Cryptocurrency and digiital asset exchange ShapeShift announced on Wednesday, August 8, the acquisition of the Austin-based software company Bitfract after it made “the only tool in the world” that allows trading bitcoin into dozens of digital assets in a single transaction company’s API.

The Bitfract tool was created to make it easier for average users to gain exposure to diversified digital asset portfolios. Users can rebalance their portfolio without the need for multiple transactions (saving time and fees), simply by choosing their assets and allocation percentages, inputting the destination wallet addresses, and sending bitcoin. The requested digital assets are then delivered to the user.

“The Bitfract team made expert use of ShapeShift’s open API to build a product that we ourselves were planning to build,” said Erik Voorhees, founder and CEO of ShapeShift. “This demonstrated a great alignment of strategy and thinking, and their execution was so exceptional that we wanted to bring their talented team and technology on board.”

“Out of all of the companies and exchanges in crypto, ShapeShift has always aligned most closely with our mission and values,” said Willy Ogorzaly, co-founder and CEO of Bitfract. “When Erik asked if we wanted to join ShapeShift, the answer was immediately yes. We believe in a decentralized future where individuals freely control their digital wealth, and our team is honored to work alongside Erik and everyone at ShapeShift to make this a reality.”

With this acquisition, ShapeShift further extends its reach into the blockchain industry and lays the foundation to expand its offerings. Following the sale, the Bitfract tool will be maintained and continue to operate as a demonstration of the power of ShapeShift’s open API.

The functionality that the Bitfract platform provides of “multiple output transactions” will be incorporated into ShapeShift’s core platform in the near future.

Earlier this summer, speaking to ForkLog Erik Voorhees hinted at a new product ShapeShift could announce “in a couple of months”.

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In an exclusive interview with ForkLog SatoshiPay’s CEO Meinhard Benn spoke about the reasons behind the project’s decision to opt for Stellar network and what it has in store for the users.

Disclaimer: This interview was taken a couple of weeks prior to the announcement about the Berlin-based start-up’s plans for an IPO on the London Stock Exchange’s AIM.

Established back in 2014, when Bitcoin was still far away from being an object of the mainstream mass media intense interest and Lightning Network was not even in the plans, micropayments provider and cryptocurrency processing service SatoshiPay is among the veterans of the industry.

The SatoshiPay platform is based on blockchain technology supplied by the Stellar network and offers a frictionless micropayment solution to help digital publishers monetize content globally.

Not everything went smoothly for the VC backed startup though, and last year when Bitcoin prices and transaction fees skyrocketed, SatoshiPay had to revise its original strategy and look for other less expensive alternatives.

Initially the developers looked at the IOTA protocol, having declared their intentions publicly in July 2017. However, the plan was not there to be either, and ultimately SatoshiPay opted for Stellar, the blockchain the platform is built on today.

Meimhard Benn, SatoshiPay’s CEO. Photo UNCHAIN Convention

ForkLog: Hello Meinhard, so why did you decide to stop working with Bitcoin and look for alternatives? Was it a purely financial step?

Meinhard Benn: Basically yes, everybody knows Bitcoin became very expensive. We were under a lot of pressure to change to a ledger that was not so expensive for our purposes.

ForkLog: Initially you considered IOTA, but then came Stellar. What did actually happen there?

Meinhard Benn: We were looking for different options and different projects and because IOTA was also active in Berlin and Domenic [Dominik Schiener, IOTA’s co-founder] was there too, we talked and said: “Okay, we’ll do Proof-of-Concept or prototype and see if IOTA can do what we need to do.”

We needed very small payments and many fast and cheap transactions, so we did a prototype together with them and concluded that we need to wait a little bit more before we can work with IOTA ledger, because there were some impractical things. For example, the Proof-of-Work that was done in the browser took to long, if someone paid for content they had to wait 20 seconds for the PoW to be done. So that was not very practical for us.

Also sometimes transactions didn’t go through, so that’s also was one of the reason we couldn’t use it. Additionally we were looking for multisignature and token support on protocol level, and I think these features are still not there on the IOTA ledger. So that’s why we decided we needed to look for something else. So, we sort of put IOTA on the long term observation list and integrated Stellar instead because it had all these features that were looking for.

ForkLog: So now SatoshiPay has Stellar fully integrated?

Meinhard Benn: Yeah, Stellar has been integrated since December 7th last year, that’s when when launched the integration, and the Stellar Foundation also has a broad partnership with us. They support us and give us free credits for our users, and that’s up to 50 XLM per users. That’s roughly 12 euros per user, and that’s pretty cool.

The Stellar technology has been in production for many years, and even though it has a limited, or I’d rather say a small feature set without this sort of virtual machine or Turing complete language, but structurally it is very sophisticated. As I already said, it has multisignatures and token support as well as a built-in decentralized marketplace, so for us it was just perfect.

ForkLog: So, just to draw the line, at this particular moment there are no plans to get back to IOTA?

Meinhard Benn: No concrete plans because we focus on the market and not so much on the ledger technology. That means we deploy features for publishers, all the new tools and dashboards which is not so much related for the ledger technology. So we just take that layer as “Okay, it solved for now”. There is no actual need for us to sort of change anymore.

ForkLog: There are plenty of startups declaring different things, disruptive technologies and promising solutions, but when it comes down to real use things often look bleak. Do you feel SatoshiPay is successful with what you’ve been doing?

Meinhard Benn: We have about 1,800 active publishers or publisher signups. The number of those who are actually active in publishing content is a bit lower but the interest is definitely there. We have sign-ups every day now, we have about one hundred thousand user wallets generated, and despite it’s only a fraction that actually top up using the system we see a steady stream of payments being made on the network. So, yes, the platform is being used, and we are sort of overwhelmed by the amount of use cases. We also have to see if they are legal because some people are trying to sell movies or images, and we need to review the content and that take a lot of our time at the moment.

ForkLog: As a processing service, are you supposed to check the content people are buying and selling?

Meinhard Benn: We speak to the publishers individually, but we don’t tell them what they can sell. Yet as a payment provider we have to make sure that only legal stuff is being sold. Ultimately, of course, it’s the publisher’s responsibility what kind of content they sell, but what we have to do is to find the black sheep and say: “Okay, we need to lock your account because you have to accept that some things are illegal.” Fortunately, this happens only on a small scale and most of the content that is being sold is completely legit.

ForkLog: What are the most popular items people are buying?

Meinhard Benn: E-books, PDFs, that is something that is being done by quite a lot of people, and also we have sort of blog posts on WordPress that have a free preview and then you have to pay a small amount to read the rest of the article . It’s kind of like a ‘Read more’ button, but to read more will cost you some money.

ForkLog: How does it all look for end users, the people who purchase content? After SatoshiPay enabled top-ups via PayPal last year, is this option still available, or people are supposed to buy XLM first to get access to things they are interested in?

Meinhard Benn: The end users who don’t have Lumens, they top up with PayPal, and what’s happening in the background is that they get Lumens sent to the browser wallet, but the only thing they see is the top up using PayPal or a credit card. Actually they don’t need to know anything about blockchain or cryptocurrency, for them it looks like a sort of in-game payment where you pay with credit card or with any other payment system.

So basically being unaware of the fact that cryptocurrency is involved, people still can understand what Stellar Lumens is, they can also see their XLM address in the Stellar network and the transactions, but they don’t need to know it. In fact, they usually don’t see it, they only see that they have to top up 20 tokens and spend one or two tokens on different content.

ForkLog: What about SatoshiPay’s plans for the future? Will there be any new features added?

Meinhard Benn: The big news is that we will eventually implement the Eurotoken, meaning that we will move away from the volatile XLM asset. It’s something like Tether USDT but fully regulated and audited.

ForkLog: Who is issuing this Eurotoken?

Meinhard Benn: That’s a correct question. Who issues this token is actually the most important question. It will be a fully regulated bank in France called Tempo, they will be issuing this token on the Stellar blockchain and it will be audited every two weeks by French banking authorities.

ForkLog: Did you just say every two weeks?

Meinhard Benn: Exactly. The bank itself is a regulated entity, the local regulator is actively engaging with them, so it will be very easy for them to check our full reserve: what they need is just to see our bank account, then they look at the Stellar ledger, they see how many tokens are in existence and this has to match. If it doesn’t match it means something is going wrong.

ForkLog: Do you have any regrets that at some point you had to leave Bitcoin in favour of other solutions?

Meinhard Benn: Well, we had to act as a pragmatic business, not so much as evangelists or let’s say from Myspace ideology, because we are a venture capital funded company and of course the investors must see return on their investment. If we just hold on to certain ledger for ideologically reasons, it would be very bad for our business. Do we regret it? No, I don’t think, so. The Lightning Network or everything that is happening in Bitcoin space now is where the Stellar ledger is for our use case which is very cheap and fast microtransactions.

I think when Bitcoin reaches the features parity, then we might be regretting it, but then I expect another year to go by to the feature parity with Stellar. And in that year we as the company should be growing fast and big, so I think it was a wise decision not wait until Bitcoin reaches the features parity.

ForkLog: Speaking of the cryptocurrency industry on the whole, what do you think is the outlook for the end of the year, or if we talk from the midterm perspective, for the next couple of years. Where are we actually going?

Meinhard Benn: I believe Bitcoin will maintain its status as the most dominant coin, because it is also the brand that represents the whole crypto industry for the mainstream. I think that’s going to stay like that because Bitcoin was the first, it has so much traction, it’s also improving now. Just a year ago there was a bit of stagnancy but now we can see more movement.

I also expect that many other real world use cases will come out. We were one of the first who actually used Bitcoin and blockchain as a mainstream application, but there will be other things like maybe buy your car or supply chain management that are pushing things into the real world. Of course, a lot of things are still on the proof-of-concept level and not so much in production, but I know of many products, that are actually putting blockchain technology into production and it will continue to be developing into a B2B efficiency mechanism.

As for Bitcoin eating the world and replacing euro or dollar, I’m not so sure, because the past has shown that for the mainstream the volatility is just too high for them to accept it as a store of value. I mean, if you have bought coins in the beginning of this year you lost next to 60 or 70 percent of your value, and obviously it’s not acceptable for most of the people.

ForkLog: Would you agree then with those saying that Bitcoin is more like a tool for speculations?

Meinhard Benn: Well, it can be a store of value just to diversify your holdings. Let’s say, you have real estate, you have fiat and you might also have some crypto and some gold. In this case put some money into crypto not for speculation but just not to put all of your eggs in one basket.

So things will happen, and even if today it’s a very small percent of the world population that starts doing that, Bitcoin will grow dramatically. I’m sure we will see more of these booms and busts coming and going all the time as we did it the last the seven years, but what actually happens that each time after price spike and crash things are settled at a higher level.

Meinhard Benn was interviewed by Andrew Asmakov

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Ukraine’s Electoral Commission is examining the possibilities of NEM blockchain, which could potentially facilitate and improve the procedure of local and national elections.

According to Oleksandr Stelmakh, head of the State Register at the Central Electoral Commission of Ukraine, a test vote using 28 NEM blockchain nodes was created several weeks ago in close collaboration with a local NEM Foundation group.

Writing on Facebook, Stelmakh appeared pleased with the ongoing experiment, adding that voting is still open and anyone can take part in it.

“One of the basic useful properties of blockchain is immutability of the saved information, as well as the decentralized data… These are the properties we tried to use to save the information of the ballot sessions,” he said.

The trial is a result of a partnership with NEM Ukraine and involves a testnet with test tokens “kindly given by a representative of the NEM Foundation in Ukraine,” Anton Bosenko.

On the basis of current market rates, Stelmakh calculated the cost of installing blockchain voting in each polling station in the country would be around the equivalent of $1,227 per implementation. However, he believes that this is a “small price to pay” in return for immutable vote data protection.

Last year, Ukraine’s National Bank, the National Commission for Securities and Stock Market, and the National Commission on Finance Services Market Regulation said they supported the initiative to legalize cryptocurrencies.

In the most recent development, the country’s Financial Stability Council said it was in was in favor of treating digital assets like financial instruments.

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The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has delayed a decision on a proposed CBOE BZX Exchange Bitcoin ETF powered by investment firm VanEck and financial services company SolidX, throwing the crypto market into a sea of red.

The proposed rule change from CBOE would, if approved, constitute a critical point on a path to listing a Bitcoin ETF, in conjunction with money management firm VanEck and crypto startup SolidX. The companies submitted their proposal back in June with more than 1300 comments on the proposed rule change. As per the SEC filing, the price of each share of the VanEck SolidX Bitcoin Trust is set to $200,000 with the high price reflecting the fund’s intention to focus on institutional, rather than retail investors.

However, in an order published on Tuesday, August 7, the Commission said that it was giving itself more time to deliberate on whether to approve what would be the first exchange-traded product of its kind in the U.S.

The decision to delay the application is unsurprising though, as the SEC frequently delays rulings on ETFs from emerging markets. As for the new decision date, the SEC wrote:

“Accordingly, the Commission … designates September 30, 2018, as the date by which the Commission shall either approve or disapprove, or institute proceedings to determine whether to disapprove, the proposed rule change.”

The SEC also notes that they have the ability to extend the decision under federal law, saying:

“Section 19(b)(2) of the Act provides that within 45 days of the publication of notice of the filing of a proposed rule change, or within such longer period up to 90 days as the Commission may designate if it finds such longer period to be appropriate…the Commission shall either approve the proposed rule change, disapprove the proposed rule change, or institute proceedings to determine whether the proposed rule change should be disapproved. The Commission is extending this 45-day time period.”

Immediately after the SEC’s announcement, the cryptocurrency markets went from a daily high of $257.4 billion to a daily low of $229.1 billion.

In a matter of minutes Bitcoin slipped from Tuesday highs of over $7,100 down below $6,800, a mark that many analysts had pegged as a critical support level for BTC’s short-term prospects. It went further down ultimately slipping below the $6,500 mark on early hours Wednesday morning.

Other cryptocurrencies followed the trend, with XRP, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, IOTA, TRON, Ethereum Classic and NEO all down from to 10 to 15 percent over a 24-hour period. Moreover, in the course of these developments XRP, the world’s third-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, fell to a new 2018 low on Wednesday.

Data from CoinMarketCap shows the token dropped to $0.3455 – seven cents from the previous yearly low of $0.42 in July. Current price stands at its lowest level since December 12, 2017, days before XRP shot up to all-time-highs over $3 amid a bull run on the crypto market.

At press time (08:00 UTC) Bitcoin was changing hands at $6500.

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Coinbase Pro announced on Tuesday, August 7, the launch of Ethereum Classic (ETC) on the platform.

The California-based company announced final testing for ETC last Friday with the goal of accepting ETC transfers by today and obviously succeeded in achieving that goal after “testing went according to plan.”

However, initially ETC support is launched on Coinbase Pro, the exchange formerly known as GDAX, with full support on Coinbase.com to occur approximately within 1–2 weeks.

David Farmer, General Manager of Coinbase Pro, wrote:

“We are beginning the launch of ETC on our exchange at Coinbase Pro. We plan to add support for ETC at Coinbase.com when sufficient liquidity is established. We expect this to occur approximately 1–2 weeks after trading begins on Coinbase Pro.”

The company notes that the launch will proceed in four stages including transfer-only followed by post-only, limit-only, and full-trading support.

ETC transfers officially began at 10am PT on Tuesday, August 7. Users can deposit ETC into their Coinbase Pro accounts but can’t place orders and no orders will be filled on those order books. Order books will be in transfer-only mode for the next 24 to 48 hours.

The next step is to launch the post-only stage, which is when customers can post limit orders but with no matches (completed orders). Order books will be in post-only mode for a minimum of 10 minutes.

Then, there will be limit-only mode. In this third stage, limit orders will start matching but customers are unable to submit market orders. Order books will be in limit-only mode for a minimum of 10 minutes.

Finally, Coinbase will launch ETC with full trading support. On this final stage, full trading services will be available, including limit, market, and stop orders.

Coinbase also hinted that similar launches will likely take place in the near future:

“One of the most common requests we receive from customers is to be able to trade more assets on our platform. Ethereum Classic is just a first step in that direction. We announced last month that we are exploring a number of other assets to add to the platform, and customers should expect to see similar announcements when we are exploring new assets to add to the platform,” added David Farmer.

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Billionaire and owner of London’s Camden Market Teddy Sagi has invested in Ukrainian blockchain startup Distributed Lab, CEO Vladimir Dubinin has confirmed.

Financial details remain undisclosed, but Distributed Lab has promised to make an announcement in the near future.

Distributed Lab, among a wide range of the startup’s activities, has developed a tokenization platform TokenD.

Teddy Sagi is ranked 6th on Forbes Richest Israeli People with estimated net worth at $3,3 billion. He is the founder of the software firm Playtech, owner of Camden Market and shareholder in technology companies like SafeCharge and Crossrider.

In his earlier interview with ForkLog, Pavel Kravchenko, co-founder Distributed Lab, stated that 99% of startups fail to come up with working product after running an ICO.

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Despite its recent negative comments on cryptocurrencies, leading global investment bank Goldman Sachs is considering a plan to offer custody for crypto funds.

According to a Bloomberg report on Monday, August 6, the bank would hold the newfangled securities on behalf of the funds, reducing risk for clients seeking to guard against the threat of losing their investments to rogue attacks.

The deliberations are ongoing and no timeline has been set for when the firm will roll out the services, the news agency says citing people with knowledge of the matter. The sources asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public.

A formal offering from an institution like Goldman Sachs would provide a credible backing for crypto funds and could pave the way for more investors to bet on the asset class. Having a custody operation in place could also lead to other ventures, including prime-brokerage services, the people said.

“In response to client interest in various digital products we are exploring how best to serve them in this space,” a spokesman for Goldman Sachs said. “At this point we have not reached a conclusion on the scope of our digital asset offering.”

Notably, Goldman Sachs is also warning that so-called “cryptocurrency mania” is among the six factors that will impact the markets for the remainder of this year.

According to a CNBC report citing the Wall Street bank’s mid-year economic outlook, Goldman Sachs warned of declines to come to the cryptocurrencies market.

“We expect further declines in the future given our view that these cryptocurrencies do not fulfill any of the three traditional roles of a currency,” Sharmin Mossavar-Rahmani, Goldman’s chief investment officer of the private wealth management group, said in the report published last week.

However, at least three giant Wall Street custodians – Bank of New York Mellon Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Northern Trust Corp. – are working on crypto-custody services or exploring it, people briefed on their efforts said.

Goldman Sachs has so far been taking baby steps around cryptocurrencies and hasn’t yet set up a full-fledged desk to trade the currencies since hiring Justin Schmidt earlier this year as head of its digital-asset markets.

It was among the first Wall Street firms to clear Bitcoin futures offered by Cboe Global Markets Inc. and CME Group Inc.

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Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), a leading operator of more than 20 global exchanges, clearing houses, data and listings services, announced on Friday, August 3, that it plans to form a new company, Bakkt, which will leverage Microsoft cloud solutions “to create an open and regulated, global ecosystem for digital assets.”

According to the press release, Bakkt is working with a marquee group of organizations including BCG, Microsoft, Starbucks, to create an integrated platform that enables consumers and institutions to buy, sell, store and spend digital assets on a seamless global network.

In addition to ICE and M12, Microsoft’s venture capital arm, Bakkt is expected to be backed by a range of other investors, including an affiliate of Fortress Investment Group, Eagle Seven, Galaxy Digital, Horizons Ventures, Alan Howard, Pantera Capital, Protocol Ventures, and Susquehanna International Group, LLP.

The company says the Bakkt ecosystem is expected to include federally regulated markets and warehousing along with merchant and consumer applications.

The move will see ICE not only launch a physically-settled bitcoin futures product but also custody cryptoassets directly and help merchants such as Starbucks — which has already signed onto the platform as a partner — accept digital assets such as bitcoin for everyday payments.

“Its first use cases will be for trading and conversion of Bitcoin versus fiat currencies, as Bitcoin is today the most liquid digital currency. The effort is designed to address evolving needs in the estimated $270 billion digital asset marketplace,” the announcement says.

As an initial component of the Bakkt offering, Intercontinental Exchange’s U.S.-based futures exchange and clearing house plan to launch a 1-day physically delivered Bitcoin contract along with physical warehousing in November 2018, subject to CFTC review and approval.

These regulated venues will establish new protocols for managing the specific security and settlement requirements of digital currencies. In addition, the clearing house plans to create a separate guarantee fund that will be funded by Bakkt.

“Bakkt is designed to serve as a scalable on-ramp for institutional, merchant and consumer participation in digital assets by promoting greater efficiency, security and utility,” said Kelly Loeffler, CEO of Bakkt. “We are collaborating to build an open platform that helps unlock the transformative potential of digital assets across global markets and commerce.”

Today’s news confirms rumors in May that ICE is in the process of developing a cryptocurrency trading platform. ICE reportedly had conversations with other financial institutions about setting up the new business and the trades will take the form of swaps.

Earlier this year, ICE joined forces with blockchain company Blockstream to launch a data feed that would pull information from more than 15 global cryptocurrency exchanges and deliver it to financial firms.

Meanwhile, speaking with Fortune, ICE founder, Chairman, and CEO Jeffrey Sprecher explained that he believes that — bolstered by Bakkt’s infrastructure — bitcoin could become the currency of choice for global payments.

”Bitcoin would greatly simplify the movement of global money,” said Sprecher. “It has the potential to become the first worldwide currency.”

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A syndicate of investors including Angelvest, Bitfury Group, and a consortium of cryptocurrency traders is making a $3 million equity investment to the AI application development platform Dbrain.

This comes after an earlier $5 million investment from Bitfury in Dbrain’s DBR token and brings total capital raised to $8 million. Bitfury’s investment in Dbrain also involves a strategic partnership to support Dbrain with private blockchain development using Bitfury’s Exonum framework.

This investment marks an important milestone for Dbrain’s fundraising as the company has already raised more than a fourth of its “hard cap” fundraising goal. The investment from Bitfury, AngelVest, and other partners has opened new possibilities for Dbrain’s token, extending the token sale to bring more strategic partners onboard.

“Dbrain is a perfect match for Bitfury Capital’s focus on funding innovative technology,” said Marat Kichikov, Director of Bitfury Capital. “With the rise of artificial intelligence, we see a high demand for AI-based platforms in the future, and we eagerly look forward to building a strong relationship with Dbrain.”

In addition to Dbrain, Bitfury plans to continue investing in promising blockchain-based companies this year. Based in Amsterdam, the company already has a presence in North America, the Middle East, and Asia. It also landed a position on the 2018 Forbes Fintech 50 List.

Chinese investment group AngelVest is also looking for opportunities to invest in artificial intelligence and blockchain-related startups. It was founded in 2007 in affiliation with the Shanghai chapter of the Asia America Multitechnology Association, one of Silicon Valley’s leading business networks. AngelVest Group has launched a fund specifically targeting cryptocurrencies and artificial intelligence, and Dbrain is one of the early benefactors of this large crypto-fund.

“We are delighted to win the trust of industry giants like Bitfury and AngelVest. Their support means a great deal. With their help, we have managed to close a quarter of the hard cap. This marks an important fundraising milestone for us,” said Dmitry Matskevich, co-founder and CEO of Dbrain. “Also, Bitfury’s Exonum framework is exactly what we were looking for. It provides us a way to increase the security and reliability of our platform while creating a highly scalable network. So, we are really excited about the strategic partnership with Bitfury.”

To build a platform that turns raw data into AI for business, Dbrain is using Bitfury’s core product Exonum, an extensible framework for blockchain projects. Dbrain platform implements two blockchain protocols — SPOCK and PICARD — which provide transparency and fair revenue distribution. SPOCK protocol validates the quality of labeling and checks the accuracy of mappings. PICARD protocol ensures that the client gets the best algorithm possible and automatically manages relations between all parties involved. The partnership between Dbrain and Bitfury has enabled Dbrain to build 90% of its platform on top of Bitfury’s Exonum framework.

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Thursday, August 2, popular P2P cryptocurrency exchange Hodl Hodl announced a new business line aimed at large OTC trades.

The exchange says the decision to launch new services was taken “after multiple requests from institutional brokers and large volume traders.”

“We recently launched “private offers” — a new feature for OTC traders — and after multiple requests from institutional brokers and large volume traders, we have concluded that there is a huge demand for non-custodial escrow services in the OTC market. This, together with our experience and knowledge, ensures smooth and secure trading,” the announcement says.

Hodl Hodl representatives also stress, that currentl, most OTC firms/brokers use their own centralized escrow services to trade with customers, which, as they believe, is not safe, and large trades should be executed via non-custodial multisig escrow.

In order to ensure the highest security and quality standards, in the upcoming months Hodl Hodl team will:

  1. Develop multi-signature escrow addresses with 3 signatures. We acknowledge that large volume trades require a more flexible approach. As requested by our OTC partners, we’re currently working on the implementation of a multi-signature escrow addresses with 2-out-of-3 signatures required to release the funds: one signature goes to seller, one goes to the buyer, and one goes to Hodl Hodl. In order to release funds from escrow, you’d need 2 out of the 3 keys to sign the release transaction. So in case there is a dispute, Hodl Hodl as the mediator will be able to release funds to either the seller or the buyer. Moreover, multisig escrow addresses with 3 signatures will be available to all of our customers.
  2. Open its own OTC trading desk. To ensure top quality services, we are currently hiring brokers to our own OTC trading desk. This will allow us to match buyers with sellers and vice versa.
  3. Announce official brokerage arm of HodlHodl. We are currently in the process of receiving a brokerage license from an EU country for our own financial company. This will allow us to trade directly with our customers.

The exchange also says that this new direction doesn’t affect its current operations. Hodl Hodl is still a non-KYC/AML non-custodial P2P exchange suitable for any type of trade — small or large.

“We are sticking with our original plan to help people buy Bitcoin/Litecoin in an easy and secure way,” the Hodl Hodl team added.

Launched earlier this year, Hodl Hodl also hosts Baltic Honeybadger Conference in Riga, Latvia. After a successful inaugural event last year, the conference returns on September 22-23.

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