South Korean Crypto Exchange Coinnest Announces Closure

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinnest, once South Korea’s third largest, is closing down. The exchange posted a notice on its website saying that as of Tuesday it is no longer operating, adding that users will need to withdraw any funds held on its platform by April 30. The fees for withdrawals and the minimum threshold have been lowered to assist the process, it said. While the notice was vague as to the reasons for the closure, a Coinnest official told CoinDesk Korea: “It is a natural result of a decrease in trading volume.…

NYDFS: Why We Rejected Bittrex’s Application for a BitLicense

UPDATE (April 18 20:30 UTC): This article has been updated to include a response from Bittrex at the bottom. Shirin Emami is the executive deputy superintendent for banking at the New York State Department of Financial Services. Bittrex purportedly aims to get the facts straight about the denial of its license applications by the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) in recent statements to the media (including CoinDesk). But, the cryptocurrency exchange leaves out the context necessary to understand its failures to comply with DFS’s licensing requirements, it continues…

OKCoin Exchange Invests in Crypto Custody Firm Prime Trust

Cryptocurrency exchange OKCoin has invested an undisclosed amount in crypto custody provider Prime Trust. In a note sent to customers on Wednesday, Prime Trust CEO and chief trust officer Scott Purcell said that the firm has closed a “nice” funding round that was led by the California-based exchange. Other participants in the round included Gateway Blockchain Partners, Novablock Ventures and Xsquared Ventures, Purcell said, adding: “We aren’t disclosing details though.” Notably, Prime Trust serves as OKCoin’s fiat gateway. The exchange announced last week that it has added a new payment…

eToro Launches Full Crypto Exchange and 8 Custom Stablecoins

The blockchain subsidiary of social investing platform eToro has launched a cryptocurrency exchange along with eight branded stablecoins. The new platform is being managed by eToroX, which is regulated by the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission, the firm announced Tuesday. Trading in six cryptocurrencies will be offered at launch: bitcoin (BTC), bitcoin cash (BCH), ether (ETH), XRP, litecoin (LTC) and dash. Also available will be 37 crypto-to-fiat pairs, for example BTC/USD and XRP/GBP. The firm is additionally issuing eToro-branded tokens pegged to eight fiat currencies, including the eToro United States dollar (USDEX),…

Coinbase Exec Dan Romero Leaving Crypto Exchange After 5 Years

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase is losing another executive. Dan Romero, who works as vice president for Coinbase’s international business, announced in a Medium post on Friday that he will be leaving the firm at the end of this month. Romero joined Coinbase in April 2014, according to his LinkedIn profile. While he didn’t provide a specific reason for departing the firm, Romero said: “Staying true to a mission often requires doing hard (or even unpopular) things. But I’ve been lucky to learn first-hand that it’s those hard things that often generate…

Crypto Exchange Bithumb Posts $180 Million Loss for 2018

Bithumb, South Korea’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, has posted a net loss of 205.5 billion won ($180 million) for 2018. CoinDesk Korea reported the news on Thursday, saying that the loss was mainly due to a sharp decline in the cryptocurrency market last year, though the company’s operator BTCKorea also cited infrastructure investments and labor costs as factors. The figure marks a big swing into the red for Bithumb, having recorded a net profit of 534.9 billion won ($469 million) in 2017. The exchange’s revenues, on the other hand, grew around…

Binance Partners With CipherTrace in Latest Compliance Push

Malta-based cryptocurrency exchange Binance is embarking on a multi-pronged push to boost compliance procedures across its platform. To that end, Binance is announcing a new partnership with the blockchain analytics firm CipherTrace to enhance anti-money laundering (AML) processes like tracing the source of on-chain funds and matching user IDs to problematic wallet addresses. “We are very serious about improving our compliance standards,” Samuel Lim, head of compliance at Binance, told CoinDesk. “We will continue to build our [compliance] team, continue to re-invest in the compliance space.” The addition of CipherTrace,…

Bitfinex Drops Minimum Balance to Trade on Crypto Exchange

Bitfinex has removed its $10,000 minimum equity requirement to start trading on the cryptocurrency exchange, enabling a broader range of investors to participate. The company, based in the British Virgin Islands, cited “overwhelming demand from a wide variety of traders” for the change. “We simply could not ignore the increasing level of requests for access to trade on Bitfinex from a wider cohort than our traditional customer base,” Jean-Louis van der Velde, CEO at Bitfinex, wrote Tuesday on the company’s corporate blog. “For the last six months, we have been working hard to…

Sparkswap Raises $3.5 Million From Initialized, Pantera for Lightning-Powered DEX

UPDATE (April 8, 13:40 UTC): The funding round was led by Initialized Capital, not Pantera Capital. The headline has been updated. A San Francisco-based decentralized exchange (DEX) called Sparkswap launched Monday, becoming the first North American exchange to fully integrate the lightning network, a bitcoin scaling solution. Sparkswap is funded by a $3.5 million seed round led by Initialized Capital, with involvement from venture capital firms such as Pantera Capital and Foundation Capital. This lightning-powered DEX – which differentiates itself from traditional exchanges by requiring users to custody their own…

Coinbase Tops JPMorgan in LinkedIn List of Most Popular Employers

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has ranked above investment banking giant JPMorgan in LinkedIn’s top 50 U.S. employers list for 2019. The networking platform for professionals published the list on Wednesday, ranking Coinbase at number 35, 9 spots ahead of JPMorgan at number 44. No other cryptocurrency or blockchain firm made the list. Coinbase has predominantly hired staff in engineering, IT and human resources roles in the recent past, and has a current headcount of about 600 employees in the U.S., the report indicated. The exchange’s employees can choose to be paid partially or…