Balancer Labs Launches V2 With Promises Lower Fees, Higher Yields, and Easy Interface

Balancer Labs, a DeFi protocol operating on the Ethereum blockchain, said in a press release that its long-awaited V2 is live.

Balancer’s Governance Execution

The project, which has been one year in development, will see the automated market maker (AMM) switch its governance execution to a community multi-sig.

This will see new signers like Jake Brukhman of CoinFund, David Hoffman with Bankless, Alexander Langer of Inflection, and eight more signers forming the new community.

Alongside this, the upgrade comes with a new clean user interface to make it simpler for users to execute trades. Also, the V2 offering will see users enjoy lower gas fees, faster exchanges, and improved liquidity – major challenges the Ethereum network is hoping to address with its ETH 2.0 launch.

Speaking about the expected gas savings the upgrade will facilitate, Balancer Labs said users would enjoy a 40% gas reduction fee for simple swaps. They will also get a 53% gas reduction fee if they execute trades with internal balances.

Balancer Labs also noted that all liquidity pools would be managed within a single vault in the new V2.

However, Balancer Labs says users should continue using the V1 pool since it provides the best prices. This is until enough liquidity is moved to the new V2 protocol. The development team notes that once enough liquidity is in the latest version, all trades would be routed through its Protocol Vault so users will enjoy low gas costs and better pricing.

Concerning V2 liquidity mining, Balancer Labs said liquidity providers (LPs) would switch to a new and trustless program to mine its native token BAL. This will see LPs stake positions in different pools to receive BAL. Balancer said these pools are divided into three tiers, and each tier slot will be getting a fixed amount of BAL token per week.

DeFi Is Booming

In the run-up to its V2 launch, Balancer Labs highlighted the key contributions of a few industry players and said it had signed agreements with a few. Some of its launch partners are Gnosis which handled its user experience focusing on price, UX, and transparency. Others are Ocean Protocol, Element Finance, Aave, Gyroscope, PowerPool, Enzyme Finance, and Techemy Capital.

AMMs like Balancer Labs are hugely popular in the DeFi sub-sector, given their competitive prices and user-friendliness. In a new report by DeFi data aggregator DeFi Pulse, the UniSwap rival has racked up over $2.77 billion total value locked (TVL) in the last 90 days.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Bitcoin Price Crashes $450 on BitMEX CEO Arthur Hayes & Other Founders Indicted on Criminal Charges

CFTC has charged BitMEX with illegally operating a derivatives trading platform.

Back in July 2019 U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) started investigating the exchange with a focus on allowing Americans to trade on the platform while not being registered with the agency.

But as Jake Chervinsky, general counsel at Compound Finance, said the bigger news is BitMEX founder Arthur Hayes, Samuel Reed, and Benjamin Delo being indicted on charges of violating the Bank Secrecy Act, which carries a maximum prison term of five years.

Exchange’s first employee who later became the head of business development, Gregory Dwyer, was also charged and arrested this morning in Massachusetts —the rest remain at large, said the prosecutors.

The founders of BitMEX were indicted by federal prosecutors in New York for failing to comply with adequate anti-money laundering measures at the company.

“These defendants flouted (to do their part to help in driving out crime and corruption) obligation and undertook to operate a purportedly ‘off-shore’ crypto exchange while willfully failing to implement and maintain even basic anti-money laundering policies,” Acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said.

The official press release further states that one of the defendants even bragged about the company incorporated outside the US where “bribing regulators…cost just ‘a coconut.’”

“Thanks to the diligent work of our agents, analysts, and partners with the CFTC, they will soon learn the price of their alleged crimes will not be paid with tropical fruit, but rather could result in fines, restitution, and federal prison time,” it reads.

The real question is, how fast will foreign exchanges that still allow US-based traders to use their service via VPN or without KYC. The implications of this could be huge for the cryptocurrency community.

In response to the news, bitcoin fell from above $10,900 to $10,460 within minutes and is currently trading at around $10,500. The rest of the crypto market also dropped in tandem.

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Author: AnTy

Binance Applies for Singapore Crypto License Under The New Payment Services Act

Binance crypto exchange through its parent company has applied for Singapore’s new operating license. This follows an upgrade of laws governing crypto in the FinTech friendly jurisdiction. Singapore sought to advance its payments’ ecosystem legalities as more firms’ leveraging blockchain tech and tokenization set up in the country.

Changpeng Zhao (CZ), has since cleared the air for Binance Holdings noting that its local entity was among the first stakeholders to apply for this new license. According to Mr. Zhao, Binance Singapore is quite open-minded and has been working closely with local authorities since its launch.

Singapore’s Payment Services Act

The payment services act came into being at the beginning of 2020 and is meant to harmonize digital payment operations. This act now regulates crypto market players whose business involves tokens like Ether or clearing and settlements networks that facilitate digital currency transactions.

One of the major reasons for advancing crypto regulation in Singapore was risk minimization. The new payments’ laws are set to empower the country’s Monetary Authority in issues money laundering, terror financing and cybersecurity exposures. Furthermore, it will be much easier to regulate all crypto-oriented firms in Singapore going forward under the same law.

Other firms that have signaled an intention to acquire the new license include Luno and Liquid Group Inc. The two are headquartered in London and Tokyo respectively but have a significant part of their operations in Singapore.

Binance’s swift move in compliance shows that the company’s market prospects in Singapore are promising. The exchange’s operation within this jurisdiction are run under Temasek Holdings’ VC wing, Vertex Venture. Since its inception, Binance has been on an upward growth trajectory despite regulatory uncertainties in booming markets like the U.S. This firm’s journey began with a crypto-to-crypto exchange mindset but is now making game-changing moves in both product innovation and compliance in new territories like Singapore.

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Author: James W

Germany’s Financial Authority, BaFin, Releases Guidelines For Foreign Crypto Custodians

  • Germany newly passed law set to grandfather an already operating foreign crypto firms despite lacking a license
  • However, those foreign firms that haven’t hit the German market yet are to be locked out till they apply for the licenses

Germany’s Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) through a memo released in January stipulated that they wouldn’t target firms holding crypto assets for German citizens and were operating without a license. To the contrary they would welcome them to the fold as similar German-based crypto custodians following a new law passed in Germany that took effect beginning of this year.

They must however have declared their willingness to get a license by March 30th and must have completed application of the same license by November 30th. This locks out those firms that hadn’t gotten into the German market yet after the law took effect as they have to acquire a license first if they are to operate there. The memo read,

“Before commencing new activity in relation to crypto values, the company must apply for a license in accordance with section 32 (1) sentences 1 and 2 KWG, also in conjunction with a legal regulation under section 24 (4) KWG”

Germany was prompted to pass the law in accordance to the EU’s Fifth Anti Money Laundering Directive (AMLD5). This meant that the crypto companies were obliged to illustrate compliance in accordance to the KYC and AML protocols.

Uncharted waters for Foreign Crypto firms

This process may baffle those who haven’t crossed paths with the German watchdog as Sven Hildebrandt, head of Distributed Ledger Consulting Group, explained. The laws passed are usually not thoroughly thought through and end with potential loopholes that can only be fixed by establishing administrative routines. He further added that with ample guidance if you had an idea of what you were doing then one ought to know how to go about the task now.

The Hildebrandt’s DLC Group which has been previously sought for advice by foreign crypto firms on how to go about the German regulations is now seeking authority from the German regulator in an attempt to become a compliance wing for companies that may lack financial muscle for the license applications.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Brazil’s Atlas Quantum, a Bitcoin Trading Firm, Has 1 Day to Give Back Investors’ Money Over $250K of BTC

A court in Brazil has given 24 hours for a company operating in automated bitcoin to refund the money to the two investors it has. In the past few years, Atlas Quantum platform as allegedly faced a lot of difficulties withdrawing funds and making profits since the securities regulator in the country took strict action against it in August.

In a BelnCrypto Brazil report, the Atlas Quantum will have to deposit a total of $250,000 in bitcoins to refund its two aggrieved investors. One of these investors has been in and out of court on the issue since the 4th of September, 2019.

This company is based in Brazil and is responsible for identifying prices and differences in in price in cryptocurrency trading across the various trading avenues on behalf of its customers. The company will then buy a digital asset at the lower price and sell it to customers at a higher price to make a profit.

Reis explains:

“For one, two or three people it is possible to do the operation on time. However, as there are many clients, it is difficult to get the same values ​​for all and, in this case, the investor can lose money.”

According to the bitcoin expert Guilherme Reis, this type of business can truly generate huge profits. Although, the methods are less effective the more people do not buy the bitcoin. Suddenly there are huge amounts of pressure to sell and still make profits to appease the investors. Lack of the necessary withdrawals has led the company’s investors to take the drastic measures.

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Author: James W

Bittrex Adds Another Crypto to its “No Longer Accessible to US Customers” List

Exchanges operating in the US continues to add cryptocurrency to the long list of digital currencies that won’t be available to US customers any longer.

Binance.com has already stopped serving US customers. But the leading cryptocurrency exchange is launching its US division next week.

In June, Bittrex US had an altcoins exodus, now it has added another cryptocurrency, POLY to this list that won’t be available to its US customers from September 27, the exchange announced on Sept. 14.

This means, US customers won’t be able to buy or sell the cryptocurrency but may withdraw or continue to hold the crypto asset in their Bittrex wallet.

However, this does not change the ability of the digital asset on Bittrex international for non US customers.

Polymath (POLY), at the time of writing, has been trading at $0.330 with 24 hours gains of 2.30 percent. In the BTC market as well, it has been in the green by 2.08 percent.

New Addition

Bittrex, however still continues to list new assets for its US and international customers. The latest one being Hedera Hashgraph ($HBAR). The exchange will begin accepting deposits on Monday, September 16, 2019, at 00:00 UTC / 17:00 PDT.

Customers will be able to trade in the HBAR/BTC, HBAR/ETH, HBAR/USDT, and HBAR/USD markets on Tuesday, September 17 at 09:00 UTC/ 02:00 PDT.

Currently, HBAR is trading at $0.289180 as per Coingecko.

Scheduled Maintenance

On September 18, Bittrex.com will be offline as the platform goes under scheduled maintenance.

The downtime will start at 9:00 AM PT and may last until 11:00 AM PT during which users will not be able to log in or use Bittrex APIs.

All markets will be offline during the maintenance and trading will be suspended, however, all orders including partially filled orders will remain open on the order books.

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Author: AnTy

BitMEX COO Kwan Steps Down; Crypto Exchange Says She Is On “Gardening Leave”

According to the Block, Angelina Kwan, the chief operating officer at crypto exchange platform BitMEX, has left the company after relinquishing her seat.

According to the exchange’s spokesperson, Kwan is set to leave the company and at the moment is currently on leave. The spokesperson explained:

“We can confirm that Angelina Kwan is leaving the company and is on gardening leave now. That’s all we can say on the matter at the moment, but we wish Angelina all the best.”

Kwan joined BitMEX management late last year in October and has previously worked as director in Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission in charge of enforcement as well as market supervision.

Prior to her position as BitMEX’s COO, she was working as the managing director as well as regulatory compliance chief in Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing. During her tenure there, Kwan had stated that lack of clear and concise regulations in the crypto industry was a major setback among investors who wanted to venture into crypto exchanges.

By press time, BitMEX was ranked as the biggest crypto exchange as per the reported 24-hour trading volume, which at the moment stands at around $3.4 billion as per the CoinMarketCap.

Speculations are rife on the reason why Kwan left the exchange with Cointelegraph suggesting that the decision by the United Kingdom’s Advertising Standards Authority to uphold its verdict that BitMEX was advertising Bitcoin in its site could have fueled her departure. The advert in question presented a graph comparing Bitcoin’s value with the US dollar in the last ten years.

According to the Block, BitMEX has recently been embroiled in troubles with the US regulators. Reportedly, CFTC is investigating the platform on whether it went against the set rules and guidelines by permitting US citizens to use its platform for trading.

The industry has witnessed various high profile departures including crypto advocate and Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne who resigned last month. However, tZERO, a subsidiary of Overstock assured investors that Byrne’s departure will not affect its operations.

For now it is not yet known who will replace Kwan as the next BitMEX COO.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

NYSE and Nasdaq Accuse SEC Official Of Having An Ethical Conflict Regarding Fees on Market Data

NYSE and Nasdaq Accuse SEC Official Of Having An Ethical Conflict Regarding Fees on Market Data
  • NYSE and Nasdaq accuse SEC official of operating unethically
  • This is due to the fact he was working on different regulatory issues for exchanges

The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the Nasdaq have decided to accuse an official of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of having an ethical conflict. This is according to The Wall Street Journal in a report that they have recently released.

SEC Official Accused Of Having An Ethical Conflict

Back in 2018, the regulatory agency of the United States introduced new regulations to block exchanges from raising data fees and increase profits.

After this decision, exchanges have appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Apparently, there was an SEC official that was connected to these issues, thus incurring in an ethical conflict.

Before joining the SEC, Redfearn worked at JP Morgan Chase in which he bought the data from exchanges. Later in 2017, he criticized the decision of raising market-data fees. At that time, the bank belonged to the brokerage industry trade group Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (Sifma).

As reported by The Block, crypto exchanges are currently looking into Redfearn’s involvement in the challenge related to Sifma after joining the SEC.

Apparently, the work that Redfearn did relate to market-data issues, and was approved by the SEC’s chief ethics lawyer. As per the reports, he was going to participate on Sifma’s market data committee that would be giving information about market data challenges.

Exchanges believe that Redfearn has sent or received 32 different emails after joining the regulatory agency regarding the decision that overturned fee increases for crypto platforms.

[Author Alert] The author’s opinions above are solely based on their own self-conducted research. Assume any and all authors are using, holding, trading and/or buying cryptoassets mentioned as a portion of his or her financial portfolio. Use information at your own risk, do you own research, never invest more than you are willing to lose.

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Author: Carl T

Coinbase Reveals Chief Operating Officer is Departing as CEO Brian Armstrong Shares Kind Words

Coinbase Reveals Chief Operating Officer is Departing as CEO Brian Armstrong Shares Kind Words

Asif Hirji is leaving Coinbase. Known as the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the company, Hirji has decided to leave the company.

He worked on Andreessen Horowitz and TD Ameritrade Holdings Corp. before Coinbase and joined the San Francisco-based crypto company on December 2017, when cryptos were at their highest point so far.

When Hirji entered the company, cryptos were peaking and the roller coaster started soon after he started his role. Under his guidance, Coinbase made a bigger push into international markets and started to also be nearer institutional investors at this time. Also during his time in the position, Emilie Choi was defined as the vice president of the company.

Brian Armstrong, the CEO and founder of Coinbase, the experience of Hirji was very important for the company, as he helped to guide it through a very important chapter of the company’s story. He said that the executive entered the company at a very important time and that he was critical in order to help with growth.

“His experience and mentorship helped guide Coinbase through an important chapter in its history,” Brian Armstrong, Coinbase co-founder and chief executive officer, said in the statement. “He joined at a critical time when both the company and crypto space were going through rapid growth, bringing his extensive experience to bear when it was most necessary.”

The official announcement of the departure happened today, May 31, and it seems that the last day in which Hirji was still in the company was yesterday.

Hirji also talked about leaving the company on his social media profile. He affirmed that the “tour of duty” was over as he helped to scale the company to the value of $1 billion USD in value, launched several new assets and helped the company to achieve the valuation of $8 billion USD.

Others Are Leaving Coinbase As Well

Coinbase seems to be during a renovation time. Not only Hirji left recently, but also other important executives in the company. The former Chief Technology Officer Balaji Srinivasan, for instance, was a big leader that left the company recently. Others include Adam White, Dan Romero and Christine Sandler.

While Coinbase argues that its business is continuing to grow fast, there are already some concerns about the future of the company, especially considering that many key executives are currently leaving it.

However, do not panic if you are interested in seeing Coinbase survive. Choi was one of the first people hired by Hirji and she seems to be doing a good job, looking closely at new partnerships together with the CEO, so the legacy started by Hirji may continue to be present in the company even after him and other people left.

Emilie Choi started her Silicon Valley career at Yahoo! and then she worked on both Flickr, LinkedIn and Aliababa before going to Coinbase, where she is now.

Some changes which are happening in the company right now are that it has undergone a process of de-emphasizing the focus on institutional investors and also has axed a project that was focused on high-frequency traders as well.

The areas in which the company grew the most were Coinbase Custody and over the counter (OTC) trading, according to reports from the CEO Brian Armstrong. The OTC desk, for instance, grew 100% in a single quarter.

At the time of this report, Coinbase employs a total of 800 people.

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Author: Gabriel M