Crypto Exchange Bittrex: We’re Compliant With SEC’s ICO Rules

S-based cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex says that it is compliant with federal regulations governing securities trading.

The exchange, which is headquartered in Seattle, issued a statement on Wednesday assuring its customers that its token review process is compliant with rules that prohibit companies from creating trading markets for unregistered securities.

Bittrex said:

“As a U.S.-based digital currency exchange, Bittrex is committed to incubating new blockchain technology projects and offering innovative, compliant digital tokens to our customers. Bittrex uses a robust digital token review process to ensure the tokens listed on the exchange are compliant with U.S. law and are not considered securities.”

The statement was a direct response to an announcement published by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) — also released on Wednesday — that warned it is “potentially unlawful” for cryptocurrency exchanges to list initial coin offering (ICO) tokens, as the agency deems many of these ICOs to be unregistered securities offerings.

Cryptocurrency Exchanges Slash Withdrawal Fees

Bitcoin is pretty cheap to send right now – cheaper than ethereum in some instances. It’s currently around 10 satoshis per byte to send BTC, which works out at approximately 30 cents for a typical transaction. Many bitcoin users only send cryptocurrency when withdrawing it from an exchange, however, to a wallet they control or to another exchange. And with cryptocurrency exchanges setting their own fees, the recent cost savings haven’t filtered through to users. Up until last week, it still cost around $10 to withdraw BTC from an exchange such as Kucoin or Binance. While the former has yet to lower its fees, Binance has.

Commission Income From Crypto Accounts Jumped 36 Times for South Korean Banks

South Korean banks have been providing virtual account services to cryptocurrency exchanges and earning commissions from them. According to data obtained by the country’s Financial Supervisory Service, banks made 36 times more in commission income from crypto exchanges last year than the previous year.

Bitcoin Is Back Above $11,500, But Bulls Not Out of the Woods Yet

Despite a sharp price recovery to over $11,500 today, bitcoin’s bulls are not out of the woods yet, the price charts suggest.

Coindesk’s Bitcoin Price Index (BPI) has climbed 25.9 percent from the eight-week low of $9,199.59 hit yesterday at 15:44 UTC. As of writing, bitcoin (BTC) is trading at $11,590 levels.

The world’s largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization has appreciated by 8 percent in the last 24 hours, according to data source OnChainFX.

However, the investor community isn’t convinced by the move, and comments on social media show that some believe the overnight recovery is nothing more than a “dead cat bounce.”

South Korea is considering closing local cryptocurrency exchanges (again)

Reuters reports that policymakers in South Korea’s parliament said that they’re considering shutting down domestic cryptocurrency exchanges, following the steep plunge in value of major virtual currencies over the past couple of days.

The news comes just days after we heard just the opposite. After South Korean law enforcement agencies raided the offices of local cryptocurrency exchanges to investigate alleged tax evasion last week, various government bodies including the official residence of the President announced that trading wouldn’t be banned in the country the next day.

Bitcoin tumbles to 6-week low on fears of regulatory noose tightening

Bitcoin’s spot price was slumping on Tuesday, touching a six-week low below $11,000, as the biggest cryptocurrencies came under pressure across the board.

The selloff follows reports that South Korean Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon said banning trading in virtual currencies was “a live option.” That has added to ongoing worries about a potential crackdown in what’s considered the world’s third-largest crypto trading market.

One of the Biggest Crypto Exchanges Goes Dark and Users Are Getting Nervous

One of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges has been down for hours and its clients are starting to freak out.

Kraken went offline at 9 p.m. Pacific Time on Wednesday for maintenance that was initially scheduled to last two hours, plus an additional two to three hours for withdrawals, according to an announcement on the San Francisco-based company’s website.

“We are still working to resolve the issues that we have identified and our team is working around the clock to ensure a smooth upgrade,” according to a status update on Kraken’s website posted seven hours ago. “This means it may still take several hours before we can relaunch the site.”

In previous updates, Kraken mentioned it’s working on “unexpected and delicate issues” and assured clients their funds were secure, adding that “Yes, this is our new record for downtime since we launched in 2013. No, we’re not proud of it.”

Crypto Climax Closes Top Exchanges

Cryptocurrency trading reached a crescendo yesterday with total trade volume reaching an all-time high, topping $835 billion. The world’s major cryptocurrency exchanges were forced to shut up shop to new customers as the massive surge swamped their systems.

The massive influx in new account applications has caused three of the top four crypto exchanges to suspend new registrations. Many of them are reporting record numbers of signups as crypto mania exponentially increases.

Japanese Banking Giant Wants To Prevent Another Mt. Gox

Japan’s Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking is preparing to launch a service that will protect cryptocurrency holders if the exchanges they use shut down or are hacked, reports Japan-based online publication Nikkei Asian Review.

The banking giant will keep matching records from cryptocurrency exchanges of customers who opt-in for the scheme. In the event the exchange fails or is compromised, Mitsubishi UFJ will compensate its clients for their losses according to the records they maintain.

Nikkei reports that the service will start with Bitcoin trading and could launch as early as April. Crypto exchange users who opt-in to have their funds protected by the Mitsubishi UFJ will be charged a fee for the service.

However, as CEO of Tokyo-based exchange Bitbank Noriyuki Hirosue asserts, the extra fee may be an easy price to pay for those who prefer to trust traditional financial institutions: