Blockchain News 15.05.2018

Coinbase announces suite of institutional products

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase announced it is formally launching Coinbase Custody, a product aimed at supporting institutional cryptocurrency adoption.

Coinbase Custody is a crypto storage service directed at large financial institutions.

The product is part of a suite of institutional products being launched. Coinbase explained why it chose to launch the product in the current environment, saying:

“In the past few months over 100 hedge funds were created that exclusively invest in and trade cryptocurrency.”

Coinbase Custody is partnering with a US Securities & Exchange Commission regulated broker-dealer, thus combining with third-party auditing and financial reporting validation, meets the requirements of “SEC regulated broker-dealer.”

Kraken donates $1M to blockchain advocacy group Coin Center

Jesse Powell, CEO of the cryptocurrency exchange Kraken, donated $1 million to the nonprofit Coin Center on Monday night at the advocacy organization’s annual gala in New York City. Kraken also pledged to match any donation to Coin Center until the end of the month, up to $1 million.

It was the biggest single donation made to Coin Center, said Neeraj Agrawal, a spokesman for the Washington, DC based think tank.

Bank of Zimbabwe bans financial institutions using Bitcoin

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has ordered all financial institutions in the country to immediately stop trading or transacting in cryptocurrencies.

The central bank said financial institutions should exit any existing relationships with virtual currency exchanges within 60 days and proceed to liquidate and restitute existing account balances.

RBZ registrar of banking institutions, Norman Mataruka, said “As monetary authorities, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe is the custodian of public trust and has an obligation to safeguard the integrity of payment systems… the Reserve Bank will continue to closely monitor regional and global cryptocurrency developments in order to inform policy direction.”

Korea’s largest cryptocurrency exchange Upbit confirms all of its funds are real

UPbit has confirmed all of its funds in cryptocurrency are real, as first reported by @CryptoOfKorea.

South Korea’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange has announced that it did not manipulate user funds and deceive investors.

Thailand waives 7% VAT on crypto trades and confirms 15% cap gains tax

Thailand’s Revenue Department will waive the value-added tax (VAT) for people trading in cryptocurrencies on exchange markets approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

A new law governing cryptocurrency transactions came into force on May 14th. Saroch Thongpracum, the department’s director of legal affairs, said on Tuesday it would issue a regulation waiving the 7-per cent VAT for individual investors to reduce their tax burden.

Individuals will still have to pay a 15-per-cent capital gains tax, also known as a withholding tax, on income earned in a transaction.

Cryptocurrency exchange BitOasis suspends fiat withdrawals

Dubai-based exchange BitOasis has suspended UAE Dirham/BTC trading, citing issues with the bank servicing the exchange itself.

A communication was sent to BitOasis users yesterday that starting Tuesday, no more dirham can be withdrawn from the exchange, leaving users with today only to move their balance elsewhere or top it up with more dirham if desired.

Currently, there is no date set for the reactivation of dirham withdrawals and deposits by wire transfer.

LedgerX upgrades user interface for Bitcoin options trading

Bitcoin derivatives platform LedgerX is launching a new, simplified interface that lets Bitcoin investors earn interest on their holdings.

The new service, announced Tuesday, operates similarly to its existing Bitcoin call options with a streamlined user face for investors, according to LedgerX president and chief risk officer Juthica Chou.

Chou explained:

“We’re seeing more and more demand for people who want to earn some sort of interest off their Bitcoin and lending is not exactly natural to people – especially lending where they earn their interest back in Bitcoin. So we’re seeing participants come back to trading.”



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