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Crypto Trader Cumberland Upgrades from Skype to Wall Street Interface

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Cryptocurrency market maker Cumberland is modernizing the way it handles over-the-counter (OTC) trades with clients.

Announced Tuesday, the unit of financial trading giant DRW has unveiled a so-called single-dealer platform called Marea, allowing institutional investors to interact with Cumberland through a screen-based interface, rather than negotiating trades by phone or Skype

As such, the new portal brings Cumberland in line with the way OTC trading has been conducted on Wall Street for more than a decade in traditional asset classes like stocks.

“This is a single-dealer platform and a way for our counterparties to interact with our markets, execute, trade and also view their trading history via a platform,” Bobby Cho, Cumberland’s global head of trading, told CoinDesk, adding:

“We looked at what other asset classes have done in the past, and that was an evolution from voice to chat to kind of on screens.”

To start, the new OTC platform will handle trading of 10 popular cryptocurrencies and also interacts with back-office reporting, ably handled via a tie-up with trade reporting specialists MG Stover.

The initial 10 market pairs include zcash, Sterllar lumens and the U.S. dollar-linked stablecoin TrueUSD, and then the plan is to offer the other coins Cumberland trades, said Cho.

“We are hoping to expand that into all the coins that we trade here, so upwards of about 40 coins, and then expand across the different settlement fiat currencies we also settle in – dollars, Swiss francs, euros, GBP and other currencies like that,” he said.

“So it’s a little bit different from exchanges where you are set to what the exchange offers you from just an order book perspective. In the future, we hope this opens up our counterparties to trade any asset that we allow against either any fiat currency or any other crypto that we offer.”

Research and back office

Also to be added to the portal is the research Cumberland began producing in-house last year, Cho said.

Meanwhile, Marea integrates with back-office trade reporting and reconciliation of positions at the end of the day, said Cho, “whether that’s through a spreadsheet that’s downloadable or through the user interface.”

His team wasn’t going to attempt to build a “full-stack solution for front and back office in a silo,” noted Cho.

To help with the process, third party fund administrators were brought on board, such as MG Stover, which currently services over 80 crypto-dedicated hedge funds.

Matt Stover, CEO of MG Stover, said this involves simple concepts like getting a trade confirmation that is time-stamped with the right quantity and making sure funds have proper books and record.

“We take best practices from the private fund administration space and apply these to digital assets,” he said. “We are really trying to institutionalize the digital asset space.”

Bobby Cho image via CoinDesk Consensus archives

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Bitcoin Holds Just Over $4,000 as Top Cryptos See Slight Losses

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Sunday, March 24 — most of the top 20 cryptocurrencies are reporting slight losses on the day by press time, according to data from CoinMarketCap.

Bitcoin (BTC) is down just over a tenth of a percent on the day, trading at around $4,021, according to CoinMarketCap. Looking at its weekly chart, the current price is just over a quarter of a percent lower than $4,036, the price at which Bitcoin started the week.

Bitcoin 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Bitcoin 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

On March 18, the option to donate Bitcoin, along with eight other cryptos, appeared on the website of Tor digital privacy software.

Ethereum (ETH) is holding onto its position as the largest altcoin by market cap, which is at about $14.4 billion. The second-largest altcoin, Ripple (XRP), has a market cap of about $12.9 billion by press time.

ETH is down by a slight half a percent over the last 24 hours. At press time, ETH is trading around $137, after having started the day at roughly the same price. On its weekly chart, Ethereum has seen its value decrease by nearly three percent.

Ethereum 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Ethereum 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Recently news broke that leading Ethereum browser extension Metamask reportedly broadcasts ETH addresses to all websites a user visits in its default settings.

Second-largest altcoin Ripple has is also down about half a percent in the 24 hours to press time, and is currently trading at around $0.309. Looking at the coin’s weekly chart, its current price is also nearly three percent lower than $0.318, the price at which it started the week.

Ripple 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Ripple 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Among the top 20 cryptocurrencies, the one reporting the most notable price action — and one of the few coins in the green over the last 24 hours — is Binance Coin (BNB), which is up by over 11 percent.

As Cointelegraph reported earlier today, Binance Coin is employed by the new format of Binance’s token launch service, Launchpad, for acquiring tickets to access a lottery to acquire new altcoins.

Meanwhile, the total market cap of all cryptocurrencies is currently equivalent to $140 billion, which is nearly identical to its value one week ago, up slightly from $139.7 billion

In recent news, the general manager at the Bank for International Settlements, Agustin Carstens, advised against the issuance of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) in a speech in Dublin. Carstens explained that a CBDC could facilitate a bank run, enabling people to move their funds from commercial banks to central bank accounts faster, thus destabilizing the system.

At the end of last week, an analysis from cryptocurrency index fund provider Bitwise Asset Management to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission was published, claiming that 95 percent of volume on unregulated exchanges appears to be fake or non-economic in nature.





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US Institutional Crypto Exchange Seed CX Expands to Asia With New Partnership

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United States-based institutional cryptocurrency exchange Seed CX has partnered with Singapore-based fintech company Hydra X to offer its trading service in Asia. Seed CX announced the development in a press release published on March 21.

Per the announcement, Seed CX will join the list of supported digital asset trading venues available on the Sigma trading platform offered by Hydra X, which is currently in public beta. The partnership will also reportedly allow institutional Sigma users to access Seed CX’s fiat-crypto gateway.

Seed CX is a licensed digital asset exchange for both spot market and U.S. Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)-regulated derivatives. As Cointelegraph reported at the time, Seed CX closed a $15 million funding round led by alternative investment firm Bain Capital in September last year.

More recently, in January, the exchange launched an on-chain wallet solution and then also spot trading, with both solutions limited to institutional clients.

An analysis released earlier this week by crypto index fund provider Bitwise Asset Management argued that 95 percent of volume on unregulated exchanges appears to be fake or non-economic in nature.





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BMW, Intel Partner With Government-Backed Blockchain Accelerator

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BMW Group Asia, Intel and Nielsen are now corporate partners of the Singapore government-supported blockchain accelerator Tribe.

Tribe Accelerator announced the news Friday, saying that the three firms will share their knowledge and subject expertise in their respective fields with Tribe’s startups in order to help build an “inclusive” ecosystem “ready for industry 4.0.”

BMW Group Asia, for instance, will provide “masterclasses” and mentoring sessions on how blockchain solutions can be implemented in a mass market situation.

“We hope we can help each of these startups develop their proof-of-concepts and reach the next stage of their development,” said Carsten Sapia, vice president – group IT and head of the Asia Pacific region, BMW Group Asia.

Intel Corporation, on the other hand, will offer business and technical mentorship to startups.

“Intel technologies like Intel Xeon Scalable processors and Intel SGX can help improve privacy, security, and scalability of blockchain solutions,” said Intel’s blockchain program director Michael Reed.

Meanwhile, Nielsen will provide “a sandbox with the objective of providing participants with a safe, controlled environment to test new technologies and accelerate the adoption of their solutions.”

Tribe Accelerator managing partner Ryan Chew said:

“To move forward as a society, we need to encourage experimentation, and once the benefits of blockchain technology become evident, mainstream adoption will undoubtedly follow.”

Last month, Tribe also partnered with ethereum development studio ConsenSys to further the blockchain ecosystem in Singapore.

Tribe Accelerator was launched last December as part of venture capital firm TRIVE Ventures, in partnership with South Korea’s ICON Foundation and PwC Singapore’s Venture Hub. Enterprise Singapore, a government agency set up to develop the startup ecosystem, is supporting the accelerator.

BMW image via Shutterstock

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