Crypto Derivatives Skyrocket, Mining Pool Industry Heats Up + More News

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Crypto Briefs is your daily, bite-sized digest of cryptocurrency and blockchain-related news – investigating the stories flying under the radar of today’s crypto news.

Source: Adobe/Photocreo Bednarek

Exchanges news

  • TokenInsight, a token data and rating agency, reports that the total crypto derivatives trading volume in the first quarter of 2020 reached USD 2.1 trillion, which is an increase of 314% from 2019 four quarters’ average. The report states that this data shows that futures market participants may have been relatively independent from the spot market. Also, the average daily trading volume of the entire derivatives market for the quarter was USD 23.3 billion, an increase of 274% over the previous year, while the highest daily trading volume was USD 62.5 billion.
  • Bitfinex has launched a social networking platform meant to serve as a place for users to interact with each other and exchange idea, dubbed Bitfinex Pulse. Per the announcement, this is a specialist crypto content distribution platform for traders to share crypto news and views on market trends and developments. Verified customers can choose if their pulses (posts) will be public or private, both verified and unverified Bitfinex customers will be able to publish private pulses, while public pulses can also be shared elsewhere online.
  • Binance has established an official Margin Risk Fund. Per the press release, it will be used to pay the outstanding loans of liquidated margin accounts, and 15% of all interest fees collected from margin borrowing will be allocated to the fund.
  • Japan’s Taotao exchange says it has no plans to reduce the size of its leveraged trading cap yet, despite a change in government-set limits that is set to come into force this summer. Under the new legislation, passed earlier this year, exchanges may only allow margin trading at a rate of x2. However, although most major exchanges have already reduced their caps to x2, the government has also stated that it will allow a six-month grace period. Taotao, which is operated by Softbank’s Yahoo Japan, is apparently bucking the trend. The company said, in a statement, that it would give its customers two months’ notice before it made any changes to its leveraged trading cap limits, which remain at x4, a cap previously set by a self-regulating body of exchanges.
  • Japanese crypto exchange bitFlyer has announced that it will launch blockchain consultancy services. In a press release, the company announced that its bitFlyer Blockchain subsidiary will allow companies to access expert guidance on new business-related projects, and will consult companies on how to make use of its of Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) products, as well as its own miyabi blockchain platform. The company says it will also be forthcoming with project management and promotion advice, and will guide companies through blockchain-related systems development processes.

Mining news

  • Binance launched a crypto mining platform, Binance Pool. Binance Pool is integrated into the Binance ecosystem, allowing users access to its suite of derivatives products including Binance Futures, Spot and Margin trading, Binance Lending, Binance Staking as well as OTC services, the exchange said.

Adoption news

  • The operators of a Chinese platform that claims to provide interoperability solutions for major blockchain networks say they have connected 128 Chinese cities to cities in over half a dozen overseas countries. The Blockchain Services Network reportedly allows cross-network functionality across the Ethereum, Hyperledger and EOS blockchains, as well as others, including Baidu’s much-vaunted Xuperchain network. At a press conference last week, BSN’s masterminds said that they had completed internal testing on the network, which is now live and has nodes in Tokyo, Paris, Sydney, São Paulo, Singapore, Tokyo, Johannesburg and an unspecified part of California. Per its website, the prime movers on the network include the likes of state-owned telecoms giant China Mobile and banking behemoth China UnionPay.
  • Federated Co-operatives Limited (FCL), a wholesaling, manufacturing, marketing and administrative co-operative and one of Canada’s largest companies, has partnered with blockchain-based supply chain middleware platform Morpheus.Network. According to the announcement, Morpheus.Network has entered into a three-year deal to manage its supplier document management system across Canada, automating the collection and management of documents from each supplier, and replacing a largely manual process with thousands of regulatory certifications and documents from more than 150 suppliers collected and managed by FCL yearly.
  • A survey in South Korea has found that 7.6% of respondents invested in cryptoassets in 2019. Per the Electronic Times, the research was conducted by the Korea Financial Investors Protection Foundation, which says it interviewed 2,530 men and women aged 25 to 64 in seven major urban centers, citizens who chose to dabble in crypto invested an average of around USD 7,114 in crypto in 2019. That figure is an increase from the average size of crypto investments in 2018, which stood at the USD 5,660 mark.
  • Major crypto payments processor BitPay said that, starting today, their wallet begins supporting Binance’s stablecoin, BUSD. BitPay merchants should be able to use BUSD in the coming days.

Digital fiat news

  • Discussing the influence of the coronavirus pandemic, Benoît Cœuré, Head of the Bank for International Settlements Innovation Hub, stressed the importance of the current discussion on central bank digital currency, stating that it’s unknown if the pandemic will hasten the demise of cash, but that it does highlight the value of having access to diverse means of payments and the need for any means of payments to be resilient against a broad range of threats. Per his speech, Covid-19 will accelerate the digital transition beyond payments, while technology can help mitigate the economic and social impact of the pandemic, adding that digital payments can enable governments to provide emergency support to households and small businesses affected by the virus.
  • Social-media startup Kik Interactive and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have filed oppositions to each other’s motions for summary judgement. In their opposition, Kik states that the SEC doesn’t have enough evidence to prove two of the Howey Test’s three elements, these being that Kik created among its customers expectations of profit and that the startup’s investors entered into a common enterprise with the company, while maintaining that it had clearly stated in the marketing materials that Kik would be one of many developers and participants contributing to the Kin economy. On their part, the SEC claims that that Kik’s ICO satisfies the Howey test, arguing that Kin token sale participants made an investment with a reasonable expectation of profits, while Kik also never identified in their marketing campaigns any specific good or service that could be purchased with Kin.