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Crypto Cheers & Controversies

By | News | No Comments

⚖ FinCEN Penalizes Its First P2P Currency Exchanger

FRIDAY, APRIL 19, 2019

For the first time, the United States Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has penalized a peer-to-peer (P2P) cryptocurrency exchanger for breaking anti-money laundering (AML) rules. FinCEN announced that the individual, Eric Powers, operated an unregistered money services business, did not have any written policies and procedures for compliance to the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), and failed to report and suspicious transactions. 

SOURCE: THEBLOCKCRYPTO


?? Coinnest Shuts Down

FRIDAY, APRIL 19, 2019

Coinnest, South Korea’s third largest cryptocurrency exchange, announced it will be officially closing down. The decision comes as a result of the exchange struggling to cope with changes in the cryptocurrency and blockchain industries. They advised users will need to withdraw any funds on its platform by April 30

A few controversies the exchange experienced dealt with in the past year may be cause for its shut down. This January, the exchange reportedly lost $5 million worth in bitcoin and other digital assets, due to a mistaken airdrop. Last year, a top-level executive from Coinnest were arrested by Korean law enforcement agents and later convicted for fraud. 

SOURCE: COINDESK


? Self-Proclaimed Bitcoin Creator Sues Podcaster for Libel

FRIDAY, APRIL 19, 2019

Craig Wrightthe self-proclaimed creator of bitcoin, has sued podcaster Peter McCormack, of What Bitcoin Did, for libel. Wright accuses McCormack of denying he is Satoshi Nakamoto and is seeking nearly $130,000 in damages.

SOURCE: CCN


? Bakkt Eyes New York Licence For Crypto Custody

THURSDAY, APRIL 18, 2019

Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) –  the owner of the New York Stock Exchange – is reportedly eyeing a New York license for its long-delayed crypto exchange Bakkt. The launch of Bakkt has been delayed by over five months due to scepticism from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) over concerns of how clients’ tokens, linked to bitcoin futures, will safely be stored.

SOURCE: BLOOMBERG


⛓ Binance Chain Launches

THURSDAY, APRIL 18, 2019

Binance has officially launched its mainnet Binance Chain. The cryptocurrency exchange announced it will activate its native token, BNB, on the new network on April 23, allowing token holders to migrate their balances. In order to maintain a constant supply on both networks, old ethereum-based tokens will be destroyed as new BNB tokens are created on Binance Chain.

SOURCE: COINTELEGRAPH


⚖ Winklevoss Brothers Settle $26M Bitcoin Lawsuit

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17, 2019

Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss have finally settled their lawsuit with Charlie Shrem, a bitcoin supporter and entrepreneur. Shrem claimed the Winklevoss twins owed him $26 million dollars worth of bitcoin. The U.S. District Court for the Sourthern District of New York announced a settlement has been reached by both parties. Both parties will have the right to reopen the case and proceed the trial within 30 days. 

SOURCE: BITCOINEXCHANGEGUIDE


? Coinbase Expands Crypto-to-Crypto Services to 11 Countries

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17, 2019

U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange, Coinbase, introduced its Coinbase Pro trading platform to 11 more countries in Latin America and Southeast Asia including: Argentina, Mexico, Peru, Colombia, Chile, India, Hong Kong, South Korea, Indonesia, the Philippines, and New Zealand.  The company announced that crypto-to-crypto trading is now available to users in 53 countries. 

SOURCE: COINTELEGRAPH


?? Rakuten Opens Crypto Wallet Registration

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17, 2019

Japanese e-commerce giant, Rakuten, has started accepting account registrations for its upcoming cryptocurrency wallet, Rakuten Wallet. The company announced that users who have an account with Rakuten Bank or who already have a Rakuten member ID can sign-up prior to the official trading launch this June. 

SOURCE: COINGEEK


❌ Kraken Delists Bitcoin SV Following Community Poll

TUESDAY, APRIL 16, 2019

Kraken, the U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange, set up a Twitter poll yesterday, asking its users whether it should delist bitcoin SV. Voters took to the polls and it was a 71% majority in favour of delisting the asset. Kraken’s decision follows in the footsteps of Binance, who dropped the coin earlier this week due to its founder’s “antiethical behaviour.”

SOURCE: COINTELEGRAPH


? USDT Launches on Tron Network

MONDAY, APRIL 17, 2019

Tether has begun issuing its USD-pegged stablecoin, USDT, on the Tron‘s TRC-20 protocol. The development is an upgrade from the OMNI protocol-based USDT. Existing users of USDT can directly convert their tokens to USDT-Tron by contacting Tether or through exchanges. The network intends to allow zero fee transactions for the new coin.

SOURCE: COINGAPE


❌ Binance Delists Bitcoin SV (BSV)

MONDAY, APRIL 17, 2019

Changpeng Zhao (CZ), the CEO of cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, has announced it is delisting bitcoin SV (BSV) starting April 22. The decision was made due to controversy around BSV’s founder, Craig Wright, who’s proclaimed he is the pseudonymous creator of bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto. Wright has been unrelenting on Twitter, attacking users who refute his claim. CZ earlier warned Wright that he would delist the altcoin if he did not change his behaviour; Wright did not heed his threats.  

SOURCE: COINDESK


?  Blockchain Watch: Oh Whale

FRIDAY, APRIL 19, 2019
THURSDAY, APRIL 18, 2019
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17, 2019
TUESDAY, APRIL 16, 2019
MONDAY, APRIL 16, 2019

SOURCE: TWITTER


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

Ready, Set, Crypto

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⚖ Mt. Gox Close to Settling Creditors’ Accounts

FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2019

Appointed trustee, Nobuaki Kobayashi, of the now defunct cryptocurrency exchange, Mt. Gox, issued a statement advising that those affected by the crash may see a decision very soon on their reimbursement plan. The expected settlement will be available in cryptocurrency or cash. Kobayashi has approved claims for 802,521 BTC (worth $3,233,256,500), 792,296 BCH ($124,953,000), $38,165,664 in USD and other fiat currencies as stipulated in this document.

SOURCE: CRYPTOVEST


✂  BlockFi Cuts Interest Rates Paid to 2% For Its Large Accounts

FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2019

A few weeks after launching, BlockFi, the cryptocurrency lending startup, has just changed the terms of their interest-bearing deposit account. The company stated in their official blog post that starting April 1, 2019 any accounts with more than 25 BTC or 500 ETH, they will only pay 2% on the amount deposited instead of the originally advertised 6%. Zac Prince, CEO and founder, advised the change is due an unexpected and overwhelmingly large demand from institution clients to deposit more than one million dollars worth of cryptocurrency. BlockFi raised $25 million in the last two weeks alone.

SOURCE: COINDESK


?Bayer Crop Science Partners With ConsenSys’ BlockApps

FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2019

Pharmaceutical giant, Bayer, and its German-based agricultural division, Bayer CropScience, have teamed up with startup BlockApps, backed by ConsenSys. The partnership was said to have begun early 2018 and they’ve been working on a number of blockchain initiatives to improve operation and the industry. Bayer CropScience was formerly known as Monsanto, the highly controversial agricultural company, before its acquisition.

SOURCE: COINTELEGRAPH


⚡ Huobi Global & OKEx Supports Tron-based USDT

THURSDAY, MARCH 21, 2019

Major cryptocurrency exchanges, Huobi Global and OKEx, have separately announced that they will be supporting the TRC20-based USDT stablecoin, USDT-TRON,launched by TRON and Tether. The new token will be operable with all Tron-based protocols and decentralized applications, improving liquidity in the ecosystem.

SOURCE: COINTELEGRAPH


? Square Hiring Crypto Engineers

THURSDAY, MARCH 21, 2019

CEO of Twitter and Square, Jack Dorsey, announced Square Crypto is seeking to hire three to four cryptocurrency engineers and one designer to build its upcoming crypto ecosystem. Dorsey has become a strong public proponent of bitcoin and cryptocurrency in the recent months. This initiative brings further optimism to the cryptocurrency community and the blockchain industry.

SOURCE: CCN


⛔ CBOE Discontinues Bitcoin Futures

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 20, 2019

The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), the first exchange to list bitcoin futures, has decided to stop listing the very same product. CBOE stated that it has not fully closed the door on cryptocurrency, but does not intend to list additional bitcoin futures for trading at the moment due to decreased demand.

SOURCE: FORBES


? Coinmarketcap Launches Crypto Indices on Nasdaq, Bloomberg and More

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 20, 2019

CoinMarketCap, announced it will launching two cryptocurrency benchmark indices on Nasdaq Global Index Data Service (GIDS), Bloomberg Terminal, Thomson Reuters Eikon (Refinitiv), Germany’s Börse Stuttgart, and its own platform. The indices cover the top 200 by market capitalization. The first index, CMC Crypto 200 Index (CMC200), includes bitcoin and covers more than 90% of the cryptocurrency market. The second index, CMC Crypto 200 ex BTC Index (CMC200EX) does not include bitcoin, in order to track market performance without its influence. 

SOURCE: COINDESK


⚡ Huobi Launches Token Sale Platform

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 20, 2019

Singapore cryptocurrency exchange, Huobi Global, announced on its blog that Huobi Prime, a dedicated token sale platform. The new platform is geared towards both large and small investors and allows individuals access to new altcoin tokens before they appear on major exchanges. The first project to launch is TOP and will take place on March 26, 2019

SOURCE: COINTELEGRAPH


? Cryptopia’s Trading Service Resumes After Hack

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 20, 2019

New Zealand cryptocurrency exchange, Cryptopia, announced it is resuming its trading service after its hack mid-January. An estimated of 9.4% of the exchange’s total holdings were stolen. Currently, 40 trade pairs have been evaluated as secure and this list will continue to grow as Cryptopia clears more coins. See the full list: here

SOURCE: COINDESK


?? Purchase Bitcoin Down Under With Binance Lite

TUESDAY, MARCH 19, 2019

Cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, has expanded its Binance Lite fiat gateway to Australia. 1,300 newsagent stores will be ready and allow customers to buy cryptocurrency with regular fiat money. In order to use this service, customers will need to pass account verification, including Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) procedures.

SOURCE: THENEXTWEB


?? Switzerland’s Largest Online Retailer Accepts Bitcoin

TUESDAY, MARCH 19, 2019

Digitec-Galaxus, Switzerland’s “Amazon”, is now accepting bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies as payment. Co-founder & Chief Innovation Officer, Oliver Herren, says the company’s move to accept this form of payment method is to target a more tech-savvy audience and position itself as a forward-thinking company. The large online retailer has partnered with Coinify to process all cryptocurrency transactions. 

SOURCE: BITCOINIST


? Fortune 500 Company Accepts Crypto Payments

TUESDAY, MARCH 19, 2019

Fortune 500 company Avnet, one of the largest electronic components distributors worldwide, announced it will now accept bitcoin (BTC) or bitcoin (BCH) as payments for its products and services. Avnet partnered with payment platform, BitPay, who will aid with verifying funds, processing orders, and completing transactions.

SOURCE: ETHNEW


? IBM Signs 6 Banks Ready To Issue Stablecoin

MONDAY, MARCH 18, 2019

IBM officially launches its real-time global payments network, Blockchain World Wire (BWW), in collaboration with Stellar (XLM) is now live. IBM and Stellar announced that six international banks have signed up to issue their own stablecoins on the blockchain-powered payments network. BWW currently supports more than 47 currencies for payments across 72 countries.

SOURCE: COINTELEGRAPH


✋ Bitcoin Futures On the Bakkt Burner

MONDAY, MARCH 18, 2019

The highly anticipated bitcoin futures market, Bakkt, by Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) has yet to receive regulatory approval from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). ICE originally intended to launch the platform in mid-December, but has since delayed the project indefinitely.

SOURCE: COINDESK


? Blockchain Watch: Whale Hello There

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 20, 2019
TUESDAY, MARCH 19, 2019
MONDAY, MARCH 18, 2019

SOURCE: TWITTER


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

Accurate Crypto Market Data Ultimately Leads to Winning Model

By | Coinscious Lab, Cryptocurrency | No Comments

The world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil but data. [1] This holds true even for the finance industry. The control that financial companies wield over their data gives them enormous power, and the abundance and quality of data they use changes the very nature of the competition. According to Bloomberg, the financial sector is adopting big data analytics to maintain a competitive advantage in the trading environment” [2]. Quantitative- and high-frequency trading are ubiquitous, indispensable tools in current times, and their full value in cryptocurrency trading are being realized. A key aspect that is still often overlooked in quantitative crypto-trading is the quality of the data being used to design sophisticated prediction models.

In this era of cryptocurrency trading, those with the most data of the highest quality will surely win. In algorithmic trading applications, accuracy is one of the best quality indicators of a data source. It determines the execution prices, the model’s behaviour, and the model’s ability to fit the market efficiently and effectively. In the extreme case, high frequency traders care about order-by-order data to simulate precise market-making algorithms. In order to accurately determine what and how much to trade at a low cost, traders desire the finest scales of accurate data with low latency.

Many algorithmic traders incorporate massive amounts of data into their algorithms to create better pricing models and leverage large volumes of historical data to backtest their trading algorithms. Particularly with recent advances in machine learning, the data-driven approach to modelling is being emphasized more than ever before. Market behaviours are learned from black box models that recognize patterns in big data. This means that the accuracy of the data affects what the model learns and predicts. Thus, the more accurate data you have, the better you can simulate execution quality in algorithms.

Available Sources of High Quality Crypto-Trading Data

There are several companies that provide cryptocurrency market data. Kaiko, CoinAPI, and Coinscious are three well-known crypto data vendors. Most of these companies offer live and historical trading, order books, and OHLCV1  (open, high, low, close, volume) cryptocurrencies. However, what remains unknown, until now, is the quality of data these companies claim to provide. Therefore, the key question is: which data vendor has the highest quality data for you to gain a competitive edge?

The Basics

A simple way to assess data quality is to compare the exchange’s OHLCV data with derived OHLCV data. In the analysis below, the hourly level OHLCV data is computed for December 2018 amongst different data vendors. The error rates were measured over eight well-known exchanges: Binance, Bittrex, Bitfinex, Bitstamp, Bitmex, Huobi Global, Okex, and Coinbase Pro.

Figure 1. OHLC error rates for Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and Ripple (XRP)2. Given that our budget limits us to purchase just one dataset between Kaiko and CoinAPI, we chose the more expensive one: Kaiko’s data

Figure 2. OHLC error rates for OHLC error rates for four alternative coins (ADA, XLM, TRX, ZRX)

Coinscious data proves to be the most accurate among these data vendors for the top 3 coins (BTC, ETH, and XRP). In average, Coinscious data are 38% better than Kaiko’s data, where the relative errors on OHLC are 39%, 41%, 31%, and 37% respectively (see Figure 1). Similar results have also been shown using four alternative coins (ADA, XLM, TRX, ZRX). Surprisingly, even though Kaiko data is accurate for high and low prices, their open and close prices are quite divergent when compared to Coinscious and CoinAPI.

Error In Trading Volume

In Figure 3 and Figure 4, volume error rates over time reveal the dates when the higher error rates occur. The spike in volume error rates occurs in two scenarios; the first scenario occurs when the volume and volume error rates spikes simultaneously, whereas the second scenario occurs when the volume error rates spike, but volume does not. The former can be attributed to increased latency on exchanges as traffic increases, whereas the latter can be attributed to internal server issues.

Figure 3. Absolute error between exchange volumes versus data vendors’ volumes in December 2018 (the lower, the better). The errors were measured for BTC/USD, ETH/USD, and XRP/USD on the top 7 exchanges3.

Coinscious’ error rates remain relatively low compared to other vendors’ error rates. Overall, it is clear that Coinscious data has the lowest error rates with respect to volume data.

Figure 4. Absolute distance error between exchange volumes versus data vendors’ volumes in December 2018 (the lower, the better). The errors were measured for the following alternative coins: ADA/USD at Bittrex, XLM/USD, TRX/USD, and ZRX/USD at Bitfinex.

The volume quality for alternative coins (i.e., altcoins) was also considered. Eight altcoins were randomly selected from different exchanges, including NEO, TRON, XLM, EOS, LTC, ZRX, and ADA. From the figure above, CoinAPI does not perform well on volumes with respect to these altcoins.

Reason For Data Discrepancies Between Vendors

Now you must be wondering, if the exchange provides public API, why would you need to purchase data? Firstly, public APIs have limited histories of information they provide, and unless a trader has stored historical price data, they would need to gather it from a third-party source. Secondly, even though exchanges provide public APIs, aggregating and preprocessing all possible cryptocurrency pairs for different exchanges is cumbersome, and arguably the most tedious step in developing a trading system. This is especially the case as the data receiving intervals gets coarser as the number of requests for data grows. It is for these reasons that the aforementioned data vendors exist.

More importantly, why do discrepancies in the accuracies exist across different data vendors? There are several possible reasons. It could be due to downtimes of exchange APIs. Or, given the thousands of combinations of cryptocurrency exchanges and trade pairs, there exist API rate limits on all cryptocurrency exchanges, and therefore a large number of data collection clients and complicated infrastructure is required.

While many companies are collecting vast amounts of data across different exchanges and coins, the quality of the data may be hidden underneath the quantity of the data. Especially in this era of a data-driven finance world, success and risk can be heavily dependent on the data quality and the data operations environment. Obtaining the right trading tools and hiring talented traders can certainly help, but even then, tools and people cannot guarantee success if the data is flawed. The cryptocurrency finance market definitely could benefit from having more of data quality analysis in order to understand the granular level of datasets and where they can obtain them.

Footnotes

  1. Open, high, low, close, volume (OHLCV) prices.
  2. Given that our budget limits us to purchase just one dataset between Kaiko and CoinAPI, we chose the more expensive one: Kaiko’s data.
  3. Top 7 exchanges include: Binance, HuobiPro, Bitfinex, Bitmex, OKEx, Bitstamp, and Coinbase.

References

[1] “The world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data”. The Economist, 6 May 2017, https://www.economist.com/leaders/2017/05/06/the-worlds-most-valuable-resource-is-no-longer-oil-but-data

[2] “3 ways big data is changing financial trading”. Bloomberg, 5 July 2017, https://www.bloomberg.com/professional/blog/3-ways-big-data-changing-financial-trading/