Nexo – a Savior in the Times of Financial Uncertainty

After a general slowdown, the global economy has now suffered a secondary blow due to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic which forced a lot of businesses to temporarily suspend operations or stick to minimum capacities. As more people fall sick and cities go on lockdown, the working capital available for individuals or companies to function has decreased significantly and as the world starts returning to normalcy, there will be a huge need for liquidity. While the current situation is causing unfortunate, adverse effects on thousands of households and enterprises, there are also many investors and corporations that are unlikely to go bankrupt in the coming days as many will have substantial assets and investments to keep themselves afloat. Even so, managing cash flow for day to day operations can turn out to be a challenge, one which platforms like Nexo are excellently equipped to assist clients in overcoming. Nexo is a well-known blockchain company that issues Instant Crypto Credit Lines using digital assets as collateral. Nexo’s Instant Crypto Credit Lines: Fiat Credit Backed by Crypto to Help You Meet Your Funding Needs Nexo offers fully-automated instant flexible credit lines, issued against collateralized digital assets. It is one of few platforms with completely insured accounts that allow customers to borrow in various fiat currencies while earning a daily compounding interest on idle assets. In fact, in the past few months, Nexo further strengthened its offering by opening its gold-backed credit lines (PAXG Instant Crypt​o Credit Lines)​ to its full range of clients. The company has continuously shown its support for tokenized gold by purchasing $5 million worth of PAXG,  the premium institutional-grade gold-backed tokens from the Paxos Trust Company. PAXG-backed Crypto Credit Lines come with an added benefit for those who invest in gold by allowing users to borrow against their gold and other assets when in need of cash, without having to sell their investments. The entire process is underpinned by blockchain technology thus ensuring the full transparency and reliability of all of Nexo’s services. Some further advantages of the Nexo platform include an industry-leading borrowing rate that starts from just 5.9% APR along with high levels of flexibility allowing users to withdraw sums ranging anywhere between $500 to $2 million with bigger amounts available on request and no fees whatsoever.  All custodial assets are insured for $100 million dollars through Lloyd’s of London and held in cold storage in bank-grade Class III vaults through leading audited crypto custodian BitGo. Currently, the platform offers credit lines in more than 40 different fiat currencies across over 200 jurisdictions. While the NYDFS regulated PAXG tokens make it easy for anyone to acquire, pledge and trade gold digitally, with Nexo’s PAXG-backed credit lines offer a wider range of options for users more inclined towards investing in traditional safe-haven assets like gold, including providing them with instant liquidity while at the same time allowing them to retain ownership of their gold. The Value of Nexo’s Services in the Upcoming Months: Making the Most out of Bitcoin Halving The upcoming ​halving event​ on the Bitcoin network has increased the expectations of the entire blockchain community, as the event may drive the flagship cryptocurrency’s value to new highs. In such a crucial time, those HODLing Bitcoin would rather prefer to keep the digital currency instead of selling it to meet their capital requirements. In such circumstances, Nexo offers the best alternative where the HODLers don’t have to lose ownership of their assets and yet have access to the much-needed liquidity: the Instant Crypto Credit Lines. By opting for a credit line against their crypto, crypto-investors can use the value of their Bitcoin without having to sell it leaving them free to invest in further assets and benefit for the upside potential of their current holdings. Image by Aravind kumar from Pixabay

Interview: Demand Is Exceeding Our Capacities Thirtyfold — Aroosh Thillainathan

Northern Data AG is one of the leading players in the high-performance computing (HPC) market and is building the world’s largest HPC facility in Texas. Based on contracts already signed, the stock-market-listed company (German Stock Exchange, XETRA: NB2, ISIN: DE000A0SMU87) has recently issued guidance for the year 2020, with sales expectations in the region of EUR 120 million to EUR 140 million, and EBITDA expectations from EUR 45 million to EUR 60 million. The tremendous upsurge in demand for HPC, which has been turbo-charged by the corona crisis, has accelerated Northern Data’s growth beyond precedent. We spoke with CEO Aroosh Thillainathan. Q: Mr. Thillainathan, in a few days you will be commissioning the world’s largest data center in Texas. How does a comparatively unknown listed company from Germany come to own a data center like this, in the USA of all places – the home market of the IT giants? Aroosh Thillainathan (AT): Our holding company is indeed based in Germany, but we are a truly international player. We have our roots in the blockchain business. Blockchain was the first commercial application of HPC and, over the past seven years, this niche market has given us valuable experience in how to scale the use of high-performance computers in a cost-effective and energy-efficient way. For example, the highly specialized chips needed for blockchain applications have extreme electricity and cooling requirements – we needed to address these challenges many years ago, while our competitors in the HPC sector are only uncovering them now. The reality is that, only three years ago, there were no large-scale applications for HPC outside of blockchain. Autonomous driving and artificial intelligence weren’t a significant market back then. So, while Amazon and Google might have deep pockets, they don’t have the same knowledge we do. Q: You offer solutions for high-performance computing. What exactly does high-performance computing mean? AT: High-performance computing (HPC) represents the future of computing. HPC offers many times the computing power that normal desktop PCs generate. We are talking about thousands of high-performance computers processing billions of units of data in real time. As a result, HPC can be used for tasks that would be impossible for regular computers or would take an impractically long time to complete. In recent years, HPC has mainly been used in scientific contexts to run complex models. Recently, however, more and more practical fields of application have been entering the market, making HPC a massive growth market. The application areas are exploding. Q: What are the potential applications of HPC? AT: These include artificial intelligence, autonomous driving, blockchain technologies and the life sciences sector. In the field of life sciences in particular, HPC and its immense computing power is revolutionizing the discovery and development of new drugs and therapies. Q: Does this mean that you are benefiting from current issues, such as the coronavirus pandemic? AT: In two respects, actually: First, due to time pressures, pharmaceutical companies and research institutions around the world are using HPC to perform epidemiological and bioinformatical calculations and simulations that would take months or even years on traditional platforms. What’s more, the COVID-19 pandemic is also causing a massive overload of existing data infrastructure. As a result of this, streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime have already been forced to significantly reduce their data rate – and thus transmission quality – in order to avoid overloading the networks. So, demand for our HPC solutions and capacities is skyrocketing. Q: What are the particular challenges involved in HPC? AT: Due to the extreme computing power, HPC systems require many times more electrical energy and cooling than current computer systems. This presents enormous challenges for the entire IT industry, since the existing infrastructure of conventional data centers is in no way prepared to meet this increased need for power and cooling. Today, data centers consume power in the low double-digit megawatt range and are usually located in locations where they compete with established industry for energy supplies. In Texas, we’re building a capacity of 1.0 gigawatt – or 1,000 megawatts – by the end of the year, and from there we will scale up to 3.6 gigawatts. By way of comparison: Frankfurt am Main is the leading data center location in Europe, with more than three dozen operators sharing the market. But the entire Frankfurt am Main metropolitan area – along with industry, including the chemical plants in Höchst and the international airport – weighs in at a peak load of around 800 megawatts. The network capacities in Frankfurt would not even be enough to realize HPC projects of our caliber. Not to mention that the cost of electricity in Frankfurt is several times higher than at our locations in Texas or Norway. Q: What HPC solutions does Northern Data offer that other vendors do not? Or, more succinctly: what is your USP? AT: We have a wide range of unique and leading hardware and software solutions for HPC. For example, we have modular high-tech data centers that can be deployed practically anywhere in the world, so we can go wherever energy is available in abundance and at low cost. In addition, as mentioned before, in Texas we are building the largest data center in the world, where we will be able to offer HPC on a whole new scale. We’re doing so with our proprietary software which uses AI to control and operate hundreds of thousands of high-performance computers in parallel. Large-scale HPC is incredibly complex to do reliably, but we have cracked it. This is one of the reasons why we have been signing contracts with large blue-chip corporations. Q: How quickly can you scale your business? AT: Very quickly – but not as quickly as demand is skyrocketing. Q: Who are your customers? AT: Our first customers for the Texas facility are large multi-billion-dollar corporations. Our customer pipeline is mostly comprised of very large corporates because – from the customer’s point of view – these projects involve total budgets in the triple-digit millions. Q: How do you expect the HPC market to develop in future? AT: The HPC market has been in its infancy for the past few years but is currently skyrocketing across a range of diverse application areas. The demand for HPC exceeds supply many times over. To give you a feeling for this: According to our calculations, in the next 18 to 24 months, the demand for HPC capacity in blockchain computing alone will be thirty times higher than the resources we can build up in a year. And there is no player on the market that is currently building more capacity than we are. The fact that the market is exploding in many different areas is also illustrated by a statement by Eric Yuan, CEO of Zoom Video Communications, in an interview last week. When asked if he ever expected that a pandemic could change the way people work digitally today, he replied, “If I had known that, we would have reserved a hundred times more capacity.” That hit the nail on the head. We live in data-intensive and CPU-intensive times; demand is quite simply exploding. Q: How is this development reflected in your figures? AT: Only a few days ago, we published our guidance for 2020. In the current year, we expect revenues of EUR 120 million to EUR 140 million with EBITDA of between EUR 45 million and EUR 60 million. This is a very conservative estimate because it just includes contracts we have already firmly concluded. So, this is just an initial flavor of what we can expect in the coming years. After all, our data center is only just going into operation, and the rest of the year will also be marked by the ramp-up of capacity. We plan to have completed 1 gigawatt of capacity in Texas by the end of 2020 and can expand to up to 3.6 gigawatts on the site. Preparations for expansion at other important locations in Canada and Scandinavia are in currently in full swing. Q: How much turnover do you make per gigawatt? AT: Between EUR 400 and 500 million with a gross profit margin of 40 to 50 percent. This is because we can achieve an unprecedented level of automation thanks to the proprietary artificial intelligence we programmed. Our software takes care of operation, control and maintenance activities for the hundreds of thousands of high-performance computers. This enables us to deploy just 20 full-time employees per gigawatt and keep our fixed costs extremely low. Q: Where do you see your company in the years ahead? AT: We are in an extremely fast-growing market and have the opportunity to further expand our leading position in the coming years. The tremendous demand from our blue-chip customers give us a solid basis and sufficient tailwind to build up a multi-billion-euro business in the HPC segment that will become a global leader in this emerging industry. This is what I have been working towards for years. Together with my colleagues, I have had to overcome many technical obstacles in recent years and solve many challenges that initially seemed quite unsurmountable. Our current successes show me that we are on the right track. My goal is to seize this opportunity with our team and let our shareholders join us on an unprecedented journey to success.  

Credits Blockchain Startup Announces New Company Development Directions

The Credits project, a worldwide company engaged in the development of solutions based on blockchain technologies, has recently announced the release of a new line of products. The new developments will be released over the course of 2020 and will help in popularizing blockchain technologies. The decentralized, distributed ledger capabilities of blockchain technologies are increasingly gaining popularity across the world in a variety of industries. However, multiple economy sectors that can take advantage of the solutions offered by blockchain-based products are still reluctant to start the process of adoption, or are slow in making headway. Despite the slump in global economy forecasts, blockchain-based fintech products are proving to be the most important trend of 2020. The Credits platform is fully committed to the development of fintech products for catering to a variety of sectors operating with monetary transfers. The main products being developed by the Credits project for the fintech industry include the following: 1) The Credits Wallet is a convenient and all-in-one solution with an integrated delegation and staking functions. The given features allow users to stake their native CS coins and earn passive income, while the delegation feature allows them to delegate their funds. The wallet boasts a convenient interface and is designed for the B2C market, as well as private users. 2) The Bonoox platform is a specialized instrument that allows users of the Credits infrastructure to release and issue their own loyalty programs. The platform caters to businesses of any size and offers instant payouts, as well as exchange of bonus points. 3) Credits also issues Cards that can be used for payments worldwide in a variety of fiat and cryptocurrencies. The cards issued by Credits can be topped up using both debit or credit cards from anywhere in the world. 4) The Credits Stablecoin is a digital asset with its value pegged to the US Dollar at a 1:1 ratio in the company’s bank account. The asset can be used for global remittances and allows fast transfers, as well as easy conversion to fiat. “I am confident that products issued by Credits have a great future. The fast-growing e-commerce, fintech and blockchain markets are certain to be successful,” as stated by Igor Chugunov, the CEO of Credits. The full line of products offered by the company are available at updated website. The development team is confident that the introduction of its new line of products will have a favorable impact on the fintech industry and will contribute to the adoption of blockchain technologies worldwide  

CasperLabs & BitMax.io Conduct First-Ever Exchange Validator Offering (“EVO”) to Promote Decentralization and Provide Access to Retail Token Buyers

CasperLabs, a Switzerland-based development company, constructing a high-performance blockchain network that implements the Correct-by-Construction (“CBC”) Casper Proof-of-Stake blockchain protocol, has announced a collaboration with BitMax.io, a Singapore registered digital asset trading platform, to facilitate an exchange validator offering (“EVO”) through which BitMax.io will provide technology support to give its users exclusive access to participate in CasperLabs’ private validator token offering. The collaboration between CasperLabs and BitMax.io represents a unique go-to-market approach for high-caliber blockchain projects which have historically restricted access to seed and private token sales to a selective niche of institutional investors. The EVO, facilitated by BitMax.io, will allow the platform’s global userbase to sign a non-transferable Validator Future Token Agreement (“VFTA”) to purchase CLX tokens, the native cryptographic token of the CasperLabs blockchain, at the “Genesis Block” – which means BitMax.io users will receive the earliest possible opportunity to acquire CLX tokens at the most favorable valuation. Ultimately, the EVO aims to provide the CLX token broad access to an otherwise untapped retail demographic as well as greater network decentralization at the project’s future Main Network (“Main Net”) launch. Registration to participate in the CasperLabs’ EVO is currently live on BitMax.io, and the first of three rounds of the offering will be conducted on March 30, at 10:00 a.m. EDT. The Vision of Proof-of-Stake Networks Proof-of-Stake (“PoS”) was conceived as an alternative to Proof-of-work (“PoW”) for blockchain network validation as a means to address two critical shortcomings: Significant energy consumption via allocation of computation power – Whereas PoW networks require allocation of computational power (draining energy in the process) to determine new block commits, PoS networks allow token holders to participate in consensus simply by “staking” tokens. Prohibitive barriers to entry for prospective miners due to increasing hashrate difficulty – Maintaining top-of-line equipment to keep pace with increasing hashrate difficulty makes PoW mining costly and resource-intensive – whereas, PoS is accessible to both large and small token holders. The vision of PoS networks is clear: create environmentally friendly blockchain networks that promote decentralization by permitting all token holders to stake assets, participate in the validation process, and earn block rewards. The success of PoS networks is undeniable. Over the past several years, the blockchain industry has seen significant evolution in the direction of PoS networks; just a few years ago, the vast majority of the top 20 projects were PoW forks of Bitcoin, whereas today almost half of the top-valued projects are now PoS. Challenges of Consolidation & Monopolization of Consensus Since first introduced, PoS blockchain networks have historically seen staking dominated by institutions and large token holders (“Whales”). Whales are often early-stage investors of a given PoS project with large allocations of tokens vested at Main Net launch. Such concentration of staking power and “Monopolization of Consensus” is troubling because it consolidates control of the blockchain network to a small handful of validators, which can harm the project in a variety of ways, including: Concentration of voting power; Single points of failure for malicious network attacks; and, Network instability. Each of the above runs counter to the proposed aspirations of many PoS to be truly permissionless, decentralized, and secure. A Novel Approach to Decentralizing Staking Power CasperLabs, together with BitMax.io, is taking a novel approach to challenge the status quo of staking power consolidation by conducting an exchange validator offering, or “EVO.” The collaboration between CasperLabs and BitMax.io will provide hundreds of thousands of small token purchasers with fair access to the project’s EVO at the earliest possible opportunity and the most favorable token prices. Mrinal Manohar, CEO of CasperLabs, notes: “Our goal in democratizing the distribution and holding of CasperLabs’ native token, CLX, is to encourage a new demographic of stakeholders to take part in the creation and initial validation of the underlying blockchain.” To date, CasperLabs has not yet conducted any token sales, and all funding has been facilitated via an oversubscribed equity financing of $14.5mm completed in July 2019, with participation from high profile backers such as Acuitas Group Holdings, Hyundai Digital Asset Company (HDAC), RockTree Capital, Blockchange Ventures, Arrington XRP Capital, HashKey Capital, SNZ Holding, Consensus Capital, Digital Strategies and Woodstock Fund. CasperLabs’ Lead Consensus Researcher Dr. Andreas Fackler notes: “Working closely with renowned mathematician Dr. Daniel Kane, the CasperLabs team has built a provably safe and live CBC Casper variant that dynamically auto-adjusts to changing network conditions. It can be configured to minimize latency, maximize throughput or choose an intermediate tradeoff. Its core structure, the block-DAG, gives an intuitive picture of the progress towards consensus. And the era system allows running a permissionless proof-of-stake network, where the set of validators is frequently updated according to token deposits. The algorithm includes effective defenses against long-range and resource-exhaustion attacks.” Fundamentally, a proof-of-stake system requires a significant stake to be bonded to the network at launch to ensure sufficient economic security; accordingly, BitMax.io along with a community of other staking-as-a-service (SAAS) providers will facilitate staking support for CLX on behalf of users at CaperLabs’ Main Net launch. According to Manohar: “We had significant interest from institutional investors to participate in our private validator token offering; however, we insisted on providing widespread access. Partnering with a top-tier platform like BitMax.io will be fundamental in facilitating availability to its global user base.” This means all EVO participants will be part of the founding stake on the Genesis Block of the CasperLabs CLX network and an integral part of the initial security of the blockchain. Said Shane Molidor, Global Head of Business Development at BitMax.io: “The BitMax.io team is thrilled to partner with CasperLabs. We are also excited to provide technology support for the EVO as it will grant BitMax.io customers exclusive access to a financing round generally reserved for the institutional investors or ‘whales’ of the industry.” Conclusion Registration is now live on BitMax.io to participate in an exchange validator offering (“EVO”) for CasperLabs. $3mm worth of CLX will be offered for sale in the EVO which will be divided into three rounds, with bonus tokens available in the first and second rounds. The first round will be conducted on March 30, at 10:00 a.m. EDT. The collaboration between CasperLabs and BitMax.io represents a unique go-to-market approach for tier-one blockchain projects that could signify a trend for future projects to follow in the pursuit of decentralization and network resilience.  

OKEx Now Lists Orchid (OXT) Token, Spot Trading to Go Live on March 30, 2020

The leading global cryptocurrency derivatives and spot exchange platform OKEx has announced the addition of Orchid (OXT) token to its list of tradable crypto-assets. The utility token is designed for use on the Ethereum blockchain-based Orchid peer-to-peer open marketplace for buying and selling VPN bandwidth. The deposits and withdrawals of OXT on OKEx will be available from March 27 and 31st at 09:00 UTC respectively. In between, the OXT/BTC and OXT/USDT spot trading feature will go live on Mar 30, 2020 at 09:00 UTC. The Orchid platform is designed to offer online privacy to its users. Established in 2017, it enables a decentralized virtual private network (VPN), allowing users to purchase bandwidth from a global pool of service providers in the form of high-performance onion routed circuits. The Bandwidth providers generate revenue by running Orchid server software and staking OXT in an Ethereum directory smart contract to receive traffic and revenue proportional to the size of the stake deposit. Commenting on the listing of a new token, the CEO of OKEx Jay Hao said, “Orchid is a perfect case to show how the combination of token economic model and commercial application works. We are happy to be able to have OXT as a member of the OKEx ecosystem, where we strive to offer professional and retail traders one-stop trading services while promoting mutually with the project teams. We will continue to find quality investment projects and provide enhanced trading experience for our global users.” OKEx is known for its stringent review process that every project has to undergo before being listed on the platform. These measures are put in place to ensure that the interests of investors are always protected. OXT has managed to satisfy all the necessary criteria set by the platform with respect to the project quality in terms of legal qualification, business model, structure, promotions and more. The Orchid project also has a strong ecosystem and a community following to further support its growth in the future. The CEO and Co-Founder of Orchid Dr. Steven Waterhouse explained the importance of the project’s listing on OKEx by saying, “We are pleased to partner with OKEx, a leading cryptocurrency exchange, as an important step in Orchid’s expansion into the global markets. With OXT available on OKEx, more new users in Asia and around the world will be able to access and benefit from the product.”

KuCoin’s Futures Platform KuMEX Launches USDT Perpetual Contracts

KuMEX, the Bitcoin futures platform developed by KuCoin, today announced that USDT Perpetual Contracts will be officially available on the exchange at around 18:00 on March 30, 2020 (UTC+8) and deposit of USDT has already been enabled. Unlike the Bitcoin (BTC) Perpetual Contracts on KuMEX, all profits, losses and account balances will be denominated in USDT. To better manage trading risks, the BTC/USDT Spot Index used by KuMEX is the volume-weighted average price of BTC/USDT across six exchanges including Binance, OKEx, Huobi and KuCoin. Also, the trading volume weight will be adjusted on a quarterly basis. Johnny Lyu, CEO at KuCoin Global, said, “By introducing the world’s first Lite Version of Bitcoin futures platform, supporting 10+ languages and now the launch of USDT Contracts, KuMEX is committed to building a simple, reliable and transparent futures platform. The USDT Perpetual Contracts will make it clearer and easier for new futures traders to make investment decisions using USDT, and mitigate the volatility brought by non-pegged tokens.” Along with the launch of the USDT Perpetual Contracts, KuMEX is launching a series of giveaway activities to reward users. Traders will be able to share up to 400,000 USDT by trying out the USDT Perpetual Contracts. More rewards will be given away based on trading volume. Officially launched on July 8, 2019, the KuMEX platform was developed by the KuCoin team. KuMEX is the only crypto futures platform that enables Level 3 Data, allowing traders to check every single trade on the exchange, effectively avoiding unusual liquidation caused by market manipulation. KuMEX offers up to 100x leverage and currently supports 13 languages ​​including English, Chinese, Russian, Vietnamese, Turkish, etc.  

The Nuances of OKEx Linear and Inverse Futures/Swap and How to Maximize Your Profit

This article is targeted to the intermediate and sophisticated traders who are already familiar with the basics of index arbitrage. There are other resources available on OKEx Academy if you need more explanations on the concepts of basis, margining and fair value calculation. Today, we’re going to discuss a trade that would have returned >10% last month. The idea is very similar to the borrow and carry trade discussed here.  For ease of discussion, we assume that we build an index arbitrage position on February 12 and then unwind it on March 13 at the most favorable time. However, the meat of the discussion arises from the discussion of how to maximize return on capital and lower risk by using both OKEx’s inverse and linear futures. The Vanilla Trading Idea The graphs below show the percentage basis on Feb 12 and Mar 13, 2020. Each graph includes the percent basis of both OKEx inverse coin-margined USD futures and linear USDT-margined futures. On a quick glance, we can see how linear future basis is consistently higher than the inverse future basis, which we will discuss later. This spread between the two BTC quarterly futures is driven by the external lending rate of the underlying and also how margining works. On Feb 12, the market was trading contango, near quarter futures were trading ~5% above spot price, and the trading floor lingo we should use is that the futures were trading ‘rich’. One month later on March 13, the market traded at backwardation, with near quarter futures trading at trough of~-15%, both futures were trading ‘cheap’. The trade is to buy spot & sell rich futures on Feb 12 and then unwind by selling spot & buying back cheap futures on Mar 13  for a hefty 20% return for a one-month holding period. The idea of this index arbitrage trade is quite simple but the devil is in the details. Maximizing capital usage and maximizing profit Timing the basis is impossible so you don’t expect to truly make this 20%. Since we are not able to predict futures basis and don’t know when is the exact time to build and unwind our inventory, let’s take a look at other parts of the equation, which futures to use and why. We will now turn our attention to maximizing our return per capital and lowering our risks. Nuance 1: If inverse and linear futures have the same positive basis, it is better to use inverse futures to build index arbitrage position? OKEx is the only exchange that offers both inverse and linear futures. The margin of these BTC futures is BTC and USDT respectively. Now, assume you have $10,000 for arbitrage, which means you can buy $10,000 worth of BTC and sell $10,000 worth of BTC futures. Which future should you use? The USDT future actually has a higher basis of ~0.7 due to their margin requirements. If you choose inverse futures, you would buy $10,000 of BTC and use it as the future collateral, essentially you would never get forced-liquidated because of the inverse payout nature (see example1). # Example 1: (Assume fee = 0, leverage = 10x) Entered at 15:00:00 on Feb 13, the liquidation price is infinite. Assume we hold the position until expiry and unwind the spot position and settle the future at the same price (and 1 USDT = $1) , your return will be ~5%, which will be around 0.0492 BTC (~$513). If you decided to capture more basis with the linear USDT futures, you need to reserve a significant amount of cash and buy USDT to margin the linear future. Per index arbitrage position, the basis captured would be more but per capital usage, you captured less dollar basis. Most importantly, there is a chance you could get forced-liquidated if the market shoots up, because there are unlimited downside shorting futures. Nuance 2: If inverse and linear futures have the same negative basis, it is better to use linear futures to unwind index arbitrage position? Conversely, if both inverse and linear futures are trading at a discount to spot, which futures should you use and why? Following the above logic, all things else equal, you should use the linear future to build a reverse arbitrage position (sell spot buy future). When you sell spot in the OKEx spot market, you get back USDT. Using this USDT, you can do 1:1 margin of your long future position. You will essentially never be forced-liquidated unless market drops 1-MMR % (see example2). Example 2: (Assume fee = 0, leverage = 10x) Entered at 08:00:00 on MAR 13, liquidation price would be around ~20. If unwind during expiry on Mar 27, and assuming the linear future settles at $4794, your return will be 8.4%, which will be around 840 USDT. Nuance 3: To maximize capital usage and use leverage, you can do a mix of sell inverse futures, buy linear futures. Assuming 1 USDT = $1, nuances 1 and 2 explains why linear futures should consistently price higher than inverse futures. If you are capital strapped, you can try trading the spread of the futures. For example, if there is a lower demand for linear futures in the market than inverse futures, then the basis of the inverse future will be higher.  You can then buy USDT futures and sell inverse futures and capture the spread.  Since there is no need to buy nor sell spot, you can leverage upon this basis trade (but be careful of market moves, it can knock out one leg) and potentially earn more. OKEx’s unique USDT linear futures gives rise to more arbitraging opportunities. Arbitrage: It’s never really risk-free In academic sense, ‘arbitrage’ means risk-free profiting opportunity. This word is loosely used by traders, we would like to believe our trades are risk-free, but really it’s not. The better traders were able to survive the dark March 13th drop because they were prepared for high volatility. Leverage is a double-edged sword, a gap up or down could quickly liquidate your position before you have a chance to re-margin. The major index arbitrage risks we have are liquidation, clawback, counterparty and tether exposure. Binance applied auto deleveraging (ADL), a type of force liquidation on a winning position, on their users positions on March 12. ADL is much worse for a trader than liquidation in some senses. First of all, you never know when ADL happens to you. Your downside of getting your short position forced-liquidated via ADL means, you lose significantly if the market continues to go down. ADL in a future market makes it impossible to hedge. At OKEx, we don’t use ADL for our Bitcoin derivatives. As OKEx is a decentralized futures exchange, we implement a clawback policy instead, where winning positions gets deducted some of their P&L if counterparty positions can’t be forced-liquidated in time and there is not enough insurance funds to cover the downfall. This is a better alternative than ADL, as you would only lose some of your P&L in the worst-case scenario while retaining your hedge. Since revamping our risk engine in 2018, we have not had any BTC clawbacks in any of our BTC derivatives. The Mar 12 drop has proved our sophisticated risk engine to be industry-leading. As traders, we can try to lower our forced-liquidation risk as we are aware of when that will happen. Nuances 1 and 2 showed liquidation risks can be reduced by using different futures for taking a long or short exposure. In the worst case, if your long hedge position were forced-liquidated because of margin requirements, there is still a high chance you can reopen the same position at a gain because market continued to drop. Finally, when you put on a position involving Tether (USDT), you are inadvertently giving yourself a counterparty risk against Tether. For example, if you sell rich USDT linear futures and buy cheap BTC inverse futures, you are longing USDT and shorting dollar. If USDT de-pegs and crashes with all else equal, BTC-USDT will shoot up and you will owe USDT. Conversely, you can consider hedging any auxiliary tether exposures by trading a combination of OKEx’s linear and inverse futures. Conclusion OKEx’s unique combination of different tenures and types of margined futures allows traders to create many types of carry trades. You can arbitrage between different implied rates or arbitrage between different margined futures. In terms of improving your risk profile, we showed that there is less margin call risk shorting inverse futures than shorting linear futures (and vice versa). Finally, you can build a position between linear and inverse futures to hedge tether exposure. Taking all types of tenures and products in consideration, OKEx have the deepest liquidity and best trading opportunities of all exchanges. Disclaimer: This material should not be taken as the basis for making investment decisions, nor be construed as a recommendation to engage in investment transactions. Trading digital assets involves significant risk and can result in the loss of your invested capital. You should ensure that you fully understand the risk involved and take into consideration your level of experience, investment objectives and seek independent financial advice if necessary. About the Author: The author of this article is Thomas Tse, Head Quantitative Strategist at OKEx.

Bybit to Roll Out USDT Perpetual Contracts

Singapore-based crypto futures exchange Bybit has announced the addition of Tether (USDT) perpetual contracts. By adding the stablecoin to its existing futures contracts (BTC, ETH, EOS and XRP paired with USD), the exchange aims to furnish traders with greater simplicity and flexibility, as they can now hold long and short positions simultaneously to better hedge their positions. As per Bybit’s announcement, USDT can be used as the quote and settlement currency, facilitating two-way trades and granting traders exposure to underlying spot market prices for assets such as bitcoin – with the option to apply high leverage if desired. Bybit Riding the Crest of a Wave The expansion of its crypto-backed derivatives range comes at a good time for Bybit, which has seen trade volume steadily increase in recent months. Despite the coronavirus-inspired market turmoil, the exchange – headquartered in Singapore but with offices in Taiwan and Hong Kong – consistently enjoys an average daily volume of $1 billion, making it a key player in the derivatives market alongside the likes of BitMEX, Huobi, bitFlyer, Binance, CoinFlex, FTX, OKEx and Deribit. With USDT perpetual contracts, Bybit intends to imitate the underlying spot markets but with increased leverage (up to 100x). The new perpetual contracts will have no expiry date and the price will be tethered, as it were, to the underlying index to ensure the preservation of price accuracy. In addition to adding Tether, the exchange has made several refinements to its trading engine, making it simpler for traders to enter and exit positions during spells of extreme volatility. Other trader-friendly features have also been rolled out, including a Take-Profit/Stop-Loss (TP/SL) setting which lets traders directly set TP/SL limits when they place orders. Margin requirements are being reduced too, in a shot across the bows of rival exchanges. Last month, Binance launched a Zcash-Tether perpetual contract with maximum leverage of 50x. Offsetting Liquidation Risk Perhaps of most relevance given the recent BitMEX crash was Bybit’s announcement that traders launching multiple futures contracts will have the chance to participate in a shared insurance fund, thereby helping to offset the risk of liquidation. Bybit rival BitMEX experienced a high volume of liquidations on March 13, with a subsequent outage leading to widespread accusations that it had flipped the kill switch on its trading services – accusations it strenuously denied. Nonetheless, Bybit is among the platforms likely to profit from BitMEX’s PR woes. The dollar-pegged Tether has experienced renewed interest of late, as investors liquidate risk-on assets and flock to safe havens. The world’s biggest stablecoin now boasts a market cap exceeding $5.7 billion, with the Tether Treasury recently minting 180 million USDT in the space of three days, citing an “inventory refresh.” Bybit’s launch of Tether (USDT) perpetual contracts is sure to be welcomed by traders enamored with perpetual options contracts. Their trading savvy is sure to be tested in the choppy waters ahead.  

KYC and AML Compliance for Crypto Exchanges. Guide 2020

The beginning of 2020 was quite stressful for most cryptocurrency exchanges. On January 10, 2020, the 5th Anti Money Laundering (AML) Directive took effect. Some platforms announced their closure, while some threw all their strength into the struggle to meet the new requirements. This article will tell you how to win this battle. Foreword If you think we decided to write this article based on this directive alone, you are mistaken. February 2020 began with good news for the EXMO team. EXMO crypto platform has been rated top-tier in the latest CryptoCompare Exchange Benchmark.  We are going to tell you about our experience, the number of requirements, and how many hours our AML-officer sleeps. Glossary: AML-   ANTI MONEY LAUNDERING CTF-   COUNTER-TERRORISM FINANCING KYC-   KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER FCA-   FINANCIAL CONDUCT AUTHORITY FATF- FINANCIAL ACTION TASK FORCE JMLSG- JOINT MONEY LAUNDERING STEERING GROUP HM-   HER MAJESTY PEP-   POLITICALLY EXPOSED PERSONS GDPR-  GENERAL DATA PROTECTION REGULATION MLRO-  MONEY LAUNDERING REPORTING OFFICER Legal name and jurisdiction of operation We were not looking for a simple solution to enable us to meet the 5th AML Directive and from the very beginning, we approached the issue seriously. EXMO operates within the legal jurisdiction of the UK. It goes without saying that the UK is a strict but transparent legal field with well-developed regulatory tools. Also, the UK was among the first to implement cryptocurrency legislation. Therefore, if you suddenly decide to open your exchange, be sure to pay attention to the legislative framework of the country where the exchange is launched. Registration/Licensing where appropriate and applicable Currently, there are only a few countries that issue licenses for cryptocurrency activities. At the beginning of the year, EXMO received Estonian licenses. Concerning AML compliance, we are currently in the process of issuing the AML registration from FCA—The Financial Conduct Authority. Implementing strict KYC and AML procedures During January 2020, we’ve launched the mandatory verification on the platform. It was the necessary part of KYC and AML compliance, a crucial component for security. Now it’s easier for us to know the client, understand if we can trust them, and prevent possible fraud. Another measure we took was implementing the CipherTrace software. It verifies that the user’s wallets are not blacklisted, connected with terrorism, or associated with fraudulent activity, etc. With this software, we trace transactions and monitor potential risks. We had found that some withdrawals were being made to blacklisted wallets. Now we can prevent such transactions, track any fraud cases, and guarantee counteraction black market flows by following the anti-money laundering legislation within the framework of the platform. The results were positive, and on February 4th 2020, we are pleased to say that CipherTrace awarded us a Green rank.   However, just using soft tools is not enough. Our Compliance team works 24/7 and also conducts manual monitoring of any suspicious transactions. We have developed a number of internal tools and guidance to monitor Crypto and Fiat transactions. Together with soft tools, we are confident that no EXMO account will be susceptible to falling victim to hackers. Regional Representation Compliance based on FATF recommendations You probably heard about an inter-governmental body FATF—The Financial Action Task Force. It was established in 1989 with 37 countries becoming members. The FATF developed a series of recommendations for regulating cryptocurrencies and the activities of cryptocurrency services operators. Every three months, FATF updates a list of high-risk countries. This list is determined by the strength of laws against money laundering in a specific country, how much it cooperates in developing tools to counter laundering, and in providing data. So therefore, we do not work with users from blacklisted countries and we thus increase the security and compliance of our platform even more. Being part of the Cryptocurrency Regulatory group and fulfilling applicable requirements Laws are updated continuously, and to comply with them, constant monitoring is necessary. We participate in crypto alliances, track FATF listings, and interact with FCA requirements groups. Of course, we do not forget about the local British law, tracing the requirements of Her Majesty’s Treasury (HM Treasury). Overall, the EXMO AML/CTF procedures are in line with the requirements of: The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002; Terrorism Act 2000 and 2001; Money Laundering Regulations 2017; Counter-Terrorism Act 2008; HM Treasury Sanction Notices; FCA Handbook; JMLSG Guidance. We guarantee the timely implementation of legislative changes. Any exchange wishing to stay afloat must comply. Sanctions and PEP compliance statement PEP refers to Politically Exposed Persons. We monitor PEP lists to ensure our customers are not current or former politicians. We also track sanctions lists to ensure there are no risks of being involved in money laundering and terrorist financing activities. Ever vigilant to keep a finger on the pulse of these activities, we use Namescan. Constant ongoing transaction monitoring Let us reiterate CipherTrace and the 24/7 compliance department. If we note a suspicious transaction, it is blocked to allow our platform to ensure there is no fraudulent behavior. After a customer has been approved, EXMO performs a comprehensive process of transaction monitoring. This is accomplished with the EXMO system, developed to utilize an internally developed automated fraud prevention and risk management system. Having an experienced Chief Compliance Officer Having an experienced AML specialist is crucial. This person has access to all our data and is responsible for the development, implementation, and maintenance of a risk assessment framework for anti-money laundering. The CEO of the company can perform this function, but for us, it is vital to have an experienced individual with an independent outlook on the situation and a working knowledge of the company. We have just such a person who keeps abreast of innovations in legislation and implements them to the company. An experienced AML and Antifraud Department We are very proud of our financial security monitoring department and the antifraud system that has been developed and implemented. It is similar to the scoring systems in banks and enables us to check the quality of all the transactions. These both enabled us to monitor and block immediately the stolen funds from several exchanges including the massive flow from Bithumb (more than 4M USD). Regular Staff Training procedures Our employees continuously undergo specialized training. We focus on preventing risks of money laundering and terrorist financing, keeping abreast of relevant legislation, and our due diligence to the obligations under that legislation. Training is held by an EXMO nominated officer (MLRO) and teaches us how to recognize and deal with potential money laundering or terrorist financing transactions or activity. Intruders into financial systems are continually evolving, we are however always alert. Staff training on AML and counter-terrorist financing is carried out annually for all staff and the details recorded. In addition, every three months the team passes a special qualification exam not only on countering hacking but also on AML knowledge, CTF, rules updates, and responsibilities to prevent money laundering. Secure Record Keeping We always take serious measures to maintain strict confidentiality and the security of any information received during the verification process according to our user agreement, privacy policy, and GDPR requirements. All user data is stored on encrypted servers accessible by the AML officer alone. And of course, all stored documents are digitally imprinted with a protective watermark. To conclude Being a cryptocurrency exchange, we are not just responsible for the monetary assets of our clients, we are also very focused in the field of combating illegal money circulation. We take this very seriously and utilise a lot of resources, not only to meet the requirements, but also to fulfill this important mission with absolute integrity. To take you back to the start, now you can understand why our AML officer does not sleep very much!  

Saga Partners with Keyless Wallet ZenGo as SGA Profits from Stablecoin Scare

Saga Monetary Technologies has partnered with ZenGo, making the former’s SGA token storable within the keyless crypto wallet. The deal arrives at a time when interest in low volatility cryptocurrency SGA has peaked in the wake of high profile stablecoin scares. The meltdown of MakerDAO’s crypto-collateralized stablecoin issuance protocol has been coupled with concerns over the inability of fiat currencies and the stablecoins that are tethered to them to serve as a store of value (SoV) amidst severe economic conditions. This perfect storm of freak economic events has proven fertile ground for SGA’s case to be made as an alternative SoV. Its architects, Saga Monetary Technologies, believe that SGA’s economic modeling, which includes being backed by a basket of fiat currencies that mimics the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights, will make it more resistant to global shocks and better able to retain its value. So far, Saga’s team has been vindicated, with SGA adhering closely to the $1.35 mark on the open market, despite unprecedented crypto volatility. Barry Topf, Saga Cheif Economist explains what is the SDR Saga founder Ido Sadeh Man said: “The turbulent times we are experiencing nowadays pose a challenge to many people seeking to switch over to digital assets: the growing need to diversify their portfolio clashes with technological difficulties in choosing to do so over the blockchain,” before emphasizing the convenience of SGA holders being able to utilize ZenGo’s crypto storage solution, which abstracts private keys, relying instead on mathematical shares that provide a more user-friendly wallet recovery system, without compromising on security. Making Hay While the Sky Collapses While SGA has been breezing through March, other crypto assets have struggled. Major cap cryptos including BTC and ETH lost almost 50% of their value on March 12, with cascading long liquidations on BitMEX fleetingly dragging bitcoin down to $3,700 before rebounding. The falling price of ETH, meanwhile, led to miners powering down their machines, reducing the network’s capacity to clear the mempool just as on-chain activity was ramping up as traders flocked to send crypto to exchanges. Spiraling gas prices resulted in MakerDAO liquidations failing to go through, leading to $4M of ETH being auctioned off for $0. MakerDAO’s SAI and DAI stablecoins have since lost their dollar peg and fiat-backed stablecoins such as USDC have had to be introduced to shore up its multi-collateralization system. Meanwhile, many global currencies, from the Euro to the British Pound, are falling as the effects of the coronavirus intensify, with GBP falling to its lowest level against the USD in 35 years. The global pandemic has proven to be the making and breaking of certain companies and sectors. As investor Paul Graham observed, “Email lately is a strange mix of startups trying to figure out how to avoid being destroyed by the coronavirus, and others trying to figure out how to handle the unprecedented demand.” Something similar is occurring with cryptocurrencies, some of which are withering and dying in the face of hostile conditions, while others are flourishing. If SGA emerges from the other side of this storm with its store of value credentials intact, it will have forced a major rethink of what stability means within the cryptosphere.  

Sensorium (SENSO) Gets Listed on KuCoin to Drive Global Cryptomarkets

Sensorium Corporation has partnered with KuCoin cryptocurrency exchange and launched an in-game currency for Sensorium Galaxy. This move is set to drive cryptocurrency usage given that Sensorium Galaxy users are projected to reach into the millions. Sensorium Corporation is launching a digital currency called Senso Token, for in-game purchases in the Sensorium Galaxy. The token enables users to make gaming-related purchases and exchange game content. Third-party companies involved in Sensorium Galaxy, such as those developing unique locations for customised events as well as gaming content for in-game purchases, will also use the Senso Tokens. Trading of the Senso Token cryptocurrency begins at 18.00 Singapore time, 20 March on the KuCoin exchange. The Senso Token has been developed on the Ethereum network, the global decentralized platform for digital currencies. It has also been created in line with the ERC20 standard, the de facto technical standard for token implementation on the Ethereum blockchain. Given that Sensorium Galaxy is set to attract millions of users from all over the world to its groundbreaking Social VR Platform, which brings a new form of entertainment and social engagement to the world, the introduction of cryptocurrency Senso tokens will also spur cryptocurrency adoption. Participants in the 3D virtual worlds will make in-game purchases such as avatars while businesses who are investing in the Sensorium Galaxy to provide entertainment themed content and venues, can buy virtual locations to develop their own unique spaces in the virtual worlds. The Senso token will be listed on KuCoin, an IDG-backed cryptocurrency exchange with 5 million users globally. The listing consists of 1 billion tokens available to closed round investors in a one-time issue. Following the listing a withdrawal opportunity, that is sale and withdrawal, will also open at 18.00 Singapore time, on 22 March. A number of token ‘give-away’ sessions will also be available for current users of the KuCoin exchange. KuCoin is also partnering with Sensorium Corporation which as a result is set to drive further investment in the Sensorium Galaxy. Brian Kean, Head of External Communications, Sensorium Corporation said: “Our partnership with KuCoin is the coming together of two advanced future technologies; our virtual social reality platform and an industry-leading blockchain platform for cryptocurrencies. As user numbers for Sensorium Galaxy build momentum millions of users will become new crypto currency users and as such both Sensorium and KuCoin will make significant contributions, and take to a new level, the  cryptocurrency market.” Johnny Lyu, CEO at KuCoin, said: “This is a very significant partnership. Both KuCoin and Sensorium represent how new technologies are shaping the future and this strategic cooperation signals a strong drive in this direction. Sensorium ultimately aims to attract millions of global users and clearly this is going to have an important influence on the use of cryptocurrencies and of course the KuCoin platform. We are now looking forward to developing and driving this partnership forward and helping drive both social virtual reality and cryptocurrencies into the mainstream.” Founded in September 2017, KuCoin has grown into one of the most popular crypto exchanges, and it currently provides a series of financial services including fiat-to-crypto, crypto-to-crypto, futures, staking, borrowing, token launch and more to its 5 million users across 207 countries and regions around the world. One out of four crypto holders worldwide are with KuCoin. Sensorium Corporation, together with Redpill VR, is currently developing the Sensorium Galaxy social virtual reality platform which enables the seamless broadcast of synchronized virtual reality content to users all around the globe. This platform signals a radical change in the way users can experience virtual reality, moving beyond its previously solitary nature. Sensorium Galaxy enables users to interact with each other as events are either live-streamed or accessed from a library. Sensorium Galaxy also signals an evolution of social networks, with users not confined to one-dimensional platforms, but able to engage and interact with friends and other users in a virtual environment. Sensorium Galaxy will be comprised of themed planets that present users with different options for social interaction. Sensorium Corporation is a technology company that creates digital simulations of real-world venues and virtual worlds in cooperation with its content partners – globally recognized concert venues, clubs and festivals. Investment in the project to date is approximately $70 million, and it has come from a group of EU companies in both the gaming and entertainment industries. For more information, visit sensoriumxr.com 

Top Investment Instruments

In this article, we will explain how you can achieve long-term financial growth. Let’s start with bank deposits and savings accounts – and what makes them absolutely useless. Unfortunately, with each year the profitability of bank deposits decreases – yield rates on deposits go down, and in some countries, they even reach the inflation rate. Let’s take a look at an example from Germany – according to a survey conducted by the Bundesbank, 58% of banks have set negative interest rates on deposits for corporate clients, and 23% have done the same for retail clients. The survey was conducted at the end of September, a few weeks after the European Central Bank reduced the interest rate on deposits from -0.4% to -0.5%. Although the return on investments is still officially above the inflation rate, their real return is effectively the same as the level of inflation. In order to achieve returns that are higher than inflation – real returns – you need to seek out more profitable options that are often riskier. So if you want to maintain or even improve your current financial status, you need to start learning about investment instruments as soon as possible. In this article, we will discuss traditional instruments as well as lesser-known instruments that are no less reliable. Stocks When talking about investments, stocks are usually the first thing that comes to mind. That’s why they are a good starting point for this discussion. Stocks are securities that give their holder the right to receive part of the company’s revenue. In other words, they offer an opportunity to purchase a share of a company. Stocks are a long-term instrument, which means that you should hold them for at least a year, ideally – for several decades. This offers the opportunity to increase your capital by several times. It’s worth noting that in the entire period between 1872 and 2018, there wasn’t a single 20-year interval in which investments in American stocks following the ‘buy and build’ strategy have led to losses – even when adjusting for inflation. On the contrary, one-year investments often resulted in losses. A study by Business Insider features a list that offers an illustration of this principle. Its authors calculated the amount of money that you could have earned by the end of 2019 by investing $100 in stocks from giants such as Nike, Coca-Cola, McDonalds`s, Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, Starbucks, and Netflix during their IPOs. How much would you have earned with Apple? A graph showing the growth in the price of Apple stocks offers visual confirmation of the long-term potential of this instrument. The company created an IPO on December 12, 1980. The price of stocks in the company started at $22. As of this writing, the price of one stock has gone up to $317. Can stocks offer earnings above inflation? Some people believe that it is difficult to earn a lot on stocks, and certain investors forego long-term investments in stocks entirely because of their low profitability. Nevertheless, there are some exceptions in the market, which are usually related to high tech companies. It’s worth noting a recent increase in the stock price of Tesla, which some traders even called a stock bacchanal. In early February, Musk’s company stocks experienced an insane leap: in the evening on Tuesday, February 4, the price increased from $674 to $970, only to drop back to $734 the next day. These sudden changes were not caused by news about Musk’s crazy exploits, sudden revenue growth or launches of autonomous vehicles. Before moving on to our next instrument, here’s a quote from The Investor’s Manifesto by William Bernstein: ‘…The most that can vanish with any one stock is 100 percent of its purchase value, whereas the winners can easily make 1,000 percent, and exceptionally 10,000 percent, inside of a decade or two.’ Advice: Diversify your stock investments to ensure that your investment portfolio contains stocks with the highest growth potential. Statistics show that a properly diversified portfolio should contain between 10 and 14 stocks. Fewer stocks will expose you to higher risk, while a larger number will reduce profitability and make it more difficult to manage. Advantages: low risks, the potential for high long-term profitability. Disadvantages: long term for return on investments, low or negative returns int the short-term perspective, additional expenses on services provided by brokers, hosts, and managers; prices are affected by multiple factors which are difficult to control – from management decisions to political events. Bonds In the simplest terms, bonds are like IOUs. They can be released by companies and entire governments in need of additional funds. When purchasing bonds, technically you give out a loan, which is an investment in the development of the bond issuer. Naturally, investors purchase bonds in the hope of making a profit in the future. All conditions, including the purchase price, the payment amount and timing are discussed at the time of purchase. What sets bonds apart from other securities is the opportunity to evaluate future returns in advance. There are several types of bonds. In most cases, they can be categorized by several parameters: the form of payment (percentage or discount), the repayment period (short-term, medium-term, and long term), the currency of issue, the issuer (government or corporate). Bonds are traditionally considered to be a secure investment instrument. However, keep in mind that when it comes to investments, low risks are often linked to low returns. This is the case with bonds – for example, the returns on Russian federal bonds (OFZ) are insignificantly higher than inflation, offering the same level of returns as bank deposits: If you would like to make more money on bonds, you need to prepare for high risks. For example, you can take a risk and invest your funds into a B-rated company. However, in this case, you will face the risk of company default, liquidity, and debt restructuring. Advice: before purchasing a bond, make sure to research the issuing company. Review the information available on the news, as well as financial and accounting reports available on exchange websites and licensed information agencies. Advantages: transparency — an opportunity to calculate returns in advance; low risk —  compared to investments in stocks or securities; simple sales process, lack of taxation, and in certain cases you can even obtain a tax return. Disadvantages: lack of insurance — unlike deposits and other investments in the securities market, bonds are not insured; low returns —  compared to other securities, bonds offer relatively low returns. Real estate According to the old saying that is popular among amateur investors, ‘When in doubt, invest in real estate.’ At first glance, it certainly appears that investing in real estate is a much simpler solution than figuring out the complexities of the securities market, which involves stocks, ETFs, bonds and other confusing terminology. This is also a safe solution for conservative investors – square meters are easy to measure, unlike abstract movements on a graph. Russian investors’ interest in this instrument is confirmed by the annual study The Wealth Report 2019 — according to the report, 20% of affluent Russians prefer to invest in real estate. Real estate investments can be divided into two major categories: 1) purchase with the purpose of reselling at a higher price in the future; 2) purchase for leasing. The idea of investing in real estate certainly looks attractive: real estate has a high liquidity and offers several profitability periods (short-term in case of sales, long-term with leasing), as well as a wide price range. However, the downsides are also worth noting – demand on real estate is highly dependant on external factors (for example, in an industrial city, the closure of a factory can lead to a sharp decrease in the purchasing power of its residents), and real estate requires enormous investments (state fees, utility payments, various improvements). The main advantage of this investment is a significantly lower risk, even compared to stocks. Let’s take a look at a simple case to avoid unfounded allegations. In our example, we will take a look at one of the largest capitals in Europe, Moscow. By the way, according to a Yandex study, demand for real estate rentals in Russia increased by 18% in 2019. In recent years, the price changes were as follows: as of January 1, 2018, the average rental price of a studio apartment was 30 000 rubles, by September it increased to 33 000 rubles, in early 2019 the average rental price was 35 000 rubles, reaching 38 000 rubles by September 1, 2019. Based on these figures, it appears that purchasing an apartment for future leasing is an attractive option. According to the Yandex.Realty portal, the average cost of a studio apartment in Moscow is 6.8 million. This is enough to purchase a small studio apartment in an old building close to a terminal metro station, or an apartment in a new building that is currently being built (in this case, it would be outside the Moscow Ring Road). By leasing out the apartment for 38 000 (the average rental price of a studio apartment in 2019), you can earn 420 000 rubles per year. Now, let’s imagine that we made a bank deposit of this amount, with an annual yield of 6.03% (the average yield in 2019, according to the Bank of Russia), then by the end of the year we will earn 410 000 rubles in interest. If prices on apartments continue to follow current trends, the price of the apartment will increase by 15.9% in a year. This means 420 000 rubles from leasing + 1 081 000 rubles thanks to the appreciation of the asset. As a result, you will earn almost 1.5 million rubles in a year. However, there are several nuances worth considering: Even if your tenants don’t break anything inside the apartment and you never need to invest additional money, you will need to pay a tax on your income from leasing the apartment. The best way to do this is to claim ‘self-employment’ and pay 4% from your net income – 16 800 rubles; Because the interior of your apartment will become worn out with time, you will need to occasionally invest money into it. If you fail to do this regularly, the rental price will start to go down, and it will lose some of its value for tenants; Reduction in liquidity – apartments in older housing units tend to increase their value at a slower rate. Apartments in new buildings are also not immune to price reductions – for instance, if a noisy highway is built close to the building, the apartment will lose some of its value for tenants. Our findings are clear: investing in real estate is an extremely labour-intensive process, particularly considering the fact the profitability from an apartment in one of the most expensive cities in the world offers the same returns as a deposit with an average yield rate. Advice: Look into REITs – real estate investment trusts. This instrument makes it possible to invest in real estate with all the advantages of a traditional exchange or investment app. These trusts are protected from inflation – the average rental price increases to match the amount of inflation due to a significant level of diversification: one trust contains a large variety of real estate properties. Advantages: a well-located property can increase in price, returns on real estate investments are higher than returns on deposits, stability. Disadvantages: Reduced property liquidity, expenditures on taxes and depreciation. Cryptocurrency market The cryptocurrency market is probably the most controversial option for investment. Despite the large number of fake cryptocurrencies created for speculative purposes, falsified trading volumes (some reports claim over 95% of trading volumes are fake(!) ), and the abundance of criminal schemes in the industry, Bitcoin continues to demonstrate a significantly higher level of profitability than traditional assets. According to a recent study, despite major price decreases and an extended bear trend in 2018, Bitcoin remains one of the most profitable assets of the decade. Since its launch in 2009 until 2019, the price of Bitcoin has increased by 236.7 million % (!). Naturally, no conversation about cryptocurrencies is complete without mentioning the bull run in 2017. The price of the currency started out at $1000 in the beginning of the year and finished at $20 000: Despite their high potential for profitability, there are many stop factors associated with cryptocurrencies: The most significant stop factor is the high volatility in this market. Those who keep track of changes in the market know that the price of Bitcoin can go down by over a thousand dollars overnight. One of the reasons for this is the dependence of the market on the news cycle. After one positive announcement from a regulator, and bear traders suddenly lose all their standing; a security breach at an exchange can instantly put the entire market into the red.For example, on August 19, 2020, LUNA coin suddenly saw a 48.900% increase. This growth was short-lived – a few days later, the coin dropped to its initial level. By the end of the year, the coin restored its value, with an annual growth of 25 000%: The situation was more dire for the BitTorent coin (BTT), which shocked the market in 2018 with its eight-fold growth. The coin has dropped by 99% since the start of 2019! Popular cryptocurrencies are not immune to sharp decreases in price. For instance, Ethereum, the silver coin of the cryptocurrency market, with the second-largest market capitalization, lost 12% of its initial price in 2019, despite an abundance of positive news, a strong team of developers, and popularity in the market… How many people invested in Ethereum in 2017 when it cost more than a thousand dollars, considering it to be one of the most promising cryptocurrencies? Vulnerability to hacking attacks. According to a report by analytical company CipherTrace, in 2019 alone cyber criminals have stolen a whopping $4.26 billion worth of cryptocurrencies. Last year, over the course of a single month, a team of analysts discovered more than 40 vulnerabilities on various blockchain platforms. These platforms included industry giants such as Coinbase, EOS issuer Block.one, Tezos, Brave, and Monero (3 out of 4 of these projects are in the top-10 list on Coinmarketcap, which designates them as blue-chip platforms in the cryptocurrency market).However, these platform vulnerabilities are not as dangerous for users as issues with cryptocurrency exchanges might be. When it comes to crypto exchange breaches, the sad story of Mt. Gox exchange always comes to mind. In September 2011, someone gained access to Mt. Gox hot wallet, which contained Bitcoins and unused keys. Over the course of a few years, this person managed to withdraw a total of 79 957 BTC from the exchange, valued at $70 000. More recently, a similar situation occurred on the Binance exchange, which is popular among traders and widely considered to be one of the most secure platforms. In May 2019, 7000 BTC were withdrawn from the hot wallet of the exchange. Hackers allegedly gained access to several retail accounts and ‘outsmarted’ the Binance hot wallet system to process a transaction of such a large sum. The cryptocurrency market is appealing to fraudsters. The cryptocurrency market makes it easy to conceal your name and the sources of your funds. Furthermore, most countries do not define cryptocurrencies in their legislation, which means that it would be incredibly difficult to prove anything in a court of law. This gives fraudsters a lot of space to organize various criminal schemes. For instance, the Russian Central Bank recently announced that in 2019 more online pyramids were centered around cryptocurrency investments than anything else. This was the case with the notorious AirBitClub, which attracted investments from clients to supposedly release their own cryptocurrency, offering the opportunity to make money from the changing price. In practice, participants could only get their money if they managed to sell this internal currency to others. The scheme managed to attract 60 thousand participants, with the total sum of investments exceeding half a billion rubles. All of these downsides are part of the hidden costs of potentially high returns in the cryptocurrency market. In order to make effective and secure investments into cryptocurrencies, you need to carefully study the market and review all potential projects. For example, you can take a closer look at stable projects – unlike volatile high-risk coins, where prices can rise and fall by thousands of percent in a minute, these projects offer stable prices and are backed by technologies, teams and communities. Today, Minting Double Pack is one of the most high-quality cryptocurrency investment products in the market. It is based on minting – a unique technology developed by engineers and programmers at PLATINCOIN. Minting enables users to earn an annual return of 30% from their investment in PLC coins. In the long-term, the Minting Double Pack makes it possible to earn over 100% of your initial investments. Based on the PLATIN version of this product, let’s see how much an investor can make through minting: The initial price of the product is €9 951; The Minting Unit inside the product allows users to mint 3 013 PLC; Power Minter has a Max load (the maximum amount of coins which can be used to gain interest) of 6700. This means that the user’s account will be credited with up to 2 010 PLC each year! In 20 years, the number of coins earned through Power Minter will be 20 100 PLC! Now let’s take this sum of 20 100 PLC and add 3 013 PLC earned through minting and 6 700 PLC stored in the PLC Farm – this means that there will be 29 813 PLC on your account in 10 years! At the current price of €5 this is almost €150 000; If the price of PLC reaches €50, which is part of the company strategy, this will transform the investor into a millionaire, earning €1 490 650. As it turns out, minting offers an annual earning potential of 100% and more. And unlike other instruments, investors can withdraw their funds at any point – PLATINCOIN is listed on several major exchanges such as Bithumb Global and Coinsbit. Most exchanges list PLATINCOIN as a stablecoin with a price of €5. The company plans to grow the community to 5 million people within a few years, which will increase the price to at least €10. In April 2020, we will witness the launch of the Coinsbit Store marketplace, where users will be able to purchase products from major online stores including Amazon, eBay, AliExpress, Alibaba, Taobao and Shopify using PLATINCOIN and other cryptocurrencies. Coin holders will have access to the entire range of products available in these stores – from concert tickets to domestic appliances. Advantages: high growth potential, technological component, low threshold for entry. Disadvantages: due to a lack of regulation, the cryptocurrency is vulnerable to manipulations and hacking attacks and remains attractive to fraudsters. Conclusion Hopefully, this article has opened your eyes to a lot of new and useful information. Let’s sum up the article in a few short points: With each year, bank deposits become less profitable – in some countries, returns on deposits are on par with the level of inflation; Stocks and bonds are secure instruments with low returns; Returns on leasing apartments are often similar to returns on deposits, meanwhile, this type of investment is significantly more time-consuming; Cryptocurrencies are high-return instruments that also involve higher risks than any other investment instrument described in this article. But even in this volatile market, it is possible to find reliable projects that can guarantee stable and predictable future growth. Image by Willfried Wende from Pixabay

Credits Blockchain Platform Launches First Protocol-Based ICO

The Credits project team announced on March 18 that the platform hosted the first ICO launched using its native protocol, as the FDCE (First Decentralized Commodities Exchange) platform launched its first investment round for the sale of the Metal Bonds Token Offering. The FDCE is a special platform designed for facilitating the mechanisms of making investments in “digital bonds” by investors from around the world. The platform offers investors a wide choice of world-class companies that will be placing their digitized shares for sale. Additional measures ensuring the low-risk nature of the investment process will include the implementation of scoring standards for companies willing to have their assets placed on the platform. The approach of having digital assets offered for sale via the model applied by the FDCE has multiple advantages for both investors and companies. The investors will be granted the opportunity of purchasing the shares of world-class companies at low-risk models on the crypto market, while the companies will be able to attract additional funding by offering commodities-backed shares. The FDCE will be offering investors multiple instruments that will be independent of market volatility factors. Such an approach will allow to ensure the stability of the assets and reduce risks. The ICO hosted on the Credits platform will be hard capped at 8 million USD, which will be raised in CS сoins – the native currency of the Credits project. The process will be divided into three rounds – the private sale (0.088 USD), the pre-ICO (0.176 USD), and the ICO (0.356 USD). The total number of issued DCET tokens stands at 100 million. The coins that will remain unsold at the ICO will be transferred to a reserve fund of the FDCE, which will act to maintain liquidity and secure against unforeseen circumstances and market shocks. The ICO of the FDCE is the first of its kind on the Credits platform and is an important achievement for the project as a whole, highlighting its capabilities and the versatility of its infrastructure. The Credits project development team is confident that the initiative will attract greater attention to the capabilities of the platform and foster greater penetration and adoption of its technologies by other business sectors.  

KuCoin Names Co-Founder Johnny Lyu As KuCoin Global CEO

The Seychelles-based crypto exchange KuCoin today announced the establishment of KuGroup, appointing CEO Michael Gan as Chairman of KuGroup and co-founder Johnny Lyu as CEO of KuCoin Global. According to an announcement from KuCoin, the newly established KuGroup consists of three business groups: KuCoin Global, KuCloud, and KuChain & KCS Ecosystem. With their new roles, Michael Gan will oversee the global strategy of KuCoin Global and put more efforts on exploring the boundaries of blockchain technology with KuChain, a public blockchain powered by KuCoin, and how to integrate the group’s businesses with the KCS ecosystem. Johnny Lyu will be mainly responsible for the day-to-day operations of KuCoin, KuMEX, Pool-X, as well as the expansion and prosperity of the KCS ecosystem. Johnny Lyu commented, “KuCoin has proved its value in the crypto space by offering easy-to-use, secured and efficient financial services to users internationally. Over 65 billion transaction volume has been handled so far and we will continue our journey to make KuCoin the best place to trade. Please stay tuned for more updates regarding KuCoin, KuMEX, Pool-X, KCS, and KuChain that will be announced in the next few weeks.” Before joining KuCoin as co-founder, Johnny Lyu has accumulated abundant experience in the e-commerce, auto, and luxury industry. At KuCoin, Johnny used to lead the listing, business development and strategic investment team, and he is also the main contributor behind Spotlight, Pool-X, and KuCloud. Started in September 2017, KuCoin now offers a variety of crypto and blockchain businesses including spot & futures trading, mining and lending.    

BitMEX, OKEx, Binance and Deribit: Which Stood out in This Extreme Market with Best Market Depth

Last week was some of the darkest hours of global financial markets. Affected by the COVID-19 epidemic and oil price war, global stock markets, crude oil price, gold price and futures markets dived successively. While people were eager to seek robust investment targets and found that Bitcoin might be the last sort of safe-haven asset, BTC plummeted by approximately 50% on March 13 to a low of $3,791.9. The sudden drop in prices not only impacted the entire crypto market, but also challenged crypto exchanges worldwide. When huge traffic flooded exchanges with intense fear in a short period of time, whether an exchange had enough market depth to support such a large number of orders to protect the interests of users to the greatest extent became the most important thing for traders. Summary BitMEX, OKEx, Binance and Deribit are all leading exchanges with unique edges and have been well-received by traders for a long time. However, the crash on March 13 exposed a huge gap between them in terms of market depth, especially in the BTC futures market. From the data of several dimensions, such as trading volume, loss of insurance fund, open interest and whether the ADL (Auto Deleveraging) mechanism was triggered, it can be clearly seen that the trading depths of BitMEX and OKEx are top-tier, while those of Binance and Deribit were slightly affected. Trading Volume Source: Skew According to Skew, the 24h BTC futures trading volume on OKEx reached $15.55 billion and overtook BitMEX ($11.98 billion) by approx. 40% to rank the 1st when the crash struck on March 13. While the trading volume on Binance was $5.22 billion and $2.15 billion on Deribit. Capital always flows to profitable investments. In free markets, investors choose the most favorable exchange for trading. Therefore, trading volume does reflect investors’ acceptance of an exchange to a certain extent. Loss of insurance fund The role of the insurance fund is to cover margin call losses and make up for the part of profits that winning traders should have earned when a default appeared. The greater the amount of default, the greater the losses of insurance fund. If an exchange does not have enough market depth to handle rapid and large volatility, default is likely to occur in large numbers. Thus, the loss of insurance fund is an important indicator of market depth. Exchanges Bankruptcy Loss(BTC) Bankruptcy Loss(USDT) Proportion BitMEX 1,627.23 8,135,150 4.58% OKEx 179.05 895,24 8.04% Binance – 6,636,344 51.59% Deribit 209.47 1,047,342 53.36% Source: official website of the four exchanges When the crash happened, BitMEX lost 4.58% of insurance fund while OKEx lost 8.04%. Compared to Binance and Deribit, these proportions are insignificant. Insurance fund of Binance sharply decreased 6,636,343 USDT in 24 hours, accounting for up to 51.59% of the total pool. Deribit also lost 53.36% of their insurance fund. Insurance fund balance of BitMEX Balance of insurance fund of OKEx Balance of insurance fund of Binance Balance of insurance fund of Deribit It is noteworthy that once the insurance fund is used up and a default occurs, the part of user’s profit that should have been covered by the insurance fund will be shifted to all profitable traders of the exchange. This mechanism is called clawback. Under this mechanism, the gain made by profitable users is not final before deducting the clawback amount, and the profits of all profitable users will be diluted. At present, the balance of the insurance fund of Binance and Deribit are less than 50% of the previous. Although both exchanges promised to top up if the insurance funds are used out, the users on them are still facing the risk of clawback under extreme market conditions. Open interest & lowest prices Open interest refers to the total number of outstanding derivative contracts that have not been settled, which can reflect the trading depth of an exchange directly. Source: Skew According to Skew, the BTC futures open interest on BitMEX reached $0.64 billion, ranking 1st while OKEx is close behind with $0.46 billion. These two exchanges are far ahead others by more than 75%. On the other hand, the lowest price of each exchange can also reflect the trading depth of that exchange from the side. The lowest prices on OKEx, Binance and BitMEX BTC perpetual swap markets were $3,811.1, $3,621.81 and $3,596. In the case of a surge in trading volume, OKEx still maintained a reasonable range of price fluctuation, which implied a good market depth as well. Lowest prices of BTC perpetual swap markets on March 13 Auto Deleveraging ADL is a loss covering system that automatically deleverages opposite-side traders’ positions by profit and leverage priority. It is triggered when the margin of the opposing trader is insufficient to cover the loss. Obviously, if the depth of an exchange is good enough, this mechanism will be unlikely to be triggered. Although it’s hard to find any data about ADL from public information, a reasonable guess can be made based on the official statements of OKEx and Binance. “(S)ome futures ADL and margin calls”, said CZ, founder of Binance, in a tweet, while Jay Hao, CEO of OKEx claimed that “0 ADL in profit trades”.   Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

As Wallet Brands Seek an Edge Over the Competition; Hodler’s Win With Earning Opportunities

Are you missing out on the latest features from crypto wallet services? As global investors get more familiar with cryptocurrencies, the focus of related investor news has begun to change. In the beginning, a lot of the focus was on the assets themselves – what to buy, when to buy it, and most importantly, how these digital assets work. Now that many investors on the vanguard of cryptocurrency markets have learned a lot of these things, there are new types of strategies that experts are recommending, and many of these come into play in a sophisticated cryptocurrency or blockchain investment strategy. One of the main ones is around decentralized finance and new lending potential. New developments in decentralized finance and crypto wallet features allow investors to earn relatively high interest rates on their assets as they hold them – interest rates that are much higher than the average interest earned on the dollar as a fiat currency in depositor banks! Crypto Interest-Earning Options and How They Work Investors have a lot of choices in how they approach earning interest-based yields on crypto assets. Some exchanges are offering their own internal programs – for instance, Binance allows investors to get up to 10% on some assets – and tertiary financial service providers like Cred and BlockFi offer their own systems as well. Here’s part of how that works – as there is more institutional and business interest in crypto, the companies offering the interest rates can put that capital out into the world in an efficient way, through the power of decentralized finance, and bring the savings back to the wallet holders in terms of earned interest. “The crypto industry is in growth mode,” writes a BlockFi spokesperson in a post describing the practice of setting  up these groundbreaking platforms. “Businesses are building and investors are looking for ways to accumulate more capital. BlockFi Interest Account clients can deposit their crypto and earn interest. Paid out at the beginning of every month, the interest earned by account holders compounds, increasing the annual yield for our clients. This is an easy way for crypto investors to earn bitcoin while they HODL.” Essentially, too, the company’s can overcollateralize the crypto loans to lower the risk of defaults and use other efficiencies to further increase available interest to their investors. So the structural realities around digital blockchain assets fundamentally change what’s possible in terms of asset (interest-based) dividends. That’s important for interested investors to know – because they continually look for solid reasons to value digital coins like BTC over the dollar. This is a big one! HODLer’s don’t have to sell their crypto to earn – Source: Cred  Creating Partnerships in the DeFi World In addition to exchange operations and third-party options, some exchanges are partnering with those independent companies to get wallet holders the interest rates and gains that they want. This announcement from Edge about its secure wallet technologies and its partnership with Cred is just one of the newest of these joint ventures that will allow investors to optimize their yields over time. This particular choice blends the edge security of the wallet provider, which is a big value, with the amazing interest rates that Cred is able to generate for investors. Look for its 10% rate information on the web site. According to Dan Schatt, CEO of Cred: “Most wallets have realized by now, that if they’re not offering something that allows customers to earn interest, customers are going to move into a wallet that does. Over the next year or two, I believe everyone will want to offer interest to their customers, and that’s where Cred comes in.” With all of this rapid enterprise activity around DeFi lending, the market itself has boomed – according to BlockCrypto reports, the overall cryptocurrency lending sector is worth $5 billion, with two companies, Celsius and Genesis, sharing 65% of all relevant loan originations. Here’s the bottom line – crypto investors should know that these opportunities are out there. If you’ve made the effort to buy and hold a cryptocurrency and do all of the crypto tax accounting and everything else that’s involved, you owe it to yourself to be getting gains off of those assets. Sure, many people are holding Bitcoin because they think it will double, or triple, or increase its value to the tune of 1000% over a couple of years, but that’s no reason they shouldn’t be also getting high rates of interest – as the icing on the cake. Keep an eye on these extremely advantageous crypto investment moves for 2020 and beyond.   Image: DepositPhotos

This Token Surged 65% in March despite Crypto Market’s $86.35B Loss

A dollar invested in Tachyon Protocol’s IPX token at the beginning of March has returned $1.65 by the mid. The newborn cryptocurrency went live on HitBTC on February 25, 2020, the day the crypto market suffered about $12 billion worth of intraday loss. It naturally took a toll owing to the wider selling sentiment, eventually losing 12.56 percent of its value after hitting the February closing bell. IPX edges into positive territory even though its top peers decline | Source: CoinMarketCap.com Nevertheless, IPX rebounded as it headed into March, surging from $0.054 to as high as $0.092 as of this time of writing. The valuation of the overall cryptocurrency market, on the other hand, plunged by more than $86.35 billion within the same timeframe, with leading asset bitcoin logging losses of more than 36 percent. The counter moves helped IPX to become one of the most profitable cryptocurrencies, beating even the leading US stock index markets that plunged to their record lows amidst the escalating COVID-19 outbreak. The IPX-to-dollar exchange rate was trading at $0.089 as of the time of this writing, up about 65 percent on a month-to-date timeframe. The push helped the pair gain entry into the CoinMarketCap’s top 150 crypto index. IPX now is the 103rd largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization.  The Upside Catalysts IPX’s overall gains followed a string of uplifting news, starting with its listing on HitBTC and Bithumb, two of the world’s leading crypto exchanges. The bullish moves also took their cue from the launch of Tachyon Protocol’s first decentralized product: a virtual private network (VPN) application (app). Dubbed as Tachyon VPN, the app utilizes Tachyon’s blockchain technology to make the internet more secure and private. It serves as one of the first testaments that experiments and improves upon the TCP/IP protocol: By removing central servers with a  point-to-point protocol. So instead of relying on VPN services that risk low security because of their unsafe “tunnels,” users can opt for Tachyon that opts for distributed nodes to provide services to each other. Meanwhile, IPX becomes a de-facto reward token in the entire process, bringing an underlying valuation to itself. Traders may have perceived IPX as a bullish asset based on its involvement in a growth-based business model. That partly explains why the crypto beat its rivals even against a gloomy market outlook caused by the COVID-19 epidemic. IPX’s Technical Outlook Tachyon’s IPX is a very new asset, which means it lacks adequate historical references that could predict its price patterns in the near future. For now, the cryptocurrency is choppier and low on volumes as it gains legitimacy before potential adopters. There is however a hit-and-miss model that might work in the favor of traders with high-risk appetites. IPX’s identical pump-and-dump patterns | Source: TradingView.com, HitBTC As shown in the chart above, the IPX-to-dollar exchange rate, on four instances, has seen major pumps followed by equally wider dumps. But the direction of the trend has remained to the upside. The pair could, therefore, attempt the fourth dump upwards after a period of sideways consolidation, followed by more upward moves.

OKEx Announces Elite Trading Team Contest on its Derivatives Product, Offers 150,000 USDT Reward

The global cryptocurrency spots and derivatives exchange platform, OKEx doesn’t need any introduction. Known for its trading and other cryptocurrency-related products and services, the platform has now started an initiative to encourage and reward its traders. The Elite Trading Team Contest by OKEx offers a chance for traders on the platform to grab a share of the 150,000 USDT reward allocated to be distributed among the best performing individuals and trading teams. The trading contest will begin from March 23, 2020, at 10 AM and go on till 10 AM on April 6, 2020. In the past month, OKEx has proven itself to be the leader in cryptocurrency trading space after the platform’s BTC Futures and Options recorded over $101.4 billion and $248 million worth of trading volumes respectively. Even the platform’s perpetual swap did extremely well during the same period. With such numbers, OKEx is now truly a global leader in the crypto markets. “We are always committed to bringing a faster, more stable and more comprehensive trading experience to the crypto community. We keep perfecting our product portfolio, aim to provide as many products under the same roof so customers can enjoy high flexibility in hedging and adjusting their investment, “said CEO of OKEx Jay Hao. Announcing the upcoming contest, Jay said, “We are honored that the users recognize our derivatives trading tools. We will also offer an incentive to attract more new users while encouraging present users to expand their yield at OKEx by holding derivatives trading contest to help our users to keep their leading place in crypto market.” According to the platform, participants in the upcoming contest will be ranked based on their derivatives trading yield on OKEx. The top 10 teams and 100 individuals on the platform will be picked based on their yield, to become eligible for a share on the contest’s 150,000 USD reward. Image by morzaszum from Pixabay

OKEx Pool Among Top 5 Mining Pools, Charts Future Path for the Industry

OKEx Pool, a global integrated mining pool from OKEx, is offering a one-stop mining and trading service for its users from across the world. The mining pool, not confined to any one specific cryptocurrency, is known for the variety of mining services it offers for Proof-of-Work (PoW), Proof-of-Stake (PoS) and PoS-variant cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrency mining has been a very lucrative activity where people managed to earn a small fortune with their own mining set up. But eventually, as dedicated mining hardware became more powerful and difficulty levels increased, mining crypto by oneself has become uneconomical. In order to tackle the issue, people have increasingly started to pool their resources to increase efficiency, thereby creating mining pools. OKEx Pool is one such comprehensive cryptocurrency mining pool created by the leading digital asset exchange and trading platform OKEx. By providing a one-stop service for most of the crypto-related activities, OKEx Pool is allowing the miners on its platform to put not just their mining resources but also earnings to good use over a single window. The mining and trading services also help miners maximize their yields as high as 15%. OKEx Pool enjoys a large client base with high satisfaction ratings, making it one of the top 5 mining pools within 3 months of its launch. With the aim of applying blockchain technology to tackle the demands in various fields, the platform offers an entire package, including mining, trading, and staking products, along with a sophisticated risk control system. The 24/7 one-on-one customer service is also one of its outstanding features. Alina Yao, the Head of OKEx Pool, differentiates the platform from others by saying, “Different from other mining pools, OKEx Pool aims to become a global leading integrated mining pool which supports both PoW and PoS/POS-variant mining. Not only do we support 13 major crypto assets for PoW mining, but we also provide hedging and staking services to meet the diversified demands in the market.” OKEx Pool has grown aggressively in the crypto mining space. It currently has a BTC hash rate of over 7490P along with a solid PoS mining base. It is also involved in the development of around 20 blockchain projects, including EOS, COSMOS, VSYS, IOST, LAD, and more as a supernode. OKEx Pool believes in blockchain technology as an ideal solution to empower the real-world economy as it has the potential to transform the current systems into more efficient ones. There are many blockchain solutions at present that have adopted different consensus mechanisms. The diversity in consensus solutions allows users to choose the one that is right for them. For OKEx Pool, there is no best, or the worst consensus as the platform intends to extend equal support for each one of them and foster further innovation in the sector. “We appreciate the diversity of consensus solutions as they offer the market many choices, and we will continue to be open-minded to any new consensus protocols that may come in the future. In the future, the ecosystem of mining pools will become more diversified, and cryptocurrencies with different consensus protocols will be able to interact,” said Alina. At present, mining pools are relatively new businesses in the cryptocurrency space, and every player in this space is on a lookout for new, sustainable profit models based on what they are already offering. Being part of OKEx, the OKEx Pool can leverage a lot of existing products currently provided by the company and provide a host of services to the community that’s part of the pool. While explaining the future of mining pools, Alina said, “In my opinion, mining pools should develop into digital asset management platforms with unique advantages. Like many global asset management firms, investment consultant fees, asset management fees and collateralized lending could be the sources of income for mining pools. While today the major income of mining pool comes from management fees, I see huge potential for industry players to develop the other two aspects.” It also outlines the current strategy that OKEx Pool seems to have adopted, and at this rate, it might become the first mining pool to achieve the goals Alina outlined. Image by WorldSpectrum from Pixabay

The World Gold Miner Tokenizes Assets and Opens Trading on Coinsbit, Simex and P2PB2B Exchanges

Recently, in search of easy and big profits, to the crypto market have come many new investors who thoughtlessly invested money and manipulated the price of cryptocurrencies, as a result of which this Big Bubble burst. The great and terrible “Crypto-disaster of 2018” happened during which many coins either lost their entire price or still have not regained their position. And although some projects were fraudulent, most startups only too late realized the importance of creating a truly viable, crisis-resistant management system. Now the situation has changed a lot. Investors no longer want to take risks and thoughtlessly invest money for luck. The real usefulness of the project, its financial strategy, which will allow you to earn money, is currently appreciated. Investors do not need ideas, they want to see the practical application of these ideas. Introducing GoldFinX, a new financial technology built on a strong business model that scales and retains its value over time. The company opens up a gold mining market for private and institutional investors, taking care of improving the quality of life and the environment. The market turnover reaches several trillions of dollars.. The growing gold mining industry has opened up the forefront of attractive investment at 10% per annum since 1971. The scalable and reliable GoldFinX business model is developed by world-class experts. The creators of the project plan for the first 10 years of the project to make a profit of $ 15 billion. The GiX cryptocurrency, value of which is supported by the value of gold, is sold at a price of $ 2 per 1 coin before listing on CoinsBit on March 27, 2020. After initial launch of trades on Coinsbit on March 27, GoldFinX will be traded after as well on Simex and P2PB2B exchanges. Users from all over the world will be served by the Coinsbit exchange, which has fast replenishment and withdrawal of deposits from Visa and Mastercard. Simex exchange will work with customers from America. The mission of the project is to return people’s faith in cryptocurrency projects and prove that it is possible to conduct good business in this area. Updated business model Thanks to the advent of cryptocurrencies and the development of blockchain technologies, we have received previously inaccessible opportunities. Which, in turn, affected the conservative sector of gold mining. GoldFinX’s simultaneously meets the needs of the market, and also makes this area attractive to investors, including institutional ones. Small mining companies are faced with the problem of expanding production, as they often use outdated equipment and ore mining methods that are hazardous to the health of workers. Without external lending, they are unlikely to be able to solve their problems. Without new equipment, as well as without competent control systems, they will not be able to increase their productivity. Another problem is the limited employment that people who do not receive enough money from the agricultural sector to support families need. Most of them are forced to work in illegal mines without any safety and labor protection. Child labor is often used at such mines, and businessmen who control such mines sell gold much cheaper than its market value. Deprived of safe working conditions, people often lose their health, and sometimes their lives. Unskilled workers who, due to their poverty, are not able to change their job or place of residence, and are involuntary slavery, fall into the mines. In addition to the detrimental effects on workers’ health, illegal mines also damage the environment. The use of mercury and cyanide in gold mining significantly pollutes water and air. About 40% of the total air pollution from mercury falls on illegal gold mines. This is due to a lack of finances and a desire to save, and also because of the low chances of obtaining a development loan. Ignoring creditors in this area of the business actually stopped it from developing many decades ago. In order to solve important problems with the working conditions of miners and to prevent environmental pollution, ASGM industry needs to be dealt with as soon as possible. GoldFinX Solution Developed Today GoldFinX’s blockchain can solve many problems in this area. To enable companies to attract investment through the sale of digital assets. These investments will provide businesses with the opportunity to buy high-quality equipment, create new production mechanisms or simply enter new markets that were previously inaccessible. The GoldFinX blockchain will allow you to track gold at all stages of supply, from its production to its final destination, to verify the legality of ore mining. The totality of measures taken can increase industry productivity by 10.20 and 50 times GoldFinX received its first experience in Côte d’Ivoire and has already managed to extract 2 kg of gold. It is expected that by the end of May it will be possible to receive 5-10 kg of gold per month. In the near future, other mines in Côte d’Ivoire will start working on the same principle, and in summer the company will open production in Tanzania and Canada. This little experience will allow the company to test the business model in practice before moving on to large volumes at the end of the year. GoldFinX profit will be provided by 20% of the mine’s income, which in 10 years will make it possible to earn 15 billion, 2.5 of which will be in the foreign exchange reserve of the Swiss bank. This financial strategy protects the value of cryptocurrency with real, physical assets, and gives GiX the best features of fiat currencies and stablecoins. Moreover, the purchase of GiX tokens helps to improve the working conditions of miners. It turns out that making the world a better place and doing business are not mutually exclusive things. “Doing good” is just common sense in business.  

OKEx #WomenInCrypto Celebrates Gender Equality and Women Empowerment on Women’s Day 2020

The introduction of Bitcoin over a decade ago symbolized the emergence of democratic values in the financial ecosystem. It was the first attempt towards financial empowerment as well as equality of all the participants in the ecosystem where anyone, anywhere can hold and make transactions using the digital currency. The same essence has to be carried forward in the billion-dollar cryptocurrency industry as well. OKEx, the world’s largest cryptocurrency spot and derivatives exchange platform has taken a step forward by sending the message of gender equality this Women’s Day. The company kickstarted its social campaign on March 8, 2020 – International Women’s Day as an initiative to show appreciation and embrace women’s empowerment. As a part of the event, OKEx invited over 20 female leaders from different segments of the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry to share their inspiration and vision to the future. The CEO of OKEx Jay Hao, appropriately redefined HODL on the occasion by saying, “The International Women’s Day is a big day for everyone to celebrate gender equality and women’s empowerment. Humble-Outstanding-Diligent-Leaders. It is for women who hold strong and generate positive impacts in the male-dominated crypto industry. Some may overlook their phenomenal work and neglect their incredible talents, but still, they persist and work even harder.” It is not just the crypto industry where there is a huge disparity between male and female workforces. It is found on different levels across the science and technology sector, which many are trying to address, albeit slowly. The OKEx campaign is a step in the right direction and going by Hao’s statement, it is something the company intends to address at least within its organization. “#WomenInCrypto campaign is not only in celebration of today but to create awareness on gender equality. At OKEx, we value our female talents and are proud to achieve a high level of gender diversity across our offices. In the future, we will continue to empower women and create a happy and harmonious workplace with gender equality,” added Jay Hao. Among the deserving women invited to the event were those from crypto media, influencers, organizational leaders and more. It is worth noting that the female contribution within the Bitcoin community has more than doubled in the past couple of years. Recent data from CoinDance shows that the number of women in Bitcoin space has increased from 5% in 2018 to over 12.8%, as they continue to demonstrate their unique sense, creativity and leadership in the industry and contribute to its growth. Giving a glimpse of the changing landscape, Bitcoinist’ s Cryptocurrency Journalist Christina Comben said, “We’re getting better at tightening the narrative, at explaining the benefits of cryptocurrency without complicating it, at building the infrastructure… that are more user-friendly with obvious USPs. But there is still plenty of work to be done as well as plenty of space for all types of people to join in,” Further addressing the women she said, “Understand that the biggest barrier to entry may be yourself. Yes, this [is] a male-dominated industry, but no one is actively denying women access. Many of the females that have entered are killing it in the space. Blockchain is gender-neutral. Don’t let anyone make you think otherwise and don’t let anything stand in your way.” For any industry to scale new heights, there is a huge need for determined, hardworking and ambitious individuals as well as teams. Women are equally motivated as men and they are willing to break barriers and make valuable contributions to any field they work. All it takes it the creation of a right, unbiased environment with equal opportunities and recognition of their efforts. More quotes from the women in crypto are available on OKEx’s Twitter timeline.   Image by Igor Link from Pixabay

Why Future Mileage Programs Will Flow Like MiL.k

It’s a universal truth: everyone loves free stuff. In fact, stuff that seems like it’s free – but which is actually packaged as a “reward” – is all the more loveable. Such is the attraction of frequent flyer programs which repay consumers for their continued loyalty with discounted flights and upgrades. These programs are ubiquitous, with major domestic and international carriers keen to engage and incentivize their customer base. From 2013 to 2018, the six biggest U.S. airlines revamped their mileage programs, reducing the number of miles required to purchase a ticket while increasing the number of seats available for rewards travel. In spite of such efforts, millions of dollars worth of mileage go waste every year. Mileage programs: no longer fits the purpose Mileage points are, in their own way, a form of currency: like money they can be redeemed for goods and services, albeit in a narrow sense according to strict terms and conditions. However, it’s fair to say modern mileage programs fail to meet the expectations of modern consumers. Not only are they tricky to redeem but accrued miles can often expire before the customer has had a chance to use them. What’s more, loyalty points cannot be exchanged or pooled together (i.e. among friends or family members), and there is invariably a minimum threshold of miles which the customer must meet in order to qualify. Pain points abound in mileage programs: some flights cannot be purchased with loyalty points, there is a lack of transparency governing airlines’ policies which change often, and flying with partner airlines can have complex consequences on your mileage points. There is also a lack of coordination between service companies such as airlines, e-commerce outlets, taxi firms and duty free shops. Wouldn’t it be great if you could spend your loyalty points on a cab to the airport, a gift in duty free, a coffee at the departure gate, a meal on the plane and an upgraded ticket? The entire concept of earning and redeeming mileage points needs a radical overhaul to meet the expectations of consumers who crave simplicity and ease. It shouldn’t be difficult to accrue rewards points, and nor should it be onerous to spend them. The mileage point model must drive revenue and inspire loyalty, not cause headaches. Blockchain: a proven driver of efficiency Blockchain technology powers the Bitcoin network, as well as many other forms of cryptocurrency. However, its use cases extend beyond Bitcoin’s borders and it has been deployed in diverse industries to improve efficiency, transparency and security. Essentially, blockchain uses cryptography to record and store data that’s open to all and immune to corruption. It has the potential to ensure that loyalty programs remain sustainable long term by remunerating travelers for their fidelity using a distributed ledger that any party can access. Emerging ecosystems are currently developing blockchain-based solutions to bring about improvements to physical asset traceability, taxation, e-voting, online security, revenue management, video games and even intellectual property ownership. Blockchain also has massive potential in the travel and hospitality sector, from tracking luggage on a decentralized database to storing identities on the blockchain and facilitating secure payments via digital wallets. Rewards reimagined by the MiL.K Alliance MiL.K Alliance is a blockchain platform that seeks to integrate the disparate rewards schemes managed by service providers (airlines, hotels, shopping outlets) into the travel, leisure and lifestyle sectors. The intention is to encourage repurchases by making it easier and more rewarding for customers to participate in the mileage economy. In the MiL.K ecosystem, users convert loyalty points into the platform’s MLK token, which can then be redeemed by purchasing from any Alliance partner (or selling on an exchange for cash). The ease with which MLK tokens can be redeemed, as well as their exchangeability, should drastically reduce the number of mileage points which are currently wasted. Mileage points can also be bought at a lower price than actual value using MLK tokens. Founded in 2018, the MiL.k Alliance has already partnered with Yanolja, Korea’s leading accommodation platform, and launched its MLK token on Upbit exchange in February, paired with BTC and fiat currencies KRW and Indonesia’s IRD. A full launch is expected during the second quarter of 2020, with assurances that other major global partners have signed up. The potential of the project is huge, providing both customers and companies see the value in revamping and unifying their mileage programs. So, who stands to benefit most from using a platform such as MiL.k? Most probably international travelers and other frequent fliers who could not fail to see the benefit of maximizing the utility of their rewards points. Mileage redemption bargains have become far more elusive in recent years, subject to fixed mileage charts and restricted to expensive itineraries. By allowing travelers to redeem their mileage points more widely (rather than solely on flights), airlines will continue to incentivize their customer base; and other partners (restaurants, taxi companies, hotel chains) stand to benefit too. Blockchain traverses the travel industry Several other startups have already utilized blockchain technology in the travel industry. Take Winding Tree, for example: an open blockchain platform for making travel bookings while bypassing intermediaries. Executed by smart contracts, Winding Tree is powered by its own LIF token, which is optimized to carry travel-specific data and minimize foreign exchange fees. Winding Tree lets travel companies showcase their products and services to online travel agencies throughout the world, and was created to challenge the hegemony of multinationals (Expedia, Booking.com, etc) who act as gatekeepers to the industry. Lufthansa and Etihad Airways have already signed up, as have several hotel chains. Accenture’s Known Traveler Identification System, run in collaboration with the World Economic Forum, is another notable example; combining biometrics and blockchain, the platform improves security by facilitating the seamless flow of people across borders. How? By giving travelers the ability to share their identifying information with authorities ahead of travel. Qiibee currently lets businesses run their loyalty programs on the blockchain; companies can even create their own branded loyalty tokens and analyze the tokens’ performance in real time. As for customers, they get to use the Qiibee wallet app to store, transfer and trade loyalty tokens or exchange them for the native ERC20 token, QBX. Could blockchain revolutionize loyalty programs? The architecture of blockchain suggests that it could well revolutionize loyalty programs, in the travel industry and elsewhere. The technology could make it easier to redeem points and keep track of multiple loyalty programs, allowing customers to retain all mileage points in a single wallet. Loyalty fraud will be minimized due to blockchain’s immutable, time-stamped database and members may also be able to transfer points between different wallets. MiL.K, and other innovative startups, are putting blockchain to good use by introducing pan-industry solutions that both enterprises and consumers can appreciate. As far as the travel industry is concerned, blockchain technology seems ripe for liftoff, with mileage programs an ideal testing ground.   Image Source: Depositphotos.com

OKEx Burns 3 Million OKB as It Continues to Expand OKChain Ecosystem

The leading cryptocurrency spot and derivatives exchange platform, OKEx has successfully concluded its 7th buy-back & burn scheme for the platform’s native OKB utility tokens.  The latest round that started on December 1, 2019, till Feb 29, 2020, witnessed a buy-back of about 3,183,344.61 OKB tokens worth close to $17,500,000. Following the completion of the token burn, the number of OKB tokens currently in circulation has reduced further by around 3 million. In turn, the reduced supply of tokens will translate to an increased value of remaining OKB in circulation. According to OKEx, the Buy-back & Burn scheme was constituted in May 2019 by earmarking 30% of the transaction fees generated from the OKEx spot market during each quarter. Starting with 300 million OKB tokens in circulation, OKEx has so far burnt a total of 17,161,709.06 tokens to bring the total down to 282,838,290.94 OKB. Apart from that, another 700 million unissued tokens were also burnt to ensure that there are no new tokens entering the market anytime in the future. With the effective destruction of excess tokens and those secured from the buy-back program, OKB has entered absolute deflation, becoming the world’s first fully circulating platform token. “In the past two years, we have been exploring how to enhance the value of OKB. We have come a long way and are now extremely confident in our ability to drive value through OKB to our users, treating it as an essential foundation to our trading ecosystem and a bridge that connects OKEx to our valued users,” said CEO of OKEx Jay Hao. The robust token management mechanism implemented by OKEx has already shown results. Earlier this year, the value of OKB registered a 25% growth in the month of January. It is further supported by the recent introduction of OKB Spot Margin Trading along with 18 other assets. Holders of OKB get additional privileges in the form of better leverage and reduced interest rates, discount on trading fees Jumpstart quota for new tokens, payment at designated merchants, priority listing and more. Regarding OKB Jay Hao said, “The value of OKB lies in the privileges and functionalities it has to offer to its owner. I always stress that traders should own OKB only out of their rational estimate on the token’s value rather than speculation.” Other Factors Driving OKB OKB is the utility token of the entire OKEx ecosystem. Meaning, any developments within the ecosystem, whether they are good or bad will have an impact on the value of this token. So far, OKEx has been doing everything right, and probably much better than others in a few aspects. Some of the recent developments other than the Buy-back and Burn program that has had a positive influence on OKB include the successful launch of OKChain testnet accompanied by its very first dApp OKEx DEx – a decentralized crypto exchange. The new OKChain on testnet currently offers 5 main features which include the ability for users to create their own cryptocurrencies, support for decentralized exchanges, publishing DeFi applications, creating and executing smart contracts and mapping bitcoin cross-chain. Partnerships and collaborations between OKEx and other companies have also contributed to the rising value of OKB. With over 35 partners around the world, the platform is now offering solutions to a range of everyday use cases like payment, transactions, trading service software, wallets, loan and finance, cybersecurity, tourism, lifestyle, entertainment, social networking, e-contracts, O2O and gaming. In addition, there are plenty of options for users to start trading OKB as the token is currently available on 8 major fiat gateways including US dollar, euro, Korean won, Vietnamese dong, Indonesian rupiah, etc., along with listing on 50 spot exchanges in over 141 countries and regions around the world.   Image by Larry White from Pixabay

OKEx’ Lennix Lai and Philip Glover to Take Part in London Blockchain Week 2020 Panel Discussions

Representatives from the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange and trading platform, OKEx will be attending the upcoming London Blockchain Week 2020 event to exchange their views on digital assets and mainstream financial instruments. According to the company, the Financial Markets Director Lennix Lai, and the Financial Market Assistant Vice President Philip Glover will be part of the different panels during their attendance at the event. Lennix Lai, who has been a very vocal proponent of the use of cryptocurrency to tackle the issues of “unbankedness” will be part of a panel on March 10, 2020. He is expected to share his opinions on the role of digital asset derivatives and sophisticated financial instruments during the CryptoCompare Digital Asset Summit. Meanwhile, Philip Grover will discuss mainstream maturity: crypto prime brokerage at the same event. Looking forward to his participation in the event, Lennix Lai said, “London is one of the traditional world financial centers with complete financial infrastructures, a highly-inclusive market environment and a large number of world-class investment institutions. Currently, 70% of the trading volume on OKEx comes from institutional traders, and London has always been one of OKEx’s most important markets. With the development of digital assets globally, traditional institutions would be a blossom to the market. This is a perfect opportunity in connecting the traditional finance space and crypto space, a chance to better understand the derivatives and other financial instruments that OKEx provides.” Similar to one of the earlier events at Davos along the sidelines of the World Economic Forum annual meeting, the London event is also a very important one, as the city is one of the major fintech destinations. Being one of the influential blockchain events in the world, developments during the London Blockchain Week will have a considerable impact on the global cryptocurrency landscape. The event is expected to host thousands of industry experts, investors, institutions, and digital asset enthusiasts. OKEx is also hosting VIP Drinks on March 12, 2020, two days after their representatives’ presence at the cryptocurrency summit.

Chainlink and DAPP Network: Opposing Projects with Aligned Aims

On the face of it, there aren’t many obvious similarities between Chainlink and LiquidApps’ DAPP Network. The former is an oracle solution focused on enhancing the Ethereum network, while DAPP Network is primarily EOS-based, and is designed to address broader problems than mere oracles; scaling, resource allocation and dApp user onboarding are among its many features. Dig a little deeper, however, and one is struck by the similarities between the projects, not just in their approach to building, but in their vociferous communities that have elevated these once tiny projects into formidable cornerstones within their respective ecosystems. While developers are focused on the operational improvements that Chainlink and DAPP Network can bring to decentralized applications, speculators are more interested in the native token that powers each ecosystem. LINK is up 153% for the year to date, and DAPP 57%. Could LiquidApps’ EOS scaling network emulate 2019 Chainlink, its supporters wonder, and record the sort of growth that transformed LINK into a $1.6 billion project? DAPP Network and Chainlink: Blockchain Brothers from Another Mother Chainlink is an oracle solution that enables smart contracts to be connected to real-world data, events, and payments. Its tamper-proof inputs enable blockchains to trust the data inputs they receive from external environments; stock prices; commodities market valuations; temperatures; times; sports scores and things like that. LiquidApps’ DAPP Network also provides that capability through LiquidOracles, which are a fundamental part of the network’s service stack. DAPP Network does a lot more on top, however, such as LiquidScheduler for automating and scheduling tasks, and LiquidAccounts, a free key management and account creation tool that makes it easier for developers to onboard new users. The two projects overlap, however, as LiquidApps conceded in a recent blog post, writing “LiquidOracles may be the way that first-generation solutions like those by Chainlink can upgrade their services, providing valuable features and flexibility to dApps already using those solutions. LiquidOracles implemented by the DAPP Network community could allow dApp developers to access trustless data feeds in a customizable fashion from within their smart contracts.” In essence, LiquidApps could provide a means for Chainlink to broaden its reach, gaining a foothold in the lucrative EOS ecosystem through tapping into the DAPP Network’s established community. DAPP Network users, in turn, will gain exposure to the cryptosphere’s largest oracle solution, using secure middleware to connect them to real-world data. It’s a win-win situation for both parties, and one which LiquidApps seem keen to foster, noting that DAPP Network service providers “could integrate Chainlinks as part of their data feeds, and Chainlink could utilize the DAPP Network to gain some additional advantages.” That may be so, but not everyone in the DAPP Network and Chainlink communities is convinced that such an alliance would be desirable; crypto tribalism is as old as cryptocurrencies themselves, and there are those who would rather see the two projects pursue separate paths. To follow such an isolationist stance would be a mistake though. Linking Communities by Mixing Memes While the DAPP Network’s architects are only interested in the network benefits of bringing Chainlink onboard, DAPP users and token holders have an additional incentive to see such an alliance go ahead. Even the most casual of crypto market observers can’t have failed to notice LINK’s dizzying ascent, which has seen the token rise by over 1,000% in the past 12 months. While much of the credit for this goes to the Chainlink team, which has forged partnership after partnership, and tirelessly shipped code, that’s not the full story. The other reason behind LINK’s transformation into the most successful ERC20 token to date, after lurking in the low cap league for 18 months after its release, is on account of its community. Enter the Link Marines. Born in the trenches of 4chan’s /biz/ messageboard, ‘Linkies’ have memed the token and its shy CEO Sergey Nazarov into a viral sensation, flooding the cryptosphere with what can only be described as memetic warfare. There is no indication that the DAPP Network’s community is about to embark upon a similar image macro spree. Nevertheless, there are lessons to be drawn from the Link Marine playbook. Cryptocurrency marketing doesn’t have to be humorless, nor does it have to come from the top down. There are additional commonalities between the DAPP Network of today and Chainlink of a year ago, with both projects delivering working products that provide clear utility, with token price the only lagging indicator of success. LINK is no longer /biz/ messageboard’s dirty little secret, and is on the verge of breaking into the top 10 crypto assets by market cap. DAPP Network token-holders, developers, and network users will be hoping DAPP records a similar trajectory, rewarding LiquidApps’ endeavors and the unflagging faith of its community.

Credits Project Launches New Mainnet Release

On February 27, 2020, Credits launched a new release of the blockchain platform. The new version of the network has been made available for public installation and is open for use by all validators and users. The Credits project has launched its new Mainnet version to sustain the growing demand for its infrastructure services and to update the existing system. More than 120 nodes run by validators are currently maintaining the operability of the Credits blockchain network. The new Mainnet version of the network includes a number of advantages over the previous software. Among the improvements introduced in the new version are an increase in the level of decentralization and the bolstering of security measures for counteracting DDoS attacks. Another important introduction is the new delegation feature, which grants users the possibility of delegating their funds without transmitting the property. The delegation function is an important step towards the launch of the Staking program, which will be aimed at significantly increasing the income of node operators and create an ability to form staking pools. The Credits project is developing its infrastructure and has already attracted the attention of both large and medium-sized companies seeking to decentralize their business operations. The project has concluded more than 200 partnerships with various companies, among which are IBM, Alibaba, Oracle and others. The Credits project team is continuing to work on the platform as the project plans to launch its own stablecoin in the near future and is preparing for the release of a Mobile Wallet application.  

OKEx VIP Club Privileges Extended to Include Global Clients

The largest crypto assets trading and exchange platform OKEx has announced the expansion of its VIP Club program to all its clients along with the inclusion of a new Gold tier membership to the existing privilege program. The OKEx VIP Club allows users to make the minimum required deposit for respective tiers in bitcoin and gain access to a lot of features that were otherwise limited to the holders of the platform’s native OKB tokens. It also marks the deviation of OKEx from other market players who have made the use or possession of their respective platform’s native tokens as the eligibility criteria for similar privilege programs. Announcing the new feature, the CEO of OKEx Jay Hao said, “We are endeavoring to offer the best experience for users, including a wide range of trading privileges, to help our VIP clients stay on top of the market. We have seen market players tied the exchange token with the VIP club, we’d opt out from it, focusing on the real value of OKB.” He also said, “We encourage users to trade big and smart on our platform. Instead of holding hundreds of thousands of BTC-worth exchange token for trading-fee discount, users with large trading volumes can also enjoy lower fees without a hassle on the OKB price fluctuations.” The OKEx VIP Club has three tiers – GOLD, PLATINUM and DIAMOND, each with its own prerequisites of eligibility. The GOLD membership can be gained by depositing a minimum of 20 BTC, while the PLATINUM and DIAMOND tiers require minimum deposits of 50 BTC and 300 BTC respectively. The VIP Club members can also get an upgraded to the next tier based on their monthly trading volumes on OKEx. The transaction requirements tied to OKEx VIP Club are as follows: The VIP Club privileges are available in three categories – trading, OKEx ecosystem and add-ons. All the VIP members, irrespective of their membership tier are eligible for discounts on trading fees, depositEXPRESS, bespoke withdrawal limits, OTC fiat gateway, data product, colocation/proximity hosting, alpha/beta tester opportunities, and one-on-one dedicated account manager with direct access to technical support while trading on the platform. The PLATINUM and DIAMOND members receive few special OKEx ecosystem extras in the form of OKEx Prestige card – a card shaped cold wallet which also acts as a privilege card to enjoy discounts at luxury hotels, restaurants and bars, and exclusive invites for events, conferences and meetups around the world sponsored by OKEx. Some of the add-ons for VIP Club members include access to institutional grade research and lots of surprises on birthdays, festivals and special occasions. It is also worth noting that the VIP Club membership can be retained by either achieving required trade volumes or by maintaining the minimum required deposit. It will not create any undue pressure on the participants to trade continuously to maintain the membership, and with minimum deposit in place, they get to enjoy all the tier-linked benefits irrespective of their trade volumes. The creation of VIP Club will make way for not just regular traders but also high-volume traders and institutional investors to become part of the privileged group and gain all the benefits without worrying about managing OKB or any other additional crypto asset. It will also help the platform provide better service to its global clients with a personal touch, something that is absent on most exchange platforms. Image by FelixMittermeier from Pixabay

KuCoin’s New Instant Exchange Service Supports Near Instant Crypto Transactions

KuCoin, the leading global cryptocurrency exchange backed by IDG Capital has now launched its Instant Exchange service that allows users to exchange some of the top crypto assets like BTC, ETH, LTC, XRP, BCHABC and USDT within seconds. Created by KuCoin in collaboration with a top quantitative market maker of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME),  the Instant Exchange service offers a huge advantage over traditional crypto-to-crypto trading solutions when it comes to order completion and settlement. Whenever users submit an order on Instant Exchange, KuCoin and its partner will find the optimal exchange rate in the global market and execute immediate settlement. The transaction on the platform will be completed in as less as one second. The Instant Exchange feature is designed to support orders of any size, and the rate of order execution ensures that there is no large price fluctuation in KuCoin’s spot market due to huge, partially executed orders. Also, the final transaction price for any order will be the same as what’s shown on the service page at the time of placing the order as the platform doesn’t charge any transaction fees. It will greatly reduce transaction costs while improving transaction efficiency. Johnny Lyu, the co-founder of KuCoin, said: “As ‘The People’s Exchange’, KuCoin has been committed to providing users with secure, simple and convenient trading experience, so that more people can embrace the blockchain and crypto world. The Instant Exchange service is a bold attempt for KuCoin, which can help users complete the optimal transaction in the shortest time”. Since its launch in 2017, KuCoin has grown into one of the most popular crypto exchanges, and it currently provides a series of financial services like fiat-to-crypto, crypto-to-crypto, futures, staking, borrowing, token launch and more to its 5 million users spread across 207 countries and regions around the world. One out of four crypto holders worldwide is with KuCoin.  

The Importance of Passive Income in Today’s Economy and How Cryptocurrencies Can Help

The current state of the economy has made it hard for people to rely on just the regular source of income to manage their finances. In order to have financial security it is very important to have supplemental income to take care of all the financial obligations and still maintain healthy savings. It may not be practical for everyone to work multiple jobs or make capital heavy investments that can earn a steady source of income in the near future. This is where cryptocurrencies come into the picture by providing a flexible alternative investment route for a passive income stream. Lennix Lai, Financial Markets Director of OKEx, offered insights into the possibility of cryptocurrencies acting as a source of financial stability for the masses during the recently concluded Blockchain Economy 2020 event in Turkey. As a keynote speaker at the highest-standard blockchain summit in MENA and Eurasia, Lai said, “Cryptocurrencies could be an ideal alternative to earn passive income while negative interest rate becomes the new norm globally. At OKEx, we strive to bring crypto inclusion and is constantly working towards a frictionless economy, regardless of how the traditional markets perform,” He further added,  “Savings, staking, as well as DeFi lending, these are new avenues that can provide crypto interest income to users on a regular basis, which also benefit to the traditional financial system, and hence bringing billions of users the advantage of obtaining passive income in crypto.” The concept of negative interest rates is not new to many European nations. Unlike the standard practice where savings in a bank account generate interest, the negative interest rate regime rewards borrowing in order to boost spending and revive the economy. However, this practice also penalizes the practice of savings by charging an interest on it, which in the long run could turn detrimental for people as their savings dwindle and in case of any emergency, they will be forced to arrange for funds through other means. However, a bit farther away from conventional banking practices, cryptocurrencies have displayed their potential to help people collect a steady stream of revenues through multiple ways. Staking cryptocurrencies is becoming a norm these days, as they offer a low-risk cryptocurrency investment option. During staking, investors will receive rewards in the form of dividends by buying and depositing cryptocurrencies in e-wallets or staking pools for a certain duration. In simpler words, staking is quite similar to time deposit in traditional banks where the holder will earn interest or profits for maintaining the funds for longer durations in their respective accounts. However, there are subtle differences in how the profit is generated, and the rate of interest with staking tends to be much higher than traditional banking. Staking is gradually becoming popular among the crypto community as more people start staking their tokens for profit. The interest rates on staking have also seen a considerable increase, which stands at the highest on OKEx Pool with an average of 5.2%. OKEx Pool is a comprehensive mining pool created by OKEx, the leading crypto asset exchange and trading platform. It supports mining of a range of PoW, PoS and PoS-variant assets, including major ones like BTC, BSV, ETH, LTC, EOS, ATOM, XTZ, DAI and more. The highest interest rate for staking on OKEx Pool is currently garnered by EOS, XTZ, DAI, VSYS, ATOM, YOU, ISOT and CRO, with the maximum being 15%. EOS was the earliest token made available for staking on OKEx Pool at interest rates up to 5.12% — highest in the industry. The platform also offers additional advantages for EOS staking, which includes: conversion of profits to OKB for settlement where users can also gain additional benefit from the increase in OKB market value as OKEx’ native token continues to perform strongly in the secondary market. added diversity and flexibility of staking period with 4-tiered staking period one-click staking by transferring EOS to the Mining Account direct credit of daily income from staking OKEx shares a strong working relationship with the EOS community, which has helped OKEx Pool secure top EOS Block Producer ranking on August 13, 2019, within one month of launch. OKEx has also launched the EOS Block Producer Pursuit during the same month to recognize and reward earlier Block Producers with over 100 million votes. Staking is just one of the ways of generating passive income in the cryptocurrency ecosystem, there are also other trading products (most of which are offered by OKEx as well) that could help in achieving one’s financial goals when utilized prudently.

OKEx Makes OKB and 18 Other Assets Available for Spot Margin Trading and Savings, Also Introduces Mark Price System

The Spot Margin trading and Savings service on OKEx have received a huge boost as the leading cryptocurrency exchange platform announced the addition of 19 new assets. The list of new assets available in margin trading pairs starting 21st Feb 2020 includes ADA, ALGO, ATOM, BTM, BTT, ELF, HC, IOTA, IOST, LINK, OKB, OMG, ONT, VSYS, XLM, XMR, XTZ, ZEC and ZIL against BTC or USDT. The inclusion of new tokens also signifies a milestone for the platform’s own OKB utility tokens which has gained a lot of market attention in recent days, registering a sharp increase in trade volumes. Along with the expansion of supported assets on Spot Margin trading and Savings, the company also launched the new mark price system for margin trading which replaces the earlier used practice of calculating margin ratio with last traded price. We hear the market and are committed to providing the best user experience for our community. By welcoming new assets, we are expanding the ecosystem, as well as providing more options for people to trade. Spot margin trading is the most accessible entry into the digital asset trading market, therefore, increased flexibility will encourage mass adoption,” said Jay Hao CEO of OKEx. Among the 19 newly added assets, OKB supports up to 3x leverage at a minimum daily interest rate on borrowing of 0.01%. The interest rate keeps changing as it is calculated dynamically based on changing supply (saving) and demand (borrowing) on an hourly basis. Further, as an initiative to ensure adequate supply of OKB, the platform allows users to make a maximum deposit of 10000 OKB to Savings service. Similar features are available of the other 18 new assets as well, but at slightly different leverage, interest rates and deposit limits. All the deposits and withdrawals on the platform are executed in real-time. Mark Price for Margin Trading The new Mark Price feature is implemented as a part of OKEx’ initiative to reduce instances of market manipulation. Breaking away from the earlier used model for margin ratio using last traded price, the Mark Price is set based on weighted index spot price of an asset across multiple exchanges. This way, any deviation in asset price on one exchange due to any number of factors won’t have a critical bearing on the margin ratio. According to OKEx, the Mark Price system will protect traders from abnormal liquidations caused by extreme price changes. It will maximize market stability by accounting spot index price and forms a reasonable basis for deciding the price of an asset. From now on, the margin ratio and estimated force-liquidation price will be calculated based on the mark price, thus offering a better estimate of the true value of the asset. It will help traders and the platform avoid unnecessary liquidations due to market manipulation within a short period.