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Crypto exchange Bitfinex testing new AML compliance tool

Launched in production in 2020, Notabene’s Travel Rule solution now processes transactions between 50 crypto exchanges.

Cryptocurrency exchanges Bitfinex is preparing to test out a new Anti-Money Laundering (AML) tool on its platform.

The firm announced Wednesday that it will be testing a new solution designed for complying with the “Travel Rule,” an AML/Counter Financing of Terrorism regulation for financial institutions introduced by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in 2019.

Bitfinex partnered with compliance startup Notabene to implement its software-as-a-service solution to identify virtual asset accounts, track cross-border transactions and comply with other broad obligations of Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs). The integration will supposedly allow the firm to ensure privacy while collecting and managing Travel Rule-related data.

According to the announcement, the solution allows Bitfinex to share, send and receive counterparty information alongside blockchain transactions to any counterparties using the same infrastructure. Bitfinex’s sister company Tether, which operates the world’s largest stablecoin Tether (USDT), has also begun using Notabene's solution.

Paolo Ardoino, chief technology officer at Bitfinex and Tether, said that Bitfinex has “always taken a leading role in meeting new global regulatory requirements.” 

Notabene CEO Pelle Braendgaard told Cointelegraph that the firm launched its travel rule solution in August 2020. The service is currently processing transactions between at least 50 different exchanges, including Paxful, Luno, BitSo, OnChain Custodian and others.

Notabene has been running tests across many jurisdictions, including a pilot with the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Abu Dhabi Global Market in early October.

“With this updated Guidance, FATF is increasing the urgency yet also acknowledging the real-world issues VASPs and Travel Rule service providers like us have pointed out to them over the last year. They are now recommending that regulators be flexible during the initial rollout,” Braendgaard said.

Related: Bank of Spain issues registration guidelines for crypto services

Braendgaard added that Travel Rule compliance is growing rapidly every quarter, and the firm expects major VASPs to comply by the first or the second quarter of 2022.

Since releasing the crypto Travel Rule more than two years ago, the FATF has continued working on the framework to improve it and fit the growing cryptocurrency industry. In February, the authority issued a review document to adapt its Travel Rule guidance for stablecoins and crypto peer-to-peer transactions.

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Actor Matt Damon plugs Crypto​.com in global TV spot

The actor said the platform “shares [his] commitment to empowering people around the globe with the tools needed to take control of their futures.”

Cryptocurrency exchange Crypto.com is rolling out a new ad featuring Hollywood star Matt Damon, which it plans to introduce to consumers worldwide.

The “fortune favors the brave” ad, starring Damon amid a digital landscape of historic figures, including the Wright brothers and Sir Edmund Hillary, is aimed at reaching a global audience of potential crypto users and investors. According to Crypto.com, the ad will appear on billboards and in television spots around the world and be included in its portfolio of partnerships with major sports franchises and organizations.

The announcement comes the same week Crypto.com donated $1 million to Water.org, a clean water initiative co-founded by Damon and Gary White in 2009. The actor said the platform “shares [his] commitment to empowering people around the globe with the tools needed to take control of their futures.”

Still shot of Matt Damon in the Crypto.com TV spot

Damon, a winner of an Academy Award and two Global Globes, is arguably one of the biggest celebrities to throw his name behind a cryptocurrency exchange. Cointelegraph reported in September that almost half of Americans in a survey of 2,200 people said they would consider investing in a digital asset if it were endorsed by a celebrity. Singer Mariah Carey announced on Oct. 19 that she would be partnering with crypto exchange Gemini to boost Bitcoin (BTC) adoption.

Related: Celebs and crypto in 2020: Blockchain cities, Bitcoin newbies and Twitter trolling

Founded in 2016, Crypto.com has quickly emerged as one of the fastest growing platforms in the digital asset space. The exchange started by offering customers a crypto-focused Visa card that pays out rewards for staking its native Crypto.com Coin (CRO). Most recently, the company expanded its insurance program to cover up to $750 million for its 10 million users, reflecting heightened consumer protection standards.

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Voyager Digital will be crypto brokerage partner for Dallas Mavericks

Under owner Mark Cuban, the basketball franchise was one of the first in the NBA to accept crypto payments for tickets and merchandise.

Crypto trading platform Voyager Digital has inked a deal with the Dallas Mavericks basketball team aiming to make crypto more accessible through fan engagement and other educational programs.

In an Oct. 27 announcement, Voyager Digital said it would become the Mavs first cryptocurrency brokerage and international partner in a five-year deal. The trading platform will also have naming rights over the franchise’s Mavs Gaming Hub in Dallas, a venue for the Mavs NBA 2K League team.

"This partnership gives us the opportunity to educate people all over the world on ways to use crypto in their everyday lives,” said Voyager Digital co-founder and CEO Steve Ehrlich. “We want to help people learn alternate ways to grow their wealth to achieve true financial freedom and build intergenerational wealth through crypto. We found a great partner to do this with in the Mavs and their owner, Mark Cuban, who is already deeply involved in the space."

Under owner Mark Cuban, the basketball franchise was one of the first in the NBA to accept crypto payments for tickets and merchandise. The Mavs first started accepting Bitcoin (BTC) in 2019, and this year — perhaps due to Cuban being a major Dogecoin (DOGE) proponent — expanded to include the meme-based token.

Related: Coinbase announces multiyear partnership with NBA and WNBA

Many crypto companies and platforms have formed partnerships with sports organizations across the globe as the space expands and seemingly becomes more profitable as a sponsor. Crypto derivatives exchange FTX announced it had become the official sponsor of Major League Baseball in June and previously struck a deal to name the Miami Heat’s home stadium the FTX Arena until 2040.

The announcement comes following the Mavs kicking off the 2021–2022 season on Oct. 6.

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Cosmos-based DEX Osmosis raises $21M in from a consortium of investors

Osmosis joins investment firm Paradigm’s other DeFi portfolio members such as Maker, Synthetic, Uniswap, Optimism, FTX, Coinbase, and BlockFi.

Osmosis, a decentralized exchange, or DEX, on the Cosmos blockchain, raised $21 million dollars in a token sale led by VC fund Paradigm along with a consortium of investors including Robot Ventures, Nascent, Ethereal, and Figment.

Osmosis allows developers to build customized Automated Market Makers, or AMMs, with sovereign liquidity pools. The DEX uses a native token called OSMO for governance and staking, and currently contains a total of $544 Million.

The project alleges to provide superfluid staking and instant block confirmation. Superfluid staking lets liquidity holders stake their LP tokens to earn pro rata staking rewards in OSMO. This gives token holders the ability to compound staking and liquidity yields while keeping the network secure. Instant block confirmations create Miner-Extractable-Value, or MEV resistance, which keeps traders from cherry-picking transactions on the network.

Paradigm, an investment firm known for its focus on DEX platforms, brings Osmosis into its DEX portfolio alongside Maker, Synthetic, Uniswap, Optimism, FTX, Coinbase, and BlockFi. The company’s stake in Osmosis is its first investment into the Cosmos ecosystem. All of its other holdings have been in Ethereum-based DEX platforms.

"Osmosis is our first AMM investment outside of the Ethereum ecosystem. The Osmosis contributors are a world-class team of engineers, product innovators, and operators bringing the right product to market at exactly the right time," stated Charlie Noyes, investment partner at Paradigm:

"The launch of IBC, Cosmos' cross-chain interoperability protocol, kicked off a Cambrian explosion of developer activity and experimentation. Osmosis is the natural center of gravity for liquidity in Cosmos' emerging Defi ecosystem."

The platform’s successful fundraise follows a rise in traffic growth that has occurred on the Cosmos network since the launch of its new Inter Blockchain Communication Protocol in March. The new protocol allows for digital assets to be transferred between chains in the network. In the last month, Osmosis has had the largest number of token transfers through the IBC protocol in the last month.

The main design concept behind the Cosmos blockchain was to create an “Internet of Blockchains,” according to the project’s whitepaper. The Cosmos Network is made up of its main chain called the Cosmos Hub which is the backbone to a network of decentralized, interconnected blockchains which includes the Binance Smart Chain.

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Shiba Inu fetches a new ATH — 3 reasons why SHIB keeps jumping higher

SHIB keeps hitting new all-time highs, but what's really behind the altcoin's moon mission?

Meme coins burst onto the scene in early 2021 and helped kickstart the bull market after Dogecoin (DOGE) rallied above $0.01 to new highs while being shilled by the likes of Elon Musk and Mark Cuban.

Shortly afterwards, Dogecoin clones and other canine-themed tokens popped up to catch the wave of bullish momentum and Shiba Inu (SHIB) was one of the projects that quickly caught wind and sailed higher. 

Now that Bitcoin has hit a new all-time high again, it appears that the meme tokens are ready to continue their run and this time they're not waiting for the big-name influencers to get on board. In the last two weeks, SHIB has rocketed to new highs and befuddled cryptocurrency traders are scratching their heads as to what the exact cause is.

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView shows that since trading at a low of $0.0000069 on Oct. 1, the price of SHIB has scorched 914% higher to a new record high at $0.0000699 on Oct. 27 as its 24-hour trading volume surged 137% to $24.67 billion.

SHIB/USD 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

Three reasons for the surging price and trading volume for Shiba Inu include its listing on multiple exchanges, the launch of its own line of Shiboshi nonfungible tokens (NFT) and SHIB's surging open interest on derivative exchanges.

Exchange listings increase access to SHIB

One of the biggest factors helping to lift the price of SHIB over the past month has been the increase in user access to the token thanks to its listing on multiple cryptocurrency exchanges.

Some of the new listings for SHIB and the protocol's LEASH token include the BitKan exchange, AOFEX, StealthEx and CoinFlex. Change Now also launched a “flip DOGE for SHIB campaign” to celebrate its listing of LEASH.

The ecosystem also got a bump in momentum after it was announced that a partnership with the crypto payment provider NOWPayments made it so that SHIB and LEASH can be accepted as a form of payment, used for donations and is available to issue salaries in crypto via the mass payment feature.

As an added deflationary feature, 3% of the profit NOWPayments receives from all SHIB transactions will be burned.

Shiboshi NFTs

A second reason for the building strength of Shiba Inu was the launch of its own line of NFTs known as Shiboshi’s.

NFTs continue to be one of the most popular sectors of the cryptocurrency ecosystem and is a reliable way for projects to increase their community interaction and support.

The Shiboshi drop included 10,000 individual NFTs and community members had 24 hours to purchase them using the protocol’s LEASH token.

All Shiboshi’s have now been minted and have been listed on the OpenSea NFT marketplace.

Related: Shiba Inu could surpass Dogecoin after a 700% SHIB price rally in October

Surging open interest

A third reason for the rising strength of SHIB has been the surge in futures open interest (OI) on multiple exchanges including OKEx, FTX and Huobi.

Exchange futures open interest for SHIB. Source: Bybt

As seen in the chart above, the OI for SHIB has surged from $15.7 million on Oct. 3 to a record $178.95 million on Oct. 27 as the price of SHIB spiked to a new all-time high.

According to markets analyst and Cointelegraph contributor Marcel Pechman, “the open interest seems to be following the price pump instead of an actual increase.”

What is interesting to note is that while it’s “usually expected during bull runs for sellers to have their position liquidated,” that did not happen in this recent run-up which means traders either “doubled the short by adding more margin,” which Pechman sees as unlikely, or “those are market makers who are fully hedged and don’t care about the price.”

Pechman said,

“Longs are in huge profit, so it's easier for them to keep buying spot and pushing the price up. There seem to be no 'real' short-sellers, only market makers. Had there been huge liquidations, the open interest would have gone down.”

VORTECS™ data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro began to detect a bullish outlook for SHIB on Oct. 24, prior to the recent price rise.

The VORTECS™ Score, exclusive to Cointelegraph, is an algorithmic comparison of historical and current market conditions derived from a combination of data points including market sentiment, trading volume, recent price movements and Twitter activity.

VORTECS™ Score (green) vs. SHIB price. Source: Cointelegraph Markets Pro

As seen in the chart above, the VORTECS™ Score for SHIB began to pick up on Oct. 23 and climbed into the dark green zone for a high of 89 on Oct. 24, around seven hours before the price increased 119% over the next three days.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

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Privacy or policy? Why Facebook’s crypto wallet, Novi, is facing resistance

Facebook’s Novi wallet lets users send and receive a dollar-pegged stablecoin, but not hold it.

The stablecoin market has grown exponentially over the last few months due to the numerous advantages blockchain-based versions of fiat currencies have. But, when Facebook launched its cryptocurrency wallet Novi using Paxos’ stablecoin, some United States senators were quick to oppose it. Are they concerned about user data or monetary sovereignty?

The social media giant which, according to its Q2 2021 report, has 2.9 billion monthly active users across all of its platforms, tapped Coinbase and Paxos for its Novi digital wallet project that kicked off its testing phase in the U.S. and Guatemala on Oct. 19.

The pilot program allows users in both countries to download the Novi digital wallet app for iOS or Android devices and fund their accounts with a debit card. The wallet allows them to send and receive Pax dollars (USDP), which are dollar-pegged stablecoins issued by Paxos.

Novi customer funds will be custodied with Coinbase, which manages over $180 billion in assets. A Facebook spokesperson told Cointelegraph that the pilot phase allows the company to evaluate the wallet’s core functions and showcase operational capabilities. 

Additionally, the spokesperson said that the company hasn’t dropped support for the permissionless payment system it’s developing called the Diem network and is, instead, waiting for a green light from Washington. After receiving regulatory approval, Facebook plans to launch Novi with Diem.

Bringing stablecoins to the masses

Facebook’s digital wallet Novi and its use of a stablecoin custodied by a central entity may go against the cryptocurrency space’s ethos of decentralization and self-sovereignty but could help move blockchain technology to the back-end, potentially allowing billions of people to use it every day without noticing.

Speaking to Cointelegraph, Justin Hartzman, CEO of Toronto-based cryptocurrency exchange CoinSmart, said he believes the launch of Novi is “definitely a major step towards mainstream adoption” of cryptocurrencies, given Facebook’s massive user base.

Hartzman said that on the negative side of Novi’s launch, users won’t be holding their own coins directly, but will instead “keep track of your USDP balances while they are held in custody by Coinbase.”

Sergey Zhdanov, chief operating officer of United Kingdom-based cryptocurrency exchange EXMO, echoed Hartzman’s sentiment on the potential advantages of the Novi project, pointing out that stablecoins today are the “main bridge between traditional finance and the cryptocurrency market.” Zhdanov told Cointelegraph:

“Not to mention the fact that stablecoins are often the only possible option for receiving and sending money in countries with an undeveloped banking system.”

Zhdanov said that stablecoins can become the foundation for “faster and cheaper payments, making it easier for people to pay for goods or store their money.” This will only happen, however, if stablecoins are not “stifled by overly strong regulation.”

Regulators have notably cracked down on Facebook’s original cryptocurrency ambitions, which involved launching a coin backed by a basket of fiat currencies. The project ended up changing course over a year after it was originally announced, complete with a rebrand from Libra to Diem.

Regulatory woes

Soon after Facebook launched its Novi wallet pilot, five senators called for the immediate closure of the cryptocurrency wallet. In a letter sent to Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder and CEO, the five senators wrote that given the “scope of the scandals surrounding” the company, they were voicing their “strongest opposition to Facebook’s revived effort to launch a cryptocurrency and digital wallet.”

The letter came from the office of Senator Brian Schatz and was co-signed by senators Tina Smith, Richard Blumenthal, Sherrod Brown — who also chairs the Banking Committee — and Elizabeth Warren. 

In response, Diem told regulators it’s an independent organization, stating, “Diem is not Facebook. We are an independent organization, and Facebook’s Novi is just one of more than two dozen members of the Diem Association. Novi’s pilot with Paxos is unrelated to Diem.”

To Zhdanov, Facebook may not have any other choice but to “accept the request and disconnect the wallet.” He said that global regulators cracked down on Libra because they saw it as a threat to their monetary sovereignty, adding:

“It would be strange to imagine that the United States would easily agree to redirect huge cash flows to a private company with a huge audience.”

The CEO concluded that he hopes large industry players will be “able to influence what is happening and will not let the largest part of the cryptocurrency market die,” referring to stablecoins.

To CoinSmart’s Hartzman, regulators have been pressuring Facebook because of the company’s past, and not because of its involvement with the cryptocurrency sector or stablecoins. To him, even if Facebook caves to the pressure and shelves Novi, it may not have a major effect on the wider crypto market.

Shift to the metaverse

Speaking to Cointelegraph, CEO of trading platform Spectre.ai Kay Khemani pointed to something bigger than Facebook’s plans initially revealed: the company’s rebrand to focus not on social media, but the metaverse.

The metaverse is loosely defined, but it’s often seen as a digital reality combining aspects of social media, augmented reality and online gaming and cryptocurrencies together. Sources at Facebook have been claiming the company is getting ready to announce a rebrand meant to reflect its shift in priorities to the metaverse.

As The Verge reported, the move is meant to signal the company’s focus on being known for something other than social media. Mark Zuckerberg has said the metaverse will be a “big focus” for Facebook as he believes it “is just going to be a big part of the next chapter for the way that the internet evolves after the mobile internet.”

Khemani said that Facebook is an innovator that “changes paradigms” and that it could corner the market by owning both premier virtual reality hardware producer Oculus and having the largest social media user base out there.

These two things combined could make Facebook a major player in the metaverse, one that U.S. regulators may be more lenient on to “prevent the social media conglomerate from potentially relocating its operations outside the USA.” That move, Khemani said, would trigger an exodus from tech giants that would “undoubtedly harm the U.S. economy.”

As it stands, Facebook appears to be moving forward with both its cryptocurrency wallet Novi and its stablecoin project Diem. If the company manages to make the use of blockchain technology imperceptible, it could launch a cryptocurrency application that would be adopted by billions.

As Facebook is already working with Coinbase and Paxos, it wouldn’t be a stretch to believe Novi could, in the future, offer its users seamless access to other cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin (BTC). Veteran crypto users may nevertheless choose to stay away, as controlling their private keys is paramount.

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Crypto unicorn: CoinList valued at $1.5B following $100M Series A

The platform’s growth over the past year mirrors crypto’s evolution from fringe financial product to mainstream digital asset class.

Crypto listing platform CoinList has concluded a $100 million Series A fundraiser to fuel its global business expansion, bringing its total valuation to a whopping $1.5 billion.

The cash injection will help CoinList to scale its business operations, support its community of early adopters and launch new product offerings, the company announced on Tuesday. The fundraiser was co-led by venture funds Accomplice and Agman, with additional participation from Fenbushi Capital, DFG, CMT Digital, FBG Capital and others.

CoinList has seen its user base grow by 42 times over the past year, highlighting the massive adoption of cryptocurrency adoption worldwide. The platform is designed to help investors gain access to new token projects before they’re listed on major exchanges such as Coinbase or Binance. Its biggest source of growth over the past year came from Turkey, Venezuela, Russia, Japan and the United Kingdom. The company currently has 4.5 million users across more than 170 countries.

The year 2021 has seen several crypto- and blockchain-focused companies earn the coveted unicorn status — a term that describes startups with a valuation of $1 billion or more. South American cryptocurrency exchanges Bitso and Mercado Bitcoin became members of the exclusive club earlier this year, while derivatives platform FTX became a “decacorn” with a valuation of $18 billion. As Cointelegraph recently reported, NFT company Candy Digital also concluded a $100 million Series A funding round recently, bringing its total valuation to $1.5 billion.

Related: Ethereum competitor Near launches $800M developer fund as DeFi competition heats up

Venture funds have poured billions of dollars into crypto startups this year, as smart money investors continue to back emerging projects that could reshape the global financial system. Earlier this year, Silicon Valley venture firm Andreessen Horowitz announced that it had allocated $2.2 billion to fund emerging crypto projects. Last week, venture capital firm Galaxy Interactive confirmed that it had raised another $325 million from 70 investors to back new portfolio companies.

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Matt Damon partners with Crypto.com around clean water project

The Hollywood star co-founded the nonprofit organization Water.org in 2009. Its mandate is to help eradicate the global water crisis.

Digital currency exchange Crypto.com has donated $1 million to water.org, a clean-water initiative co-founded by Matt Damon and Gary White in 2009.

The direct donation will go towards supporting Water.org’s mission of ending the global water crisis by providing safe water and sanitation to people in need, the companies announced Monday. The partnership is also aimed at exposing water.org to Crypto.com’s more than 10 million users, who are also being encouraged to donate to the project.

Matt Damon cited the ongoing financial transformation brought on by cryptocurrency as one of the chief motivations for partnering with Crypto.com. “As our financial solutions and platforms evolve, we can use them for good,” he said. “Crypto.com and Water.org are both working toward positive transformation, and our innovative, financial solutions will help change lives and the world.”

Crypto.com has quickly emerged as one of the fastest-growing digital currency platforms in the world. The company rose to prominence by offering its customers a crypto-focused Visa card that pays out rewards for staking CRO, the platform’s native cryptocurrency. As Cointelegraph recently reported, the exchange has expanded its insurance program to cover up to $750 million, reflecting heightened consumer protection standards in the industry.

The cryptocurrency industry has ushered in a new era of charitable gifting as its newly rich participants look to give back to their communities. Charity: water, which has a similar mandate as Water.org, raised $1.3 million in June through a Bitcoin (BTC)-focused trust. Crypto donations platform The Giving Block has also facilitated charitable contributions for dozens of organizations by providing them with the tools and resources to begin accepting crypto contribtuions.

Related: Charitable sustainable NFTs for the United Nations’ 17 SDGs

Many nonprofits have opened their coffers to crypto donations in the wake of the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan in August. Crypto donations are also being used to support suicide prevention, ethical journalism and even a universal basic income project.

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Russia does ‘absolutely nothing’ to regulate crypto, RACIB head says

The recent law "On Digital Financial Assets" has not gone far enough in the eyes of Russian crypto industry advocates.

Despite Russia adopting its first cryptocurrency law in January 2021, the country’s cryptocurrency market is still largely unregulated and is associated with a lot of uncertainty, according to a local industry advocate.

Yury Pripachkin, head of the Russian Association of Cryptoeconomics, Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain (RACIB), argued that the existing Russian crypto regulations are nothing more than “half-measures” that have nothing to do with systematic solutions.

In an interview with local news agency RBC, Pripachkin referred to Russian President Vladimir Putin issuing multiple consecutive mandates to adopt crypto regulation over the past four years. The executive highlighted that the total market capitalization of cryptocurrencies surged from around $200 billion in 2017 to the current $2.7 trillion, but local lawmakers have essentially done nothing to capture this value:

“Russia has done absolutely nothing to regulate the local cryptocurrency market, which accounts for 10% of the global crypto market,” Pripachkin said. He added that the size of the Russian crypto market is comparable to the annual federal budget revenue of $270 billion.

Pripachkin claimed that Russia’s crypto law “On Digital Financial Assets” provides a legal basis to crypto in the broad sense but doesn’t define major industry terms like smart contracts nor does it regulate activities like crypto mining, issuance and taxation.

The head of RACIB is not alone in thinking that the Russian cryptocurrency industry is largely a grey zone. Anna Maximenko, a counsel at the international law firm Debevoise & Plimpton, believes that the current crypto regulation in Russia is “limited to the definition of cryptocurrency” and a few other aspects like the ban on crypto payments.

“Other aspects of cryptocurrencies’ turnover, including exchanges and requirements to the investors, are currently not regulated,” Maximenko told Cointelegraph. According to the expert, the absence of regulation leads to a situation where no crypto exchanges are registered in Russia, with residents still being able to use services of foreign crypto exchanges like Binance, Huobi Global, Paxful and others.

Related: Bank of Russia to assess Bitcoin holdings volumes as $36B leave banks

“Taking into consideration the Bank of Russia’s negative stance on cryptocurrencies, it may well be the case that there will be no Russian crypto exchanges, while foreign crypto exchanges will stay in a grey zone,” Maximenko said.

The news comes as the Russian government shows increasing interest in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC), with some ministries proposing to mine the cryptocurrencies with associated gas.

However, the Russian government remains skeptical of Bitcoin when it comes to the interest of its own residents, with the Bank of Russia looking to limit transactions to crypto exchanges as crypto investment becomes extremely popular among local investors.

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Reactivated Ethereum pools trigger a 78% surge in THORChain price

RUNE looks ready to extend its gains after the reactivation of ETH-based pools resulted in a 78% rally last week.

Ealier this year THORChain underwent a series of protocol exploits which led to $8 million being drained from its reserves and these successive attack took a heavy tool on RUNE price. This week, the protocol announced that it would re-open its Ethereum pool, along with other altcoin and BTC-based pools and the announcement appears to be having a positive impact on RUNE price.

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView shows that since hitting a low of $2.95 on July 20, the price of RUNE has increased 283% to a$11.64 and there is also a noticable uptick in trading volume.

RUNE/USDT 1-day chart. Source: TradingView

Two reasons behind the recovery and building strength seen in RUNE include the relaunching of trading capabilities on all five supported blockchains including the Ethereum (ETH) network and the upcoming launch of multiple new projects on the THORChain network.

Ethereum pools are open

The main development driving the momentum behind RUNE has been the reactivation of trading services across all supported blockchain networks, with Ethereum reopening on Oct. 21.

Trading activity was restricted following the April hack and after checking through the code again, the Bitcoin (BTC), Litecoin (LTC), Binance Coin (BNB), Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) pools in the process of being reopened.

According to data provided by THORChain, the pent up demand for trading on the protocol was demonstrated by the near instant $2 million in trading volume for ERC-20 tokens minutes after the pool re-opened.

Related: Pension fund for Texas firefighters reportedly allocates $25M to Bitcoin and Ether

Future airdrops and token launches

Another reason for the bullish price move for RUNE is the upcoming launch of multiple new projects on the THORChain network which will soon be listed on the Thorstarter (XRUNE) platform, which is a decentralized launchpad for the RUNE ecosystem.

Some of the major upcoming launches include THORSwap, THORWallet, Brokkr Finance, Skipp Swap, DeFiSwap and XDEFI wallet.

According to data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro, market conditions for RUNE have been favorable for some time.

The VORTECS™ Score, exclusive to Cointelegraph, is an algorithmic comparison of historical and current market conditions derived from a combination of data points including market sentiment, trading volume, recent price movements and Twitter activity.

VORTECS™ Score (green) vs. RUNE price. Source: Cointelegraph Markets Pro

As seen in the chart above, the VORTECS™ Score for RUNE has been elevated in the green zone for the majority of the past week and it reached a high of 74 on Oct. 18, around nineteen hours before the price increased 29% over the next two days.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

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