Facebook Acquires Chatbot Maker as It Prepares Calibra's Customer Service

Facebook has reportedly acquired a chatbot maker called Servicefriend, as it’s preparing its customer support for the Calibra cryptocurrency project.

According to TechCrunch, the news was first reported after one of Servicefriend’s investors alerted a local publication to the deal. Facebook then confirmed the acquisition to reporters, in a statement:

We acquire smaller tech companies from time to time. We don’t always discuss our plans.

The social media giant’s goal is to reportedly build a bot or a network of bots that will assist with Calibra’s customer service to help users of Facebook’s upcoming Libra cryptocurrency trust the company with their money. On Calibra’s website it notes it’ll feature 24/7 support in WhatsApp and Messenger for its users.

TechCrunch uses a bot Servicefriend built for Globe Telecom in the Philippines as an example, as it brought the “agent hours” down to under 20 hours per 1,000 customer interactions.

Facebook’s Libra has been met with resistance from regulators throughout the world. Earlier this month the German government passed a blockchain strategy that’ll block parallel cryptocurrencies, including that of the social media giant.

The move came shortly after Germany revealed it was opposed to the launch of Facebook’s Libra in Europe, in a message that echoed the words of France’s Minister of the Economy and Finance Bruno Le Maire, which said it “cannot authorize” the development of the cryptocurrency in the continent.


Featured image by Kon Karampelas on Unsplash.

Top-Tier Crypto Exchanges' Volumes Climb Back to One-Third of Total Market Share

The aggregate trading volume of top-tier cryptocurrency exchanges has increased by 61.2% during the month of January, while the volume of lower-tier crypto exchanges increased 46.4%.

According to CryptoCompare’s January 2020 Exchange Review, the trading volume of top-tier crypto exchanges – those rated AA-B according to its Exchange Benchmark – climbed last month to represent 29.3% of the total trading volume in the space.

The rise is significant as in December, the cryptoasset data provider’s report showed top-tier cryptocurrency exchanges were seeing their trading volumes drop as they lost market share to lower-tier crypto exchanges, those rated C-F. At the time, they represented 26.4% of the cryptocurrency market’s total trading volume.

top tier trading volumesSource: CryptoCompare Exchange Review

The report further found that exchanges that charge taker fees represented 76% of the total volume last month, while those that implement the controversial trans-fee mining (TFM) model represented 22%.

It also found that regulated bitcoin derivatives are still dominated by the CME, whose total trading volumes went up 145.6% since December. Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust product (GBTC) saw its total trading volume rise 131% since December.

As for derivatives trading on cryptocurrency exchanges, in January OKEx represented the majority of daily derivatives volumes, trading $4.96 billion per day and capturing 31.1% of the total market share. Huobi traded $4.29 billion a day for 26.9% of it, while BitMEX traded $3.13 billion for 19.6%.

Pure crypto-to-crypto exchanges notably represented 75.4% of the market’s trading volume, in a similar proportion to the last two months. The stablecoin space, per the report, is still dominated by Tether’s USDT, as it still represents 94% of the total Bitcoin trading volume into the top four stablecoins.

Decentralized Exchanges Lose Trading Volume

CryptoCompare’s report also addresses decentralized cryptocurrency exchanges, noting IDEX was the largest one in January. It traded a total of $10 million as its trading volume went up 25.4%, and it was followed by Switcheo and Bitsquare. While these platforms’ volumes went up, DEXs as a whole have been losing volume.

dex CHARTSource: CryptoCompare Exchange Review

According to the report they have diminished 88% since early 2019 to now represent a small fraction of the global spot exchange volume. In January, decentralized trading platform traded $17.8 million in total, representing 0.003% of the market. In January 2019, for comparison, they traded $148 million.

Featured image via Unsplash.