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

Euphoria Kicks-in, Stock Market Hits Fresh Records But ‘Greatest Predictor’ Gives A Stark Warning

US Stock index futures have made fresh records as world markets rally on the back of easing tensions in the Middle East. Dow Futures along with futures on the S&P and Nasdaq are climbing higher.

As tensions eased between the US and Iran, US equities hit record highs with tech shares outperforming. Apple jumped after Chinese data shows that iPhone sales rose by 18% in Dec. in the country.

As for the US-China trade deal, President Donald Trump said he might wait until after the 2020 presidential election to reach the second part of the trade deal. After being at odds over commerce for two years now, both the counties are set to meet next week at the White House to sign the first phase of the agreement.

As such, Shep Perkins, CIO at Putnam Investments has called for S&P 500 to reach 5,000, faster than you might have imagined. Historically low long-term bond yields combined with price-to-earnings multiples that are in line with their average and could further expand are the reason behind this forecast.

S&P 500 might have closed Thursday at a record 3,274.70, but 5,000 could be seen as soon as three years, even if a recession hits, it could take five years.

But Everything isn’t All Shiny

However, it doesn’t mean the market isn’t vulnerable. Wharton School professor Jeremy Siegel is “worried that this is becoming a momentum-driven market at this point.”

The 2019 rally had S&P 500 gaining about 29% in its best performance since 2013 but Siegel is worried that “if it continues much longer that something will puncture it and people will get off the train.”

Also, according to the popular measure of price-to-earnings (P/E), the S&P 500 index is trading 18.6 times forward earnings. Based on the median price to earnings ratio, it is overvalued by about 30%.

Another bearish picture is shown by the bullish nature of the “Greatest Predictor” of the US stock market’s future. The Greatest Predictor is the average portfolio allocation of households to stocks. A contrarian indicator, high allocations results in poor subsequent returns and vice versa.

Not to forget that the World Bank has highlighted the risk of a fresh global debt after warning about the biggest buildup in borrowing in the past 50 years.

“Low global interest rates provide only a precarious protection against financial crises,” said Ayhan Kose, a World Bank official.

“The history of past waves of debt accumulation shows that these waves tend to have unhappy endings. In a fragile global environment, policy improvements are critical to minimize the risks associated with the current debt wave.”

An Alternative Solution Is Already Leading ‘em all

While stock market enjoying the longest bull run, Bitcoin emerged as the winner of the decade with a mind-boggling 9,000,000% gains.

What’s exciting is the world’s leading cryptocurrency is getting prepped up for its next bull run with a highly anticipated halving event coming up this year. According to some commentators, one BTC would be reaching a million dollar worth in the coming years.

While Fed cutting interest rates are pushing pressure on banks and robbing people from their savings, it would end up driving them into the asset class which will provide them with better returns.

The digital gold, a peer-to-peer digital currency system that has a fixed value and is censorship-resistant, has also started to show signs of becoming a safe haven in times of macroeconomic and political crisis.

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin to the Moon in 2020? A Few Worthy Story Lines

Happy new year crypto crew! It’s officially the new year in every part of the world, unless you reside in a timezone we are completely unaware of. Thank you for all of your support, engagement, and motivation in 2019 – it has kept the mission of crypto-education alive and well.  

Going into 2020, we’re launching new services that will solidify your understanding, awareness, and mobility within crypto – so, watch this space. Having said that, let’s do a recap of some of 2019’s top crypto moments. 

Bitcoin Grows a Pair of Wings 

Rising from the ashes of 2018 bear market despair, BTC was launched into orbit after a dismal period marked by a $3,200 price floor. In what felt like one fell swoop, Bitcoin took out ambitious target after target, going straight through overhead resistance until it had all but swept up the $14,000 mark.  

For a moment, it looked primed to retest previous all-time highs, but that wasn’t to be. A retrace has reduced gains by nearly half, but the market has still seen hand-over-fist gains compared to this time last year.  

Retail Investors Abandon Hope 

Despite the incredible gains seen through the first half of the year, the green was mostly restricted to BTC and a handful of other assets. The altcoin market, by and large, has performed pretty poorly.  

Conferences, mainnet launches, partnerships – none of these price-boosters of old seem to have the same magic anymore. There were some bright spots such as Chainlink, but such success stories were far from common. 

Retail investors have seemingly lost interest in crypto as evidenced by the abandonment of spaces like Crypto Twitter, subreddits like EthTrader, and Telegram groups. Those who have weathered both the good and the bad have largely done so by tuning out entirely.  

Will a run-up toward the Bitcoin halving in May change that? We’ll definitely find out. 

Craig Wright Flexes on Hodlonaut, Gets Shut Down 

Everyone’s least favorite Satoshi imposter crossed the line earlier this year when he started a legal suit rampage against his doubters. Amongst those doubters was Hodlonaut, a Twitter cat wearing a spacesuit.  

After Wright threatened to sue and unmask Hodlonaut, the entire cryptosphere banded together in a scene reminiscent of the Avengers: End Game. To add a bit of comeuppance to the entire scenario, Wright was also owned in the court of law, where he was ruled against and ordered to hand over half his BTC to the estate of Dave Kleiman. 

Bakkt Gains Steam 

Despite its initial debut being widely panned as a failure, Bakkt has bounced back to claim higher highs throughout a turbulent (and mostly down) market.  

In another telling moment, Bakkt’s CEO, Kelly Loeffler, resigned after being appointed to the US Senate, where hopefully she’ll continue campaigning for a crypto future. 

Next, we’ll look ahead to 2020 with an analysis of trends and events to watch for. Until then!

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Author: Bitcoin Exchange Guide News Team

Ethereum’s Hard Fork ‘Muir Glacier’ Launches In 2 Days, Will The ETH Community Be Prepared?

While the entire world is preparing for the New Year, Ethereum has scheduled Muir Glacier, its long-awaited hard fork, for January 1 of the year 2020.

The Ethereum (ETH) Istanbul hard fork that happened just a few weeks ago didn’t make things easier when it comes to Ethereum’s so-called “difficulty bomb”, so many are expecting Muir Glacier to change everything. As the holiday season is one of the busiest in a year, the hard fork is still waiting on support from the most important infrastructure providers, exchanges and mining pools.

SBI VC Trade to Support the Hard Fork

The Japan-based virtual currency exchange, SBI VC Trade, which is an SBI subsidiary, said it will support the hard fork. Its customers have been informed about the hard fork lasting until January 3, 2020 and being planned to reach the 9,200,000 block height. SBI VC Trade has also cautioned people about the blockchain instability caused by the hard fork by saying:

“If ETH is received by us during this period, we may not be able to confirm it properly due to blockchain stability issues. In that case, please note that we cannot respond at all.”

Bittrex and Bitso Ready for Muir Glacier

The CSO of Blockstream, Samson Mow, has said in a tweet that platforms are not ready for Muir Glacier, while others members in the ETH community have expressed their confusion over the strange choice made by Ethereum Foundation for the hard fork’s date. The only crypto exchanges ready for Muir Glacier seem to now be only Bittrex and Bitso.

The Istanbul Hard Fork Had Some Readiness Problems Too

It looks like the Ethereum project didn’t have enough support from its team of developers, as these were focused on upgrading the ETH 2.0. The Istanbul hard fork had the same problem and updated most of the nodes last minute. However, it still was successful, so Muir Glacier has all the chances to be a hit too.

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Author: Oana Ularu

How Bitcoin Can Aim at Reducing Global Inequality Across the Globe in 2020

As the global financial depression that crippled the world in 2008 came to an end, a peculiar financial system came to life and is today known as Bitcoin (BTC). During bitcoins launch on 3rd  January 2009, the cryptocurrency’s anonymous founder, Satoshi, said the system is set in place to help bridge the inequality gap that has kept growing through the years. A recent post on Business Insider, explains how the pioneer cryptocurrency can be used to bridge this gap across the globe.

Bitcoin as a Safe Haven Asset

According to the Human Development Report by the UN 2019, over 20% of human development progress was lost due to systemic inequalities in 2018. Notwithstanding, according to the latest reports from the US Census, the middle class is growing thinner as the country faces the worst case of wealth inequality since the records began.

According to economists and financial analysts, the growing demand and popularity in Bitcoin is set to stop the widening gap between the poor and the rich. Mark Yusko, the CEO and CIO of the investment advisory company Morgan Creek Capital Management, said blockchain systems, with Bitcoin leading the charge, will set forth a growing middle class as more investors are exposed to the coin. He said,

“The government and the elites want to have all the wealth, so they manufacture inflation and the wealth flows to the top. And that’s why we have the greatest wealth inequality in the history of mankind. Bitcoin helps solve that because now we can opt out as an owner of assets from that fiat system.”

The transparent, immutable, secure and decentralized nature of Bitcoin allows users to send peer to peer payments without the ridiculous fees paid to banks while increasing transparency in the process.

A Fight Against Inequality in Developing Nations

While Bitcoin reduces the inequality across developed nations through ownership of a safe haven asset, developing nations across Latin America, Africa, Asia and South America benefit in a different way. According to a World Bank report, close to quarter of the worlds population do not own a bank account due to various reasons such as lack of documentation and the inability to access the services.

With Bitcoin, unbanked and underbanked users can easily transact across the network using only their smartphone and a stable internet connection. A number of Bitcoin applications are gaining widespread attention from users in developing nations such as Venezuela, Argentina and Zimbabwe economies that are facing hyperinflation.

Notwithstanding, efforts to educate users in developing countries on the benefits of Bitcoin, is also on a gradual rise. Education initiatives such as DLBRT (Distributed Ledger Technologies Blockchain and Research Technologies) in Kenya have taken a step to educate universities and corporations, opening up over 3,000 Bitcoin wallets to this date in their country.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Phineas Fisher Hacker Puts $100,000 Reward to Attack Oil Companies and Banks

One of the most notorious hackers in the world, Phineas Fisher, has offered a bounty of $100,000 USD to any hacker who is able to break into banks or oil firms to leak information that can be considered beneficial to the public’s interest.

In his newest manifesto, called Hacktivist Bug Hunting Program, the hacker offered to pay other professionals who could hack organizations such as Halliburton, a South African oil company, which was cited in the project. Fisher says that hacktivism can be a very powerful tool when it comes to fighting inequality and capitalism. He stated,

 “Hacking to obtain and leak documents with public interest is one of the best ways for hackers to use their abilities to benefit society.”

He also claimed that he was not trying to “make anyone rich”, but that the bounty was just to help hackers to be well-paid for helping society, something that often does not happen.

His “bounty program” was in hopes of inspiring hackers and many institutions have bug bounty programs that are popular everywhere, and often pay hackers to find bugs and threats in systems. He is paying people for finding threats in large private companies.

Attacks to large oil companies are far from rare. In fact, Pemex, an oil firm based in Mexico, was recently hit by ransomware, which halted all activities of the company. The problem was dealt with soon enough and no ransom was ever paid. Most of the attacks have a financial motivation, though, and are not part of hacktivism. Phineas Fisher certainly wants to change that.

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Author: Gabriel Machado

Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile Had Arbitrations Filed by Crypto Legal Firm Silver Miller on SIM Swapping

The legal firm Silver Miller, famous for taking on lawsuits in the crypto world, is also taking the SIM swapping cases that have led to major cryptocurrency losses. The complaints are made against three of the most important phone operators in US, which are Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile.

Mobile Operators Broke Their Own Security Policies

Silver Miller has recently made a statement in which it says that it’s responding to SIM identity claims accusations and solving many of the claims. Their research has discovered that even if the mobile operators have reassured their clients that their services are secure, these companies still have broken their own security policies and eased the process of SIM swapping.

SIM Swapping Has Been Syphoning Funds in the Crypto World

Since people are mostly using their mobile phones as 2FA tools, it’s very easy for someone to access their personal banking details or to make account exchanges. SIM swapping has been siphoning funds from many crypto holders in the last few years, and especially before the discovery of new tools for authentication. Silver Miller has been conducting research and discovered that mobile companies not only overlooked their own security procedures, they also encouraged criminal circles to hack their clients’ SIM cards.

In order to rectify the cases, the law firm has decided upon private arbitration and not public litigation. More than this, the identity of their clients is going to be protected. Silver Miller is also inviting people whose SIM has been hacked, especially if they have been promised increased security by their mobile operator, to take on legal actions as there’s a high chance for arbitration and to obtain the desired results without having to go through a trial.

Crypto Users the Most Hit by SIM Swapping

Those who are involved in the crypto space have been the most attacked when it comes to SIM swapping. Only recently, there was a case in which crypto assets valued at $550,000 have been stolen and for which two men were charged. Eric Meiggs from Brockton, Massachusetts, together with Declan Harrington from Rockport, Massachusetts, both in their very early twenties, have been charged with wire and computer fraud, identity theft and conspiracy, after they have targeted and attacked 10 identified victims on US territory.

Those with Prominent Social Media Presences the Most Targeted

Crypto users who have a prominent social media presence are at higher risk, also influencers in the crypto world and those who have a whale wallet. SIM swapping can’t directly affect wallets, yet it can empty accounts and wallets held by a third party. Exchanges are also at high risk, since they have about 6.7% of the Bitcoin (BTC) supply, not to mention there are markets holding smaller altcoins.

Kaspersky Labs, the firm specialized in cybersecurity has noted that SIM swapping has increased and ended up being the main type of attack in the crypto world. Silver Miller is trying to make things right for the ones who have already been the victims of such an attack, by bringing more evidence against mobile operators and being by the side of those who have been hacked.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Despite Regulatory Impediments, Facebook’s Libra Proclaims It Is “Growing Strong”

  • Many countries around the world are looking to block the launch of the Libra cryptocurrency.
  • TechCrunch’s critical article on the recent Libra summit inspired a statement to be released by the project.

The announcement of Facebook’s upcoming digital asset, Libra, has come with its fair amount of controversy and upset across the globe. Even while some countries are refusing to allow for its use at all, the Libra Association doesn’t appear to be the least bit bothered. In fact, in a post regarding the technical infrastructure, it states that Libra is “5 months and growing strong,” completely ignoring the backlash.

Libra recently launched its blockchain testnet, which has already performed 51,000 mock transactions through the last two months. There have already been 40 wallets, tools, and block explorers that are built on the blockchain testnet, as well as 1,700 GitHub commits. Coinbase, Uber, BisonTrails, Iliad, Xapo, Anchorage, and Facebook’s Calibra are presently running Libra nodes to process transactions. There are still six more nodes that the company aims to establish, and eight more to be set up by members.

Despite the update on the backend of Libra, there still seems to be a lack of plan to reach the goal of 100 members and nodes by next year, considering that there are presently only 21 members with nodes. After all, the launch is next year, and there’s still many regulators in the US and globally that won’t allow this to happen, which isn’t addressed at all.

Facebook is mostly focusing on fintech at the moment, since it isn’t dealing with any of the concerns about Libra. The platform launched Facebook Pay this week, allowing members of their Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram platforms to use a single payment method for paying merchants, friends, and charities. The new payment system could push for users to make more purchases on the platform, giving them a better idea of the transactions occurring on the platform while attracting merchants to spend more on their advertisements. Apart from financial inclusion, these goals are primarily what Facebook was trying to establish with their new cryptocurrency.

Many of the concerns from lawmakers stem from the way that Libra could potentially be a way for criminals to launder money, putting users’ assets at risk. It also puts a lot of power in the hands of Facebook, especially considering the ongoing antitrust investigations.

While the announcements from Libra could’ve been an opportunity to show how the project aims to deal with fraud and security issues, the Libra Association instead chose to talk code. Fixing policy was left off and almost completely ignored. Though TechCrunch submitted questions to the Libra Association for further clarification, a response was not provided before their article was published.

However, a later update of this article showed that a spokesperson from Libra responded to the criticism. The statement from the spokesperson explained that the Libra Core Summit was created as an effort to support members and educate them, regarding how to run a Libra node, build a Libra wallet, and more.

The spokesperson, Michael Engle, added,

“For those organizations without a technical team to implement a node, the Libra Association is working on a strategy to support deployment in 2020, when the Libra Core feature set is complete. The Libra Association intends to deploy 100 nodes on the mainnet, representing a mix of on-premises and cloud-hosted infrastructure.”

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Author: Krystle M

United Nations Affiliate ‘World Sports Alliance’ Pres. Pleads ‘Not Guilty’ To Selling Fake Crypto

Asa Saint Clair, the President of the UN affiliate World Sports Alliance has pleaded “not guilty” in the fraud case of selling cryptocurrency.

The man has been put on household arrest after he bought a one-way plane ticket to Madagascar while being investigated. He was caught at the airport, when he was trying to leave. The prosecutors accuse him of defrauding at least 3 investors by claiming that World Sports Alliance is helping third-world countries to gain access to food and water, also to build sporting facilities.

Saint Clair Sold IGOBIT, a Fake Cryptocurrency

The indictment against Saint Clair claims he had falsely guaranteed investors that they’ll receive returns if they buy IGOBIT, a fake World Sports Alliance’s blockchain digital token. Prosecutors have noted before that there was never an IGOBIT, in spite of Saint Clair saying that he raised the money to launch the digital token.

Investors’ Money Spent on Meals and Plane Tickets

Saint Clair never used investors’ money to launch the IGOBIT. Instead, he spent it all in Manhattan restaurants, on plane tickets and personal expenses for himself and other employees at World Sports Alliance. The US government called the World Sports Alliance a “sham affiliate of the United Nations.”

The Accused Was Talking of Pace and a Better World

US special agent Peter Fitzhugh said that, trying to make investors believe him, Saint Clair told them his sham company promotes the values of sports and is trying to create a better world. Instead, he used their money to live in luxury. Responding to the allegations that he was scamming people since 2017, he denied everything. His attorneys argued that he was World Sports Alliance President for only 6 months and that he travels a lot, this being the reason why he was leaving for Madagascar.

Furthermore, they claimed that it’s common for business people like Saint Clair to buy one-way tickets to countries in Africa because the governments there aren’t “schedule oriented”. Another hearing will be held in March, after the prosecutors finish investigating 6 TB of data confiscated from Saint Clair, at his apartment in New York.

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Author: Oana Ularu

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