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Europe’s First Crypto License Issuer Sends Out Warning About New Unregistered Crypto Firm

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Europe’s First Crypto License Issuer Sends Out Warning About New Unregistered Crypto Firm
Europe’s First Crypto License Issuer Sends Out Warning About New Unregistered Crypto Firm

Major European financial regulator, Luxembourg’s Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF), has spotted another unregistered crypto company.

The firm, Crypto Bull, operating under the url crypto-bull.io, claims to be based in Luxembourg while it does not have permission to provide crypto services in the country, the CSSF announced on Jan. 31. The warning notice reads:

“The CSSF informs the public that this entity has not been granted any authorization to provide investment services or other financial services in or from Luxembourg.”

According to the website, Crypto Bull positions itself as a “reliable and technologically oriented” platform for cryptocurrency trading. Claiming to be located at 2, place de Paris, 2314 Luxembourg, Crypto Bull does not explicitly note whether the company is licensed or not. The firm seems to be directing its services to users in the United Kingdom, Spain, and Russia, according to the three relevant company phone numbers on the website. With its domain purportedly registered in February 2019, Crypto Bull has apparently had a chance to mislead some crypto users. 

Image result for Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier

In fact, some online reviews claim that the firm is not a legitimate investment platform but rather a crypto Ponzi scheme. Other reviews say that Crypto Bull has already come into the spotlight by authorities in Italy and Spain and was blacklisted as a scam.

Meanwhile, Luxembourg has been friendly to the crypto industry as the country houses major global cryptocurrency exchanges like Bitstamp. The CSSF, which regulates Luxembourg-based crypto exchanges, reportedly issued Bitstamp the first crypto license in Europe back in 2016. As previously reported, the government of Luxembourg views cryptocurrencies as “intangible assets” that are not subject to income tax until they are exchanged for fiat. 

As such, all crypto-related transactions were reportedly exempt from VAT within Luxembourg as of August 2019. In line with supporting the development of the local crypto ecosystem, Luxembourg authorities have been actively monitoring the market for potential scammers and fraudsters. In September 2019, the CSSF red-flagged the activities of a fraudulent clone website that is impersonating cryptocurrency payment services provider BitPay. Previously, the regulator issued a warning against Cryptominingoptionsignal, another crypto-related entity that claimed to be licensed in Luxembourg.

Altcoin News

Binance Supports An Ontology Upgrade

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Binance Supports An Ontology Upgrade
Binance Supports An Ontology Upgrade

Binance, one of the world’s biggest crypto exchanges, has announced on July 5 that it will support the upcoming Ontology 2.0 network upgrade. Ontology 2.0 will include the integration of a number of community-led upgrades to its MainNet. Binance says that it will end support of Neo Enhancement Protocol 5-based, or NEP5, ONT tokens deposits. Any future deposits of NEP5 ONT will not be credited to users’ Binance account, it indicates. Deposits and withdrawals of ONT will be stopped starting July 6 at 9 a.m. UTC. Users will be notified when the Ontology upgraded network becomes stable and deposits and withdrawals are reopened, says Binance.

The Ontology network upgrade will not result in a new token creation and ONG staking rewards for ONT will not be affected. Ontology uses a dual token (ONT and ONG) model. ONT is the coin and can be used for staking in consensus, whereas ONG is the utility token used for on-chain services. MainNet ONT started to release ONG as soon as Ontology MainNet went live two years ago. According to Ontology, from 9 to 12th June 2020, it will give its community the opportunity to have a say in the development of its governance and staking economic model, especially for the Triones node results. However, The Ontology Foundation’s first three-year bonus to the top 49 nodes and the distribution method remains unchanged.

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Bitcoin News

Huobi Is Now The First Major Exchange to Run a Chainlink Node

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Huobi Is Now The First Major Exchange to Run a Chainlink Node
Huobi Is Now The First Major Exchange to Run a Chainlink Node

Major cryptocurrency exchange Huobi will integrate their price data with Chainlink’s ecosystem in an effort to improve its own data integrity and provide more accurate price information. While Binance was the first major exchange to provide their data to Chainlink oracles in October 2019, Huobi has gone one step further by running its own node on the system through Huobi Wallet. This allows the exchange to sign its own price data allowing users to confirm that any exchange data coming from the Huobi Node is authentic and direct from the source. Huobi Wallet CEO Will Huang stated:

“DeFi offers a unique value proposition of providing financial products that are transparent, open, and programmable. We are very excited to accelerate our involvement in this emerging trend by providing Chainlink users access to Huobi Global exchange data, as well as running our own Chainlink Node.”

The first batch of price pairs will include BTC/ETH, BTC/USDT, ETH/USDT, and LINK/ETH, with more to follow.

Huobi appears to be on a mission to improve its credibility following concerns around volume inflation last year. By running a node, the exchange’s reputation will be on the line should any of the data shared through Chainlink prove to be inaccurate. As one of Gibraltar’s largest crypto firms, the integration comes in the wake of the country’s continued efforts in reducing market manipulation by crypto firms over the last few months. Last year Huobi partnered with Global Digital Finance (GDF), co-chairing the Market Integrity Working Group with Solidus Labs.

In 2019 a Bitwise report implied that Huobi was reporting inflated trading volume, causing an internal investigation to weed out any potential wash trading strategies by market makers. Huobi Global CEO Livio Weng admitted wash trading may have occurred:

“We did identify a few of our market makers conducting what we suspect may have been wash trading for the sake of performance and marketing purposes. We have already communicated with these market makers and they have discontinued the strategies in question.”

Huobi has since moved to the top 10 exchanges in Messari’s ‘Real Volume’ list.

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Blockchain News

OKEx Now Offers A Latin American Fiat Gateway With Latamex

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OKEx Now Offers A Latin American Fiat Gateway With Latamex
OKEx Now Offers A Latin American Fiat Gateway With Latamex

OKEx, a major global cryptocurrency exchange, is embracing the Latin American crypto market by launching a fiat gateway for three local currencies. According to a July 3 announcement, OKEx users can now buy Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) in exchange for the Argentine peso (ARS), the Brazilian real (BRL), and the Mexican peso (MXN) via a direct bank transfer.

OKEx’s partnership with a company called Settle Network allowed them to enable these features. Settle Network is claimed to be the largest digital settlement network in Latin America. The new service is provided through Latamex, Settle Network’s proprietary product. Latamex is designed to unlock crypto purchases using local currencies in Latin America. Jay Hao, CEO of OKEx, highlighted that the cooperation will allow OKEx to work with the LATAM market in a compliant way. The executive promised that OKEx will continue to add more cryptocurrencies “to allow more users to purchase cryptocurrencies more conveniently.” 

OKEx is not the first major exchange to implement Settle Network’s Latamex. Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, partnered with Settle Network to provide a similar feature in late 2019. As reported, Binance’s LATAM offering featured BTC, ETH as well as Binance’s native token BNB and proprietary stablecoin, BUSD. The gateway was initially available for ARS and BRL.

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