Binance to Add Support for Cosmos (ATOM) for 'Free' as It's 'Good Tech'

Malta-based digital asset exchange Binance has recently announced that it will list a new cryptocurrency known as Cosmos (ATOM).

Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange in terms of trading volume, is planning to add support for Cosmos’ native crypto token, ATOM, as the company’s CEO, Changpeng Zhao (“CZ”), believes the project is based on “good” or sound technology.

Cosmos’ ATOM To Be Listed On Binance

According to the exchange operator’s announcement, Binance intends to list the ATOM token tomorrow(April 29, 2019) “at 4:00 AM (UTC).” Users will be able to trade ATOM tokens in the following trading pairs: ATOM/BNB, ATOM/BTC, and ATOM/USDT, Binance’s management revealed.

Cosmos, a distributed ledger technology (DLT)-enabled platform which aims to enable communication between separate and independent blockchain networks, was launched recently. Since Cosmos’ mainnet went live, there has already been over $300 million staked on the proof-of-stake (PoS)-powered network.

In addition to Binance adding support for Cosmos’ ATOM token, US-based crypto exchange Kraken, crpyot exchange Poloniex, and Malta-based exchange OKEx have also enabled trading with ATOM.

Cosmos’ Community Approves First Official “Transfer Of Atoms”

As CryptoGlobe reported on April 23, 2019, the developers of Cosmos reached a key milestone that involves the beginning of “Phase II,” which is essentially a roadmap for the blockchain interoperability platform’s next phase of development. This, after Cosmos’ community members approved the platform’s first official “transfer of ATOMS.”

According to available data, Cosmos currently has 100 validators securing its network, out of a total of 111 eligible (or qualified) validators. Other data related to Cosmos shows that its blockchain network has relatively fast block times of around 6-7 seconds.

Cosmos Governance Has Seen Very “High Voting Participation”

Cosmos’ governance, which is based on the PoS model, has reportedly experienced “impressively high voting participation rates in the proposals leading up to activating Phase II, with participation exceeding the minimum 40% quorum needed to pass each proposal.”

Cosmos, which is also referred to as the “Internet of Blockchains,” features a “built-in on-chain governance system” that lets “delegators and validators” cast their vote on “proposals to signal future changes to the [Cosmos] Hub.” As noted by Cosmos’ development team:

Once specific changes are approved by governance, Cosmos Hub validators can upgrade their software accordingly in order to enable new features.

CME Looks to Double Bitcoin Futures Limit, but Is This Wise?

The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) has a new request for its regulator, as it looks to double open position limits on bitcoin futures contracts in the face of significant interest.

Nasdaq reports that the CME has already petitioned its regulatory body, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CTFC), asking for an increase from 1000 contracts per spot month to 2000 per investor. Each contract represents five BTC, so essentially, at its peak,  a single investor's total position may edge towards a monumental 10,000 BTC.

This is in direct response to the contract's recent growth which is currently depicting record levels of activity, citing $370 million being traded per day. A spokesperson for the CME noted that the idea to increase limits was proposed on the continued maturity of the market:

Based on the significant growth and acceptance of our financially-settled CME Bitcoin futures markets, as well as our analysis of the underlying bitcoin market.

However, as Nasdaq writes the increase in the upper limit of positions is somewhat superfluous. As of July, the number of open interest contracts reached an all-time high of just 6100; given this, it seems the CME may be future-proofing.

Open to Manipulation?

However, concerns remain about the limit increase, as without them, the potential for manipulation rises; often to the detriment to the underlying asset. Although, as per the CTFC website, the threat of manipulation from bitcoin futures contracts is "low":

In general, position limits are not needed for markets where the threat of market manipulation is non-existent or very low.

Instead, Nasdaq posited that this might point to a lessening on the CTFC's strict rule of bitcoin; as well as a maturing of the market in general.

Nevertheless, some believe the CME's bitcoin futures contracts do pose a significant threat to the price of BTC; with some suggesting that blatant manipulation continues unchecked within the market.

As reported, there seems to be a correlation between the expiry dates of CME bitcoin futures contracts and a lull in the price point of BTC. In several instances, a significant drop in bitcoin's price has coincided with a closure from the CME. The most recent example of this occurred on Labor Day, September 2, when bitcoin rose an extraordinary 8% shortly after the CME shut.

Crypto analyst, Alex Kruger, highlighted this, noting the large gaps which formed on the CME chart, from the price discrepancy before and after closing.

This has become a pretty accepted practice within the market. Kruger has even gone to the lengths of compiling statistics each time this phenomenon transpired:

On these occasions, bitcoin cited an average 4.6% price discrepancy following the close of the CME.

Whether this is a coincidence or the market is indeed being actively manipulated is as yet unclear. Either way, with the increase of these limits it might be only a matter of time until we know for sure.

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