Thailand’s vibrant digital asset scene was shaken earlier this month when its most popular exchange unexpectedly announced an imminent closure. The news left crypto traders dazed and confused and fearing a wider crackdown from the military dominated government.
A Dark Day For Thai Crypto
September 2 was a dark day for the crypto industry in the Asian nation as its most popular exchange told clients they had a month to clear out their accounts. The only explanation BX Thailand gave to its large customer base was that it wanted to ‘focus on other business opportunities’, which made little sense since the SEC registered exchange was clearly successful.
The panic that ensued caused the price of Bitcoin to trade at ten percent lower than the rest of the world on the exchange as Thai traders dumped digital assets. BTC price dropped as low as $9,000 on BX as fears of a failure to liquidate escalated.
Two weeks later and the situation is still no clearer. The company has yet to come forward with any real reasoning for the move and attempts to reach management have been unsuccessful according to the Bangkok Post.
Bitcoin Co. was launched in 2013 and a year later bx.in.th was created to provide a trading platform for crypto assets. The firm was a pioneer in the industry at the time and one of the first to become officially authorized by the Finance Ministry.
Speculation has grown over the snap closure and competing platforms suggest that BX may have been bamboozled by bureaucracy. Specifically, an unfeasible level of daily transaction reporting required by regulators.
Founder of Satang Corporation Co., Poramin Insom, suggested that the company just may not have been prepared for this epic workload or what it considered client privacy violations.
“BX [Bitcoin Co] may be worried about providing customer information and trading information to the SEC on a daily basis,”
Competition in the Kingdom has increased and rival platform Bitkub chief executive, Jirayut Srupsrisopa, suggested that this may have been the cause. However, this is very unlikely though since BX was already the market leader, and they do not usually just shut up shop because of a new exchange or two opening up.
President and chief executive at the ACIS Professional Centre, Prinya Hom-anek, believes more clarity is required from regulators.
“We need market surveillance like the stock exchange has. There will definitely be future revisions [of the digital asset royal decree]. This is a case study, watched closely by global actors, for the SEC’s next move,”
Yet again, regulation and excessive bureaucracy appears to have been the catalyst for another crypto closure. Thailand’s newly appointed military backed government has an unhealthy obsession with reporting and officialdom. The regime has recently implemented a country wide crackdown on the movements of its large expatriate community which has sent many of them packing.
If crypto exchanges are its next target, BX will not be the first to close its digital doors or seek friendlier climes.
UNICEF’s crypto fund shows Bitcoin is accepted as financial asset
Bitcoin, the king coin with a market share of 66.8 percent, continues to be the market mover as it attracts more sectors. This time around, the news broke from UNICEF as the agency announced that it would be accepting the largest cryptocurrency along with Ethereum for donation with the launch of UNICEF Cryptocurrency Fund. Moreover, the agency will not be converting the crypto donations to fiat, rather will be held and distributed in crypto.
The announcement read,
“In a first for United Nations organizations, UNICEF will use cryptocurrecy fund open source technology benefiting children and young people around the world.”
Michael Novogratz, founder and CEO of Galaxy Digital, spoke about the United Nations agency accepting cryptocurrency, in an interview with CNN. He stated that this shows that more people have started to accept “Bitcoin as a financial asset.” The Bitcoin proponent also pointed that contrary to UNICEF’s crypto fund, there were some charities that accepted Bitcoin, but would later see it for fiat mainly because “they’re more conservative.”
Subsequently, Novogratz also brought up Yale’s venture into the cryptocurrency space toward the end of 2018. The second-largest endowment in higher education backed a multi-million dollar crypto-fund, Paradigm by helping it raise $400 million. He said,
“[…] usually where Yale goes all the rest of the endowments follow. They’ve made investments in Bitcoin. Yale, Harvard and Standford have all invested and ventured funds that own bitcoin and venture properties in the space.”
This was followed by Novogratz speaking about the diversity of the cryptocurrency market and communities, and the on-and-off brawl between communities on social media platforms. To him, Bitcoin is the only cryptocurrency that has “a store of value lane.” He went on to say that Gold, which has a $9 trillion market cap, has value because “we say it’s valuable,” whereas the rest of the elements in the periodic table has value because of its use-case. He said,
“I think Bitcoin is going to be valuable just because we say it’s valuable but the rest of the cryptocurrencies are going to need to be used and it’s going to take a while for those economies to develop right? We had a bubble they all went up because they were all the next bitcoin in fact they are all not the next Bitcoin.”
“It doesn’t mean the Ethereum project isn’t an awesome project. In three or four or five years, it could be a spectacular project. It might have a huge amount of value but it’s not going to get the value the same Bitcoin does “
Fidelty quite cautious about offering crypto says exec
American firm Fidelity Investments has voiced the strict regulatory plans implied to cryptocurrencies in order to support the protection of its clients. Kathleen Murphy, an executive, stated about the measures taken against what to offer on the network. Fidelity is expected to roll out Bitcoin trading for institutional clients in May of 2020.
The personal investing president of American financial services company Fidelity Investments, Kathleen Murphy, has stated that the firm does not offer cryptocurrencies on retail trading platforms to ensure the protection of its clients. Murphy asserted this viewpoint during an interview with CNBC published on Oct. 11. After the interviewer asked when she expects users to trade cryptocurrency “in a meaningful way” on Fidelity’s platform, Murphy replied: “You know, we’re really careful about that. So we embrace crypto in terms of trying to understand it and be innovative and thoughtful. We’re also very careful about where we offer those types of things, so they’re not offered broadly on the retail platform. We want to be very careful about making sure that investors who really aren’t institutional investors […] don’t make a mistake with cryptocurrency.”
The firm is geared up to commence Bitcoin Trading for institutional clients in May 2020. Currently, it holds a total of $7.4 trillion worth of customer assets under its management.
Disclaimer: Coinnounce’s views are not necessarily reflected in the articles published, and they are the sole representation of the author’s opinions. Article’s information should not be taken as investment advice. Risks are involved in cryptocurrency investments and trading. Readers are urged to carry out extensive research before making a decision.
Draper-Backed Startup Launches .Crypto Domains on Ethereum
A startup building domains on blockchains has just launched a .crypto name registry on ethereum.
Unstoppable Domains – a firm backed in May to the tune of $4 million by Draper Associates and Boost VC – said Friday that the new .crypto extension can be connected to users’ public cryptocurrency address, allowing third-parties to more easily send funds.
Doing away with long, complex crypto address (for example, a bitcoin address will look something like “1BvBMSEYstWetqTFn5Au4m4GFg7xJaNVN2”) in favor of a more memorable and less mistake-prone domain will “simplify cryptocurrency payments and lead to mainstream adoption,” Unstoppable Domains claimed.
The firms indicated it’s already seen a high level of interest in its first domain extension, .zil, with over 100,000 having been sold.
The original service was built on the Zilliqa blockchain (hence the .zil domain) and the website content was stored on the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) or other decentralized storage networks, the company said at the time.
While the new registry is built on ethereum, it isn’t restricted to payments in ether.
Co-founder and CEO Matthew Gould commented:
“We believe that tribalism in the crypto community is slowing down adoption of the technology. .Crypto is a domain name system meant to be used for any cryptocurrency payment and with any cryptocurrency wallet. Sending money to a .crypto domain is a way simpler user experience for the millions of cryptocurrency users that currently have to copy/paste and type in long addresses in order to transact.”
The firm’s blockchain domains can also be used to provide “uncensorable” websites, it says on its website. Linking the domain to content on a decentralized storage network results in pages that “no one” can take down.
Using an immutable blockchain for web domains can have its downside, however.
As reported last week, a hacker exploited a bug in an auction run by OpenSea for the Ethereum Naming Service (ENS) resulting in a number of top level names – including apple.eth, defi.eth, wallet.eth, and pay.eth. – being nabbed with no way to retrieve them.
After OpenSea appealed to the hacker and offered a reward, the domains were handed back.