Gemini, one of the largest bitcoin exchanges, is planning to unveil a service that will allow institutional investors the ability to place large trades, also known as block trades, in cryptocurrencies. The Gemini Block Trading Service is expected to launch at 9:30 AM Eastern Time on Thursday April 12th.
“Any customer can place a block order that specifies: (i) buy or sell, (ii) quantity, (iii) minimum required fill quantity, (iv) and a price limit (the “Indication of Interest”). Market makers only receive quantity, minimum quantity, and the collar price — they do not receive any other information (i.e., side, price limit, etc.) related to the block order,” according to a post on the Gemini blog.
Gemini was founded by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss. Data from the block trades will be available on Gemini’s feed 10 minutes after trades are completed.
“If a market maker agrees to ‘make a market’ that satisfies the Indication of Interest, the block order will be filled,” said Gemini.
The debut of the Gemini Block Trading Service is potentially well timed and comes as more and more big-name investors are revealing plans to get involved with blockchain and cryptocurrencies. That includes billionaire financier George Soros and the Rockefeller family.
“The service will allow traders to buy or sell large quantities of Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies and will compete with companies that cater to large institutional traders,” reports Bloomberg. “Block-trading companies have recently popped up in Hong Kong, Australia and other markets to meet demand from hedge funds and similar institutional buyers.”
Gemini currently offers trading in biticoin and ethereum, but there has been some speculation the exchange could expand to offer other digital currencies. Currently, Gemini clients can trade the following pairs: BTC/USD, ETH/USD, and ETH/BTC.
“In accordance with our commitment to an equitable, transparent, and rules-based marketplace, block orders will be electronically broadcast to participating market makers simultaneously, ensuring best execution and price discovery for those participating in the program,” said Gemini.
Gemini is licensed as a trust company by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYSDFS). The company previously purposed the creation of the Virtual Currency Association (VCA) as a way of further enhancing regulations for the U.S. virtual currency industry.
Coinbase Will Reward You For Holding Your Crypto
Coinbase is for the first time allowing general users to earn rewards by simply holding cryptocurrency, starting with the Tezos (XTZ) token.
Tezos uses an alternative consensus mechanism to proof-of-work mining – the system built into the largest cryptocurrency by market cap, bitcoin. Called proof-of-stake, the alternative mechanism rewards network users for holding onto its coins and thereby helping protect the network.
Coinbase’s 5 percent estimate is based on Tezos’ last 90 days of staking returns. The firm also notes that there’s an initial holding period of 35–40 days, after which stakers will start to see rewards appear in their accounts every three days.
The exchange has also added Tezos to Coinbase Earn, a program aimed at educating the public about crypto, and will give out XTZ to participants completing educational videos.
Coinbase soft-launched staking for both Tezos and decentralized finance token Maker (MKR) this March on Coinbase Custody.
As Coinbase wrote at the time, Coinbase Custody primarily serves institutional clients holding large amounts of crypto. This latest initiative brings staking to even the smallest of Tezos holdings, however.
Coinbase also recently rolled out 1.25 percent interest on users’ holdings of the dollar-pegged stablecoin USDC.
$19 million worth of Bitcoin (BTC) seized in dark web drug probe
The U.S. government has seized $19 million worth of BTC from a drug trafficker, who allegedly laundered funds through the cryptocurrency on the original dark web marketplace known as “Silk Road.”
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York announced the news on Thursday, saying that the trafficker, Hugh Brian Haney, 60, was arrested near Columbus, Ohio. In 2017 and 2018, Haney allegedly transferred bitcoins representing drug proceeds he had earned through Silk Road to an account held at a company involved in the exchange of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. He claimed falsely that the source of these bitcoins was from mining.
Haney is charged with one count of concealment money laundering and one count of engaging in a financial transaction in a criminally derived property. The former count carries a maximum jail term of 20 years, while the latter a maximum term of 10 years.
Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agent-in-charge Angel M. Melendez said:
“HSI special agents employed blockchain analytics to uncover and seize bitcoins valued at $19 million and usher Haney out of the dark web shadows to face justice in the Southern District of New York.”
“Cryptocurrency is a great idea” – Ron Paul
During a recent “Squawk Alley” interview, Former Republican congressman and presidential candidate, Ron Paul- discusses how he is in favor of cryptocurrencies as well as block change technology. Apparently, he enjoys competing currencies and believes they are a good idea.
He also believes that the governments only have the right to step in to prevent fraud from taking place. In the interview, Paul states that, “the government has a role. And if somebody has a case that there is fraud, I think it should be investigated.” Paul then goes on to state that what he wants to do “is legalize the freedom of choice, absent blatant fraud.” Agreeably so, this is exactly the type of perspective that the crypto world needs.
Throughout the interview, Paul compares crypto to gold in many ways. He points out how both assets are competing with traditional fiat money. He discusses how our government has never been “very tolerant of competition, and they’re not even tolerant with using the Constitution to compete with the fiat dollar. Because gold and silver, you can’t use it.”
This isn’t the first time that Ron Paul has discussed his views on crypto. Back in 2014, the Former Republican Congressman displayed his concerns about the foundation of crypto and Bitcoin. However, he acquired a bearish pro-crypto outlook on the future of fiat money. Paul believes that the dollar won’t last long as “they all self-destruct.” According to Paul, the only competition for the dollar is the euro and yen- which “isn’t any good.”
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