Exchange Roundup: Traders Gain Tools and Bank Woes for Justcoin

Jon Southurst
Nov 5, 2014 at 16:12 UTC
Updated Nov 6, 2014 at 05:51 UTC

With bitcoin adoption rising healthily, and trading proving a popular way to profit from the digital currency’s volatility, many exchanges are going from strength to strength, signing up new users and rolling out new services on a frequent basis.

In this roundup, CoinDesk looks at the latest announcements from the world’s cryptocurrency exchange platforms over the last few days.

OKCoin adds ‘trigger orders’ for futures traders

OKCoin’s futures traders can now get some sleep without needing to close their positions, safe in the knowledge that new ‘trigger orders‘ will help insulate them from risk. The addition is likely to come as a welcome relief for OKCoin’s professional traders, who have up to 10x leverage at their disposal.

These orders work both ways: stop-losses to prevent a position falling too far, and limit buy orders to enter into contracts at an optimal price point. Users can also set the quantity of units to trade.

OKCoin added the trigger order feature after popular demand from its customers for stop-losses, adding them just days after seeing user requests posted on social media outlets.

OKCoin Futures trading interfaceOKCoin Futures trading interface

There are some limits to using trigger orders, however. For buy orders, the preset ‘order price’ cannot be more than 105% of the trigger price, while, for sell orders, the order price cannot be lower than 95% of the trigger price.

Therefore, users still need to be wary of heavy volatility: if the market moves against a trader too quickly, OKCoin says it cannot guarantee the order can be completely filled at the specified price.

Quantities set should be within a trader’s ‘available to close’ limits, which are reduced once a trigger order is placed. If a trader closes the positions at market price, the trigger orders will be canceled.

Corporate accounts and market makers

OKCoin says that, since launching its futures trading platform in August, 24-hour volumes have reached 757,000 BTC ($257.2m at press time).

It also recently added support for corporate accounts, offering its corporate clients dedicated account managers, round-the-clock personal support, and a customized setup process to suit their needs. Corporate accounts may trade on either the CNY or USD exchanges.

The exchange has also launched a ‘Maker World Champion‘ promotion for its new ‘maker-taker’ fee model. For market makers (those who add orders to the order book, thus increasing liquidity) on spot and futures trades, OKCoin will double whatever income they earn from those trades until 23rd November.

A special competition in the same period will also reward the top daily market maker with 0.1 BTC, the week’s winner with 1 BTC and the winner for the entire period with 10 BTC. An individual trader may only win each category once, and rankings are listed on the site.

BTC.sx partners with Bitfinex for increased liquidity

Trading platform BTC.sx says its new partnership with Bitfinex will offer liquidity improvements for both exchanges, as BTC.sx traders become able to enter leveraged BTC-USD positions on Bitfinex’s higher-volume order book.

BTC.sx now allows trades to be placed on three exchanges within its platform. With the liquidity this offers, traders could enter long or short positions without having to wait, especially with the addition of Bitfinex’s 851763.66 BTC monthly trading volume (roughly $283m at press time).

Customers at London-based BTC.sx have traded about $50m-worth of bitcoin in the past 12 months, according to the company’s own information.

BTC.sx co-founder and CEO Joseph Lee said:

“Our professional bitcoin traders are continually demanding better access to high-volume markets and our team has been able to deliver upon their requests.”

Lee also cited Bitfinex’s commitment to regulatory compliance in making the partnership a “logical choice”. The Hong Kong-based exchange also claims to have the world’s highest volumes for USD-BTC trading.

Full trading capability with data charts are available as of now, while deeper integration between the two exchanges is planned for the future.

BTC China introduces margin trading

BTC China this week introduced margin trading features to its exchange, giving both Chinese and international users the chance to leverage their account balances in the hope of greater returns.

It allows margin traders to borrow up to two times the net value of all assets in their accounts, combining any CNY, BTC and LTC holdings.

BTC China Margin Trading Banner

To mitigate the risks associated with margin trading and lending, BTC China has developed a risk management system that includes real-time monitoring and alerts, allowing traders to seek “adequate remedies” to alleviate at-risk situations.

Director of software engineering Mikael Wang said:

“BTC China’s risk management apparatus minimizes risk by actively managing the loans to borrowers and automatically issuing margin calls when necessary to ensure that the borrower maintains a sufficient balance.”

Bitstamp launches new ‘TradeView’ interface

Major EU-based exchange Bitstamp has unveiled a new live, graphical trading interface called ‘TradeView’, with promises of future enhancements.

TradeView’s vivid user interface features live and detailed market information with the ability to trade directly from the charts. Users can set their desired price by dragging and dropping a slider bar on the graph (see below). Hotkeys enable traders to zoom in on a particular piece of information, or execute trades from the keyboard.

Setting price with Bitstamp's TradeView interfaceSetting price with Bitstamp’s TradeView interface

Bitstamp also offers conditional orders (‘if orders’) which mean traders can set two conditions that must be true in order to execute an order. They could, therefore, execute simultaneous buy and sell orders for identical amounts, keeping any profit earned. This is useful if the price is moving in a favorable direction.

Justcoin suspends operations

While other exchanges continue to grow and expand their services, the news was less favorable for some. Norway-based exchange and Ripple/Stellar gateway Justcoin abruptly announced it was closing down on 28th October with a one-line message posted to its blog and an email issued to customers.

The email suggested Justcoin’s banking partner had unilaterally terminated its relationship with the company and the exchange had been unable to find another banking partner in Norway.

The email, signed by co-founders Klaus Bugge Lund and Andreas Brekken, read:

“This event demonstrates the need for decentralized payment networks.”

The company posted in April that it had reached a milestone of 20,000 customers, 16,000 of whom were located in countries other than Norway.

A Justcoin user on Bitcoin Talk claimed to have received an email from the company on 11th October announcing a partial ‘hold’ on all stellar (STR) deposits and withdrawals, reportedly due to the ‘partial payments‘ vulnerability affecting the Ripple and Stellar networks. It is not known whether this was related in any way to Justcoin’s closure.

Representatives from Clevercoin, a Netherlands-based bitcoin exchange that had sought to provide assistance Justcoin in the wake of its banking issues, suggested to CoinDesk that the exchange is in the process of refunding users, and that it may explore options for reopening.

Disclaimer: This article should not be viewed as an endorsement of any of the companies mentioned. Please do your own extensive research before considering investing any funds in these products.

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