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Crypto Industry Watch: Three Good News vs. Two Bad Ones

Fredrik Vold
Last updated: | 2 min read

Coinbase Launches OTC Trading Big Banks Join Blockchain Initiative Amazon Reveals New Blockchain Services Novogratz’s Trading Desk Loses USD 136 million Steemit Announces Lay-Offs

Source: iStock/Devonyu

With the crypto market seemingly in a bipolar state of mind, getting crushed one day and then surging the next, news developments in the crypto world sometimes seems to follow in a similar pattern. To help you keep your head above water, we have gathered five important news stories that are driving the markets right now.

First, let’s go over the good news:

Coinbase Launches OTC Trading

Coinbase, a popular crypto exchange, launched its new over-the-counter (OTC) trading service earlier this month, Cheddar reported. OTC is the term used for trading of cryptocurrencies directly between a buyer and a seller, with no third-party such as an exchange involved. However, the new service is aimed exclusively at institutional investors through Coinbase Prime, an institutional trading platform.

Big Banks Join Blockchain Initiative

Investment banking giants Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley have gone live with the CLS blockchain-based payment netting service. The two banks are reportedly the first to use the system, known as CLSNet, with several other banks set to join in the coming months.
CLS is backed by IBM and a number of major banks, and was developed all the way back in 2002 to facilitate then-nascent technology for trading in foreign currencies. Now, CLSNet has become the third IBM-powered blockchain project to go into production this year.

Amazon Reveals New Blockchain Services

Amazon Web Services (AWS), a subsidiary of the tech and retail giant Amazon, launched two new blockchain services: Quantum Ledger Database (QLDB) and Amazon Managed Blockchain (AMB.) QLDB is a fully managed ledger database that provides a transparent, immutable, and cryptographically verifiable transaction log ‎owned by a central trusted authority.
Meanwhile, AMB is “a fully managed service that allows you to set up and manage a scalable blockchain network with just a few clicks,” the company explained. It’s a new service that can be used to manage peer-to-peer payments, process loans and help businesses transact with distributors and suppliers.
Interestingly, Amazon last year dismissed the idea of getting into the blockchain with AWS.

Then, let’s move over to the bad news:

Novogratz’s Trading Desk Loses USD 136 million

Galaxy Digital, the merchant bank set up by former Wall Street banker Mike Novogratz last year to help clients with all-things crypto, has taken substantial losses this year, even before the most recent crypto massacre that brought bitcoin prices from USD 6,400-ish to about USD 4,000.
“While we continue to improve and strengthen our trading business, lack of overall trading volume in cryptocurrencies has been a headwind,” the firm said in a filing. Trading losses for the first nine months of this year totals USD 136 million, the firm wrote.

Galaxy Digital share price:


Steemit Announces Lay-Offs

Steemit, a platform for content creators that some have compared to Facebook and other websites where users themselves generate the content, has laid off 70% of its staff, according to founder and CEO Ned Scott. He did not reveal exact numbers.
The company cited “weakness of the cryptocurrency market,” as well as the diminishing value of their own STEEM token, and increasing operating costs as primary reasons for the lay-offs.
“The remainder of the team is staying on to focus primarily on reducing the costs of the infrastructure running and our public APIs, and ensuring that the community can remain informed of developments,” Scott said.

Steem price chart: