A recent article published earlier in the week suggests VC arms of Nasdaq and Fidelity Investments have funded a new cryptocurrency exchange named ErisX. Overall, the startup raised a total of $27.5 million during its Series B funding round.
ErisX will allegedly provide users with the opportunity to trade major cryptocurrencies like Litecoin, Ethereum and Bitcoin on futures and spot markets from the second quarter of next year.
The trading platform will begin its operations after it secures the right approval from regulatory bodies. Nasdaq has recently confirmed that its participation in the Series B funding round but it has declined to disclose the amount that was invested. In a similar light, Fidelities VC arm hasn’t replied on the matter either.
The CEO of ErisX, Thomas Chippas stated the funds received would be used to bring in new staff and develop the proper infrastructure to make sure that a transparent and efficient regulated market for digital assets.
The firm’s long-term plans involved offering clearinghouse services despite the company not registered for clearinghouse operations as well as becoming a fully-regulated futures market.
There are several high profile players from the digital currency space which have put themselves behind the project.
As reported by BTC Manager, the CEO of ConsenSys and one of the co-founders of Ethereum, Joseph Lubin has given his views on ErisX by saying that it is a crucial step in the long-term mission of convergence of traditional assets with the emerging class of digital assets. On top of this, he noted that ErisX could have sparked a significant demand from institutional investors in spot and futures crypto asset markets next year.
The co-founder, Jihan Wu has given his views on ErisX saying:
“Many of our customers have been seeking various hedging solutions and would be happy to see US regulatory compliant exchanges like ErisX provide spot and futures’ contracts in one platform. We are confident that our customers will find this strategic partnership beneficial.”
Even though the crypto market has seen gone up by over 30 percent in just the past month, startups in the space aren’t facing any issues in convincing VCs for funds.
It was reported in late November on how a startup by the name of Securitise aimed to create an appetite for digital tokens in the security backing from the giant crypto exchange, Coinbase while raising funds for its Series A round.
Huobi Token Price Rises as First Huobi Prime Listing Draws Near
As a new week dawns upon the cryptocurrency industry, one has to wonder if this Monday will be better than what happened through the weekend. Most of the markets are seemingly moving up once again, although there is still a lot of work to be done. As far as the HuobiToken price is concerned, it appears the value is rising primarily because of the first token listing on Huobi Prime will occur fairly soon.
Huobi Token Price Accelerates as Expected
The year 2019 has been primarily about exchange-oriented tokens rising in value, by the look of things. As Binance Coin continues to fire on all cylinders, Huobi Token has also begun making a name for itself. It appears to be a matter of time until KuCoin Shares will go down a similar path, assuming that exchange decides to venture into “select token listings” as well. Huobi is only the second major exchange to do so recently, and it seems that decision is already paying off for HT holders.
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— HuobiGlobal (@HuobiGlobal) March 21, 2019
There is also a chance the current HT price trend is materializing because of the recent Pundi X listing. While there may be no obvious correlation between the two, there will undoubtedly be an NPXS/HT trading pair sooner or later. It seems a lot of things are coming together for Huobi Global in very quick succession, which usually tends to get a lot of traders excited in the process. For now, there is still some market uncertainty,
— WarmaneTrade (@WarmaneT) March 24, 2019
As Bullish as Huobi Token may seem right now, nothing is ever set in stone. Cryptocurrencies, assets, and tokens often evolve in many different ways, which can make for interesting momentum down the road. While the trading volume for HT looks pretty significant right now, there is always a chance it can come back to haunt the market as well. Sustaining the $2.5 level will be the main order of business for this token.
Disgruntled Reddit User Calls for Legal Action Against HitBTC
Cryptocurrency exchanges play a key role in this volatile industry. Companies provide exposure to various currencies, tokens, and assets, while making it easier for consumers and investors to gain access to these offerings. One particular exchange, which goes by the name of HitBTC, is seemingly subjected to a one-man crusade on Reddit as of right now. This is not all that surprising, as many users have expressed their dismay with the company in recent years.
The Crusade Against HitBTC
In this day and age of social media, it has become easier for the average person to speak up about negative experiences. Even in the cryptocurrency world, there are a lot more apparent complaints than during the early days. This is primarily because media such as Twitter and Facebook have started to take center stage. Not only are those platforms used for crying foul, but companies also rely on them to provide customer support.
For HitBTC, social media has proven to be a double-edged blade. On the one hand, it provides the company a lot more exposure. On the other, it has also allowed a lot more complaints regarding this company to become apparent. While it is impossible to please every customer in this day and age, it seems the growing dismay regarding HitBTC is still a very big problem. So much even that one Reddit user dedicated an entire subreddit to these particular problems.
Known as the HitBTC_Victims subreddit, it is not necessarily the most popular corner of Reddit by any means. Although several posts exist, it quickly becomes apparent this is a one-man effort. Reddit user Vandenhof has a grudge against HitBTC, primarily because this user has experienced a lot of things which warrant outcry. Ranging from account restrictions to odd KYC requirements and withdrawals being – allegedly – blocked, one has to wonder why anyone would put up with this exchange after all of those problems.
If all of the information provided by this user is to be believed, he has suffered from HitBTC’s “shenanigans” since December 2017 or earlier. Most people would simply give up after one or two mishaps caused by the same platform. There are dozens of cryptocurrency exchanges to choose from and most of those seemingly have a “better” reputation than HitBTC. However, this user is sticking with HitBTC despite all of the problems. A bit of an odd train of thought, although it seems to date back to his funds being locked in late 2017.
The latest post on this subreddit is perhaps the most interesting one. More specifically, Vandenhof expects to take legal action against HitBTC. The main reasons for doing so are the growing number of complaints and unorthodox KYC/AML practices maintained by this company, according to the post. This user even went as far as setting up different deposit addresses for different cryptocurrencies to cover the retainer fees. While it remains to be seen if anyone will accept this offer – which is ill-advised without conducting proper research – it seems the crusade against this exchange is far from over at this point.
All things considered, it is good to see more crypto exchange users become vocal about odd things happening to their accounts and balances. While dedicating a subreddit tot his ordeal is a good way to get the word out, it seems the HitBTC/Victims corner is not getting too much attention as of right now. While it is true a lot of people are not too happy with this exchange, it seems Vandenhof is pretty much alone in his fight right now. Even so, it is a remarkable effort, even if it is falling on deaf ears for the most part.
Sand, Death and Cryptocurrency: Life in a Decentralized Syria
I’m writing from the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria.
Known to sympathizers simply as Rojava – meaning West – the predominantly Kurdish region revolted against the Syrian regime in 2012 and achieved its de-facto autonomy as a result.
Since then, it has pioneered a new political model named democratic confederalism, which due to its stateless, decentralized nature, has a natural synergy with blockchain technologies – something that has been a point of research by technologists in the region.
That’s partially why I am here.
I’m also here because, in December, U.S. President Donald Trump announced his retreat from the region, cited the impending defeat of ISIS, and denouncing Syria as the land of endless wars – of “sand and death,” he called it.
The withdrawal has now effectively been reversed, but at the time, many believed Turkey, which shares a border with Northern Syria, would attack (the country has engaged a continuous offensive against the region since 2016).
The concern was that if Turkey seized control, Rojava’s political system would crumble to the totalizing power of nation states. There would be no more resistance, a resistance I’ve come to care greatly about.
I had previously written about the potential of blockchain and cryptocurrency in Rojava. I felt that while the region lacks the basic security and resources offered by the West, it has something the West doesn’t have – the opportunity for a new system of governance to be realized.
With this in mind, I spent a little over a month trying to get into the country to volunteer my skills, both in media and crypto, to a new network of technological academies being developed in the region.
On February 25, I arrived at my new home. Here, according to critics, in the process of implementing democratic confederalism, Rojava has succumbed to the pressures of the familiar, whereby the structures of capitalism and its hierarchies are being mimicked in local economies.
Erselan Serdem, the leader of Rojava’s technological development program, would like to redeem this, creating structures that allow ecological, egalitarian economies to thrive – what proponents call “democratic modernity.”
According to Serdem, with the right combination of philosophy and tech, this dream can be realized.
“We are talking about a new form of institution with a high level of technology, that can develop useful tools for society and achieve a good relationship to nature – that’s our aspiration,” Serdem said, adding:
“Decentralized institutions can be supported by parallel, decentralized technologies.”
Electricity cables in Qamishli, Northern Syria
War vets and social engineers
The academies Serdem is building will be used to train hackers in various decentralized technologies.
For instance, participants will research digital governance, cryptocurrency and blockchain solutions to fairly distribute natural resources. Serdem is still recruiting people into the academies, seeking out those with technical skills across Rojava and also training injured war veterans, starting with basic programming skills.
Currently, there are 30 war vet participants in the program.
Not only is Serdem recruiting throughout Northern Syria, but he’s also enlisting what he calls “social engineers” – politically-oriented hackers and philosophers focused on reshaping technology.
Without these folks, Serdem said, “We have seen how history repeats itself. The current system will have the same destiny.”
Hozan Mamo, a software developer and academy member, echoed what Serdem said, telling CoinDesk through a translator that the technological academies could solve problems that have emerged in civil society.
For instance, he continued, decentralized governance tools could help formalize decision making and keep power in check.
On the other hand, cryptocurrency could be useful as well, Mamo said, since there’s no access to electronic transactions in Rojava. Instead, Rojava’s inhabitants are dependant on cash that is issued by the Syria state – meaning that the region is still economically bound to the regime.
As a first step towards that, Mamo is looking into the feasibility of onboarding local merchants to accepting cryptocurrency.
Young men gather outside an internet shop, Qamishli, Northern Syria
The ethos of crypto
Still, there’s a good amount of cynicism surrounding the project.
In Rojava, technology has mostly shown its face through social media, and a sudden proliferation of smartphones – mostly carrying Facebook, YouTube and Whatsapp – has had a tangible impact on the social sphere.
The obsessive use of smartphones has led a certain suspicion of technology to develop, which could have a negative impact on the adoption of blockchain and cryptocurrency technology.
In an effort to combat this, Serdem noted, he intends to use the academies to redefine technology, moving the narrative away from the corporate interest groups that have monopolized social media, network infrastructure and even hardware in the region.
“There are different forms of technology,” he said. “[There is] technology by nation states and the companies, and then there is a resistance movement, that try to discover more ideas against the current system.”
Bitcoin and other decentralized technologies, for instance, qualify as this “resistance tech” – tools developed by oppressed people to take back power throughout history. Within the academies, Serdem would like to see some of this tech, these alternatives, built.
“We can use some of that kind of technology which is created by the resistance movement. Now we are in the beginning, but in the process we will see what forms of technology do we need to have for democratic modernity,” said Serdem.
Mamo believes that by focusing on usability and security, adoption could happen quickly, especially by younger generations. According to him, Rojava’s youth has no shortage of enthusiasm for technology, as well as a strong aptitude for it.
Prior to the revolution, he said, the Syrian regime deliberately held back the development of technology in the region, forbidding its teaching in universities and arresting people that tried to develop their skills.
But the revolution “opened the border” to technology, he said, leading the region to develop rapidly.
Poster of Abdullah Ocalan at International Woman’s Day, Qamishli, Northern Syria
Openness to technology isn’t the only thing Serdem and others are trying to push. His academies also have a strong focus on philosophy, specifically the writings of Abdullah Ocalan, the incarcerated political philosopher whose writings inspired the Rojava revolution.
In his writings, Ocalan seeks to fundamentally restructure society by challenging the roots of hierarchy and domination that underpin it.
It’s a philosophy that resonates strongly with the ideologies that many crypto advocates hold and even display in their interest and use of the open-source movement.
In this way, Serdem told CoinDesk, the academies will encourage much of the same.
”We are creating a commune of the technology, to solve technical problems, and at the same time to create the social engineer or the political person in the moral society,” Serdem said, before concluding:
“In Rojava, we are trying to achieve the philosophy of open source, of how to create a society informed by open source.”