In Wednesday’s edition of The Daily we cover a new feature that will allow Bitpay merchants to automatically diversify their settlements, a downsizing at Shapeshift that will see its team cut by a third, a show of commitment to the crypto industry by the government of Malta, and a new offering of BCH margin trading.
Bitpay Adds Multi-Coin Settlements
Popular cryptocurrency payment processor Bitpay has introduced support for multi-coin settlements. The service added support for three stablecoins during 2018 (GUSD, USDC, and PAX), in addition to bitcoin cash BCH and BTC. The new feature means that merchants can now receive their Bitpay settlements in up to five of these cryptocurrencies all at once, in addition to their supported local fiat currency.
“We’re excited to provide additional options and to give our merchants more flexibility with their settlements,” the Bitpay team stated. “We hope to continue adding valuable options for our merchants and their customers.”
Shapeshift Is Downsizing by a Third
Erik Voorhees, the founder and CEO of Shapeshift, has announced that his company is the latest venture to feel the “bitter frost” of crypto winter. The exchange platform is laying off 37 employees, reducing the size of its team by a third.
“Crypto, like the moon we strive toward, is a harsh mistress,” wrote Voorhees. “We ride high and fast during the ascents, growing at rates unseen almost anywhere else in the business world. And when the markets turn, the crypto recession is similarly dramatic and severe.”
Besides the general economic boom and bust cycle, the main reason identified for downsizing seems to be recognition that the company has lost focus. What started as just a simple tool for instant conversions grew too fast, with Shapeshift adding new services and acquiring other companies at a rate it was unable to manage. This caused the diversion of both time and financial resources, hurting its main business.
Another reason for the situation is that the changing regulatory environment forced the company to face “immense legal bills” just to handle possible government-related risks. It also caused the platform to impose identification on users by switching to a membership-based business model, which drove away many of its API partners who left for non-KYC competitors.
Malta Remains Committed to Crypto
Thanks to a welcoming stance and a clear regulatory framework, Malta has been able to position itself as a leading global cryptocurrency trading hub, with a multitude of digital asset exchanges choosing to be legally based there. The current crypto market downturn is not going to change that as far as the political leadership of the country is concerned.
After getting taunted by the by the local opposition for its work on becoming known as “Bitcoin Island,” the government has made it clear that it is proud of these efforts. The Parliamentary Secretariat for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation said that numerous measures had been taken to secure this sector and give more peace of mind and protection to crypto investors, according to a local news report. The secretariat also remarked that a campaign by the Cyber Security Steering Committee was recently launched to educate the public on possible fraud.
The government’s answer also made it clear that the crypto industry is seen as a necessary part of the economy of the future in Malta along side artificial intelligence, esports, video gaming and space exploration.
Okex Launches Bitcoin Cash (BCH) Margin Trading
Okex, the Malta-based exchange which supports fiat currencies such as the Vietnamese dong and Chinese yuan, has announced it has launched bitcoin cash (BCH) margin trading on the platform effective immediately.
According to the company, users can now enjoy trading BCH against USDT or BTC on margin with the option of 3x leverage, which is three times the user’s total balance at maximum. OK Piggy Bank, a tool for earning daily interest with users’ spare tokens launched earlier by the company, has also now pledged support for BCH.
What do you think about today’s news tidbits? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Bitpay.
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