Now You Can Trade Bitcoin Any Time
The Winklevoss twins want to trade bitcoin, and they want to do it now. Growing impatient waiting for their ETF fund to be listed and to boost bitcoin trading, the cofounders of the Gemini Trust Company, a digital currency exchange based in the U.S., are introducing a daily bitcoin auction so that the currency can be traded any time. The entrepreneurs believe that it will allow larger trades at lower cost, and they are also offering a rebate on trading fees of 0.15 percent.
The auctions will be held every day at 4 p.m. EST and on holidays and weekends. Initially, trading will be limited to bitcoin into U.S. dollars, but this is expected to expand to more currencies later. The twins hope — as is the case with other exchanges, such as the NYSE and Nasdaq — that the digital currency will be easier to use and more appealing.
According to Tyler Winklevoss: “We believe this is the first-ever end-of-day bitcoin exchange auction … Auctions create greater price discovery and liquidity, resulting in a very meaningful final auction price. If you were building a securities exchange today, an auction would be a core feature.”
Currently, bitcoin can be traded 24 hours a day, but as there are few sellers at certain times of the day, Gemini is taking advantage of the non-trading hours of traditional financial markets and designating those as the time to trade bitcoin. The auction should also help to establish the daily bitcoin trading price.
On the long-awaited ETF, The Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust, it is awaiting listing on Bats, but Tyler Winklevoss declined to comment on the timing.
The price of bitcoin reached $607.31 on Tuesday (Sept. 20), triple its value a year ago, according to CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index, but at the time of press (Sept. 22), the digital currency was at $593.71, the lowest level in three weeks.
Bitcoin Profiteers Deny Its Credibility
Well, OK. Those who profit “illegally” from bitcoin deny its credibility, but does that make any difference?
A federal judge has ruled that bitcoin is real money in a criminal case involving Anthony Murgio, his unlicensed bitcoin exchange Coin.mx and hacking attacks on JPMorgan Chase, among others.
Trying to get off on a technicality, and a weak one at that, Murgio claimed that bitcoin did not meet the definition of “funds” under federal law, which prohibits unlicensed money transmitting businesses. Both U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan and Judge Jed Rakoff in 2014 ruled otherwise.
“Bitcoins can be accepted as a payment for goods and services or bought directly from an exchange with a bank account. They therefore function as pecuniary resources and are used as a medium of exchange and a means of payment,” wrote Nathan.
Murgio was charged last year with the illegal operation of Coin.mx and bribery, and his father was also charged in April. According to authorities, Coin.mx was owned by Gery Shalon, an Israeli who headed a computer hacking and fraud scheme that involved over 10 companies and laid bare the personal data of more than 100 million people.
Money laundering, online casinos, inflating stock prices and other nefarious activities earned the perpetrators hundreds of millions of dollars, according to prosecutors. Shalon has pleaded not guilty and remains at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan.
Purse And Unocoin Want A Piece Of Amazon’s Indian Pie
Amazon is set to become the eCommerce leader in India, and bitcoin companies are keen to tag along for the ride.
A partnership that might influence bitcoin’s adoption is between Purse, a bitcoin eCommerce startup, and Unocoin, an Indian bitcoin exchange. The two are partnering to offer consumers discounts when shopping on Amazon.
According to NewsBTC, with this partnership, whoever thinks about Amazon in the bitcoin world will automatically think of Purse. Users sell their bitcoin to people looking to purchase cryptocurrency with their unspent gift card balance. The buyer purchases items from bitcoin holders and then receives bitcoin in return. The buyer pays a slight premium that allows bitcoin users to shop at a discount.
Purse’s use of gift cards for Amazon, combined with Unocoin’s opening of an OTC marketplace and a new iOS app, will encourage bitcoin use.
Another application of the partnership is through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (MTurk), a crowdsourcing internet marketplace on Amazon Web Services, where individuals, or turkers, are hired to perform tasks that computers are currently unable to do. Purse offers a supposedly secure way to convert turkers’ earnings, creating more bitcoin users in the long run, according to Abhinand Kaseti, Unocoin cofounder and CMO.
The Amazon discounts range from 10 to 22 percent and provide incentive for the use of bitcoin through Unocoin. Amazon accepts bitcoin payments only through the Purse platform.
However, the demand for bitcoin in India through Purse is unclear despite a booming cryptocurrency community. There are also many people who never spend the balance on a gift card, although for turkers who may be paid in U.S. checks or Amazon gift cards, Purse could be advantageous.
Bitfinex’s Short Back And Sides
The Bitfinex hack continues to shake the world of bitcoin, not least because the perpetrator has still not been found. The exchange itself has been reimbursing investors with one Bitfinex token for every $1 lost since Aug. 7, effectively generalizing losses, according to CoinDesk.
But compensation for emotional or psychological damages are not included. If a victim of the hack has had enough of digital currency for now, they are out of luck because the tokens can only be redeemed by Bitfinex or exchanged for equity in iFinex Inc., Bitfinex’s parent company, although token holders could have traded them in a secondary market.
Starting Sept. 1, Bitfinex bought the digital assets for $1 apiece, which was approximately twice their market value at the time. Since then, the reaction by analysts to Bitfinex’s handling of the hack has been mixed.
Kong Gao, overseas marketing manager for bitcoin trader Richfund, was complimentary and said, “We think Bitfinex has made all the right moves to recover from their loss.” Gao’s perspective is that, by issuing the tokens, Bitfinex might encourage bitcoin regulation from global lawmakers. Gao also sees the value of the BFX token increasing. At a value of $0.50, currently, Gao predicted a value of between $0.70 and $0.80 “in the short run.”
Arthur Hayes, cofounder and CEO of leveraged bitcoin trading platform BitMEX, was more critical, particularly of the decision to generalize the losses, saying, “The community is not pleased that the largest USD exchange was hacked, and a 36 percent haircut was imposed,” he told CoinDesk. “The two biggest issues are the lack of transparency on how the haircut was calculated, and the fact that Bitfinex still doesn’t know the attack vector.”
Du Jun, cofounder of Huobi, described the haircut as “very arbitrary and unreasonable,” and Whaleclub’s Petar Zivkovkski portrayed this decision similarly, explaining it as a means by which Bitfinex could transfer risk to its customers by issuing “previously valueless tokens” that could potentially be manipulated by the exchange.
Tokens or no tokens, it seems likely that those burned by Bitfinex will be taking their cryptocurrency-free wallets to a different barber next time.