The Daily: Bitfinex Launches Tether Margin Trading, Zebpay Resumes BCH Transactions


In today’s edition of The Daily, we feature a number of recent developments from influential cryptocurrency exchanges including Bitfinex, Coinbase and Zebpay. We also cover the latest investment in the field by Paypal co-founder, Peter Thiel.

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Bitfinex Launches Tether Margin Trading

The Daily: Bitfinex Launches Tether Margin Trading, Zebpay Resumes BCH TransactionsBitfinex, the exchange linked to the controversial Tether stablecoin, has introduced trading on margin for the USDT/USD pair. As strange as it may sound, offering leveraged trading on an instrument against the fiat base it is supposed to be matching can have some uses. And above all, it signals that the company is confidant about being able to maintain the 1:1 backing, even under new pressure from leveraged traders.

Bitfinex claims that adding margin trading on USDT/USD “will not only allow for more efficient price discovery, but in an important move for risk management, unlock the ability to hedge the exposure taken on stablecoins. Along with a dedicated lending market, USDT will be available as collateral for margin positions.”

The exchange further claims that while stablecoin margin trading is limited to USDT/USD for now, Bitfinex has plans to introduce margin trading for other stablecoin pairings, as part of its “commitment to providing a coin agnostic platform, when sufficient liquidity is reached.”

Coinbase Expands to Six European Markets

Coinbase has announced the rollout of its basic service to six additional European regions, encompassing about three and a half million people. This means that customers in Andorra, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Iceland, Isle of Man, and Lithuania will be able to use the website and mobile apps to buy and sell cryptocurrencies on the platform. And the company also hopes to make Coinbase Pro and Prime available in these regions over time.

“Cryptocurrencies are global by their very nature and we believe that they should exist without borders. To realize our mission means making crypto easily available to everyone, irrespective of their geographical location,” the team stated. “Next year we will continue expanding rapidly into new regions and adding assets to the Coinbase platform to meet customer demand.”

Zebpay Resumes Bitcoin Cash Transactions

The Daily: Bitfinex Launches Tether Margin Trading, Zebpay Resumes BCH TransactionsZebpay, formerly one of India’s largest exchanges which recently launched in Europe, has notified clients on Friday that it is now reenabling BCH deposits and withdrawals paused since the recent hard fork. The exchange will also restart BCH trading for supported fiat and crypto pairs in supported countries over a couple of days.

“We have closely monitored the BCH network, it is now stable and safe to resume BCH wallet transactions. You can perform Bitcoin Cash sends and receives from your Zebpay wallet,” the team explained. “We are providing support for the Bitcoin ABC network which is identified on the Zebpay platform as Bitcoin Cash with ticker BCH. ABC chain is leading in blocks, hash rate, total chain difficulty. In your Zebpay wallet, BCHABC will be called BCH, balances will be credited in 1:1 from fork time.”

Peter Thiel Invests in New Crypto Platform

San Francisco-based crypto investment platform Layer1 has announced the closing of $2.1 million in seed funding. The round was backed by notable investors such as Peter Thiel, Digital Currency Group, Jeffrey Tarrant, and others.

The company’s stated mode of operation is to take a long-term position in crypto assets it believes represent promising technologies with network effects, then deploy capital and resources in order to improve their fundamental value and support market adoption. It is said to have a heavy focus on programmable money and store-of-value applications.

Layer1 is led by co-founder, Alexander Liegl, and the team comes with experience from both big tech companies, such as Google and Facebook, and major investment funds such as Protégé Partners and Stanford Management.

“We believe that the crypto investment company of the future will look radically different to status quo, with a clear focus on an engineering-first and pro-activist investment approach,” said Liegl. “Cryptocurrencies, as open-source protocols, offer the unprecedented opportunity for companies like Layer1 to meaningfully add value. This is fundamentally different from the possibilities available in traditional asset classes.”

What do you think about today’s news tidbits? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Bloomberg Vouches for Tether’s Dollar-Backing


Bloomberg has claimed to have witnessed bank statements evidencing that Tether does indeed possess the dollars required to back the USDT tokens that are in circulation. Despite the bold claim, nearly all documentation cited in the report is dated from the year 2017.

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Bloomberg Claims to Witness Documents Evidencing Dollar-Backing of USDT

Bloomberg Vouches for Tether’s Dollar-BackingBloomberg has become the latest entity to vouch for the legitimacy of Tether’s purported dollar-backing of all USDT in circulation, recently publishing an article titled “Crypto-Mystery Clues Suggest Tether Has the Billions It Promised.”

Said ‘crypto-mystery clues’ reportedly comprise bank statements “spanning four separate months” witnessed by the media outlet, with an anonymous source claiming that many of the documents were sent to the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) after the CFTC issued subpoenas to Bitfinex and Tether.

Statements Purportedly Show Balances With Noble Bank and Deltec Bank

The report asserts that “one statement shows $2.2 billion was in Tether’s account at Puerto Rico’s Noble Bank Ltd. on Jan. 31,” adding that on the same day, 2.195 billion Tethers existed, according to Coinmarketcap data.

The report also states that “the numbers also match up in September and October 2017,” citing statements detailing balances when Tether opened accounts with Noble Bank – a Puerto Rican financial institution founded by individuals closely associated with the founders of Tether. According to Bloomberg, “Tether opened its Noble account in September 2017, expanding its balance from zero on Sept. 1 to $392 million on Sept. 30, … That month, it also had $60.9 million in customer cash at Bank of Montreal in an account under the name of Hoegner, the general counsel … That totals $452.9 million. There were 435 million Tethers on Sept. 30, 2017.”

The most recent of the bank statements cited in the article reportedly details Tether’s balances as of July 2018. The statement shows a balance of “$1.9 on July 1 and an ending amount of $210 million July 30,” with an anonymous source explaining that the balance dropped “as the company shifted funds to Deltec Bank & Trust Ltd. in the Bahamas.”

The report asserts that “The statements were provided by someone with access to the company’s records,” adding that “a government official confirmed their veracity.” The report also notes that “Attempts to reach Deltec and an attorney representing Noble weren’t returned.”

Familiar PR Maneuver?

Bloomberg Vouches for Tether’s Dollar-BackingThe tone used to describe the anonymous sources who vouch for the authenticity of the documents provided to Bloomberg suggests that at least one of the sources is closely affiliated with Tether and Bitfinex

The claims made in the article are reminiscent of a post published by Chinese crypto personality Zhao Dong in January 2018 in which he asserted that he and Bitfinex shareholder, Lao Mao, had personally witnessed accounts evidencing the dollar-backing of USDT in a meeting with Bitfinex’s chief financial officer, Giancarlo Devasini.

Previously, Tether has also posted a memorandum authored by accounting firm Friedman LLP that it claimed evidenced the dollar-backing of USDT, however, has not completed a formal audit to date, despite Tether’s 2016 whitepaper stating that the company’s reserves would be evidenced through “undergoing periodic audits by professionals.”

Do you think that Tether’s USDT tokens are really all backed by dollars? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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