As not a day goes by without another cryptocurrency partnership, one of the biggest crypto exchanges in South Korea has begun new cooperation. Major South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb has partnered with Singaporean crypto trading platform BitMax to jointly develop new services and products.
According to a Feb. 17 blog post by Bithumb Official, the two companies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to bring their forces together to build new services and strengthen their competitiveness in the global market. As part of the MoU, Bithumb and BitMax will be sharing their expertise with one another to actively cooperate in the development of blockchain and crypto-related technologies and infrastructure.
In the announcement, Bithumb emphasized that BitMax’s founding team includes quant trading experts from Wall Street as well as major crypto trading veterans. Founded by George Cao, a former chief investment officer of Delpha Capital Management in 2018, BitMax comprises experts from top global financial firms such as Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, and Bloomberg and Winklevoss-run crypto exchange Gemini.
With the new partnership with BitMax, Bithumb hopes to access fintech know-how from Wall Street, the South Korean exchange said. Additionally, the MoU is designed to equip Bithumb with more capabilities in building infrastructure and expanding bases in related industries, the company noted. Additionally, BitMax is purportedly one of the top 10 global players in terms of cryptocurrency liquidity, Bithumb noted. Liquidity refers to the level of ease at which an asset can be bought or sold.
Having suffered at least three crypto hacks as of March 2019, Bithumb is one of the largest global crypto exchanges by daily trading volume, ranked the 8th-biggest exchange on Coin360. In mid-January 2020, Bithumb announced its intention to litigate a $69 million tax bill from South Korea’s National Tax Service. In September 2019, there were reports on the alleged difficulties with payments in a deal to acquire Bithumb exchange. While the deal’s viability remained unclear, unnamed Chinese and American investors were reportedly considering acquiring Bithumb at the time.
Binance Moving Forward With CoinMarketCap Acquisition
While global markets are experiencing tough times amid the coronavirus pandemic, the crypto industry is getting stronger as its core players have tapped one of the biggest crypto mergers in history. Binance, the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange, has reached an agreement to acquire CoinMarketCap, one of the most-referenced crypto data websites, in an undisclosed deal. The companies officially announced the acquisition on April 2. Changpeng Zhao, founder and CEO of Binance, said that Binance and CMC are very similar, as they are both providers of “access-to-crypto” and share a vision of making crypto assets more accessible and useful for people around the world. Zhao said:
“The acquisition will enable us to build on each other’s strengths, and further grow and instill transparency in the industry.”
Zhao said that the company has been in talks with CMC for a few months before closing the deal in April. While the acquisition is rumored to have cost Binance $400 million, Zhao said that the company cannot disclose the amount of the deal, as it is protected by a non-disclosure agreement.
While the companies are going to work closely together, CMC will still continue to operate as an independent business entity, both Binance and CMC emphasized. Zhao stressed that the acquisition will not change CMC’s independence from external stakeholders:
“Binance has no bearing on CoinMarketCap rankings. CoinMarketCap stays committed to providing the most accurate, timely and quality cryptocurrency data in the industry while benefiting from Binance’s expertise, resources and scale.”
However, CMC will immediately undergo some internal restructuring as part of the deal. Brandon Chez, CMC’s founder, will be stepping down as CEO and will be replaced by CoinMarketCap’s current chief strategy officer, Carylyne Chan, as interim CEO. Apart from the reshuffle, CoinMarketCap will not see any changes in its team in the near future, or at least the next couple of months. Chan said:
“Other than that, there won’t be any other major team changes at CoinMarketCap. Everyone is going to stay on and everyone is really excited about what’s happening. […] I think that no other major changes that we see, definitely not in the next couple of months.”
According to Chan, Binance did its best to ensure that CMC can continue to adhere to its own listing methodology. The interim CEO said that the firm is not planning any sufficient listing changes anytime soon:
“We’ll stick to our listing requirements and make sure that everything is fair and unbiased to anyone who wants to list anything on CoinMarketCap. So that will be our firm commitment that […] will not change following the acquisition.”
While CMC will continue to operate independently to ensure neutral and transparent data, Binance will be contributing significantly to CoinMarketCap’s further development and projects in 2020, Chan noted. The exchange, which has at least 800 employees worldwide, is expected to share its expertise in a number of areas like finance and security. Chan highlighted that the acquisition will help CMC evolve:
“We are going to get a lot from Binance in terms of understanding how they’re running a better team in terms of best practices. I think there are some really basic things around security, finance that we will learn from Binance just based on the fact that they have a way larger team than us and have scaled out much more efficiently.”
The CMC acquisition comes about six months after industry reports claimed that CoinMarketCap was “entirely bootstrapped” — i.e., continuing its operations with minimal financial resources. In October 2019, Chan reportedly said that CMC did not plan to raise any funds soon and was continuing “bootstrapping and scaling.”
China’s Oldest Exchange OKCoin Readies Moving To Japan
OKCoin, one of the oldest exchanges in China, is continuing its crypto exchange business expansion, announcing on March 30 that it has officially secured licensing in Japan.
Per its announcement, OKCoin Japan has completed its registration with the Kanto Local Finance Bureau. According to the firm, this makes OKCoin the first international exchange to obtain a cryptocurrency exchange license through the official application procedure in Japan. OKCoin Japan said that ever since its establishment in September in 2017, it has been preparing itself to be in a position to achieve a business framework that can comply with Japanese law. OKCoin marketing manager added that:
“OKCoin wants to get recognition from the Japanese authority in terms of their own technologies, products, teams, compliance & regulation system and internal management system, etc., in this way, they finally get approved by the license.”
OKCoin is now officially headquartered in San Francisco and has a number of offices worldwide including Malta. OK Group has expanded its business bases in China, the United States, Europe, Malaysia and the Philippines since its establishment in 2013. With the expansion in Japan, the blockchain company is set to employ over 1,000 globally, OKCoin says. Before OKCoin Japan’s exchange officially launches, users can now pre-register by visiting the firm’s main site to create an account. It will support the Japanese Yen and deal with major crypto assets, including BTC, ETH, ETC, LTC, and BCH. As reported previously, OKCoin added support for the Singaporean dollar earlier this month. It is the third fiat currency supported by OKCoin after the United States dollar and euro
Binance Gets Rid Of FTX Tokens Citing Confusion
Major crypto exchange, Binance, has decided to remove leveraged FTX tokens from its exchange, explaining that customers don’t understand the product. “Due to lack of understanding of how leveraged tokens work by many of our users, Binance has decided to delist all existing FTX leveraged tokens and corresponding trading pairs,” the exchange announced on March 28. Binance will shut off deposits and withdrawals for the assets on March 31 at 8 a.m. UTC, with a stoppage in trading at 10 a.m. on the same day.
On March 11, Binance announced its listing of two FTX leveraged ERC20 tokens, known as BNBBULL and BNBBEAR. Customers could trade these assets against USDT or BUSD, Binance’s own stablecoin. Each token represented a 3x leveraged long or short position in Binance Coin (BNB). “Users can buy leveraged tokens just like normal tokens on a spot market,” Binance said in its March 11 announcement. “However, there is no need for them to manage collateral, margin, liquidation prices, or anything that a normal margin user needs to manage.” A quick press time scan also showed several other available bull and bear pairings, such as EOS, ETH and XRP, as well as a simple “Bull” and “Bear” option paired against USDT and BUSD.
As part of the March 28 announcement, Binance plans to remove “BULL, BEAR, ETHBULL, ETHBEAR, EOSBULL, EOSBEAR, BNBBULL, BNBBEAR, XRPBULL and XRPBEAR.” The exchange included both USDT and BUSD pairings in the delisting. Binance’s work with FTX comes after the crypto giant made an equity investment in the crypto derivatives platform back in December 2019. Binance also bought a stake in the platform’s FTX token.
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