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Voyager Agrees to Buy LGO Markets and Merge 2 Firms’ Tokens

Two cryptocurrency trading firms are merging, and in a rare twist, so are their tokens.

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Two cryptocurrency trading firms are merging, and in a rare twist, so are their tokens.

Voyager Digital, a publicly traded digital asset brokerage with offices in New York, has agreed to buy LGO, a French crypto exchange primarily serving institutional investors, as the company expands to Europe.

The transaction requires regulatory approval, which the parties said they expect to receive by the end of this year, along with the token swap. The value of the deal will depend on the value of Voyager’s shares, and the firms’ tokens, at closing; at current prices, it would be in the low seven figures.

As such, this deal is dwarfed by this year’s blockbuster crypto M&A deals such as Binance’s acquisition of CoinMarketCap, estimated to be worth $400 million, and FTX’s $150 million deal to acquire Blockfolio.

Read More: ‘They Have the Users’: Binance CEO Explains Why He Bought CoinMarketCap

What makes this deal unusual is that the two companies’ utility tokens, VGX and LGO, will be swapped into newly minted tokens featuring decentralized finance (DeFi) functions such as community governance and staking at an initial interest rate of 7%.

“We think this is really taking the old-school mergers and acquisitions to the token world, which hasn’t been done before,” Steve Enrlich, Voyager’s co-founder and chief executive officer, told CoinDesk.

Upon completion, Voyager, which is publicly listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange, will issue one million shares for the acquisition and operate in the European retail market with LGO’s Virtual Asset Service Provider registration with the French Financial Markets regulator (AMF). All activities will be conducted under the Voyager brand and LGO will discontinue its institutional services on Oct. 31. Shares of Voyager closed at C$0.67 ($0.51) on Wednesday. 

Read More: Voyager to Pay Interest on DeFi Tokens to Gain Brokerage Clients

Hugo Renaudin, co-founder and chief executive officer of LGO, told CoinDesk that the French company made the deal after it decided to shift its focus from institutional clients to increasing value for its token holders.

“The key decision-maker is what will bring the most value to our tokens,” Renaudin said. “So we have this token. We have token holders and they’re mostly retail [clients].”

LGO launched an initial coin offering (ICO) in February 2018, according to its website, which raised 3,600 bitcoin (worth about $36 million at the time). The company’s white paper shows that 60% of the tokens were distributed through a pre-sale process, while 20% of the supply went to LGO’s founders and advisors.

At its peak in April 2018, the LGO token’s market cap was nearly $40 million, according to data from CoinMarketCap. On Wednesday, that value was calculated to be $1.5 million. 

Renaudin told CoinDesk that the company’s other option would have been focusing on better serving its institutional clients, which means its spot exchange would have to provide new and exotic derivatives products. After consideration, he said that the team had decided to change its focus to retail customers instead.

The merger comes during a time of regulatory crackdown on crypto derivatives trading around the globe. Popular crypto derivatives exchange BitMEX was charged by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) with facilitating unregistered trading activities, while in the UK, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has banned crypto derivatives for retail consumers.

This is not the first acquisition by Voyager, which went public in early 2019 in a reverse merger with the shell of a Canadian mineral exploration company. Previously, it acquired wallet startup Ethos.io for about $4 million.

Read More: Voyager CEO Says Revenue Growth Accelerates 8-Fold as DeFi Trading Surges

Voyage’s revenue in the most-recent fiscal quarter, which ended Sept. 30, surged to about $2 million, compared with $1.1 million during the fiscal year ending in June.

“We are becoming the financial service firm of the future, which means I will look at acquisitions that can add products, customer assets to the platform, or tokens and other communities that can be accretive to what we are trying to do,” Enrlich said. “And adding these pieces together we are going to either do it organically or through more acquisitions.”

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Source: https://www.coindesk.com/voyager-acquires-lgo-token-merger

Blockchain

Uncomfortable Truths of Trading And What to Watch Out For

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There are some uncomfortable truths about trading crypto, which many people refuse to acknowledge. For instance, everybody — no matter how they play the market — is part of an emotional scheme. That means you, too. Thierry Gilgen, CEO of MachinaTrader, takes a deeper look into how social media channels dominate information about cryptocurrencies.

The market is not purely mathematics. Raw human emotions play a big role, and that includes you potentially getting played. It is easy to be carried away while trading and make an emotional-based decision that results in you being wrecked. 

That’s not the only unpleasant truth about trading. Your exchange might be using you. Some platforms today built their architecture in such a way as to monopolize the data they get by providing their services. In the crypto space, for instance, there are delays between the moment a provider receives data, and the moment its customers receive that same data. 

Such platforms take customer data for free, use it, and sell it. They don’t give back the knowledge their customers created in concert. They keep it for themselves and use it to influence those very same users. They devalue, use, and sell their customers, not letting them get back what they put into those platforms. 

Customers need platforms that don’t exploit them

Customers need platforms that don’t exploit them. And platforms can be incentivized to pursue such an egalitarianism, because they need the group’s knowledge. They’re nothing without their users they need in order to predict markets. 

I believe that over the course of the next two years or so, the exchange market will undergo a massive transformation. Although there are dozens of crypto exchanges today, there will be fewer than ten, in the not so distant future.

If you look at trader behavior, you’ll see that they have no emotional binding to a product. If tomorrow they see something that suggests more profit — and it provides a clear fact-based reason why it can propagate such a thing — they will at least give it a try. If it works, they will move on from their previous product of choice.

Keeping up to date with such a swiftly evolving market is paramount for trading. The day of a successful trader starts as soon as they open their eyes and ends when they close them to go to sleep. Beyond controlling your emotions and anticipating which exchange platforms will persist, there are also the fundamentals of trading to understand.

I am often asked which indicators traders should observe, and I always answer the same: don’t only look at one or two indicators, but rather at as many as possible in aggregate. Consider all types of data across different time horizons.

With that said, keeping an eye on social media can oftentimes give you a good sense of where the market is headed. For instance, you might keep an eye on how many times and in what context a particular asset — for example, bitcoin (BTC) — has been mentioned on social media. 

Listen to social media

Admittedly, it is not easy to track everything that happens on social media. But if you get the real grasp of what’s really happening there by aggregating indicators of multiple projects, you will see that social media has a massive effect on crypto prices — even more than a lot of other indicators.

It’s a highly reliable indicator. However, this won’t last forever. The larger the market, the less the impact social media has on prices. Currently, social media is one of the most interesting indicators.

People ask me what kind of bot they should create. I think, the simplest, most profitable bots would be the best option, listen to social media. If you aggregate this information, you can see how many times a specific cryptocurrency is mentioned within a certain timeframe such as one hour, 24 hours, etc. 

If you look into how markets behave based on social media indicators, you’ll apparently improve the accuracy of your bets. If you stick to the top five cryptocurrencies mentioned within the past hour, you can uncover profitable niches.

We see a lot of data analytics projects suggesting that they can exploit this, and they can indeed predict where prices will go thanks to social media indicators. In other words, you can easily profit from using algorithms listening to mentions and cataloguing aggregate volumes across social media, including Telegram.

Tracking social media metrics 

Social media mentions are such an important metric that audience intelligence company Pulsar examined mainstream adoption of crypto. It measured neither trade volume, nor market capitalizations, but social media mentions.

The company concluded that social media is a strong indicator of what’s to come in crypto: “In nearly every case, a rise of 10 per cent or more in social cryptocurrency buzz volume from one day to the next ‘predicts’ a rise of at least 5 per cent in the price of bitcoin within three days time.” 

On social media, people seem to follow “brand names” more than they follow terms such as “cryptocurrencies” and “digital assets,” wherein the most popular would be “bitcoin,” followed by “ethereum” and “ripple.”

Social media channels dominate information about cryptocurrencies. Facebook groups, crypto Twitter, and Reddit have helped those interested in cryptocurrencies learn about the technology. 

Other than social media, Google Trends is a powerful analytics tool when it comes to the fundamentals of the market. You can see how many people are thinking about bitcoin, ethereum or ripple at any given time. 

Many traders spend time on social media, pruning their Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn feeds. In particular, Twitter and Reddit allow users to customize their crypto information. If you’re careful about what you follow, you can gain a lot of valuable information from these sources such as price analyses and news. By following mentions, you can determine if people are bullish or bearish and adjust your positions accordingly. 

NOTE: The views expressed here are those of the author’s and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of BeInCrypto.

Written by Thierry Gilgen, CEO of MachinaTrader. Thierry has highly infectious motivational energy in the trading industry. With years of experience in forming startups and understanding the hurt points of enterprises, he provides insights based on his experience. Starting from a garage path lifestyle and selling websites from home during his teenage years, his goal is to provide valuable insight to the finance industry and share his thoughts on how to build successful businesses.

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MachinaTrader on Twitter

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Source: https://beincrypto.com/uncomfortable-truths-of-trading-and-what-to-watch-out-for/

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Grayscale Bought Almost $140 Million in BTC in 24 Hours

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Betting Big on Bitcoin

Grayscale, the Bitcoin Trust custodian and digital asset manager, has added another $140 million worth of Bitcoin to their Bitcoin Trust portfolio within the last 24 hours.

Grayscale made the purchase of 7,188 Bitcoins in just one day. This confirms continued institutional interest surrounding their Bitcoin offering. When you look at Grayscale Bitcoin holdings over the last week and month, a similar pattern appears. In the last week, Grayscale added over 14,000 BTC. In the last month the company added a whopping 64,832 BTC worth collectively over $1.2 billion. Miners created only 27,881 BTC in all of November, or only half the Bitcoin Grayscale purchased during the month. It is apparent just how massive and influential Grayscale is as a cryptocurrency focused entity.

Painting A Bigger Picture

As a digital asset custodian primarily focused around Bitcoin, Grayscale makes these massive BTC purchases. Their clients continue requesting additional exposure. The picture becomes clearer when you add this alongside other major announcements. Hundred million dollar BTC acquisitions from public companies are just the beginning. There are now Wall Street regulated crypto indices, and the integration of cryptocurrency usage in globally dominant financial services like PayPal. You can start to see a bigger picture of what mainstream and institutional organizations think about Bitcoin long term. It will be interesting to see how Grayscale’s Bitcoin purchases for December compare to November as Bitcoin continues approaching its all time high.

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Harrison is a reporter and lead specialist at BeInCrypto based out of Tel Aviv, Israel. Harrison has been involved in the cryptocurrency space since late 2016 and is passionate about decentralized ledger technology and its potential.

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Source: https://beincrypto.com/grayscale-bought-almost-140-million-btc-in-24-hours/

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The OCC is Focused on “Not Killing” Bitcoin and Crypto says Acting Comptroller Brian Brooks

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The newly nominated Comptroller of the United States Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), Brian Brooks has affirmed that the agency is not planning any ban or to place any stringent regulation on Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.

Brian Brooks, OCC, Bitcoin, Regulation, Crypto

The OCC Has Good Plans For Bitcoin

Asked by Melissa Lee on CNBC Squawk Box, the former Chief Legal Officer at Coinbase cryptocurrency exchange quelled rumors making the rounds about regulation or a ban on Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. In response Brooks said;

“We’re very focused on getting this right. We are very focused on not killing this, and it is equally important that we develop the networks behind #bitcoin and other cryptos as it is we prevent money laundering and terrorism financing.”

Brooks noted that the position of the agency is to embrace a balanced approach so that both regulators and investors in the space will be carried along. The OCC boss also responded to a query seeking to know if more regulations covering the cryptospace will be rolled out by the end of the Trump administration. Brooks responded by saying that there is going to be a lot of positive news coming from the White House in the coming days and much of it will border around banking, blockchain, and digital currencies.

“So, believe me, there’s gonna be lots of positive messages coming out.”

The OCC’s Bullish Crypto Approach Taking Heat From Lawmakers

The freedom to develop that the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is giving to cryptocurrencies, particularly Bitcoin and stablecoins, is not passing without a rebuff.

According to a Blockchain.news report back in November, some Democrat members of the United States Congress led by Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) criticized the Office of The Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) for having an “excessive focus” on cryptocurrencies and stablecoins, arguing crypto-related financial services move too far away from the core business of banking and finance.

Nonetheless, the OCC according to Brooks is aware of the risks associated with digital assets and is handling regulations in the space by being “honest” about that fact.

Image source: Shutterstock Source: https://Blockchain.News/news/the-occ-is-focused-on-not-killing-bitcoin-acting-comptroller-brian-brooks

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Kraken Exchange Now Allows Users to Stake ETH on Its Platform

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Kraken, the online cryptocurrency exchange, has announced that it has enabled the ability for its users to stake ETH via the new ETH 2.0 Beacon Chain directly on the exchange.

As far as major cryptocurrency exchanges go, Kraken appears to be one of the first to announce the opportunity for its users.

At press time, Kraken had recently enabled the staking ability, marking a major step in the continued growth of ETH 2.0.

A Win for the “Small” ETH Holder

Kraken will be allowing ETH users of all sizes to delegate their ETH for staking. With the launch of ETH 2.0 and the adoption of a Proof-of-Stake transaction verification methodology, only users with a minimum of 32 ETH would be able to run a node, thus allowing them to validate the network.

Currently, 32 ETH costs around $20,000, a hefty sum for the average crypto enthusiast. Kraken will enable users holding any amount of Ethereum to stake via the platform.

This will allow users to earn passive income on their holdings. Users will receive rewards ranging from 5% to 17% average percentage yield (APY) per year and will receive ETH rewards on a weekly basis.

Other Benefits

Another feature Kraken will be adding next week (although not for American or Canadian users) is the ability to trade staked ETH for unstaked ETH.

Once ETH is staked on the ETH 2.0 network, that ETH cannot be accessed or traded until the next phase of the project. However, Kraken will soon enable a special trading pair to circumvent this limitation:

“As a courtesy to clients who may wish to exchange their staked ETH for unstaked ETH, Kraken will provide a special trading pair for this purpose until the ability to unstake ETH is available on the Ethereum network.”

This will likely give users more freedom over their collateral compared with regular ETH 2.0 stakers who won’t be able to take advantage if they independently run an ETH node.

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Harrison is a reporter and lead specialist at BeInCrypto based out of Tel Aviv, Israel. Harrison has been involved in the cryptocurrency space since late 2016 and is passionate about decentralized ledger technology and its potential.

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Source: https://beincrypto.com/kraken-exchange-now-allows-users-to-stake-eth-on-its-platform/

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