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BitZumi Cryptocurrency Exchange: Wallet, Media & Payments?

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Bitzumi is a company that seeks to participate in the cryptocurrency and blockchain industries at the “macro” level; while they are developing their own multi-currency wallet and exchange services, their primary ambition is to connect investors with the right services for them by offering completely transparent information and commissioning articles that explore the newest trends. However, recommending competitors' services over their own would be an unusual strategy, and while they mention a few ideas in passing, it's not entirely clear how they plan to profit from third parties' products.

The company is still in its development stage, offering equity to investors, and has not yet announced a definite launch date for any of the numerous services they describe. Despite the lack of firm details available at time of writing, Bitzumi is still certainly important to watch; the team has proven its mettle with decades of collective experience in finance and other industries, and some cryptocurrency news sites are suggesting that Bitzumi might compete with the most popular wallet and exchange services upon its release.

What Is BitZumi?

Bitzumi is a very young company; its pitch to investors describing its business plan and introducing its team was released only in December of 2017. At time of writing (January 2018), the company has not yet released any products, nor announced any release dates.

The company's two cofounders, James Altucher and Scot Cohen, hail from the finance industry, though Altucher has also studied computer science at a doctoral level. Altucher is a hedge fund manager, published author, frequent contributor to several prominent media outlets, and cofounder of over twenty companies. Cohen has over two decades of experience in wealth management, and worked with many noteworthy investment firms before founding his current group, V3 Capital. Altucher and Cohen are supported by a team of advisors, most of whom have backgrounds in marketing or finance, with a single software engineer. Their website describes the nine men listed as the “Management Team,” though, so they may have more employees than those mentioned there.

An internet search reveals that the company has not yet established a presence on social media, but has received some coverage from several major cryptocurrency news sites; some of these observers are already speculating that Bitzumi could become a major competitor of CoinBase.

The BitZumi Cryptocurrency Exchange & Wallet

Bitzumi plans to release a suite of products to offer users a one-stop gateway to cryptocurrency trading. In addition to their own wallet and exchange services, they mention that they'd like to manage several cryptocurrency news sites, and to develop a service that pairs users with the ideal brokerage for their investment goals. Their stated corporate strategy includes three distinct steps: attract customers' attention through high-quality media and targeted marketing, steer these customers towards the services best suited for their goals, and finally profit from them whether they're using Bitzumi's own products or those owned by affiliates.

BitZumi Cryptocurrency Exchange claims that their wallet and exchange platform will support a wide variety of different currencies. Many popular wallets and exchanges support only a few dozen currencies at most, so a truly flexible platform could be a very powerful tool for investors, but this could prove to be a daunting task for software developers.

Bitzumi also mentions a serious emphasis on security, including multi-factor authentication to prevent hacking and off-site “cold” storage for funds not being immediately traded. They claim that their exchange will offer both instant, real-time trades and escrow services for those requiring verification of services. As for exchanging fiat currencies for cryptocurrencies, the website only explicitly mentions U.S. dollars, but given the scope of the company's ambition, it's likely that they'd eventually expand to include more.

Bitzumi's website includes the logo of eBit News, but it's not clear whether they are affiliated with the site, which predates Bitzumi by several months. Nonetheless, they repeatedly mention a desire to provide users with authoritative news and analysis about the cryptocurrency market as part of their mission to offer traders a “macro” perspective of the industry. They mention an interest in maintaining media properties for both mobile and online users, so they could launch or acquire several such sites in the future.

The most innovative idea that Bitzumi describes is a service similar to Lendingtree, which pairs potential borrowers with the loan offers best suited to them. They hope to attract users curious about investing in cryptocurrencies, and present them with offers from different brokerages suited to their unique short- and long-term plans.

This service could become hugely popular, since brokerages would appreciate the direct connection to customers without marketing, and customers would reap the benefits of the various brokerages competing for their business. Bitzumi also mentions that they'd like to use artificial intelligence and big data to analyze the outcomes of these pairings and constantly improve their results.

Bitzumi's website also states that the company hopes to eventually partner with or acquire existing cryptocurrency businesses, but it's not clear when they plan to make these moves or what types of services they hope to add this way.

BitZumi Trading Platform

Bitzumi is currently offering equity to investors, though their website doesn't mention specifics about how much shares cost, and they haven't published a business timeline to give investors an idea of when they might see a return on their investment.

Bitzumi promises to offer some of the most powerful tools available for cryptocurrency trading, and clearly hope to compete with the most popular services currently available. It's too early to tell whether their products will be as powerful as they describe, but it'll be interesting to find out.

BitZumi Cryptocurrency Exchange Verdict

If their products are as remarkable as their corporate pitch describes, BitZumi Cryptocurrency Exchange has the potential to become a major force in cryptocurrency trading, but their plans are too light on details. The company's founders and management team have a long record of success, but considering the powerful software they describe, it's concerning that the team includes only a single software engineer. Bitzumi certainly merits keeping an eye on, but investors should wait for firmer plans and more thorough technical details before buying any shares.

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Bitcoin Volumes Finally Grow Again and Bitfinex/Tether Issues Spark Systemic Risks, New Diar Report Affirms

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Diar has recently published its report of the crypto market for April. According to the company, Bitcoin volumes are finally growing again and the whole situation with Tether and Bitfinex showed the industry some of its systemic risks. DAI fee hikes and stablecoin projects were also highlighted in the report.

Bitcoin Goes Back To Growing Again

The main highlight of the month is, obviously, that Bitcoin is back on the action. After facing lows which started in 2018, the token has finally been able to effectively reverse the trends and have an actual price surge this month, going from less than $4,200 USD to over $5,200 USD during this short timeframe.

With this, the number of on-chain transactions has spiked for three months in a row, since prices started to get some of their value back in March and April. Now, transaction volumes are around their levels in June 2018 when the price of the asset was around $7,000 USD.

However, charts indicate that Bitcoin is yet to find more footing outside of speculative trading, so the bull market may not be as near as some think.

When looking at the volume of the whole quarters, Q1 2019 had lower volumes than Q4 2018, but Q2 2019 started considerably well.

Bitfinex and Tether Start Concerns of Systemic Risks

As you may have heard, Bitfinex was accused of using Tether funds to cover up its losses. According to Diar, there is a 26% shortfall of in-cash reserves to back Tether tokens (USDT). Tether loaned $850 million USD to Bitfinex to cover up losses and its general counsel Stuart Hoegner has affirmed that the company is operating with fewer reserves than the total market cap of the token.

This happened because Bitfinex had the $850 million USD “seized” by Crypto Capital, one of its payment processors. Unless Hoegner is lying, though, the company had the assets to back the stablecoin until recently.

While it is clear now that Tether simply does not have the money to back the funds, people simply keep buying the tokens. Now, instead of all cash, some shares of Bitfinex are being used to represent the rest of the value, which makes the stablecoin enter securities territory for the first time.

Curiously, the markets are all very tolerant now since the prices are still stable but the systemic risks are clear, especially if other companies are to follow Tether’s path.

DAI Hikes Fees Once More

Another situation highlighted by the reports is that DAI has decided to upgrade its stability fees once again as the community is desperately trying to make the prices of the so-called stablecoin go up again. DAI tokens are being sold for less than $1 USD, their official price, on secondary markets.

At the moment, the fees are 16.5%, after increasing three times in only one month. Before April, the fees were only 7.5%. This has resulted in a decrease of 4.9% in the circulation of DAI tokens.

Stablecoins Eye Wider Use Cases

Gemini and Harbor, a A16Z tokenized securities platform, have started a partnership in order to get more clients for the Harbor stablecoin. However, this was deemed “too soon” by Diar, as Harbor does not have any known token right now. The only one the company had was canceled.

TrustToken is also trying to get more stablecoins on its list, especially the ones that are not focused on USD, but on several other fiat currencies like HKD, CAD or GBP instead.

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#DropGold Campaign to Hit Your TV, Here’s A Breakdown of the Underlying Bitcoin Message(s)

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Grayscale, a leader in digital currency investing, launched an ad on Wednesday, May 1, telling investors that money should be contributed to Bitcoin holdings as opposed to gold. In a number of interviews, CEO of Grayscale’s parent company (Digital Currency Group), Barry Silbert and Managing Director of Grayscale, Michael Sonnenshein, have since expressed the underlying message of the ad.

The #DropGold Ad

According to news outlet, U Today, the ad starts off with a man holding gold bars in his arm, which he decides to drop. While doing so, a woman also does the same. Throughout the ad, people supposedly have their gold bars stacked in shopping carts, while “losing their gold coins.” Watching what’s about to unfold, the two individuals try to find their way out.

Advertising Bitcoin or Grayscale’s Services?

Despite being the one to have introduced this campaign, Silbert argues that it isn’t entirely about Grayscale services, but rather said services being a result of consumers’ decision. Yahoo Finance has since quoted the following comment made by Silbert himself:

“We do not see this as a Grayscale commercial. For us #DropGold is our ‘Got Milk’. This campaign is first and foremost focused on starting a conversation about bitcoin vs gold. If the ad makes people want to get into Bitcoin, we’re completely indifferent about how they go about doing it.”

Having said this, the commercial is evidently portraying Grayscale as an option, as towards the end, one is told, “Go Digital. Go Grayscale.”

Silbert’s and Sonnenshein’s Arguments Regarding Gold’s Limitations

Silbert believes that this campaign works towards addressing the fact that Bitcoin can serve as an equal asset class as gold, if not better. In particular, he was quoted saying, “But now you have Bitcoin, which, in our opinion, provides all the same attributes as gold – it’s fungible and scarce and you can’t counterfeit it – but the big difference is that Bitcoin has utility. Gold doesn’t have much utility beyond jewelry.”

He further argued that the goal here isn’t to replace fiat currency for shopping purposes, but rather to show the world that Bitcoin does a better job at doing gold’s job and this will be evident in the long run. Although he has acknowledged Bitcoin’s volatility as being concerning, he is hopeful that it will one day serve as both an ideal utility token and store of value.

As for Sonnenshein’s viewpoint, he sees this ad as revealing the “absurdity” associated with gold. More specifically, he said:

“We’re going after a narrative around gold being where investors should go when markets turn south or as a hedge against inflation […] we’re highlighting the absurdity of gold.”

As per The Block Crypto, Grayscale also tries to convince investors that the return earned from redistributing 5% of gold to Bitcoin will be greater than 5% yearly.

What are your overall thoughts on this ad? Did it leave you asking yourself, “Why did you invest in gold? Are you living in the past?” Share your thoughts below!

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Huobi Pro Bitcoin Exchange: Cryptocurrency Asset Trading Platform?

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Huobi Pro Cryptocurrency Exchange

Founded in 2013, Huobi Pro allows for a myriad digital currencies to be exchanged, at a 0.2 percent trading commission. Loyal users point to the low fees and stellar service that make the exchange stand out above others.

Although pitched at dedicated cryptocurrency enthusiasts since the site doesn’t accept fiat currencies many who enter the realm on the back of fiat end up at Huobi Pro, largely due to its diverse offering and favorable fee structure.

Huobi Pro in A Nutshell

A victim of China’s clampdown on digital currencies, the company might be registered in the Seychelles, but was originally founded in Beijing. As testament to the broad appeal of the platform, after the Chinese regime effectively banned all things crypto at the beginning of 2018, trading volumes have only grown.

While at first very much a Chinese company looking at the home market, Huobi Pro has been forced to find a wider marketplace on the international scene. Indeed, even prior to the official cessation of altcoins and their trading, the company heard the rumblings in 2017 and took its cryptocurrency interests abroad.

Huobi now provides exchange services to users in over 130 countries. Company offices are located in the USA, Korea, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong. Although the Huobi Group also owns and manages the Huobi Autonomous Digital Asset Exchange (HADAX), Huobi Pro is more of a pure “login and trade” exchange.

Users can employ network tokens to cast votes on adding new altcoins on HADAX. On the Huobi Pro exchange, a simplified offer encompassing all of the mainstream altcoins greets visitors. Some more popular coins offered are Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), NEM (XEM), NEO (NEO), Qtum (QTUM) and Ripple (XRP).

That said, when one actually tallies the number of altcoins available for exchange, it becomes apparent why loyal followers value the site. A marriage of both simple ease of use and diversity in trading, the platform is largely welcomed by newcomers and experienced enthusiasts alike. In the current melee of regulation being contemplated, implemented and tweaked all the while, some users may be precluded from trading on the exchange based on their country of residence.

Huobi Pro accepts the funding of accounts only in digital currencies, and accepts deposits in any of its listed altcoins. Unlike other exchanges that have opted for a midway between crypto and fiat, Huobi Pro traders deal strictly in digital coins at every point of a transaction. Funds need to be withdrawn to a wallet, and fiat users looking to buy in will have to establish a wallet first in order to fund their Huobi Pro trading account.

Traders pay a maker or taker fee of just 0.02 percent using the exchange. There are more detailed offers, worth looking at for daily traders with volume.

Huobi Pro Membership Levels

VIP users get preferential platform trading fees if they buy the privilege with Huobi tokens. The Huobi Token (HT) was never an ICO token, but rather a system token that users only obtain by buying “Point Cards” on the Huobi Pro platform. Point Card is essentially a pre-paid Huobi card that keeps users liquid on service fees. One HT = 1 USD, therefore one “point” = 1 USD. The more points purchased, the more free points are added, although savings on 1000 points, for example, means only 10 HT for free.

Huobi Global minted a fixed total of 500 million tokens, with 300 million employed to facilitate the in-house VIP structure. A mark of the business group behind the platform is seen in their practice of buying back-sold tokens from the open market each quarter. Not only that, but those funds go towards the Huobi Investor Protection Fund (HIPF).

This is a planned fund that will compensate investors who suffer platform disruption and subsequent losses. It’s a tool that minimizes risk, smooths out the market overall and also goes towards protecting investor interests. This transparent and pleasing aspect of the platform is one reason traders have confidence in the exchange, and its popularity is rising worldwide.

By way of example, in order to glean a VIP status, a trader will pay 120 HT a month for First Level membership. This enables a 20 percent discount on trading fees. Running through toward the top end, a pricier option of 6,000 HT a month secures a 50 percent discount on fees. Overall, a diligent trader can optimize the system and come out with a substantial discount on the already low 0.02 percent base offer.

The company charges no fees to deposit funds, but there are withdrawal fees. Although there are reviews online listing withdrawal fees, it appears that, especially within the membership structure, users are advised to ascertain exact fees when establishing their account. Likewise, transfer limits need to established upfront to avoid disappointment later. There exist order size limits on the platform too, again becoming more malleable as one moves up the ranks of the VIPs.

Security And UX On Huobi Pro

All of the standard protocols including two-step Google Authenticator verification are at play on the platform. Unlike many other exchanges that offer a simple crypto-exclusive platform, Huobi Pro will need your personal details in the form of a passport copy and chat room comments are not devoid of complaints, although almost all of them take issue with the structure of the platform and its potential pitfalls. There are few allegations of lost funds or other negligence on behalf of the company. On the whole, Huobi Pro seems to be rubbing off its decidedly corporate ethos onto the exchange – good news for traders overall.

Another serious boon for the cryptosphere as a whole is that over 98 percent of holdings are stored in an offline cold wallet or vault. Imbued with a strict customer service ethic, the platform probably sports the best customer service to date for crypto exchanges. Available 24/7 365, there is a live chat option onsite.

The platform intel is sufficient although newbies might have to scratch to paint a clear picture of how exactly everything works. The FAQs are thoughtful and, again, testament to a polished offering. Huobi used to be one of the biggest Chinese crypto exchanges, based in Beijing. Started by entrepreneur Leon Li in 2013, since the move there has been mutual appreciation of its value. Worldwide users have taken to the exchange, as it too realized that it had global appeal.

Huobi Pro Conclusion

Huobi claims to have exceeded BTC 500,000 in daily trading approaching 2014. Although only in its fifth year, that’s a long time in cryptocurrency. Although frequently accused of embellishing trading volumes, these allegations have never been proven. In comparison to other digital exchanges that have suffered persistent user complaints and even been shut down due to criminal activity, Huobi Pro shines.

As an offering, it has low fees, great diversity and an unbeatable crypto-energy. No trader on the platform feels like they’re missing out on something else somewhere else, by most accounts. Possibly due to their prior involvement in the fintech world, the platform got it right first time around and user numbers prove it. The company Huobi also owns another trading platform, BitYes, more focused on USD/BTC and USD/LTC pairs trading. Great customer service and minimal technical glitches have made it appear positively top-tier, again in comparison to less polished outfits.

With a detailed offering, great client liaison – very unusual for most digital exchanges so far – and no legitimate proof of anything even vaguely dark hanging about them, the Huobi Pro project is recommended. Users are advised to always ascertain costs prior to trading – not hard with the customer support in this case – and sample a platform with small trades before trading greater amounts. To learn more, you can head to their official website: huobi.pro

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