Get your daily, bite-sized digest of cryptoasset and blockchain-related news – investigating the stories flying under the radar of today’s crypto news.
- Major crypto exchanges experienced up to a double-digit drop in their spot trading volumes in October, according to CryptoCompare. Binance was the largest Top-Tier exchange by volume in October, trading USD 75.7bn (down 33%). This was followed by Huobi Global trading USD 41.7bn (down 31%), and OKEx trading USD 32.1bn (down 42%). Exchanges Coinbase, Kraken, and Liquid followed with USD 11.3bn (down 17.5%), USD 6.5bn (down 13%) and USD 6.1bn (down 4.3%).
- OKEx said that “[c]laims that a concerned party related to OKEx is under criminal detention have been refuted — we can confirm that these are rumors.” This comes after withdrawals have been suspended on October 16, when it was said that one of their private key holders was under an investigation. “Currently, the concerned party is, as stipulated by law, actively cooperating with a public security bureau in an investigation,” the exchange said in the announcement, adding that it “has made contact with the concerned party.” Withdrawals haven’t been resumed.
- After a number of complaints, crypto derivatives exchange FTX will allow those who bet on Donald Trump to win the 2020 US presidential election to hold onto their bets for free until February 1, 2021. “If, by then, Trump has been unambiguously reelected to the presidency, they will pay out [USD] 1,” said the announcement. The exchange added that they have “given in to the trolls,” that they “regret deeply doing this,” and that they will not make further concessions.
- Pantera Capital and other investors-backed Cypherium, the enterprise-focused blockchain platform facilitating interoperability between blockchains and central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), said it has shipped its mainnet. It introduces a solution to address shortcomings of existing blockchain and DLT-based infrastructures, and to enable interoperability “in every corner of the ecosystem, from fragmented and incompatible blockchains to upcoming CBDCs.” Via the smart contract platform, Cypherium also intends to facilitate a network of open banks—providing additional utility to CBDCs and their accompanying institutions, they said in an emailed press release.
- Chinese tech giant Alibaba has launched a new Guangdong-based “blockchain” subsidiary, per Jiemian. The news comes shortly after Alibaba chief Jack Ma pulled the plug on what was set to be the world’s biggest-ever initial public offering – for his firm’s blockchain and fintech unit Ant Group. The new Alibaba-run firm, to be located in the Chinese tech hub of Guangdong, has been set up with an operating capital of USD 1.5m and will specialize in “software and services related to blockchain technology,” as well as AI-powered solutions.
- Chinese firms have dominated the latest incoPat-compiled global top 100 blockchain patents rankings list for the period January to October 2020). The firm, a China-based technology and innovation intelligence provider posted its findings on its social media channel. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, the top three firms were all Chinese tech giants – Tencent, Alibaba and Ping An. In fact, only two non-Chinese companies broke in to the top 10, namely the Antigua and Barbuda-headquartered nChain and America’s IBM. Blockchain-keen South Korean commercial bank KEB Hana placed in 49th spot, with music giant Sony in 24th and Visa and Mastercard placing 21st and 23rd respectively.
- A leading candidate for mayor of South Korea’s second city and home of the nation’s only blockchain free zone, Busan, has made a series of blockchain-related policy pledges. Per NBN News, Park Min-sik, a former MP for the main opposition party, the People Power Party, promised to transform Busan into a “mecca of the 4th industrial revolution,” and a “paradise for the software industry” with pro-blockchain growth plans if he is elected. The city goes to the polls in April next year with Park as one of the main frontrunners in a city famed for its almost unswerving support of the People Power Party.
Hard fork news
- With the fast-approaching Bitcoin Cash (BCH) hard fork, crypto exchange Kraken has announced support for the Bitcoin Cash Node, not Bitcoin Cash ABC. According to the post, over 70% of blocks are signaling for Bitcoin Cash Node, while less than 1% are signaling for Bitcoin Cash ABC, meaning that the former one “looks like it will be the dominant chain by far.” Kraken will support Bitcoin Cash ABC only if the hashpower on the ABC network is at least 10% of the hashpower on the Bitcoin Cash Node network, they added.
Crypto adoption news
- The US-based fintech company Ripple has set up a regional base in Dubai. Per the press release, Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has announced that it will be home for the company’s Middle East and North Africa (MENA) headquarters. Navin Gupta, Managing Director for South Asia and MENA at Ripple, said that Ripple already has “a significant client base” in the region.