Digital Currency News Update: Did Ripple Bribe Coinbase?

Written by Alexandra Perry
Posted April 11, 2018 at 8:00PM

In the digital currency world, there never seems to be a dull moment.

This past week was no exception.

Digital assets and blockchain tech have been headlines around the globe, and we're going to dig deeper into these developing stories in this week's digital currency news update.

Let's get started with the story that everyone is talking about.

Did Ripple Actually Bribe Coinbase and Gemini?

Based on the word of four anonymous individuals close to the matter, the answer is yes: Ripple Labs did try to financially incentivize Gemini and Coinbase to add XRP. Here are the details of the still-developing story.

On April 4th, Bloomberg reported that Ripple offered financial incentives to leading software wallets and digital currency exchanges Coinbase and Gemini. In 2017, a Ripple executive asked whether or not a $1 million cash payment would persuade Gemini to list the XRP token in its third quarter. When this didn't work, Ripple explored other avenues, even offering to cover costs related to adding the token.

Ripple had preliminary talks with Coinbase in the fall of 2017. In these talks, Ripple said it was willing to loan Coinbase over $100 million worth of XRP to kick-start XRP trading on the platform. That loan could be paid back in either XRP or dollars, allowing Coinbase to capitalize on any increase in XRP's value.

According to sources, both Gemini and Coinbase have declined proposals.

That said, the lack of XRP on two of the world's leading digital currency exchanges hasn't gone unnoticed. To many investors, the lack of XRP on a major exchange undermines the token’s legitimacy.

Beyond that, it allows fewer traditional investors access to the XRP token since investors would have to buy Bitcoin or Ether and move it onto a secondary exchange in order to get XRP.

We will keep investors updated as the story develops.

China Doubles Down on Blockchain Innovation

On April 9, 2018, CoinDesk reported that new Chinese blockchain fund Xiong'An Global Blockchain Innovation Fund now has over $1.6 billion to invest in innovative blockchain startups, with 30% of that sum coming from either the city or the government.

The announcement was made on Monday at the opening ceremony of a new Blockchain Industrial Park. The industrial park, which is based in Hangzhou, will serve as an incubation center for promising blockchain startups.

Hangzhou is already famous in China for innovation. It's also the home of many of China's biggest technology companies, including globally known Alibaba.

The Xiong'An Global Blockchain Innovation Fund was launched by Hangzhou-based venture capital firm Tunian Investment, and it will receive over $400 million in funding from the Hangzhou city and government.

The fund marks China's latest step into the blockchain space and helps establish it as a potential blockchain leader in the years to come.

Gemini Cleared for Block Trading

On Monday, April 10th, cryptocurrency exchange Gemini announced that it would roll out block trading for both Bitcoin and Ether on Thursday, April 12th. And this has investors asking one big question: What is block trading?

Put simply, block trading will allow users to make high-volume trades. These trades, however, will not show up in the exchange's order book until they've been filled. A minimum of 10 bitcoin or 100 ether has been set for each block trade. This prevents smaller traders from using the feature.

Of course, this isn't an entirely unique idea. Block trades also operate under another name: "dark pools."

In essence, it will create an "additional mechanism to source liquidity when trading in greater size."

Gemini stated in its blog post:

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.

Golem is Live

Long considered one of the best projects to be developed on the Ethereum platform, Golem has been drawing investor attention for well over two years.

In 2016, the project sold all of its GNT tokens in 20 minutes, raising over 820,000 ETH to fund development.

Now, Golem was met with fanfare for quite a few reasons. For starters, Golem was one of the first major projects to be launched on the Ethereum blockchain. Beyond that, Golem had an incredible mission. In theory, the platform will allow users to rent their unused computing power to their peers or even to corporations. This frees individuals to profit on the unused aspects of their technology, decentralizing the internet and removing powers from giants. It's enough to have any techie salivating.

That said, the Golem team has put in a great degree of work to make that project a reality. But on April 10th, after three years and over 13 software updates, the Golem project was pushed live on the Ethereum blockchain.

This is a major victory for the Golem team and its supporters, but it does not mean the project is complete. Rather, this launch was a critical step in proving that a concept like Golem could be supported on the Ethereum network.

If this plays out well for the Golem team, then it will mean big things for Ethereum as well.

To learn more about Golem, make sure to check out our feature in the Coin Index.

Bittrex Opens the Doors to New Customers

In December 2017, popular digital currency exchange Bittrex closed the doors on new customers. The Bittrex team made this choice so it could grow and recruit talent, improving the platform for future users while maintaining the integrity of existing accounts.

From December to March, new users were placed on a waiting list.

But now it would seem that the long wait is over. Bittrex CEO Bill Shihara informed CoinDesk that Bittrex will once again be allowing customers to create new accounts.

Shihara stated, "After diligently working to improve our infrastructure and upgrade our website, we're pleased to announce registration for new users resumed today."

Today the Bittrex team includes former Amazon employees and former members of the U.S. Department of Justice and Homeland Security.

That's it for this week's digital currency news update. Keep an eye out for your Monday mailing of Token Authority, where our team plans to highlight some innovative companies in the blockchain energy space.

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