Crypto Exchange Binance Looks To Join Houbi, OKEx In Launching A Mining Pool

Top crypto exchange Binance has plans to launch its own mining pool, according to a Russian crypto news outlet Coinlife on Tuesday.

The news was confirmed in the meantime by 3 different sources that are active within the mining business, on Wednesday, Changpeng Zhao, the CEO of Binance, tweeted about the pool. Here’s what Coinlife said on the matter:

“The company has already hired some professionals for this purpose, some of them former Bitmain employees. The launch is planned for the Q2 2020.”

Head of Sigmapool Also Talked About the Launch

Jakhon Khabilov, the head of the mining pool Sigmapool, has also talked about the launch, saying that Binance is already offering its potential customers very generous bonuses for making referrals. He added that the exchange has also been reaching to some Chinese miners to promote its soon-to-be-launched service.

Binance Follows Huobi and OKex

Binance is not the only one to launch its own mining pool, as Huobi and OKex have done this last year, with OKex in August and Huobi in September. At the moment, their pools are amongst the top 10 producing blocks in the Bitcoin (BTC) blockchain.

CoinDance BTC Mining Pools
Source: Coin.Dance

Poolin’s, currently the 2nd largest share of Bitcoin Hash Rate, Vice President Alejandro de la Torre, says exchanges are motivated by liquidity to join the BTC mining farms. It’s a well-known fact that mining adds liquidity to exchanges in a very cheap manner.

Bitriver’s CEO Things Crypto Exchanges Should All Launch Mining Pools

Bitriver’s, one of the biggest Russian mining farms, CEO Igor Runets thinks that launching mining pools is the most logical thing to do for crypto exchanges, seeing both mining pooling and crypto exchanging are software-based businesses that don’t require any additional professional skills. Mining pool users happen to also be exchange’ users, so the client base largely overlaps, he added.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Huobi Wallet to Integrate Crypto Lender Cred Allowing Users To Earn Interest

The crypto exchange offering wallet services Huobi has closed a partnership with the decentralized crypto lending company Cred in order to offer user’s interest on their holdings.

The announcement that Huobi Wallet is going to integrate Cred’s borrowing and lending services was made on April 1. Huobi Wallet supports more than 1,000 crypto assets, out of which 8 are stablecoins, in 200 regions and countries. A list with the supported crypto assets for the program wasn’t provided yet, but it was mentioned that Bitcoin (BTC), Universal Dollar (UPUSD) and Ether (ETH) will be included.

Pledged Assets Will Have a Monthly Interest

Cred is based in California and a licensed lender. It was also a founding member for the Universal Protocol Alliance of crypto and blockchain companies. What should also be mentioned about it is that it’s backed by Binance, FBG Capita, Blocktower and Arrington XRP. Its CEO, Dan Schatt, said Cred is very keen to provide its decentralized financial services during so unstable financial times.

Together with Cred, Huobi will offer its users the ability to lend crypto services while receiving a monthly interest, plus the possibility to roll over pledged assets for certain amounts of time. There are no minimum requirements for participation to the program, whereas the interest will be paid in crypto assets and stablecoins. Holders of $150,000 in their wallets will also be able to join a special program and consult with Cred’s Private Client Associates.

Crypto Borrowing and Lending Gaining More Traction

The partnership between Huobi and Cred comes at a time when crypto borrowing and lending are gaining more traction in the crypto industry. Back in January, one of the fastest-developing crypto lender that has a coin loan origination of $4.25 billion, Celsius Network, made the announcement that it will implement compounding interest in the cryptocurrencies being deposited in its wallet. Some other big names in the crypto lending industry are Nexo, BlockFi, SALT Lending and YouHolder.

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Author: Oana Ularu

CoinEx Exchange and Simplex Partner to Easily Buy Cryptocurrencies With Credit Cards

On March 31, crypto exchange CoinEx disclosed they will become partners with Simplex in order to aid crypto credit card purchases.

As per the exchange’s press release says, CoinEx users are now able to buy 5 digital currencies such as Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC) and Tether (USDT) with their credit or debit cards. While there’s no number specified, the fiat currencies supported for payments will be the US dollar, euro and the Canadian dollar. Making a comment about the deal, the CEO and founder of CoinEx, Haipo Yang said:

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Simplex to lower the threshold for more people to enter the crypto world. This is also a milestone for CoinEx, as it’s the first fiat onramp we integrated to our platform. We endeavor to provide our current and potential users with more convenient functions.”

Crypto Purchases to Take Place More Smoothly

Simplex was founded back in 2014. They have shown itself to be important company in the crypto industry, especially when it comes to offering credit and debit card services. It charges 3.5% of each transaction and has a $10 minimum fee. However, its platform is not for institutional investors because it has a daily cap for purchases of $20,000, together with a $50,000 monthly limit. Here’s what the chief executive and co-founder of Simplex, Nimrod Lehavi, had to say about the partnership with CoinEx:

“Enabling fast and secure credit card payments is a key step to mass crypto adoption. We are excited to partner up with CoinEx and bring a better and easier experience to users worldwide.”

Huobi and Binance are Simplex’s Clients

Furthermore, Simplex is licensed in the EU, having important clients like Huobi and Binance. It’s based in Israel and has recently closed a deal with BitPay to allow its users to make direct crypto purchases on its platform. CoinEx is backed by Bitmain and a ViaBTC Group’s, the 5th largest Bitcoin (BTC) mining pool, subsidiary. It functions under Estonia’s laws and trying to expand globally by adding more support for fiat currencies. Here’s what Yang had to say about this specifically:

“Our goal in 2020 is to cover at least 10 different languages speaking markets, and building a fiat gateway is our first move to attract more users around the world.”

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Author: Oana Ularu

Celsius Network Changes from CeFi to DeFi with Chainlink’s Oracle Data Integration

Celsius Network, a crypto lending firm has teamed up with Chainlink to use its Oracle live data feeds to decentralize the process of estimation of interest rates on the platform. Chainlink has created a name for itself because of its Oracle real-world data feeds mostly used for smart contracts.

The partnership would see Chainlink put a portion of it’s Bitcoin and Ether holding under Celsius management, while Celsius network would make use of Chainlink’s pricing data for both on-chain and off-chain and put it into one price feed.

Celsius network has currently over $600 million worth of crypto assets under its management and offers above-market interest rates to its users. While up until now Defi applications were the primary users of the Chainlink oracle data are given its robust nature of pricing solution that it offers.

Chainlink’s Oracle Data Service a big hit in the decentralized space

Celsius is not the only prominent firm which has joined on the oracle data bandwagon, many prominent defi projects have seen the advantages of using real-world data to robust and decentralize the data. Sergey Nazarov, CEO of Chainlink noted,

“We’re allowing [Celsius] to make data inputs decentralized and what this can do is it can create a certain amount of guarantees we can show on-chain. Here’s the data that you were supposed to compute, here’s the number you would have computed if your computations were working correctly and then here’s the payment output you sent me.”

The recent crash in the crypto market on March 12 had quite a daunting impact on lending platforms as well. Many of those had to liquidate their collateral to solidify those loans as well.

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Author: James W

Binance’s Educational Platform Opens Up Government Approved Office in Shanghai

Binance, one of the most popular crypto exchanges in the crypto-verse which also has many subsidiaries including Binance Academy (a blockchain and crypto-centred educational portal) is all set to open its first office in Shanghai, China. Changpeng Zhao (CZ), the CEO of the exchange confirmed the same on Twitter.

This can be seen as a major milestone for Binance given there have been many rumors of them unofficially running an office and even some reports of them being investigated by the authorities (which the exchange has denied time and again). CZ has been trying to strike balance with the authorities for quite some time now, but given China’s stance on crypto exchanges forced Binance to shift their operating base outside the country.

The Begining of a New Chapter for Binance

According to the local news report, the major milestone would see Binance Chain’s core team working with Lingang Xinyefang and Lingang Innovation Management College in order to set up a research institute in Shanghai province. The focus of the research institute would be to develop various use cases for blockchain technology, for which China seems to be really bullish.

Today marked the official signing ceremony where the local authority seal of approval took place and the possession of the office was handed over to Binance. While CZ has often propagated that in modern times physical headquarters and office does not make much of a difference given the technology has made it possible to function without the need of one. However, given China’s notorious and passive stance towards crypto service providers despite being bullish on blockchain make this event indeed historical for Binance.

Does Binance’s Office Approval Suggest China’s Softening Stance on Crypto?

The answer is a hard NO. China has been tip-toeing about their approval for crypto for quite some time, but it seems it would be quite difficult to see China’s softening regulatory stance on cryptocurrency. This has been evident on many occasions in the past, be it them calling Bitcoin the best use case of blockchain, in the wake of PM’s call for accelerated blockchain adoption, but the very next day they took a U-turn and said that Bitcoin still has many flaws which would be overcome by their national CBDC.

Very recently they have blasted cryptocurrencies for being volatile and how it could never become an instrument of finance. Even the recent Binance approval for research is strictly for blockchain purposes only. While there is still no confirmation on the launch date of national digital currency, which many speculated to be in line for launch since October 2019.

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Author: James W

Microsoft Files Patent To Mine Cryptocurrencies With Verified Body Activity Data

Giant software manufacturer, Microsoft is seeking to capitalize on the new crypto hype. The firm is seeking to introduce its own cryptocurrency that will be mined using human energy replacing the costly mining process that is used today, Bitcoinist reports.

As per patent documents, the proposed Microsoft cryptocurrency will utilize body activity data. The company states that this will allow individuals in mining getting rid of the ASICs. The patent states that various forms of human body activities like the heat produced when a user executes different tasks online can be used in mining and be used as a proof-of-work. Microsoft explains:

“A brain wave or body heat emitted from the user when the user performs the task provided by an information or service provider, such as viewing an advertisement or using certain internet services, can be used in the mining process.”

The documents goes on to explain that body activities will help in replacing intense computation work that must be used in various crypto systems. Users will be able to solve computationally challenges unconsciously serving as proof-of-work.

As per te patent documents, various tasks will increase or reduce the computational energy in regards to the activity being generated. Use of human body activity data for mining will work via a server which will command through wearable devices. The crypto system which is linked to the user’s device will then verify if the body activity meets the set conditions of the crypto system. Crypto will then be awarded to the user.

Currently, Microsoft is yet to reveal if the new cryptocurrency will be developed on a blockchain network or the company will develop its own framework. Similarly, it is not also clear if the new crypto project will happen soon.

The innovation comes at a time when crypto mining has been on the spotlight for excessive use of energy. It is claimed that the Proof-of-Work system utilizes more energy compared to Chile. The new system will also help in dealing with e-waste problems in the crypto space.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Singapore Exempts Binance, Coinbase, Gemini, and Ripple From its Current PSA Crypto Act

Singapore is counted among one of the crypto hubs of the world as it offers ease of business for these crypto service providers when a majority of the countries around the globe have taken a stricter regulatory approach.

Although Singapore recently enforced crypto legislation in the form of the Payment Services Act (PSA), the country has exempted popular crypto exchanges such as Binance and Coinbase along with Ripple from the act, right from the start of the new year.

Under the PSA act, crypto service providers are supposed to obtain an operating license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). However, as per an official notification released on March 24, it has been revealed that several crypto service providers have been allowed to offer specific crypto service without the need of the operating license for a limited period of time.

The exempted firms including Binance, Ripple, and Coinbase have been offered a lease of 6 months from the start of the new year. All these firms can continue offering their service until July 28, 2020. After the said period is over, these crypto firms would be required to file a license under the current PSA act.

Few Crypto Service Providers Offered One-Year Grant

While Binance, Ripple and Coinbase have been offered a lease of 6 months, there are several other crypto entities which have been offered a longer period of exemptions from the PSA. These firms include the Gemini exchange, the OKCoin exchange, PundiX, Cumberland, DRW Holdings and a subsidiary of BitGo, which have been granted a lease period of 12-month.

Both Gemini and BitGo can continue offering specific crypto services such as account issuance services, domestic money transfer services, and inward cross-border money transfer services until January 28, 2021.

The move to exempt certain crypto service providers to operate in the country without the need to get an operating license can be seen as a bullish move by the MAS to encourage crypto adoption and establish Singapore as one of the crypto capitals of the World. After the said exemptions period are over, it would be interesting to see if the Singapore regulatory bodies grant any further exemptions to other crypto service providers looking to launch their service in the country.

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Author: James W

Crypto Lender Nexo Now Allows Retail Investors To Use PAX Gold (PAXG) As Collateral

Renowned crypto lending firm Nexo has opened up the possibility of retail investors to use PAX Gold (PAXG) as a collateral option against loans. The firm had previously launched a pilot scheme on the same but the services were only available to institutional investors only. The pilot saw a high demand for the gold-backed credit lines and the firm has decided to extend the service to retail investors.

The announcement signifies that collateralized borrowing backed by high-grade gold can be extended to everyone and not only the rich.

PAX Gold token was introduced in September last year and is entirely backed by as well as redeemable for actual gold which is currently kept in Brink’s vaults. Every token is backed by ‘fine troy ounce of London Good Delivery Gold’ that allows the user to own gold which is a safe-haven asset. Tokenization adds to the convenience of the safe-haven asset.

During the pilot phase, there was a high demand for its gold-backed credit among the institutional customers such that the firm had to invest an extra $5 million in PAXG to satisfy the investors demand.

The expanded scheme that will rope in the retail customers will enable everyone to take advantage of gold-backed PAXG assets using it as collateral within the Nexo platform.

According to Nexo co-founder, gold backed PAXG is highly relevant more so during high volatility times like currently and majority of retail clients have been seeking for such a service. He explained:

“Especially in high-volatility times, as in the present, gold is sought after by many of our retail clients and we have worked towards reflecting their wishes.”

The crypto loans sector has been growing rapidly in the recent past as the majority of crypto owners or holders are looking to use their assets as collateral as opposed to liquidating them.

Nexo enjoys the backing of Michael Arrington, TechCrunch founder, and was able to raise $52.5 million during a private token sale back in 2018.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Gemini’s Winklevoss Twins, Coinbase CEO Among Founding Donors Of Crypto Lobbyist Group

  • Gemini founders, the Winklevoss twins, Coinbase CEO, Brian Armstrong and other top crypto personalities join in the HODL Political Action Committee (PAC)
  • HODL PAC lobbies for crypto in Congress alongside helping crypto/blockchain friendly senators into the house.

HODL PAC, founded by Tyler Whirty of VC firm, the Takoma Group, has since raised over $20,000 USD from various investors within and without the crypto community. The PAC hopes to bring change in congressional laws regarding crypto and blockchain by helping electing crypto minded leaders. The HODL committee aims to raise cash from the public and offer a token voting platform to select the preferred candidate that the voter wishes to donate to. The official report reads,

“The time is now to set policy that allows the decentralized economy to thrive and enables Americans to lead this revolution. We want to support the candidates that support that vision of the future.”

HODL PAC receives massive support from crypto

HODL PAC has received support from some of the biggest names in crypto including Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, founders of the Gemini exchange and Coinbase CEO, Brian Armstrong. Other founding donors to the lobbying group include Olaf Carlson-Wee, chief investment officer at Polychain Capital; Nathan McCauley, CEO of Anchorage; and Don Wilson, CEO of DRW.

As explained above, HODL PAC has received over $21,000 USD, with a portion of this amount, about $5,000, spent on operations of the commission so far.

However, the big names will not have complete control of who the money goes to as the public (whoever contributes to the fund) will have a “vote” on the sharing. While the PAC currently does not intend to accept cryptocurrencies, the idea to offer voting tokens is in development.

The voting mechanism on HODL PAC

A contributor will be entitled to an equivalent number of “votes”. The votes can be shared towards different participants but in a quadratic voting system. This means that for each subsequent vote a voter places, it will give the next politician a smaller portion of the donation than the prior politician. Tyler Whirty said,

“It’s the idea that each traditional vote costs the square of that vote. So one vote costs one, two votes cost four, three costs nine and so on.”

The quadratic voting mechanism is set to regulate the power of big players by ensuring they don’t have increased influence on where the funds are directed.

So far, the committee is yet to donate to any politician with a limited number of senators and representatives showing up for crypto. Since Andrew Yang dropped out of the Democratic Presidential race 2020, and Eric Swalwell of California dropped out of the governor race, a limited number of politicians are accepting crypto, let alone champion.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Blockchain Firm HashCash Consultants Plans Inverse ETF ‘CFIX’ Tied To Coronavirus Outbreak

Blockchain firm, HashCash Consultants is set to launch a new crypto asset with a promise of potential profit despite the ongoing turbulent times in the financial market.

HashCash announced on Mar. 23 of its latest inverse ETF dubbed Corona Fund Index Cryptocurrency (CFIX) where traders will have an opportunity to gain profits at the current corona-driven bear market.

As per the press release, the new offering will be inversely linked to the S&P 500. In other words when the S&P 500 loses value the new offering gains its value. This will be achieved through holding different assets as well as derivatives to acquire an inverse exposure as well as create profits after the underlying index drops.

The new CFIX is set to be paired against the USDT and will be rolled on April 2.

According to the press statement, about 90% of the fees collected from CFIX is set to be used on Corona relief efforts. The firm will divert this money to its Corona Relief Fund where it is donating to organizations that are actively fighting the Corona crisis.

HashCash states that the new project aims at ensuring that the requisite resources essential in the development of vaccines, treatments, and drugs for the Corona pandemic does not get depleted.

The firm also revealed that not-for-profit organizations can apply. However, it did not reveal the names of partners or charities it is currently funding.

Raj Chowdhury, HashCash CEO, explained that the development of CFIX is in tandem with the startup’s aim of offering financial help to nonprofits as well as research organizations fighting the Coronavirus crisis across the globe. He stated:

“The ETF backing incentivizes CFIX, which benefits not only the traders but enables us to raise more funds for all who are affected by Novel Coronavirus, which is the ultimate goal of this initiative.”

HashCash is not the first firm to launch such an initiative. 4Chain introduced the CoronaCoin (NCOV), which is an ERC-20 token which has a supply equivalent to the global population, on Feb. 12.

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Author: Joseph Kibe