Poloniex splitting from Circle, ending service for US customers

Americans are about to lose one of their cryptocurrency options, as Poloniex is exiting the market. Circle have announced the exchange is “spinning out” of their portfolio, to be run by a new company.

The Circle Twitter account broke the news on October 18, providing details of the massive change:

While Circle emphasized the $100 million investment from an Asian group, users quickly noticed the exchange would be winding down for Americans in the fourth post of their Twitter thread. U.S. trading will cease on November 1, 2019, and withdrawals will end on December 15, 2019.

In an accompanying blog post written by Circle co-founders Sean Neville and Jeremy Allaire, Circle noted they would be making trading free between October 21, 2019 and the end of the year.

The good news, they wrote, was that this would allow Poloniex to have “the freedom and capital to compete in the international market, and the leadership team of Poloniex will be equipped to scale and grow beyond the scope of what Circle can provide.”

They also noted that Circle made the decision to spin out Poloniex to focus on “mainstream use cases for payments, investment, lending and fundraising.” That includes a renewed focus on their crowdfunding platform SeedInvest, and generally to focus on “a world with an open financial system.”

Eagle-eyed American Bitcoin SV (BSV) community members quickly noted that this marks the loss of another exchange on which they can trade for BSV; but others like noted community member WallStreet5 quickly suggested alternatives.

Poloniex was in the Circle family of products for less than two years. Circle initially purchased the exchange in February, 2018, paying $400 million for the exchange and promising it would “represent everything of value.”

They’ve since maintained an impartial stance in the cryptocurrency space, notably not taking sides during the contentious 2018 hard fork which saw BSV reborn to continue the original vision of Satoshi Nakamoto. They’ve also tried to do right by their users each step of the way, cancelling out trading fees in August to pay back lost BTC from their May flash crash.


Poloniex introduces margin-traded Bitcoin SV for international users

There’s a new way for Bitcoin fans from around the world to buy up Bitcoin SV (BSV). In a blog post, Circle have announced that users outside of the United States can now get BSV through margin trading on their Poloniex exchange.

The news came on April 11, shortly after Ethereum Classic (ETC) was also announced available. Using Bitcoin Core (BTC) as the base pair, Poloniex users outside of the U.S. can now get both BSV and BCHABC through margin trading at 2.5 times leverage. They join ETC, as well as XRP, ETH, XMR, STR, FCT, LTC, BTS, DOGE, DASH, MAID and CLAIM.

BSV is also now available for lending, so users holding the only true Bitcoin can choose to lend it to others and gain interest at market rates.

This isn’t the first time that Circle has branched into BSV with its group of products. In December, Circle Invest made BSV available for those who expect long term growth in Bitcoin’s value. Poloniex was also careful to stay neutral before the November 2018 hardfork that saw BSV split off from Bitcoin Cash to follow the original Satoshi Vision, and allowed users to pre-fork trade both BSV and BCHABC.

The immediate reply to the announcement on Twitter was confusion from BSV followers. Poloniex has decided to list the new margin trading pair with the ticker listing BCHSV. Several users replied that they should have simply gone with BSV, which it is more commonly known as. So if you’re looking to go trade on Poloniex for the real Bitcoin, take note.

If you do go acquire some BSV, there’s plenty of new ways to use it. Keep it safe in the recently announced Keevo hardware wallet,  record the weather to the blockchain with Weather SV, or shop with some of the top sites using The White Wallet.

That’s a lot of options, and they’re made possible by BSV’s ability to scale the blockchain. If that’s something you’re really excited about, why not join some of the people who make it possible at the CoinGeek Toronto conference. It will happen on May 29-30 and that’s coming up fast, so register now. You can even use some of that margin-traded Bitcoin SV via Coingate to save money on your entrance.

Bitcoin BCH protocol upgrade: Which groups offer 'neutral' choice?

Bitcoin BCH protocol upgrade: Which groups offer ‘neutral’ choice?

At around 4:40 p.m. UTC on November 15, the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) network will undergo its scheduled protocol upgrade. Unlike last May, this upgrade involves two technical proposals—Bitcoin SV (Satoshi Vision) and Bitcoin ABC.

Bitcoin SV, a new full node implementation for Bitcoin BCH, is designed to specifically advance the Satoshi Vision of Bitcoin’s original protocol, with a plan for faster scaling to bigger blocks on BCH. Bitcoin SV will raise the maximum default block size from its current 32MB to 128MB—another step toward massive on-chain scaling—in addition to re-enabling of the original “Satoshi” set of op_codes, particularly OP_MUL, OP_LSHIFT, OP_RSHIFT, and OP_INVERT.

The goal of Bitcoin SV is to give BCH miners another choice—one that competes with other existing BCH implementations like Bitcoin ABC, which is pushing for a canonical transaction ordering rule (CTOR) that is not only risky to implement, but is also unproven in providing its claimed benefits.

The recent preview for the stress test scheduled for November 17 has already validated the growing hash support for Bitcoin SV, which is the first BCH implementation to cross over 50% estimated hash support since Coin Dance began reporting such data in advance of the November 15 protocol upgrade. As of press time, Bitcoin SV is already seeing a huge jump in estimated hash rate—about 72-75% compared with Bitcoin ABC’s 16-27%, according to data from Coin Dance.

It’s worth noting, however, that blockchain research and development firm nChain is not seeking a Bitcoin variant with Bitcoin SV, it’s simply providing another choice for BCH miners. Still, this hasn’t stopped groups from taking a side. Here at CoinGeek, we are highlighting the platforms that have opted for a neutral stance, offering their users the chance to put their money where they believe Bitcoin BCH is headed.

Poloniex leads the pack

Poloniex is one of the earliest exchanges to offer pre-fork trading for BCH mined with Bitcoin SV (BCHSV), as well as that using Bitcoin ABC (BCHABC) implementation.

In a statement, the Circle-owned exchange said, “We believe the responsible thing to do in this case is remain neutral and allow the community to decide which chain to support, and we want to empower the community to demonstrate their support through trading activity.

Following in the footsteps of Poloniex is Bitfinex, which assured users that it will complete a full account snapshot of Bitcoin Cash balances at 4:40 p.m. UTC. Deposits and withdrawals of BCH on the platform will be suspended effective 3:30 p.m. UTC.

“Bitfinex will not advocate for or against any particular fork, and miners have full prerogative to commit their hashing power to whichever projects they choose. At the time of writing, we do not believe that there is sufficient consensus to identify a clear winner in the Bitcoin Cash hard fork,” the exchange wrote in a blog post.

Crypto Facilities also suspended deposits and withdrawals of BCH as of 10 a.m. UTC “for an extended period of time to avoid any adverse impact of network instability on BCH deposits and transfers.”

The platform said BCH transfers will resume once Crypto Facilities has determined “…at our sole discretion, that network stability is satisfactory and a clear consensus has emerged for BCH. If you would like to control how you handle the upgrade, the best option is for you to withdrawal your BCH so you are in control of your private keys.”

In a bid “to protect customer funds,” Coins.ph, the crypto wallet service operating in the Philippines, will also suspend sending, receiving, and conversion functionality on the Coins.ph BCH Wallet two hours before the protocol upgrade. It will also halt all BCH trading on Coins Pro (BCH-PHP and BCH-BTC markets) and will cancel any open BCH-related orders. Service will be reinstated on the Coins.ph BCH Wallet and Coins Pro platforms once “the protocol upgrade is in a stable state.”

According to Coins.ph, “At the moment of the fork, the Coins team will save a record of customer BCH balances. In the event that the minority fork produces tokens that are deemed to have long-term viability, Coins.ph would consider whether or not it would be feasible to return these funds to customers, as we have done with certain forks in the past. The viability of any tokens resulting from minority BCH proposals during this fork will be assessed based on its broader industry support, hash power, and value.

Meanwhile, Asia-facing cryptocurrency exchange BitAsiaEx has opened trading pairs for BCHSV as well as BCHABC. Starting November 12, users of the platform can trade BCHSV or BCHABC against BTC, CNY, and BCH, or they can also convert 1 BCH to 1 BCH (SV) + 1 BCH (ABC) for trading.

HitBTC will also support pre-fork trading of BCHSV and BCHABC. On its website, the platform noted, “Starting from November 15, 15:00 UTC, an hour before the fork, all BCH deposits will be automatically converted to BCHABC + BCHSV in 1 to 1+1 ratio.” Withdrawals for BCH will be stopped at 15:30 UTC, followed by separate deposits enabled for BCHSV and BCHABC. Withdrawals for the two coins will be enabled after the network is stabilized.

Bittrex, meanwhile, assures its users that it “will take all reasonable steps to ensure that customer funds can be preserved on both chains.” The platform has already suspended withdrawals and deposits of Bitcoin BCH on November 14, and the wallet will remain closed “until the hard fork block is complete and it is deemed safe to open.”

Other platforms that have suspended deposits, withdrawals, and trading ahead of the BCH protocol upgrade include CoinBene, ZB.com, Bibox, Ledger, and Jaxx. On its website, Jaxx announced it will “support the chain that has the most hash power following the fork,” noting that “at this time, we do not plan to support any of the additional chains.”

Follow the Bitcoin Way

After the protocol upgrade, Bitcoin BCH with Bitcoin SV will finally come of age—no longer a dev experiment, but a mining-backed project. If you’re interested in seeing the true original power of Bitcoin, we recommend you to join the bComm Association and to also come to the CoinGeek Week conference from November 28-30 (with a special advance Miner’s Day on November 27), the perfect venue to meet the thought leaders and discuss the implications of the worlds first Bitcoin Hash War fought according to Nakamoto Consensus. Be part of the community that wants to let the original Bitcoin show the world its true power as sound money and so much more.

Circle snaps up cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex for $400M

Circle snaps up cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex for $400M

The rumors are true, Poloniex has indeed gone full Circle.

On Monday, the Goldman Sachs-funded payment company announced that it has acquired Poloniex cryptocurrency exchange for $400 million in a bid to extend “its commitment to a new vision for global finance.”

The acquisition was first reported by Modern Consensus in early February, although it was shot down as fake news. Now, the two companies are coming clean, and making some pretty big promises about scaling “risk, compliance, and technical operations.”

Poloniex, one of the most well established cryptocurrency exchanges, is the latest addition in Circle’s product offerings, which also include Circle Pay, Circle Trade, and the upcoming Circle Invest. According to Circle, “Poloniex addresses another key element of Circle’s product foundation: An open global token marketplace.”

Poloniex is the 14th largest exchange by 24-hour volume, according to CoinMarketCap data. Acquisition aside, Poloniex said it remains “committed to preserving the features and functionality that first drew interest” to the platform.

“Any updates we make in the course of this transition will be behind-the-scenes and focused on strengthening user experience, platform performance, and security,” Poloniex said in a blog post.

Scalability, reliability, robustness

Goldman Sachs-backed Circle is no stranger to cryptocurrency. In 2015, the payment platform is the first to receive New York’s elusive BitLicense. Circle also holds UK’s first virtual currency license, which was awarded to the company in 2016.

The Poloniex acquisition is expected to boost Circle’s presence in the cryptocurrency market, all while revitalizing the trading platform’s fortunes. The first order of business, according to Circle co-founders Jeremy Allaire and Sean Neville, is to “address customer support.” Circle also plans to scale Poloniex “up and out” via market expansion, localization, increased token listings, and adding connectivity to fiat currencies including USD, EURO, and GBP.

“We envision a robust multi-sided distributed marketplace that can host tokens which represent everything of value: physical goods, fundraising and equity, real estate, creative productions such as works of art, music and literature, service leases and time-based rentals, credit, futures, and more,” according to Circle.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.