HTC's Bitcoin Smartphone; BitMEX Enjoys Trading Volume Record; Bitfinex Privately Raises $1 Billion

The crypto news certainly didn't stop over the weekend. One of the most notable headlines was from HTC, announcing it will soon release the world's first smartphone with built-in capabilities of verifying transaction on the Bitcoin network. BitMEX celebrated a record-breaking $10 billion in daily bitcoin volume, while Bitfinex announced it had sold all one billion of its LEO tokens in a private token sale.

Bitcoin (BTC) finally retreated from its recent meteoric rise to $7,500. Over the past 24 hours, BTC has dipped 0.31% to $7,153.7. As for ether (ETH), it has risen slightly by 0.58% to $191.2. Finally, the MVIS CryptoCompare Digital Assets 10 Index is currently tracking at 3,199.6, a 0.40% jump across the past 24 hours. (All pricing data is recorded at the ime of writing.)

HTC Unveils Blockchain Phone with Bitcoin Full Node Support

Taiwanese electronics manufacturing giant HTC will soon be releasing the EXODUS 1s, a new smartphone that will feature the ability to run a full Bitcoin node. Announced at the Magical Crypto Conference in New York by decentralized chief officer Phil Chen, the EXODUS 1s promises to be the world’s first smartphone to have built-in capabilities of verifying transactions on the Bitcoin network. HTC is reportedly aiming to release the ground-breaking device in the third quarter.

BitMEX Celebrates $10 Billion Daily Bitcoin Volume Record

Daily bitcoin volume on BitMEX surpassed $10 billion for the first time ever on Sunday, according to Arthur Hayes, co-founder and chief executive of the HDR Global Trading-owned cryptocurrency derivatives trading platform. Making BitMEX’s milestone all the more notable was the fact it happened over a weekend; two days the cryptocurrency market generally records relatively low trading volume.

Bitfinex Sells $1 Billion in LEO Tokens

It has taken only ten days for Bitfinex to successfully raise $1 billion from the private sale of its native LEO token, according to CTO Paolo Ardoino, who shared the below tweet early on Monday morning (PT). Ardoino’s announcement confirms news shared several days ago by Dong Zhao, a Bitfinex shareholder who reportedly posted a message on WeChat stating the LEO token sale had received enough commitments to meet its $1 billion fundraising target.

The controversial crypto exchange conducted the token sale in order to cover the $850 million currently frozen in several accounts controlled by payment processing company, Crypto Capital. As detailed in Bitfinex’s recently published whitepaper, with the LEO token sale’s hard cap reached in the private sale – which ended on May 11 – Bitfinex will not proceed with a public sale.

“Private companies, giants in our industry and outside, made investments for >100m each.” Ardoino shared in another tweet on Monday, before also adding that “a legion of inside and outside users made investments for >1m each.”

When asked on Twitter what he meant by ">100m," the Bitfinex CTO clarified that investors had the option of purchasing LEO tokens with tether (USDt) or a USDt equivalent, such as the U.S. dollar. "I'm saying that people also could invest via dollars sending to Bitfinex, not just USDt. They could also sell crypto for either USDt or USD to participate to LEO sale," Ardoino went on to highlight, before admitting "I think it has been misleading (I apologize for that) using only [the] USDt term."

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.