Tag Archives: Exchange
NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York state on Monday authorized the Gemini Trust Co exchange founded by internet entrepreneurs Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss to offer trading of the privacy-focused cryptocurrency Zcash, making it the world’s first licensed Zcash exchange.
The state’s Department of Financial Services said it also approved Gemini to offer custody services and trading of Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin in the future.
Zcash’s market value was roughly $ 1.3 billion on Monday, according to CoinMarketCap.com, while Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin’s respective values were $ 25 billion and $ 8.3 billion. Bitcoin’s market value was about $ 150.1 billion.
“With smart and thorough regulatory oversight, the development and long-term growth of the industry will remain thriving,” Financial Services Superintendent Maria Vullo said in a statement.
Cryptocurrencies are digital tokens that use encryption techniques to secure transactions. Industry critics say the market is opaque and vulnerable to risks such as money laundering.
Last month, then-New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman asked Gemini and 12 other cryptocurrency trading platforms to provide details about their operations and safety measures.
Zcash incorporates the technology “zk-snark,” short for zero-knowledge succinct non-interactive argument of knowledge, which lets people trade with each other in anonymity.
Gemini said it expects to begin accepting Zcash deposits on Saturday, May 19, with trading to begin three days later.
“We are proud be the first licensed exchange in the world to offer Zcash trading and custody services and look forward to providing customers with a safe, secure, and regulated place to buy, sell, and store Zcash,” Gemini Chief Executive Tyler Winklevoss said in a statement provided by Vullo’s office.
The Winklevosses, who are 36-year-old twins, in 2008 reached a $ 65 million settlement with Facebook Inc and founder Mark Zuckerberg over who had the idea for the social media website.
They also competed in the men’s rowing competition at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.
Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Jonathan Oatis
LONDON (Reuters) – One of the biggest bitcoin exchanges has struck a rare deal which will allow it to open a bank account with Britain’s Barclays, making it easier for UK customers of the exchange to buy and sell cryptocurrencies, the UK boss of the exchange said on Wednesday.
Large global banks have been reluctant to do business with companies that handle bitcoin and other digital coins because of concerns they are used by criminals to launder money and that regulators will soon crack down on them.
San Francisco-based exchange, Coinbase, said its UK subsidiary was the first to be granted an e-money license by the UK’s financial watchdog, a precursor to getting the banking relationship with Barclays.
The Barclays account will make it easier for British customers. Previously, they had to transfer pounds into euros and go through an Estonian bank.
“Having domestic GBP payments with Barclays reduces the cost, improves the customer experience…and makes the transaction faster,” said Zeeshan Feroz, Coinbase’s UK CEO.
The UK is the largest market for Coinbase in Europe, and the exchange said its customer base in the region was growing at twice the rate of elsewhere.
Feroz said that it took considerable time to get a UK bank on board, partly because Barclays needed to be sure that Coinbase had the right systems in place to prevent money laundering.
Regulators across the globe have warned that cryptocurrencies are used by criminals to launder money, and some exchanges have been shut down.
“It’s a completely brand new industry. There’s a lot of understanding and risk management that’s needed,” Feroz said.
Despite growing interest in both digital currencies and the technology behind them, some big lenders have limited their customers ability to buy cryptocurrencies, fearing a plunge in their value will leave customers unable to repay debts.
In February, British banks Lloyds and Virgin Money said they would ban credit card customers from buying cryptocurrencies, following the lead of JP Morgan and Citigroup. [nL8N1PU10Y]
Coinbase said it had also become the first crypto exchange to use Britain’s Faster Payments Scheme, a network used by the traditional financial industry.
Reporting by Tommy Wilkes and Emma Rumney; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle
TOKYO (Reuters) – Tokyo-based cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck Inc said on Sunday it would return about 46.3 billion yen ($ 425 million) of the virtual money it lost to hackers two days ago in one of the biggest-ever thefts of digital money.
That amounts to nearly 90 percent of the 58 billion yen worth of NEM coins the company lost in an attack that forced it to suspend on Friday withdrawals of all cryptocurrencies except bitcoin.
Coincheck said in a statement it would repay the roughly 260,000 owners of NEM coins in Japanese yen, though it was still working on timing and method.
The theft underscores security and regulatory concerns about bitcoin and other virtual currencies even as a global boom in them shows little signs of fizzling.
Two sources with direct knowledge of the matter said Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) sent a notice to the country’s roughly 30 firms that operate virtual currency exchanges to warn of further possible cyber-attacks, urging them to step up security.
The financial watchdog is also considering administrative punishment for Coincheck under the financial settlements law, one of the sources said.
Japan started to require cryptocurrency exchange operators to register with the government only in April 2017. Pre-existing operators such as Coincheck have been allowed to continue offering services while awaiting approval. Coincheck’s application, submitted in September, is still pending.
Coincheck told a late-Friday news conference that its NEM coins were stored in a “hot wallet” instead of the more secure “cold wallet”, outside the internet. Asked why, company President Koichiro Wada cited technical difficulties and a shortage of staff capable of dealing with them.
In 2014, Tokyo-based Mt. Gox, which once handled 80 percent of the world’s bitcoin trades, filed for bankruptcy after losing around half a billion dollars worth of bitcoins. More recently, South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Youbit last month shut down and filed for bankruptcy after being hacked twice last year.
World leaders meeting in Davos last week issued fresh warnings about the dangers of cryptocurrencies, with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin relating Washington’s concern about the money being used for illicit activity.
Reporting by Takahiko Wada and Chang-Ran Kim; Editing by Stephen Coates