This Week In Crypto is a weekly segment from the Live Coin Watch News team, providing readers with a fun, succinct, and pertinent summary of the most important Bitcoin-related events in the past seven days.
What a week it has been for this newfangled industry. Samsung was revealed to have early-stage plans to launch its own Ethereum-based chain, Binance launched both its decentralized exchange and Singapore fiat onramp, and two big names in American finance revealed that they may offer Bitcoin (BTC) trading support to their millions of customers.
This Week In Crypto
- Ripple Sold Millions Of XRP Over Recent Months: According to a recent announcement from Ripple Labs, it sold over $169 million worth of the XRP asset over Q1 of 2019, up from the $129 million sold in the previous quarter. Institutional demand purportedly is the primary catalyst behind this increase in sales, which confirms that cryptocurrencies aren’t exactly dead in the water just yet.
- Samsung May Launch Ethereum-Based Chain With Token: Per an exclusive from Coindesk’s Korea branch, a person familiar with Samsung, one of the largest technology firms on Planet Earth, claims that the company is building an Ethereum-based blockchain. The blockchain, which is still in a “internal experimental” stage, may host its own cryptocurrency, the fittingly named “Samsung Coin.” It isn’t clear what use this asset would hold, but the source suggests that blockchain could be brought to Samsung Pay, the tech giant’s fintech application. This news comes after the Samsung S10 was revealed to have its own digital asset wallet.
- Tether, Bitfinex on Thin Ice, Bitcoin Falls As A Result: On Thursday, the New York Attorney General’s (NYAG) office published a press release, in which it was stated that Bitfinex and Tether were in violation of New York law through participation in activities that “may have defrauded” local cryptocurrency investors. Letitia James, the Attorney General herself, explained that the two firms may have “engaged in a cover-up” to hide the “apparent loss” of $850 million, which was a result of a payment processor, Crypto Capital, losing access to the funds (purported seizure by governments in Poland, Portugal, and the U.S.). It was explained in a 23-page document that sometime in the past six months, Tether transferred $625 million to Bitfinex. And just recently, Bitfinex is reported to have returned the funds, but still has an iFinex shares-backed line of credit, which amounts to $700 million, open with Tether. As a result of this news, BTC fell from $5,550 to $5,200.
- Binance Launches DEX And Singapore Fiat Onramp On The Same Day: Just days after Binance launched Chain, the exchange’s in-house delegated proof of stake (DPOS) blockchain meant for asset issuance and token transfers, Binance DEX was launched. Interestingly, DEX launches with zero trading pairs, but pundits expect for crypto transactions to commence on the platform in the coming weeks as Binance Coin (BNB) moves to and stabilizes on its own blockchain.
- Coinbase Lays Off 30 Staffers, Shutters Chicago Office: Per a recent report from The Block, published on Tuesday, Coinbase, a Silicon Valley fintech darling, recently shuttered plans to launch a new trade matching engine. As a result, the company has laid off 30 employees, a move which is purportedly shocking as the firm was dead set on launching this new offering, which would have given institutional investors more flexibility and accessibility. This layoff will also see the firm’s institutional-centric Chicago office close, which is notable, especially considering that this city is deemed somewhat of a second home for big names in finance, namely JP Morgan and Northern Trust.
- TD Ameritrade, E*Trade May Soon Offer In-House Bitcoin Trading: Per a report from The Block, ErisX, an up-and-coming, Chicago-based cryptocurrency initiative that has recently embarked on a hiring spree, will soon launch its own exchange platform. This is notable, as TD Ameritrade is one of the platform’s strategic partners and investors and is expected to be a bridge between retail investors and ErisX, giving consumers access to Bitcoin and other digital assets. Just a day after this report, Bloomberg revealed that E*Trade, one of Ameritrade’s competitors, may also soon be launching digital asset trading too.