Coinfloor Becomes First Exchange To Get Gibraltar License

The oldest Bitcoin exchange in the United Kingdom has become the first one to secure a license to operate in Gibraltar.

According to the Financial Times, Coinfloor is set to become formally regulated as part of the jurisdiction’s new blockchain-specific rules for fintech companies.

The British Overseas Territory introduced their blockchain framework at the start of the year in an endeavor to attract more crypto-related companies.

Focusing On Quality Over Quantity

Coinfloor Chief Executive Obi Nwosu said the firm had to show the ability to conform to “nine principals” in order to secure a license.

As part of the process, Coinfloor was required to prove it maintains adequate custody, cybersecurity, anti-money laundering, and know-your-customer procedures.

Nwosu told the Financial Times the company was impressed about the thoughtfulness and consideration behind the legislation. He said it was clear regulators “are focusing in on quality over quantity.”

At the moment Coinfloor has three team members in Gibraltar.

When asked about recent company layoffs in the midst of a bear market, Nwosu explained how personnel changes are “a natural part of the market cycle, maintaining that Coinfloor was restructuring “just to focus on our core,” and did not have an exact number of jobs that would be cut.

Hedging Against Brexit?

The decision by Gibraltar to lay out blockchain and crypto-specific rules emulates a growing number of other jurisdictions, such as Malta, who are trying to attract attention.

Crypto-friendly legislation has also been passed in other tax-havens such as Liechtenstein and Bermuda. 

Some think however, that Gibraltar could be at a disadvantage when it comes to attracting talent due to Brexit uncertainty, as it is far from clear how it will be involved in the process.

The  Gibraltar Chronicle nonetheless reported on October 15th how an agreement for an “orderly withdrawal from the European Union” was allegedly almost ready.

On the same day, the Spanish Foreign Minister told reporters how he did not think “Gibraltar is a problem,” according to the Chronicle. 

Binance Raises Eyebrows After Confirming Coinmarketcap Acquisition

Binance Holdings Ltd., the firm behind leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance, has confirmed the acquisition of cryptoasset tracking platform CoinMarketCap.

In a blog post, Binance confirmed the acquisition and claimed CoinMaketCap “stays committed” to providing quality cryptocurrency data to its users “while benefiting from Binance’s expertise, resources and scale.” It added CoinMarketCap has “maintained independence from external stakeholders since its inception” and will keep being an independent business entity.

In the post, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao was quoted as saying CoinMarketCap is the “landing page of crypto.” The acquisition was first reported on by TheBlock, which wrote the platform could be changing hands for as much as $400 million in cash and stock.

While Binance’s BNB token and the Binance exchange are listed on the platform, the post responded to users’ concerns surrounding the acquisition writing:

CoinMarketCap and Binance are separate entities that maintain a strict policy of independence from one another: Binance has no bearing on CoinMarketCap rankings, while CoinMarketCap has no influence over Binance’s operations.

As CryptoGlobe reported, users expressed concern surrounding CoinMarketCap’s data after the acquisition was first reported, as managing the platform could be very beneficial for Binance, which could use it as a funnel to gain new users.

Speaking to Bloomberg News Nic Carter, co-founder of Coin Metrics, noted that Binance could also set its platform as the preferred exchange by topping the rankings by default.  Carter added:

While the move may cause some to question CMC’s [CoinMarketCap’s] ability to remain a neutral data provider, it could potentially be very productive for Binance.

Binance’s blog post details CoinMarketCap’s founder Brandon Chez is stepping down as CEO to focus on his family, while current Chief Strategy Officer Carylyne Chain has been named interim CEO.

The cryptocurrency exchange recently raised users’ ire after participating in what was dubbed a hostile takeover of the STEEM blockchain, later on removing the vote. CoinMarketCap’s data itself has also been heavily criticized, with one filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission from Bitwise Asset Management arguing 95% of the trading volume it reports is fake or non-economical in nature.

Cryptocurrency exchanges have been known to use schemes that help boost their trading volumes – in some cases allegedly going as far as wash trading – to boost their rankings on CoinMarketCap and gain visibility.

Addressing the issue Zhao noted it wasn’t an easy problem to fix, adding that almost everything “requires some kind of judgement or algorithm.” While the acquisition comes at a time in which the economy has been suffering because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Market volatility has, however, been good for crypto exchanges. Zhao revealed Binance’s traffic increased about five times over the past few weeks, while Coinbase had already revealed its volumes grew after the March 12-13 market crash.

Featured image by David McBee from Pexels