Bitcoin market shopping site purse.io today announced the arrival of their official Purse Android app. The company released its iOS app back in November 2016.
The Purse app allows bitcoin users to track and manage Purse orders on the go, send and receive bitcoin to family and friends, and track bitcoin transaction history.
Purse, which also provides bitcoin wallets within the app are built on top of bcoin, Purse’s secure bitcoin fullnode infrastructure developed in-house. Purse stated they will continue bringing the all the latest improvements to the bitcoin protocol, straight to users wallet.
Buy Now: Enjoy an instant 5% savings on any items bought from Amazon using bitcoin.
Track Your Packages: View and track your pending orders with just a few clicks.
Check Order Status: Track order delivery and chat with your customers right from the app — allowing you to stay on top of your orders, and get paid from anywhere.
Get Help: Integrated support directly into the application.
While not illegal as no decree was issued during the probing from the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) on visits to the major exchanges last week, it’s understood that combined with increased pressure from regulators and the recent volatility in bitcoin due to Chinese yuan policy, the exchanges have indeed indefinitely halted margin for whatever reason.
According to reports from Reuters, CEO of BTCC Bobby Lee, late this week denied media reports that the central bank had ruled it was offering margin loans illegally, and he affirmed the platform is operating normally.
However, as noted above Mr. Lee did say the company had stopped offering margin alongside competitors OKCoin and Huobi, after “discussions” with the PBoC.
“No one has said that margin trading for bitcoin is illegal,” Mr. Lee told Reuters.
“The media reports were not based on any official documentation. So as far as I’m concerned, at this moment, we have not received any official documentation, verbal or written feedback from the PBoC with regards to their conversations with us over the last two weeks.”
On the implementation of trading charges, BTCC put out the following statement on Friday, January 20th:
BTCChina ceased offering margin loan services as a result of the recent extreme volatility in bitcoin price. To curb market manipulation and reduce market volatility, BTCChina is also considering charging trading fees, as is the case with other bitcoin exchanges. We will keep customers informed of any changes.
So if the issue of margin trading on crypto exchanges can’t be resolved, one wonders how this will effect BTCC’s plans to ramp up activity on their institutionally focused ‘Pro’ exchanges. The company recently revamped their BTC/USD Pro exchange platform in order to diversify company volume away from BTC/CNY.
An interesting chart from Twitter user WillyWoo, who provides commentary during the week on the markets, showed the impact of volume on Chinese exchanges since the PBoC probes, you can check it out below:
Exodus, a provider of software to secure, manage and trade blockchain assets today informed of more improvements and fixes. The company said it focused these updates on the top bug requests received from users exchanging assets.
Exodus management stated: “We are committed to having the most robust exchange experience and this release tightens things up even more. We also did a subtle rearrangement on the UX of the HD addresses to give a nod to new users.”
Exodus currently supports Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dash, Litecoin, Dogecoin and is available for Windows, Mac and Linux.
The improvements and fixes you can see in detail below:
BUGFIX: Clicking the “half” button, when you had more than the exchange maximum, resulted in pre-filling the form field with the maximum. The correct behavior is one half of the maximum.
BUGFIX: Sending a bunch of Ethereum exchanges in a row could result in a nonce error. This was a hard one to track down – it is now squashed. Behind the scenes Exodus now watches for this error, if it happens, it automatically refreshes Ethereum to the correct state for a successful exchange.
BUGFIX: When exchanging ETH for any other asset, after the exchange was finished and you looked at the details of the exchange the TXID was missing a 0x at the beginning. This would cause the link to not work when you visited Etherscan. This is now fixed.
IMPROVED: Occasionally ShapeShift will keep an asset online but return exchange maximum limits of 0. This is confusing to new users – if the maximum to exchange is 0 the asset is essentially not working. We now take it amongst ourselves to disable the asset until the asset reports correct values again.
IMPROVED: When clicking the receive button on Bitcoin it now starts with your first Bitcoin address vs. auto-advancing to your next Bitcoin address in the HD path. Although advanced users want to use new Bitcoin addresses every time (and you still can by advancing the arrow to the next address) new users were confused. We received sooooo many emails daily asking “Why did my Bitcoin address change.” Although we explained HD addresses and why this is a feature most new users do not understand – rather this scares them and they think it is a bug. We think we now have the best of both words… If you are a new user, just continue to use the first Bitcoin address you see every time and your happy. Otherwise, if you like HD addresses and you want a new address each time, simply click the right arrow button and pick your address.
New York-headquartered Grayscale Investments LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, Inc., which builds and supports bitcoin and blockchain companies announced today that it has filed a registration statement on Form S-1 relating to the proposed registration of the Bitcoin Investment Trust’s shares with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
The investment objective of the Bitcoin Investment Trust is for the registered Shares to reflect the performance of the value of a bitcoin, before liabilities and expenses of the Trust, as represented by the TradeBlock XBX Index.
Initially launched as a private investment vehicle in September 2013, the Trust is not actively managed, and expects to list on the NYSE Arca. An electronic version of the registration statement can be accessed through the SEC’s website here.
The offering will be made only by means of a prospectus. A copy of the preliminary prospectus, when available, may be obtained by e-mail from Grayscale Investments, LLC by [email protected]
It is also worth noting that today Grayscale announced the launch of their second product, Ethereum (ETC) Investment Trust, which will allow investors to gain exposure to the price movement of Ethereum Classic through the purchase of a titled security.
(From left to right) Jack Liu, Chief Strategy Officer at OKLink; Jason Lau, Vice President of Business Development at OKLink; Aldrich Victorino, Business Development Associate at OKLink; Joemel Dela Cruz, Chief Operating Officer at Ayannah; Jomar E. Pineda, Product Manager at Ayannah; Miguel (Mikko) Perez, founder and CEO of Ayannah
OKLink, the blockchain settlement network founded by Star Xu, who is also the founder of Chinese crypto exchange OKCoin announced today partnership with Ayannah, a leading Philippines’ digital payment service provider, to provide real-time remittance to the Philippines via cash, bank accounts or e-wallet.
OKLink’s settlement platform currently allows transfer companies worldwide to send money to the Philippines for only 0.5%, a rate that is significantly lower than traditional incumbents. The partnership allows all 100+ companies on the OKLink network to make transactions within the same day to bank accounts; within 4 hours to cash pick-up locations across the Philippines; and real-time to mobile wallets via Ayannah’s mobile payment partner.
Founded in 2008, Ayannah operates the largest digital payment network in the Philippines, offering a host of digital financial services that focus on serving the needs of the unbanked. Ayannah has served over 10 million customers through its physical agents and online presence. The company serviced USD $150 million in remittances in 2016.
Miguel (Mikko) Perez, founder and CEO of Ayannah, commented on the partnership:
“Ayannah provides affordable and accessible digital financial services to the emerging middle class. As the largest digital payment network in the Philippines, we are very pleased to partner with OKLink, the world’s leading blockchain settlement system to provide our customers all over the world with more affordable and convenient options to send money to the Philippines.”
Jason Lau, Vice President of Business Development at OKLink, said:
“We are thrilled to work with Mikko and the entire Ayannah team on this partnership. We continue to pursue low cost instant transfers to every country in every payout form.”
Praveen Kumar, the CEO of Belfrics Global, who himself is headquartered out of Kuala Lumpur, spoke with CryptoNinjas this week and shared a lot of information behind the live launch of the Belfrics exchange in India. Mr. Kumar discusses recent developments of the company as a whole, what is going on in India, and his career in financial services. It was this week that Belfrics Global went live with their new digital asset exchange for India while also opening up brand new offices in the country in the city of Benglaru.
The Belfrics Group of Companies includes a global digital asset exchange based in Singapore while also operating regional exchanges for India, China, Kenya, Indonesia, Malaysia, Dubai and Hong Kong. The regional exchanges allow for swapping and trading digital currencies with the fiat currency where that regional exchange is based. In contrast, the global exchange based in Singapore provides for USD based transactions.
Read the interview in full below:
Hi Praveen, good to catch up with you today, can you talk about the launch of Belfrics India this week? How long has the development taken?
It is almost two years since we conceptualized Belfrics. We were ready with our exchange platform by the 1st quarter of 2016, but we wanted to provide the merchant services also along with the trading facilities. It took another couple of quarters for us to complete the merchant applications. We had our Belfrics India launch on the 16th of this month.
What is unique about your exchange compared to some established players in the industry?
Our intention and goal is to become benchmark liquidity provider for bitcoin trading in local currencies. As and when bitcoin adoption increases, it is highly unlikely that a person from Asia or a person from Africa is going to trade bitcoins against US dollars. Both customers and merchants will want the bitcoin to be transacted swiftly against their national currencies. Sooner or later, all existing major players will also adopt a similar strategy. When this shift happens, we would like to place ourselves as the primary source of bitcoin liquidity in the regions that we operate.
Where is your headquarters and do you have a physical office with staff?
We are headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. We have our offices and staffs in Malaysia, Singapore, India and Kenya as of now. Our policy is to have physical presence in all operating regions.
How do you view recent developments in India with the abolishment of big bank notes and the ensuing spike of bitcoin prices on Indian cryptocurrency exchanges?
The demonetization has made a drastic change in the consumer perception towards digital payment adoptions. There is a sense of urgency and open minded approach towards alternative payments methods, which was not there before the demonetization period. India is a nation of huge consumer base and a considerable amount of transactions were done on cash basis only. It will be quite a challenging and daunting task for the government to keep the growth engine rolling with reduced cash activities. Irrespective of the short term hit the government would be taking on reduced business activities, I personally feel it is the right move in the nation’s interest on a long run.
Considerably low bitcoin liquidity in the Indian market has led the price hike on Indian exchanges as against the overseas counterparts. For quite some time to come, Indian consumers are going to be net buyers of BTC, and hence can expect a premium rate when bitcoin price advances further.
How does the government view cryptocurrency in India, do you welcome regulation?
Government is committed to make the nation a cashless economy and hence I expect that the Government and RBI will keep an open-minded approach towards the emerging technologies in financial sector. I assume that they will want to see the Indian digital currency market evolve to a considerable size, before taking a step to regulate the industry. I am a strong believer that any kind of investment instrument or investment services should be regulated to protect the consumers. Having said that, regulation doesn’t have to be attached with illogical and unsustainable terms and conditions for the conduct of business.
How do you view other cryptocurrencies beyond bitcoin?
There will be many more cryptocurrencies flowing into the market and some might grow to a considerable stature and could give a run to bitcoin currency, but I assume bitcoin will lead the cryptocurrency lot for some years to come.
Are you aware of the new Indian international investment zone in Gujarat, GIFT City? Do you think digital currency has a place there?
There are many SEZ projects in India, but GIFT is first of a kind initiate in India to promote India as a hub for International financial services offerings. GIFT provides attractive options for capital market participants to offer their service to global clients and FDIs to tap the Indian market.
Having said that, India traditionally has not been a major center for offshore financial services offerings. In addition, GIFT route will not help the international digital currency exchanges to target Indian market. Unless and until, a clear regulatory framework is developed for digital currencies by the RBI, I do not see international digital currency exchanges to take benefit of GIFT.
Can you discuss your experience at Alpari, heading the brokerage brand for India from 2009?
Heading Alpari in India was a great experience. Alpari had an unprecedented growth in India, which many of the other firms couldn’t achieve. Our ability to develop and train partners and associates throughout India helped us to establish the brand effectively.
What other did you pick up in the OTC FX markets? How does it compare with now operating in the cryptocurrency sector?
I have been actively involved in commodity and forex derivative trading for over a decade. I served with both Indian and international OTC & exchange brokers before taking an entrepreneurial route. By providing liquidity services to the Indian commodity exchange and Singapore mercantile exchange, I garnered my experience and interest in clearing services for commodities and FX derivatives.
I got involved in cryptocurrency trading in 2012, and fell in love with the technology instantly.
As compared to providing trading services in FX and commodities, the challenge with bitcoin is that many people still do not know what bitcoin is. With cryptocurrency, there will be an added responsibility for the exchanges to handhold the customer to walk through the transition phase from paper currency to digital currency.
What is the meaning behind the Belfrics brand?
Since bitcoin is expected to be the king of currencies, we thought of combining the King (Bel) and ruler (ric) in our name.
Any numbers with volumes, numbers of users, you care to share?
We already have a good number of registered customers with us, but would like to release the numbers after couple of quarters of our full launch.
By using Coinbase with the BitPay app, users can get fast, convenient access for purchasing bitcoin from a debit card, credit card, or bank account while still maintaining full control and privacy over transactions from their BitPay wallet.
If you have a Coinbase account, you can now simply link it up to your BitPay app to start buying and selling bitcoin directly to and from addresses you control.
In addition to the Coinbase integration news, BitPay also announced brand new language translations for the wallet app, including Spanish, French, Chinese, and German. The company states this has been a major feature request by users looking to operate the app in their mother language.
ChronoBank, a blockchain-based initiative aimed at disrupting the short-term recruitment sector, has announced a partnership with Swiss based mobile wallet and trading platform Lykke , allowing users to trade ChronoBank’s tokens for other currencies.
ChronoBank, which is currently crowdfunding, has so far raised over 3,000 BTC (around $2.6 million USD) for marketing and development. It will connect employers with those seeking work. Employees will receive Labour Hour (LH) tokens, which can be bought and sold by companies to secure professional services, and by crypto traders who want to hedge their earnings in a stable, inflation proof token.
Trading of LH tokens, which will be issued on multiple blockchains, will take place on ChronoBank’s decentralised LaborX exchange. Both LH tokens and the TIME token, which will be distributed to ICO investors, will simultaneously be listed at the Lykke Exchange. Lykke, is a Swiss company dedicated to building a global marketplace for trading all classes of financial assets on the blockchain, will also be a strategic technological partner in the creation of LaborX.
Lykke, a digital exchange for all asset classes, was started by Richard Olsen, previously founder and CEO of forex platform OANDA. Lykke is a new but growing platform that allows users to trade fiat currencies, cryptocurrencies and cryptographic tokens using either an iOS or Android device.
ChronoBank CEO, Sergei Sergienko said:
There is a strong emphasis on user experience and a low barrier to entry. One of the reasons we’re thrilled to be partnering with Lykke is that commitment to making cryptocurrency accessible to new users, since we are looking at mass-market applications for crypto tokens, it promises to be a very worthwhile partnership.
The Lykke exchange charges no fees and uses so called ‘colored coins’ — crypto tokens which can represent real-world assets from bonds to gold, but which settle on the bitcoin blockchain in minutes. Lykke, which is a member of the Hyperledger project, has already gone public on its own exchange and is currently building enterprise-scale solutions for large financial institutions.
Tokyo-headquartered, GMO Internet Group, a leading internet company offering infrastructure connectivity, online media, FX and securities trading services, and mobile app development launched GMO Wallet Co,. Ltd this week, a company which will focus on providing wallet services for cryptocurrencies. The company was officially established on October 11th, 2016, but went public with the news earlier this week.
GMO Wallet will provide a safe and secure virtual currency trading environment by making full use of the know-how that the GMO Internet Group has cultivated in the internet trading and security business.
The company stated that in recent years, virtual currency, including bitcoin and ethereum are increasingly utilized in a variety of transactions such as international remittance and settlement payments for individuals and companies, the market is predicted to scale and reach 1 trillion yen in a few years.
GMO Internet Group wants to be well situated when the new proposed Japanese regulations on digital currencies come into effect. As it stands now, the regulations will look to include the elimination of consumption tax on cryptocurrency transactions thus bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will be treated as money, which GMO Internet views as a positive development for its GMO Wallet business.
It was officially unveiled today that United States headquartered digital asset exchange Coinbase and its trading venue GDAX obtained the BitLicense (virtual currency and a money transmitter license) from the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS).
The BitLicense authorizes Coinbase’s continuing virtual currency business operations in the state of New York and is an important validation for cryptocurrency exchanges operating within the country to be regarded as a secure and compliant exchange.
Brian Armstrong, Coinbase CEO and Co-founder said:
“At Coinbase, our first priority is to ensure that we operate the most secure and compliant digital currency exchange in the world. We’re thrilled to have obtained the BitLicense and look forward to expanding our business in New York.”
DFS conducted a comprehensive review of Coinbase’s applications, including the company’s anti-money laundering, capitalization, consumer protection, and cyber security policies. Coinbase, which is subject to ongoing supervision by DFS, offers services for buying, selling, sending, receiving, and storing bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
DFS has now approved five firms for virtual currency charters or licenses while denying those applications that did not meet DFS’s standards. In addition to Coinbase, DFS has granted licenses to XRP II and Circle Internet Financial, and charters to Gemini Trust Company and itBit Trust Company.
The companies that have received application denial letters ordering them to stop any New York operations are ChangeCoin Inc., Ovo Cosmico Inc., Snapcard Inc. and OKLink PTE. LTD.
StatoshiLabs, the Czech Republic-based bitcoin service provider whose projects include TREZOR, CoinMap.org to Slush Pool, the world’s first bitcoin mining pool announced today that Alena Vranova will no longer serve as the CEO of SatoshiLabs.
According to reports, Alena decided to step down and leave the company for a new challenge. Effective January 17th, 2017, Alena will start working independently and will focus exclusively on her new business ideas related to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Despite her departure, some of her new ventures will remain TREZOR-related. Alena will continue to cooperate closely with SatoshiLabs as a part of her new business, in order to develop business connections for TREZOR.
The company also notified that Marek Palatinus with be the new CEO.
With Alena leaving the team, Marek Palatinus, the Architect of TREZOR, will officially take over as the new CEO of SatoshiLabs.
Marek, alongside with Alena and Pavol “Stick” Rusnak, is the original founder of SatoshiLabs and one of the co-inventors of TREZOR. He also stands behind the first bitcoin mining pool in the world, Slush Pool, and has co-authored the Stratum mining protocol, as well as many BIPs.
As the CEO of SatoshiLabs, Marek will take care of the day-to-day business, while continuing to develop TREZOR and TREZOR 2. No other organizational changes are expected. The transition has occurred smoothly, with all of the planned projects progressing further, according to the schedule.
SatoshiLabs provided somem guidance on the future by stating that the main plan for the first half of 2017 is to develop the TREZOR 2, a bitcoin hardware wallet, into a full product, ready to ship. The centralization of all services into the new main domain will continue also with full speed. trezor.io will be nowo be the hub for all TREZOR products.
Coinfloor Exchange, the UK’s longest running bitcoin exchange today introduced no-fee trading to its users. Specifically, the exchange stated that it is moving to zero fee trading and will be replacing trading fees with percentage fees (in addition to bank processing fees) on GBP and other fiat deposits and withdrawals.
Bitcoin deposits will be free and bitcoin withdrawals will be charged a flat 0.0005 XBT fee to cover fees charged by the bitcoin network. Zero fee is expected to go live later this week and fiat deposit and withdrawal percentage fees will go live early next week.
Founder of Coinfloor Mark Lamb, provided the following announcement on the move:
Why the change?
We recognise that for traders, any level of trading fee is a restriction on the opportunity to profit, trade high volumes and provide or consume liquidity. We are already the most liquid GBP/XBT exchange but we believe this change will increase trade volumes and improve liquidity even further.
What does this mean for you?
If you are a regular buyer or seller on Coinfloor, you should find that your overall costs (i.e. deposit/withdrawal costs and trading costs) should stay roughly the same initially. Furthermore, we project that your percentage costs will reduce over time as liquidity improves due to the change.
If you are a regular trader on Coinfloor Exchange, you can now trade bitcoin for free, not paying fees other than as part of any occasional deposits or withdrawals. Also, if you are depositing, trading and withdrawing profits in XBT, you will only pay the nominal XBT withdrawal fees.
What does this mean for Coinfloor?
Coinfloor is fortunate to have patient and well capitalised financial backers, as well as strong revenues and lean costs. We are setting the deposit, withdrawal and trade fees at levels which we believe are sustainable for Coinfloor and attractive to our customers.
We are confident that zero fee trading will be a net benefit to traders, non traders and Coinfloor. However, this is a significant and unprecedented change so we will be monitoring how it performs and if necessary, we will revert to a more traditional trading fee based structure.
Coinsilium Group Limited, a London-based blockchain technology focused investment and development company, announced today that SatoshiPay Ltd, a nanopayments company for digital content in which Coinsilium has a 14.5% equity interest, has entered into a conditional agreement with investing company Blue Star Capital plc (AIM: BLU) which has conditionally subscribed for 1,886 ordinary shares in SatoshiPay for EUR 0.64 million.
If completed, this subscription would value SatoshiPay shares at EUR 340 per share.
In January 2016, Coinsilium completed an investment of EUR 200,000 and holds 2,133 ordinary shares in SatoshiPay via Seedcoin Limited, Coinsilium’s wholly owned subsidiary. Should the Blue Star subscription complete, at EUR 340 per share the implied value of Coinsilium’s shareholding in SatoshiPay would be EUR 725,220, representing an increase in value of 362.61% since Coinsilium’s investment less than a year ago.
SatoshiPay is based on blockchain technology and currently bitcoins are the only means of payment. SatoshiPay is developing a two-way payment platform, which enables online content providers to monetise their digital content through the acceptance of nanopayments. Using the SatoshiPay platform, online media companies are able to process nanopayments of €0.05 (5c) or less with minimal transaction fees. SatoshiPay technology can also process payments greater than 5c, but the company believes the real technical innovation is in relation to nanopayments, in some cases being less than 1c.
Coinsilium CEO Eddy Travia commented:
We are delighted to see the interest SatoshiPay is generating amongst early stage technology investors and whilst this subscription comes at a substantially higher valuation than that of Coinsilium’s original investment, we also recognise the significant progress SatoshiPay has made over the last year to justify such a substantial uplift in its valuation. This subscription underscores our early vision that SatoshiPay’s blockchain-based platform can transform online content monetisation and further proves our well-founded confidence in SatoshiPay’s CEO Meinhard Benn and his excellent team as leaders in this space.
Tony Fabrizi, CEO of Blue Star commented:
We are delighted to be investing in SatoshiPay at this exciting stage in its development. We believe the market opportunity for SatoshiPay is potentially vast and we look forward to working with SatoshiPay’s management to help maximise this opportunity.
Meinhard Benn, CEO of SatoshiPay commented:
We couldn’t be more excited to have Blue Star investing in us. They bring an excellent network in digital publishing and financial services and we are looking forward to working with them. Blue Star have been very supportive of our vision right from the first meeting. Their investment should help us to swiftly reach our target €1m funding round so that we can return to fully focussing on developing and marketing our product.
Peter Smith , Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Blockchain stated:
We’ve been working to evolve our brand to better match the scope of our ambition and our growing user base.
Late last year, we launched an updated look and feel on blockchain.com, released V3 of our wallet, launched new mobile experiences, and updated our blog. Today, we’re excited to announce the next phase in the evolution of our brand: our new logo.
We arrived at this direction through visual explorations of the division of a fixed asset. With Bitcoin, there is a cap at 21 million and those bitcoins can be divided and subdivided to infinity. The block is a tiny ecosystem, and the pieces within grow, shrink and shift as the ownership of any given piece evolves. It is also a representation of how ‘many’ become ‘one’.
The specific divisions of the colors in this execution are also purposeful: they are based on measurements of the golden section.
Over the course of the coming weeks, you’ll see the new logo anywhere we’re out in public, like our web and social media sites; very soon you’ll see it in all of our products, as well.
We’re excited about the new logo, but more importantly about the role we’re playing in helping people and businesses throughout the world realize a more open, fair and accessible financial future, one piece of software at a time. Thank you for helping us make our vision a reality each and every day.
China-based digital currency exchanges BTCC, Huobi, and OKCoin have updated their margin trading terms over the last 24-hours to reflect new scrutiny from Chinese regulators on cryptocurrency exchanges.
Earlier in the week, a group of regulators consisting of the Shanghai branch of the People’s Bank of China, the Shanghai Financial Affairs office, and other related government agencies visited BTCC’s offices on January 11th, 2017.
BTCC posted on its website the following announcement at the top of their site: Starting from January 12th, 2017, BTCChina has suspended margin loan service.
No specific details from the meetings were revealed but speculation has consisted of probing exchanges to make sure they are following all KYC/AML laws and it obviously looks like the exchanges were told to stop margin lending to traders and investors for the time being.
The increased watchfulness from regulators was blamed from the sharp drop bitcoin experienced from its peak last week around its all-time highs of $1175. However, bitcoin has since settled into a consolidation period around the $800 handle. We will bring further updates from the developments in China as they become available.