EOS Ranked 1st, Bitcoin 17th in China’s Updated Crypto Ratings

China has released the second edition of its state-endorsed cryptocurrency and Blockchain ratings, placing Chinese altcoin EOS top of the list and Bitcoin 17th.

EOS, Ethereum And NEO Win Official Favor

Round two of the Global Public Chain Technology Evaluation Index, published by the China Center for Information Industry Development (CCID) under China’s culture ministry June 20, follows the initial launch of the ratings series in May.

At the time, officials added they would add to the twenty-six cryptocurrencies that were first to receive ratings, as well as include various international blockchain projects.

Both receive scores based on three broad categories: ‘basic technology,’ ‘application’ and ‘creativity.’

China caused a stir within the cryptocurrency industry with its scoring last month, officials claiming they wished to address a “lack of independent ratings” available but placing Bitcoin in thirteenth place while championing Ethereum.

The CCID research team in charge of calculating scores allegedly consists of “first-rate domestic experts and scholars,” while the aim of the concept is to “evaluate the technological capability, usefulness of application and innovation [and] development level of the projects to profoundly understand the trend of Blockchain technology innovation,” a press release claimed.

Bitcoin Languishes Outside Top Ten

With June’s reshaping, however, the experts and scholars appear to have already changed their minds.

Ethereum is now in second place behind EOS, the latter in the interim period seeing its beta launch and ongoing criticism over its technological stability and freezing of users’ funds.

Last week, EOS’ entire platform ground to a halt due to a technical impasse over consensus.

Making up the rest of the top five assets meanwhile are another Chinese project, NEO, in third place, while fourth and fifth places go to Steller and Lisk respectively.

Steem, the token used by the Steemit social network platform, managed seventh place, having held the second spot in May.

Bitcoin, down four places to 17th, fares hardly better than NEO, according to China, the latter sounding the alarm this week after uncovering a wallet vulnerability affecting all Android users of its day-old app.

How the exact scores are calculated remains a mystery.

What do you think about China’s new cryptocurrency ratings? Let us know in the comments section below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter

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Mt. Gox ‘Bitcoin Whale’ Trustee Won’t Sell Any More BTC

The Tokyo District Court has approved the commencement of civil rehabilitation in the ongoing Mt. Gox bankruptcy — with the process to expected to start early next year. 

Mt. Gox Trustee Won’t Dump Any More Bitcoin

Mt. Gox creditors are one step closer to receive more than $450 per bitcoin lost. The Tokyo District Court ordered to stop the bankruptcy process and start the civil rehabilitation process.

The document published on Mt. Gox website today reveals the tentative schedule on how civil rehabilitation is expected to proceed. The Mt. Gox bankruptcy claims-filing system has also been temporarily suspended.

The latest update contains mostly good news for Bitcoin price bulls — at least for now.

Mt. Gox Where is Our Money

The key takeaway is that the Mt. Gox Trustee, Nobuaki Kobayashi, won’t sell any more bitcoin — at least for the foreseeable future until the creditors are reimbursed in bitcoin sometime early to mid-2019, according to Tokyo-based Bloomberg reporter Yuji Nakamura.‏

As far as specific dates for future selling and distribution of Bitcoin (and its forks), the document explains that: 

At present, nothing has been determined regarding the sale of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies split from Bitcoin (collectively, “Bitcoin, etc.”) in the future.

The creditors will also be required to refile their claims by October 2018. Nevertheless, since Mt. Gox. still controls 137,890.96 BTC (almost $880 million USD) or 0.807 percent of all bitcoins currently in existence, any distribution of these funds could have an effect on cryptocurrency markets over the next year. 

Whale Watching

Kobayashi has been dubbed the ‘Mt. Gox Bitcoin Whale’ for selling $400 million in Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) from December 2017 to February 2018. For this reason, he was blamed for triggering the market downturn during the given period, though the trustee has denied having an impact on bitcoin price.

Kobayashi reiterated as much in today’s update. The document reads:

As in sales from December 2017 to February 2018, upon consultation with cryptocurrency 6 transaction experts, Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash were sold in a manner that had no effect on market price and not by ordinary sale on an exchange, while ensuring the security of the transaction to the extent possible.

Nevertheless, traders have kept a close eye on the Mt. Gox stash in an effort to predict potential selloffs and time the market.

The next creditors’ meeting to report on the status of the civil rehabilitation process is scheduled for September 26, 2018.

Does the Mt. Gox stash still have an effect on the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency markets? Share your thoughts below! 

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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‘Money Has Changed Over Time’: US Supreme Court Cites Bitcoin in Positive Light

While traders and naysayers alike fret over bitcoin price, the market leader quietly achieved a first in its history. On June 21, Bitcoin appeared in a US Supreme Court ruling for the first time. 

Supreme Court Reevaluates ‘What We View As Money’

As part of the summary comments on the case Wisconsin Central Ltd. v. United States, a judge mentioned Bitcoin while discussing “what we view as money” — suggesting it could at least have a future in how employees receive wages.

Wisconsin Central Ltd. v. United States involved a dispute over whether the railroad company’s worker stock options can be taxed in the same way as money when it constitutes a form of remuneration.

The case, which came to court in April and received its verdict this week, saw a reevaluation of the essence of money — with Supreme Court’s Justice Stephen Breyer arguing parties “should not be trapped in a monetary time warp.”

Supreme Court

A Bitcoin Payment Future? ‘Perhaps One Day’

Justice Stephen Breyer wrote:

A railroad employee cannot use her paycheck as a ‘medium of exchange.’ She cannot hand it over to a cashier at the grocery store; she must first deposit it. The same is true of stock, which must be converted into cash and deposited in the employee’s account before she can enjoy its monetary value.

Moreover, what we view as money has changed over time. Cowrie shells once were such a medium but no longer are; our currency originally included gold coins and bullion, but, after 1934, gold could not be used as a medium of exchange; perhaps one day employees will be paid in Bitcoin or some other type of cryptocurrency.

While Bitcoin achieves only a passing reference, reactions to Breyer were noticeably positive — with even mainstream media suggesting the Supreme Court could ultimately share a progressive stance on what Bitcoin is.

The event comes just a week after the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) decided neither Bitcoin nor Ethereum constituted securities. The SEC currently considers Bitcoin to be a commodity, not currency. 

What do you think about the Supreme Court’s perspective on Bitcoin and money? Let us know in the comments section below! 

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Coinbase Index Fund is Open For Investment

Coinbase Index Fund is now open for investments of $250,000 to $20M.

We’ve seen overwhelming interest from investors since we announced the fund earlier this year. At this stage, we have opened the fund to those who wish to invest $250,000 to $20M.

Coinbase Index Fund gives investors exposure to all assets listed on our exchange, weighted by market capitalization. As we announced yesterday, the fund will be rebalanced to include Ethereum Classic, and more assets when they are listed by Coinbase in the future.

At this stage, Coinbase Index Fund is only open to US-resident accredited investors. We’re working on launching more funds which are accessible to all investors and cover a broader range of digital assets.

Apply now to make your investment.

Coinbase Index Fund is Open For Investment was originally published in The Coinbase Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Coinbase is Coming to Japan, Welcomes Fintech Leader Nao Kitazawa

As part of our effort to accelerate the global adoption of cryptocurrency, today we’re announcing the launch of Coinbase’s office in Japan. Under the leadership of the highly-respected and admired fintech leader, Nao Kitazawa, our new office will lay the foundation for Japan’s crypto investors to access a range of Coinbase’s products. As in other markets, we plan to take a deliberate approach to our rollout in Japan, which means working hand-in-hand with the Japanese FSA to ensure compliance with local laws at every stage.

Welcome Nao!

Nao is a leader in the fintech space and we are excited to have him at the helm of our new push into Japan. As the CEO of Coinbase Japan, he will be charged with building a world-class in-country team and ensuring that we deliver on our vision of creating an open financial system for the world. He is the former COO of Money Design, a company that helped pioneer automated investment advice platforms in Japan. Prior to Money Design, Nao worked at Morgan Stanley Japan as an investment banker, where he guided a fleet of impressive merger and acquisition deals and composition of funds in the real estate sector. He also spent several years as a member of an international law firm, handling cases related to finance and real estate in Japan and New York. As one of the industry’s top international leaders, Nao sits on the board of the Fintech Association of Japan.

Nao’s passion for cryptocurrency combined with his extensive background provides Coinbase with a great foundation to successfully push into the largest cryptocurrency market in the world. As a regulated, compliant crypto company in the U.S., we will focus on building that same level trust with new customers in Japan.

Upon our business registration with the FSA, Coinbase services available to Japanese customers will be provided with Japanese language translations for ease of use. We look forward to sharing more about our plans for Japan soon.

Coinbase is Coming to Japan, Welcomes Fintech Leader Nao Kitazawa was originally published in The Coinbase Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Welcome Paradex to Coinbase

We’re thrilled to announce the acquisition of Paradex, a relay platform that will allow our customers to trade hundreds of tokens directly from their wallets. The move not only reinforces Coinbase’s commitment to investing in decentralized infrastructure and participating in the nascent world of wallet-to-wallet trading, but also our focus on the international crypto trader. After making some product enhancements, we’ll initially offer this experience to customers outside the U.S., and eventually to U.S.-customers.

Welcome Paradex to the Coinbase team!

Welcome Paradex to Coinbase was originally published in The Coinbase Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

GDAX is now Coinbase Pro

Today we’re announcing that GDAX — our professional trading platform for individuals — will evolve to become Coinbase Pro.

Since launching in 2015, GDAX has built liquidity and stability in the space and also helped us understand the needs of active crypto traders. Switching to the name Coinbase Pro is a recognition that the individual active trader requires a product completely dedicated to their specific needs.

The platform will offer professional trading tools and services, delivered through a completely reengineered UI that will make the trading experience easier and more intuitive.

Anyone with an existing individual account on GDAX will automatically become a Coinbase Pro member.

Institutional customers can take advantage of our suite of products that were announced last week.

GDAX is now Coinbase Pro was originally published in The Coinbase Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Update: Our Commitment to Supporting Coinbase Customers

In 2017, the cryptocurrency space experienced a profound uptick in mainstream awareness and growth. As part of that consumer demand for our services increased by 40x and we experienced transaction volumes in November and December of that year that grew by 295%. We viewed last year’s unprecedented growth as an opportunity to analyze our systems and build a plan to ensure we’re providing the level of service to our customers that meet the highest standards for support.

We have been laser focused on improving the service experience for our customers and as part of that effort, I shared a 90 day plan to address the most pressing operational issues that were interfering with our ability to scale our customer support to meet demand. Today, we’re sharing the progress we’ve made and where we’ll go from here.

Over the last 90 days we have:

  • Increased our support team by over 150%
  • Decreased our average time to first response to < 10 hours for 95% of incoming volume today.
  • Because of these measures, we are able to resolve issues faster and have decreased the backlog by 95%

Increasing capacity to meet the demand: In addition to helping our customers resolve any issues they experience with their account, we also spend time helping them understand digital currency. We needed to hire more people to meet the growing demand for support and education.

  • We now have over 600 support agents working on our queues across three different locations and we offer phone support 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • We will be opening two offices dedicated to support — one in Portland later this month and a new office in Europe at the end of the summer.

Tackling the backlog: As we stated in January, 2017 was a year of rapid growth for the industry. This led to many customers experiencing long wait times from our support team. In order to quickly solve these outstanding problems, our engineering, product and support teams worked side-by-side for 10 days to tackle our backlog and prevent reoccurring issues.

  • Working this way allowed us to close out 40,000 tickets over a five day period. Despite a continued and steady volume of tickets coming into our systems from customers, our backlog hit record low volumes in March.
  • Today we continue to see our average time to first response and first resolution trend downwards and our total volume of escalations are down close to 80% overall.

All that being said, our work is never done. Here’s what we’re working on next:

  • Published Service Levels: Over the next 90 days we will baseline and publish our committed time to resolution so our customers understand the bar we are setting for ourselves to deliver fast resolutions to their issues.
  • Additional Channels: In addition to phone and email, we will launch social media and chat support later this year.
  • Revamped Help Center: We will be updating our Help Center by the end of the year for better ease of use, more educational material and a simple way to contact us.

We will continually communicate the steps we’re taking to improve our service and keep you posted on our journey.

As always, thank you for being customers.

Update: Our Commitment to Supporting Coinbase Customers was originally published in The Coinbase Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Announcing the Coinbase Suite of Institutional Products

The cryptocurrency market is maturing rapidly as more sophisticated institutional participants enter the space. In fact, in the past few months over 100 hedge funds were created that exclusively invest in and trade cryptocurrency. Some of the world’s largest financial institutions have also recently announced their plans to begin trading cryptocurrency.

At Coinbase, we welcome these developments as they help accelerate the world’s adoption of cryptocurrency by bringing new capital, greater awareness, and additional infrastructure to the space. This movement requires institutional grade products and services, something Coinbase has been developing with leading institutions and which we are proud to formally launch today.

Coinbase Custody to Launch in Partnership with SEC-regulated Broker-Dealer

We have leveraged our experience safely storing more than $20 billion of cryptocurrency to create Coinbase Custody, the most secure crypto storage solution available. In partnership with an SEC-regulated broker-dealer, Coinbase Custody is proud to offer a service that couples Coinbase’s cryptocurrency security excellence with third-party auditing and financial reporting validation that operates at the high standard of an SEC-regulated, custodial broker-dealer.

Our Coinbase Custody launch partners are all leading institutions in the crypto industry, including:

Some of the Coinbase Custody launch partners.

If you’re an institution interested in a custody solution, sign up here to receive more information about Coinbase Custody.

Introducing Coinbase Markets

Coinbase already offers the deepest pool of liquidity to the largest number of participants in the cryptocurrency space. We intend to continue developing this electronic marketplace, known as Coinbase Markets, by opening a new engineering office in Chicago and cementing Coinbase as the leading cryptocurrency exchange.

Coinbase Markets provides a centralized pool of liquidity for all Coinbase products. Over the course of the year Coinbase Markets will introduce new features like low latency performance, on-premise datacenter colocation services, institutional connectivity and access, and settlement and clearing services. These additions will allow for a more efficient price discovery process to occur, creating tighter markets, deeper liquidity, and increased certainty of execution.

We are thrilled to open an office in Chicago and have access to a large talent pool of engineers with deep exchange infrastructure experience. This office will serve as the home for our Coinbase Markets team and enable us to continue offering the most performant and reliable cryptocurrency exchange. Chicago is an ideal location for our newest Coinbase office and we hope our investment will continue to position the city as a growing hub for technological innovation.

Launching Coinbase Prime

We are also excited to announce the launch of Coinbase Prime, a new platform designed specifically to provide a suite of tools and services that institutional investors rely on when trading cryptocurrency.

This product will fill a missing piece of critical infrastructure needed for institutions. Over the course of the year we intend to offer lending and margin financing products to qualified clients, high touch and low touch execution services like over-the-counter (OTC) trading and algorithmic orders, and new market data and research products. We will also introduce platform improvements like multi-user permissions and whitelisted withdrawal addresses.

The Coinbase Prime trading interface.

We believe Coinbase Prime will accelerate adoption of cryptocurrency worldwide and we are excited to help institutions everywhere participate in this emerging asset class. To learn more or sign up as an institution, check out Coinbase Prime.

The Coinbase Institutional Coverage Group

We understand that institutions need more than great products, they need great service too. Our Institutional Coverage group is focused exclusively on serving the needs of institutional clients by providing sales, sales trading, research, market operations, and client services support. This group, headquartered in our New York City office, brings years of diverse and relevant institutional experience from firms such as the New York Stock Exchange, Morgan Stanley, and the SEC and CFTC.

By guiding clients through the onboarding process and advising on execution strategies, this team will deliver a best-in-class client experience. We are proud to offer personalized white-glove service and help institutional investors navigate the increasingly complex world of cryptocurrency investing.

As institutions continue to enter the cryptocurrency market, we are committed to building the products and services that uniquely meet their needs. We believe our suite of products and dedicated Institutional Coverage group will accelerate the rate of institutional adoption and create a more mature and diverse market. If you’re interested joining the Coinbase Institutional team, check out our careers page.

Announcing the Coinbase Suite of Institutional Products was originally published in The Coinbase Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.