Binance Futures Adds Perpetual Contracts For Tron (TRX) With 75x Leverage

One of the largest futures trading platforms in the world, Binance Futures, has announced the introduction of TRX/USDT perpetual contract that will go live starting Jan.15.

According to a press statement released by Binance, traders will have a chance to choose from 1 up to 75x leverage. This means that a trader who opts for the highest leverage will have a chance to hold 7,500 USDT equivalent of TRX by only depositing 100 USDT which will act as collateral.

Binance has been looking at ways to attract more customers for its futures products and in October last year increased in leverage to 125x. Changpeng Zhao, Binance CEO, has explained that high-leveraged trading pairs are on high demand especially among institutional investors, U-Today reports. CZ explained,

“Binance Futures offers a fast and stable platform that is designed by traders for traders. We have seen an increase in institutional participation in trading, and these professional traders seek out the most efficient ways to trade very quickly, both in terms of cost and performance.”

Binance Futures has been aggressive in efforts to increase its market share when it comes to derivatives and in the recent past has introduced perpetual futures contracts for different cryptos including Litecoin as well as XRP.

Although the futures exchange has risen in terms of popularity, derivatives traders have been asked to be cautious as the derivatives market is highly risky and can easily lose their funds when their trades don’t work out.

Binance stated that it has a price limit of ±1% on the mark price to prevent market manipulation. However, this limitation will only be implemented for just 15 minutes after trading kicks-off at exactly 08:00 AM (UTC).

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Chinese Smartphone Retail Giant Invests In Decentralized Cloud Storage Firm, Monsoon Blockchain

A subsidiary of D.Phone, one of the largest Chinese mobile phone retailers, has made its first steps into the blockchain space by acquiring a minority stake in Monsoon Blockchain, a US startup.

It seems Dixintong Technology Group and Monsoon Blockchain signed the purchase on January 7. The company’s founder and chairman, Donghai Liu, said this will allow Dixintong to explore blockchain-based and other new technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT) and 5G.

Many Phone Companies in China are Exploring the Blockchain Space

Since President Xi Jinping has expressed its support for blockchain technology, many telecommunication services providers in the country have started to be more and more interested in it. For example, China Telecom and China Mobile are now part of the state-backed consortium Blockchain-Based Service Network (BSN). More than this, most major Chinese carriers have started to offer cloud services and 5G data plans to their customers. When it comes to the Dixintong project, Liu had this to say about it:

“There will be great potential for blockchain adoption given the support from the Chinese government. That is one of the biggest reasons why we want to form a partnership with Monsoon Blockchain.”

Monsoon Touts an ETH-Based Protocol

Monsoon Blockchain is thinking about running an Ethereum (ETH) – based protocol for smart contracts to have a marketplace for potential clients and cloud service providers. The protocol will be blockchain-based and peer-to-peer. The company has collaborated in the past with Oracle, IBM and Alibaba. With Dixintong, it’s planning to bring more users onto the protocol. Dixintong is not only selling mobile devices, but also data plans and licensed virtual services, so it has access to billions of Chinese users that Monsoon can reach to.

When it comes to Monsoon’s role, this would be to assign unique identities to smartphone users on the blockchain platform, for them to benefit from data services at low costs as a result of the optimized cloud services solution.

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Author: Oana Ularu

IBM And Maersk’s TradeLens Blockchain Tracking Platform Adds Largest Shipping Port In Oman

Salalah, the largest port in Oman, has signed up to IBM and Maersk’s blockchain supply chain platform TradeLens.

According to a Times of Oman report from Wednesday, the port has only recently been included in the shipping data project, in an attempt to make some digital transformations. TradeLens allows companies and shipping supply chains to share information on cargoes in real time, through its permissioned blockchain. This ensures increased efficiency and more transparency when it comes to international trades.

Salalah to Make Shipping Operations Transparent

As Times of Oman says, the Salalah port is trying to collaborate with other supply chain entities to make its operations digital. It’s believed TradeLens can be very helpful when it comes to bringing transparency to shipping operations. This is what Port of Salalah’s CEO, Mark Hardiman, had to say about using blockchain tech for the port’s operations:

“Adopting and incorporating blockchain technology into all aspects of the supply chain will not only enhance the attractiveness of Salalah for [ecosystem] companies but also support the development of new business models that can further leverage the geographical location of Salalah.”

TradeLens Has Welcomed Aboard Many Major Carriers Last Year

The TradeLens project has been launched in 2018. It has seen many of the most important carriers joining its platform last year, as in the beginning, shipping companies were reluctant to work with it because it was favoring only founding companies. At the moment, there are over 100 participants on the TradeLens platform, including shipping firms and port regulators or operators.

Thailand’s Customs Agency Also Working with TradeLens

In August 2019, Thailand’s customs agency integrated its shipment tracking procedures with TradeLens. The platform was antitrust exempted by the US Federal Maritime Commission to no longer be legally restricted when it comes to cooperating with US Shipping Act of 1984’s mandated shipping companies. According to reports, port of Salalah had a yearly volume of 4 million shipping containers in 2019, when it broke its own record.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Litecoin (LTC) Poised to Break it’s Six Month Long Bear Channel

  • Litecoin faces the “largest miner capitulation” ever
  • Litecoin’s fundraising for Mimblewimble & Extension Block “going strong”

“I wouldn’t be surprised if LTC to leads a bullish breakout of BTC,” said on-chain analyst Willy Woo. And by the looks of it, we might be coming to that point.

While Chainlink (LINK) with over 11% and Tezos (XTZ) with 9% gains in the past 24 hours have been leading the market, Litecoin has been up 6%, close behind Bitcoin (up 6.94%), to lead the top 10 cryptocurrencies.

In the past 7 days, LTC has risen 12.20% to $48. This has been because as Woo explained Litecoin Difficulty ribbon is in recovery which should set up a “bullish breakout of the bearish channel.”

The hash rate of the Litecoin network has been falling ever since hitting an all-time high at 523.8 Th/s in July 2019. In mid-Dec, the hash rate seems to have bottomed at 130 Th/s as it starts climbing back up, currently at 162 Th/s.

This could also mean Litecoin leading a bullish breakout of BTC, he said, which wouldn’t be the first time.

Meanwhile, “1 day RSI breakout will very likely lead the LTCUSD price chart breaking its 6-month long bear channel,” said the analyst.

Largest Miner Capitulation Ever

Woo noted that this was also the “largest miner capitulation LTC has ever faced.”

Miner capitulation is basically when smaller mining operations gets forced into a difficult situation because of the fall in the prices of a crypto asset while their mining machines become technologically obsolete.

This forces these miners to sell their digital assets to keep their operations running and upgrade their systems.

When the profitability is limited, miners selling their crypto assets can turn into a vicious cycle. As Cole Garner, a popular cryptocurrency analyst explained,

“Undercapitalized miners panic sell, price dumps, longs get squeezed, stop losses cascade — then more miners lose their lunch.”

Fundraising for Mimblewimble & Extension Block Going Strong

On the development front, the fundraising for the Confidential Transaction Fund is “going strong” and the team is already one-fourth of the way there, as per the December update.

The Litecoin Foundation is also setting up a dedicated development fund that will go towards sponsoring David Burkett, a developer for Grin++ who will work on implementing Extension Block and MimbleWimble code for Litecoin to address the issue of fungibility.

Out of the $72,000 goal, a total of $23,768 has been raised, 0.04486046 in BTC ($376) and 497.72304626 in LTC ($23,392).

The lead developer of the Litecoin MimbleWimble proposal, Burkett is planning to split half of his 30 hours a week for Mimblewimble and the other half on Grin++. Burkett said in his November report,

“After months of planning, development of the mimblewimble extension block has officially started! My efforts this month focused mostly around restructuring the core logic (…) that involves all of the logging, serialization, crypto, error handling, and common data structures (headers/blocks/txs).”

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Author: AnTy

IOHK Launches Cardano Daedalus Rewards Wallet For ADA Staking On Shelley Testnet

  • Cardano is now offering its users the Daedalus Rewards wallet for staking ADA.

Cardano is among the largest proof-of-stake (PoS) projects based on blockchain technology. It has recently launched the Daedalus Rewards wallet for staking ADA tokens, as an announcement released from Input Output Hong Kong (IOHK). IOHK is the research company helmed by Charles Hoskinson that’s behind Cardano.

This is what the IOHK tweet from December 17 says:

Cardano Wants to Reach a Level of Decentralization

On December 13, Cardano’s Shelley has started the Incentivized Testnet stage. With the launch of the Daedalus wallet, ADA holders will be able to obtain rewards if they delegate their tokens or act as stake pool operators, which can be very profitable for them. The rewards will become ready for spending after the Testnet is completed. With such an incentive mechanism, it’s more than clear that Cardano is trying to decentralize the network, this being the Shelley era’s main purpose.

Starting with December 15, more than 240 pools are available for staking. Cardano is looking to have its numbers growing to at least 1,000, so that the company reaches the needed decentralization level. It has already surpassed EOS and Tron, which are the main networks for delegated proof-of-stake (DPoS), when it comes to the staking pools’ numbers.

ADA Holders Have Staked $195 Million

Reports say ADA holders have staked more than 5 billion ADA coins, so about $195 million. The Shelley mainnet is expected to go live early in 2020. In case a user stakes 100,000 ADA ($3,600 at the moment), the staking rewards would be somewhere at $260 per year.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Binance To Launch Fiat Gateway, Latamex, In Brazil And Argentina; Can Buy BTC, BNB, BUSD, ETH

The world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange platform is expanding its services in Latin America. Binance announced on 12th December via press release shared with CryptoGlobe its plan to launch a new fiat gateway for Latin America. It is partnering with various digital assets settlement networks to launch a platform called Latamex.

Latamex will allow direct fiat purchase of cryptocurrencies for Latin America on its website. Purchasers will be able to use Argentine Peso (ARS) and Brazilian Real (BRL) to buy some of the largest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Binance Coin, and stablecoins such as BUSD.

Binance in Latin America

Binance’s new platform announcement has come days after Bitcoin trading volumes in Argentina made a new record at the beginning of December. Political turmoil in the nation has resulted in higher inflation rates, which is turning more people to Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. It is the case in other politically troubled countries in Latin America. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said:

“There is a strong need for cryptocurrencies in Latin America, especially for financial access. Roughly 50 percent of the Latin American population is unbanked, and Latamex is a response to our users’ demands and the current market climate. Working with Settle Network allows us to instantly bridge the gap between fiat and crypto for Latin American traders. We are continuing to build with our key partner, Settle Network, to bring wider accessibility of cryptocurrency in Latin America and will support additional local fiat currencies in the region in the future.”

Latamex Future

The company will continue to build partners and settle networks to bring more extensive accessibility of cryptocurrencies in Latin America and also support additional fiat currencies in the future. In the future, Binance plans to launch Latamex in 13 other American countries, including Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Salvador, and Uruguay.

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Author: Daniel W

Blockchain Research: Major Competition from Bitcoin Mining Pools Pushes Bitmain Out

  • Blockchain is one of the largest companies in the cryptocurrency industry.
  • AntPool, BTC.com, and ViaBTC almost took up enough of the hashrate last year to create a 51% attack on the blockchain.

Mining is a critical component of Bitcoin, required to keep the blockchain updated and scaled as necessary. Recently, one of the largest companies in the crypto industry – Blockchain – decided to analyze the changes in how blocks are distributed within some of the biggest mining pools. Mining pools are used for individual miners to combine their resources, and the graph posted by Blockchain shows that the competition is still relatively consistent, and there’s yet to be a leader to emerge.

Last year, BTC.com – owned by Bitmain – was a top mining pool last year. However, through the last few years, the market share has been decreasing. Based on the data available through Blockchain’s tweet, it looks like the one-time leader is now only responsible for about 15.5% of the blocks mined for Bitcoin.

Instead, Poolin appears to be taking the slight lead, which only entered into the crypto mining sector in 2017, led by former employees of Bitmain. The pool didn’t start to rise amongst the many competitors until late last year, but it has continued this progress through 2019. Still, the competition is tight, and Poolin’s market share is 16.6%, but that hasn’t stopped some people from predicting that it will become a dominating pool for the market.

The third and fourth places are taken by F2Pool (14.8%) and AntPool (9.9%), respectively. However, it is worth pointing out that the only pool that has stayed consistent with their market share through the last two years has been AntPool, despite residing at the fourth place.

Even with this competition, unknown pools account for 24.7% of all blocks mined, which is a good thing, as it helps decentralize the Bitcoin network. Through the first half of 2018, the collective blocks mined between BTC.com, AntPool, and ViaBTC nearly reached 51% of the hashrate, which puts the whole network at risk for a 51% attack. As unknown pools account for a bigger portion of mined blocks, it is easy to stay away from this risk.

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Author: Krystle M

Is Braiins Stratum V2 Update The Answer To Bitcoin Mining Becoming Fully Decentralized?

The company that’s behind one of the largest mining pools for Bitcoin (BTC), Braiins, has recently presented a code that looks promising when it comes to decentralized mining.

The specification is called Stratum V2 and can greatly improve the way in which Bitcoin mining works. More than this, it can bring more security to mining pools and have them function more efficiently, especially for entities organizing miners all over the world. While its aim is to improve Bitcoin mining pools differently, the main benefit that it brings is that it reduces mining pool centralization, which is the most pressing problem with the Bitcoin.

Many People Are Supportive of the Plan

Jimmy Song, the Bitcoin developer, and influencer had this to say about Braiins’ plan:

At the same time, the Bitcoin developer for Square, Matt Corallo, who’s also a designer for the protocol, has recently written in a Reddit AMA that:

“This is huge for mining centralization. Instead of being focused on the centralization of pools (which is the world we’re in today), we can focus on the centralization of actual miners [and] farm owners!”

Corallo revealed the BetterHash project last year, a project that is planning to combat centralization in mining pools. Today, Braiins together with Corallo are working together to create the ultimate protocol to fix the issues with mining pools.

How the Mining Power Is Being Distributed and Why It Is Problematic

Mining can be very difficult for those who are doing it individually. When the Bitcoin had just appeared, those who were mining for it all over the world were connecting to mining pools in order to make more money. After long hours of mining, if one of them was getting lucky, the entire pool was benefiting. With time, mining pools that are weighted turned into a safer and more profitable method as far as earning and redistributing the profits based on the contributory mining power goes.

However, recent data revealed by Blockchain.info is indicating that just 3 mining pools are controlling more than 50% of the Bitcoin’s mining power, centralizing it for just a few people. This is a serious problem, as when a miner from a mining pool wins a block and the 12.5 Bitcoin reward, the mining pool is deciding which transactions to go into that block. Experts worry that centralized entities may be tempted to use all this power in order to censor the transaction they’re not found of.

Stratum V2 is Modeled of Corallo’s Better Hash

Stratum V2 is trying to support the “job negotiation” model of BetterHash, changing the connection between the mining pool and the miner. This means that miners and not mining pools decide which transactions to go into blocks. More than this, miners would also be allowed to vote for protocol updates. This wouldn’t necessarily be a silver bullet when it comes to mining centralization, but at least mining pools censoring Bitcoin transactions would simply be opted out.

Luke Dashjr, the veteran Bitcoin coder, has said on Twitter,

Stratum V2 Is Not Only Fighting Decentralization

Decentralization is not the only problem Stratum V2 is addressing. Mining pools would also be provided an incentive to adopt the protocol because this would save more money and prevent the attacks aimed at causing them to no longer get rewards. What Stratum V2 does is transferring data in a more efficient manner and making it more difficult for the mining pool hash power to be stolen. This is what Braiins’ co-CEO Jan Capek had to say about this:

“Last but not least, we have addressed the security aspects by allowing fully encrypted and authenticated communication using the current state of the art technology called ‘Noise Protocol Framework’.”

Braiins is still in the finalizing phase for some features. For example, it’s trying to decide what algorithm should be used when hiding the data. The Stratum V2 is going to be available for tests soon, whereas its specification draft is now under review. Capek said it may take up to 12 months or more for the mining pools to start working with the protocol.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Northern Bitcoin AG Enters Merger with Whinstone Group to Build Massive Bitcoin Mining Farm

  • The merger will allow the companies to create the largest Bitcoin mining facility in Texas.
  • As a joint company, Whinstone and Norther Bitcoin AG become a leading global player.

Northern Bitcoin AG is responsible for the operation of a Bitcoin Mining Site in Louisiana and is presently working on developing the biggest Bitcoin mining facility in the world. According to a recent press release from BusinessWire, Northern Bitcoin decided to eliminate their competitor Whinstone US, Inc. by signing a merger agreement with them.

The Whinstone Group has been involved in the blockchain industry for the last five years, establishing its own mining facilities that are located in the US, along with Sweden and the Netherlands. The most recent site for the company was established in Texas across 100 acres, making it the largest data center in all of North America and the largest facility for mining Bitcoin.

The first construction phase of the new facility is scheduled for the first quarter of next year, and the company will end up ranking at the top of the industry worldwide. Two stock-listed corporations are the first customers of this site, which will use much of the 300 megawatts of capacity that will be available at the time.

Along with the focus on blockchain applications, the data center will be usable for the purpose of video rendering and artificial intelligence applications. The co-founder and managing director of Whinstone, Aroosh Thillainathan, elaborated, saying:

“With stock-listed Northern Bitcoin AG, we have found the ideal partner to position our successful business development on the capital market from now on. The joint company has the immediate potential to shape the future course of the global mining industry.”

Mathis Schultz, the CEO of Northern Bitcoin AG, chimed in on this merger as well, commenting:

“With this merger, we are catapulting ourselves faster than originally planned to the top of the world in Bitcoin mining. Whinstone’s team has done a great job over the past few years and is proving its leadership in the blockchain industry by building the world’s largest mining facility.”

Schultz added that their collaboration offers a “dominant leadership position” in cryptocurrency and that both companies are set to “benefit significantly” as blockchain technology progresses.

The joint efforts of the two companies will make their merged brand into a global leader for Bitcoin mining. The arrangement allows the management of Whinstone to complement the management that already exists for Northern Bitcoin AG.

Learn more about Northern Bitcoin at www.northernbitcoin.com.

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Author: Krystle M

Singapore’s HBSC To Launch Bond Registry Pilot Using DLT; Partnering With Temasek And SGX

One of the largest banks in the world is delving into the decentralized ledger technologies (DLT) space to offer fixed income securities on the blockchain. Singapore’s HSBC announced a partnership with Singapore Exchange (SGX), a leading exchange in debt and fixed income assets, and Temasek, a company with a net portfolio value of $231 billion USD, to launch a bond issuance platform on DLT in Asian markets.

HSBC partners with SGX and Temasek Investments

The Asian bond market is witnessing absurd growth in the past year or so as investors look towards non-volatile investments. According to the Asian bond monitor index, at the end of June, there was $15.3 trillion in local currency bonds outstanding in the region, 3.5% more than at the end of March and 14.2% more than in June 2018. While the space experiences high growth, the service, and infrastructure remain inefficient rendering the process slow and expensive.

In a turn to innovation, HSBC will launch a pilot project applying smart contracts and tokenized securities to streamline the bond industry. Chief Executive Officer at HSBC Singapore, Tony Cripps, is looking forward to the use of blockchain to explore possible digital bond contracts. In the partnership with SGX and Temasek, he said,

“The potential of DLT is an evolving story, and its role in overcoming inefficiencies in the fixed income market is yet to be seen. Only by collaborating with market participants will we fully understand its actual viability.”

Adding to the comments, Lee Beng Hong, Head of Fixed Income, Currencies & Commodities at SGX, said,

“Having HSBC and Temasek on board will enable us to evaluate holistically whether smart contracts and DLT can solve some of the long-standing challenges in the fixed income issuance ecosystem.”

HSBC Deeply Rooted on Blockchain Technologies

In June, the bank sent out a letter to its customers educating them on blockchain and cryptocurrencies, a move that signaled better things to come. Since then the company has integrated blockchain to reduce transaction times by over 40% and became the first bank to complete the first yuan-denominated letter of credit transaction on the blockchain.

In October, the Malaysian subsidiary, HSBC Malaysia, sent its first-ever letter of credit across the border to Singapore cutting transaction times by 90 percent.

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Author: Lujan Odera