Binance Preparing to Finally Offer BitMEX Some Real Competition in Crypto Futures Trading

Earlier today (July 2), at the second annual Asia Blockchain Summit (in Taipei, Taiwan), Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (aka "CZ") announced that his firm "will be launching a futures platform very soon."

During his keynote speech, CZ talked about Binance's journey from the launch of its centralized spot exchange on 14 July 2017 to the launch of a Bitcoin-backed BEP32 token (called BTCB) on its native blockchain (Binance Chain):

CZ's Talk in Taipei - July 2019 - Slide 1.jpg

More importantly, toward the end of his talk, CZ presented a screenshot showing the trading interface for Binance's upcoming futures trading platform:

Binance Futures Screenshot - July 2019.jpeg

As for when this platform will be launched, CZ said:

Binance will be launching a futures platform very soon. I don’t have the exact date yet. The simulation test version will be live in a few weeks.

Based on what we can see in this slide, what CZ said, and what a Binance spokesperson told Coindesk, here is what we know so far:

  • Initially, there will be support for only Bitcoin (BTC-USDT).
  • Leverage will initially be up to 20X.
  • Eventually, support will be offered for higher leverage as well as more pairs. 
  • The test version of "Binance Futures" will be launched "about a week" after margin trading has been rolled out to all Binance users (this rollout is expected to be complete by around July 11).

Over on Crypto Twitter, this is what Anthony Pompliano (aka "Pomp"), Co-foun,er & Partner at Morgan Creek Digital Assets, had to say:

Also, crypto analyst/trader Luke Martin, made the following interesting observation:

Tether Gold (XAU₮): A New Tokenized Gold Product Built on Ethereum and TRON

Siamak Masnavi

On Thursday (January 23), Tether launched a new product called Tether Gold (XAUt), which is a crypto token -- available as an ERC-20 token on the Ethereum blockchain and as a TRC20 token on the TRON blockchain -- representing "ownership of one troy fine ounce of physical gold on a specific gold bar" held in a Swiss vault. 

Paolo Ardoino, CTO at Tether, had this to say:

There is growing demand for digital exposure to physical gold, making the launch of Tether Gold a timely innovation in the crypto ecosystem. Tether Gold provides the combined benefits of both physical and digital assets, removing the drawbacks of holding gold in more traditional ways, such as high storage costs and restricted access.

The XAUt token "can be transferred to any on-chain address from the purchasers' Tether wallet where it is issued after purchase." A particular gold bar(s) "will be associated with each on-chain address where Tether Gold is held."

The allocated gold is "identifiable with a unique serial number, purity and weight" and XAUt token holders are able to verify "the details of the gold bars associated with their address" via the Tether Gold product page on the Tether website. 

Tether Good Lookup.png

Tether Gold is a cryptoasset issued/sold by TG Commodities Limited (a UK company incorporated in December 1998). Each XAUt token represents "one troy fine ounce of gold on a London Good Delivery gold bar" and may be "fractionalized up to six decimal places (i.e. in increments as small as 0.000001 troy fine ounce)." 

Here are a few more important things you should know about Tether Gold:

  • You need a verified account with TG Commodities Limited if you want to buy XAUt directly from its issuer. The minimum purchase amount is 50 XAUt (worth approximately $78,250 as of 23 January 2020). The purchase price must be paid in USD.
  • XAUt tokens can be traded on supported exchanges (such as Bitfinex) "in fractions as small as the exchanges permit.", but you do need to pay 
  • There are no custody fees, but you do need to pay "a one-time 25 basis point fee at the time you purchase an XAUt from TG Commodities Limited and certain additional fees on redemption." 
  • To redeem Tether Gold tokens, you need a verified account with TG Commodities Limited. You must have at least "one full bar of gold worth of tokens" in order to use the redemption service. The physical gold can be delivered to either somewhere in Switzerland or the XAUt token holder can ask TG Commodities Limited to sell their physical gold and receive USD from the proceeds of the sale. 

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