OKEx C2C Platform Adds Ripple (XRP) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH)

OKExOKEx

OKEx has just listed Ripple (XRP) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) on its customer-to-customer platform, according to a report released this morning by Cointelegraph. The customer-to-customer platform is the cryptocurrency exchange’s newest venture. At the time of writing, OKEx is the top cryptocurrency exchange by its 24-hour trade volume.

OKEx Adds Ripple (XRP) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH)

OKEx users can now buy or sell XRP and BCH with five supported fiat currencies. The fiat currencies include the British Pound (GBP), Chinese Renminbi (CNY), Vietnamese Dong (VND), Russian Ruble (RUB), and the Thai Baht (THB). The Baht was added to OKEx last week.

All services on OKEx’s customer-to-customer platform will remain the same, as the company has just added the new coins. This new C2C platform allows its customers to place orders with self-selected exchange rates and various payment methods. It also has zero transaction features, which is a big highlight for the platform itself.

This platform differs from the others due to its varying fiat currencies and the option to purchase and sell crypto directly to other users on the platform. Currently, the C2C platform already has Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Tether (USDT), and Litecoin (LTC).

>> Samsung Galaxy S10 Breaks into the Cryptocurrency Space

The cryptocurrency exchange is making a ton of different moves to its platform, including delisting a few. On February 25th, NEO (NEO), Exchange Union (XUC), and QTUM (QTUM) will be removed from the platform.

OKEx is one of the most used cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. The addition of Ripple and Bitcoin Cash to its C2C platform will likely spark interest from investors and may bring more users onto the platform. It remains unknown at this time when more fiat currencies will be supported on the new OKEx customer-to-customer platform. The lack of fiat currencies supported is most likely due to regulation within each country.

Featured Image: Twitter

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Santander Bank Enters $700 Million Deal to Use IBM Blockchain

IBM BlockchainIBM Blockchain

According to Cointelegraph, Europe’s Banco Santander and tech behemoth IBM have announced an accord involving the IBM blockchain.

The pair signed a $700 million USD deal aiming to increase Santander’s technological developments.

The news was released yesterday via a press release.

IBM Blockchain

The deal is a five-year “global technology agreement” that will improve the bank’s services by using innovative technology such as blockchain, AI, and big data. IBM will take care of the technology behind its new services.

IBM has been leading the blockchain revolution in business across the globe. Only last week, the company successfully completed a blockchain trial aimed at improving the shipping industry. In this instance, IBM’s blockchain recorded a shipment of mandarins from China to Singapore.

The details of the trade were recorded on the blockchain. This replaced the usual bill of lading (BL) document. In normal practice, the BL is mailed to all parties involved in the shipment; this includes banks and those who provide trade financing. It can take anywhere up to a week to send the document around.

However, in using the IBM blockchain instead, the entire record is sent in 1 second.

>> Is Crypto About to Get Institutional Investment? Novogratz Thinks So

Santander

Santander is Spain’s biggest financial and credit group, and now the company is looking to “evolve towards the open, flexible and modern IT environment it requires.” The move should reduce the bank’s overall annual IT spending.

David Soto, IBM General Manager for Santander Group, was quoted in the press release as saying:

“Santander Group is leveraging IBM technologies to support their security and regulatory work, and to rapidly develop new services that meet emerging customer demand by tapping into IBM’s unique technology and industry expertise.”

The financial institution created its own blockchain research team last year. Called the Digital Investment Banking team, its purpose is to explore blockchain’s ability to enhance securities trading.

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Ripple Adds 11 New Universities and Extends UBRI Footprint

RippleRipple

Ripple has added 11 new universities to its University Blockchain Research Initiative (UBRI). With a strong emphasis on developing the upcoming generation of developers, the UBRI is designed to develop blockchain-focused academia and research.

Ripple is extending its footprint globally by adding 11 new universities to its program.

11 New Universities to UBRI

The UBRI launched in June 2018. With a $50 million USD self-funded investment, Ripple committed to 17 prestigious universities around the world. As stated, the course aims to accelerate academic research, technical development, and innovation in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space.

Providing the necessary tools and resources, Ripple is effectively preparing the next generation of blockchain developers whom the technology relies on not only to maintain itself but to evolve.

11 New Institutions

With the additional 11 new universities, Ripple now supports a total of 29 partners in the UBRI program.

Today, it announced the latest institutions to the program:

  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Cornell University
  • Duke University
  • Georgetown University
  • University of Kansas
  • University of Michigan
  • Morgan State University
  • National University of Singapore
  • Northeastern University
  • University of Sao Paulo
  • Institute for Fintech Research, Tsinghua University

>> Will Amazon Ever Add Cryptocurrency to Its Platform? Maybe!

Blockchain Future

Eric van Miltenburg, SVP of Global Operations at Ripple, said the following on UBRI:

“Blockchain is an incredibly transformational technology and helping advance the best minds in the world, who are already showing interest in this field, is sure to benefit the entire ecosystem […] Expanding the ecosystem to a more global, diversified network of UBRI partners will only continue to enrich these projects.”

Blockchain technology is being utilized across the globe by multiple industries. It is having a transformative impact on businesses and, as such, preparing for the increasing demand for this technology is not only smart but necessary. In an industry rife with hype, coin-related drama, major financial losses, gains, and prolific exchange hacks, thinking beyond the now and developing the core technology will ensure its survival.

Featured Image: Twitter

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ICO Scams: FBI Seeks to Educate Investors with Red Flags for ICO Fraud

ICO scamsICO scams

The United State Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has taken it upon itself to educate investors on ICO scams. The Bureau didn’t release an official statement, however, the news was shared in an interview with The Paypers this morning.

ICO Scams with the FBI

The investigator being questioned in the interview remains unknown at this time, but the answers are said to reflect the Bureau as a whole.

According to the FBI, there are several key things to look out for to tell if an ICO is a scam.

The first thing to look out for is an overarching trend of misrepresentation of a director or executive leader in the company’s professional experience.

Second, the Bureau has found that ICO scams often engineer a false impression of how much traction the startup has garnered in the industry. This is a practical marketing tactic for any fundraiser, but the FBI is asking investors to investigate these marketing claims.

>> Statis Finds that 80% of ICOs in 2017 were Scams

Lastly, the FBI wants investors to look out for the immediate unrealistic promises of prospective returns on tokens, including timelines and percentages.

“Like any investment product, rates of return can never be guaranteed and if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” the investigator told Paypers. Like any investment, the Bureau asks investors to do their due diligence and research before handing over money.

US Educating Investors

Last week, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) released its own official guide to ICOs. In May of last year, the securities exchange even launched its own fake ICO to educate investors on ICO scams. The major US agencies are really stepping up their efforts to protect its investors from falling for fraud.

While US investors are blocked from entering many ICOs, individuals still us VPNs or Proxies to access these sites.

Featured Image: DepositPhotos © designer491

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Samsung Galaxy S10 Breaks into the Cryptocurrency Space

Samsung Galaxy S10Samsung Galaxy S10

Less than 24 hours ago, Samsung Mobile announced the release of its next-generation Galaxy smartphone. The new Samsung Galaxy S10 is beautifully designed, and it includes a new feature that many crypto enthusiasts might appreciate.

Samsung Galaxy S10

In the official press release Samsung explains:

“Galaxy S10 is built with defense-grade Samsung Knox, as well as a secure storage backed by hardware, which houses your private keys for blockchain-enabled mobile services.”

That’s right. The new Samsung Galaxy S10 will include storage for private cryptocurrency keys. However, that’s the only information the company released on the phone’s private key storage. It remains unknown how detailed the security is on the phone in storing private keys. However, many phones nowadays store credit card information and account data, such as with Apple Pay.

It may just be that logging into your accounts on unsecured internet networks could pose a risk to exposing your private keys. The same way it is warned to never log into any financial accounts while sitting at a local Starbucks.

>> QuadrigaCX Sends All Its Ether and Bitcoin to Ernst & Young Auditor

Sirin Labs

Still, the company’s new Samsung Galaxy S10 announcement is exciting for the cryptocurrency community and investors. There is a company that has been working on a blockchain phone for years, but the fact that Samsung has now implemented some of these features changes the game. Sirin Labs has been working on Finney for a while now, and it was supposed to be shipped to customers in December of 2018.

Finney came with a hefty price tag of $1,000 but its nothing in comparison to the company’s first blockchain phone, the Solarin. Sirin Labs tried selling the Solarin Phone for $14,000. Yikes! If major phone manufacturers rip off what these smaller tech companies have been trying to accomplish, it could be the end game for them.

Are you planning on purchasing the Samsung Galaxy S10? Let us know in the comment box below!

Featured Image: Twitter

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Crypto News: Elon Musk Talks Bitcoin and Binance Expands

crypto newscrypto news

The cryptocurrency market had quite the shakeup last week, causing a spike in most digital currencies. On Valentine’s Day, six days ago, JP Morgan announced that it would launch a test for its new JPM coin. This was the biggest crypto news to surface in quite some time. Now, digital currencies seem to have corrected, and most are trading red today.

In today’s crypto news, we’ll discuss Elon Musk’s interview and the details behind him calling Bitcoin “quite brilliant.” Also, we’ll look into Binance’s new testnet they just released.

Crypto News: February 20th, 2019

Elon Musk and Bitcoin

The crypto news that’s been receiving the most buzz this morning has to do with Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk. Musk held a podcast interview with advisory services firm ARK Invest’s and called Bitcoin’s structure “quite brilliant.”

The tech entrepreneur believes that digital currency is a far better transfer of value than paper money. In the past, Musk has been pegged as the creator of Bitcoin. With his background, it could be quite possible, but the tech entrepreneur has since shut down those rumors. Shame, considering we still don’t know who Satoshi Nakamoto really is.

In February of last year, Musk tweeted that he owned zero cryptocurrency, which was a surprise to most.

Despite the major boost Bitcoin got from one of the world’s top tech visionaries in today’s crypto news, the digital currency is still trading red.

>> Cryptocurrency Bull Run: An Improving Economy Encourages Gains

Binance Launches Testnet for Decentralized Exchange

Another big piece of crypto news comes from the world’s most used digital cryptocurrency exchange, Binance.

The new decentralized cryptocurrency exchange will be called Binance DEX. Per the press release, the exchange will be powered by Binance Chain and is already available for customers. Binance Chain is a new blockchain and peer-to-peer distributed system. Currently, customers are able to create wallets and start exchanging tokens on the new testnet.

Featured Image: DepositPhotos © kentoh

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Cryptocurrency Bull Run: An Improving Economy Encourages Gains

Cryptocurrency Bull RunCryptocurrency Bull Run

A cryptocurrency bull run has taken hold of the entire crypto market. Digital coins have been rallying back (and then some) in recent days.

The gains continue today as, according to CoinMarketCap, all the top 20 coins stay in the green.

Cryptocurrency Bull Run

At the time of writing, Bitcoin—the largest coin by market cap—is valued at $3,982, up 1.8% on the day. Today’s gains continue a bull run that has seen Bitcoin pack on roughly 9% in the last seven days. Now, BTC looks set to test the new price point of $4,000 USD per coin.

Ethereum is enjoying a healthy cryptocurrency bull run too. The second largest coin by market cap is currently up 2% and selling for $147.53 USD. This is only icing on a cake, as Ethereum has seen gains of more than 22% since mid-February when it traded nearer to $121 USD.

It’s hard to ignore the 10th largest coin by market cap, Binance Coin, today. BNB is trading up a whopping 11.93% and selling for $10.81. The probable cause of this cryptocurrency bull run could be the company’s new addition of two new trading pairs for the Holo (HOT) cryptocurrency on the Biance exchange.

>> ICO Scams: FBI Seeks to Educate Investors with Red Flags for ICO Fraud

According to the exchange“HOT will now be tradable with Binance’s native token, Binance Coin (BNB) as well a the stable coin USDT.”

Cryptocurrency Bull Run: Market in Green

Elsewhere, as stated, the entire top twenty crypto market is in green. The reason for this could be simply a reaction to the positive news happening across the economy.

Oil prices are climbing again, almost hitting $67 USD a barrel earlier today. The OPEC-led supply cuts are spurring on demand for the commodity once again. Gold prices have also increased to the highest level in over two weeks. Gold hit highs of $1,326 an ounce yesterday. Palladium was also in the green having hit a record high of $1,449.

Do you think this cryptocurrency bull run will last much longer? Is the upturn in oil and gold prices reflected in the cryptocurrency market?

Featured image: DepositPhotos © sinenkiy

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Coinsquare Acquires StellarX: Canadian Exchange Takes Over

Coinsquare Acquires StellarXCoinsquare Acquires StellarX

Canada’s largest crypto exchange Coinsquare has acquired the StellarX DEX according to a press release published yesterday.

Under the terms of the agreement, StellarX will become a fully-owned subsidiary of Coinsquare and will now need regulatory approval to operate its service under the Coinsquare umbrella.

Coinsquare Acquires StellarX

Based in Bermuda, StellarX describes itself as “the first decentralized crypto platform with global fiat gateways. You can trade Bitcoin for Euros for Chinese Yuan on StellarX. That’s not possible anywhere else.”

Developed as an on-ramp for traders, customers have the ability to deposit fiat money directly from their US bank accounts for trading against specific coin pairs.

This is an unusual feature for a DEX and is a feature StellarX waves proudly. Acceptable fiat currencies are the Euro, Chinese Yuan, Hong Kong Dollar, and British Pound.

Native to the Stellar protocol, the exchange announced itself in July 2018 and began trading in October.

CoinDesk describes it further: “As a DEX, users retain sole custody of their funds and trade in a peer-to-peer fashion. StellarX has no access to users’ funds or keys and charges no fees.”

>> Ripple Feeling Pressure? Brad Garlinghouse Speaks Out About JPM Coin

Coinsquare Acquires StellarX: BlockEQ

This is not the first time Coinsquare has taken an interest in Stellar’s wares. In December 2018, the Canadian exchange purchased Stellar’s private wallet called BlockEQ. According to Cointelegraph“the firm is reportedly set to be rebranded to become the anchor wallet for the StellarX platform.”

Under the terms of the new deal, BlockEQ cofounder Megha Bambra will now lead StellarX. The exchange will still develop as planned according to its product roadmap, and while it is now owned by Coinsquare, it will continue under its own brand.

Coinsquare Acquires StellarX: XLM

XLM is trading today up 3.5% at the time of writing. It is the ninth largest cryptocurrency by market cap with a valuation of approximately $1.5 billion USD. XLM is trading at $0.08 per coin according to CoinMarketCap.

Featured Image: Twitter

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Is Crypto About to Get Institutional Investment? Novogratz Thinks So

crypto institutional Investmentcrypto institutional Investment

According to a Bloomberg report, Galaxy Digital Holdings founder Mike Novogratz believes that crypto institutional investment will be coming by next year.

If this were to be the case, digital coins would most likely rally significantly.

Crypto Institutional Investment

In an interview with Bloomberg Television, the crypto magnate said the following about digital currency, which he dubs ‘smart money’:

“All the architecture that institutions need to feel comfortable with this is being put in place […] You’re going to start to see custody come online.”

Crypto Institutional Investment Needs Custody Solution

The movement would require “custody solution from the likes of Fidelity,” which, according to Novogratz, already has 200–300 customers interested in crypto investment.

Custody solution for cryptocurrency is effectively the same as needed for fiat currency, whereby a brokerage or other financial institution holds securities on behalf of the client.

But safeguarding digital assets is a bigger ask, as prices fluctuate wildly and coins are at risk of being hacked.

But if the right custody solutions are in place as Novogratz suggests, then institutional investment could start happening in the digital-asset space.

>> Coinbase Wallet Now Compatible with Google Drive and iCloud

Start Small

The likelihood is that some will enter tepidly with small amounts of capital, to see how it goes:

“Over the next six to 12 months you are going to see institutions put a small amount of their assets.”

However, as Novogratz explains, “A small amount of institutional assets is a lot of money.” It would only take a few smaller institutional investments to spur on a massive rally.

Digital Gold

The former hedge fund manager and Goldman Sachs partner has become one of the crypto’s most high-profile advocates. Believing Bitcoin to become the true digital gold, Novogratz suggested that Bitcoin is likely to hit $8,000 USD prices again if crypto institutional investment takes off.

Bitcoin is currently selling for $3,631 according to CoinMarketCap. What do you think? Do you believe major institutions will begin to invest in cryptocurrencies? Is there a comeback on the horizon for Bitcoin?

Featured Image: DepositPhotos © Ivantsov

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Coinbase Wallet Now Compatible with Google Drive and iCloud

Coinbase WalletCoinbase Wallet

As of yesterday, users using a Coinbase Wallet can now back up an encrypted version of their private keys to their personal cloud storage account. These accounts include either iCloud or Google Drive. Coinbase released this announcement via its personal blog yesterday.

Coinbase Wallet Upgrades

This new feature is making many within the cryptocurrency community scratch their heads. Coinbase states that the Coinbase Wallet cloud back-up feature is completely optional. The company also explained that the backup is encrypted using a user-provided password with AES-256-CCM encryption. Coinbase claims that this backup is accessible on the Coinbase Wallet.

Coinbase explains their reasoning behind this latest feature:

“Owners of ‘user-controlled wallets’ like Coinbase Wallet sometimes lose their devices or fail to backup their 12 word recovery phrase in a safe place, thus losing their funds forever. Now, with cloud backup, we give you the ability to store an encrypted copy of your recovery phrase on your personal cloud account. You will only have to remember a password, that you decide, in order to recover your funds.”

Coinbase Wallet Backlash

Not everyone seems thrilled about the latest feature, though.

Other crypto investors said:

Given the number of hacks that have occurred with hot wallets since cryptocurrency hit mainstream news in 2017, I don’t blame their hesitation. Coinbase Wallet plans on supporting other clouds in the future.

>> Hybrid Summit 2019 in Hong Kong: Tom Lee Headlines the Conference

With the amount of negative feedback the company has received from the new feature, it remains unknown if they will continue with it. Luckily, this option is a choice. If it wasn’t, I could see a lot of investors ditching the Coinbase Wallet altogether.

While losing private keys can be a scary thing, investors seem more concerned with the centralized cloud backup. At the end of the Coinbase blog post, the company asks for feedback. “Your feedback helps us make Wallet better for everyone,” the blog post concludes.

It remains unknown if the Twitter warriors will keep their comments on the social media platform or if they will productively reach out to Coinbase with their concerns. What are your thoughts?

Featured Image: Facebook

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