Binance, Bitfinex, Bittrex Temporarily Say No to New Users
With the surging price of cryptocurrencies, demand has reached the point where cryptocurrency exchanges are completely swamped. This massive influx of users has led to major infrastructure concerns leading to the temporary closure of their registration portals.
Throughout the last half of 2017, digital currency exchanges have posted record numbers of user signup. Binance is reporting the addition of 250,000 users per day while Coinbase has reported numerous days of 100,000+ user signups and Kraken boasts of 50,000 new users per day.
The incredible swelling of cryptocurrency users is overwhelming the infrastructure of many cryptocurrency exchanges, with some such as Kraken experiencing major usability problems throughout 2017. The exchange has responded by disabling some of its advanced order types, reducing price precision and initiating a major system overhaul.
Bittrex is one of the first exchange platforms that put a halt on onboarding new users. Back in December 2017, an alert from this US-based exchange reads:
“We have received an enormous number of new account registrations over the past few weeks.”
In addition to Bittrex, two other platforms had to make a similar decision – Bitfinex and Binance. New signups to Bitfinex will be welcomed by a window stating that new account creation has been paused.
Part of the message reads:
“Thank you for your interest in opening a Bitfinex account. However, due to extraordinary demand, new account creation has been temporarily paused.
Bitfinex focuses on serving professional traders. The reason we have decided to temporarily stop accepting new accounts is that we cannot undermine the quality of our services for our existing traders by flooding the system with new, small accounts.”
Binance has also had to halt registrations while undergoing an infrastructure update. While Bittrex and Binance have not given a timeline for reopening new account registrations, Bitfinex intends to allow signups starting January 15, 2018.
Written by CoinTelegraph
After The Rise of its Controversial “Digital USD” Tether Releases EURTs
Tether Issues Digital Fiat
Tether (USDT) is a digital asset that’s been issued over the Bitcoin core blockchain through the Omni Layer protocol. The organization that created USDTs is called Tether Limited, and according to the firm, tether tokens can always be redeemed 1:1 with the U.S. dollar through the company’s platform. Tether has been around for a couple of years now and has been very successful as a wide variety of cryptocurrencies had a phenomenal year of growth. Some skeptics believe the growth has been unnatural and tether has been accused of ‘pumping’ the entire digital asset ecosystem. These critics think there are no real dollars behind the USDT system.
Meet the ‘EURT’
Meanwhile, Tether Limited is now creating a euro tether (EURT) that is issued over the Ethereum blockchain and will be compatible with the ERC20 standard.
“As the first platform to facilitate the transfer of fiat backed currencies over a blockchain network, Tether has made headway by giving customers the ability to transfer value across the blockchain without the inherent volatility and complexity typically associated with a digital currency,” explains Tether Limited.
Following the widespread success of our Bitcoin-based USD Tether, issued via the Omni Layer Protocol, we have today launched and issued both US Dollars and Euros as Ethereum-based Tether, compatible with the ERC20 standard.
Several of Tether Limited’s Partner Exchanges Are Working to Integrate EURTs
The new system allows for the transfer of both tokenized USD and EUR says the firm. Additionally, the company explains that the protocol will be interoperable with Ethereum network applications and pegged assets.
Another reason for the ERC20 compatible tethers means transactions will have “much lower network fees and much faster confirmation times.” Tether Limited believes this will create far more liquidity and exchange arbitrage.
“Several partner exchanges are already working to integrate the new tokens,” reveals the firm.
EURT Contracts Get Two Codebase Audits
Alongside this, the company says it has completed two audits of the codebase and contracts using Zeppelin Audits and Phil Daian as third-party auditors. The inspections say there were no critical or high severity issues found and recommended some medium severity solutions. Zeppelin had updated the report and stated:
The Tether team has followed our recommendations and updated the Tether token contract.
Phil Daian’s audit is 20 pages long and concludes that if the company follows the recommendations, the ERC20 Tether contracts “will launch in a well tested, secure state.”
What do you think about Tether Limited creating a euro token? Let us know your thoughts on this subject in the comments below.
Images via Shutterstock, the Tether logo, the Tether Limited blog and Pixabay.
Written by Bitcoin.com
Visa locks down prepaid cryptocurrency cards, hitting bitcoin and ethereum users
Shoppers using cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ethereum were hit after Visa locked down some pre-paid cards by blocking a single provider.
BitPay, Cryptopay and Bitwala have all had their cards suspended as of 5 January, meaning they cannot be used to pay for goods on the high street.
Their services are provided through WaveCrest, which is based in Gibraltar.
The pre-paid cards allow users to buy leading cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ethereum, transfer them onto the card and use them in the same way as a traditional bank card.
Visa said in a statement: “We can confirm that WaveCrest’s Visa membership is being terminated due to non-compliance with our operating rules. All WaveCrest-issued Visa card programmes will be closed as a result.
“The termination of WaveCrest’s Visa membership does not affect other Visa issuers’ card programmes, including those using fiat funds converted from cryptocurrency.
“Visa is committed to the security of its ecosystem and compliance with Visa’s operating rules is critical for ensuring the safety and integrity of the Visa payment system. Our issuers’ card programmes must comply with our membership regulations, as well as all applicable laws.”
All three of the pre-paid cryptocurrency card companies took to social media to release statements about the suspension.
BitPay said: “Yesterday our European BitPay card issuer received direction from Visa to immediately close all accounts of its prepaid Visa debit programs”.
In its statement Cryptopay said all funds would be returned to users.
“Unfortunately, our card issuer instructed us to cease all Cryptopay prepaid cards starting 5 January, 2018.”
Bitwala said it would hold an “emergency meeting” in an attempt to resolve the issue.
“Following an announcement from our card issuer on behalf of Visa Europe, Bitwala cards are taken out of operation starting today. Our team is holding an emergency meeting to resolve the issue with the card holders’ best interest in mind and will make an update shortly.”
Cryptocurrencies are digital currencies that can be used to buy or sell items from people and companies.
Interest has been sparked recently after bitcoin saw an increase in value in 2017 from $1000 to just $20,000.
Written by the Independent
With cryptocurrency, buy the substance, sell the hype
The prevailing wisdom for cryptocurrency founders is that you win through hype: talk like an infomercial, parade clownish speakers around conferences, and attack critics relentlessly for “spreading FUD.” That approach works; many aggressive entrants have muscled their way to the top of the charts with these tactics (you know who you are).
But there’s another approach that’s less talked about and just as widely employed, one that cryptocurrency founders and investors need to pay attention to: anti-hype.
Ethereum recently fell from second place to third place in market cap. That was big news, but outlets are covering it wrong. The story isn’t that Ripple beatEthereum, it’s that Ethereum is playing the anti-hype game. It would be trivial for Ethereum to flex its muscle and rally past Ripple, perhaps even past Bitcoin itself. They power almost every cryptocurrency in the world and their founder, Vitalik Buterin, is the closest thing to a blockchain figurehead. But instead of talking up Ethereum on TV or making blustery statements about how Ethereum will disrupt this or that, Buterin calls token sales overvalued, lambasts bad actors, and makes statements like these:
Then there’s Litecoin founder Charlie Lee, who recently announced that he was liquidating all of his Litecoin holdings. That action sent the price of Litecoin into freefall as speculators no longer wanted to bet on a founder who didn’t care about the price of his coin. They were right, Lee doesn’t care about the price of his coin, only the health of its technology.
Another project is DragonChain, which I praised during its anti-hype token sale (flash forward: their token is now in the top-50). They employ a unique feature designed to discourage speculation: slumber score. The longer you hold it, the more power you gain in their ecosystem. That’s a brilliant mechanism that discourages quick flips. More blockchain startups should incentivize holding.
Perhaps my favorite example of anti-hype is ChainLink, which was dragged kicking and screaming to a $300 million market cap. They have among the most devoted fans in all of cryptocurrency (called “Marines”), a revered founder in Sergey Nazarov, and substantive tech that solves an important platform problem. Yet look at their wasteland of a Twitter account. Or read any of their (rare) interviews, which equivocate and qualify with nary a scent of showmanship. In an age where the hype companies throw a parade over the smallest (questionable) partnerships, ChainLink barely touts its work with freaking SWIFT.
Why should founders take the anti-hype route? Well, for one, you can still grow very big in the short term, but you’ll also better weather crashes long-term. When a crash does come (I’m looking at you, Tether), the projects left standing will be the ones with the highest percentage of true believers and the lowest percentage of fly-by-night speculators.
Another reason to take the anti-hype route is that, while new investors are taken in by hype, the seasoned investors are growing weary. At a recent developer meetup, the flashy blockchain presentations elicited eye rolls and the dull, geeky ones got swarmed. That’s the way the trend line is moving.
For investors, it makes sense to balance hype coins against anti-hype coins. One strategy is to funnel hype gains into an anti-hype portfolio. Another is to forego hype coins altogether and buy the boring long. A good rule of thumb: If you think we’re in a bubble, look at the project’s fundamentals and ask yourself how much of its market cap is because of those fundamentals and how much is because that project is fanning the flames of speculation.
Written by Venture Beat