OKCoin Founder Star Xu Seeks to Acquire Public Firm for $60 Million

Star Xu, the founder of cryptocurrency exchange OKCoin, may be seeking a possible backdoor IPO for his firm by buying a majority stake in a Hong Kong-listed company. On Jan. 10, Xu (under his real name Xu Mingxing) filed with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX) for approval to buy a 60 percent stake in a construction engineering firm called LEAP Holdings Group Ltd. Through his company OKC Holdings Corp., Xu is aiming to purchase approximately 3.2 billion shares of the company for HK$0.15 (around $0.02) per share. In total, the acquisition,…

Binance Targets EU, UK Traders With New Fiat-to-Crypto Exchange

Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by adjusted trading volume, has launched a new fiat-to-crypto exchange on the island of Jersey, a British self-governing dependency. Through the new exchange, which is targeting traders in Europe and the U.K, users will be able to trade bitcoin and ethereum against the British pound and the euro, the firm said Wednesday. “Binance selected Jersey for its highly developed digital infrastructure, robust regulatory framework, and world-class financial services sector,” the exchange’s chief financial officer, Wei Zhou, told CoinDesk. He further clarified that Binance Jersey…

Bittrex Launches OTC Trading Desk With 200 Cryptocurrencies

U.S. crypto exchange Bittrex is launching an over-the-counter (OTC) trading desk. The new service, which will allow approved clients to “quickly and conveniently trade assets,” will support nearly 200 cryptocurrencies already offered by the exchange, the company announced Monday. According to the exchange, the OTC desk will provide “guaranteed pricing” for major trades, “typically $250,000 or greater.” OTC trading desks facilitate direct transactions between two parties, unlike exchange trading where buy and sell orders are matched through an order-book. The desk itself will not go live until 18:00 UTC on…

Stable Times at Circle: A Crypto Startup Counted Out Is Rebuilt and Riding High

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– As I walked from my car to Circle’s offices in Boston on a Friday afternoon in early November, the sun appeared to have already set, even though it would be up a while longer – past 4:00 p.m. The weather was gray, windy and cold – above freezing, but only because it was due to rain biblically for the entire drive back to New York. If a bright orange parking ticket wasn’t already fluttering on my windshield, it would be soon. Oh, and bitcoin was down two-thirds from its…

How Lightning’s Elizabeth Stark Raised an Army

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– A former academic, Elizabeth Stark likes to play devil’s advocate. Take, for instance, her appearance at the Crypto Springs conference in October 2018. It’s a sunny morning in Palm Springs, California, and a handful of attendees are lounging by the pool; onstage, however, Stark is busy describing some of the darker potential scenarios for the cryptocurrency industry, ones in which it could fall short of its potential. But if the words of warning aren’t drawing a response, it’s perhaps because the price of bitcoin is still north of $6,000,…

Backstage With CZ, the CEO Who Can’t Be Stopped

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Cameras, flashlights, tweets – when Changpeng Zhao takes the stage these days, a kind of mania seems to ensue. Of course, that’s perhaps to be expected when you’re known to the world over by just two letters, but “CZ” has arguably achieved something greater in 2018 — a celebrity status that’s equaled by his clout as an entrepreneur. On a sweltering December day in Singapore, Zhao is quick to show why — he has a surprise that’s not so much up his sleeve as under it. “I’m gonna show…

Bitcoin Exchange Paxful Sees 20% 2018 Growth, Driven by Africa

Regardless of bitcoin’s price volatility, 2018 saw an explosion of activity among African users. Revealed exclusively to CoinDesk, the peer-to-peer bitcoin exchange Paxful increased its transaction volume by 130 percent since January 2018 with an average of $21 million a week, compared to $8.5 million in 2017. The growth was driven in part by Paxful’s user base almost tripling in Ghana, with 41,243 accounts, and more than doubling in Nigeria to 321,476 accounts. According to Paxful CEO Ray Youssef, African bitcoin traders accounted for 41 percent of all of the…

Executives at Korean Crypto Exchange UPbit Indicted for Fraud

The executives of UPbit, one of South Korea’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, have been formally charged by the country’s prosecutors. According to a report from CoinDesk Korea on Friday, the Prosecutors’ Office of the southern district of Seoul has indicted three senior staff members, including founder Song Chi-Hyung, on charges of fraud. The executives are alleged to have made fraudulent transactions between September to December of last year, using a fake corporate account to make bogus orders worth 254 trillion won (or $226.2 billion) to inflate trading volume figures and attract more customers…

OKEx Launches No-Expiry Bitcoin Derivative Product

Malta-based OKEx, currently the second largest crypto exchange by 24-hour adjusted volume, has launched a new bitcoin derivative product with no expiry date, meaning that positions can be held indefinitely. Announced Tuesday, the product, dubbed a “perpetual swap,” allows crypto traders to speculate on the future value of OKEx’s bitcoin (BTC) to U.S. dollar (USD) index. Each swap contract has a notional value of $100 equivalent in BTC, the exchange said in a statement, adding that traders can either long a position to profit from an increase in bitcoin’s price…

Coinbase Adds Crypto-to-Crypto Trading for Retail Customers

Coinbase users can begin trading cryptocurrencies directly with other cryptocurrencies, the exchange startup said Monday. The company is adding support for crypto-to-crypto trading for its retail customers, adding a feature that has long been available to professional cryptocurrency trading services, said product manager Anna Marie Clifton. Users on Coinbase.com, as well as the Android and iOS apps, will be able to begin trading bitcoin pairs in the coming days through the new feature, called Coinbase Convert. She told CoinDesk that while trading pairs are “a pretty common paradigm in the…