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Cryptocurrency exchanges in the news
It is a very interesting time for cryptocurrency exchanges. We have hacks, with the New Zealand crypto exchange Cryptopia being the latest in a long line of breaches. It looks like $16 million has been stolen, not the earlier reported $3.5 million. We have Huobi, one of the worlds largest exchanges stating they have released 100 of their 1300 employees and on a positive note we have the much-anticipated launch of the BAKKT exchange seemingly edging closer.
The in and outs of cryptocurrency exchanges
If you haven’t realised already, cryptocurrency exchanges are not all created equal. You can purchase a crypto exchange for a few hundred dollars and offer the latest shit coins to a rapidly shrinking user base, 90% down according to Huobi. Huobi is making noises that they may not survive the crypto winter with Weng Xiaoqi, the chief executive of Huobi Global, saying that the bitcoin exchange giant might “struggle to survive” if the cryptocurrency market continues on its bearish trajectory.
“We do not know how long the bear market will last, so it is still possible that we will struggle to survive,” Weng said in the interview at his Beijing office. “We have to plan in advance and spend money carefully.”
Huobi has at times been ranked as the number one site by volume, so this will be concerning to many.
BAKKT is hiring
Before you sell up and look for the next big thing, you should consider what I see as positive news. BAKKT the much-anticipated exchange being launched by Intercontinental Exchange’s (ICE) published job openings based in Atlanta and New York City. Some of the positions also have Hong Kong, Tokyo, San Francisco, London, Tel Aviv and Singapore listed as available locations.
Bakkt is hiring a director of blockchain engineering, a blockchain developer, a director of security engineering, a senior full stack engineer, a mobile developer and a software development engineer in test. Also, the company is looking for a director of finance and at least one institutional sales member.
BAKKT was originally due to launch this week but delayed this without giving a firm launch date. These job postings signal a launch might just happen in the near future.
Is BAKKT good for crypto
Opinions vary greatly on this with many seeing this fully regulated, physically settled exchange not being what crypto is all about. I see it as a good thing. I am very much a Bitcoiner, maybe even a maximalist, but I make a huge distinction between Bitcoin as a protocol and a gambling chip. As a protocol, it is a beautiful decentralised gift from a mystical person living on a misty mountain. The mesh of a number of technologies that make up Bitcoin has given us real hard money and maybe even a solution to the looming debt crisis the world faces. On the other hand, Bitcoin is a price, it is a speculative asset that is gambled by increasing sophisticated players, but on platforms that don’t offer a fair playing field.
In November, ex Goldman Sachs partner and founder of crypto investment firm Galaxy Digital, Mike Novogratz, stated that he thinks Bakkt’s pending launch could be a possible catalyst for the crypto market’s next major price action.
I hope BAKKT will address much of the mess that makes up the corrupt world of cryptocurrency exchanges and I think it will. BAKKT will offer better price discovery, an on-ramp for large institutions and regulatory clarity. Let the games begin.