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A quick update on Bitfinex and a search for liquidity in this market

This past week, I've spoken to numerous people about Bitfinex from the East and West, and there has been a stark contrast in views between the parties.

For one, I was told by the Chinese exchange teams (in this case, I'm referring to Chinese-run exchanges that may or may not be headquartered in China) that when many of the exchanges originally launched in China, they all went to Giancarlo and the rest of the Bitfinex exec team to borrow Tether.

And as many of our readers already know, for crypto traders in China, the most common way for Chinese citizens to enter the crypto market has been through USDT. Because of the ban on crypto exchanges in China, these citizens would go through the firewall, and buy USDT with Chinese Yuan through a customer to customer OTC exchange. They would then use USDT to trade into other altcoins. Similarly, when traders exit the market, they would use USDT to exit as well. Checkout this simple youtube video to see how it's done.

And by having USDT available from the getgo, the Chinese exchanges would be able to immediately bootstrap liquidity. This was how Huobi originally got started, essentially borrowing USDT from Tether.

And as a result of these partnerships that began very early on, the relationship between Tether, USDT and many of the Chinese exchanges have become very difficult to untie. And now at this timing in the market, we are also seeing a number of Western projects that have been building in the last few years are looking to do a public sale or launch their tokens. These Western projects have relatively better technology and teams on average than the Chinese projects, but they are looking for the same thing as everyone else- liquidity and distribution, which is currently limited in the US.

As a result, these projects too are turning to these Chinese exchanges. For example, one of most touted crypto companies that came out of Silicon Valley last year, ThunderToken, is working with Huobi's IEO platform, Huobi Prime Lite, to officially launch on May 9. In the past, the Chinese exchanges dominated in liquidity and trading volume, but now, we are seeing also western projects willingly onboarding themselves onto these exchanges and working with them.

This, unfortunately, means that this ecosystem built around USDT is growing by the days, and to me, any large players who try to disrupt and bring down this ecosystem will likely hurt themselves. Even though I don't have any endorsement for Tether and their management team, I realized this will be an increasingly messy or almost impossible scam to unfold. 

Do you have any thoughts here? Would love to get your views.


Coming to New York Blockchain Week in Mid-May? Global Coin Research has prepared some amazing events for our subscribers Monday through Wednesday👇Space is limited, be sure to check them out after the fold and register.


 

      

 

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Global Coin Research and Messari's Joint Conference Call with Josh Swihart, Electric Coin Company's VP of Marketing and Business Development, to talk about its Asia Focus in 2019

Try out our premium subscription $30 for 3months and  RSVP here



In the last year, the Electric Coin Company, formerly Zcash, has been moving beyond the technical and scientific cypherpunk community towards those with a need or desire for an alternative store of value (SoV). And for that reason, Electric Coin Company has begun focusing on countries in Asia as primary targets for their research, marketing and business development efforts.


As Josh Swihart, Electric Coin Company's head of business development and marketing, highlighted in a company post in January, Electric Coin Company will begin focusing on Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong. The team also intends to lightly engage in the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. 


For this call, we invite Josh to share with us his thought process for onboarding users in Asia, with his outline of the customer decision journey, focusing first on SoV use cases for near-term full adoption and then exploring medium of exchange (MoE) use cases in an effort to find product-market fit. 

Josh and Zooko also recently went to a number of countries in Asia and held a number of local meetups. We will ask for their takeaways there.

Messari's Unqualified Opinions delivers daily research briefs, bi-weekly analyst calls, and access to advanced tools on messari.io. 


Global Coin Research offers subscribers resources and analyses, including invite-only meetups, resources, and insights on the most important happenings in Asia.


About Josh Swihart:


Josh is responsible for Electric Coin Company’s marketing and business development. Prior to Electric Coin Company, he served as the Senior Vice President of Global Marketing for K2, leading global growth from start-up to acquisition by Francisco Partners. He has also served as a global practice principal for EMC, the CEO of Aspenware, and was the co-founder of a couple other companies with exits to Accenture and EMC. He began his career as a software developer, data recovery specialist and BBS sysop. Josh has received numerous global and national awards for leadership, marketing and solution delivery.
 

About Zcash:

 

Electric Coin Company’s mission is to empower everyone with economic freedom and opportunity. We believe that everyone has a right to privacy, that the pursuit of economic freedom is virtuous, and that the future of money is an attack- and censorship-resistant digital currency. Since its launch in 2016, Electric Coin Company has quickly grown to be one of the most valued and admired cryptocurrencies in the world.

 

Details of the Call

Date: Next Thursday, May 9th, 2019

Time: 1pm PT - 1:45pm PT / 4:00pm ET - 4:45pm ET

Location: Conference Call (dial-details to be shared by email)

Host: Joyce Yang, Founder of GCR and Josh Swihart, Head of Business Development and Marketing for Zcash

Format:  We will have Josh kick it off with him sharing his takeaways from his recent trip in Asia with Zooko. We will then cover Zcash's vision and Josh's outline of the customer adoption journey. Lastly, we'll open up for questions from the audience.

Sign up:  Try out our premium subscription $30 for 3months and RSVP here


 



🌟 Top News in Asia from Tuesday to Today 


Facebook is planning to work with a number of financial companies and online e-commerce companies to launch a cryptocurrency-based payment system based on its world's largest social network. https://on.wsj.com/2IY0Mg1

Huobi Prime Lite will officially launch on May 9 with Thunder Token (TT), the native token of ThunderCore. http://bit.ly/2IW0dTP

Singapore to roll out blockchain-based education certification system nationwide. http://bit.ly/2IXr2qL

Singapore and Canada Central Banks Complete First Cross-Border Blockchain Payment: The central banks of Singapore and Canada have successfully used their blockchain networks to send each other digital currency. http://bit.ly/2V8Xmxn


 


👍Most Clicked on From the Last Newsletter

In the research of 5 yuan banknotes, the [Chinese] central bank may adopt blockchain technology to identifying and coding, thus anti-counterfeiting and tracing RMB, and the adoption of blockchain is conducive to anti-money laundry. http://bit.ly/2vv5gSu


Coindesk Korea reported that Samsung Electronics is developing a blockchain main net based on Ethereum. http://bit.ly/2vqZG3u


Japan’s top financial regulator, the Financial Services Agency (FSA), explained that when a crypto exchange is acquired by another company, there is no need to re-register with the FSA. http://bit.ly/2vtoJTJ

Singapore-based GBCI Ventures has launched Building Cities Beyond (BCB) Blockchain, a platform for building smart city solutions. http://bit.ly/2V21jUt

 


Like our newsletter? Become a subscriber and be the first to get all the important crypto news and events in Asia. 

 

      

 


💸 Deals and trading

Hong Kong-listed contractor turned blockchain investor Grandshores Technology — backed by the Hangzhou municipal government — plans to enter the medicinal and industrial cannabis market in a bid to counter the adverse impact of crypto winter. http://bit.ly/2V9ehje

80 Firms Including MasterCard, Alibaba, Coinbase Spent $42 Mln Lobbying Crypto, Fintech Issues in Q1: Around 40 entities lobbied for bitcoin (BTC) and blockchain-related causes in the United States in Q1 2019.http://bit.ly/2VdkL0I

Hong Kong-based game and app developer Animoca Brands has agreed to invest in blockchain gaming studio Experimental Group’s seed funding round through a simple agreement for future equity (SAFE) transaction. http://bit.ly/2VbYuQH


 

💸  Exchange News
 

Japanese crypto trading platform Liquid has partnered with venture capital consortium Virtual Currency Partners to create a jointly-owned entity that will pave the way for Liquid’s expansion to the United States. http://bit.ly/2VffXI3

Research Data Shows that the United States, Japan and South Korea are the world’s biggest visitors of cryptocurrency exchanges (China is not listed but its citizens enter the market through Japan and South Korea). The U.S. has the highest share of visits, more than triple the next runner up. http://bit.ly/2V9cdrA

 


₿ Coins and Mining
 

As Bitcoin’s price edges up, the price of used miners in China has nearly doubled in recent weeks, to $250-$320 for old Bitmain Antminers. http://bit.ly/2IVT6e9

TrustToken Launches Stablecoin Backed by Canadian Dollar: TrustToken has released its latest stablecoin, TrueCAD, on May 1. The latest in TrustToken’s line of fiat-backed stablecoins, its value is linked to the Canadian dollar. http://bit.ly/2Vfgzxl

New Smart Contract Allows EOS Holders to Transfer Tokens without EOS Account. http://bit.ly/2IX0JRs


 


💼 Business
 

Amazon Web Services Launches Managed Blockchain Service: Amazon Web Services (AWS), the cloud computing platform subsidiary of retail giant Amazon, has made its Amazon Managed Blockchain (AMB) generally available. http://bit.ly/2V9KtmQ

China’s Tencent to Develop Blockchain Medical Tools with Waterdrop Inc. After Putting in Investment. http://bit.ly/2V9L1Jq

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has teamed up with over 100 global supply chain and logistics leaders to standardize blockchain apps in the industry. http://bit.ly/2VdKWnS

Bangkok, Thailand will host the 2-day NEXT BLOCK ASIA “Beyond Crypto” on 25-26 June 2019. http://bit.ly/2VbHpXd

Taiwan will be hosting the Asian Blockchain Summit in 2019 on July 2nd and 3rd.




Regulations

The South Korean Financial Services Commission (FSC) has authorized nine fintech companies to operate in the country as part of a regulatory sandbox. http://bit.ly/2VbiYt8

The Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has said that the recently introduced regulation allows for the issuance of digital shares and a tokenized securities depository platform. http://bit.ly/2Vc0MPZ

Australia’s tax authority is stepping up its effort to police the use of cryptocurrencies, fearing many investments and gains are not correctly declared.
http://bit.ly/2VbZjZW

 

GLOBAL COIN RESEARCH NEW YORK BLOCKCHAIN WEEK EVENTS


Coming to New York Blockchain Week in Mid-May? Global Coin Research has prepared some amazing events for our subscribers Monday through Wednesday👇Space is limited, be sure to register in advance!


🍸 MONDAY MAY 13TH: Crypto Happy Hour with The Information 


Become an annual subscriber now and join our Open Bar Happy Hour on Monday, May 13th from 5pm to 7:30pm, in partnership with tech publication The Information. Come meet industry executives and mingle with the media team from The Information.

🥳 🥳 A Huge Thanks to our Sponsors Nervos Network and Harmony 



About Nervos: Nervos is building a layered infrastructure for the future crypto economy. The native token is designed to represent the right to occupy the state storage over time. Its utility primarily resembles estate as a preservation platform but also functions as money (to transfer value) and fuel (to pay for computation). The protocol constraints state storage growth through its monetary policy, and collects state rent through a “targeted inflation” scheme from state users. Checkout Nervos's token-economic paper


Other writeups:
Crypto-economics Design for a Preservation Focused Layer 1 Blockchain

Smart contract platforms have to be store of value 

About Harmony: Harmony is a fast and secure blockchain with key innovations in state sharding (secure staking & re-sharding with decentralized randomness) and in peer-to-peer networking (optimal cross-shard routing, fast block propagation). Read more about Harmony's Annual Letter and Harmony Whitepaper 

 


👩👨 💻TUESDAY, MAY 14TH: Building Private, Censorship-Resistant Tech: A Chat with Tor Co-founder Roger Dingledine

Global Coin Research and Dystopia Labs have partnered up with the Tor Project to host co-founder Roger Dingledine during Consensus Week.

On Tuesday, May 14th, Roger Dingledine, the Tor Project's co-founder and one of the original developers of Tor, will talk about the history of their project and how they successfully built, implemented, and scaled their censorship-resistant tech across multiple markets IRL. 

We here at Global Coin Research cares deeply about education in the space. The goal of this event is strictly educational. Blockchain founders who are interested in privacy will learn about the challenges and implications of moving from the labs into the wild.

Teams can purchase the tickets here for $25 only. We are running this event for free, and all tickets revenue will be donated to the Tor Project.



WEDNESDAY, MAY 15TH (FREE): An Evening Discussing with the Top Crypto Companies and Funds in collaboration with KryptoSeoul

Global Coin Research has partnered up with the team at KryptoSeoul for an amazing event featuring Cryptokitties co-founder Benny Giang, Metastable advisor Haseeb Qureshi, Harmony Stephen Tse, Polychain Capital, Blocktower Capital and more.



KryptoSeoul is a major blockchain community building team based in Seoul, South Korea, and has been the main organizer for BUIDL, the largest blockchain developer conference in Korea. At the event, both the founder of Kryptoseoul, Erica Kang, and I will share our insights on what we are seeing in Asia, and we will hear it from western companies who are building adoption there.

The event is free but space is limited. Food and drinks will be provided. Make sure you RSVP early here



 

      

 

 
 






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