Huobi Global Partners With BCB Group; Traders Gain Access to European Fiat On-Ramp

Huobi Global Partners With BCB Group; Traders Gain Access to European Fiat On-Ramp

Crypto exchange giant Huobi Global has announced a new partnership with BCB Group in efforts to link its trading desks to the European banking system, including the United Kingdom.

Seychelles registered crypto exchange will now offer instant euro and GBP settlements to its clientele.

The deal, which was announced on Tuesday, reveals that Huobi’s over-the-counter (OTC) customers can now complete transactions instantly using either the pound (GBP) or euros through BCB’s BLINC network.

In the recent past, crypto exchanges have faced different hurdles in their efforts to establish banking relationships that can provide an interface to the fiat money world. Before the current deal, Huobi had no established European fiat gateway, BCB CEO Oliver von Landsberg-Sadie stated.

Speaking to media outlets, Landsberg-Sadie stated that the partnership would provide a robust infrastructure that will enable seamless trading for Huobi’s customers.

“We’re here to provide that robust infrastructure so that these guys can just get on with trading and know that trades are happening in a way that’s properly monitored, that’s regulatory-friendly.”

Huobi’s head of global business, Ciara Sun, stated that the process has been rigorous and although it took some time it is for the benefit of the firm’s European customers. Sun said,

“Partnering with BCB allows us to offer a European fiat on- and off-ramping service that we know is in line with the laws of that area, but it also allows our customers in Europe to experience a smooth and hassle-free user experience.”

Huobi becomes the latest major crypto exchange using BCB’s BLINC platform, following Bitstamp, which had joined earlier. BCB stated that other partnerships with various crypto exchanges would be announced soon.

Huobi Korea Secures Certification From Korea Internet and Security Agency

Huobi Korea, an offshoot of Huobi Global operating in Seoul, has been certified as an information security management system, or ISMS. The certification complies with Korea’s Special Payment Act.

The certification means that Huobi Korea will be granted a broad management system that guarantees security as well as compliance with Korean laws. The new law requires crypto-based enterprises to report transactions as per the updated KYC and AML policies issued recently.

Huobi Korea CEO, Park Si-deok, said that the issuance of the certificate is a testament that the exchange is well prepared to offer quality services to both institutional and individual clients.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Fidelity Increases Its Stake in the First Hong Kong Regulated Crypto Exchange, OSL

Fidelity Investments, a leading global asset manager interested in crypto, has increased its capital allocation to BC Technology Group. This firm runs the first crypto asset exchange to be licensed in Hong Kong, OSL. According to the regulatory filing, Fidelity increased its ownership stake from 5.29% to 6.29% after acquiring an additional 3.3 million shares at HK$52.3 million ($6.7 million).

Before this event, Fidelity’s shares at BC Technology stood at 17,795,500, an investment that the asset manager acquired last year at a rough figure of $14 million. The latest increment is a sign of the bullish outlook in being exposed to Hong Kong crypto markets where regulators seem to have been slowing capital inflows. Notably, BC Technology raised around $90 million in a top-up share placement last week.

Having received the Hong Kong license, OSL crypto exchange might be well onto the path of exponential growth. This much-coveted license is issued by the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission, which means that OSL now gives crypto exposure to both retail and institutions. The exchange recently touted its status as the world’s ‘first SFC-licensed, listed, digital asset wallet-insured, Big-4 audited digital asset trading platform for institutions and professional investors.’

Going by such fundaments, Fidelity’s capital scaling in Asia comes as no surprise; in fact, the firm recently invested in a Singapore regulated fund manager dubbed Stack Funds in a move that will enable investors to purchase and store crypto assets. Fidelity also launched a Europe based unit towards the end of last year; this particular entity was launched in the United Kingdom and will focus on extending Fidelity’s services to the larger European market.

Overall, Fidelity has had quite a good run in the crypto space; its CEO, Abigail Johnson, a crypto enthusiast, recently revealed that their custody operations have been ‘incredibly successful.’ Having launched its Bitcoin fund in early 2020, Fidelity targets investors who can invest a minimum of $100,000. Per the company’s latest updates, an estimated 36% of institutional investors have exposure to BTC or other crypto assets.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Cboe Feeling the Bitcoin FOMO; Will Launch a Crypto Index Next Year With CoinRoutes

Now, CBOE wants in on crypto, too, again.

Cboe Global Markets is planning to launch a suite of tools including crypto indexes, real-time ticks, and historical data by the end of the first quarter of next year, in partnership with CoinRoutes. Catherine Clay, Senior Vice President and Head of Information Solutions at Cboe Global Markets, said,

“Together, we can help bring transparency to the asset class and its market models by using RealPrice data to potentially create indices and tools that help clients better understand cryptocurrencies and encourage their participation in a nascent market.”

As Bitcoin continues to rally, up 175% YTD just blew right through the all-time high, hitting $20,800, along with the rest of the crypto market, institutions have been rushing in to jump on this bandwagon.

Everyone is long on Bitcoin, and earlier this month, S&P 500 revealed its crypto index plans through Lukka in early 2021.

Now, Cboe wants to provide data for the explosive cryptocurrency market. Interestingly, Cboe launched Bitcoin futures, along with CME, at the peak of the last bull market, in December 2017. But only to close its bitcoin futures in March 2019.

Now, Cboe wants back in, although apparently their corporate interest in digital currencies never declined.

Cboe has signed an exclusive licensing agreement with CoinRoutes, a New York-based trading software firm.

One of the largest stock exchange operators in the US, Cboe aims to reach a customer base of at least thousands initially with its real-time index data and then grow it to a global level. Michael Holstein, Chief Revenue Officer, CoinRoutes said,

“We believe existing arbitrarily weighted indices that do not take into account the different fees or actual liquidity available on crypto exchange platforms do not represent the true cost of buying or selling a given cryptocurrency.”

The company’s algorithmic products are built for both spot and derivatives products.

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Author: AnTy

GoDaddy’s DNS Hack Is at the Center of Several Crypto Domains Being Compromised: Report

  • Several cryptocurrency companies were targeted in the recent hack on GoDaddy.com, the largest global domain manager, including Japan-based crypto exchange Liquid.com and crypto mining service, NiceHash.

Earlier this month, BEG reported that Japan-based cryptocurrency exchange, Liquid.com, experienced a data breach hack, affecting the users’ Know your Customer (KYC) information. The attack follows GoDaddy’s, the world’s largest domain registrar, an incursion that saw hackers trick the firm’s employees into transferring ownership and control over targeted domains.

In an analysis of the recent intrusions, Krebs on Security, a cybersecurity website, reported four more cryptocurrency firms were target to phishing and “vishing” attempts, similar to Liquid exchange.

In a letter shared to crypto traders on its exchange, Liquid.com CEO Mike Kayamori stated that several customers’ data, including email addresses and passwords, were compromised following malicious attacks on their domain registrar, GoDaddy. Mike stated,

“A domain hosting provider ‘GoDaddy’ that manages one of our core domain names incorrectly transferred control of the account and domain to a malicious actor.”

This allowed the attacker to control and change the domain name system (DNS) and control some email accounts at Liquid exchange. This allowed the attacker to compromise some of the exchange data and gain access to the firm’s document storage.

NiceHash, a cryptocurrency mining service, was also compromised from GoDaddy’s malicious attack, the report stated. Five days after Liquid noticed the attack, NiceHash also found out that its domain registration records were being changed without authorization. To secure the customers’ funds, the crypto mining service shut down their website for 24 hours, resuming operations a day later. A blog post from the company reads,

“In the early morning (UTC) hours of November 18, 2020, the NiceHash domain was not reachable. The domain registrar GoDaddy had technical issues, and as a result of unauthorized access to the domain settings, the DNS records for the NiceHash.com domain were changed”.

An analysis of the hackers’ accounts showed that the affected domains were redirected to set email addresses and websites. Further research shows three other crypto firms, including Bitbox, Celsius.network, and Wirex.app, could also have been affected.

GoDaddy’s spokesperson, Dan Race, confirmed the attack affected its employees’ details through phishing and voice phishing hacks. His statement further reads,

“As threat actors become increasingly sophisticated and aggressive in their attacks, we are constantly educating employees about new tactics that might be used against them and adopting new security measures to prevent future attacks.”

This attack is similar to the recent Twitter hack in July, whereby hackers compromised over 130+ high-profile accounts in an established cryptocurrency scam. The firm’s employees were tricked using social engineering to take over the company’s administrative tools.

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Author: Lujan Odera

SkyBridge Capital Wants to Invest in Bitcoin & Digital Assets, Reveals SEC Filing

New York City-based global investment firm SkyBridge Capital founded by Anthony Scaramucci has filed Form 424B3 with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Nov. 13. As per this amendment, the $3.6 billion fund of the company will start investing in Bitcoin.

“The Company may seek exposure to digital assets (as defined herein) by investing in Investment Funds that provide exposure to digital assets,” and in companies that provide technologies related to digital assets or other emerging technologies.

The fund wishes to hold long and short positions in digital assets, known as “virtual currencies” and “cryptocurrencies” with no intrinsic value other than as a method of exchange, reads the amendment.

While having a limited history, these extremely volatile assets are typically “not issued or backed by any government, bank, or central organization.” These digital assets may trade on unregulated exchanges or are outside the US and can be shut down permanently.

It further says these assets shouldn’t be expected to be correlated or connected to traditional economic or market forces as they could decline rapidly, to even zero.

“Investment Funds may invest in digital assets without restriction as to market capitalization or technological features or attributes (including lesser-known or novel digital assets known as “altcoins”) and may invest in initial coin offerings, which have historically been subject to fraud.”

The investment may be in part or whole in digital assets or technologies that are “highly disruptive, and the future successes of such technologies are highly uncertain.”

Because of being a nascent space, the companies to be invested in maybe “rapidly eclipsed by newer and more disruptive technological advances that render current digital assets or technologies outdated or undesirable.”

Covering the regulatory aspect, the report says, it is “undefined and rapidly developing” and subject to “significant uncertainty.” This means the federal, state, or foreign governments may restrict the use and exchange of digital assets at any time, which could further limit investment funds’ ability to pursue investment strategies in digital assets or cause digital assets to lose significantly, or all, of their value.

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Author: AnTy

Crypto Finance Firm, Amber Group, Partners With BitGo As The Custodian For Institutional Investors

Global crypto finance service provider Amber Group announced BitGo Trust as its qualified custodian for its institutional investors and traders.

Amber Group is a renowned name when it comes to high-frequency trading and crypto financing for institutional investors. The firm is trying to use its industry experience in partnership with the BitGo to expand its offerings. The firm wants to expand its market reach to next-generation cryptocurrency traders as well as high net-worth investors.

Amber says BitGo is the right custodian partner

Amber Group says it chose BitGo for its collaboration because of the company’s user policy controls, compliance tools, and battle-tested institutional-ready custody used in securing customers’ assets.

Another major factor that swayed Amber Group towards BitGo is the benefit of issuance. Last year, BitGo launched the most expansive and comprehensive insurance policy for digital assets, including the $100 million as protection against assets held in custody. It provided a certain level of assurance of digital assets protection that isn’t common in the industry. The assurance of funds protection is one reason why Amber Group choose BitGo as a partner in this new project.

BitGo is offering protection for funds held in its custody via the European marketplace and a syndicate of insurers in the Lloyd’s of London.

The clients who buy Excess Specie Insurance, as it is called, will stand as Dedicated Customer Loss Payee in the insurance policy, which offers an extra level of insurance protection.

The partnership will transform future finance

Chief executive officer of BitGo, Mike Belshe, has commented on the partnership. He said the partnership with Amber couldn’t have come at a better time, as Amber group has a leading edge in crypto innovations. Belshe further stated that the team at Amber was carefully selected, and they are all seasoned professionals, which is why the partnership with the firm is great.

He further reiterated that BitGo would be providing the custody infrastructure, liquidity, and security necessary for the transformation of future finance via the collaboration.

The Chief executive officer of Amber Group, Michael Wu, has also commented on the development. He pointed out,

“As we scale our operations into more jurisdictions, we prioritize partnering with reliable and well-reputable infrastructure providers like BitGo.”

He further said that the Amber group’s daily operations require the successful implementation of rigorous security measures. The company must choose the right partner committed to asset protection more than anything else in the industry.

Amber was founded in 2017 and has grown to become a top crypto-finance service provider, with more than 200 institutional clients worldwide. It has received funds from institutional partners like Coinbase Ventures, Fenbushi Capital, Blockchain.com, Dragonfly Capital, and Polychain Capital.

Amber says it’s committed to bringing professionalism and more transparency to the cryptocurrency market.

Rumor: PayPal Exploring Acquiring Crypto Companies, In Talks with Bitcoin Custodian BitGo

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Author: Ali Raza

Gibraltar Govt Joins the Global Blockchain Business Council as an Observing Member

Gibraltar, of the British Overseas Territories, has been appointed as an observing member of the Global Blockchain Business Council (GBBC). According to a Twitter announcement on the official handle of Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar, the admission into GBBC is an opportunity for the British Overseas Territory to collaborate with stakeholders in blockchain advance research and adoption.

The GBBC is roughly three years old and constitutes various industry experts from over 50 jurisdictions, all of whom Gibraltar will now be working alongside. This initiative was launched three years ago in Davos to strengthen the blockchain community by enhancing partnerships, advocacy, and education.

Gibraltar noted that it would contribute its innovative approach in regulation and share ideas with other members of the GBBC. They also plan to expand collaborative partnerships to increase their contribution to both local and international blockchain regulation.

Gibraltar’s Minister for Digital and Financial Services, Hon Albert Isola, said that GBBC’s goal to grow the blockchain space by ‘engaging and educating enterprises and regulators is totally aligned with our own mission.’ GBBC CEO Sandra Ro was also optimistic about the announcement,

“The Global Blockchain Business Council welcomes the Government of Gibraltar into our global network as a GBBC Observing Member.

We look forward to highlighting the important digital assets and blockchain technology work and innovation from Gibraltar as we advance global collaboration, adoption, and opportunities.”

It is quite noteworthy that Gibraltar has previously been progressive on embracing blockchain technology; they introduced a DLT legislation as early as 2018 and recently made an update to feature the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) guidelines that were passed last year. The British Overseas Territory is also a member of an EU blockchain-focused group dubbed ‘INATBA.’

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Author: Edwin Munyui

In Q3 Ripple Paid Out Over $9M in XRP to Its Strategic Partner, MoneyGram; A 38% Drop Over Q2

  • The blockchain-focused startup, Ripple Inc. continues to funnel millions of dollars’ worth of XRP to global remittance firm, MoneyGram.
  • The San Francisco-based firm channeled $9.3 million in XRP tokens to MoneyGram over the third quarter of 2020, representing a $5 million decrease from the previous quarter.

The latest MoneyGram financial results released on Thursday show Ripple Inc. made a payment of $9.3 million in market development fees to the remittance service provider. The company received a net benefit of $8.9 million after a partial offset of $0.4 million in “transaction and trading expenses”.

The payment is made every quarter since the partnership between Ripple Inc. and MoneyGram in 2019. According to a MoneyGram spokesperson, the firm gets paid the fee for facilitating and processing transactions on Ripple’s On-Demand Liquidity (ODL) product, which uses XRP for settlement.

However, this represents a drop from the $15.1 million paid out in Q2 2020, signaling a drop in transactional volume on Ripple’s ODL platform.

The recent payment brings the total amount paid to MoneyGram to $52 million adding to the $16.1 million in XRP paid in Q1 2020, and a total of $11.3 million paid out in the last half of 2019. According to an insider in MoneyGram, the company does not hold any XRP but rather sells it as soon as they receive it.

In mid-June 2019, Ripple announced a strategic partnership with MoneyGram that would see the latter benefit from Ripple’s cross border trading services and foreign exchange settlement using the XRP token. Furthermore, Ripple invested $50 million into MoneyGram in exchange for equity to kick start the partnership.

The partnership between the two payment firms is expected to last till 2023.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Top 20 Global Investment Firm Franklin Templeton & VC Illuminate Finance Invest in Curv Series A

The global investment firm Franklin Templeton and Illuminate Financial, a Fintech venture capital firm, join Curv, an institutional cryptocurrency wallet solution, as investors – joining Curv’s July 2020 Series A funding. The move sees the former two firms join the $23 million funding round, including several top investors, including Digital Currency Group (DCG), Coinbase Ventures, CommerzVentures, Google’s Digital Garage, and Team 8.

According to an email sent to the BEG news desk, Franklin Templeton will switch from a customer of Curv to an investor. This follows the successful completion of a proof of concept built by BNP Paribas that allows Curv to transfer digital assets across blockchains securely.

This partnership will see the two traditional finance heavyweights join the digital and crypto world through Curv. The institutional wallet firm aims to drive traditional finance corporations to own and hold digital assets through its Multi-party Computation (MPC) technology. MPC allows a secure transfer, storage, and management of digital assets on distributed ledgers.

Franklin Templeton aims to leverage Curv’s MPC technology to expand into the growing crypto and decentralized finance (DeFi) market on a secure platform. Curv’s MPC technology introduces a keyless approach removing all single points of failures to help institutions securely move assets and deliver them instantaneously on a blockchain.

Joe Boerio, EVP, Chief Risk & Transformation Officer at Franklin Templeton, believes joining Curv as an investor will improve security when transferring assets across blockchains with the MPC technology – protecting the system “against cyber breaches and insider collusion.” He said,

“We are excited to participate in Curv’s journey as it sets a new standard for digital asset security and scales its business across major financial institutions across the globe.”

Over the past few months, governments worldwide have taken a front foot in regulating the virtual currency industry to curb illicit activities. Due to this, first-time institutions entering the field are leaning towards licensed institutional wallets to store their digital assets. Curv, in particular, has witnessed a growth in its client base, offering an enterprise-grade infrastructure for these institutions ensuring they securely deploy these solutions. Itay Malinger, Curv CEO and Co-founder said,

“The addition of Franklin Templeton is a barometer of the traditional industry’s shift into digital assets, and a broader desire to bring public blockchain-based offerings to market.”

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Author: Lujan Odera

FSB Publishes 10 High-Level Recommendations to Regulate ‘Global Stablecoins’

The Financial Stability Board (FSB) has released 10 high-level recommendations for regulation, supervision, and oversight of “global stablecoin” in its latest report on Tuesday.

The international body that monitors and makes recommendations about the global financial system says global stablecoins must adhere to all applicable regulatory standards before commencing operation.

While these so-called fiat-backed stablecoins have the potential to “bring efficiencies to payments and to promote financial inclusion,” they may also challenge the existing regulatory oversight and generate risks to financial stability, says the report.

As such, the 10 high-level recommendations have been made that follow the “same business, same risk, same rules” principle.

To enhance the cross-border payments commissioned by the G20, the FSB has agreed to complete the international standard-setting by December 2021. Necessary adjustments must be made by that time, too, and a framework consistent with the FSB recommendations must be enabled at the national level by July 2022.

The report came the same day the financial officials of the United States, Canada, Japan, Germany, France, Italy, and Britain said digital payments should be “appropriately supervised and regulated.”

Until adequate regulatory, legal, and oversight standards are set, no global stablecoin project should begin operation, said the G7, without explicitly mentioning Facebook’s Libra, which has been the one that pushed them into action.

The officials also called on all countries to implement FATF standards to reduce the exploitation of criminals’ financial services. The emphasis was put on coordinated response through information sharing and economic measures.

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Author: AnTy