Сryptocurrency and ICO news

Most important news for today
Novogratz: a rally to start in Q1-Q2 2019
Investor and cryptocurrency bull Mike Novogratz said BTC would not break $10,000 in 2018. The Galaxy Investment Partners creator had previously called a “bottom” in the market in mid-September. He thinks more time is required for momentum to build to take prices higher, and the long-anticipated wave of institutional investors piling into the cryptocurrency space will only occur next year. Novogratz was speaking the day Fidelity Investments announced it would release a custody solution tailored to such institutional investors looking for security when interacting with cryptoassets. While this was a boon for Bitcoin, Novogratz said, the solution needed testing prior to it attaining mass interest based on investor trust. “They’ll probably be up and running in January or Q1, then you’ve got to run some water through the pipes, so my guess is you start seeing institutional flows into purely cryptoassets late first quarter or early second quarter.”
Coinbase opened an office in Dublin
Coinbase has opened a new office in Dublin, Ireland. In addition to helping expand its operations in Europe, the new Irish offices are reportedly part of a contingency plan for when the U.K. leaves the E.U. The Dublin team will take on a number of new business-related functions, while London will remain Coinbase’s main office in Europe. Coinbase’s U.K. CEO Zeeshan Feroz told the Guardian that the company is looking to capitalize on the talent pool available in Ireland. Feroz further added that the Irish office would enable Coinbase to serve its customers in the E.U. if U.K. leave: “It is also a plan B for Brexit. As we plan for all eventualities, it’s important that we continue servicing our customers across Europe, and Ireland would be our preferred choice there if it comes to it.” British finance minister Philip Hammond expressed hope that blockchain technology could help ensure seamless post-Brexit trade between the U.K. and the E.U., as it enables product movement to be recorded transparently and without changes. Ireland itself has gained a reputation in Europe as a hub for the tech industry, due in part to its low corporate taxes and proactive measures to bring business to the country. In June, IDA Ireland, a governmental agency responsible for attracting foreign direct investment, started an initiative to promote blockchain investment and development in the country.
Bakkt CEO to deliver a revolution in the sector
The CEO of Intercontinental Exchange’s (ICE) forthcoming cryptocurrency trading platform Bakkt has said she wants to deliver a “revolution” in the sector in a similar way to energy trading fifteen years ago. Kelly Loeffler forecast a repeat performance of ICE’s market-making moves last decade. “The digital market is fragmented like the energy market in the early 2000s. ICE was the pioneer attracting more and more institutions to trade energy, which is what created today’s liquid market,” she told the publication. Bakkt, which is set for launch next month, intends to avoid unpopular leveraged and non-custodial trading products for its increasingly broad institutional investor base, alleviating some concerns from cryptocurrency industry figures that a lack of physical interaction with Bitcoin itself would ultimately damage its profile and success. ICE will now compete with offerings from Wall Street stalwarts Morgan Stanley, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, all of which have said they intend to become active in the trading sector.
IMF: rapid growth of crypto could impact financial system
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has stated in a recently released report that the rapid growth of Bitcoin and crypto could impact the international finance system. The report entitled “World Economic Outlook: Challenges to Steady Growth” published by the IMF read: “Cybersecurity breaches and cyberattacks on critical financial infrastructure represent an additional source of risk because they could undermine cross-border payment systems and disrupt the flow of goods and services. Continued rapid growth of crypto assets could create new vulnerabilities in the international financial system.” Despite the 80 percent decline in the valuation of the crypto market, the industry has seen some of the most positive developments regarding the institutionalization, regulation, and development of cryptocurrencies as an emerging asset class in the past nine months. The cryptocurrency industry and infrastructure employed by exchanges are relatively new and fundamentally different from the technologies implemented by the traditional finance sector. As such, it is appropriate for the IMF and government agencies to describe the rapid growth of the asset class a risk to global finance. But, continuous efforts to strengthen the infrastructure of the cryptocurrency market and improve investor protection will reduce the risk cryptocurrencies have on the global finance industry. Emin Gun Sirer, a professor at the prestigious Cornell University and a highly regarded expert in the space of cryptocurrency and blockchain, stated that the acknowledgement of cryptocurrencies as an asset class by the IMF is optimistic for the industry.
Opera launches crypto wallet for desktop browser

Opera launches a “Labs” special edition of its desktop web browser with built-in crypto wallet functionality, Cointelegraph reported.

The new edition will enable users to authenticate Web 3.0 and decentralized application (DApp) transactions made on their computer using their Android phone. “Labs” is therefore fully interoperable with the mobile crypto wallet that Opera first launched as part of its beta Opera for Android earlier. Opera has emphasized that users are not required to setup a new wallet and can continue to securely store their wallet keys on the hardware of their phone. The paired mobile-desktop system will also take advantage of the phone’s system lock to secure transactions using fingerprint confirmations for both token transfers and DApp interactions. Opera’s interoperable mobile-desktop wallet works by enabling users to connect their desktop browser to their existing crypto wallet-enabled mobile app by scanning a QR code — a system that Opera has been using to synchronize desktop-mobile apps for several years, as for example, with its WhatsApp web client.
ICON partners with Korean SK
ICON has partnered with the country’s biggest telecommunications conglomerate SK, to possibly utilize blockchain technology and crypto in compensating users of its mileage system. SK Planet, a subsidiary of SK that signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with ICON, operates the most widely utilized mileage system in the country that has nearly 35 million users, more than half of the country’s population. In the months ahead, SK Planet is expected to collaborate with the ICON team to utilize its blockchain technology in supporting mobile services as well as its mileage system OK Cashbag. In July, Hani, a mainstream media outlet in South Korea, reported that OK Cashbag, the mileage system of SK, has initiated the process of developing a blockchain-based system to handle mileage payouts and various business models. The partnership between ICON and SK Planet can be considered as the first major step towards materializing the plans of the conglomerate of utilizing crypto to compensate the users of OK Cashbag mileage system.
International AML standarts to come in October

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) said it is getting closer to the establishment of a global set of anti-money laundering (AML) standards for cryptocurrencies.

The agency’s president Marshall Billingslea reportedly said that he expects the coordination of a series of standards that will close “gaps” in global AML standards at an FATF plenary in October.

At that time, the FATF will purportedly discuss which existing standards should be adapted to digital currencies, as well as revise the assessment methods of how countries implement those standards. Billingslea also outlined the importance of developing standards that can be applied in a uniform manner.

According to Billingslea, current AML standards and regimes for cryptocurrencies are “very much a patchwork quilt or spotty process,” which is “creating significant vulnerabilities for both national and international financial systems”. Billingslea, noted that despite the risks related to this kind of assets, digital currency as an asset class presents “a great opportunity.”

Another delay for Bitcoin ETF
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has once again delayed its decision on VanEck/Solid X backed exchange-traded fund (ETF). The SEC has already received 1,400 letters of comment regarding the Van Eck/Solid X Bitcoin ETF proposal. The Commission is seeking more input from the public. Despite the thousands of comments, the SEC feels it has not “[…] reached any conclusions with respect to any of the issues involved.” Prospective commenters have 21 days respond after the SEC’s order is registered, and those offering a rebuttal have 35. One of the key lines of inquiry involves the degree to which Bitcoin is manipulated in relation to other commodities, which are used to back ETFs. The delay is not the first and the SEC has already shot down numerous ETF proposals, citing “market manipulation,” which legal expert Jake Chervinsky says is the “main concern.”
Bank of America charges 6000 times bigger fees than BTC
While Bitcoin critics claim the cryptocurrency is too expensive to use for transactions, data from Bank of America (BoA) shows traditional fiat transfers cost 6000 times as much. BoA, along with other domestic US institutions, makes use of the Federal Reserve’s money transfer network FedWire, which charges them a maximum of 83 cents to process a payment. According to its public figures, however, BoA charges customers themselves up to $45 for the same service. The FedWire fee varies with the size of the payment involved and whether it qualifies for an “incentive” fee, described as “transfers that exceed 60% of a customer’s historic benchmark volume.” As such, the fee payable by banks themselves can be as low as $0.032 for an “incentive” transfer worth over $90,000. BoA charges at least $30 for a transfer, meaning its minimum profit margin is 87.2 percent. Imperfect exchange rates for foreign transfers subsequently incur further charges to the customer. By contrast, the recommended Bitcoin fee from Earn.com – which would deliver the quickest settlement relative to fee paid – was 8 satoshis per byte on September 19. This translates to around 75 cents for a $90,000 transaction.
Switzerland and Israel to collaborate on crypto regulation
The Swiss Minister for Finance Ueli Maurer recently visited Israel along with State Secretary for International Financial Matters Joerg Gasser, citing their goal as gaining bank access to Israeli markets to allow Swiss banks to trade there. Reuters reports that the two nations have now agreed to collaborate on financial technology, cryptocurrency, and blockchain regulation following their discussion with the Israeli government. Gasser also stated that he would be submitting recommendations by the end of the year with the aim that parliament could approve in 2019 and the new regulations could be implemented the following year. While one could be forgiven for assuming that Swiss regulators are bringing more to the table in their information exchange, Israel is also a major tech hub. It’s the source of most Intel processor chips, and Bitcoin mining rig giant Bitmain has announced that it’s tripling its development center in western Israel to increase ASIC manufacturing.
Crypto exchange Zaif hacked, $60 million stolen
Another Japan-based cryptocurrency exchange has been hacked, losing a 6.7 billion yen (about $60 million worth of cryptocurrency), including 5,966 bitcoins. The licensed exchange, called Zaif, is operated by the Tech Bureau. It said on Thursday that the exchange first noticed an unusual outflow of funds on the platform around 17:00 Japan time on September 14, after which the company suspended asset deposit and withdrawal services. Tech Bureau explained that after further investigation, it discovered that hackers with unauthorized access to the exchange's hot wallets had stolen roughly $60 million in bitcoin, bitcoin cash, and MonaCoin. That being said, the exact amount of bitcoin cash stolen remains unknown. The exchange added that since its own asset reserve is currently around 2.2 billion yen (or $20 million), it has reached an agreement with a Japan-listed firm called Fisco to receive a $44.5 million investment in exchange for a major share of ownership. Tech Bureau said given the nature of the unauthorized fund access, it has filed the incident as a criminal case to local authorities for further investigation.
UK calls for regulation to crypto world

The U.K. Treasury Committee is calling for cryptocurrency regulations in order to protect investors.

The committee of Members of Parliament (MPs) in the House of Commons has called for a resolution to certain issues surrounding digital currency such as listing price volatility, poor consumer protection, the risk of hacker attacks, and money laundering. Nicky Morgan, the chair of the Treasury Committee, is quoted saying that “it's unsustainable for the government and regulators to bumble along issuing feeble warnings to potential investors, yet refrain from acting.” Morgan added that regulation should at least address the problem of consumer protection and anti-money laundering (AML). CryptoUK, a self-regulatory trade association for the U.K. cryptocurrency industry, noted the Committee’s recommendations. Iqbal Gandham, the association’s chairman, said that "regulatory oversight is essential to ensuring consumer safety, guarding against malpractice and providing much needed clarity to an industry that is fast maturing.”
CME: Bitcoin futures aren’t responsible for bear market
Tim McCourt, managing director and global head of equity products and alternative investments of CME Group, has said that bitcoin futures are not to be blamed for the price slump in the crypto market this year. Talking during a panel on crypto derivatives trading at CoinDesk's Consensus Singapore 2018 event, McCourt told the audience that he does not think the introduction of bitcoin futures products resulted in the recent market downturn. On the contrary, McCourt said bitcoin futures market has been growing, especially with volumes coming from Asia markets, which has been "fascinating." Trading activities in the hours before the U.S. market opens have a strong influence on the price of bitcoin futures on CME. CoinDesk reported early this year that the trading volume of bitcoin derivative products in Japan had grown from $2 million in 2014 to $543 billion in 2017.
US market crash to flock millenials to Bitcoin
For the first time in history, US household wealth has surged above the $100 trillion mark, fueled by the rise in the value of stocks and properties. However, analysts say the unsustainable growth in household wealth could cause a crash, which may lead millennials to flock to Bitcoin. In September, US household wealth reached $100 trillion, and it seems like a positive development for US markets. But, in comparison to the stagnation in actual US household income, it is quite evident that the rapid growth rate of US household wealth cannot be sustained in the long-term. The US stock market experiencing one of the strongest bull markets in history and the real estate market continuing to increase in value led to an abrupt increase in household wealth. However, if household wealth cannot be backed by stable income, then the market will be vulnerable to a major correction. Bitcoin, like gold, is often considered as a store of value with no correlation to the broader financial market. It moves independently of traditional assets and commodities, which allows Bitcoin to operate as a reliable store of value in times of uncertainty and market volatility.
Ukraine proposed to tax crypto operations

The Verkhovna Rada, the parliament of Ukraine, has proposed a bill that would tax operations with crypto assets.

The tax bill suggests a five percent tax on individuals and legal entities operating with virtual currency assets, such as cryptocurrencies and tokens.

Starting Jan. 1, 2024 crypto-related profits by businesses would be taxed at 18 percent, which is a basic rate for corporate and personal income tax in Ukraine.

The new bill aims to withdraw large volumes of operations from the grey market so as to increase state budget revenues by adding a brand new type of revenue, as well as to encourage the development of crypto-related activity in Ukraine. It will also help to bring 1.27 billion hryvnia ($43 million) to the budget annually from 2019-2024.

Ripple to launch xRapid next month

Ripple could launch a commercial version of its payment platform xRapid "in the next month or so," CNBC reported. Head of regulatory relations for Asia-Pacific and the Middle East at Ripple Sagar Sarbhai told CNBC that Ripple has been making strides toward the launch of its product xRapid.

The xRapid product is a real-time settlement platform designed to speed up international payments. Built for commercial use and backed by XRP tokens, xRapid addresses the issue of minimizing liquidity costs and making cross-border payment transactions faster. xRapid claims to significantly reduce the capital requirements for liquidity. Sarbhai said in an interview with CNBC:

"I am very confident that in the next one month or so you will see some good news coming in where we launch the product live in production."

This spring, various financial institutions participated in a pilot of the xRapid platform, which tested payments between the U.S. and Mexico. The participants reported transaction savings of 40–70 percent. In addition to saving on costs, the parties noted an improvement in transaction speed — from the average 2–3 days to “just over two minutes.”

Bitfinex launched Ethereum-based DEX
Bitfinex has launched an Ethereum-based hybrid cryptocurrency exchange called Ethfinex Trustless to give traders more security, privacy and control of their funds, marking the foundation of what the exchange hopes will be a completely decentralized trading model. The platform utilizes Ethfinex, which links centralized and off-chain orders books to give users full control of their funds throughout the trading process. Ethfinex Trustless provides a liquid, off-chain order book that doesn’t require users to sacrifice the custody of their tokens or endure withdrawal and deposit delays. There are no signups or KYC requirements, and users don’t even need to provide their name, email, phone number, or address to begin trading. Bitfinex believes Ethfinex will deliver a new level of security privacy and liquidity in digital asset trading. Ethfinex presenlty uses Ledger and MetaMask to offer anonymous, trustless, liquidity trading of more than 57 Ethereum based tokens. Users can trade directly against the Ethfinex and Bitfinex orders books.
Crypto to solve economical problems in Zimbabwe
Mthuli Ncube, Zimbabwe’s Minister of Finance, told that cryptocurrencies could assist the southern Africa country to solve the cash crunch that has been ongoing for the last two years. Towards the realization of this, Ncube has promised to nudge the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) into establishing a cryptocurrency division that will be tasked with assisting the country’s apex bank to develop a better understanding of digital assets. Ncube cited the example of Switzerland where the European country’s central bank has adopted a more progressive stance on bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies saying Zimbabwe should copy this example. If Ncube is able to convince the RBZ to set up the cryptocurrency unit it will be a 180-degree turn for Zimbabwe’s central bank which has taken an anti-crypto stance. For instance, banks in the country were prohibited from processing cryptocurrency transactions for both investors and traders of the nascent asset class citing risks and dangers associated with them include their use in money laundering and other illegal activities. Though a High Court in the country’s capital reversed the ban, the regulatory uncertainty has forced some of the cryptocurrency exchanges such as Golix to explore other markets in Africa to avoid overreliance on the Zimbabwean market.
Ethereum’s core to be replaced soon
At the heart of ethereum lies a virtual computer. Stored across tens of thousands of nodes that make up the platform, the ethereum virtual machine, or EVM, is responsible for executing the countless tokens, dapps, DAOs and digital kittens of which the blockchain is comprised of. The current EVM will be replaced by a new virtual machine called eWASM, which will allow developers to code in multiple programming languages — not just the ethereum-specific language, Solidity — and is said to come with a host of performance enhancements as well. And leading credence to the decision, ethereum will join several competitors, including EOS, Tron and Cardano, who have each deployed (or plan to deploy) project-specific virtual machines to handle decentralized computation using the WASM code. For ethereum, the switch is set to execute alongside a couple other updates now nicknamed "Shasper," which includes scaling solution sharding and mining rewrite Casper, in the next few years. And while an exact timeline for the switch isn't fixed, eWASM development is making rapid progress, and is gearing up to the launch of its testnet at Devcon 4, the ethereum developer conference, in Prague in October.
Binance tests fiat-to-crypto exchange
Binance is set to unveil a fiat currency exchange that will be based in Singapore. This was revealed by CEO Changpeng Zhao over the weekend while speaking at the Cumberland Summit, a blockchain event in Singapore. Zhao further revealed that the new exchange is currently under an invitation-only beta testing phase. From a Binance point of view, opening a fiat exchange improves its users’ experience by enabling them to seamlessly convert across several fiat currencies and then make transactions directly from the exchange account using the new currency. Even more significantly, fiat to fiat exchanges generally offer users interbank exchange rates as against retail exchange rates, which means that users get more for their money. Singaporean authorities do not regulate crypto exchanges because crypto is not recognised as legal tender in the country, but exchanges are nonetheless required to abide by AML and CFT regulations.
Binance CEO: crypto market to grow 1000x and more
Changpeng Zhao (CZ), the CEO of Binance, has said that crypto still has room to grow by more than a thousand times in coming years. However, Ethereum co-creator Vitalik Buterin recently stated that while the cryptocurrency sector as an industry can grow by a thousand-fold, it is unrealistic to expect the price of cryptocurrencies to see 1,000-fold gains in the future. Buterin stated that based on the current valuation of the market, it is not realistic to expect the valuation of the crypto market to increase from $200 billion to $200 trillion, which is equivalent to 70 percent of today’s global wealth, as that assumes cryptocurrencies would take over reserve currencies and operate as the world’s primary method of payment. Still, CZ argued that the cryptocurrency market can still “absolutely” grow by a thousand fold in the long-term, as major cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum reach mainstream adoption. Furthermore, CZ explained that a thousand-fold increase in price can be portrayed as an unrealistic target if it is evaluated based on the traditional market size, implying that the cryptocurrency market could surpass the traditional finance market.
New ASIC miners are coming to ETH
A chip designer with extensive experience in developing bitcoin mining devices is turning her sights on the ethereum protocol. Chen Min, the former chief chip maker at bitcoin mining chip developer Canaan Creative, launched a new venture to build cryptocurrency mining devices called Linzhi. The firm's first project tackles the ethhash algorithm used by ethereum and ethereum classic, with a new line of ASICs miners set to be released sometime next year. Dubbed Project Lavasnow, Linzhi's new ethereum miner claims to use 1/8th the amount of electricity as Bitmain's ethash miners, according to a presentation Chen developed for the Ethereum Classic Summit held this week. It also expects to run 1,400 million hashes per second, compared to 190 from one of Bitmain's AntMiners. The increased hashpower means one of Linzhi's miners should generate roughly $20 per day, compared to a projected $3 from a Bitmain miner. As a result, the company expects customers to break even on the cost of a miner within four months of purchase.
SBI to launch Ripple-based payment app
Japanese financial giant SBI Holdings is soon to launch a payments application for iOS and Android devices powered by Ripple's distributed ledger technology. Takashi Okita, chief executive of SBI Ripple Asia – a joint venture between SBI Holdings and the San Francisco-based Ripple – revealed the website of the application, named MoneyTap. While an exact launch date remains unclear at this stage, the site indicates the application is planned to be available in autumn for both operating systems and used for customers of three domestic banks in Japan. SBI Ripple Asia said at the time that the service would be first rolled out for consumers of SBI Net Sumishin Bank, Suruga Bank and Resona Bank, three members of the consortium. After an official launch, it expected to expand the service to another 61 members of the banking consortium. The application will let customers conduct domestic transactions 24 hours a day and seven days a week by using a phone number or scanning QR codes in an effort to eliminate the time constraint imposed by traditional banking methods.
Morgan Stanley to offer BTC swap trading
US bank Morgan Stanley is preparing to offer Bitcoin swap trading for its clients, some sources told Bloomberg. According to Bloomberg’s sources, Morgan Stanley “will deal in contracts that give investors synthetic exposure to the performance of Bitcoin,” thus copying extant plans from Wall Street’s Goldman Sachs and Intercontinental Exchange among others. The move comes half a year after the bank said it would join Goldman in clearing Bitcoin futures contracts.
Morgan Stanley had issued cautious statements on the short to mid-term future of cryptocurrency markets this week, with strategist Mike Wilson sounding the alarm over a potential “rolling bear market” in 2019. Market is on the uptrend but it can go South like it did when news about Goldman's plans to introduce trading desk were called fake. Morgan Stanley has yet to either confirm or deny the Bloomberg sources information.
WEF: Blockchain adoption is unavoidable

Distributed ledger technology (DLT) such as blockchain could generate $1 trillion in new trade over the next ten years, a joint report from the World Economic Forum (WEF) claims.

Long an area of increasing focus for innovation, trade finance continues to rely on legacy technology, with multiple blockchain-based initiatives now dedicated to increasing efficiency. “Distributed ledger and other technological innovations promise groundbreaking advances in trade and supply chain finance by reducing costs and ease of use,” the report’s foreword reads. Among findings, there are forecasts that DLT will bring in new trade, helping close the current trade finance gap of $1.5 trillion. The WEF report meanwhile includes similar signals for governments, the organization arguing that even for those within structures such as the European Union, embracing DLT is de facto unavoidable. “They should include distributed ledger technology as part of any relevant, forward-looking regulatory considerations, such as cross-border food imports,” it concludes: “With some governments already starting to make these moves, the laggards will become increasingly disadvantaged.”
Bitmex CEO dumped ETH price
The CEO, Arthur Hayes, used an official account linked to Bitmex to tell Bitmex’s customers subscribed to the Exchange’s newsletter to “trade only using Bitcoin” and that they “never have to touch Ether or USD.” That’s right after he announced that the perpetual swap for ETH/USD was live. Currently, the exchange is handling billions (precisely $3 billion) worth of trading volumes involving the ETH/USD perpetual swap and it appears that it is the only one available currently. As a matter of fact, a majority of traders on Bitmex could very well be located in the US, owing to the fact that the exchange’s trading volumes saw a sharp uptick after Huobi and OKCoin were closed last September. The two exchanges have since made a return to the market, although OKCoin has been renamed to OKEx. Compared to Bitmex, OKEx and Huobi are relatively more professional as they don’t post artificial or expensive spreads and have favorable liquidity. Fortunately, investors now have alternatives to Bitmex, but regulators are still not off the hook for not approving regulated futures from other crypto exchanges. That failure is what left Bitmex as the only market player and possibly led to the current events regarding ETH.
US Judge: security laws cover ICOs
A U.S. District Judge in Brooklyn has delivered a landmark judgement with far-reaching implications for ICO market. Judge Raymond Dearie of the U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York today ruled that U.S. securities laws cover ICO token sales. The ruling came in a case against a fraudulent ICO promoter Maksim Zaslavskiy, whom prosecutors are looking to bring up on fraud charges for defrauding investors of more than $300,000 from a scam ICO called REcoin. The SEC claims the REcoin ICO scammed investors out of $300,000. Judge Dearie’s ruling on the matter was that an ICO is a security for the purposes of federal criminal law, which is what prosecutors have argued since last year. Dearie has become the first judge to deliver a ruling that places ICOs firmly within the jurisdiction of securities regulators, and this could potentially have important implications for the ICO market by creating a precedent for future cases.
OKEx founder was interrogated on allegations of fraud
Shanghai police have taken OKEx founder and OKCoin CEO Star Xu into custody for voluntary questioning in relation to fraud alleged to have taken place in a relatively obscure crypto project called WFEEcoin. Local media reports that Xu’s possible connection to the project is being investigated. While Xu is allegedly a WFEE shareholder, he denies that his Shanghai company is involved in the project. Xu is reportedly not under arrest and has been speaking with the police of his own free will, although local law enforcement states that Xu is accused of involvement and fraud by other WFEE investors. OKEx made headlines just last month for forcing a $420 million clawback on investors after a single trader was allowed to accumulate a massive position of $460 million which couldn’t be filled upon liquidation. The exchange couldn’t liquidate alone and had to skim the majority of the position of the profits of their own users, leading not only to a scandal in the crypto space but genuine concern over traditional banking practices worming their way into crypto-trading as well. The fraud investigation is the latest in a string of allegations and controversies surrounding Star Xu and his projects, although it is as of yet unclear if there is any basis to the allegations that he was involved in WFEE. Local media reports that, for the time being, Xu is free to go and was released at 9:30 pm in Shanghai pending further investigation.
Huobi to expand on Japanese market
Huobi Group is to expand its trading services to Japan via an imminent deal to purchase local licensed cryptocurrency exchange BitTrade. Huobi said its wholly owned subsidiary Huobi Japan Holding Ltd has inked an agreement with Eric Cheng, the sole owner of BitTrade, to acquire a majority stake in the firm. BitTrade is currently one of 16 licensed exchanges in Japan and also a member of the Japanese Virtual Currency Exchange Association. A previous announcement indicated that Cheng had bought 100 percent of a licensed forex trading firm, FX Trade Financial, of which BitTrade is an affiliate, for $50 million. "Leveraging on BitTrade's leadership team and its Japanese government-approved license, this is just the beginning as we look to grow BitTrade into the most dominant player in the Japanese cryptocurrency market.", said Chris Lee, Huobi's CFO.