Fintech Startup Aims to Create New Asset Class With ‘Continuous’ ICO Model

A newly launched fintech firm hopes to leverage the token sale model to back investments in real-world assets. But it’s taking a different approach than many previous projects. Hong Kong-based Two Prime – recently founded by open-source veteran Marc Fleury – calls the sale a Continuous Token Offering (CTO), as opposed to an initial coin offering (ICO) in which most tokens are sold early on. The goal is to use the funds raised to help make crypto a proper new asset class that appeals more to the financial world. The firm…

Startup Crypto Exchange Blade to Launch Zero-Fee Trading in February

Crypto perpetuals exchange Blade will be introducing zero-fee trading next month in a bid to gain market share from rivals.  The Coinbase-backed exchange, which began operations in September, will also drop the $10 subscription fee it had planned to collect from traders on a monthly basis. Though based in San Francisco, Blade prohibits U.S. residents from opening accounts on its platform. Blade will be the first cryptocurrency exchange to offer fee-less trading in bitcoin perpetuals – no-expiry contracts which mimic a margin-based spot market and trade close to the underlying reference…

Binance to Launch Korean Support Center Following Investment in Local Startup

Cryptocurrency exchange Binance has made its first direct investment in a South Korean startup. According to an exclusive report by CoinDesk Korea, Binance has taken a 500 million won ($432,000) stake in BxB, a Korean fintech firm that launched a Korean won stablecoin last year. Alongside the investment, the two firms have inked an agreement that will see BxB support Binance in operating a new support center for local users of Binance.com, the exchange’s international platform. The investment was made, not through the exchange’s incubator arm Binance Labs, but directly…

Why Compliance Is the Biggest Team at Bitcoin ATM Startup Coinsource

Coinsource, a well-known bitcoin ATM company, purchased a booth at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Given increased interest from the IRS in bitcoin ATMs, we were especially curious about how users reacted when Coinsource increased its know-your-customer (KYC) requirements. “Our compliance department is actually the largest department in our entire company,” Coinsource’s Derek Muhney told CoinDesk in the video above. Money-laundering concerns have long dogged the bitcoin ATM sector. Muhney said Coinsource moved to require KYC of everyone two years ago, though the company had always…

Mobile Phone Retailer Joins China’s Blockchain Land Grab With US Startup Investment

Dixintong Technology Group, whose parent company, D.Phone, is one of the largest smartphone retailers in China, has entered the blockchain space by acquiring a minority stake in a U.S. startup called Monsoon Blockchain. The two companies confirmed to CoinDesk that the purchasing agreement was signed on Jan. 7, but declined to disclose any financial terms on the deal. However, people familiar with the matter said the deal values the blockchain startup at over $100 million. The partnership between the two companies comes at a time when China is encouraging enterprise…

Thai Stellar-Based Startup Lightnet Raises $31M to Replace SWIFT

Thai Stellar-based blockchain startup Lightnet has raised $31.2 million to boost cross-border payments in Southeast Asian countries. The Bangkok-headquartered firm has completed a Series A funding round led by major financial conglomerates in the region, Singaporean United Overseas Bank (UOB) and South Korea’s Hanwha Investment & Securities, Business Insider Malaysia reports Jan. 10. Stellar blockchain is used to replace “inefficient” payment systems like SWIFT Implementing the Stellar blockchain, a major blockchain protocol that is used to operate eponymous cryptocurrency Stellar Lumens (XLM), Lightnet has a brave plan to replace established…

Blockchain Social Media Startup Voice Hires Ex Forbes Exec as CEO

Ahead of its upcoming public beta launch, decentralized social media platform Voice announced that it hired former Forbes chief digital officer, Salah Zalatimo, as its new CEO, according to a press release, Jan. 9. Zalatimo joined Forbes in 2015 and led a successful digital transformation, rebuilding the Forbes platform from the ground up. Block.one CEO, Brendan Blumer, gave his thoughts on the new hire: “Salah is a rare combination of product and media talent enriched by an entrepreneurial past. His experience in creating state-of-the-art content monetization and publishing tools makes…

ETF Giant Leads $17.7M Series A for Blockchain Compliance Startup

One of the world’s largest exchange-traded fund (ETF) providers is leading a $17.65 million investment in blockchain compliance startup Securrency. WisdomTree was the lead investor in the $17.65 million Series A funding round announced Tuesday. Other investors include the state-backed Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO), Japanese financial services giant Monex Group and venture capital firms RRE Ventures, Strawberry Creek Ventures and Panthera Capital Investments. As the lead investor, WisdomTree put some $8 million into the round, WisdomTree founder and CEO Jonathan Steinberg told CoinDesk in a phone interview. WisdomTree recently…

$17M Funding Round in Startup to Bring Blockchain Tech Into ETFs

As a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) continue to elude U.S. markets, one startup has secured $17 million that seem earmarked to bring blockchain tech to ETFs. WisdomTree announced investment in a startup called Securrency Inc., one of the top institutional-grade blockchain builders in the financial and regulatory space, per a Jan. 7 press release.  An asset manager, ETF and exchange traded-product (ETP) backer, WisdomTree is looking to harness blockchain technology for the ETF market. Following the announced funding round, WisdomTree aims to work with Securrency to expand the availability of…

Fidelity-Backed Startup Fireblocks Is Now Certified Secure by Ernst & Young

New York-based digital asset security firm Fireblocks has successfully completed a major examination carried out by Big Four auditing firm Ernst & Young (EY). Fireblocks, which provides an institutional-grade platform for secure transfer of blockchain-based digital assets, received the Service Organization Control (SOC) 2 Type II certification performed by EY, the firm said in a press release shared with Cointelegraph on Dec. 19. Following multiple EY inspections, which reportedly took more than six months, Fireblocks is now recognized as a company providing technology and services that meet existing strict security…