As we head into the last quarter of 2019, a year which has seen significant improvement in the fundamentals of the market, a lot continues to happen that has crypto enthusiasts hopeful for the prospects of a great bull run in 2020. We are halfway to our all-time high, and support levels seem to be good and holding.
And the developments that have happened since the start of the week should definitely help prop the market up and bring in more investors. Most of it has to do with Binance, but there’s also some good news concerning national authorities and adoption.
1. Binance.US Goes Live, Taking Registrations
The biggest news is that Binance has finally launched the US version of its platform. Users from all but 13 states in America can now register new accounts on the platform, with trading due to go live after sufficient liquidity has been established from inbound deposits of listed digital assets. These assets are Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (Ether), Ripple (XRP), Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Litecoin (LTC). Excluded states include New York, Florida and Washington.
In a move that will be welcomed by investors, there will be no trading fees until the November 1. Binance.US will be operating as a separate company from Binance and assets will be stored on US based wallets. The official announcement refers to this when answering the questioning if users will have to transfer assets manually,
Binance.US is an independent entity. Therefore, any of your digital assets held by other trading venues or custody solutions will not automatically transfer to Binance.US. You are permitted to deposit digital assets and/or fiat, depending on your account verification level, in accordance with the terms of our User Agreement. It will be an easy few clicks to deposit funds to your Binance.US wallet.
Binance is one of the biggest exchanges in the world, but has stiff competition in America. Coinbase and Gemini, among others, are popular stops for investors.
2. Binance to Possibly Offer Fiat to Crypto OTC Trading Soon
In another big and bold by Binance to become the go-to digital assets exchange of the world, the exchange is expected to soon add fiat-to-crypto avenues by providing an over-the-counter (OTC) trading facility. The news was first reported by Coindesk.
Binance’s co-founder and chief marketing officer He Yi was speaking at the Shanghai Blockchain Week event, where in a media session said that the exchange was targeting the Chinese market by way of supporting fiat on-ramping specifically for the Chinese Yuan.
But other countries will also have this feature - and Binance serves more than 170 countries, making this feature the opportunity to attract a massive new batch of investors.
Fiat on-ramping processes have the potential to rope in investors who have little or no experience with holding digital assets. It is well understood as making the market more accessible.
3. ...And Seems to Be Pushing Binance Coin as a Libra Alternative, While Launching a Stablecoin
And the last bit of news about Binance has to do with two big stories in the crypto market in 2019: stablecoins and Facebook’s Libra.
Stablecoins are a major trend of 2019 and several have been launched in the past 12 months alone. Libra has also been a topic because, well, it’s Facebook and that caused quite an uproar when it was announced (after months of rumours that all but confirmed it.)
As Binance.US is rearing up to put up a fight against other popular US based exchanges, Binance is also releasing a stablecoin that is pegged to the US dollar and which has already been approved by the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) - Binance USD, or BUSD. The other two stablecoins which have received this approval are the Gemini Dollar and Paxos Standard. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said of this,
We hope to unlock more financial services for the greater blockchain ecosystem through the issuance of BUSD, including more use cases and utility through the power of stable digital assets.
This may even be seen as a challenge to Libra, after saying otherwise for some time now. The exchange is working on a Venus stablecoin project that is aiming to aid the development of localized stablecoins and cryptocurrencies pegged to fiat currencies of various nations.
Binance’s chief compliance officer, Samuel Lim, said of this at the OECD Global Blockchain Policy Forum,
You could say it’s a response to Libra, or you could say it’s an alternative to libra. I would say it is like a strong competitor to Libra.
4. ...While Germany and Turkey are Working on Regulation
While Germany is outlining a strategy to implement blockchain tech, while simultaneously showing concern about cryptocurrencies threatening its national currency, Turkey is going full steam ahead, with the government having announced that it will build a national blockchain infrastructure for public administration.
The announcement was made by the Ministry of Industry and Technology during a presentation that focused on its strategy for 2023. It explicitly mentions the potential of blockchain and places it as a priority for 2020.
It also makes mention of the development of an open-source platform for the blockchain, with land registration, academic certification and customs being some important areas of application. There is also the plan of creating a regulatory sandbox environment.
The discussion by the German government saw similar praise for blockchain, though with a touch more trepidation. The areas of application referred to by Germans lawmaker included digital identity management, securities and corporate finance.
The aforementioned areas of application are very keenly being considered by governments, because the cost reduction and efficiency improvements with the implementation of blockchain technology is simply too difficult to ignore.