What QuadrigaCX Says About Institutional Crypto Investment

Noelle Acheson is a veteran of company analysis and member of CoinDesk’s product team. The following article originally appeared in Institutional Crypto by CoinDesk, a newsletter for the institutional market, with news and views on crypto infrastructure delivered every Tuesday. Sign up here. _______ Open pretty much any mainstream financial media source and it’s hard to feel cheerful. Economic growth is slowing. The yield curve is flattening. Trade tensions are tensing. There’s plenty for an institutional investor to fret about. Yet none of those worries are top-of-mind for institutional investors these days when…

Coinsquare Acquires Decentralized Cryptocurrency Exchange StellarX

Canada-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinsquare has acquired decentralized exchange (DEX) StellarX. Announcing the news on Thursday, the firm said the purchase comes it acquired stellar wallet BlockEQ last December. That product will be rebranded to become the “anchor wallet” for the StellarX platform going forward. Coinsquare did not disclose the cost of the acquisition. StellarX is a “full featured” decentralized exchange app native to the stellar protocol and offering trading in a range of cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies – the latter being unusual for a DEX, allowing users to fund with fiat…

Judge Delays Decision On Legal Representation for Quadriga Creditors

A Canadian judge declined to name any law firms to represent as many as 115,000 users of QuadrigaCX, deferring that significant decision by a week. Nova Scotia Supreme Court Judge Michael Wood said during a hearing Thursday that he would not appoint any firms as representative counsel or make any other decisions regarding creditor representation immediately, though he plans to have a final decision within the week. Wood did, however, shoot down a proposal which would have delayed the process even further. As CoinDesk previously reported, three legal teams have…

Blockchain Analysis Ties 5 Bitcoin Addresses to QuadrigaCX Exchange

Blockchain watchers have identified a group of bitcoin addresses that likely belong to one of the so-called cold wallets of failed crypto exchange QuadrigaCX. The discovery is notable in light of QuadrigaCX’s claim that it has been unable to access these wallets – which held the lion’s share of the $190 million owed to customers – since the death in December of CEO Gerald Cotten. In court filings, the company has said Cotten had the sole responsibility of moving funds from the exchange’s “hot,” or active, wallet to offline “cold”…

Binance’s Decentralized Exchange Is About to Launch for Public Testing

Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by adjusted trading volume, is about to release its decentralized exchange, Binance DEX, for public testing. The firm’s CEO Changpeng Zhao tweeted Tuesday that the firm is targeting a date of Feb. 20 for the public testnet release of Binance Chain – the native public blockchain being developed to support the DEX. Last week, in a 45-minute live ask-me-anything (AMA) chat on Twitter, Zhao provided details of the coming DEX.  He said the firm has already given early access to a few “selected partners,”…

Bithumb Kicks Off Middle East Expansion With UAE Crypto Exchange

South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb is planting its flag in the Middle East with the launch of a licensed fiat-to-crypto exchange in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The firm announced Tuesday that it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the UAE-based firm Nvelop to form a joint venture for the initiative, CoinDesk Korea reports. Nvelop was founded by Abu Dhabi-based E11 Investment Fund and Asia-based venture capital firm Trill Ventures Group to fund blockchain businesses in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Through the new partnership, Bithumb…

NYSE Parent ICE Anticipates Over $20 Million Spend on Bakkt This Year

Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange, estimates it will spend more than $20 million this year in building Bakkt, its bitcoin futures trading and custody platform. In an earnings call for Q4, 2018, on Feb. 7, Scott Hill, ICE’s chief financial officer, said the firm’s investment in Bakkt will result in $20 million to $25 million of its estimated expenses for the fiscal year 2019. The estimation comes just six weeks after Bakkt announced a massive $182 million fundraise for its bid to roll…

A Fight Is Brewing Among QuadrigaCX Crypto Exchange’s Creditors

Creditors of the failed cryptocurrency exchange QuadrigaCX are bracing for a fight – among themselves. Customers who had fiat currency balances at the exchange before it went offline and sought protection from creditors in a Canadian court last week are beginning to argue they should be paid back first from recovered assets. But they expect customers who stored crypto at QuadrigaCX to push back on such demands. And even some fiat holders say such prioritization would be unfair. “There seems to be a conflict going on between creditors themselves,” Canadian resident and…

Bithumb Exchange Launches OTC Trading Desk for Digital Assets

South Korean-headquartered cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb has launched a global over-the-counter (OTC) trading desk for digital assets. Announcing the news on Thursday, the firm said that the new Hong Kong-based venture – Ortus – is a “block deal, matchmaking service” for institutional clients. In an OTC deal, two parties trade directly with each other, unlike on an exchange where orders are matched between buyers and sellers. “Ortus will operate to allow institutions to buy and sell digital assets through a network of global liquidity providers and benefit from a competitive and…

Crypto Futures Platform ErisX Hires Execs From Barclays and YouTube

ErisX, a digital assets trading platform, has recruited three top-level officers from major companies in the financial and tech industries. Announced today, Robert Thrash joined the company as chief operating officer from Barclays, where he spent more than 11 years in various leadership positions. Most recently, he was the global bank’s managing director of agency derivatives services, a business that encompasses over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives clearing, futures execution and clearing and foreign exchange prime brokerage. Explaining his interest in the cryptocurrency markets, Thrash told CoinDesk: “Crypto sits at the intersection of technology, finance…