17.01.2021

Bittrex Announces New Trading Platform Based in Liechtenstein

Per a press release shared with Cointelegraph on Sept. 30, Bittrex is expecting to roll out Bittrex Global at the end of October in the city of Vaduz, Liechtenstein. A fundamental reason for Bittrex’s choice to set up a new trading platform in Liechtenstein is the country’s regulatory clarity toward digital currencies and blockchain technology.

Cryptocurrency trading platform Bittrex has announced Bittrex Global, a new platform headquartered in Liechtenstein.

New products in accordance with European Union law

Bittrex Global is planning to develop new features and products, including customer reward programs, credit card interoperability, private token sales under EU law and a mobile app for trading cryptocurrencies. Following its launch, Bittrex Global also intends to register under the Transaction Systems Based on the Trustworthy Technologies Act, also known as the Blockchain Act.

As part of the platform’s launch, Bittrex Global made new appointments, with Kiran Raj as the first chief executive officer and Stephen Stonberg as chief operating officer. Prior to joining Bittrex Global, Raj was a partner at Los Angeles-based law firm O’Melveny & Myers LLP and served as the Deputy General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Stonberg has a 25-year career in financial markets.

Liechtenstein’s approach to regulating crypto and blockchain

The government of Liechtenstein passed the Blockchain Act this spring. Alongside stringent rules on Anti-Money Laundering and Know Your Customer requirements, the act essentially provides a clear legal basis for the ownership, transfer and safe storage of security tokens.

Following that, the government passed the Token and VT Service Providers Act, which aims to improve investor protection, combat money laundering and establish clarity. The government expressed confidence that the new regulation will create an adequate regulatory environment that counters the risks, provides regulatory clarity and facilitates the development of the token economy.

BitShares DEX Gateway CryptoBridge Implements Mandatory KYC for Users

BitShares Decentralized Exchange (DEX) gateway CryptoBridge announced on Oct. 1 that it has implemented mandatory user Know Your Client (KYC) verification.

European regulation is responsible

Per the announcement, the reason for the upcoming mandatory KYC is the 5th EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD5). Interestingly, CryptoBridge also noted that the company wants to challenge international financial regulation:

“While we still strive to present new challenges for international financial regulation, we are facing the 5th EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD5) and will adjust our gateway services to pave the way for CryptoBridge moving forward.”

Because of this policy change, all CryptoBridge users are required to submit to identification before continuing to use deposits and withdrawals. According to the platform, the measure is meant to “protect customers and CryptoBridge from being held responsible for any illegal intentions or money laundering activities.”

Data safety and privacy concerns

The company also notes that the introduction of the AMLD5 regulation creates legal status for crypto assets, “enables them to become viable and legitimate financial networks” and facilitates the listing of security tokens on the platform. Lastly, the firm reassures the users that it won’t have access to users’ KYC data, which will be managed by its GDPR-compliant partner Fractal.

Users are increasingly concerned over sharing their data with third parties, especially sensitive data such as the documents required to perform KYC checks. As Cointelegraph reported in August, Binance fell victim to a hacking scandal that saw the miscreant gain possession of a huge chunk of the firm’s KYC data.

Andreessen Horowitz Opens School Focused on Crypto Startups

Venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) is opening a school specializing in startups aiming to develop cryptocurrency-related projects.
Andreessen Horowitz unveiled its Crypto Startup School in an announcement on Oct. 3, saying that it intends to “encourage more tech entrepreneurs to start crypto projects and help crypto-curious builders navigate the idea maze.”

Referring to the so-termed idea maze, the company addressed the importance of good ideas for startups industry, which are eventually “well developed, multi-year plans that contemplate many possible paths according to how the world changes.”

Commenting on the initiative launch, Chris Dixon, a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, told The Block that the school will be free of charge, adding:

“We are going to run a startup school for crypto-specific startups and what we’ve learned over the last seven years as best practices in this category.”

Blockchain and crypto in education

In recent months, an array of industry players have rolled out education-related initiatives. Most recently, privacy-centric computing network and app ecosystem Blockstack announced a partnership with skills-based online school Lambda School. Students enrolled in the program can reportedly now learn how to code Blockstack apps and earn monthly revenue through its App Mining Program.

Major global crypto exchange Binance introduced its new developer-focused project, called Binance X. The project will reportedly support developers and their initiatives by assisting in education and collaboration on Binance and connecting them with relevant internal programs that help projects progress at different stages of growth.

In late August, Coinbase shared research in which it used rankings from US News and World Report for its list of the top 50 universities. The analysis showed that 56% of the top 50 universities in the world offer one or more classes on cryptocurrency or blockchain tech.

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