Litecoin Contract Trading Opens on Huobi DM (XRP to Follow)

litecoin ltc long short

Those looking to long and short Litecoin (LTC) now have a new place to do so. Contract trading of the popular Bitcoin spin-off is now available on Huobi Derivative Market (Huobi DM) — as of yesterday (Jan 25, 2019). 


Savvy traders will now be able to utilize Huobi DM to take both long and short positions on the seventh-ranked cryptocurrency by market capitalization. As noted by a press release from the Chinese-founded Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange, the addition of LTC contract trading allows for “arbitrage, speculation, and hedging.”

Litecoin joins Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and EOS (EOS) — which have weekly, bi-weekly, and quarterly contracts — on the platform.

litecoin trading

Massive Volatility

LTC is currently trading, at the time of this writing, at $33.38 per coin. Its current price is down significantly from its all-time high of approximately $371. This dramatic price fluctuation creates opportunity, according to Huobi Global’s CEO, Livio Weng.

“Given the huge changes in price Litecoin and other digital assets regularly experience, Huobi DM can be a powerful tool in managing risk and uncertainty,” Weng stated in the press release.

litecoin ltc price

XRP Coming Soon

Those looking to long and short XRP will soon be able to do so on Huobi DM, as well.

Livio Weng, Huobi Global’s CEO, stated:

Litecoin is one of the biggest of the altcoins on the market today and we’ve seen quite a bit of demand for it by our users. We’ll be adding more coin types to the platform as 2019 progresses, with Ripple next on our list.

The addition of more altcoin contracts being offered illustrates the continued growth of the major cryptocurrency exchange.

What do you think of the addition of Litecoin (LTC) contract trading to Huobi DM? Are you excited about the future addition of XRP contract trading to the platform? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below! 


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, CoinMarketCap.

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Source: Blockchain

Indiana, New Hampshire May Be Next to Accept Bitcoin for Taxes

A house bill for amending the currently existing taxation Code of Indiana has been filed January 24 seeking acceptance of cryptocurrencies for paying taxes. Another bill requiring the state treasurer of New Hampshire to develop an implementation plan for accepting cryptocurrencies for tax payments has also been filed. 


Pay Taxes With Cryptocurrencies in Indiana

House bill number 1683 filed January 24th, asks the General Assembly of the State of Indiana to amend the current taxation Code of Indiana.

Be it enacted, the bill may approve the usage of one or more virtual currencies to pay taxes, penalties, interests, costs, special assessments, or any other liabilities which are imposed under the bill.

According to the document, a county treasurer

shall determine the value of the payment in United States dollars at the time the payment is made by using the applicable exchange rate.

If the bill is approved by the General Assembly of Indiana, it will be in effect from July 1st, 2019.

New Hampshire on a Similar Path

In the state of New Hampshire, House bill number 470-FN, filed January 5th, 2019, seeks the acceptance of cryptocurrencies as payment for taxes and fees by state agencies.

New Hampshire License Plate

If the bill is enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court, it will require the state treasurer, in consultation with other state officials, to develop an implementation plan for the state to begin accepting cryptocurrencies as payments for fees and taxes starting July 1st, 2020.

The plan is also supposed to identify an appropriate third party payment processor. As per the documents, the payment processor should facilitate transactions at no cost to the state.

The plan should be submitted by the state treasurer on or before November 1st.

The bill will allow the state agencies to accept cryptocurrency payments but it doesn’t obligate them to do so, inferring that approval might be necessary.

Florida’s Seminole County became the first US locality to accept Bitcoin for taxes in May 2018. Later in November, Ohia also began accepting Bitcoin for taxes.

What do you think of paying taxes with cryptocurrencies? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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Source: Blockchain

LocalBitcoins Hacked By an ‘Unauthorized Source,’ Forum Suspended

DADI ICO Investors Under Attack by Phishing Scams

The popular peer-to-peer (P2P) bitcoin trading platform LocalBitcoins has been accessed by “an unauthorized source,” the platform confirmed, which was caused by a third-party feature vulnerability. 


LocalBitcoins Forum Disabled

According to a thread which appeared on Reddit earlier today, popular P2P bitcoin trading platform LocalBitcoins has been subjected to a phishing attack.

LocalBitcoins has posted the following announcement:

We would like to inform that today 26.01.2019 at approximately 10:00:00 UTC, LocalBitcoins has detected a security vulnerability – an unauthorised source was able to access and send transactions from a number of affected accounts. Outgoing transactions were temporarily disabled while we investigated the case.

We were able to identify the problem, which was related to a feature powered by a third party software, and stop the attack. At the moment, we are determining the correct number of users affected – so far six cases have been confirmed. For security reasons, the forum feature has been disabled until further notice.

Outgoing transactions have already been re-enabled and we have taken a number of measures to address this issue and secure the limited number of accounts that might have been at risk.

Your LocalBitcoins accounts are currently safe to log in and use – we encourage you to enable Two-factor authentication, if you have not yet.

We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience this might have caused.

Kind Regards, LocalBitcoins

Bitcoinist_South Africa Economic Turmoil LocalBitcoins

User (u/bitcoinbabeau) shared that when users visit the platform’s forum URL, they are prompted to log into their account as if they have been logged out.

Apparently, this only happens if the user is already logged in. According to the user, the URL represents a phishing site which has the 2FA codes sent to the hacker, enabling him to empty their accounts.

According to the thread, withdrawals on the platform have been disabled. Additionally, the platform’s forum is also currently disabled.

At the time of this writing, LocalBitcoins hasn’t come up with an official statement on the matter.

$28,000 Purportedly Gone Already

Commenting on the abovementioned thread, one of the users shares that he’s probably the first to fall victim to the hacker. He revealed that 0.14 BTC have been cleaned from his account, posting the details of the transaction.

The receiving address is already up to 7.95 BTC at press time. Given the current rate of BTC (coin_price), this is roughly around $28,000.

It remains unclear whether this is this is the actual (or the only) address of the hacker.

Last year, the P2P trading platform disabled multiple accounts because of new EU privacy laws.

Have you experienced anything odd using LocalBitcoins in the last few hours? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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Source: Blockchain

Bitcoin’s Liquid Sidechain Welcomes Japanese Yen Stablecoin

liquid sidechain blockchain

Blockstream has announced Crypto Garage, a joint venture with Digital Garage and Tokyo Tanshi, to serve the Japanese Bitcoin market. The partnership will soon launch the Liquid sidechain based SETTLENET suite, the first application of which will be a yen-pegged stablecoin.


SETTLENET on Bitcoin’s Liquid Sidechain

The SETTLENET suite aims to provide Japanese exchanges and OTC trading desks with enhanced liquidity, speed and security. Although why Crypto Garage feel the need to shout SETTLENET every time is anybody’s guess.

Exchanges can issue the JPY-token (L-JPY) on the Liquid sidechain, and trade it against Liquid Bitcoin (L-BTC) using atomic swaps. Atomic swaps allow instant, trustless, peer to peer trading between different types of digital asset.

Needless to say, Blockstream CEO, Adam Back’s tweet of the announcement attracted equal parts awe and mockery. The latter, in particular, from the Ripple-army, who were quick to point out how easily XRP could achieve this (though whether XRP is trustless is a different argument).

Compliant With Japanese Regulations

One of the Crypto Garage partners must have some friends in high places because SETTLENET has already received regulatory clearance. Both the Japanese Financial Services Authority and the Cabinet Secretariat approve. This leaves the JPY-token well-placed to be a key driver in Japanese Bitcoin market liquidity.

CEO of Crypto Garage, Masahito Okuma, said:

SETTLENET together with Liquid makes trustless Bitcoin trading a reality, in a sustainable regulated environment. This is going to lead to a huge boost in Bitcoin liquidity in Japan and cement the region’s place as a leader in the emerging Bitcoin industry.

Liquid Growth

The venture also marks the continuing growth of the Liquid Network sidechain since its launch last October. Blockstream market Liquid as a fast, secure, and confidential method for high trading-volume entities such as exchanges, brokers, and financial institutions to transact.

money laundering

JPY-token is just the beginning of Blockstream’s ambitions for the stablecoin market, according to CSO, Samson Mow:

We expect SETTLENET’s Japanese yen token to be the first of many stablecoin issuances on Liquid.

What do you think about the Liquid sidechain welcoming its first stablecoin? Share your thoughts!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter/@adam3us

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Source: Blockchain

Indonesia’s First Unicorn Go-Jek Buys Bitcoin Startup

indonesia go-jek

Indonesian multi-platform behemoth, Go-Jek, recently acquired Philippine-based Cryptocurrency payment company, Coins.ph. Reports indicate the move allows Go-Jek to expand its cashless service delivery across its plethora of service delivery platforms.


Go-Jek Buys Majority Stakes in Coins.ph

According to TechCrunch, Go-Jek acquired majority stakes in Coins.ph in a deal worth north of $70 million. Announcing the move, Go-Jek CEO, Nadiem Makarim, said:

Today’s announcement marks the start of our long-term commitment in the Philippines and the continuation of our mission to use technology to improve everyday life and create positive social impacts.

Go-Jek, currently valued at more than $10 billion is the first company in Indonesia to achieve Unicorn status. In 2o17, Fortune included Go-Jek in the Forbes list of 50 companies that changed the world. The company already has a major presence in Southeast Asia and intends to enter the Filippino and Malaysian markets.

It is this international expansion drive that sees the company acquiring Coins.ph, one of the leading cryptocurrency and mobile payments platforms in the Philippines. In less than five years, Coins.ph has built a customer base of more than 5 million users. Back in December 2018, the company reported that it was processing over $6 million worth of transactions per month.

For Ron Hose, the Coins.ph founder, the move signals the extent of the company’s growth in the Southeast Asian theater. Starting in the Philippines, the company now has operations in Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam offering cryptocurrency and mobile payment services.

Indonesia

Speaking to TechCrunch, Hose revealed that the company was in the midst of securing additional funding when the Go-Jek deal emerged. Commenting on the matter, Hose said:

We had to make a decision on how we want to continue growing our business, and we felt like ultimately together with Go-Jek we could build something that is overall bigger and better for our customers.

Go-Jek’s Foray into Cryptocurrency Payments

The Go-Jek multi-platform ecosystem comprises of several businesses in diverse business segments including ride-sharing, logistics, and digital payments, to mention a few.

Through Go-Pay, Go-Jek already executes over 50 percent of the transactions in its ecosystem via cashless payment avenues. The Coins.ph acquisition will enable the Tencent-backed Go-Jek to introduce cryptocurrency payments to its customers across all these platforms.

In many places across Southeast Asia, the majority of the population remains unbanked. More than 77 percent of Filipinos are unbanked, but a greater majority of people have access to mobile phones.

Go-Pay CEO, Aldi Haryopratomo believes that there is a vast opportunity for the company to bring financial services to people historically disenfranchised in the global payment arena.

Commenting on the deal, Haryopratomo, said:

We are excited to work with Coins.ph, a company that shares our ethos of empowering communities by bringing more people into the digital economy. Consumer transaction behavior in Indonesia and Philippine share many similarities, and together with Coins.ph, we hope to have similar success in accelerating cashless payments in the Philippines.

Meanwhile, cryptocurrency adoption appears to be making headway in the Philippines as well as other places in Southeast Asia. Back in September 2018, financial regulators in the Philippines began considering creating a legal framework for exchange platforms.

Do you think this deal will bring payment service delivery closer to unbanked people in the Philippines? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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Source: Blockchain

London Stock Exchange Confirms Tech Sale To Hong Kong Cryptocurrency Exchange

The London Stock Exchange (LSE) is entering the cryptocurrency market, albeit cautiously, after it sold its trading technology to Hong Kong exchange AAX.


LSE Conscious Of Crypto Exchange Boom

As the Financial Times reported January 22, LSE has offered its Millenium Exchange matching system to AAX, in a deal similar to that signed by Nasdaq and Estonia’s DX Exchange earlier this month.

“If you look at the traditional market, there is a limited number of traditional exchanges,” the publication quoted Lorne Chambers, global head of sales and marketing at LSEG Technology as saying.

But there are a number of crypto exchanges springing up.

Unlike both Nasdaq and US counterpart Intercontinental Exchange, which owns the New York Stock Exchange, LSE has maintained a hands-off approach to the cryptocurrency sector until now.

The UK is currently getting to grips with its cryptocurrency regulation, with noises from lawmakers alarming industry businesses and commentators after they included potential bans on cryptocurrency-related financial products and services.

Exchange Owner: ‘We Need Regulated Tech’

For AAX backer Atom Group, however, bringing in regulated entities is necessary to strengthening the exchange sector.

“One of the things we see in crypto is a lot of people have built their own technology,” CEO Peter Lin commented.

One of the things we need moving forward is to bring in more technology from regulated markets to make sure this is safer for investors.

The Legality of Cryptocurrency in Zimbabwe Brought into Question

While Bitcoin advocates disagree with the regulation logic, arguing instead that security is only possible through private custody of cryptocurrency and not through legislation via tightly-regulated third parties, many jurisdictions continue to advance their local landscapes.

Nearby Hong Kong, Japan rolled out licenses to several exchanges in recent weeks, including to Coincheck, the domestic operator which lost over half a billion dollars in a hack one year ago.

After a buyout, new owner Monex Group has slowly restored functionality to the platform, along with arranging refunds to those who lost their holdings.

What do you think about LSE’s deal with AAX? Let us know in the comments section below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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Source: Blockchain

Bitcoin Should ‘Depart’ From Proof-of-Work, Says Bank Of International Settlements

BIS

Bitcoin figures have dismissed the latest report on cryptocurrencies by the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) after it claimed Bitcoin must stop using its Proof-of-Work algorithm.


BIS: Bitcoin Must Drop Proof-of-Work

The report, ‘Beyond the doomsday economics of “proof-of-work” in cryptocurrencies,’ was released January 21.

It focused on double-spend attacks within cryptocurrency blockchains, as well as the long-term future of Bitcoin mining profitability and blockchain stability.

Agustin Carstens BIS

Agustín Carstens, BIS General Manager

The BIS, also known as the central bank of central banks, is well known as an outspoken critic of decentralized currencies in particular. Its previous announcements generated widespread criticism and even ridicule from the cryptocurrency industry.

“The conclusions are, first, that Bitcoin counterfeiting via ‘double-spending’ attacks is inherently profitable, making payment finality based on proof-of-work extremely expensive,” the latest paper’s author Raphael Auer writes summarizing its contents.

Second, the transaction market cannot generate an adequate level of “mining” income via fees as users free-ride on the fees of other transactions in a block and in the subsequent blockchain. Instead, newly minted bitcoins, known as block rewards, have made up the bulk of mining income to date.

Lightning Network Doubts

As such, Auer continues, when block rewards ultimately become zero, there will be insufficient momentum on the Bitcoin blockchain and it could take “months” to confirm a transaction.

The conclusion ignores uptrends in fees, as well as the combined effect of off-chain scaling technologies such as the Lightning Network, which already permits considerable expansion Bitcoin’s transaction processing capabilities.

Auer mentions Lightning, but is broadly dismissive of it, saying:

Second-layer solutions such as the Lightning Network might help, but the only fundamental remedy would be to depart from proof-of-work, which would probably require some form of social coordination or institutionalisation.

In a predictable backlash, cryptocurrency advocates lambasted the findings, with The Bitcoin Standard author Saifedean Ammous repeating calls for the BIS to engage in debate on its perspective.

Other reactions gave some consideration to the report’s logic.

“Have to give BIS credit for identifying a decent Achilles’ Heel,” one Twitter user responded. “Fee market incentives should work, but we can’t throw it on a testnet to prove it. Bitcoin is the testnet.”

The banking group this week joins the Bank of England in throwing shade on Bitcoin. At the ongoing World Economic Forum in Davos, Huw van Steenis, senior adviser to governor Mark Carney, said cryptocurrencies in general “fail basic tests.”

“They’re not a great unit of exchange, they don’t hold value, and they’re slower [than fiat],” he said.

What do you think about the BIS’ latest report? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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Source: Blockchain

‘We Have to Spend Money Carefully’ – Huobi Confirms Lay Offs Despite Profits

caution

The prolonged bear market hasn’t yet managed to throw one of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges, Huobi, in the negative. However, despite still being profitable, the company is letting people go in an attempt to “spend money carefully.”


Huobi Tightens Belt

Huobi is a China-based cryptocurrency exchange with around $300 million in daily traded volumes, making it one of the top-ten cryptocurrency exchanges in the world.

It seems, however, that the prolonged bear market of 2018 has taken its toll on the company. Last month, reports started circling that Huobi was planning post-Christmas tightening.

Now, the company’s exchange unit CEO, Livio Weng Xiaoqi, has confirmed the layoffs, saying:

We do not know how long the bear market will last, so it is still possible that we will struggle to survive […] We have to plan in advance and spend money carefully.

The company is apparently proceeding with caution as it plans to cut its unprofitable units like venture funding and news aggregation, adds Weng.

In total, the company has cut about 100 positions in the past few weeks, currently sitting on a workforce of 1,300 people throughout the world.

Huobi is not the only major cryptocurrency exchange to let people go. Bitcoinist reported in late 2018 that the largest US-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has also engaged in a series of cuts and shakeups involving its staff.

Bitmain, the world’s largest manufacturer of cryptocurrency mining hardware, has also gone through staffing cuts.

Profitable Nevertheless

Oddly enough, the company’s CEO admitted that despite being shrunk, the exchange’s revenues are still in the positive every single month.

Huobi

Earlier this month, Diar released a report which showed that cryptocurrency exchanges have marked a record year in 2018 despite the entire market shrinking upwards of 80 percent.

In 2018, Huobi did, in fact, spend quite a lot of capital on developing and promoting the cryptocurrency industry.

In June, it entered into a funding venue with South Korea’s Kiwoom Securities and China’s New Margin Capital, aiming to inject $93 million in blockchain initiatives in China and South Korea.

Additionally, the exchange also launched Huobi Labs – a $1 billion blockchain incubator. The company also launched a cryptocurrency derivatives platform in November 2018 called Huobi DM.

What do you think of Huobi letting people go despite being profitable? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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Source: Blockchain

Bitcoin in Backwardation (This is Fine)

One of the joys of having a futures market is the ability to understand what investors are thinking about the future of the price. For bitcoin, it doesn’t seem so great at the moment. 


As we can see, the contracts for the bitcoin futures on the CBOE are currently in backwardation, meaning that contracts with a later expiration are trading consecutively lower.

Of course, something like this might have made me nervous on a normal day, but then I remembered that oil futures were trading in contango (opposite of backwardation) before the prices collapsed back in October.

Also, the volumes here are kind of silly. I mean, 227 BTC (less than $1 million) trading on a contract that expires today. Sure, the title is catchy but what can we really learn from this?

@MatiGreenspan
eToro, Senior Market Analyst

Today’s Highlights

Shutdown: Day 26

Day’s to Brexit: 72

Constantinople Delayed

Please note: All data, figures & graphs are valid as of January 16th. All trading carries risk. Only risk capital you can afford to lose.

Traditional Markets

You may have noticed that we’re now including a countdown to Brexit in the highlights section, right next to the US government shutdown counter. I think they fit together neatly. Two governments descending into a state of turmoil over political wrangling.

Today, Theresa May’s government will see the ultimate test. If she loses the vote of no confidence, the UK heads to new elections… again.

Over in the East, China decided to inject the market with a record level of stimulus. Yesterday’s tax cuts may have been insufficient to maintain growth, so they’ve gone the route of free cash for the market.

In addition, it seems the Institue of International Finance has made a rather shocking estimation. It seems our entire economic system, from our homes to places of work and our governments are increasingly reliant on debt.

Given all the above, it’s no wonder that the European Central Bank is now sounding a new alarm.

Don’t worry about any of this though. The stock markets are up today. Hope the earnings reports from the financial sector go well.

Ethereum Upgrade Delayed

After all the excitement, the crypto community was disappointed to hear last night that the long-awaited Constantinople upgrade has been delayed once again.

It seems a critical bug was found at the last minute and the lead developers pulled the plug. Here we can see the crypto market, led by Ethereum, dropping moments after the announcement was made.

We’re seeing a bit of a recovery this morning but that was really scary. I mean, it’s good that they caught the bug before going live but the fact that it came within 30 hours of the upgrade is a bit nervewracking.

These things do happen, virtually all major platforms including Windows, Android, and Apple Operating systems, have seen critical bugs before. Though it would be possible to release a patch, fork the network again, and return to normal, that kind of process could in itself have done irreparable damage.

We hope that Constantinople whenever it is ready, goes through without any additional hitches.


This content is provided for information and educational purposes only and should not be considered to be investment advice or recommendation.

Past performance is not an indication of future results. All trading involves risk; only risk capital you are prepared to lose.

The outlook presented is a personal opinion of the analyst and does not represent an official position of eToro.

eToro is a multi-asset platform which offers both investing in stocks and cryptocurrencies, as well as trading CFD assets. 

Please note that CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 65% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Cryptocurrencies can widely fluctuate in prices and are not appropriate for all investors. Trading cryptocurrencies are not supervised by any EU regulatory framework. 

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Source: Blockchain

Binance Freezes ‘Some of the Funds’ Stolen in Cryptopia Hack

Cryptopia Binance frozen coin

Some of the stolen cryptocurrency from yesterday’s Cryptopia hack has been sent to Binance, which has confirmed already freezing some of the funds. 


Binance Freezing Funds Stolen from Cryptopia

Twitter account @ShaftedTangu has alleged that some funds stolen as a result of Cryptopia’s hack have been siphoned through Binance.

The amounts sent to Binance in question include roughly $7,500 in Metal (MTL) 00, $6,750 in KyberNetwork coin (KNC) 00, $7,181 OmiseGO tokens (OMG) 00, and $8,724 in EnjinCoin (ENJ) 00. All of it totals around $30,000.

Changpeng Zhao, CEO at Binance – the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by means of traded volumes, has confirmed the allegations, reassuring that they’ve already frozen some of the funds.

Zhao commented:

Just checked, we were able to freeze some of the funds. I don’t understand why the hackers keep sending to Binance. Social media will be pretty fast to report it, and we will freeze it. It’s a high-risk maneuver for them.

Bitcoinist reported yesterday that Cryptopia’s security has been breached, resulting in ‘significant losses’. Police in New Zealand also confirmed.

Binance Caught in the Fire

Zhao’s tweet caused a reaction in crypto Twitter’s community as one user (@Crypto_Bitlord) expressed his bewilderment that Zhao referred to “social media” as a means of reporting rather than Binance’s own surveillance systems.

On the matter, Binance’s CEO said:

It’s quite easy to generate a brand new address. We (and no one) recognize every transaction out there. We already have very in-depth and detailed blockchain analysis.

Yet, the question remains – if a regular Twitter user has been able to detect the transaction in question, how, and more importantly – why did Binance miss it?

Perhaps the better question, as posed by @Crypto_Bitlord is:

So you are saying criminals can steal funds and just create a brand new address to send to before binance?

In the meantime, Binance announced today the launch of their Binance Jersey fiat exchange. The platform is aimed at traders from Europe and it offers BTC/GBP, ETH/GBP, BTC/EUR, and ETH/EUR trading pairs.

What do you think of Binance missing the transactions in question? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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Source: Blockchain