Something Strange Is Going On at a Crypto Exchange Called WEX

Users of WEX, the cryptocurrency exchange built on the ashes of BTC-e, are reporting withdrawal problems, raising new questions about an already mysterious trading platform. “‏Dear Wex, when withdraws will enable ??” asked Twitter user Alireza Moosavi on Friday, joining a crowd of Wex customers complaining they couldn’t withdraw funds for the second day in a row. Ehsan Mahmoodi similarly inquired, “Hello, why withdrawal is disabled?” A third user, Hasan Gusseynov, asked the exchange, in Russian, “When will everything be ok?” The user complaints follow odd trading activity observed on the…

Robinhood’s Plan to Win the Crypto Exchange War? Kill Trading Fees

As a new entrant into the cryptocurrency field, Vlad Tenev, co-CEO of online investment brokerage Robinhood, is following a time-honored business strategy: Undercut the competition. Except he’s taking it to an extreme. Launched early this year, Robinhood Crypto is differentiating itself with zero-fee transactions, with the ultimate goal of doing away with the concept of trading fees in the market altogether. Framing this effort as a force for good in line with his company’s namesake folk hero, Tenev told CoinDesk he wanted to prevent consumers looking to invest in cryptocurrencies, especially young millennials,…

OKCoin Exchange Launches in US Offering Fiat-to-Crypto Trading

Cryptocurrency exchange OKCoin has launched a branch in the U.S. market offering trading services between U.S. dollars and several major cryptocurrencies. According to OKCoin’s website on Friday, the exchange has already launched the new offering and is now accepting U.S. dollars deposits and withdrawals, as well as trading against bitcoin, bitcoin cash, litecoin, ethereum and ethereum classic. For the new offshoot, the company filed a money service business (MSB) registration with the U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) in November 2017. The document shows that the legal entity behind the exchange is…

Why Litecoin’s Creator Is Buying Into a Bank (And How It Could Go Wrong)

One of the most unusual and potentially transformative deals in the cryptocurrency space started as an argument on social media. Back in April, Charlie Lee, the creator of litecoin, was exchanging barbs on Twitter with Derek Capo, the CEO of payment processor TokenPay. But their fight quickly turned into a friendly exchange of direct messages, in which the two crypto enthusiasts realized they shared a common problem: In a word, banking. Both the Litecoin Foundation, the non-profit that promotes the sixth-largest cryptocurrency and where Lee is a managing director, and…

Binance Exchange Backs First-Ever Decentralized Bank in Malta

Binance, one of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, is reportedly among a number of investors backing a decentralized bank to be launched in Malta. Bloomberg reported Thursday that Binance had confirmed it has acquired a 5 percent stake in the so-called Founders Bank at a €133 million euro ($155 million) pre-investment valuation. Founders Bank will have systems based on blockchain technology and will partner with fundraising platform Neufund in an issuance of its own “legally-binding” equity tokens, according to Binance. The bank is hoping to obtain a license from…

Bitcoin Price Spikes to Nearly $9K on Little-Known Crypto Exchange

For a cryptocurrency exchange that has seen its bitcoin price trade at a market premium since launch, the spike to nearly $9,000 on the WEX exchange on Wednesday was an outlier. Some background: in July of last year, U.S. and international law enforcement took aim at BTC-e, the long-running – and long-mysterious – cryptocurrency exchange. In a dramatic turn, a Russian national and one of BTC-e’s suspected employees was arrested and charged with laundering billions of dollars while American regulators moved to slap the exchange with a massive $110 million…

Philippines Regulator Aims to Make $67 Million From Crypto Exchange Licensing

The authority that governs the Philippines Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport is aiming to earn $67 million just by issuing cryptocurrency exchange licenses. According to a report from the country’s government news agency on Tuesday, the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) has announced it has just granted a principle operation license to a Hong Kong-based crypto exchange. The CEZA said the new issuance is part of the total 25 principle licenses it will hand out to crypto trading platforms. And each of those authorized companies will be allowed to further…

Singapore Weighs Need for New Rules to Protect Crypto Investors

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the city-state’s de facto central bank, is reportedly looking at whether new rules are needed to protect cryptocurrency investors. According to a Reuters report, Ong Chong Tee, deputy managing director of MAS, said during a speech Thursday that his agency is currently “assessing if additional regulations are required in the area of investor protection,” though he didn’t elaborate on the details. The comment signals that a new regulatory framework may be imposed on cryptocurrency exchanges in Singapore, and comes as the monetary authority is already…

What Comes After the Futures? The Next Chapter for Bitcoin

Charles Hayter is a former equities analyst at Citi and the CEO and co-founder at CryptoCompare.com, an informational resource for the world of cryptocurrencies. The following article is an exclusive contribution to CoinDesk’s 2017 in Review series. On the ninth anniversary of Satoshi Nakamoto’s white paper, one of the world’s most respected derivatives providers, the CME Group, announced it would launch a regulated bitcoin futures market. Not to be understated, this was a pivotal moment in bitcoin’s history, and quite simply, the future has never been brighter. It’s safe to say that 2017…