Category: Cryptocurrency Exchange

Coinbase Approved to Enter Japanese Cryptocurrency Market

Coinbase Approved to Enter Japanese Cryptocurrency MarketCoinbase is now registered as a cryptocurrency exchange to operate in Japan. The Japanese financial regulator has approved Coinbase to trade five cryptocurrencies. Japan’s top financial regulator, the Financial Services Agency (FSA), announced last week that it has registered Coinbase as a crypto exchange service provider based on the revised Fund Settlement Act. According to […]

Stablecoin inflows to exchanges dip as traders watch Bitcoin from the sidelines

Stablecoin inflows to exchanges tapered off as investors turned bearish on Bitcoin, but a surge in USDC minting could be a signal of upcoming regulation.

The growth of stablecoin's market cap and circulating supply has been one of the best indicators for attaining a general pulse on how participants in the market are feeling during bullish and bearish times.

Monitoring the Tether (USDT) treasury for large issuances was a common tactic used by analysts and traders to position themselves for a possible pump in the price of Bitcoin (BTC) and altcoins and previously this has been a good source of alpha for those willing to take a risk.

USDT circulating supply. Source: CryptoQuant

A closer look at the data provided by CryptoQuant indicates that a seismic shift in the makeup of the stablecoin market may be taking shape as USDT issuance has begun to stagnate while the circulating supply of competitors like USD Coin (USDC) has resumed its uptrend over the past week.

When looking at the exchange inflows and reserves of each individual stablecoin, there has actually been an increase in USDC deposited onto exchanges while the amount of USDT has declined, leading to the plateau seen in total stablecoin reserves held on exchanges.

USDC circulating supply. Source: CryptoQuant

This is significant because Tether printing has historically been the impetus for major market moves, but its continued legal challenges and questions regarding assets held in reserve have made holding the token more of a liability as regulators increasingly crackdown on the wild west nature of the cryptocurrency market.

All stablecoin reserves on exchanges. Source: CryptoQuant

As seen on the chart above, while the circulating supply of stablecoins was on a steady rise through the first five months of 2021 and accelerated somewhat as the market sold-off in May, issuance came to a standstill at the beginning of June as the reality set in that a bearish trend had taken over the market.

There was also a spike in the stablecoin inflow transaction count that occurred on May 29, just as the stablecoin supply was peaking, which was followed by a brief increase in the price of BTC to $40,000 before another wave of selling dropped the price back below $34,000 and stomped out any building momentum.

All stablecoins inflow transaction count to exchanges. Source: CryptoQuant

Since then, stablecoin inflows to exchanges have fallen to the lowest level since October 2020. The Crypto Fear and Greed Index also registers "extreme fear", backing up the argument that there is a lack of demand from retail and institutional level investors.

Cryptocurrency fear and greed index. Source:

Stablecoin inflows rise as BTC approaches $30,000

While the month of June had seen a dry spell of stablecoin deposits onto exchanges, the drought may have come to an end on June 21 as a drop in the price of BTC below $33,000 appears to have enticed stablecoin holders to consider buying the dip.

Further evidence of activity for USDC has been provided by Whale Alert, a well-known Twitter bot that posted numerous updates about USDC minting and transfers on June 21 as the crypto market experienced another round of selling.

Typically, stablecoin inflows are viewed as bullish, a recent newsletter from CryptoQuant offered a word of caution because similar spikes in stablecoin issuance in the past were followed by a prolonged period of sideways trading or price declines.

All stablecoin issuance events. Source: CryptoQuant

CryptoQuant said:

“After the bottom of the last bear market (2018-2019) we saw a steady rise in issuance events. At the top (June 28, 2019) of this bullish period there was a large issuance event (the two big spikes in July-August 2019 are due to USDT ETH issuance). It looks like the same is happening right now.”

Related: Institutional selling of crypto reaches longest streak since Feb 2018

This data serves as a warning that not all stablecoin issuance is a predictor of Bitcoin price rising because there are a number of factors that could account for mintings, such as institutional investors buying USDCfor a future purchase, or even altcoin and DeFi protocols preparing to integrate USDC pairs.

In the long run, this shift has the potential to be beneficial for the crypto sector as audited projects like USDC are deemed more legitimate in the eyes of governments and regulators, but the sheer size of USDT's $62.67 billion market cap and its ubiquity across crypto exchanges means that any attempt to de-Tether will likely bring pain to the market.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

Indian ‘Crypto King’ Arrested by Narcotics Control Bureau — Wazirx Says Not Our User

India’s Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has arrested a Mumbai resident known as “crypto king,” who allegedly used bitcoin to purchase narcotics on the dark web. Indian cryptocurrency exchange Wazirx says the accused is not one of its customers. ‘Crypto King’ Arrested in India A Mumbai resident, Makarand Pardeep Adivirkar, also known as “crypto king” in […]

Bitcoin retests $37K support, gold and stocks drop lower over Fed comments

Steady BTC inflows to crypto exchanges and fallout from the Federal Reserve’s plan to hike interest rates dropped Bitcoin price to the $37,000 support.

Bitcoin (BTC) price dropped another notch to $37,365 today after a failed attempt by bulls to retake the $40,000 level. The renewed slump comes as the stock market and commodities also pulled back as a result of Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s comments related to future interest rate hikes and concerns over rising inflation which led to pdeclines for both Bitcoin and gold

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView shows that the price of BTC climbed from $38,200 in the early trading hours on Thursday to a high above $39,500 by midday before being pummeled down to a low of $37,365 as bears took control of the market.

BTC/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

Inflows to spot exchanges increase

One signal provided ahead of Bitcoin’s price decline on June 17 was increased inflows to spot exchanges which led some analysts to speculate that traders who failed to cash out near the high are taking advantage of lower highs to lock in gains.

As the sell-off intensified, the netflow of BTC into exchanges saw a noticeable uptick and this selling pressure, along with the lack of dip buyers, kept Bitcoin pinned below $38,000.

Bitcoin all exchange netflow. Source: CryptoQuant

While the recent BTC inflows to exchanges point to a bearish short-term outlook, it is also worth noting that whale wallets holding between 100 BTC and 10,000 BTC have actually increased their holdings by 90,000 BTC over the past 25 days, suggesting a more positive long term outlook.

Related: Bulls aim to reclaim $40K ahead of Friday’s $520M BTC options expiry

Open interest in BTC options is on the rise

Another source to get a better overview of how funds are being deployed across the market is looking at open interest in BTC and Ether (ETH) options.

According to Delphi Digital, “open interest for BTC and ETH options have been in decline since mid-May,” but there has been a slight increase in the options open interest for BTC recently. This figure has remained stagnant for Ether, “indicating traders are trying to position themselves for a BTC move instead.”

Change in open interest for BTC and ETH options. Source: Delphi Digital

Delphi Digital also said that the recent price action for Bitcoin and gold has revived discussions on the ability of each to operate as a “safe haven asset,” with investors increasingly seeing gold as the main inflation hedge, meaning “rising inflation could negatively impact BTC sentiment.”

BTC vs. gold price deviation. Source: Delphi Digital

Given that both assets responded negatively to Powell’s comments, there is a chance that the correlation seen between BTC and gold in 2019 could lead to a revival of the narrative that BTC has evolved into a safe haven asset.

Altcoins lose steam

The overall altcoin market trended down on June 17 as the lack of optimism weighed heavily on most tokens.

Daily cryptocurrency market performance. Source: Coin360

Notable exceptions to the market stagnation include a 34% increase for XinFin Network (XDC) following a partnership with Flare Finance and a 32% increase for NuCyper (NU) which has benefited from its recent merger with the Keep project to form the Keanu DAO.

As seen in the chart below, the announced merger between NuCyper and Keep was picked up by the NewsQuake™ service from Cointelegraph Markets Pro on June 15 and was followed by an increase in the VORTECS™ Score to a high of 74 on June 16, around 15 hours before the altcoin gained 44%. 

VORTECS™ Score (green) vs. NU price. Source: Cointelegraph Markets Pro

The overall cryptocurrency market cap now stands at $1.568 trillion and Bitcoin’s dominance rate is 45.1%.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

DAOs in court? Curve Finance ponders enforcing license over rival Saddle

Which takes precedence: the open-source ethos of DeFi, or the natural right to protect the fruits of your intellectual labor?

Square peg, meet round hole: a decentralized autonomous organization is pondering taking a rival fork to court. 

Earlier today, a member of the Curve Finance community made a post in Curve’s governance forum titled “Enforce Curve’s IP Rights.”

“Curve has proven incredibly popular, with over $10B deposited, hundreds of millions in daily volume, and around $1M/week in earnings to veCRV holders. This places it among the top of all exchanges in crypto today, even rivaling publicly-traded CEX’s,” the post reads. “[...] Those CEX’s protect their IP on behalf of their shareholders and there is no reason why Curve, just by virtue of its DAO organization, should not protect itself for the benefit of veCRV holders too.”

The target of the IP enforcement in this case would be Saddle. Saddle — which the official Curve Twitter handle characterized as a “line-by-line translation from one language to another,” potentially a violation of Curve’s license — launched in January this year to significant fanfare and with major VC backing. It also enabled a handful of wild arbitration trades on the day of launch, which some characterized as an exploit.

Some observers immediately griped that, much like Uniswap v3’s business licenses, such an action would not be consistent with DeFi’s open-source ethos.

RELATED: Curve Finance’s new release positions project for AMM takeover

However, Sam Miorelli, a cybersecurity specialist by day and a budding protocol politician by night who authored the proposal, argues that protecting the value of intellectual work is a fundamental right:

“IP is an important part of hundreds of years of innovation in literally every aspect of society and the economy. Decentralization doesn't change that creators have a natural right (protected by law in effectively every jurisdiction) to the fruits of those creations.”

Protecting the moat

While Saddle has been live for nearly six months and has largely failed to eat into Curve’s TVL (Curve is currently the 2nd-largest DeFi protocol with $10.49 billion in total value locked, while Saddle sits at just under $59 million), part of what spurred Miorelli into action may be a major depositor taking their pools to Saddle. 

Alchemix — a protocol that offers loans of synthetic assets based on future yield from assets deposited into the Yearn.Finance protocol — recently opted to start an alETH pool on Saddle, though their alUSD pool is on Curve and is the third-largest single pool on the platform. The choice was made in the context of a larger, ongoing tension between Yearn and Curve over CRV reward token emissions and dumping. 

The specifics of how to move forward to protect their moat are tremendously complex, however. “Charlie,” a member of Cruve’s core team told Cointelegraph that the Curve DAO has a licence granted by Swiss Stake GmbH, while the Curve DAO itself is not a legal entity and has an open source license.

Moreover, it’s unclear if Saddle likewise holds a legal entity, if VC investors could be liable, or if trying to enforce the license would make CRV a security.

The team member who manages the Curve Twitter handle speculated that, due to these complications and the costs, moving forward may not make sense (regardless of how badly they may want to do it):

Miorelli noted that regardless of whether Curve moves forward with legal action, “a lot of DAOs need to pay more attention to this topic” because keeping “profits with a DAO instead of going to well heeled VCs, is central to the DeFi ethos - even when it takes something like courts to do it.”

Ultimately, the decision to litigate will be one about principles before possible monetary rewards, he added:

“Sometimes those rights are easy or profitable to enforce, sometimes they're not. But profitability is a question you ask after you first decide ‘do I want to even try enforcing my rights?’ That's the crux of my proposal: does Curve want to start that discussion?”

Crypto exchange Huobi has reportedly stopped letting new users trade derivatives

Chinese journalist Colin Wu speculated the move from the crypto exchange would likely drive users to Binance for higher leveraged trades.

Huobi, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, has reportedly restricted derivatives for new and existing users over concerns about China’s regulatory crackdowns.

Chinese journalist Colin Wu reported on Twitter today that Huobi had temporarily dropped the maximum allowable trading leverage from 125x to less than 5x for existing users. In addition, new users based in China were not allowed to engage in derivative trading on the exchange.

It’s unclear how long this Huobi policy will last or if it will drive crypto traders in China to other exchanges. Wu said “Chinese people who cannot play highly leveraged contracts will go to Binance,” unless the exchange would be the next target of the Chinese government. He claimed many investors already had accounts with OKEx, Binance, and Huobi.

Related: Chinese search engines block results for top crypto exchanges

Crypto users based in China are facing authorities seemingly taking a tougher stance on regulating digital assets this year. Huobi’s mining arm, Huobi Mall, announced last month that it would suspend mining operations in the country following three of China’s major trade associations releasing warnings against cryptocurrency investing. Officials have also drafted rules aiming to impose harsher penalties on those mining crypto in the Inner Mongolia region.

According to CoinMarketCap, Huobi Global is currently ranked as the third crypto exchange under Coinbase and Binance. The exchange’s volume over the last 24 hours is $11.4 billion at the time of publication.

Bitcoin price moves toward $40K as on-chain and technical analysis favor bulls

Bitcoin price is still 38% away from its all-time high but a handful of technical indicators suggest bulls are gathering strength.

Bitcoin (BTC) price saw a bullish turn of events on June 13 as the price broke out to $39,252 but many analysts are still on the fence when it comes to determining whether the digital asset is ready to continue its uptrend. 

To date, the crypto market remains on edge and is two months removed from Bitcoin’s all-time high near $65,000. A market analysis from Delphi Digital identified a “major head and shoulders pattern” that could “spell more short term pain if BTC dives below $30,000.”

With that in mind, now is a good time to review some key data points to gain a greater perspective on where Bitcoin price could go next.

Short-term holders suffer losses

A 50% decrease in price over the past two months may seem extreme to those unfamiliar with the volatility of the cryptocurrency market, but it comes as no surprise to the long-term hodlers who have seen multiple drawdowns of an even larger magnitude over the last decade. 

Bitcoin price drawdown from 52-week high. Source: Delphi Digital

As seen in the chart above, a drawdown of 70% or greater is not uncommon for BTC, especially following a significant run-up in price, hinting that the possibility for further pain is still a threat as bulls battle bears in the mid $30,000 range.

The rapidly falling prices sent new and old Bitcoin holders running for the sidelines, resulting in traders selling at a loss according to SOPR (Spent Output Profit Ratio) data highlighted by cryptocurrency analyst filbfilb. 

Bitcoin spent output profit ratio. Source: Decentrader

In the past couple of days signs of a SOPR reset have appeared, indicating that average wallets are now selling at a profit again. 

The Crypto Fear and Greed Index (CFGI) has also reached its lowest level since the March 2020 sell-off initiated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

BTC drawdown vs. crypto fear and greed index. Source: Delphi Digital

The high levels of fear currently being experienced by a majority of traders have many sitting on the sidelines as concerns of further losses remain a legitimate possibility.

For the contrarian investors, however, low scores on the index are a signal to “be greedy when others are fearful” as Warren Buffet would say and the chart above shows that buying during high fear moments tends to be a good entry-level.

Related: Here’s how Bitcoin’s impending death cross could be a contrarian buy signal

Sentiment begins to rebound

While it’s true that Bitcoin has seen it’s price fall more than $30,000 over the past two months, it's important to note that the amount it has fallen as well as its current price are nearly double the previous all-time high set in 2017, shining a light on just how significant the rally has been over the past six months.

On-chain analysis from Decentrader shows that an ‘oversold’ signal was recently triggered, “suggesting that BTC may soon be ready to turn around and move to the upside.”

Bullish signal provided by the active addresses sentiment indicator. Source: Decentrader

The active addresses sentiment indicator compares the 28-day change in price, shown by the orange line, with the 28-day change in on-chain active addresses which is represented by the band of grey lines.

The orange line moving from below the dotted green line back up into the active address change band is considered a bullish signal, and this most recently occurred on June 10, indicating the possibility of a turnaround in the market.

According to Rekt Capital, a popular analyst on Twitter, Bitcoin is still on a path to realize a new all-time high.

For now, perhaps it's best to just take a break from staring at charts and worrying about which way Bitcoin will choose. The long-term outlook remains strong as countries like El Salvador have begun choosing BTC as legal tender and more people become interested in cryptocurrency.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

India Probes Cryptocurrency Exchange Wazirx in Chinese Money Laundering Case

India Probes Cryptocurrency Exchange Wazirx in Chinese Money Laundering CaseIndia’s Directorate of Enforcement (ED) has reportedly sent a notice to Wazirx, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in India, under the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999, (FEMA). The investigation was initiated “on the basis of the ongoing money-laundering investigation into Chinese owned illegal online betting applications,” the ED detailed. ED’s FEMA Investigation of Wazirx […]

Bank of Namibia Warns Crypto Traders It ‘Will Not Entertain Complaints’ if They Get Scammed

Bank of Namibia Warns Crypto Traders It 'Will Not Entertain Complaints' if They Get ScammedThe Bank of Namibia (BON) has warned individuals investing in cryptocurrencies that it will not entertain their complaints should they get scammed. The institution argues that since its mandate does not currently cover digital currencies, it lacks the “legal power” to follow up on such complaints. Growing Namibian Interest in Crypto This latest BON warning […]

Binance-owned Indian exchange WazirX investigated for alleged AML failings

India’s Enforcement Directorate will probe crypto exchange WazirX for alleged violations of AML laws and FEMA in connection with crypto transactions worth $389 million.

The well-known Indian crypto exchange WazirX, which Binance acquired in 2019, is under investigation for alleged violations of India’s Foreign Exchange Act (FEMA). The probe was publicly announced in an official tweet today from India’s Enforcement Directorate (ED):

In the Indian numbering system, one crore denotes 10 million. The 2,790 crore rupees in cryptocurrency transactions under investigation, then, are worth roughly $389 million. According to a report from the Times of India, ED has named the four-year-old exchange and its directors, Nischal Shetty and Hanuman Mhatre, in its show cause notice. 

Law enforcement agents reportedly came across the suspect transactions in the course of a money-laundering investigation into illegal online betting applications, which involved Chinese nationals. The Times cites the ED’s explanation, which claims that the accused individuals laundered proceeds from criminal activities worth roughly 57 crore rupees ($7.8 million) by converting their rupee deposits into Tether (USDT). They then allegedly transferred the USDT to Binance wallets, following instructions received from abroad. The ED further claims that:

“In the period under investigation, users of WazirX via its pool account, have received incoming cryptocurrency worth Rs 880 crore [$120.4 million] from Binance accounts and transferred out cryptocurrency worth Rs 1,400 crore [$191.6 million] to Binance accounts. None of these transactions are available on the blockchain for any audit or investigation.”

The ED contends that WazirX has failed to gather the required information to vet its clients and transactions, in violation of Anti-Money Laundering and Combating Financing of Terrorism laws, as well as FEMA. Law enforcement agents said that the exchange’s clients are, therefore, able to transfer crypto to any other individual, irrespective of jurisdiction or nationality, without needing to provide the requisite documents.

WazirX director Nischal Shetty has already responded to the ED’s announcement with an extended thread on Twitter:

Related: Crypto exchange giants mulling India foray despite regulatory uncertainty

In the two follow-up tweets, Shetty wrote that WazirX goes “beyond our legal obligations by following Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti Money Laundering (AML) processes and have always provided information to law enforcement authorities whenever required.” He added that the exchange is, therefore, able to trace all users of the platform using official identity data.

Shetty concluded his response by saying that, should the exchange receive a formal communication directly from the ED, it will cooperate fully with the probe. News of the investigation comes at a time of unpredictable crypto regulatory developments in the country, with the most recent reports suggesting that authorities may have now dropped earlier plans for a blanket Bitcoin ban in favor of classifying cryptocurrencies as a distinct asset class.

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