Binance’s US Trading Platform to Introduce Staking Rewards

Binance.US, the U.S. cryptocurrency trading platform of major crypto exchange Binance, will introduce stacking rewards in February.

According to an announcement published by Binance.US on Jan. 29, staking rewards will be made available for Algorand (ALGO) and COSMOS (ATOM) starting next month.

Staking support for more coins to come

Furthermore, the exchange announced plans to add other Proof-of-Stake (PoS) coins later. The announcement explains that an easy way to access staking “allows more people to earn rewards for contributing to the network by promoting network security, reducing validation costs.”

Furthermore, Binance.US claims to be the first United States marketplace to offer staking rewards for users’ ATOM and ALGO holdings. The firm’s CEO Catherine Coley said:

“Staking is just one of the many attractive ways we are bringing new people into the digital asset marketplace. We consider this another step towards achieving our goal of financial inclusion for an ever-growing pool of people.”

Staking centralization?

The announcement follows the launch of a dedicated staking platform by Binance’s principal cryptocurrency trading platform at the end of September 2019. Staking is an activity possible on PoS-based blockchains that allows the network’s nodes to validate blocks by holding cryptocurrency as collateral.

While in the case of Bitcoin (BTC), a 51% attack requires a barrage of processing power, in the case of a PoS blockchain, a 51% attack requires the attacker to hold a great number of the coin that they are attacking. As Cointelegraph recently reported, Bitcoin Gold’s (BTG) blockchain suffered a 51% attack resulting in over $70,000 worth of BTG being double-spent.

The initiative, often referred to as staking-as-a-service, attracted some criticism from the cryptocurrency community. Dovey Wan — founding partner of blockchain-based investment company Primitive Ventures — has commented at the time of the announcement:

“That’s why RIP for all StakingaaS Exchanges gonna eat it, custodial wallets gonna eat it, even PoW pool gonna eat it, and then the remaining is a race to the bottom Bad business, just bad.”

Source Cointelegraph

Binance’s Peer-to-Peer Merchant Program Goes Live

Earlier today, Binance announced the launch of its Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Merchant Program, a user-oriented fiat currency trading platform.  

How the program works

In the Jan. 21 press release, the crypto exchange cites increasing demand of global users and a need for higher liquidity as prods for the P2P creation. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said: 

“In the past quarter, there has been increasing growth in trading volumes on Binance P2P platform, and we have constantly received requests for more fiat-to-crypto access from our global community. To meet the growing users demand, we are seeking credible merchants for Binance P2P trading platform globally.”

According to Coin360, Binance has experienced over 30% growth in trading volume over the past month. The Hong Kong-based firm shows the largest average monthly traffic, with over 18 million users. 

Merchants on the iOS- and Android-enabled platform earn money when they post fiat currency trading advertisements. Binance providers users with support, and there are no transaction fees. 

Who uses the program 

The company — whose United States arm, Binance.US, released its app earlier this month —  launched its P2P trading platform in October 2019. At the time, merchants joined strictly through invitation and referral. Now, the merchant program is available through open enrollment. The quality of user experience is reportedly controlled through an “elimination mechanism.” According to Binance, promotional activities will become available to users in the future. 

Cointelegraph contacted Binance.US for comment though hadn’t received any at press time. This article will be updated upon receipt of a response. 

Yesterday, Cointelegraph reported on the P2P platform’s inclusion of the Vietnamese Dong as another important step in decentralization.

Source Cointelegraph

Binance’s Partner Allows Users to Buy Crypto with Credit Card in JPY and CAD

Israeli-based fintech and cryptocurrency firm Simplex now supports two new fiat currencies — the Japanese yen (JPY) and the Canadian dollar (CAD).

Following the addition, users at some of Simplex’s partner exchanges such as Binance will be able to buy crypto via credit cards using JPY and CAD, industry publication The Block reports Dec. 9.

Not all Simplex’s partner exchanges will be supporting JPY and CAD by default

Cointelegraph contacted both Simplex and Binance in order to confirm the news. Simplex’s spokesperson confirmed the report, noting that the company’s partners are now able to allow their users to buy crypto using CAD or JPY on their credit card. The representative hasn’t specified what companies would be first to enable the feature.

Binance hasn’t responded to Cointelegraph’s request for comment at the time of publication. This article will be updated upon receipt of those comments.

Simplex announced a new partnership with OKEx

In conjunction with new currencies’ addition, Simplex has also announced a new partnership with major cryptocurrency exchange OKEx. According to a tweet from Dec. 9, Simplex has partnered with OKEx to allow its users to buy Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), XRP, Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Litecoin (LTC) via debit and credit cards.

The new feature is available on OKEx’s official website.

Simplex plans to add Russian ruble and Turkish lira soon

Additionally, Simplex CEO and founder Nimrod Lehavi reportedly revealed the company’s plans to add Russian rubles and Turkish lira support “very soon.” Lehavi claimed that Japan and Canada are not only two of the top markets for crypto but also “among the top 10 territories for credit card usage globally,” the report notes.

As previously reported, Simplex is a European Union-licensed financial institution and payments processing provider. With offices in Israel, the United Kingdom, the United States and Lithuania, the company provides “fraud-free” payment processing services to companies including Shapeshift, the Litecoin Foundation, Xapo and Changelly.

According to the report, Simplex supported three fiat currencies before adding CAD and JPY: the U.S. dollar, euro and the British pound. Alongside Binance, other partner exchanges include OKCoin, KuCoin, Huobi, and Poloniex, among others.

Binance partnered with Simplex to unlock credit card crypto purchases in January 2019.

Source Cointelegraph

Markets Crash After Reports That Binance’s Shanghai Office Closed in Crypto Crackdown

Chinese authorities have reportedly raided and shut down the Shanghai offices of leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance. 

Citing unnamed local sources, The Block says that local police have shut down Binance’s offices after raiding the premises. Between 50–100 of the exchange’s employees reportedly worked out of the Shanghai location.

Binance has not responded to Cointelegraph’s requests for comment as of press time. 

Closure follows crackdown 

The purported raid follows a crackdown on cryptocurrency-related businesses and activities in the country. 

Recently, financial authorities in China issued a notice to the public, directing individuals to report businesses engaged in virtual asset trading to the Shanghai headquarters of the People’s Bank of China — the country’s central bank. Activities that must be reported include:

“Virtual currency transactions in the territory; the other is to issue ‘xx coins’ and ‘xx’ in the form of ‘blockchain application scenarios.’  Currency, fundraising or bitcoin, virtual currency such as Ethereum; third, providing services such as publicity, diversion, agency trading, etc. for registered ICO projects, virtual currency trading platforms, etc.” 

Notice from authorities on cryptocurrency-related activities. Source: Chain News

However, Binance told Cointelegraph that the company had not received this notice. Similarly, Beijing-founded Huobi told Cointelegraph that the company was familiar with the notice, but had not received it.

Offices are an outdated concept?

In a move of regulatory arbitrage, Binance opened offices in Malta in 2018 as the island nation ramped up its cryptocurrency-friendly regulatory projects.

Last month, rumors abounded that the exchange was opening offices in the Chinese capital of Beijing, despite the country’s decidedly anti-cryptocurrency stance. 

However, according to the firm’s CEO Changpeng Zhao, offices themselves are an antiquated concept. In a tweet on Nov. 19, Zhao said, “Office and HQ are old concepts like SMS and MMS. Time is moving on…” 

Markets react with major coins seeing red

Cryptocurrency markets have reacted to the news, with most major coins seeing significant losses on the day.

Cryptocurrency market visualization. Source: Coin360

Bitcoin (BTC) is seeing losses over 6% while leading altcoin Ether (ETH) has lost over 8% in the last 24 hours. Altcoins like Litecoin (LTC) and EOS are taking a beating with over 9% losses, while Binance’s own coin, Binance Coin (BNB), is down 10% at press time to trade at $16.58.

Source Cointelegraph

Binance’s ‘Chinese Twitter’ Gets Blocked for Unknown Violations

Binance’s official account on China’s major microblogging website Weibo has been blocked. The account of the major global exchange was blocked on Nov. 13, purportedly due to violations of the site’s policies, Taiwan-based publication The China Times reported on Nov. 15.

At press time, Binance’s Weibo page is blocked, displaying a notice that the account has violated provisions of the Weibo Community Convention. All content, including Binance’s posts and the number of followers, is currently unavailable.

Cointelegraph has contacted Binance for a comment on the issue, but the exchange has not replied as of press time.

Binance’s plans to launch WeChat and Alipay fiat gateways could be a reason

Alongside insider reports about more stringent penalties for the industry in China, the action could also be caused by Binance’s launch of new fiat gateways in the country. Zhu Hongbing, chairman of Singapore Blockchain Technology Foundation, told The China Times that the suspension of Binance’s account on Weibo is connected with its initiative to accept fiat currencies through China’s payment giants Alipay and WeChat.

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) confirmed that Binance has started accepting fiat via Alipay and WeChat on Oct. 9. Following the announcement, Alipay stated that it will be banning all transactions identified as connected to Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies on Oct. 10.

Tron’s Weibo account is also blocked, while those of Huobi and OKEx are operational

The Tron Foundation, the crypto firm behind the 11th biggest cryptocurrency Tron (TRX), has also had its Weibo account blocked. Meanwhile, the accounts of popular crypto exchanges Huobi and OKEx are still available at press time.

Launched in 2009, Weibo is reportedly the second-largest social media platform in China, often referred as the “Chinese Twitter.”

Earlier today, CZ claimed that President Xi Jinping’s endorsement of blockchain will inevitably drive the mass adoption of crypto. In mid-October, Binance launched peer-to-peer trading for Bitcoin, Ether (ETH) and Tether (USDT) against the Chinese yuan.

Cointelegraph News

Binance’s CZ Speaks Publicly About China’s Digital Currency

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, better known as CZ, predicted that the digital Renminbi token (RMB) would be based on blockchain. 

Speaking today at BlockShow Asia 2019, CZ shared his thoughts on the digital currency in development by the People’s Bank of China. 

The details of this currency are not officially known. It will certainly not be as decentralized as Bitcoin (as it will be issued by the central bank), but CZ thinks it is going to be a blockchain-based version of RMB. He explained his reasoning: 

“The Chinese government wants to push RMB’s influence globally. They want RMB to be competitive with the US dollar. In order to do that they really need to push this currency to have more freedom.” 

He went on to discuss the merit of having more choices among blockchain currencies in general: “Having is better than not having. Having stablecoins is better than not having them. Having Libra is better than not having it.” 

Addressing President Xi’s recent remarks about blockchain

Last month, China’s President Xi Jinping called for the country to accelerate its adoption of blockchain technologies. He didn’t specifically call out Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, but CZ thinks the message brings positive effects to the industry as a whole. 

“Everyone that I’m in touch with who was laughing at blockchain before is looking at blockchain now. I think that’s a huge sign for our industry. When you learn about blockchain, you almost have to learn about Bitcoin. If you learn about smart contracts, you will have to learn Ethereum.” 

Bitcoin price spiked after Xi’s remarks last month. Some investors predict the Chinese digital currency will be issued within 2-3 months.

Source Cointelegraph

Binance’s Quarterly BNB Burn to Include Binance Futures Tokens

Binance exchange will include all future businesses and products into the scope of each quarterly burn of its native token Binance Coin (BNB).

Decision made based on community feedback

According to a blog post on Sept. 12, Binance has decided to include all its products into quarterly BNB burns in accordance with community feedback.

The new BNB burning practice will include tokens from Binance Futures, the exchange’s crypto futures platform that was rolled out in beta mode on Sept. 2, featuring a 10,000 BNB trading contest. Earlier today, Binance announced that Binance Futures will officially go live on Sept. 13.

Why tokens are burned?

Token burning is a permanent removal of existing cryptocurrency coins from circulation by the coin’s creators that is commonly practiced for deflationary purposes. 

As reported, token burning does not literally destroy them but rather renders them unusable in the future, involving the project’s developers repurchasing or taking available coins out of circulation.

Most recent BNB burn

The most recent Binance’s token burn took place on July 11, when the major crypto exchange announced the completion of the eighth BNB token burn that removed 808,888 BNB tokens ($23.7 million at the time) from Binance’s team allocation. 

The exchange noted that the burn was part of the company’s commitment to burn a total of 100 million BNB tokens and that the team’s supply equates to 40% of the total supply.

As reported by Cointelegraph, BNB slipped 5% on the day the burn was completed.

In February 2019, Binance updated its white paper’s section devoted to quarterly BNB manipulations, upgrading its former “Repurchasing plan” with “The Burn” section. 

The exchange explained that it will be destroying BNB based on the trading volume until it destroys 50% of all the BNB instead of buying back BNB each quarter, using 20% of their profits and then destroying them until the exchange buys 50% of all 100 million BNB back.

At press time, Binance Coin is the eighth biggest cryptocurrency by market share of around $204 million. BNB is down 4.7% over the past 24 hours, also seeing a 6.3% loss over the past 7 days at press time, according to data from Coin360.

Source Cointelegraph