Bitcoin News

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A recent study unveiled that top-tier cryptocurrency exchanges increased their market share since October 2020, in the context of lower-risk exchanges. The bitcoin bull market fueled that both retail and professional traders utilized such risk, data shows.

Stricter Regulations Boosted Transparency Levels in Crypto Exchanges

Per information from crypto market data provider, top-tier crypto exchange gained 13% market share from October 2020 to January 2021. In fact, it increased from 61% ($347 billion) to 74% ($1.41 trillion).

But the study — which covered over 160 exchanges — clarified the following about the market share’s proportion:

Based on the most recent ranking update, the proportion of Top-Tier exchange volume in Jan 2021 would be 88% to reflect the increase in the number of Top Tier exchanges meeting the minimum threshold – 68 in July 2020 vs 76 in current update.

Cryptocompare highlighted that exchange’s standards “improved” as regulatory requirements toughened to meet anti-money laundering (AML) compliance. Also, they praised that crypto exchanges increased their transparency in terms of data provision.

The research backs up its statement by showing that 44% of the surveyed exchanges “offer the ability to query full historical trade data via a public API endpoint.

Improvements Seen in Security

In terms of security, the crypto market data provider pointed out “fewer hacks” in the last year:

20% of exchanges state that they hold more than 95% of crypto in cold wallets (vs 15% in July 2020). 1% of exchanges have been hacked in the last year (vs 4% as of July 2020). 18% of exchanges use a third party custody provider to store user assets, up from 12% in July 2020 and 9% in our Q4 2019 Benchmark.

Funds’ security was also another topic discussed within the study. According to Cryptocompare, 9% of crypto exchanges formally offer some form of insurance. Moreover, 37% of the surveyed exchanges hold a legal license to run the business.

What do you think about the study’s findings? Let us know in the comments section below.

Police in Malaysia’s Jahor state have busted a seven-men gang that stole 8.6 million Malaysian ringgits ($2.15 million) worth of electricity to mine bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

● Police said they seized 1,746 bitcoin (BTC) mining machines across 21 premises in raids carried out between Feb.15 and Feb.16, the Malay Mail reported. The miners are claimed to be worth a combined 2.6 million ringgits ($650,000).

● Seven local suspects aged between 24 and 64 were nabbed in the operation, which involved domestic power company Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB).

● “The syndicate, which has been active since the beginning of last year, carried out its activities on the top floor of a shophouse to avoid detection by the authorities,” said Johor’s police chief, Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay.

● Ayob Khan added that police are still investigating the operation, whose alleged mastermind and other gang members are still at large.

● “Investigators are not ruling out the possibility that the syndicate also has links with syndicates in other states that carry out the same modus operandi used in their bitcoin mining activities,” he said.

● According to Johor TNB, last year the electricity company suffered losses of around 90 million ringgits ($22.5 million) from power thefts related to bitcoin mining.

What do you think about the theft of electricity for crypto mining? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) resident representative for Nigeria, Ari Aisen recently discussed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) directive that targets crypto entities. In remarks made during a special virtual press briefing, Aisen repeats some of the CBN’s claims that cryptocurrencies were being used “for illegal transactions such as money laundering and drug trafficking.”

CBN Acting in the Interests of Financial Sector Stability

According to a report, Aisen, who says that other central banks have taken similar action, believes that “some care should be taken” concerning the use of cryptocurrencies. In an apparent justification of the directive, Aisen suggests that the CBN only wants a solution that will be “in the interest of the payment system and the sustainability of the financial sector.”

However, during the same briefing, Aisen also calls on Nigerian monetary authorities to consider the “unification of foreign exchange rates.” While the CBN maintains the naira’s exchange against the US dollar at 380:1. The parallel market, on the other hand, offers a significantly higher rate of 475:1.

Meanwhile, by maintaining an overvalued exchange rate, the Nigerian government is able to easily meet its obligations. Yet, on the other hand, this overvalued exchange rate is partly blamed for the plummeting monthly cross-border remittances into Nigeria. According to Nairanalytics, remittances, which are a vital foreign exchange source, dropped from the high of $2.05 billion in January 2020 to just $54 million by September of that year.

Tale of Two Exchange Rates

In the meantime, in his remarks, Aiesen attempts to convince the CBN to move towards the unification of the exchange rates as well as the transparent management of this resource. The resident representative is quoted saying:

It would be useful to unify rates to allow the currency fluctuate as well as to make forex more accessible to those in need.

The Nigerian government, just like its peers across the African continent, has seen its revenues drop significantly due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition to the dropped revenues, Nigeria is facing ongoing shortages of foreign exchange which in turn adds pressure on the local currency.

To mitigate some of these challenges, the IMF representative is advising the Nigerian government against raising taxes. Instead, Aisen urges Nigeria to strengthen the tax administration by expanding the tax base and block leakages.

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