OKCoin Founder Star Xu Seeks to Acquire Public Firm for $60 Million

Star Xu, the founder of cryptocurrency exchange OKCoin, may be seeking a possible backdoor IPO for his firm by buying a majority stake in a Hong Kong-listed company. On Jan. 10, Xu (under his real name Xu Mingxing) filed with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX) for approval to buy a 60 percent stake in a construction engineering firm called LEAP Holdings Group Ltd. Through his company OKC Holdings Corp., Xu is aiming to purchase approximately 3.2 billion shares of the company for HK$0.15 (around $0.02) per share. In total, the acquisition,…

QuadrigaCX Crypto Exchange Users Still Can’t Get Their Money Out

QuadrigaCX customers are complaining they still can’t get their money out more than a month after the cryptocurrency exchange won a court dispute that had held up $19 million of funds. While that would be worrisome enough, users’ concerns were compounded by the company’s announcement Monday that its CEO and founder, Gerald Cotten, had died more than a month earlier. In a statement attributed to Jennifer Robertson, Cotten’s wife, the exchange said he died on December 9 from complications arising from Crohn’s disease while traveling in India. The same statement also…

Binance Targets EU, UK Traders With New Fiat-to-Crypto Exchange

Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by adjusted trading volume, has launched a new fiat-to-crypto exchange on the island of Jersey, a British self-governing dependency. The firm announced Wednesday that, through the new exchange, users are able to trade in pairs for bitcoin and ethereum against the British pound and the euro in Europe and the U.K. “Binance selected Jersey for its highly developed digital infrastructure, robust regulatory framework, and world-class financial services sector,” the exchange’s chief financial officer, Wei Zhou, told CoinDesk. He further clarified that Binance Jersey is…

Game of Coins: Inside the Paxos-Gemini Stablecoin Discount War

The rise of new stablecoins was a defining story in the second half of 2018, but the reality is that exclusive discounts partly fueled their growth. Dollar-backed stablecoins are generally supposed to be worth $1, whether it’s Gemini’s GUSD or Paxos’ PAX. But according to four sources with knowledge of these cryptocurrency exchanges, both stablecoin-issuers privately offered over-the-counter [OTC] trading desks up to a 1 percent discount if traders used these tokens in some fashion before redeeming them for USD. “They were offering that as a sweetener for getting it kick-started…

European Blockchain Startup Launches Trading in Tokenized Securities

Belarus-based blockchain startup Currency.com has launched a trading platform for tokenized securities. The firm announced Tuesday that the platform would allow investors to directly trade and invest in financial instruments using the cryptocurrencies bitcoin or ethereum, without first converting to fiat. The platform will initially host over 150 tokenized securities, tracking the underlying market price of financial instruments such as equity and commodities, it said, while over 10,000 similar offerings could be available in the future. Currency.com explained that the service lets investors buy a token that would reflect the…

New Zealand Crypto Exchange Cryptopia Goes Offline Citing Hack

New Zealand-based cryptocurrency exchange Cryptopia has gone offline citing a major hack. The exchange announced the news on Twitter this morning, stating that it “suffered a security breach which resulted in significant losses.” No information has yet been provided on the value of the losses, the tokens and currencies affected or any measures to refund users. The exchange’s website, including support and blog pages, is currently completely offline, with a notice stating: “Cryptopia is currently in unscheduled maintenance mode. We will be back soon.” Meanwhile, tweets from Whale Alert on Saturday…

Bittrex Launches OTC Trading Desk With 200 Cryptocurrencies

U.S. crypto exchange Bittrex is launching an over-the-counter (OTC) trading desk. The new service, which will allow approved clients to “quickly and conveniently trade assets,” will support nearly 200 cryptocurrencies already offered by the exchange, the company announced Monday. According to the exchange, the OTC desk will provide “guaranteed pricing” for major trades, “typically $250,000 or greater.” OTC trading desks facilitate direct transactions between two parties, unlike exchange trading where buy and sell orders are matched through an order-book. The desk itself will not go live until 18:00 UTC on…

Exchange Says 51% Attacker Returned $100K-Worth of Ethereum Classic

Cryptocurrency exchange Gate.io said Saturday that $100,000 in ethereum classic has been returned following a recent hack. In an announcement, the exchange further said it tried to contact the 51-percent attacker, but has not received any reply so far, adding: “We still don’t know the reason. If the attacker didn’t run it for profit, he might be a white hacker who wanted to remind people of the risks in blockchain consensus and hashing power security.” The exchange warned that the hashing power of ETC network is “still not strong enough”…

Stable Times at Circle: A Crypto Startup Counted Out Is Rebuilt and Riding High

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– As I walked from my car to Circle’s offices in Boston on a Friday afternoon in early November, the sun appeared to have already set, even though it would be up a while longer – past 4:00 p.m. The weather was gray, windy and cold – above freezing, but only because it was due to rain biblically for the entire drive back to New York. If a bright orange parking ticket wasn’t already fluttering on my windshield, it would be soon. Oh, and bitcoin was down two-thirds from its…

How Lightning’s Elizabeth Stark Raised an Army

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– A former academic, Elizabeth Stark likes to play devil’s advocate. Take, for instance, her appearance at the Crypto Springs conference in October 2018. It’s a sunny morning in Palm Springs, California, and a handful of attendees are lounging by the pool; onstage, however, Stark is busy describing some of the darker potential scenarios for the cryptocurrency industry, ones in which it could fall short of its potential. But if the words of warning aren’t drawing a response, it’s perhaps because the price of bitcoin is still north of $6,000,…