A New Partnership Lets Institutional Investors Play OTC Crypto Markets

UK-based crypto lending and liquidity provider B2C2 is teaming up with SFOX, a leading U.S. crypto company serving institutional investors, according to a Feb. 12 press release. 

This partnership is aimed at letting SFOX clients (including asset managers, family offices and high net worth individuals) access B2C2’s large liquidity pools and better-priced over-the-counter (OTC) markets though a single point of entry. 

Danny Kim, head of growth at SFOX, said: 

“We are delighted to partner with B2C2, the largest OTC liquidity provider whose streaming pricing and electronic trading capabilities are relied on by institutional market participants globally. SFOX clients will now benefit from a new source of OTC liquidity coupled with greater price discovery.”

Max Boonen, founder and CEO of B2C2, said: 

“Our partnership enables a broader set of market participants to access B2C2’s real-time OTC pricing and deep two-way markets. Much like the FX markets which are almost entirely OTC, the digital asset class is increasingly trading off-exchange, resulting in tighter spreads and deeper liquidity.”

B2C2 is the first OTC trading venue to be added to the SFOX platform. Leadership at both platforms believe that cryptocurrency OTC markets have gained market share from traditional exchanges over the past three years. A report by Aite Group1 predicted that OTC activity would soon account for the majority of cryptocurrency trading volume.

Cointelegraph reported that recent data from Tabb Group shows that the share of United States equities traded off-exchange increased from 34.7% in December 2018 to 38.6% in April 2019. This trend is also being mirrored in Europe, where off-exchange trading accounted for 9.6% of all on-exchange activity for the same period.

Source Cointelegraph

Bitcoin Price Tackles $10.4K Level as Futures Markets Hit 5-Month High

Bitcoin (BTC) tried to clear fresh key resistance at $10,400 on Feb. 12 as its rebound, which began on Tuesday, continued to produce surprises.

Crypto market weekly price chart

Crypto market weekly price chart. Source: Coin360

BTC posts 7% daily gains

Data from Coin360 and Cointelegraph Markets showed BTC/USD briefly hit local highs of $10,495 on Wednesday. This capped a highly successful 24 hours for the pair, which just a day earlier traded at close to $9,700. 

At press time, Bitcoin was hovering just below the new local highs, trading at $10,340, still up almost 6%. 

Bitcoin 1-day price chart

Bitcoin 1-day price chart. Source: Coin360

Fears had arisen of a fresh dip for markets, with traders bracing themselves for further potential losses. In his latest analysis, Cointelegraph Markets trader Michaël van de Poppe warned that $10,400 was crucial to staving off such losses.

“The range is defined by the resistance at $10,400 and the possible lower support zones at $9,500 and $9,800. If the price can’t break the $10,400 area then it will then likely pull back to retest this area,” he summarized.

Meanwhile, Bitcoin futures reached their highest since September, with CME’s product coming within a shade of $10,600. On Monday, Bitcoin filled another “gap” left by the pause in futures trading over the weekend.

CME Bitcoin futures 6-month chart

CME Bitcoin futures 6-month chart. Source: TradingView

Stock-to-flow overshoot hits 20%

Others remained bullish about the mid-term outlook, Cointelegraph reporting on optimism from figures such as Fundstrat’s Tom Lee, who believes Bitcoin will hit $40,000 before the Dow Jones hits 40,000.

Within the next six months, he recently added, Bitcoin could hit new all-time highs of $27,000 thanks to the price beating its 200-day moving average.

At current levels, Bitcoin is now over 20% higher than its predicted average according to the stock-to-flow price model. This has the potential to be significant, as stock-to-flow has historically almost perfectly tracked fluctuations in BTC/USD.

The model’s creator, PlanB, this week nonetheless stated that the pair would be above $10,000 in May, at the time of Bitcoin’s block reward halving. 

The renowned analyst also predicted

“2021: bull run starts after the halving and tops $100k before Dec 2021.”

Keep track of top crypto markets in real time here

Cointelegraph News

Value Locked in Crypto DeFi Markets Hits $1 Billion Milestone

With Ether (ETH) breaking through the $200 mark yesterday, $1 billion in value is now locked in the DeFi markets. 

Total value locked in DeFi markets, Feb. 7

Total value locked in DeFi markets, Feb. 7. Source:

As of Feb. 7, ETH is trading close to $220 — up 4.5% on the day and almost 22% on the week.

Broadly speaking, DeFi is shorthand for decentralized finance, referring to the use of blockchain, digital assets and smart contracts in financial services such as credit and lending.

According to analytics site, the $1 billion locked in the markets — i.e. across the spectrum of smart contracts, protocols and decentralized applications (DApps) built on Ethereum — is almost 60% denominated in MakerDAO’s DAI stablecoin.

Defipulse stats reveal that one year ago today, the value locked in DeFi was roughly a quarter of what it is now, at $276 million.

As it celebrates the milestone, some in the Ethereum community have pointed to the role played by the Bitcoin (BTC) lightning network, which accounts for 1.7% of the value ($8.5 million) — making it into the top ten digital assets used for DeFi contracts and applications:

DeFi total value, breakdown in top ten digital assets, Feb. 7

DeFi total value, breakdown in top ten digital assets, Feb. 7. Source:

As the site notes, the total value figure is calculated hourly by pulling the total balance of Ether (ETH) and ERC-20 tokens held in DeFi smart contracts and multiplying these balances by their spot prices in USD.

ETH price correlation

As Cointelegraph reported last fall, while the dollar value chart of digital assets locked in DeFi shows some correlation to Ether’s price, it is not entirely dependent on it. 

After falling with Ether’s price in July 2019, the value of assets locked in DeFi apps resumed its growth even as the altcoin’s price continued largely to fall. In a short time period, the correlation is tighter.

Source Cointelegraph

Crypto Payments on Darknet Markets Doubled for First Time Since 2015

The volume of cryptocurrency flows coming on darknet markets have doubled for the first time in four years, a new study says.

In part of its 2020 Crypto Crime Report published on Jan. 28, Chainalysis — a New York-based blockchain analytics firm — found that darknet markets have significantly increased their share of total incoming crypto transactions in 2019, doubling from 0.04% in 2018 to 0.08%. 

Crypto on darknets is resilient to scrutiny by law enforcement

According to the study, total market sales in crypto grew 70% in 2019 to account for more than $790 million worth of cryptocurrency after seeing a small decline in 2018. This was the first time when sales surpassed $600 million, Chainalysis says.

Despite the total share of crypto payments on the darknet remaining quite low, the recent growth of volumes indicates the resilience of darknet markets to increased legal scrutiny from global regulators, Chainalysis believes. According to the firm, the total number of active darknet markets remained stable in recent years despite heightened law enforcement.

Specifically, the study suggested that as some markets close, others still manage to fill the gap and satisfy client demand. While eight of the markets active in 2018 were shut down in 2019, eight new ones opened up that same year, keeping the total number of active markets worldwide at a steady 49.

Darknet market share of all crypto payments, 2013-2019

Darknet market share of all crypto payments, 2013-2019. Source: Chainalysis

Possible reasons behind the surge

According to Chainanlysis, the increasing share of cryptocurrencies coming to darknet markets is purportedly caused by the implementation of new technologies, which makes the operating process more decentralized. In order to avoid shutdowns by law enforcement, some darknet markets are adopting new infrastructures that have a fully decentralized structure, which is similar to the Tor web browser or “to the blockchain itself,” Chainalysis noted.

As part of the study, Chainalysis said that it expects to see more darknet markets accepting or even requiring the usage of privacy-oriented cryptocurrencies such as Monero (XMR). In January 2019, the company found that the value of Bitcoin sent to darknet markets had increased by 70% in 2018.

As global regulators and enforcement authorities are doing their best to shut down darknet markets operating with cryptocurrencies, new arrests reports keep coming in. In early January 2020, a citizen of the United States was charged with illegal narcotics distribution in exchange for Bitcoin.

While some marketplaces are being shut down, others are making even more ambitious expansion plans to go beyond their primary focus of distributing illicit products. Russia’s largest darknet marketplace announced plans to raise $146 million in a token offering that would allow it to go global in late 2019. Announced by Hydra, an illegal marketplace for illicit substances, the token sale is in no way legal in terms of global securities laws.

Cointelegraph News

Turkey’s Financial Watchdog Plans to Regulate Crypto Markets, Report Says

Capital Markets Board of Turkey has plans to regulate crypto transactions, according to local sources.

Capital Markets Board of Turkey (CMB), the regulatory body overseeing securities markets in the country, is developing a guideline to observe, audit, and regulate the crypto markets in the country, major Turkish media outlet Hurriyet reported on Jan. 4.

Public authorities in Turkey have concerns regarding the protection of investors in crypto markets. The government entrusted CMB with the development of a regulatory framework for crypto markets, according to the report. Per the request by the government, CMB plans to ramp up its efforts to audit and regulate crypto markets in Turkey in 2020.

A legal structure to accelerate growth

Stressing Turkey’s potential in both crypto and blockchain, financial expert and Cointelegraph Turkey contributor Erkan Oz explained that Capital Markets Board’s (CMB) legal structure would accelerate the growth of the local crypto ecosystem. “I guess CMB would also protect investor rights, which will bring many more investors to crypto projects,” he said.

Protection for local and global investors

Speaking to Cointelegraph, Chief Editor of Blockchain Turkey Platform Ahmet Usta noted that crypto markets, just like any other markets, need to be regulated to protect the rights and safety of investors:

“On the other hand, excessive regulation or heavy taxes would harm the markets and hamper innovation efforts. That’s why we need a balance between protection and encouragement when it comes to regulations. Turkey has a dynamic crypto market that attracts global investors, and this structure should be preserved while avoiding any unfair competition with other investment tools.”

Cagla Gul Senkardes, CEO of MenaPay, also remarked regarding the rise of the crypto ecosystem in Turkey:

“The crypto industry needs sustainable growth, so any news regarding crypto regulation is welcomed. Having a regulatory framework for crypto that ensures the security and sustainability of local and global contributions would pave the way for new investments, employment, and innovation.”

No regulation for crypto

Turkey is already a top adopter and a renowned market when it comes to blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Major global crypto exchanges like Binance and Huobi have made moves to establish a local presence in the country. The government has a vision for a national blockchain infrastructure and a central bank-issued digital currency.

Despite the massive interest of its people, Turkey does not have dedicated rules for crypto markets. Binance CEO CZ told Cointelegraph in an interview that they are working with local regulators when entering Turkey. 

Huobi Group Regional President Mohit Davar also expressed the importance of going into the Turkish market in a compliant way. “We talk to the stakeholders to make sure we are working closely with them in a controlled fashion,” he said.

Source Cointelegraph

Researchers Explain How Blockchain Can Innovate Green Energy Markets

Researchers at Ireland’s Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) have proposed that using a blockchain-based “forward trading system” can provide a more effective incentive for the smart management of renewable energy consumption.

In a working paper published on Dec. 20, Mel T. Devine, Marianna Russo and Paul Cuffe proposed a new mechanism for forward selling renewable electricity generation and tokenizing the interaction between renewable energy providers and consumers.

Automating renewable energy trading and management

Blockchain-based forward trading, the paper outlines, implies a transactive framework in which a renewable energy provider — say, a wind or solar farm — directly sells consumers “a claim on their future power output in the form of nonfungible blockchain tokens”:

“Claims on future electricity production can be directly traded between generators and consumers through blockchain in a cyber-physical marketplace […] power contracts for future delivery are transacted on the blockchain. These claims on future generation could be embodied as nonfungible blockchain tokens with future electrical power delivery as the underlying asset.”

Its benefit is that it can purportedly tackle the ever more complex nature of interactions that are evolving in the energy distribution network. Moreover, the mechanism includes the use of smart contracts to automate energy control, trading and management within a distributed framework:

“Using the flexibility of smart contract code, which executes irrevocably on a blockchain, the realized generation levels will offset the token holders’ electricity consumption in near real-time.”

Blockchain for a green future

In parallel to the consumer-oriented approach taken by the ESRI researchers, power utilities have increasingly been adopting blockchain-based approaches to monetize their renewable energy investments.

In December 2019, Japan’s second-largest power utility, the Kansai Electric Power Co Inc (KEPCO), extended its trial of a blockchain-enabled renewable energy trading platform developed by Australian tech firm Power Ledger. 

KEPCO will trial the blockchain platform for its transactions of non-fossil fuel value certificates (NFVs), which provide energy retailers with proof that the portion of energy under the certificate is generated from renewable energy sources. 

These NFVs can then be used by KEPCO’s clients to offset claims by carbon disclosure initiatives —  something that is becoming increasingly relevant as international efforts gain momentum to establish new frameworks that support lower-cost green energy sources. 

In June 2019, South Korea’s largest power provider, Korea Electric Power Corporation, signed a contract with two domestic power suppliers to establish a blockchain-powered system for transacting renewable energy certificates.

Source Cointelegraph

CryptoBridge Decentralized Exchange Shuts Down Citing Regulations, Markets

The decentralized cryptocurrency exchange (DEX) CryptoBridge announced that it is closing down in a message on its website.

In the announcement, the exchange warns users that all of the firm’s services and servers will terminate after Dec. 15. Users will be able to withdraw funds from the exchange until the last day of operation, but deposits will be closed after Dec. 3. The announcement reads:

“Please note that user verification is required by EU law for all withdrawals. We highly recommend that you start the process as early as possible as verification can take a few days.”

Scammers are impersonating CryptoBridge

The company cites market conditions, increasingly strict regulation and lack of funds as reasons for its decision to close and not pursue further development. 

Users visiting the official Twitter profile of the exchange are met with a “that page doesn’t exist” warning. However, a new CryptoBridgeEU account became active earlier today and spreads messages in conflict with the announcement appearing on the official platform’s website. The account in question claims that the shutdown of the platform is only temporary, stating:

“I’m proud to announce CryptoBridge’s termination is not the end! We will be moving our headquarters to Denmark! We will have a new site up and running so stay tuned!”

An update to the official website confirms that the profile is fake:

“Our social media channels are closed, all accounts on Twitter that are pretending to be representing CryptoBridge are fake. We are not planning a comeback at the moment.”

Fierce competition in the DEX space

The competition in the DEX space is becoming increasingly fierce. Major crypto exchange Binance launched one in April while its competitor Poloniex acquired a Tron-based DEX at the end of November. 

On Nov. 27, decentralized liquidity network Bancor announced a 60,000-token airdrop in an attempt to expand its liquidity pool. Low liquidity is a major issue facing decentralized exchanges and hindering their ability to compete with centralized exchanges.

Source Cointelegraph

Crypto Markets Are Turning Green, Bitcoin Recovers Above $7,500

Wednesday, Nov. 27 — Crypto markets continue to improve, with Bitcoin (BTC) showing signs of recovery as it finds its way back above the $7,500 price mark.

Cryptocurrency market daily overview. Source: Coin360

Bitcoin started the day at $7,190, at which point the world’s largest crypto coin found an intra-day low of $6,900 before moving up again to its current trading price near $7,540. After a rollercoaster 24 hours, BTC is showing an impressive gain of more than 5% for the day.

Bitcoin daily price chart. Source: Coin360

Bitcoin’s next target could be $8,100

According to Cointelegraph contributor Horus Hughes, Bitcoin could jump to $7,800, and even up to $8,100, before the coin encounters any significant overhead resistance. Hughes pointed out that Bitcoin had to close above the former support turned resistance at $7,400, for  Bitcoin to push its price closer to the $7,800 resistance.

Hughes added that it seems unlikely that Bitcoin price will drop to $5,000 area again, but that it’s always good to consider bullish and bearish scenarios. “One would like to think that a drop to $5,500 will be avoided if bulls can keep the price above $7,300 and $6,700,” he wrote.

Commodities trader and technician Peter Brandt previously revealed his belief that BTC could spend months trading at $5,500 before it recovers.

Meanwhile, Ether (ETH) continues to trade in sync with BTC. The top altcoin bounced off its daily low of $143 before moving up to its current trading price of around $154 per coin. Ether is showing a modest gain of around 3.3% at press time.

Cointelegraph contributor Rakesh Upadhyay said that if the bulls can propel Ether’s price above $151.83, the coin will pick up momentum and possibly see trading levels around the $173 price mark.

Ether 7-day price chart. Source: Coin360

XRP, the third-largest coin by market capitalization, is also following today’s trend and currently sits at $0.225 to show a gain of more than 2% for the day. But the coin is looking weak, with one trader going as far as predicting that the coin could hit zero by February 2020.

XRP 7-day price chart. Source: Coin360

Top 20 coins continue to trade in the green

The majority of top 20 coins continue to show signs of recovery, with Monero (XMR) taking the lead by going up more than 8% for the day. It is followed by Cardano (ADA) and Tron (TRX), showing gains of around 6.7% and 5% respectively.

Chainlink (LINK) is the only of the top 20 coins to see a loss today, down 2%. 

The overall cryptocurrency market cap currently sits around $204.7 billion, with Bitcoin making up 66.6% of the total.

Keep track of top crypto markets in real time here

Source Cointelegraph

Crypto Markets Showing Mild Signs of Recovery, BTC Stalls At $7,200

Monday, Nov. 25 — Cryptocurrency markets are showing mild signs of recovery, while Bitcoin (BTC) is fighting to stay above the $7,100 price mark.

Cryptocurrency market daily overview. Source: Coin360

Bitcoin started the day just above the $7,100 price mark, at which point the world’s largest crypto coin bounced off a local low of $6,560, before moving up again to its current trading price near $7,150. After a tumultuous 24 hours, BTC is showing a minor gain of just under 1% on the day.

BTC is down around 12% from the weekly open of $8,100, while, over the month, investors have lost around $1,800 per coin.

Bitcoin daily price chart. Source: Coin360

Bitcoin could spend months trading at $5,500

Commodities trader and technician Peter Brandt recently revealed his belief that BTC could spend months trading at $5,500 before it recovers. The veteran trader became best known as being one of the first analysts who accurately predicted the end of the bull run in December 2017. 

“My target of $5,500 is not far below today’s low. But I think the surprise might be in the duration and nature of the market,” he wrote. Brandt continued: 

“I am thinking about a low in July 2020. That will wear out bulls quicker than a price correction.”

Well-known statistician and analyst Willy Woo, together with crypto trader Tone Vays, echoed similar sentiments when they said that the threat still remains that Bitcoin will hit $4,500. 

Regular Cointelegraph contributor Filb Filb added his opinion to the mix of negative sentiments, saying that for him now was a time to be risk-off:

“I’m totally back in cash now. There doesn’t seem to be obvious sign of reversal. Going to sit on the sidelines until there is more indication.”

Ether (ETH), meanwhile, saw a painful drop in sync with BTC during recent days. The number-one altcoin bounced of its daily low at $134, before moving up to its current trading price of $147 per coin. Ether is showing a mild gain of around 0.7% on the day.

Ether 7-day price chart. Source: Coin360

XRP, the third-largest coin by market capitalization, continues to lose ground and currently sits at $0.220 per coin, showing a loss of more than 3% at press time.

XRP 7-day price chart. Source: Coin360

Mixed signals among the top 20

Many of the top 20 coins are showing mild signs of recovery, with Cosmos (ATOM) taking the lead, up more than 4% on the day. Monero (XMR) comes in second place with a gain of around 2.2% at press time. Tezos (XTZ) takes the title of biggest loser, seeing a loss of nearly 9% on the day. 

The overall cryptocurrency market cap currently sits around $195.9 billion, with Bitcoin making up 66.4% of the total.

Keep track of top crypto markets in real time here

Source Cointelegraph

Friday Shows Bloodbath for Crypto Markets, Bitcoin Price At $7,300

Friday, Nov. 22 — Cryptocurrency prices are bleeding heavily, with some of the top-20 coins showing losses of close to 10% on the day.

Cryptocurrency market daily overview. Source: Coin360

Cryptocurrency market daily overview. Source: Coin360

Bitcoin (BTC) started the day just above the $7,600 price mark, when it suddenly started on another sell-off towards the $7,000 price level. The coin bounced off a local low of $6,800 in recent hours, before moving up to its current trading price at $7,300, showing a loss of close to 4% on the day.

The world’s largest cryptocurrency is down around 15% from the weekly open of $8,500 and has dragged the entire crypto market into red territory. 

Bitcoin daily price chart. Source: Coin360

Bitcoin daily price chart. Source: Coin360

BTC could be testing below the $7,000 price mark

Popular crypto analyst and regular Cointelegraph contributor Filb Filb recently said that after looking at the daily chart, “it is clear that Bitcoin has hit the bottom of the downward channel in which it has been trading since July.”

However, Filb Filb pointed out that the price point of $7,600 will be a key level for the bulls to reclaim, which might turn out to be a challenge, especially in the short term. He said:

“Probability would suggest BTC/USD will need to spend a little more time testing below $7,000 before there is a significant bullish reversal.”

Previously Cointelegraph reported that Bitcoin tanked due to the multiple rumors currently going around about a crackdown on legitimate Chinese outposts of cryptocurrency businesses. The news appeared to rattle the crypto markets, which slipped into a downwards spiral ever since.

Ether (ETH), meanwhile, saw a painful drop in sync with BTC earlier today. The number one altcoin bounced of its daily low at $141, showing double-digit losses of more than 10% on the day, before moving up to its current trading price of $154 per coin.

Ether 7-day price chart. Source: Coin360

Ether 7-day price chart. Source: Coin360

XRP, the third-largest coin by market capitalization, has continued to lose ground and currently sits at $0.232 per coin, showing a loss of more than 3% at press time. 

XRP 7-day price chart. Source: Coin360

XRP 7-day price chart. Source: Coin360

Top 20 coins are bleeding hard

All of the top 20 coins are showing red candlesticks, with NEO taking the title of biggest loser, seeing a loss of nearly 10% on the day. Huobi Token (HT) follows closely with a loss of 9% at press time.

The overall cryptocurrency market cap dropped below the 200 billion mark. It currently sits around $198.7 billion, with Bitcoin making up 66.3% of the total.

Keep track of top crypto markets in real time here

Source Cointelegraph