This Week in Crypto – Bitfinex Suspends Fiat, Microsoft’s Whitepaper, Binance in Uganda

Gemini Supports Litecoin

As of the 13th of October 2018, Gemini is now supporting Litecoin on their platform according to Eric Winer.

Gemini’s vice president of engineering said during the Litecoin Summit. It so happened this date is the seventh birthday of Litecoin, and many investors said the date was chosen specifically.

Gemini did go quietly in the run-up to the date, but as they promised, the platform does now indeed support the coin.

This now takes the Gemini exchange up to four digital assets, and Litecoin now joins BTC, Ethereum and Zcash.

As of 9.30 EDT on October 13th, users can now trade against the other three as well as the US dollar.

In the past, Gemini has been closely related to the regulators, and the addition of the new coin has been given the green-light. With this, Litecoin values did increase.

Bitcoin Cash, on the other hand, might have to wait until the middle of November to find if it is included on the exchange.

Much of this is due to concerns over security and the stability of the Bitcoin Cash chain.

Litecoin and GeminiBitfinex Suspending Fiat Deposits

Even with Bitcoin being traded for a premium on Bitfinex, the exchange has halted all Fiat currency deposits.

This suspension will affect the Euro, U.S. Dollar, Japanese Yen, and U.K. Pound Sterling. With this happening, speculation has risen of Bitfinex’s insolvency, or it has lost its bank account again.

The company has denied any rumors of this nature and has stated they will have resolved the issue within the space of a week.

This isn’t the first time this has happened, and it seems to be an ongoing struggle for the exchange. So much so, the exchange has been accused of making it difficult to withdraw fiat currencies on purpose.

Some investors have gone as far to say, they have struggled to withdraw BTC when this shouldn’t be affected by the issue. Does this mean Bitfinex has a problem with meeting demand for Bitcoin?

In spite of the current problems with Fiat currencies, Bitfinex is still ranked number four by trading volumes. This has led a few observers to wonder if the volumes are fake, and there might be money laundering occurring on the exchange


UBS has Request for Money Laundering Charges to be Dropped- Rejected.

A French court has rejected this appeal by UBS to drop these charges. If it continues, the bank could be faced with a 5 billion ($5.8 billion) Euro fine. Jail time could also be met by UBS executives if they are found guilty.

All this is the result of a seven-year investigation and was brought to attention through an anonymous whistleblower.

USB had similar cases in Germany and the US where they settled for $780 million and 300 million Euros respectively. USB isn’t the only international financial institution which is mixed up with these types of cases.

The crypto world is regularly brought to attention over enabling financial crimes such as money laundering, blackmail, fraud and in cases of dodgy ICO’s, this case is just, however, when you look at the case of the above bank, this attention might be diverted toward crypto’s to alleviate too much focus on regular banking systems.

The Wall Street Journal has gone as far as accusing Shapeshift of money laundering to the value of around $90 million.

This type of situation between regular banking systems and cryptocurrency exchanges is nothing new.

A court in Chile ordered three Chilean Banks to restore cryptocurrency exchanges bank accounts which had been locked.

Microsoft’s Decentralized ID SystemMicrosoft’s Decentralized ID System Whitepaper

Microsoft has released a whitepaper which describes a blockchain-based ID system. This is to manage the digital identities of individuals.

The Microsoft engineers are hard at work on the details of a DID (decentralized ID) system which can include multiple blockchains.

There are currently two products planned for the DID system. An identity hub that will store personal data, and will run on Azure (Microsoft’s hosting service) and the other product will look more like a self-hosted wallet where end users can manage customized permissions.

As usual, this concept isn’t new, and Microsoft has just created a product which happens to be based on the blockchain.

Other blockchain-based ID systems are being developed or already exist. Bitnation being one of the first to release a proof of concept.

TrueUSD and TetherTethers 4% Drop

The stable coin which is backed by the US dollar took a 4% drop in 24 hours. This made it more expensive for traders to purchase other cryptos such as BTC and Ethereum with USDT.

The price of TUSD (TrueUSD) has risen by over 8%, this will suggest traders start to look at other stablecoins which have banks, and authorities backing.

With this price increase, two synthetic dollars are being traded against each other, TrueUSD and Tether. These aren’t being traded at $1.00, and it could be because of bank account problems (Bitfinex owner of Tether ltd.)

Binance in Uganda

Binance has announced their fiat-to-crypto exchange will open in Uganda within the week the company revealed on October 15th. The start date is quoted as October 17th, 2018, and KYC procedures are already ongoing.

In the beginning, the Ugandan national Fiat currency can only be traded with BTC and Ethereum, although the exchange says they will hopefully be adding more trading pairs as soon as is feasible.

Binance has already stated they are looking into opening more fiat-to-crypto exchanges. Currently, Binance is the largest exchange by 24-hour trading volumes with around $1.8 billion being seen in daily trades.

Crypto MarketPlunging and Soaring Crypto Market

After a rocky week for BTC and a sudden crash last Thursday where the capitalization fell by around 3%, it made a jump of approximately 7% at the beginning of the week, although prices quickly slipped again.
This wasn’t only for BTC, and you could follow the trend with many other leading cryptos in the top 10.

You could even take a look at the top 20 without seeing a buck to the trend apart from Tether.

Even with values dipping and rising, it also shows the market’s reliance on BTC, and much of this is down to most coins being priced in Satoshis, although there is a rise in the number of EOS and TRX which both have fiat pairings and numerous tokens priced in Ethereum.

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