Binance US, Genesis, & Abra Suspends XRP Support; Bittrex & Uphold Clarifies No Plan to Delist

Much like all the XRP trading and deposit suspension that has happened so far, only the US users are affected. Exchanges clarify that Spark (FLR) Token Distribution in 2021 is unaffected.

Binance’s US-based crypto exchange Binance.US has announced the delisting of XRP on Jan. 13, 2021, at 10 am EST. Binance.US users won’t be able to deposit XRP but withdrawals will be unaffected.

Much like all the trading and deposit suspension that has happened so far, only the US users are affected.

The exchange further clarified that delisting will not affect users from claiming their Spark (FLR) Token Distribution in 2021.

Another one to join this list is Genesis which sent an email to its users, informing them of the XRP trading and lending suspension, as of Dec. 29. The users are not allowed to make new purchases while those who hold XRP have until Jan. 15 to sell it.

The company no longer supports loans in XRP either and both open-term loans and fixed-term loans will also be called. Meanwhile, the “team is actively monitoring the evolving regulatory situation with XRP.”

Abra has also joined the list of companies ending XRP support for US users, despite it being a peer-to-peer transaction network.

According to the firm’s message, Abra plans to suspend trading in XRP for US customers at 3 PM PST on Jan. 15th.

“Abra is registered in most states as an MSB and has had previous legal battles with the SEC that led to them delisting their stock ETF offering,” noted Adam Cochran, partner at Cinneamhain Ventures.

No plans to delist XRP

Amidst all the suspensions, cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex, which no longer allows its US customers to trade XRP clarified that they are not going to delist the digital asset and will maintain all XRP markets: BTC-XRP, USD-XRP, USDT-XRP, ETH-XRP, and EUR-XRP.

“Uphold will continue to list XRP until and unless the Complaint is adjudicated against Ripple – specifically citing that XRP is, today, a security, or trading volume dissipates to a point where we can no longer support,” came the tweet from JP Thieriot, CEO of crypto trading platform Uphold.

Australia-based BTC Markets also took to Twitter to share that they are monitoring events in the US regarding the SEC but have “no plans to delist XRP at this time.”

The price of XRP meanwhile lost a considerable amount of its value in the last two weeks. After falling under $0.17, the crypto asset is currently trading around $0.22.

“XRP’s market cap has fallen by 93% from $137B to under $10B. That makes the value of the XRP collapse bigger than Enron and Worldcom,” said Joshua Frank, CEO of The TIE. “While not a bankruptcy, XRP is effectively the third-largest collapse of all-time behind Lehman Brothers and Washington Mutual,” he added.

Coinbase Under Hot Water Too

A class-action lawsuit has been filed against US-based crypto exchange Coinbase alleging that it knew XRP was a security and still sold it “illegally”.

Just this week, Coinbase, which recently filed to go public, said it suspended support for XRP trading and deposits.

The case is filed by Thomas Sandoval in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco) and he is seeking damages for the commission paid by him and other users to Coinbase for XRP tokens.

“Until late this month Coinbase sold the XRP token, the value of which was entirely linked to the success or failure of Ripple Co. and the managerial efforts of its executives,” Sandoval said in the complaint. “Indeed, Ripple Co.’s survival as a corporate entity depended on its sale of unlicensed XRP securities to the public to fund its business operations.”

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Author: AnTy

Someone Paid $47,000 in Bitcoin Fees But Still Saved 53% on The Transaction

You have seen it happening in Ethereum quite a few times, but this time, it happened on Bitcoin.

In the case of Ethereum, users have accidentally paid millions in fees; this time, a user paid a fee of 2.66 BTC worth about $47,000 in block 657,535.

Still, this transaction was funny enough to save 53% on fees by upgrading to SegWit but could have saved 0.41% more by fully upgrading to native SegWit-Bech32, noted Blockstream.

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Currently, the average bitcoin transaction fee is at $4.523, an increase of 66.34% from yesterday’s $2.719 and 574.5% from one year ago.

Even at the top of the market cycle in December 2017, the highest average fee was about $55.

As of writing, the price of Bitcoin has been around $17,970, up 143% YTD but down from yesterday’s high of $18,500, a level not seen since the height of the last bull run.

While in some fiat currencies, BTC has hit a new peak, such as the Norwegian Krone and Turkish Lira, In US Dollar, BTC price is still about 14% away from its all-time high of $20,000.

But in a typical crypto fashion, BTC/TUSD chart on Binance hit $82,000 with a monster green candle of $16,626. The rest of the Bitcoin trading pairs were unaffected.

This isn’t even the first time; some time back, BTC hit $100,000 on Binance because of a technical error.

Still, a new peak won’t be too far away. “It is not out of the question for the crypto to hit its all-time high of $20,000 this side of Christmas,” said Simon Peters, an analyst at investment platform eToro.

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Author: AnTy

QuadrigaCX was an “Old-fashioned Fraud Wrapped in Modern Technology” – OSC Report

“What happened at Quadriga was an old-fashioned fraud wrapped in modern technology,” said the Ontario Securities Commission in an investigation.

The 10-month long investigation into the exchange by the country’s biggest securities regulator revealed that the collapse of the Canadian cryptocurrency trading platform QuadrigaCX was because of a Ponzi scheme operated by its founder Gerald Cotten, who died in December 2018.

Back in 2019, the collapse of the exchange caused $125 million in losses for 76,000 investors. The exchange was shut down in January 2019, weeks after Cotten died at age 30 suddenly while on his honeymoon in India. Jeff Kehoe, director of the enforcement branch at the OSC, said in a statement,

“While public release of an investigative report is rare, we believe the tens of thousands of Ontarians who entrusted Quadriga with their money and crypto assets deserve to know what happened.”

Outlining the events from Quadriga’s inception to its eventual collapse, the report stated the exchange faced losses when the price of digital currencies changed which Cotten covered with other clients’ deposits.

Running a Ponzi Scheme

The investigation of data related to 368,000 client accounts and more than 6 million individual transactions revealed that Cotten operated a Ponzi scheme.

He opened accounts under aliases and credited himself with fake crypto assets and currency balances which he traded with Quadriga clients. And when he sustained real losses with the change in the price of cryptocurrencies, it created a shortfall in assets for client withdrawals. This shortfall was covered with other clients’ deposits.

Out of the total C$169 million in client losses, about $115 million of this was due to Cotten’s fraudulent trading. When he died, the platform owed C$215 million to its client, the regulator said.

Cotten also siphoned off assets about C$24 million for personal use and lavish lifestyle between May 2016 and January 2018, according to the OSC.

About C$46 million was recovered and paid to clients while assets worth about C$22 million were returned by Cotten and his widow Jennifer Robertson, the report said.

“The information presented in this report highlights the unique risks that can arise when using crypto asset trading platforms,” which are magnified when they are traded on platforms not registered with regulators, Kehoe said in a statement.

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin Now Following A Trend That Previously Kicked Off The Start Of A New Bull Market

  • 40% of all BTC has not been moved for at least 2 years, the last time this happened, a new bull market started
  • Top riches 7 entities are all exchanges that collectively hold 13% of Bitcoin’s circulating supply
  • A healthy and consistent adoption of Bitcoin over the past 10 years as only 21 days in its history was negative growth

Bitcoin’s price is looking strong and enjoying good greens. Today, we jumped above $9,500, making yet another new high of 2020 and a level last hit in early November.

But interestingly, this surge in price has no effect on the HODLers.

According to the on-chain analytics firm, Glassnode, HODLed Bitcoin has been rather increasing “sharply” as we move into 2020. This could be because of the upcoming reward halving in May, which has been a historically bullish event of which investors have bullish expectations. Glassnode notes:

“Currently, over 40% of all BTC have not been moved for at least 2 years. Previously, we’ve seen this behaviour kick off new bull markets by restricting circulating supply and increasing demand.”

About 23 million entities own BTC

In another of its analysis, Glassnode found that 1910 entities hold more than or equal to 1,000 BTC while 75 entities hold equal to or more than 10,000 BTC.

The richest ones out there are 7 entities that hold equal to or more than 100,000 BTC which are all exchanges with Coinbase leading the pack, holding about 983 BTC. Coinbase is then followed by Huobi (369,100 BTC), Binance (240,700 BTC), Bitfinex (214,600 BTC), Bitstamp (165,400 BTC), Kraken (132,100 BTC), and Bittrex (118,100 BTC).

Together these exchanges control over 2,35,000 BTC, approximately 13% of the circulating supply of Bitcoin. Overall,

“as of January 2020 the number of entities holding Bitcoin is ~23.1 million. This is 18.5% less than the current number of non–zero addresses (~28.4 million).”

Instead of going with addresses, Glassnode chose entities because as it points out Bitcoin addresses can hold funds for more than one individual such as exchange addresses and a single entity can also own and control multiple addresses holding BTC.

The daily net growth of entities has also been a positive and strong one because there have been only 21 days so far in Bitcoin history in which the net entity growth was negative.

“This is a clear indication of a healthy and consistent adoption of Bitcoin over the past 10 years,” states Glassnode.

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Author: AnTy

Cryptocurrency Exchanges Aren’t Going Anywhere Soon, Even If They Are Dwindling

When the crypto bubble originally happened, there were new crypto exchanges popping up daily. However, a recent article in Forbes points out that these numbers are now going in the opposite direction, and there are new exchanges shutting down almost daily. The boom of 2016 has since died out, and the exchanges that arose during this time have no reason left to be around.

Realistically, Bitcoin has already been done, and the Forbes article simply states that the world doesn’t need more replicas of this asset. Without the Ethereum-based tokens, there’s only about 30 listable tokens, which hardly supports the number of exchanges that are presently on the market.

Despite the many regulatory concerns and the pressure that various countries are placing on exchanges, it still doesn’t look like they aren’t going away anytime soon. There are still exchanges that will continue to be shut down, but the bigger platforms seem well equipped with the necessary support to keep the industry going for quite a while.

Altcoins are another concern in the cryptocurrency market. The limited appeal of these coins must have use cases to survive. Online games, for example, often have para-currencies, though it isn’t always easy to swap out these or money, which is good for the government. If the para-currency could be swapped out easily, private currency ends up circumventing different laws. The article states,

“Up to now, the use cases of money were powerful, a store of wealth, a unit of account, and a means of exchange, but apart from a few niche applications, like jewelry, decoration, and votive offerings, that’s all there is.”

“Crypto can be more.”

The necessity for Bitcoin to come into the financial world was due to the failure of the government, just like the entry of tokens from pubs in the 17th and 18th century, which assigned tokens a value of a certain amount of ale. The article suggests that this example is a good reason to support a lack of future for cryptocurrencies, considering that governments could simply create their own to remedy these circumstances.

However, perhaps the opposite is true, in that the decentralized nature of cryptocurrency and their exchanges allow users to be hedged from “disaster and privation” that could be imposed on the public.

Cryptocurrency exchanges have been dropping out of the industry since 2016, following the cryptocurrency boom. However, a recent article from Forbes suggests that these platforms could be around for quite a while.

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Author: Krystle M

Family Members See Jail Time for Using Bitcoin on the Dark Web to Sell Drugs

A criminal case involving a father, his daughter, Bitcoin and drugs happened recently. Brittany Nicole Green and Gregory Green were both sentenced to jail recently in the state of Montana for using Bitcoin to create a drug ring on the dark web. While Brittany was sentenced to five years, her father Gregory will spend three years in jail.

Between 2017 and 2018, the father and daughter duo sold drugs via the dark web, received the money in Bitcoin and shipped them through the mail to other cities.

When the authorities finally raided the home of the criminals, they discovered “a supermarket of drugs” that contained methamphetamines, Xanax and other drugs such as Carfentanil.

The duo have been watched and investigated since December of 2018 when customs intercepted a package containing Xanax from Canada that was sent to Green. According to the U. S. Assistant Attorney Bryan Dake, one of the most unique aspects of the case is that all drugs were received and sent via the mail. The Greens never actually had to leave their houses to run the operation.

Both parties admitted to drug possession and conspiracy to sell it, so they went for a plea deal. The judge of the case affirmed that the daughter’s role in the drug ring was more active, so she deserved a longer sentence than her father.

This is not the first time that someone used cryptocurrencies to sell drugs online. In fact, the popular dark web marketplace Silk Road was one of the most famous cases in which this happened and one of the main reasons why Bitcoin managed to get a bad rap among authorities.

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Author: James W

BTC Users Running Lightning Network Nodes Urged To Update After Confirmed CVE Vulnerabilities Exploited

An unfortunate event happened in the Bitcoin Lightning Network recently. According to the recent announcement made on Twitter by Lightning Labs, the network is currently being exploited due to a vulnerability.

According to the tweet, all Ind 0.7, c-lightning 0.7, eclair 0.3 and their editions below that are possible to be affected by the exploit, so people should upgrade to the latest version of the system in order to protect themselves from the attack. The latest versions, 0.7.1 and 0.3.1, are not subject to the attacks.

Olaoluwa Osuntokun, the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Lightning Labs, affirmed that there are several cases of people exploiting the network. The exploit was originally discovered a few days ago by Rusty Russel, another LN coder.

According to Russel, security vulnerabilities could make several projects to lose funds. He did not disclaim exactly what was the bug, obviously, in order to protect the users, but someone or a group of people may have discovered the exploit and is using it to steal money from the LN.

The Twitter profile also warned people that LN technology is prone to have bugs as it is still during its experimental phases. Because of this, nobody should put more money on the network than they were willing to lose if a bug happens.

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Author: Hank Klinger

BitMEX Jokingly Jabs at Binance on Plagiarizing Its Documents For a Futures Trading Platform

The most recent spat between crypto exchanges happened between BitMEX and Binance. According to BitMEX, people from the other exchange plagiarized some content from documents had created.

BitMEX decided to be sarcastic and congratulated the other platform for it. The tweet also affirmed that the company was glad that the people at Binance enjoyed the paper so much that they copied it.

The original document created by BitMEX was used for the testnet of the company’s futures platform. Now, Binance also used it for the testnet of its own futures platform.

Even the CEO of BitMEX, Arthur Hayes, commented on the occasion. He joked that people who plagiarize should at least make a small effort so it doesn’t seem so obvious that they are stealing content.

The CEO of Binance, Changpeng Zhao, had no alternative but to confess that it was their fault. According to him, it was their mistake and he did not read the documents from BitMEX himself, so this part was not spotted by anyone.

His reaction was seen favorably in social media and some people have even defended Binance, affirming that it was not such a huge sin because people are launching new products practically all the time. Hayes seemed to be ok with the answer, posting a friendly meme as the answer.

Now, Binance is set to continue the launch of its futures testnet platform. The company has launched not one, but two platforms. The main idea was that people from the community could vote on which platform they liked the most. The platform with more votes would end up being chosen as the official one when the test phase is over.

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Author: Bitcoin Exchange Guide News Team

Siberia: Bitcoin Mining Farms Are Flourishing Over A Ruined Industry

After the end of the Soviet Union and the economic fallout that happened in Russia, several industry facilities were abandoned. Now, cryptocurrency miners are giving these abandoned places a new breath of life by using them as mining farms.

Most of these platforms were built during the Cold War and were originally used for manufacturing. Now, the installations and the Bratsk hydroelectric station, which are set in Siberia, are being used for BTC mining.

Several mining companies have been using the legacy of the Soviet Union, the hydroelectric station, as a way to get cheap energy. As the industry is no longer strong in the region, it is really inexpensive to use it for mining.

Siberia also has a pretty cold climate, so it is becoming an important mining hub right now. Several companies from other countries are entering Russia in order to also be benefitted from this emerging market.

According to Dmitry Ozersky, the CEO of one of the now local mining companies, Eletro Farm, there is a huge surplus of power in Russia. The Soviet Union created a lot of power stations, but the economic crisis made several places shut down.

After the new system was enacted and the country got in its feet again, the issue was that no one wanted to use the surplus power. Eletro Farm has over 18,000 ASIC miners and, according to its executives, is one of the largest operations around.

Regions such as Siberia still have industrial activity, but there is simply not a huge demand for it anymore. This was seen by miners who decided to takeover. They bought these cheap factories and used cheap electricity to get high profits. With their help, the region is starting to get some of its former importance back.

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Author: Gabriel Machado

Troublesome Exchanges QuadrigaCX and Cryptopia See Users of Both Share Same Unfortunate Fate

Troublesome-Exchanges-QuadrigaCX-and-Cryptopia-See-Users-of-Both-Share-Same-Unfortunate-Fate

Two Of The Biggest Crypto Dramas Of 2019 Happened On The Exact Same Day

  • Both Cryptopia and QuadrigaCX shut down their withdrawals and froze transactions on January 14th.
  • Since then, both exchanges have filed for bankruptcy.

Coincidences happen all of the time, but there are a few coincidences that are too close not to draw a connection. That is exactly the case with QuadrigaCX and Cryptopia, according to a recent article from Decrypt.co. A few customers discussed their recent losses that they experienced in January, watching QuadrigaCX go under on the same exact day that Cryptopia’s hack happened.

The hack of Cryptopia has been well publicized, resulting in the loss of $16 million in both ETH and ERC20 tokens on January 14th. The exchange discovered the loss rather quickly, taking the exchange offline and stopping anyone else from making withdrawals. Unbeknownst to Cryptopia, Quadriga was announcing the passing of their CEO the month before, which was a strange enough situation on its own.

Quadriga had already been slow for quite some time, but the news of Gerald Cotten’s death coincided with the exchange completely freezing withdrawals. As all of this news hit, investors on both sides of these exchanges were take aback, losing so much in one day. One trader named Ida, who omitted her last name, said that she switched to her Cryptopia account after having troubles with Quadriga to pull her coins as soon as possible, but Cryptopia had already been hacked. With the fast-acting work of Cryptopia to shut down withdrawals, Ida was met with another roadblock. The story was the same with many other mutual traders.

QuadrigaCX did not come back from their freeze, deciding to file for creditor protection. The company ultimately decided to file for bankruptcy recently. Cryptopia worked with the authorities in an attempt to relaunch the platform in the middle of March this year, but it didn’t quite go as planned. After multiple attempts by the team to revive the platform with the right security measures, Cryptopia decided to shut down and file for bankruptcy in New Zealand less than two weeks ago.

Realistically, the fact that both of these exchanges met the beginning of their ends on the same day is probably just an unfortunate twist of fate. However, the lack of regulations in the crypto industry are likely the true culprit here, along with the lack of protection.

Cryptopia used to be a place for crypto traders to create a diverse home of converting to altcoins. The platform even listed 400 altcoins at one time, including HoboNickels and BeaverCoin. The year 2017 was a great atmosphere for altcoins, though the volume is rather low for these types of coins. By having such a lot volume, these altcoins tend to become organized “pump and dump” schemes, and Cryptopia ended up being a place for these altcoins.

However, since the exchanges could not actually get the banking needed, these altcoins were not actually available for purchase, and could only be purchased through an exchange that let users use fiat currency to buy Bitcoin. In an interesting turn of events, that was where Quadriga was technically connected with Cryptopia. They would allow for the purchase of these coins, and consumers could go back over to Cryptopia for the altcoins.

Another major issue was the lack of Know Your Customer (KYC) protocols with Cryptopia, which they did not require for NZ $5,000 ($3,270 USD). In May 2017, Cryptopia’s bank started to notice the issues when the exchange decided to launch a stablecoin that they pegged to the New Zealand dollar called NZDT. As a result, locals could purchase their Bitcoin from Cryptopia directly. As funds flew in and out of their bank accounts, Cryptopia’s bank worried that the funds could be used for illicit activities, like drug purchases from the Black market. When the bank decided to shut down their accounts by February 2018, Cryptopia sent out a notification to their users.

Between the banking problems of both Cryptopia and QuadrigaCX, combined with poor accounting of their own blockchains, the companies finally met their demise. On January 14th, both exchanges saw the first stage of failure. Though both have sought the help of the traditional financial system, there are still many former customers that just want their money back.

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Author: Krystle M