Inside Bitewei: The New Bitcoin Miner Being Hailed as a Serious Bitmain Rival

Things haven’t been easy of late for Bitmain.

After CoinDesk revealed the China-based crypto mining giant was planning an initial public offering (IPO) for September, the company has faced a wave of perhaps unprecedented scrutiny. On social media, allegations emerged Bitmain was everything from insolvent to presenting a rosy outlook for its financials, all the while investors linked to the funding effort backed away from the deal.

Now it appears Bitmain is facing a new and well-capitalized competitor.

Revealed exclusively to CoinDesk, Bitewei, a Shenzhen-based mining chip manufacturer led by Yang Zuoxing, the former director of design at Bitmain, has raised 140 million yuan (around $20 million) to bring to market mining chips that long-time mining industry insiders believe could lead it to rival at least one area of Bitmain’s business.

Tyler Xiong, COO of the bitcoin mining pool operator Bixin, which joined Bitewei’s initial investment, told CoinDesk that it believes the company’s Whatsminer line of mining chips to be “a game changer.”

Founded in Shenzhen in July 2016, Bitewei is now considered by some to be the most efficient hardware manufacturer on the market.

According to test results published by Bitewei, the upcoming WhatsMiner M10 is roughly 30 percent more efficient, in terms of electricity consumption than Bitmain’s most recent flagship product the AntMiner S9 Hydro.

Yang told CoinDesk Bitewei has so far received pre-orders of over 1,000 units of Whatsminer M10, a product scheduled to officially launch on September 19, but that started its pre-sale in mid August. With an average price around $1,600 depending on the shipping batch, the new product could already be generating a revenue beyond $1.6 million.

That said, Bitewei admittedly has a long way to go, as IPO materials suggest Bitmain controls 85 percent of the global cryptocurrency mining hardware market. Further, it has a well-developed software-based business, with its BTC.com and Antpool mining pools providing mining tools to 30 percent of the network’s miners.

This large market share is viewed with skepticism by cryptocurrency developers, who believe it conflicts with efforts to open access to cryptocurrency protocols and the digital monetary rewards they create.

As such, the fact that hardware distributors are already selling Whatsminer products has created excitement among those who believe the rise of additional, competitive mining chip providers could benefit the industry while better ensuring its ethos.

David Vorick, CEO of Obelisk, a company that set out to challenge Bitmain with an application specific integrated circuit (ASIC) miner for the Siacoin cryptocurrency, said he believes Bitewei proves that competition is possible, if difficult to achieve.

Vorick told CoinDesk:

“There should be a lot more players in the bitcoin mining space and a lot more manufacturers, especially if we can figure out everything that Whatsminer is doing to get the efficiency gains that they’ve been getting.”

Others, however, say efficiency isn’t everything, and that Bitewei must still prove it can execute, avoiding the pitfalls that have seen other mining firms go bankrupt despite competitive products.

“It takes a lot, luck included, for a company to grow to that size and influence,” Xiong said, comparing Bitewei to Bitmain. “It’s hard for a new hardware company to get that influence now. Besides, there are only 4 million bitcoins left to mine.”

Cutting-edge products

Still, Bitewei’s test results suggest its product far exceeds the current norm.

Ahead of the Whatsminer M10’s formal launch, Bitewei kicked off the pre-sale by publishing two rounds of testing results on August 10 and 25, respectively. In both cases, Bitewei claimed the machine was performing at a level that consumed 66 watts to 68 watts of electricity per 1 trillion hashes (66W/TH).

In comparison, according to the official specifics published by Bitmain about its latest AntMiner S9 Hydro, the mining giant’s flagship product has a power consumption that’s around 96 W/TH.

Speaking of growing competition from other bitcoin miners that recently launched products featuring 7nm chips, including Canaan Creative and GMO Internet, Yang said his next step is also to roll out a 7nm-chip bitcoin miner in 2019.

Yet, Vorick said he believes Bitewei now has a considerable edge compared to both other startups and incumbent competitors, as Yang’s 50-people team combines experience with cutting-edge chip designs.

“It seems like the majority of the design talent at Bitmain is now at Whatsminer [Bitewei],” Vorick said.

Perhaps that’s why Yang doesn’t appear deterred by fierce competition during the summer’s overall bearish crypto market, with bitcoin’s price sliding below $7,000. “The market always has ups and downs and 2018 is somewhat like 2014, during which the bitcoin price kept declining for a year,” Yang told CoinDesk.

He added:

“Nothing can stop the enthusiasm for people inside the industry. Outsiders may hesitate, like Intel or NVIDIA, but not us.”

The chipmaker

Bolstering the enthusiasm for the company is that this isn’t Yang’s first industry effort, as his experience with bitcoin mining started long before he joined Bitmain.

After earning a Ph.D. in engineering physics from China’s Tsinghua University, Yang started in 2014 as a chip designer at ASICMiner, a bitcoin miner maker founded in 2012 by Jiang Xinyu – a.k.a Friedcat on bitcointalk.org – whose unexplained disappearance in January 2015 is still one of the bitcoin industry’s unsolved mysteries.

Promptly after Friedcat’s disappearance, Yang presented his full-custom chip design to Micree Zhan, co-founder and chairman of the Beijing-based Bitmain. It was the design that would soon become Bitmain’s Antminer S7, as Yang joined Bitmain’s team in the spring of 2015.

The full-custom methodology adopted by Yang, in layman’s terms, allows a designer working with integrated circuits to completely customize the layout of each transistor and how they connect to each other.

The benefit is that, as opposed to other methods such as semi-custom which uses pre-designed layout to some extent, the full-custom method allows a designer with the right skill-set to maximize the chip’s output at the lowest point of power consumption.

But, as Yang told CoinDesk, this method is also highly costly and time-consuming. That’s why it is best suited to large-scale production, like Bitmain’s factories.

It could have been a perfect match. However, Yang said he decided to move from Bitmain’s Beijing’s office back to Shanghai after just two weeks because he didn’t fit in with Bitmain’s “working environment,” adding he “didn’t feel respected.”  So he continued working part-time on designing the Antminer S7, balancing that remote job with a new side project of his own.

After Bitmain officially rolled out Antminer S7 in August 2015, Yang said he had five rounds of negotiations with Bitmain about equity, all while keeping control of his designs for the Antminer S9 for the company, soon to be Bitmain’s flagship product (revealed in May 2016).

Yang said while Jihan Wu – also co-founder of Bitmain – agreed to offer him 2 percent of Bitmain’s equity, Zhan did not go along with that plan and made an alternative offer of 0.5 percent.

When negotiations went sour, Yang ended his Bitmain contract in June 2016 and launched Bitewei one month later.

Beyond Yang himself, Bitewei attracted several other bitcoin industry veterans.

The startup’s list of early investors included notable figures in the Chinese bitcoin mining community, such as co-founders of the F2POOL Wang Chun and Mao Shixing, as well as Wu Ying, chairman of an investment firm called China Capital Group. Based on a Chinese business registration database, both Mao and Wang are now Bitewei board members.

Bad blood

Bitewei’s rivalry with Bitmain intensified during the past two years as they battled over the intellectual property Yang designed.

Last year, Yang told CoinDesk Bitmain filed a patent infringement lawsuit against him over Bitewei’s adoption of the so-called “serial power circuit design” for Whatsminer – a technology that Bitmain secured a patent for in March 2016.

In retaliation, Yang filed a claim to revoke Bitmain’s patent on the grounds that serial power supply circuit designs were widely used and documented.

China’s State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) invalidated Bitmain’s patent on April 8. The SIPO’s statement about revoking Bitmain’s authorized patent, for lack of unique creativity in the Antminer’s design, said:

“If a technological solution sought by a patent has different characteristics than existing technologies, but such difference is public knowledge, then it is obvious the solution would incorporate this public knowledge.”

The Urumqi Intermediate Court in China’s Xinjiang province, where the legal complaint was initially filed by Bitmain, then followed the SIPO’s lead and dismissed the case on August 31, according to a court document Yang shared with CoinDesk.

Bitmain declined to comment.

By this point, Xiong noted that the animosity between these manufacturing teams was common knowledge in bitcoin mining circles. But the controversy surrounded Bitmain has gone far beyond this patent fight and its ongoing hardware and mining pool dominance.

Bitmain co-founder Jihan Wu has long been an outspoken supporter of the cryptocurrency bitcoin cash, created by a disagreement over the technical direction of the bitcoin software, a fact which has made him a persona non grata among bitcoin’s developers.

Yet as argued by the research firm Alliance Bernstein, Bitmain’s strong belief in bitcoin cash may have caused it an issue of declining cash flow, and may put it in a further position to be challenged by a competitor. Analysts wrote in a recent report that Bitmain now holds about 5.7 percent of the total supply of bitcoin cash, which they said was “likely” purchased using its operating cash and bitcoin holdings.

“These BCH holdings, valued at $890 million as of [Q1 2018], pose another major risk as BCH is illiquid and has depreciated nearly 20 percent since [Q1 2018],” the report noted at the time.

Bitmain’s controversy could turn out to be a boon for Bitewei, which has avoided entanglements with blockchain industry rumors and conflicts.

If Wu and Bitmain are bitcoin cash believers in their core, then Yang is simply the chip guy.

“Full-custom methodology can be applied to literally every type of chip,” Yang said of his vision for Bitewei, which is to become the greatest chip maker, hinting in the long-term, the firm is not limited to just making crypto miners.

He concluded:

“Our miners’ market share may go above 50 percent. But our own hashing power will never go above 50 percent, in fact, 10 percent will be already good enough.”


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Author: Wolfie Zhao and Leigh Cuen
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Apple Orders Coinbase Wallet to Remove Crypto Collectible

It seems iPhone users won’t have access to the crypto collectible craze anytime soon.

The news comes after forthcoming video game War Riders was featured on the Coinbase Wallet iOS app and then quickly withdrawn. In War Riders, players drive around an apocalyptic wasteland, building up armies of vehicles – vehicles represented by non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, on a blockchain.

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According to screenshots obtained by CoinDesk, a Coinbase staffer told Cartified, the company behind the game, via Discord:

“Quick heads up – we will be removing from the iOS version as we’re not able to highlight dapps that facilitate purchase of digital goods.”

The Coinbase spokesperson explained that War Riders was the only app listed within the wallet that sells NFTs.

Notably, CryptoKitties, the famous decentralized application (dapp) for buying and breeding digital cats, isn’t even featured. Although War Riders and others remain listed on the Android version of the Coinbase Wallet app.

Stepping back, Apple has long had a complicated relationship with crypto in its app store. Coinbase was itself removed for a time early on (but that was a long time back). Plus an early game that allowed users to earn bitcoin for playing was also removed.

Viktor Radchenko, CEO of Trust Wallet, tweeted about the same problem in June.

“Experience with Apple is just terrible,” he told CoinDesk via Telegram. “No communication from their on how to work with NFT’s or even with cryptocurrencies.”

Yet, within Apple’s app store review guidelines, there’s no specific language forbidding NFTs precisely. Radchenko said Apple has indicated they are forbidden under its “In-App Purchase” rules.

Neither Apple nor Coinbase have responded to repeated requests for comment.

Featured dapps

The controversy started Monday after Coinbase enabled native hosting of the dapp’s NFTs on its app.

That was the first day War Riders got native support for its NFT on Coinbase, meaning users could not only find the game by name, but also, should they purchase an NFT, it would show up in the Coinbase Wallet, according to Vlad Kartashov, CEO of Cartified.

By late Tuesday night, Kartashov informed CoinDesk that War Riders was no longer showing up as “featured dapp” within the Coinbase Wallet at all.

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While Cartified is not officially describing the gameplay yet, it’s currently selling premium vehicles, of which there are only 30,000 premium vehicles of a maximum 1,180,000 vehicles throughout the whole game.

According to Kartashov, it’s not for a lack of interest that the game got removed.

“We have a very thriving community on Discord, and people have already been forming clans even though clans have not been announced officially,” he told CoinDesk.

Plus, the game itself seems well suited to attract fans of post-apocalyptic games, even those that are tired of the same old, same old design.

“These vehicles will also be modernized and will not be from the 70s like it is in the most post-apocalyptic games,” he said.

Another token

Beside the NFT, War Riders’ players will also use an ERC-20 token called benzene (or BZN) within the game as money. BZN will be released to players through caches that will be algorithmically generated by the game within its world.

But there’s a twist here. BZN will function as a more traditional cryptocurrency outside the game, but players that acquire the token within the game must use their vehicles to safely get the BZN back to their garage in order to use it in the real world. Other players will be able to steal it on the way.

Its premium NFTs will also come with full “tanks” of BZN, so it will be on the market in small quantities before the game goes live.

Speaking to Cartified’s mission for BZN, Kartashov said, “No BZN will ever be for sale. There’s no ICO or anything like that. We are only selling non-fungible tokens.”

Cartified is only running an NFT pre-sale right now. Buyers are not yet receiving the actual tokens.

Kartashov has not been able to get any more clarity about the specific objection from Apple to his app, but concluded:

“I’m not sure what’s exactly bad with people wanting to play games.”


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Monero Headed to $18k, Ripple Price Primed for 97% Crash: Research

Anonymity-centric cryptocurrency monero may be the best buy in crypto right now, and bitcoin’s not far behind. The ripple price (XRP), on the other hand, could be primed for a historic crash.

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Bitcoin, Monero Have Bright Futures

That’s according to a new report from initial coin offering advisory and research firm Satis Group, which attempts to forecast what shape the cryptocurrency market will take over the next decade.

The real winner from the analysis is monero, currently the 11th-largest cryptocurrency, which Satis predicts could be worth $18,000 within the next five years. That represents a more than 18,200 percent increase from its present value, which stands at just over $98.

That bullish XMR forecast largely stems from the firm’s expectation that 90 percent or more of cryptoasset valuations over the next decade will be linked, not to decentralized applications (dApps) or other exciting use cases, but to penetration into the offshore deposits market. As a cryptocurrency that is not only uncensorable but also helps users obfuscate transaction data, monero stands to be one of the decade’s top gainers.

Source: Satis Group

Unsurprisingly, then, bitcoin also ranks among Satis’ highest-upside cryptoassets, with the firm predicting that the “digital gold” will eclipse the $96,000 mark in five years. This would give the flagship cryptocurrency a market cap well north of $1.5 trillion, enabling it to cement its dominant market position.

From the report:

“Despite a lack of appeal during retail frenzies, we continue to believe that BTC and its network effect will dominate end-market share within Currencies and the overall cryptoasset market, driven by: 1) increasing liquidity and purchasing avenues, 2) increasing brand recognition, 3) its position as the default base-pair within the crypto markets, 4) declining relative volatility, 5) relative lack of attack vectors, 6) network capacity alleviation through the maturity of layer-2 solutions, and 7) an increasingly high attack and overthrow cost.”

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Other large-cap cryptocurrencies that are expected to appreciate against the dollar over the next decade include ethereum, litecoin, and dash, though all of these coins will see their market share crater compared to BTC and XMR.

Ripple Price Eyes Crash Toward $0.01

Even so, Satis believes they will fare far better than their other large-cap peers, who, aside from bitcoin and monero, will outright implode.

The analysts predict that XRP, which once traded as high as $3.84 and is now valued at $0.33, will crash another 97 percent over the next five years, ultimately declining to penny parity. Cardano will face a similar fate, plunging by 99 percent to just $0.001, as will stellar, which has a 91 percent drop-off on the horizon. Bitcoin cash and EOS also have bearish forecasts, and while their declines will not be quite so severe, it’s unlikely that at these valuations they will be used for anything beyond day trading and speculation.

Commenting on this controversial outlook, the report concludes:

“Within the currency networks, we continue to see…meaningful downside from networks that have inherited brand recognition and potentially short-lived adoption during hiccups from their fork-parent (such as BCH), and very little value in networks that are misleadingly marketed and not even required for use within their own network (such as XRP).”


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Bitcoin Mining Apps Still Live on Google Play Despite Ban

Google is reportedly hosting cryptocurrency mining applications in Play Store, despite a ban imposed last month.

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Google’s revised terms of service states that, “We don’t allow apps that mine cryptocurrency on devices.” However, the search engine giant mentioned last month that apps that remotely manage cryptocurrency mining are permitted. Despite the ban, few digital currency mining apps have either updated to abide with the new terms nor have removed their apps from the store.

Mining apps such as Bitcoin Mining, BTC Miner Pool, and Pickaxe Miner are found to be still live on Google Play, while Cloud Bitcoin Miner app is said to have revised its services in accordance with the new Google terms. “Mining is not performed on the user’s phone,” the app’s description clarifies.

Earlier this month, UK-based blockchain startup JSEcoin, which facilitates cryptocurrency mining, announced the launch of Android mobile mining app on Google Play. “We have additionally reached out to the Google Support team to confirm if we are allowed to allow our users to mine our tokens via our official app – as we are aware of their restriction policy,” JSEcoin co-founder and CTO John Sim, told HardFork during its launch. Later, the JSEcoin app disappeared from the Play Store.

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Another mining app, MinerGate, announced last week in a tweet that a new version has been designed for “monitoring and managing” the user’s mining process in a move to abide by the new Google terms. With the update, MinerGate told Hard Fork:

“Mining on your phone directly was among the core features of the MinerGate app before the last changes in Google Play Development policies. With the last update, we are removing this functionality to meet the updated requirements.”

Earlier this year, Google outlawed cryptocurrency mining extensions from the Chrome Web Store. The search engine outlined the reason for the ban in its official release stating that, “90% of all extensions with mining scripts that developers have attempted to upload to Chrome Web Store have failed to comply with their new mining policies.”

Google had already banned malicious cryptojacking apps after an Android app was found cryptojacking devices in January, while also mining monero. Following this, Google also imposed a ban on ICO advertisements from June.


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Does Bank of America’s Crypto Custody Show Irrelevance of Bitcoin ETFs?

This week, $312 billion Bank of America (BoA) filed a patent to offer crypto custody, targeting large-scale institutional investors and retail traders.

Some experts have said that the efforts of major financial institutions to create institutional products around cryptocurrencies will bolster the adoption of crypto in US markets, which will naturally lead to other publicly tradable instruments such as Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

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Bitcoin ETFs Not Necessary?

The patent of BoA, filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office, described a vault system with which institutions can safely store digital assets like Bitcoin. It read:

“The processor is also able to deposit the quantity of cryptocurrency into a vault connected to a network and determine a total quantity of cryptocurrency deposited into the vault. The processor may also, in response to determining the total quantity of cryptocurrency deposited into the vault exceeds a threshold, facilitate the disconnection of the vault from the network.”

In essence, the system of BoA is similar to the services offered by Xapo, a Hong Kong-based Bitcoin vault company that has been storing over $10 billion in Bitcoin on behalf of institutions since early 2014.

With such a system in place, BoA will be able to provide a platform for its clients and large institutions in the finance sector to allocate large sums of money into the crypto sector without concerns regarding security and regulation.

BoA stated that the primary purpose of its crypto vault system is to allow enterprises to safely store large amounts of digital assets while being able to conduct transactions on a daily basis.

“Enterprises may handle a large number of financial transactions on a daily basis. As technology advances, financial transactions involving cryptocurrency have become more common. For some enterprises, it may be desirable to securely store cryptocurrency,” BoA said.

In an interview with Forbes, Jonathan Hamel of Acadamie Bitcoin in Montreal explained that the introduction of institutional products around crypto like the BoA custody solution and Bakkt, a joint venture created by Microsoft, Starbucks, and the New York Stock Exchange, will significantly improve the physical over-the-counter (OTC) and institutional infrastructure.

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In the near future, Hamel said that institutions will be able to comfortably invest through existing custodian solutions that are sufficient to bring in billions of dollars in new capital into the space.

As the OTC and institutional market improves, Hamel noted that ETFs and other publicly tradable instruments will inevitably arrive in US markets, emphasizing that investors do not have to be concerned about the approval of ETFs just yet.

“I don’t think (the rejections) are that important. The ‘physical’ over-the-counter/institutional bitcoin infrastructure is only getting started. The development of financial vehicles backed by bitcoin is inevitable. It’s not if, it’s when,” Hamel stated.

Institutional Market is Improving

Currently, the vast majority of investors are highly anticipating the debut of the first Bitcoin ETF because most believe that an ETF would bring in substantial capital into the asset class.

But, officials at the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have made it clear that there exists certain requirements ETF operators will have to meet and the first Bitcoin ETF is unlikely to emerge in US markets until early 2019.

In the meantime, as Hamel said, investors are still able to invest in the market through custodian solutions and the institutional market improves, more institutions will be willing to consider cryptocurrencies as a legitimate market to invest in as an alternative.


Here at Dollar Destruction, we endeavour to bring to you the latest, most important news from around the globe. We scan the web looking for the most valuable content and dish it right up for you! The content of this article was provided by the source referenced. Dollar Destruction does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. As always, we encourage you to perform your own research!

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Newsflash: SEC Stays Wednesday Decision Denying Bitcoin ETF Applications, Commission Will Review

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Thursday stayed three orders denying bitcoin ETF applications that sought to list a total of nine such funds on regulated exchanges including NYSE Arca.

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Those orders, as CCN reported, were issued on Wednesday, further confirming the agency’s hesitancy to make cryptocurrency more accessible to retail investors through conventional financial products.

However, in a potential reversal of fortune, the SEC on Thursday announced that the Commission, led by Chairman Jay Clayton, will review those orders, which had originally been drafted by staff members on behalf of agency leadership.

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As SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce explained on Twitter, the Commission commonly delegates such rulings to staff members but may review their decisions after the fact.

Peirce — who criticized the agency’s recent disapproval of a Winklevoss-backed bitcoin ETF — posted a copy of a letter, sent by the agency and addressed to NYSE, attesting to the fact that the chairman and commissioners will personally review the applications to determine whether SEC staff ruled appropriately.

The letter does not give a timetable for when the Commission will make that determination.


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NYSE Owner’s Bitcoin Market May Have ‘Hidden Leverage,’ Wall Street Vet Warns

When Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), the owner of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), announced that it was launching a bitcoin market, the move was met with enthusiasm by many within the cryptocurrency industry as a vindication of the legitimacy of the asset class. However, others, including some Wall Street veterans, warned that the “financialization” of bitcoin could introduce elements of the fractional reserve banking system into the cryptocurrency market.

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Bakkt Says It Won’t Offer Leveraged Bitcoin Trading

Now, the head of Bakkt — ICE’s bitcoin market — is seeking to assuage some of those concerns. Writing in a blog post, Bakkt CEO Kelly Loeffler said that one of the platform’s key missions is to promote “efficient price discovery,” which means that the firm does not intend to allow clients to trade on margin or otherwise put a “paper claim on a real asset.”

She wrote:

“A critical element to price discovery is physical delivery. Specifically, with our solution, the buying and selling of Bitcoin is fully collateralized or pre-funded. As such, our new daily Bitcoin contract will not be traded on margin, use leverage, or serve to create a paper claim on a real asset. This supports market integrity and differentiates our effort from existing futures and crypto exchanges which allow for margin, leverage and cash settlement. Coupled with a secure, regulated warehouse solution, you can begin to see how this market infrastructure can help more institutions and consumers participate in the asset class.”

That bitcoin contract, as CCN reported, will be a one-day futures contract that is settled in BTC rather than cash. The reason it is structured as a one-day futures contract rather than a conventional BTC/USD trading pair is that futures contracts are regulated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) rather than the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Per CFTC guidelines, Bakkt must provide a “warehouse” where the physical assets undergirding the products are stored.

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Will ICE Secretly Offer ‘Hidden Leverage?’

Caitlin Long, who spent more than two decades on Wall Street and co-founded the Wyoming Blockchain Coalition, said that she was partially-pleased by Loeffler’s post, which answered some questions that she and others had been asking about ICE’s handling of bitcoin, specifically about explicit leverage and margin trading.

However, she noted that the post was silent on what she calls “hidden leverage,” through which institutions commingle and rehypothecate different types of collateral (bitcoins, physical USD, securities, etc.), which involves substituting them for one another on their balance sheet as well as allow multiple parties to declare ownership of the same asset on their financial statements.

These practices, Long says, are standard on Wall Street and could serve to taint bitcoin’s fixed currency supply with elements of the wider financial system, which relies on fractional-reserve banking.


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Binance, LCX Collaborate to Launch Fiat-to-Cryptocurrency Exchange in Liechtenstein

Binance, the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchange by volume, has partnered with Liechtenstein Cryptoassets Exchange (LCX) to create and launch a cryptocurrency trading platform that allows users to trade directly against fiat currencies such as the euro.

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The Malta company announced Binance LCX as the forefront of their trading operations in the Central European economy. This newly established joint venture will allow cryptocurrency users to trade their crypto-assets for Swiss francs (CHF) and euros (EUR). Binance will be overseeing operations and management of the technology platform, while its unification with LCX will be responsible for managing customer support and regulatory compliance.

Just over a year ago, Binance did not exist. It wasn’t until the end of July 2017 when the Binance ICO gave the firm its first presence in a competitive trading market. The company’s ability to handle larger volumes and its choice of being bankless had put it on the top ten crypto exchanges list at an early stage. Binance now leads the list and has recorded 85 percent ICO returns for its token sale participants already.

“I believe Binance LCX will create a sustainable and reliable fiat-crypto gateway for professional and regular investors alike,” said a confident Changpeng Zao, CEO and founder of Binance. “I hope Binance LCX will drive new standards for usability and compliance for the blockchain industry, and we are very excited to bring the relevant experience and best practices to grow our team at Liechtenstein.”

LCX, as an individual organization, is “an exchange made for professional investors offering crypto custody, an advanced trading platform for security tokens and other crypto assets.” The company hasn’t released its whitepaper, but it appears “well-backed,” should the sheer presence of some high-profile names, including Wikipedia’s Founder Jimmy Wales, in its advisory list be considered.

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LCX is reportedly looking to obtain a MiFID II license in line with the Liechtenstein Banking Act. The exchange will also be applying for permits under the Liechtenstein Blockchain Act, a holistic initiative by the Government of Liechtenstein to build legal security for cryptocurrency and blockchain businesses.

The Binance LCX partnership has attracted support from Adrian Haslet, the Prime Minister of Liechtenstein, indicating strong political and regulatory backing for this initiative. Haslet said:

“We welcome Binance LCX to Liechtenstein. Blockchain technologies are laying the basis for an entirely new industry. We are confident that Liechtenstein’s existing and future legal framework and practice provide a robust foundation for the Binance LCX and other Blockchain companies to provide exceptional services here in Liechtenstein.”

The Binance token value (BNB/USD), as of the time of writing, had risen approximately four percent on the news.


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U.K. Exchange Crypto Facilities Launches Bitcoin Cash Futures

Bitcoin cash, the fourth-largest cryptocurrency, took another step into the big leagues on Friday when a European derivatives trading platform launched the first regulated, USD-denominated bitcoin cash futures.

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This product, which began trading on the U.K.-based Crypto Facilities on Friday at 4 p.m. local time, allows investors to bet on the future price movements of bitcoin cash, as well as hedge risk in their overall cryptocurrency portfolios.

“We are pleased to be expanding our cryptocurrency derivatives offering with the launch of Bitcoin Cash futures,” said Crypto Facilities CEO Timo Schlaefer in a statement. “BCH is a top five coin with a market capitalisation of around $10 billion and we expect our new contracts to spur the evolution of the crypto markets by bringing greater liquidity and transparency to the digital asset class.”

“This is another example of how Bitcoin Cash is proving itself to be one of the most innovative and useful cryptocurrencies in the world,” added BCH evangelist Roger Ver.

Tokyo-based trading and investment firm Profluent Japan says that it will make markets in the new bitcoin cash futures markets.

“Profluent Japan welcomes the opportunity to make markets in BCH derivatives on the Crypto Facilities platform. The institutional trading community was in great need of a proper BCH hedging mechanism at an FCA-registered exchange with a first class management team,” said Profluent Group CEO Bert Mouler. “Crypto Facilities is the first to provide such a service.”

TIP

In addition to BCH, Crypto Facilities has also launched futures products for bitcoin, ethereum, ripple, and litecoin. Earlier this year, Crypto Facilities CEO Tim Schlaefer told CCN that the platform has seen strong growth in 2018 despite the bear market. He said that volume had increased 84 percent between Q4 2017 and Q1 2018 and that he expected Q2 volume to double that of Q1.

Notably, Crypto Facilities is one of several cryptocurrency exchanges that provide pricing data used in Chicago-based derivatives exchange CME’s cryptocurrency reference rates. To date, CME has launched reference rates for bitcoin and ether, and the former has been used as the foundation for the platform’s bitcoin futures product. Consequently, the launch of BCH derivatives products on this platform could be the first step toward eventually seeing bitcoin cash futures listed on a major exchange.


IZX

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Author: Josiah Wilmoth 
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SEC Smacks ICO Fraudster with $30,000 Fine, Lifetime Trading Ban

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued an officer and director bar, a penny stock bar, and a penalty of $30,000 to a fraudulent ICO founder today.

According to the official press release, David T. Laurance was previously found guilty for taking part in deceitful security offerings.

LIONBIT

Laurance’s LinkedIn profile shows that he is the president and CEO of oil drilling company Tomahawk Exploration LLC. He has worked at the company for over eight years. Laurence created “Tomahawkcoins” in June 2017 with a plan to raise $5 million in an initial coin offering (ICO). The project would then, he advertised, use the capital to drill ten wells in California.

However, the SEC claims that the ICO provided false information in their promotional statements. They “used inflated projections of oil production” and claimed that Tomahawk had already obtained leases for drilling on the sites. The firm also tried to portray Laurance as a principled individual by claiming that he had a “flawless background”.

The ICO wasn’t successful in raising enough money; however, the company set up a bounty program to trade Tomahawkcoins with online promotional services.

Robert A. Cohen, chief of the SEC’s Cyber Unit, said, “Investors should be alert to the risk of old-school frauds, like oil and gas schemes, masquerading as innovative blockchain-based ICOs.”

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Both Laurance and Tomahawk were given cease and desist orders — they chose to avoid denying or accepting the claims. Furthermore, Laurance was permanently banned from working as an officer and a director under the officer and director bar, and from trading or owning stocks under the penny stock bar.

According to a recent study published by digital asset newsletter Diar, exit ICO scams have cost investors over $100 million. The highest position is held by Shenzhen Puyin Blockchain Group, a Chinese company, which was able to acquire $60 million from three different ICOs.

Following the recent developments, SEC published a warning for crypto investors today. The agency admonished investors to research the background of any individual who is selling cryptocurrencies.

The SEC also added that scammers often lure people into their projects by offering high returns on their investment. In order to combat this issue, the agency has created a search tool at Investor.gov which contains the details of various investment professionals. Another tool, SEC Action Lookup – Individuals (SALI), helps investors identify individuals who have been convicted by the SEC.


Here at Dollar Destruction, we endeavour to bring to you the latest, most important news from around the globe. We scan the web looking for the most valuable content and dish it right up for you! The content of this article was provided by the source referenced. Dollar Destruction does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. As always, we encourage you to perform your own research!

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Author: Habiba Tahir
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