Binance Uganda Will Shut Down Its Operations Next Week; CZ Cited Lack of Users

  • Binance Uganda set to shut its doors next week.
  • Binance CEO, CZ, says closure of BinanceUG is part of a “business decision.”

After a two-long year stay in operations, Binance Uganda, one of the African outposts for the world’s largest crypto exchange, will be shutting its doors on November 11. The closure follows a mission by Binance to cut down on losses, which also sees British Isle-based exchange, Binance Jersey, shut down its businesses on November 30th.

The East African country has enjoyed the exchange’s services from the fall of 2018, offering a direct platform for Ugandans to use the Shilling to purchase cryptocurrencies. The launch of Binance UG targeted efforts to promote crypto adoption across the continent, using the country as a starting point to taking over the African market.

Why Binance UG is shutting down

In an interview explaining the recent closure of the Ugandan branch, Binance CEO, Changpeng “CZ,” Zhao explained it as a “business decision.” He further claims the platform is a loss-making center for the larger firm as it does not “generate enough revenue to be profitable.”

However, the closure of the Ugandan and Jersey exchanges raised qualms on Binance relationship with regulators – as explained in a Forbes article. The article accuses the exchange of “conceiving of an elaborate corporate structure designed to intentionally deceive regulators and surreptitiously profit from crypto investors in the United States.”

However, CZ dismissed the FUD claiming that Binance only operates where regulators have offered a license. As the issue with regulators is set to rise once more following Binance UG closing down, CZ explained,

“Some people misinterpreted that as maybe we got into trouble with the regulator locally or something. And that’s not the case.

We do have good relationships with regulators in both areas that we have an exchange winding down. It’s just a business decision.”

Moreover, launched support for deposits and withdrawals of the Ugandan shilling, which duplicates the functions of Binance UG. With most users switching to the main Binance platform and more services offered on it, the need for a local crypto platform does not make sense.

“All the features that Binance Uganda provides [are] now covered by together with our fiat channel partners,” CZ said. “There’s a very minimal number of users on there, so it doesn’t make sense for us to maintain two platforms.”

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Author: Lujan Odera

After Shutting Down Ahead of EU’s 5AMLD, BottlePay’s Set to Relaunch New Lightning Payment App

BottlePay, a social payment app that choose to shut down its operation in December of 2019 amid regulatory concerns, is ready for a relaunch with a new Lightning Payment App. The firm has restructured its products and services to comply with Europe’s 5th anti-money laundering directive (AMLD5). The new payment app also offers an exchange wallet with social features on Reddit, Twitter, and Discord and set for a beta launch in August.

Some of the features of the new payment app include scheduled payments to buy more bitcoin, which is quite similar to Square’s Cash App. However, this feature would be first rolled out in Europe. Users would also have the option to opt for a custodial or non-custodial wallet.

Pete Cheyne, a co-founder of BottlePay, said, “Lightning works in the background, without users having to manage channels.” Adding,

“There will be a small fee for exchanging between fiat and bitcoin, and vice versa. … There will also be tiers because people are interested in our app for different use cases.”

Mark Webster, CEO of BottlePay, revealed that his team of 11 employees was funded continuously by their angel investors, who were responsible for trading equity worth $2 million in 2019. He explained that the firm has no immediate plans to support any token. Webster also revealed his plans for expanding his workforce up to 35 people by 2021.

Webster went on to reveal that most of the recent hiring has been in the legal and marketing department, which helped them in restructuring their product. He said,

“I think Lightning is at the core of the strategy. As consumer demand increases, we can open more channels. You can store a fiat balance, Scan a Lightning code, and pay that from your pound or euro balance.”

The scheduled beta launch in August will be limited to the European citizens. Still, Webster said that he hopes to expand the reach of his application in the United States and hopes to launch a Telegram integration by 2021.

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Author: Hank Klinger

COVID-19’s Impact On The Economy Claims Another Business as Cambrial Capital to Shut Down

Cambrial Capital which focuses on a Crypto fund of funds is set to shut down its operations in the near future according to insiders familiar with the issue.

Cambrial Capital is set to become the latest victim of the Coronavirus epidemic and its vast impact on the global economy. The fund, which manages about $6 to $10 million is set to wind down amid the crisis. The firm suffered its largest loss on March 12, which the crypto community has dubbed ‘Black Thursday’ where Bitcoin shed over 40 percent of its value.

Commenting on this issue; “We don’t talk about our products publicly given we’re regulated,” David Fauchier, Cambrial’s co-founder and chief investment officer, told CoinDesk. “We’d have to run any response through our [regulatory] umbrella and we’re a little busy right now.”

Cambrial Capital was started in 2018 in the United Kingdom and received an operating license from the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The firm has an experienced team that consists of Alex Obadia, Ha Duong and Edward Nelson. Close sources told CoinDesk that Cambrial Capital has one of the most respected teams in the industry.

Fund managers that are experts in different strategies and take pooled investments and diversify them into other categories, or a “fund of funds.”  Startups such as Cambrial Capital operate with various tactics like arbitrage, mean reversion, OTC trading, market-making, and others.

Due to their diversification, companies like Cambrial are also known as market neutral. Investment in the crypto market is considered a high-risk aspect and other firms are also suffering like Cambrial as others are facing tough times due to market rout in the last one month.

Adaptive Capital, a crypto hedge fund, stated that it was shutting down and will return the remaining capital to its investors due to market turmoil in March.

Despite the turbulent market, some players are positive that the market will stabilize soon after the Coronavirus crisis is over.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

CME Suspends Trading Floor As Bitcoin (BTC) Price Plummets To 11-Month Low

  • Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), a Bitcoin futures platform, will shut down its trading floor in response to the growing Corona Virus (COVID-19) epidemic.
  • Bitcoin (BTC) dropped over 30% on Thursday as the market embraces the global asset bloodbath from the virus.

Corona Virus has taken the headlines across the globe as firms and economies suffer from the pandemic. While the cryptocurrency market has remained comparatively immune for the past few weeks as other global assets tanked, the market is finally catching a cold as CME announced the closure of its BTC Futures at the end of day on March 13.

Notwithstanding, the price of BTC has tanked to April 2019 levels after a $1,800 USD drop in price at 10.00 AM GMT on Thursday. Will the cryptocurrency market survive the global epidemic and reverse the ultra-bearish trend?

CME set to close trading floor in Chicago

In an announcement from CME, the second company to offer regulated BTC futures in the U.S, trading on the platform will be suspended starting Friday, 13th March at the close of business. The derivative exchange said the move to shut down its trading offices in Chicago is a precautionary move to the increasing cases of COVID-19 virus across the U.S and the world.

Trading will continue normally on CME Globex, with the company only aiming to reduce the large gatherings of people in accordance with medics recommendations. The statement further reads,

“No coronavirus cases have been reported on the trading floor or in the Chicago Board of Trade building. The reopening of the trading floor will be evaluated as more medical guidance on the coronavirus becomes available.”

The Corona Virus effect on Bitcoin?

After CME’s announcement of the closure of its offices come Friday the 13th, BTC’s price has dipped to 11-month lows at $5,600 USD. After a period of immunity against the global pressures that saw the price of stocks plummet and oil price wars by Russia and Saudi Arabia, crypto is finally catching on following the bearish trend.

Currently, a number of crypto firms have tried to mitigate the Coronavirus problem offering work of home assignments, such as Coinbase, Gemini and Blockstack. However, the market looks headed to a crash below the $5,000 mark as fears rise across the investor pool.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Waves Decentralized Exchange (DEX) Shuts Down, Morphs Into Hybrid Digital Trading Platform

The Waves Decentralized Exchange (DEX) has decided to shut down its platform and start offering services to clients as a hybrid crypto platform. The information was released by the company in a press release on December 2.

Waves Launches New Crypto Trading Platform

According to the official statement released by the company, they are migrating their services from the DEX website to the new Waves.Exchange.

The official site of the Waves DEX explains that they are no longer operating the service because they want to offer users a better experience and a wide range of tools.

This is why the DEX will not be available anymore to users, that will have a new platform specifically designed to meet their needs.

It is worth mentioning that users’ funds will be safe during this time. This is very important considering many exchanges were affected by hacks and attacks during the last few years.

The new hybrid exchange is expected to become fully operational in a short period of time. Some of the new features include irreversible transactions and improved control of funds for users.

Decentralized exchanges became popular due to the fact that they allow users to remain in custody of their cryptocurrencies rather than giving the funds to a crypto exchange that handles them.

The report explains that the company will be working in order to continue with the development of its protocol. This includes the implementation of sharding and other innovative infrastructure.

The crypto exchange will be fully managed by a separate and dedicated team to make it more efficient.

The CEO of the platform, Sash Ivanov, said that the DEX was just a prototype and that they are now able to become a separate project. The main goal is to synchronize the development of the ecosystem and help the products and services offered have higher standards. He said,

“Waves DEX was a kind of prototype. Now, after 2 years of operation, it has grown and become a separate project. […] Now it’s time for us to focus on protocol development and hand over the exchange to an external team and community separate from Waves, so we can merge all the infrastructure teams into one, synchronizing development work and taking the combined product to a new level.”

In the future, they want to add support for Tether (USDT) stablecoin, which would make it easier for traders to hedge against volatility in the cryptocurrency market.

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Author: Carl T

Unregistered Crypto Exchanges Must Register With South Korea’s FSC Or Face Jail Time

The government of South Korea wants all unregistered crypto exchanges in the country to shut down. If they don’t, their owners may go to jail.

Recently, lawmakers of the country decided that all exchanges should register with the Financial Services Commission (FSC). Now it has created a bill that determined that any administrator who has not done so and continues to do business, it can serve up to five years in jail and will have to pay a fine of around $42,000 USD.

The new amendment was created in order to help the country to comply with the guidelines that were submitted by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recently. All countries within the European Union are expected to follow the guidelines.

Lawmakers from the opposition, however, were not so happy with the new bill. Some of them affirmed that this could end up contracting, even more, the domestic crypto industry in South Korea.

If the amendment is really passed, companies that use virtual accounts with names could be hurt, too. Only Bithumb, Coinone, Upbit and Corbit have bank accounts with names, so other companies may be harmed by the new law and the market would become even more centered on these big exchanges.

The CEO of Gopax, Lee Jun-haeng, a cryptocurrency exchange without any real-name virtual accounts, affirmed that the idea of having named accounts is nice, but only if the market is fair, which was insinuated that it was not.

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Author: Rebecca Asseh

Canada’s Einstein Exchange Allegedly Lost $12.1 Million in User Funds, Has Under $50K to Repay Users

According to Global News, a Canadian crypto exchange that got shut down this month for supposedly stealing CAD$16 million, which is $12.1 million, in user funds seems to only have $45,000 worth of hard assets. Einstein Exchange was shut down by the B.C. Securities Commission (BCSC) after customers filed complaints that they can’t access their crypto assets and cash.

Grant Thornton Limited has been appointed to seize the cryptocurrency exchange’s assets and to return users the funds they were missing. These funds were Bitcoin (BTC) cryptocurrency, as the BCSC documents say.

Einstein Exchange Doesn’t Can’t Pay Back Users

A filing from the British Columbia Supreme Court was published yesterday. It says Grant Thornton found out that Einstein Exchange has only about $30,000 in cash and $15,000 in cryptocurrency. Director Michael Ongun Gokturk has incorporated the exchange during the Bitcoin’s bull run from December 2017.

In May 2019, BCSC had started to investigate the exchange’s customer complaints. Grant Thornton has notified the US and Canadian banks where Gokturk and Einstein Exchange have made deposits and investments or had shares in the private sector.

Exchange Says it Owes Clients $10 Million or Less

Gokturk didn’t comment or respond to the allegations in the BCSC case against Einstein Exchange. According to a report, the Einstein Group has informed Grant Thornton that it thinks its clients are owed somewhere between $8 and $10 million.

It also says the deficit is the result of bank draft and credit card frauds, with the loss being almost entirely made up of crypto assets. It’s believed Einstein Exchange has served around 200,000 people from all over the world. However, Grant Thornton has only heard from somewhere in between 200 and 300 users so far. This doesn’t mean more complaints won’t still be filed.

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Author: Oana Ularu

TipJar Micropayments Platform to Close Service Due to Low Interest from Crypto Users

A crypto micropayments platform called TipJar is due to be shut down soon. The service, which is built on top of the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain, will cease its activities due to low activity. The platform’s goal was to support ETH-based micropayments on Reddit using a bot.

The announcement was made on Reddit. The developer that created the service affirmed that it was great to see the community using it, but that the low activity made it harder for the service to continue to pay for itself. The developer had to pay for server fees in order to maintain it, so if nobody uses the service, there is no point in continuing to support it.

He also affirmed that, after the service is no longer running, he intends to make the code open source so that other people can continue his work if they intend to. Some people asked for this before, but he never did it because he was afraid of how secure the code was.

The developer affirmed that the service is no longer usable as of the moment of the announcement. People could still visit the site until April 10, 2010, when it will no longer be available.

All users should withdraw their funds as soon as possible so that they do not forget to and because they will not be able to get them back after the main site is shut down. He also affirmed that any person who is interested in reaching out should contact him on Reddit.

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Author: Gabriel Machado

Thai Exchange Bitcoin Co. Suddently Closes Operations After Five Years

Bitcoin Co., a prominent cryptocurrency exchange in Thailand, has abruptly shut down after staying in service for almost five years. Today, the exchange affirmed that this is the time to focus on “other business opportunities” and decided to shut down the site.

Now, the clients of the company will have roughly a month before they are forced to stop using the products offered by the exchange. All deposits will be disabled after September 6, but trading services will continue until September 30. After that, the clients will still have a whole month before they need to withdraw their tokens from the wallets.

Any digital tokens that are still stored on the company’s platform by November 1 will be lost, so it is advised to withdraw them as soon as possible. After this, then the platform will be completely shut down and its site will be taken offline soon afterward.

According to the company, its services will cease, so it will not pursue a license from the local regulator anymore. The exchange emitted a note thanking the customers for sticking with it for over five years and reassured clients that their funds are safe and they will get them back.

This exchange was mostly focused on Bitcoin and had a 24-hour volume of over $10 million USD. No official reason was given as to why the company decided to stop being a part of the industry at this specific time.

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Author: Gabriel Machado

Circle Pay, Circle’s Mobile App, To Be Shut Down This September to Focus on Stablecoins


Circle Pay, Circle’s Mobile App, To Be Shut Down This September

Circle has made an announcement that saddened some of its users today. Circle Pay, the mobile app of the brand, is ready to be discontinued. On a blog post, the company affirmed that the service would be shut down on September 30.

People who still have funds on the app will be able to withdraw them, but starting from July 8 onwards, they will not be able to deposit anything on their accounts anymore.

The spokesman of the company, Josh Hawkins, talked directly with Coindesk. According to him, Circle Pay was a popular app and it had significant growth, so it was not possible to call it a failure.

However, now the company is considerably more interested in focusing more on other wallet services. Stablecoins will be a bigger focus for the company right now, hence the decision to take this important step forward and start this transition to a new view in the company.

This, he affirmed, could make the company become closer to its vision of having a free and open global payment network that could deliver to the clients what they needed the most.

While it is clear that Circle is focused on its stablecoin, you should remember that the company owns Poloniex, a crypto exchange, so it will not completely focus on it, as the other branches of the company are focused on similar apps and trading.

Poloniex recently acquired SeedInvest, a regulated trading system and there are some rumors floating around that Circle might be looking for a banking license, but nothing is solid yet.

The company announced the tragic news after CENTRE, a consortium created together with Coinbase, was launched.

Circle also faced 30 layoffs recently, so the situation in the company is far from secure and clear to everybody involved. The reason for the layoffs was the “regulatory climate” in the U. S. The company was supposed to wait some time before investing in some other areas as the market was considered somewhat unstable.

Another sign that the company might not be facing the best of times right now is that it has lowered its fundraising goal of $250 million USD to only $150 million USD recently.

About Circle

Circle has a lot of experience in the area. The company was created in 2013 with the goal of making crypto payments easier and inspired by companies such as Venmo. The company was pretty successful, as it was the first one in the crypto industry to get the valuable New York BitLicense to operate in the state back in 2015.

The first BTC wallet of the company was launched in 2014. This wallet became the foundation of what the now doomed Circle Pay app was. Back in 2015, the CEO of Circle, Jeremy Allaire, affirmed that the service was useful because you could easily turn BTC payments into USD and vice versa, so people could hold whatever they wanted.

Until now, Circle Pay was available in 29 different countries, including the U. S., the U. K. and some countries in the European Union.

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Author: Gabriel Machado