Bitcoin Cash, Stellar Suffer Network Issues; Binance Returns; TD Ameritrade, eBay, Quash Crypto Rumors

Over the past day, the crypto space saw two well-known blockchains - Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Stellar (XLM) - suffer network issues. Also, a week after its worst-ever hack, Binance resumed full functionality of its crypto exchange. We also heard TD Ameritrade and eBay each come out and deny what were fast-spreading rumors they were on the verge of entering the crypto industry.

Bitcoin (BTC) has hovered around the $8,000 mark for much of the past 24-hour period. At the time of writing, BTC is trading at $8024.3 (+1.23%). As for ether (ETH), it spiked to $262.2 (+12.4%), its highest price since September 5, 2018. Additionally, the MVIS CryptoCompare Digital Assets 10 Index is currently tracking at 3,698.1, a 4.9% rise over the past 24 hours.

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Bitcoin Cash, Stellar, Suffer Network Issues

After going through a planned system-wide update, the Bitcoin Cash network stopped processing transactions for various blocks, over what some claimed to be an issue with the Bitcoin ABC client. Eventually, developers released new code to fix a bug that had – until it was patched – resulted in a string of empty transaction blocks. The Bitcoin Cash blockchain has since resumed processing transactions normally.

Similarly, as broken by Tim Swanson via Twitter, the Stellar network also went down yesterday. The downtime lasted “for about 2 hours,” according to the Post Oak Labs director of research, who went on to note that “only those who run validators [would have] noticed it.” In explaining what happened, Swanson tweeted “that a critical mass of nodes went down causing a cascading failure and so the entire network went down but because it isn’t frequently used, few notices.”

Bolstered Binance Resumes Services

Binance announced it was back online after completing a security upgrade prompted by a data breach suffered early last week, which resulted in hackers stealing the equivalent of over $40 million in bitcoin.

Following the upgrade, Binance announced trading would recommence at 13:00 UTC, along with the ability for users to cancel open orders and process deposits. Despite the top-tier crypto exchange stating, “the withdrawal function will be available shortly after trading resumes,” this has yet to occur – at least entirely. According to the below tweet from Binance’s co-founder and chief executive Changpeng ‘CZ’ Zhao, withdrawals have been opened for most, but not all, tokens.

 

 

TD Ameritrade, eBay, Deny Rumours of Crypto Expansion

U.S.-based online brokerage firm TD Ameritrade and e-commerce giant eBay have quashed fast-spreading rumors they each were set to expand into the crypto space. With regards to eBay, a spokesperson told Bloomberg “cryptocurrency is not accepted as a form of payment on the eBay platform, nor is it part of [eBay’s] payments strategy.”

As for TD Ameritrade, the company’s head of digital assets told the news site “currently [TD Ameritrade is] not,” testing bitcoin and litecoin spot trading on its brokerage; referencing a (false) tweet on April 23 by Litecoin creator Charlie Lee.

The pair of now-debunked speculative stories coincided with the significant price run-up that took place in the cryptocurrency market earlier this week. News of eBay’s and TD Ameritrade’s expansions were widely thought to have contributed, at least in part, to the strong upward price movement.

Bitfinex Wants to Offer 100x Leverage For Crypto Derivatives Trading

Michael LaVere
  • Bitfinex will offer 100x leverage trading for cryptocurrency derivatives
  • According to the exchange's CTO, the hedging product is "ready for prime time"

Cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex revealed it wants to offer derivatives products with up to 100x leverage for cryptocurrency traders. 

Hedging On Cryptocurrency Derivatives

Chief Technology Officer Paolo Ardoino told The Block on June 25 that the cryptocurrency exchange was ready to ship a 100x leverage product for certain users. According to the post, the project has been under development for some time and is “now ready for prime time.” 

The product was referenced in last month’s whitepaper published by Bitfinex for its $1 billion private token sale of LEO, stating

“Qualified Bitfinex account holders will be able to trade a new hedging product through a derivatives wallet.”

The whitepaper originally claimed that the new hedging mechanism would be released by the end of June, a timetable that fits with Ardoino’s “ready for prime time” statement. 

Ardoino confirmed that only “verified” customers will be allowed access to the product, given the risks involved in such highly leveraged trades. 

The CTO also took to Twitter to quell user concerns over Bitfinex’s existing 3.3x margin trading. Ardoino explained 100x leverage will be “optional,” and that their current leveraged trading products will be unaffected by the release. 

Big Risk, Big Reward

Bitfinex is looking to compete with rival exchange BitMEX, who already offers 100x leverage through its bitcoin perpetual swap contract. However, Bitfinex claims its product is designed as a legitimate hedging tool for clients, rather than a gambling mechanism. 

Max Boonen, CEO of trading firm B2C2, believes the product will only appeal to retail hedgers, as large investors will shy away from the risks involved in 100x trading. 

According to Boonen, 

“There’s nothing wrong inherently about 100x. But as a commercial hedger you want lower leverage margin. The larger investor wouldn’t want to take the risk of 100X, typically. They don’t want to go balls to the wall.”

The cryptocurrency derivatives market has been heating up. Last week bitcoin-bull Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital announced plans to offer cryptocurrency options contracts.

Binance has also reportedly been exploring futures trading. On June 24, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao tweeted the exchange had executed its first margin liquidation for a BTC short.