Crypto startups Zilliqa and MaiCoin have teamed up to create a centralized security token exchange in Singapore that will apply blockchain technology to the trading of traditional asset classes. Launched today, Hg Exchange aims to act as a “one-stop solution” for token issuers, buyers, sellers and market makers, providing participants access to privately held shares and security tokens. Hg claims to be the first “member-driven exchange” in southeast Asia seeking to merge the traditional finance industry with the nascent crypto space, meaning any participants in the platform must go through the licensed financial intermediaries attached to the exchange. Further, the exchange said it hopes to provide investors access to both new ventures and established, closely held tech giants: “It is envi

Lawmakers Pitch New Crypto Tax Payments Bill in New Hampshire

Coin Desk
A pair of New Hampshire lawmakers filed a bill this month that, if approved, would let state-level agencies accept cryptocurrencies as payment, including the state’s tax office. Representatives Dennis Acton and Michael Yakubovich introduced House Bill 470 on Jan. 3, which seeks to require New Hampshire’s state agencies accept cryptocurrencies for taxes and other fees through a third-party entity. If passed, the bill would give the state treasurer until Nov. 1, 2019 to develop a plan for these agencies to begin integrating such payments. Under current New Hampshire regulations, only U.S. dollars may be accepted by state agencies for payments at present, and any other currencies used would be returned to the sender. If the bill passes, it would allow these agencies to accept an undetermined
‘Decentralized Airbnb’ Starts Charging Fees as ICO Model Falters

‘Decentralized Airbnb’ Starts Charging Fees as ICO Model Falters

Coin Desk
Bee Token – a crypto startup seeking to create a decentralized home sharing platform – has begun charging fees for some customers as part of a pivot meant to boost revenues. It’s a significant development for the company, which raised millions in an ICO as an alternative to Airbnb that could cut costs for users by reducing fees and eliminating ads from online services. But Bee found that users haven’t been moving to its site fast enough. Now, the company, founded by Uber alumni, is moving to a more traditional path to sustainability, according to an interview with co-founder and CEO Jonathan Chou. The company announced the closure of its ICO in early February 2018, raising 5,000 ETH (roughly $4.5 million as the sale closed). Of the total supply of 500 million BEE tokens, 213 million are in
A16z-backed Startup Anchor Labs Launches Crypto Custodial Service

A16z-backed Startup Anchor Labs Launches Crypto Custodial Service

Coin Desk
A crypto startup has launched a custodial service for institutions that it claims is more secure than cold storage yet offers easier access to assets. Anchor Labs, which previously raised $17 million in a series A round backed by Andreessen Horowitz, Max Levchin, Khosla Ventures, Blackrock’s Mark McCombe, Elad Gil and AngelList co-founder Naval Ravikant, announced the launch of Anchorage, a digital asset custodian, on Wednesday. Anchorage says it can deliver “all the benefits of asset accessibility,” which include capturing the yield from staking a cryptocurrency, voting, confirming proof of existence and faster transactions. The company was co-founded by Diogo Mónica and Nathan McCauley, who previously worked on Square’s encrypted credit card reader and ran Docker’s security team. “Until

Nasdaq Leads $20 Million Funding Round for Blockchain Startup Symbiont

Coin Desk
Enterprise blockchain startup Symbiont has closed a $20 million Series-B funding round led by Nasdaq Ventures with participation from Galaxy Digital, Citi, Raptor Group and others. The firm, which has kept a fairly low profile the last two years as the cryptocurrency market’s gyrations overshadowed the enterprise sector, previously raised a combined $15.4 million from a seed round in 2014 and Series A in 2017. Symbiont CEO Mark Smith told CoinDesk that the firm doubled its staff last year, and now has more than 60 employees. “We have been very good stewards of capital for the six years we have been in business. I think we have done more with less than anybody out there,” Smith said. “So it was time for us to do a bigger round and adding the Nasdaq as an investor and partner, and Citi as a
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
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
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.