South Korean Crypto Exchange Coinnest Announces Closure

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinnest, once South Korea’s third largest, is closing down. The exchange posted a notice on its website saying that as of Tuesday it is no longer operating, adding that users will need to withdraw any funds held on its platform by April 30. The fees for withdrawals and the minimum threshold have been lowered to assist the process, it said. While the notice was vague as to the reasons for the closure, a Coinnest official told CoinDesk Korea: “It is a natural result of a decrease in trading volume.…

NYDFS: Why We Rejected Bittrex’s Application for a BitLicense

Shirin Emami is the executive deputy superintendent for banking at the New York State Department of Financial Services. Bittrex purportedly aims to get the facts straight about the denial of its license applications by the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) in recent statements to the media (including CoinDesk). But, the cryptocurrency exchange leaves out the context necessary to understand its failures to comply with DFS’s licensing requirements, it continues to misstate the facts and it presents a misleading picture about the denial. First, Bittrex claims that DFS…

Bakkt Exchange May Be Seeking New York License for Crypto Custody: Report

The owner of the New York Stock Exchange, Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), is reportedly eyeing a New York license for its long-delayed crypto exchange Bakkt. With Bakkt’s launch having been held up for five months, apparently over persuading the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to approve it to custody bitcoin for its planned physically-delivered futures contracts, ICE apparently sees a license from the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) as a possible solution, a Bloomberg report citing several sources said Thursday. A physically settled contract means buyers would receive the actual commodity – bitcoin – at…

Coinbase Generated $520 Million in Revenue Last Year, Reuters Estimates

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase brought in almost $520 million in global revenue in 2018, according to an estimate from Reuters. The news source based the figure on the exchange’s U.K. revenue, which grew 20 percent last year to 153 million euros ($173 million), according to a filing with the U.K.’s corporate registry. The British side of the business accounts for “almost a third” of the firm’s overall revenue, Coinbase U.K. CEO Zeeshan Feroz told Reuters. The filing further shows that Coinbase U.K. made a net profit of 6.6 million euros ($7.4 million)…

OKCoin Exchange Invests in Crypto Custody Firm Prime Trust

Cryptocurrency exchange OKCoin has invested an undisclosed amount in crypto custody provider Prime Trust. In a note sent to customers on Wednesday, Prime Trust CEO and chief trust officer Scott Purcell said that the firm has closed a “nice” funding round that was led by the California-based exchange. Other participants in the round included Gateway Blockchain Partners, Novablock Ventures and Xsquared Ventures, Purcell said, adding: “We aren’t disclosing details though.” Notably, Prime Trust serves as OKCoin’s fiat gateway. The exchange announced last week that it has added a new payment…

Binance’s Singapore Fiat-to-Bitcoin Exchange Is Launching Next Week

Cryptocurrency exchange giant Binance will launch its new fiat-to-crypto platform in Singapore next week, its chief financial officer said. CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao announced in early April that the Singapore fiat “on-ramp” would be coming sometime this month. But speaking to CoinDesk Wednesday from Paris, Binance CFO Wei Zhou gave a more precise timeframe.   “Next week we are going to launch the Singapore simple buy/sell on-ramp,” said Zhou, who was in town for Paris Blockchain Week. “It will actually be a new product we are launching, as a very easy buy/sell platform…

E-Commerce Giant Rakuten Opens Its New Crypto Exchange to Customers

Japan’s equivalent to Amazon, e-commerce giant Rakuten, has started accepting account registrations for its new cryptocurrency exchange, Rakuten Wallet. For now, only customers who have an account at Rakuten Bank or who already have a Rakuten member ID can sign up in preparation for the launch of trading, the firm’s website indicates. It’s not yet clear when it will accept applications from the wider public. The firm said in an announcement it has also rolled out an automatic support service using AI (artificial intelligence) technology to answer customer inquiries. It’s also planning…

eToro Launches Full Crypto Exchange and 8 Custom Stablecoins

Social investing platform eToro has launched a cryptocurrency exchange along with eight branded stablecoins. The new platform will be managed by its blockchain subsidiary, eToroX, which is regulated by the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission, the firm announced Tuesday. Trading in six cryptocurrencies will be offered at launch: bitcoin (BTC), bitcoin cash (BCH), ether (ETH), XRP, litecoin (LTC) and dash. Also available will be 37 crypto-to-fiat pairs, for example BTC/USD and XRP/GBP. The firm is additionally issuing eToro-branded tokens pegged to eight fiat currencies, including the eToro United States dollar (USDEX), eToro…

KuCoin Exchange Traders Can Now Self-Custody Their Crypto Assets

Cryptocurrency exchange KuCoin has launched a feature allowing users to custody their own crypto assets while trading. For the feature, KuCoin has integrated a new technology from Boston-based startup Arwen, which allows traders to maintain control of their private keys while trading on centralized exchanges, Arwen announced Tuesday. KuCoin president Eric Don confirmed the news, telling CoinDesk: “This service will enable investors to trade in a centralized platform without worrying about their fund safety.” Arwen said that, with its technology, trades are executed via a “layer two” blockchain protocol that…

Why Coinbase’s Move Into Proof-of-Stake Matters

Is Coinbase going to solve the thorny challenges of proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchain governance or centralize those systems even further? That’s the question experts in the space are pondering with the recent announcement that Coinbase Custody will offer staking support for Maker, Tezos and Cosmos. The move means institutional investors will be able to vote on blockchain governance matters directly through their Coinbase accounts. “We’re hoping to bring online, frankly, the majority of institutional investors,” Coinbase Custody CEO Sam McIngvale told CoinDesk. “We’re growing these three assets under custody and hoping…