All news on: Exchanges & Markets

Mercury, a decentralized cryptocurrency exchange, available for alpha review

Mercury intends to become a new (and revolutionary) kind of crypto-currencies exchange, where all transactions happen in a trustless environment: all trades happen entirely on blockchains, with no central server involved in the storage of funds and no risk.

The service is used through a desktop wallet (available for Linux, Mac OS and Windows) and will allow trading in Bitcoin, Litecoin and Dogecoin, with more Altcoins coming soon, including Ethereum, Nubits and coloured coins.

Launched in alpha version for testing purpose only, the decentralized exchange is in the process of being “professionally audited,” said lead developer Mappum. He added that “the transaction malleability vulnerability is an issue, but the cost of pulling off the attack is high enough that this early version of Mercury is OK as a proof-of-concept. The attack wouldn’t be profitable unless people were making some really high-volume trades.”

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The Bank of England envisions the possibility for central banks to issue digital currencies

In a research paper, part of the One Bank Research Agenda, the Bank of England admits that the present financial system is facing strong challenges, some of them created by the development of new technologies.

“Digital currencies, potentially combined with mobile technology, may reshape the mechanisms for making secure payments, allowing transactions to be made directly between participants. This has potentially profound implications for a financial system whose payments mechanism depends on bank deposits that need to be created through credit,” explains the bank.

The document mentions Bitcoin, whose blockchain-based technology is described as promising, and questions the possibility for central banks to create their own Bitcoin-like currencies:

“The emergence of private digital currencies (such as Bitcoin) has shown that it is possible to transfer value securely without a trusted third party. While existing private digital currencies have economic flaws which make them volatile, the distributed ledger technology that their payment systems rely on may have considerable promise. This raises the question of whether central banks should themselves make use of such technology to issue digital currencies.”

“Creating such a system would entail creating a protocol for value transfer over the Internet, akin to what Berners-Lee (1989) did for information,” concludes the document.

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Coinimal, European multi crypto-currencies fiat exchange, launched

Coinimal has launched and promises to offer an easy way to buy and sell bitcoins and other crypto-currencies directly from Euro.

As of today, the Austria-based exchange allows to buy and sell Bitcoin, NXT, and Litecoin, with four payments methods (SOFORT, EPS, SEPA and OBT) and immediate transfers. More Altcoins should be added later on.

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Coinbase opens a US based exchange

Coinbase, so far a major Bitcoin wallet provider, has launched its exchange. The new service, opened a few days after the closing of a record investment round in the company, should become a major actor on the market, as the first regulated US Bitcoin exchange. The exchange, which is not available outside the United States yet, will have no trading fees until March 30, 2015.

A few days ago, the Winklevoss brothers, known for being some of the largest Bitcoin holders and previously active on several Bitcoin projects, also announced the launch of an ambitious US exchange, named Gemini.

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Bitreserve raised $9.7M after massive crowdfunding campaign

Bitreserve has announced the official end of its crowdfunding efforts, with $9.6M raised via Crowdcube and Venovate. According to the company, the result is “the second largest crowdfunding effort in the digital currency sector ever”.

Founded by Halsey Minor, previously founder of CNET Network, and based in San Francisco, Bitreserve intends to make using Bitcoin easy, by “providing people a way to access and move their money from any device without any of the costs and delays of traditional banking”.

“By helping to remove billions of dollars in fees and commissions charged by banks, credit cards and money transfer businesses, we are creating a more fair and equitable world.”, explains the company, whose main product allows to hold bitcoins, converted in stable, real-world money. The user fills an account with bitcoins and can later flip back and forth from Bitcoin to any of six currencies (U.S. gold, Dollar, Euro, Pound, Yen, and Yuan), send or receive bitcoins, or spend them where Bitcoin is accepted.

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Bitstamp reopened and fully operational again

Bitstamp, one of the major crypto-currencies exchanges, has just resumed its operations.

The service was temporary suspended on January 5, due to a security breach that had some of the exchange’s wallets compromised. The company had previously announced that the breach resulted in a loss of 19,000 BTC, which “represents a small fraction of Bitstamp’s total bitcoin reserves”, and assured the customers that “their balances held prior to the temporary suspension of services will not be affected and will be honored in full”.

“We are back, open for business with a newly redeployed website and backend systems that are safer and more secure than ever”, stated Nejc Kodrič, CEO, who described today “a number of key improvements” brought to the service.

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US Federal Reserve releases Bitcoin data analysis

The U.S. Federal Reserve has released today a study providing “the necessary technical background to understand basic Bitcoin operations” and documenting “a set of empirical regularities related to Bitcoin usage”.

Entitled “Bitcoin: Technical Background and Data Analysis“, the document, dated October 7, 2014, studied publicly available data in transactions for the past two years. Acknowledging the fact that the number of Bitcoin users follows an exponential growth, the study concludes that actual usage of Bitcoin is still very low:

“While the number of daily users may have doubled every eight months, the transaction volume is negligible compared to the domestic volume of U.S. payment systems. Our analysis of data from the Bitcoin system further suggests that Bitcoin is still barely used for payments for goods and services. In addition, the patterns of circulations of bitcoins and the dynamics of the bitcoin exchange rate are consistent with low usage of Bitcoin for retail payment transactions.”

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