Today, Canaan and Galaxy Digital reported quarterly losses, Huobi announced a legally compliant way to reenter the U.S. market, and Binance denies stealing $1 million from one of its users.
Canaan Creative’s losses in 2019 are a continuation of the major mining manufacturer’s declining profitability over the past three years. While its machines secure 20 percent of the Bitcoin network, Canaan is a market leader in an industry subject to volatile price swings, ever-changing miner incentives, and fast-paced technological advancement. This is to say nothing of Bitcoin’s programmable “halving” expected in 34 days, which will essentially cut miner’s paychecks in half.
You’re reading Blockchain Bites, the daily roundup of the most pivotal stories in blockchain and crypto news, and why they’re significant. You can subscribe to this and all of CoinDesk’s newsletters here. Here’s the story:
- Canaan Creative, a Chinese mining manufacturer, saw a net loss of $148.6 million in 2019 on revenue of $204.3 million, reflecting declining profitability over the past three years. Since its $90 million IPO, Canaan's share price has been on a downward trend and is currently 61 percent below its offering price. Still, the firm's machines are responsible for securing 20 percent of the Bitcoin blockchain network, opening the question of how Bitcoin’s upcoming “halving” will disrupt the complicated economic dance of crypto mining.
- Crypto lending platform BlockFi has begun extending credit to miners as competition for their business has eased during the coronavirus crisis. In related news, BlockFi says its monthly revenue has doubled since raising a $30 million Series B round in February. (The Block)
Gains and pain
- Activity on Indian crypto exchanges has skyrocketed after the Reserve Bank of India overturned an order blocking crypto companies from securing banking relationships. In early March, crypto banking services platform Cashaa India noted a spike of 800 percent in trading volumes in the 48 hours following the decision. While WazirX has taken on 100 crore rupees ($13 million) in client funds.
- Galaxy Digital, Mike Novogratz's crypto merchant bank, reported a net loss of $32.9 million in Q4 2019. The bank’s trading arm incurred the vast majority of losses at more than $32.1 million, wiping out its other revenue streams. Now, Novogratz is saying the COVID-19 pandemic will likely lead to another down quarter.
- It's not just companies impacted by COVID-19. Tonga, Haiti and Kyrgyzstan are the countries most affected by falling remittances sparked by the pandemic. (Quartz)
- Global crypto exchange Huobi Group is eyeing a U.S. return, after abruptly halting operations five months ago. Huobi said it will partner with a local licensed trading platform and potentially buy a stake in an existing brokerage, allowing it to be legally compliant at a lower cost. Data provider Nomics ranks the exchange first by year-to-date volume.
- Household name Fidelity Digital Asset (FDA) is signing on as a member of ErisX’s clearinghouse, taking advantage of the crypto-native firm's technology to provide better liquidity. While OTC desks might massage a price up when connecting a buyer and a seller to maximize their own profit, Erisx’s central order book allows equal access to prices across Fidelity’s customer base.
- Fold joined the Visa Fast Track Program to issue a bitcoin (BTC) rewards card instead of traditional points. It’s a “debit card but has the rewards levels you’d expect from a credit card,” Fold CEO Will Reeves said.
- The U.S Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey is seeking to pause the SEC’s civil action against Blockchain Terminal founder Boaz Manor while it conducts its own criminal case against Manor’s alleged $30 million ICO fraud. Both agencies are prosecuting Manor and his partners’ allegedly fraudulent “BCT” token offering.
- Two state securities regulators have ordered Ultra Mining to cease and desist, saying the firm negligently promised to double investments in a cloud mining scheme. The alleged crypto scam is said to have raised $18 million.
Scammers & the sleuth
- Scammers have been impersonating CoinDesk journalists, offering “pay-to-play” articles to publish on our site. CoinDesk’s John Biggs worked with blockchain investigations company Coinfirm, to see where the money was going and if we could learn anything about the perpetrators. The ultimate goal: to prevent it from happening to anyone else. Sadly, there is no sure-fire way to prevent these kinds of scams, but CoinDesk will never accept payment to promote your blockchain startup.
Movers & shakers
- CoinShares has hired Frank Spiteri, former head of European distribution at WisdomTree – a U.S. financial product provider and $70 billion asset manager – as its new chief revenue officer (CRO).
- Of more than 2,000 billionaires on Forbes’ ‘The Richest in 2020’ list, only four are crypto wealthy, “and none of them are named ‘CZ’,” reports Cointelegraph.
The case for decentralization
- A series of ongoing efforts across universities, medical academia, the private sector and even private citizens are harnessing distributed systems in the fight against COVID-19. From contact tracing to donating computer processing power, blockchain technology is finding a use case in charitable action.
- A DeFi professional describes life under quarantine in COVID-19's epicenter, in a CoinDesk op-ed. When the next crisis comes, he says, blockchain tech will be ready to help.
- Decentralized finance advocate “DeFi Dad” has come up with a way for small business owners to supplement their business during the prolonged COVID-19-led period of uncertainty. Using Mintbase and the Ethereum blockchain, restaurants and other mom-and-pop shops can print digital certificates to be sold at a discount, bringing in cash now for the promise of providing services later if-and-when they reopen. Commenters noted this sounds like the Deli Dollar phenomenon of old, but now with token-economics.
Bitcoin’s break above a long-term moving average resistance near $7,100 has strengthened the case for a rally to $8,000. The 200-period average was repeatedly capped in the final days of March, bow that the hurdle has been convincingly crossed, buyers who entered the market earlier this month may also be more comfortable in holding their positions. All in all, the move is a good signal for prices.
Flood to market
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