Binance Lists XRP, GMO Abandons Crypto Mining: Best of the Week

Catch up on the top stories from the past week.

Bitmain Sacks Entire BCH Client Development Team

At the beginning of this week, reports surfaced that Bitmain, a Beijing-based Bitcoin mining giant has laid off its entire Copernicus team, according to a tweet by Samson Mow, the Blockstream Chief Strategy Officer and former BTCC Chief Operations Officer.

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The team was working on the development of Bitcoin Cash client. As we reported at the time, the reports came amidst rumors that the Bitcoin mining hardware giant was already planning on laying off 50 percent of its staffers.

Only days later, Bitmain confirmed that it was reducing its staff. However, a Bitmain spokesman denied that the company would lay off this vast percentage of its workforce, but declined to specify the exact number of planned job cuts, as Finance Magnates reported.

XRP Surges 18% as Binance Uses it as Base Currency

On Monday, XRP surged in value after Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world by traded value, added the cryptocurrency as a base currency, meaning that all the other cryptocurrencies would be paired with it.

As Finance Magnates reported at the time, Ripple’s XRP enjoyed a 24-hour surge of 18 percent. This was a complete change from the token’s performance the prior day when the cryptocurrency’s value was almost unchanged.

Central Bank of Russia eliminates local retail FX industry

This week the central bank of Russia stripped several broking companies of their licenses in Russia. The brokers in question were Alpari, TeleTrade, TrustForex, InstaForex, and Forex Club.

This move, which signifies the end of market competition on the regulated foreign exchange (forex) market in Russia, came only a couple of days after the central bank granted a new license to Alfa Forex. You can read more on the move here.

GMO exits crypto-mining infrastructure industry, expects huge losses

GMO Internet, an IT giant in Japan, is one of the latest companies to close down their operations in the cryptocurrency industry. The news, which was first reported by Cointelegraph Japan, was based on a regulatory filing.

“After taking into consideration changes in the current business environment, the Company expects that it is difficult to recover the carrying amounts of the in-house-mining-related business assets, and therefore, it has been decided to record an extraordinary loss,” the filing states.

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Specifically, GMO expects its cryptocurrency mining division to post an extraordinary loss of JPY 35.5 billion ($318 million). To find out more, read our full article here.

Former owner and CEO of UTrade is indicted

On Wednesday, the Tel Aviv District Attorney (Taxation and Economics) issued an indictment against two members of UTrade, including the former owner and CEO of the Israeli algo-trading forex brokerage, Aviv Talmor.

According to a report in the Israeli business daily Calcalist, Talmor is facing charges of severe fraud, money laundering, obstruction of justice, and illegal investment portfolio management.

The prosecutor also indicted his alleged co-conspirator Roey Cozin, who served as the former chief analyst of the company. As Finance Magnates reported, he will face charges of severe fraud.

Why did Gate.io pass on an ICO?

This week, Finance Magnates spoke with Virgilio Lizardo, the Vice President of International Affairs at Gate Technologies, the parent company of Gate.io, about the exchange’s attempt to rise to the top.

During the interview, Lizardo revealed why the company hasn’t released an initial coin offering and why he himself entered into the crypto space. You can read the full interview here.

Analysis: Which crypto exchange came out on top in December?

With 2018 almost at an end, Finance Magnates took the opportunity to take a look at how cryptocurrency exchanges evolved during the month of December. Some of the key takeaways include Korean Bithumb knocking off BitMEX’s crown in terms of volume ranking.

BitMEX, a Seychelles-registered exchange had been the biggest venue among all in terms of volume. As we reported, the difference between BitMEX and its competitors in the ranking has varied over the years, sometimes going as high as 100 percent.

During the first half of the month, trading volume on Bithumb surpassed BitMEX on December 11 and between December 10-16, Bithumb was ahead of BitMEX five times out of seven.

To find out why Bithumb managed to surpass BitMEX and more, you can read the full analysis here.

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