New Exchange Security Ranking Released, Hackers Target Gate.io

In a new ranking of cryptocurrency exchanges by the level of security they provide, the US-based crypto exchange Kraken comes out as number 1, judging from criteria like reliability of key storage, technical security, as well as how it handles user’s personal data. The ranking comes out just as news broke that hackers may have been able to hijack bitcoin transactions made on cryptocurrency exchange Gate.io.

The assessment tool that ranks exchanges by the security they offer was developed by cyber security firm Group-IB as a way to determine the appropriate insurance premiums for users who wish to insure their holdings on exchanges through a service known as CryptoIns.

As a result of Kraken’s high score, users of that platform received the lowest insurance premiums when they insure their crypto holdings. Following Kraken came the major crypto exchanges Bittrex and Coinbase Pro with the second lowest insurance premiums.
Chinese crypto exchanges OKEx and Huobi Pro, as well as Japanese exchange Coincheck, a victim to a major hack in January, were deemed to be among the riskiest exchanges to use, the ranking revealed.

In addition to technical aspects, the ranking looked at how the exchanges handled know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) procedures.
“This assessment focuses on open source data — white papers, information about founders, security policies. In some cases, with founders’ consent, the assessment includes penetration testing using social engineering methods aimed at the network compromise through the most vulnerable link at any organization— humans,” Group-IB wrote in an update on its website.

In a previous ranking of exchanges by rating agency ICORating, Kraken again stood out as one of the most secure exchanges, coming in at second place. On the first place was Coinbase Pro, while BitMex secured the number three spot. Other notable exchanges on the list were Binance on 17th place, HitBTC on 18th place, and Bitfinex on 54th place.

The new security ranking comes out just as news broke that hackers have successfully breached the website StatCounter.com and inserted malicious code in its site-tracking script.
According to Matthieu Faou, the malware researcher who first noticed the breach, hackers may have been able to hijack bitcoin transactions made on cryptocurrency exchange Gate.io, as reported by ZDNet on Tuesday.

Statcounter.com is a service similar to Google Analytics, and companies loads the now-breached site-tracking script to view their website analytics.
“We contacted [StatCounter], but they haven’t replied yet,” Faou told ZDNet.
However, it appears that Gate.io removed the StatCounter script from its website once it became aware of the breach, although no statement has been issued by the exchange.
“Gate.io doesn’t use StatCounter anymore, thus Gate.io customers should be safe now,” Faou confirmed. It remains unclear how many, if any, bitcoin was actually stolen before the breach was discovered.


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SBI Group Invests in Rival Japanese Exchange

Financial giant SBI Group has made a second investment in LastRoots, a Tokyo-based exchange established in 2016. The undisclosed investment, made through financial subsidy SBI Holdings, is the group’s second within the space of a year, and comes just a month after the launch of the group’s own exchange, SBI Virtual Currencies.
LIONBIT
LastRoots, which is currently in the process of applying for an operating license from the regulatory Financial Services Agency (FSA), was slapped with a business improvement order in April this year, with the FSA expressing concern about the exchange’s security and management measures.

However, SBI has said it will provide LastRoots with support staff that will help bolster security networks and help shore up anti-money laundering systems – in the hope that this measure will help LastRoots meet the FSA’s terms.

TIP

SBI has been spending big on its cryptocurrency-related businesses of late, with a massive investment in a Taiwanese blockchain startup in May, followed by the purchase of a 12% stake in American platform Clear Markets earlier this month.

SBI’s CEO has previously vowed that SBI Virtual Currencies would become Japan’s market leader “in the blink of an eye.” The group also plans to co-launch a blockchain technology-powered payments and transfer service before the end of this year through its internet banking arm.


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Self-Regulation of Crypto Gets One Step Closer

Four US-based crypto exchanges have announced that they are setting up the precursor to what they hope will become a self-regulatory organization for “virtual commodities.”
LIONBIT
The aim of the group, dubbed “Virtual Commodity Association Working Group,” is reportedly to help financial institutions and large investors take the leap into the crypto space, establish industry standards, and eventually form a “self-regulatory organization for digital commodities like bitcoin and ethereum,” Business Insider wrote.

According to a source quoted by the website, the newly formed organization aims to operate in ways similar to self-regulatory organizations in the world of traditional finance, by working on things like establishing “best practices for the industry, looking at ways to boost liquidity, and stamping out market manipulation.”

The four US-based exchanges behind the new working group is bitFlyer, Gemini, Bitstamp, and Bittrex. Coinbase, however, is reportedly not part of the new group and declined to comment on it, Business Insider noted.

TIP

Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, the twins crypto investors behind the Gemini Exchange, have been working on setting up such an organization since March, when they first filed a proposal to set up a new organization under the name Virtual Commodity Association.
Since the beginning of this year, crypto-exchanges have begun banding together with the aim of not only forming industry-wide associations, but also of drawing up codes of conduct for each other to follow, as reported by Cryptonews.com.

However, while it’s only a good thing that they’ve begun openly committing to upholding more robust standards, it’s clear that much of this commitment is being made as a result of threats of stricter government regulation. As such, it’s not entirely certain whether the associations now being formed will be more about actual regulation and enforcement, or more about public relations and government lobbying.

For example, in South Korea exchanges promised they would stop adding new tokens and would start adhering to the government’s real-name trading guidelines. But they didn’t stick to those, in most cases.


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Ukraine Edges Further Toward Crypto Legalization

Ukraine may be on the verge of officially recognizing cryptocurrencies as financial “instruments” – putting tokens on the same financial footing as stocks and bonds.

LIONBIT

Per media outlet Segodnye, the head of the National Commission for Securities and Stock Market (NSCOFF) Timur Khromaev, the chairman of Ukraine’s National Securities and Stock Market Commission, and the head of the Committee on Development Strategy and Economic Analysis of Stock Markets, said, “[Cryptocurrencies] are more like financial instruments such as shares or bonds, rather than a means of payment. They are a means of accumulating [funds]. We plan to legally recognize cryptocurrencies as such – and allow [Ukrainian] people to invest and use them.”

Khromaev stated that all of Ukraine’s financial regulators have recently debated cryptocurrencies, and are on the verge of coming to a consensus. Khromaev has also been pushing for international counterparts to follow suit this year with pro-cryptocurrency and initial coin offering (ICO) measures.

TIP

The securities commission is also thought to be putting together a draft bill on tax and regulatory measures – together with leading Ukrainian cryptocurrency and blockchain technology firms. The commission hopes to present this bill to the country’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, by the end of this year or early in 2019.

Earlier this summer, the deputy head of the National Bank of Ukraine, Oleg Chury, was quoted by Ukrainian media outlet Financial Club as saying the country was on the verge of granting legal status to cryptocurrencies in Ukraine, and spoke of the National Commission on Securities and the Stock Market’s possible regulatory role.

Chury put forward a model not unlike that currently used in Japan, whereby a financial regulator issues operating licenses to the country’s cryptocurrency exchanges, and polices their operations to ensure compliance.


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Thailand’s New ICO Rule Has Already Attracted 20 Crypto Exchanges

Thailand’s new licensing rule that governs initial coin offerings (ICOs) has gained interests from companies setting out to offer token sales and exchange services just weeks after the rule went into effect, official said.

LIONBIT

In a news report from Bangkok Post on Thursday, Rapee Sucharitakul, the secretary-general of the Thailand Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), said a total of 20 crypto exchanges already filed applications, seeking to become licensed trading venues.
CoinDesk previously reported that a rule setting out to regulate ICOs took effect on July 16 after a royal decree on the topic was made public in May. As part of the licensing rule, projects that aim to offer crypto exchange services must also gain approval from the SEC before trading starts.

“Many companies interested in opening digital asset exchanges have said digital assets and cryptocurrency trading in the Thai market are quite active,” Sucharitakul said.

TIP

In addition, the SEC said around 50 ICOs indicated interests in obtaining licenses to conduct token sales in the country with full compliance.

However, before the SEC can grant any license to individual projects, it will first select the so-called “ICO portals,” which are online marketplaces where potential ICO issuers can operate their token sales. Sucharitakul said out of the five companies that seek to become ICO portals, three have already filed applications.

And, just last week, regulators from the Philippines also took similar efforts to have released a draft rule for regulating token sales and is currently seeking public comment on how to let ICOs continue in a regulated environment.


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Japan: More Regulations ahead for Crypto Exchanges

Japan’s financial regulator, the Financial Services Agency (FSA), is set to make amendments to existing cryptocurrency-related laws.

LIONBIT

Numerous media outlets in the country have reported that the FSA is now mulling changes that will make it harder for investors to speculate on cryptocurrency markets.

Although the FSA is yet to let on exactly which of the country’s laws it will seek to change, it has previously asked the government to amend the Payment Services Act, a move that has required all new exchanges to obtain FSA-approved licenses.

The FSA has this year been intensifying its efforts to reduce anonymous trading, money laundering through exchanges and what it perceives to be lax security systems utilized by the country’s exchanges. Its policing has intensified in 2018, with many leading exchanges handed business improvement orders – and others being forced to suspend operations or even refused licenses.

TIP

Meanwhile, the country’s largest industry group of licensed exchanges, the Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association (JVCEA) has lodged a formal application with the FSA to become a recognized and certified “fund settlement business association” in line with the country’s Act on Settlement of Funds.

The association expects the FSA to take up to two months to review its application, and has proposed an exhaustive range of regulations for its members, including bans on “anonymous” tokens, mandatory audits, tighter security and comprehensive anti-money laundering measures.

The JVCEA says that its members have agreed to implement these measures should the FSA grant the body official recognition.


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The Rise of Regulated Exchanges Is Boosting Crypto

  • Crypto is gradually assuming a more acceptable and legitimate face.
  • There could be even more positive effects in the future, particularly if full regulation helps to reel in big institutional investors.

LIONBIT

The recent rally of bitcoin and its rivals were linked to several explanations: the reemergence of the bulls, a possible Bitcoin ETF, and also a new (Tether-driven) pump and dump. However, there was one other possible factor that was largely ignored: regulation.
In recent weeks, news has steadily emerged of a number of new crypto-exchanges becoming fully regulated. Not only is this highly encouraging for the exchanges concerned, but it underlines how crypto is gradually assuming a more acceptable and legitimate face, something which can only instil would-be investors with more confidence.

On July 26, Blocktrade announced the beta launch of its crypto-exchange, which is due to witness its full release in September. Based in Liechtenstein, Blocktrade is in the process of obtaining an MTF (multilateral trading facility) license under the MiFID II framework, a piece of EU legislation that rules on the trade in financial instruments.

Once obtained, an MTF license would be a considerable boost to Blocktrade, which is already trading in bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ethereum, litecoin, and ripple. “This is an ideal way for regulators across Europe to recognize cryptocurrencies as a new asset class and put in a regulatory framework,” said Blocktrade CEO Luka Gubo, according to a report in Forbes.
Currently, not a single exchange is regulated under the MiFID 11 framework, something which Gubo believes deters traditional, mainstream investors away from crypto.
“If an institutional investor wants to invest in cryptocurrencies, they currently have a problem,” he says. “Where do you send the order to buy? There’s a lot of speculative valuing in cryptocurrencies — proper regulation is the only way to lower that risk.”
Yet Blocktrade won’t be the only exchange likely to reduce the ‘risk factor’ of crypto trading. In Switzerland, SIX – the owner-operator of the Swiss stock market – announced at the beginning of July that it’s building a fully integrated and regulated exchange for digital assets (i.e. cryptocurrencies).

Scheduled for launch in the first half of 2019, the SIX Digital Exchange will be regulated as a Financial Market Infrastructure (FMI) by the Swiss financial regulator, FINMA, and the Swiss National Bank. As with Blocktrade, its regulation will offer a secure environment for trading such digital assets as bitcoin and ethereum, while it will also enable the existing securities and non-bankable assets to be tokenized for the first time.
“As the stock exchange infrastructure for Switzerland, we know what it takes to build and run mission-critical and scalable, systemically important services,” says Thomas Zeeb, Head Securities & Exchanges, SIX. Not only does such comments underline the likely reliability of the upcoming exchange, but it underlines the huge vote of confidence crypto has received, if a player such as SIX is willing to put its weight behind it.

Such announcements mirror developments elsewhere in the world, contributing to the overall sense that crypto is building a more reputable foundation. In South Korea, the government officially recognised the nation’s crypto-exchanges as regulated financial institutions at the beginning of July, a move that will permit larger scale trading and entitle exchanges to support from local authorities.

South Korea is currently the fourth biggest crypto-market in the world (third is the EU), while the second and first biggest markets – USA and Japan – have also been moving towards greater regulation as of late. In the US, Coinbase is allowed to list tokens classed as securities, and can operate as an alternative trading system and a broker-dealer. And in Japan, 16 government-licensed crypto-exchanges joined together to form a self-regulatory association in March, providing much needed assurance at a time when trust in the

If you accept that, say, talks about a Bitcoin ETF had a positive effect on crypto markets, then it’s just as likely that these moves towards greater regulation have all combined to have a similarly positive effect, even if they haven’t been the most decisive factor in July’s surge.

And given that the full regulation of one group of exchanges will have a snowball effect on others, there could be even more positive effects in the future, particularly if full regulation helps to reel in big institutional investors. Of course, the likes of bitcoin were meant to be employed as money, so an increase in regulated exchanges may only solidify the use of cryptocurrencies as alternative financial assets.



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What is Binance Coin (BNB)? The Utility Token that Helped Binance Become Leading Crypto Exchange

Binance Coin (BNB) is a utility token that can be used on the Binance Exchange. Its main use case is to reduce the trading fees on Binance. In order to find out more about the coin itself, we have to understand how Binance became one of the biggest crypto exchanges in the world in just one year.

Binance – from 0 to over 10 million users in one year

Binance was launched in mid-July 2017 after raising USD 15 million in several minutes during its initial coin offering (ICO). Its founder, Changpeng Zhao, better known as CZ, created Binance with the ambition to provide trading services to every single person on the planet. That goal is supported by superior technology, providing 1.4 million transactions per second, and multi-language support.

The name Binance is a combination between binary and finance and reveals the company’s main focus – to trade digital assets versus digital assets and not deal with fiat. The exchange achieved an incredible growth during its first year of existence and as of July 2018 there are over 10 million registered users on the platform, 143 supported coins and 370 listed trading pairs.

5 key reasons for Binance’s growth

1. The close relationship with NEO

Binance was founded in China but moved its headquarters to Hong Kong after the Chinese government banned cryptocurrency trading in September 2017. However, its Chinese origin has a huge role for the impressive growth of the trading platform.

During the early days of Binance, China’s first cryptocurrency Antshares, also popular as the ‘Chinese Ethereum’, was rebranded to NEO. Back then, Bittrex was the only big exchange that was providing NEO trading pairs, but it wasn’t supporting the distribution of GAS, the token that keeps the operations on the NEO network running.

Basically, when you buy 1 NEO, you are also buying 1 GAS, which is distributed to your wallet over time. However, those who were keeping their NEO on Bittrex weren’t receiving GAS.

On the other hand, Binance started distributing GAS to its users since day one. So, the fast-growing NEO community quickly realized that they won’t miss receiving this ‘free money’ if they just switch to the newly created Chinese exchange. In addition, the technology of Binance seemed reliable and the fees were lower, so one by one, namely the NEO investors were those who started the ball rolling and spread the word about this innovative exchange.

2. Binance Coin use case

The newcomers to Binance were introduced to BNB and its main benefit – to cut trading fees by half. The BNB token had a unique and easy to understand selling point, which attracted a lot of users. BNB is one of the few coins that have real world use case and a clear way to determine where its value comes from.

To put things in perspective, the fee on Bittrex is 0.25%, On Poloniex the taker fee is 0.2%, on Coinbase it is 0.25%, on Bitfinex it is 0.2%, on Huobi it is also 0.2%, while on Binance it is 0.1% and if you pay it with BNB coins, it drops to just 0.05%.

This may sound insignificant but for anyone who is trading regularly it is a huge deal.

However, during the second year, the discount when using BNB for fee payments will be reduced to 25%. It will be lowered further to 12.5% during the third year and to 6.75% a year later. After that, there won’t be any discounts.

3. Relatively higher withdrawal limits for unverified users

The third major reason why people started using Binance was because it has higher withdrawal limits for unverified users. For example, the daily limit for such users on Poloniex is USD 2000, while on Binance is 2 BTC per day. On Coinbase, you have very strict verification process, and you can’t even trade without sharing your identity. On Huobi, unverified users can withdraw just 0.1 BTC per day.

The appealing trading environment on Binance attracted many foreign users on the platform and helped for the global expansion of the exchange.

4. Binance matching engine

Binance is facing the same problems every cryptocurrency exchange has today – high performance of the exchange is not guaranteed and liquidity is uncertain.

Binance hasn’t resolved completely all of these problems yet but it definitely does one thing better than anybody else. The core matching engine of Binance is extremely fast with the capability of handling 1.4 million transactions per second. The response from placing an order to executing it is very quick and that’s why Binance is the highest liquidity provider in the world right now.

5. Binance business model

There are several aspects of the Binance business model that set it apart from the other exchanges out there. The first one is Binance Labs – a blockchain technology incubator.

The projects that Binance support through this initiative first and foremost are those with strong tech team, active GitHub Repo and working prototype. To the selected teams Binance offers full ICO advisory, including a technical architecture review, funding through BNB coins and a token economy structure.

The natural evolution for a project from Binance Labs is to be listed on Binance Launchpad, which is a token sale platform. The goal of the Launchpad is to give exposure to promising blockchain projects.

Binance supports projects aiming to raise maximum $20 million. Once the token sale is finished, they release those funds in batches. If the project achieves a predetermined milestone, it will receive part of the money. This way, if the team run away or don’t deliver its promises, the project won’t get all the money from the token sale.

Another part of the Binance business model that helps BNB to hold and increase its value is that Binance buys back and burns BNB tokens every three months. In accordance with their white paper, the latest burn was in mid-July when 2.5 million BNB tokens were destroyed.

This basically makes Binance Coin a depreciating asset and over time its initial supply of 200 million BNB is meant to become 100 million.

Last but not least, Binance’s referral program helped a lot for the exponential growth of the exchange. If you invite a new user to Binance through a referral link, you will receive 20% of their trading fees forever. If you hold 500 BNB in your account, your commission will be even higher – 40% of the fees.

Binance vs KuCoin and Huobi

The utility tokens of those exchanges
Binance is practically competing with all cryptocurrency exchanges but I will compare it to two of them that have similar utility tokens – KuCoin and Huobi.

KuCoin’s token is called KuCoin Shares (KCS) and just like BNB it can be used as a discount for trading fees, but the model is different. For every 1,000 KCS you hold, you will receive a 1% trading fee discount with the maximum amount capped at 30%.

However, unlike BNB, KCS gives you a share from KuCoin’s trading fees. The Chinese exchange shares 50% of its profits with the KCS holders, so depending how many KCS you have, you will receive different amount of dividends.

Huobi launched its utility token – Huobi Token (HT) – in February 2018. It can be used as a discount for trading fees, too. However, its model is similar to a monthly subscription. You have to become a VIP member and buy a certain amount of tokens in order to receive a discount of between 10% and 50%.

For 10% discount you have to buy 120 HT per month and for 50% — 12,000 HT per month.

New coin listing process
Another use case of HT is to give you voting rights for listing new coins on the Huobi Autonomous Digital Asset Exchange (HADAX). The more HT you have, the more meaningful your vote is.

The listing criteria for new coins on HADAX, which is part of the Huobi Global family, is similar to KuCoin’s but quite different from Binance’s.

KuCoin also has a voting system where the community decides which coins to be listed, but KCS holders doesn’t have any advantage over the other users.

On the other hand, the only way for listing a new coin on Binance is the founders to apply through a web form. And they have only one chance to do it because Binance won’t ask them for additional information.

The company doesn’t share the identities of its review team. The people in it are not allowed to have contact with project leaders, so once you submit your form you are either approved or declined.

Binance has crafted this procedure with the goal of preventing corrupted practices. CZ has stated that he had been offered multiple times millions of dollars to list a coin and he always replied, “No, submit a form”.

Once the review team analyses the submission, they put a score on the project and if the score is positive, the Binance business development team contacts with the project’s leaders for more details.

BNB – 220 times price increase for 6 months

Binance completed its ICO on July 2, 2017 after selling out 100 million BNB within several minutes. The average ICO price of a BNB token was USD 0.11.

As of July 19, 2018, the price of 1 BNB is some USD 13, the circulating supply is 95.5 million BNB and the total supply is 192.4 million BNB, according to CoinMarketCap data.

The all-time high of BNB was reached on January 12, 2018 when 1 BNB traded at USD 24.90, which is around 220 times higher than its ICO price.

Despite the strong decline since then, BNB lost significantly less value in the first half of 2018, compared to the other projects in the top 20 list by market capitalization.

The future belongs to decentralized exchanges

Changpeng Zhao’s vision for the future is that decentralized exchanges will overtake their centralized counterparts. However, he doesn’t know how long this will take. It won’t happen before a blockchain project can provide a reliable network supporting at least hundreds of thousands transactions per second.

Binance already has a team dedicated to the development of a decentralized exchange.

Anyone who believes that cryptocurrencies have bright future ahead and they will become more and more adopted by people should be aware of something — once you own a cryptocurrency, you will need a liquid exchange at some point.

In a world where cryptocurrencies are mass adopted, exchanges of some sort will undeniably be among the most used platforms. So, investing in the one that has definitely a head start over the others but at the same time is in its early stage of development could be a great long-term opportunity.

Binance is one-year old and expects to accumulate a net profit of USD 500 million to USD 1 billion for the whole 2018. However, quite a few people in the mainstream world have heard about this company. In addition, cryptocurrency trading volumes are ridiculously low compared to stocks. Imagine what would happen if cryptocurrencies became mass adopted.

I personally think that Binance is here to stay and BNB and other exchanges’ utility tokens will be among the best performing coins in the next couple of years.

The views and opinions expressed by the contributor in this text should not be considered financial or investment advice, neither treated as an expression of Cryptovest’s view. Neither the author nor the publication takes any responsibility or liability for any investments, profits or losses you may incur as a result of this information.

 


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Pressure Growing For S Korea’s Government to Reverse ICO Ban

South Korean MPs and lawyers are gearing up for a fresh assault on the country’s initial coin offering (ICO) ban. The politicians and legal professionals are aiming to reverse the government’s total ban on ICOs, made in September last year.



Media outlet News2Day reports that three MPs will submit private members’ bills during special parliamentary sessions on July 13 and 16, all aimed at reversing the ICO ban. Their number includes Park Yong-jin of the ruling Democratic Party. Two opposition MPs, Chung Tae-ok of the Liberty Party Korea and Choung Byoung-gug, the former leader of the Bareunmirae Party, are also set to put bills forward.

Another Democratic Party MP, Hong Eui-rak, has already proposed a bill to overturn the ban this year, as pressure on the government continues to grow.
In May, the National Assembly’s Special Committee on Industry 4.0, a parliamentary IT board, recommended that the government allow regulated ICOs. The plea failed to impress the regulatory Financial Supervisory Service (FSS), which said it would continue to “take a negative stance” on ICOs.

Meanwhile, Newsway reports that lawyers affiliated with the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) have urged the creation of “an institutional system” to “end the confusion” caused by the government’s ban.

The KCCI held an “ICO Seminar” on July 11, where the group’s speaker, lawyer Yoon Jong-soo, stated, “There is great demand [for ICOs in South Korea], and there is no doubting their value, but is difficult to protect investors in the current environment.” Other lawyers suggested that consultants carefully consider South Korean companies’ individual needs when advising them where to conduct overseas ICOs. Singapore is currently the favored choice for South Korean businesses, with at least 44 companies launching their ICOs in the city state so far this year.

In the past week it has emerged that Seoul may actually be willing to consider amending its ICO policy, but will only act after the forthcoming G20 summit of finance ministers (July 19-22). Ministers at the summit, to be held in Buenos Aires, are expected to discuss cryptocurrency-related matters. The governor of Jeju Island, a self-governing South Korean province, meanwhile, says he hopes to use the region’s special legal status to allow companies to issue ICOs on the island – another move that may influence Seoul’s ICO policy.


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Indian Exchanges Struggle for Survival Following Ban

Popular Indian exchanges such as Zebpay, Unocoin, WazirX, and Koinex have now shifted their business models to become crypto-to-crypto exchanges, competing directly against international giants like Binance.



The problem with this model is that it largely only serves the needs of existing cryptocurrency investors, while leaving those who are eager to get into the market with fewer options.

When the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) decided to crack down on cryptocurrency exchanges back in April of this year, it sent shockwaves through the industry. The ban issued by the central bank required all commercial banks to end their relationship with crypto exchanges, effectively forcing the exchanges to shut down fiat-to-crypto trading in the country.
Some exchanges have attempted to circumvent the banking ban by introducing peer-to-peer trading, where the exchange merely functions as an escrow service for direct transactions between users, as reported.

The chief executive of WazirX, a crypto exchange that plans on pursuing this model, explained this to the Economic Times of India by saying: “If banking is something the exchanges are not allowed to do, then the solution is that direct banking doesn’t come in.”
However, there are signs that this is may not work as smoothly as one may think. In a recent interview with Quartz India, co-founder of Coindelta, another Indian crypto exchange, explained that even though the peer-to-peer transactions are carried out online, there are risks involved.

“[…] even when it was online, you didn’t know who you were dealing with and there were chances that the deal could go awry,” he was quoted as saying.

In the same article, Praveen Kumar, CEO of Belfrics Global, a Malaysian exchange with a presence in India, voiced skepticism over whether the industry could survive by only facilitating crypto-to-crypto trading, saying “there are measures that we are taking in the meantime, but for the industry to survive and thrive, fiat transactions need to be allowed.”
However, India’s top court refused to overturn a ban by the (RBI) on lenders from dealing in cryptocurrencies. This move effectively outlaws cryptocurrencies in the country, which represents the third largest economy in Asia, as reported.


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Author: Fredrik Vold
Image Credit: iStock/Andrea Zangrilli

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