KuCoin’s leaked ‘volume-boosting’ offers draw accusations of wash trading | Confirmed! New Samsung Galaxy device will offer private key storage
|Feb 20, 2019|
The Block is transitioning to a new email platform. Be sure to add us to your contacts to prevent our newsletters from being sent to your spam folder!
“We received an email saying ‘you have the ability to improve your volume or you’ll be delisted. Then they [KuCoin] recommended market-making firms that would help us reach the minimum daily volumes they set for projects. I was honestly shocked at the requests they were making.” — Talal Tabbaa, COO Jibrel
The Big Block
There appeared to be only one logical conclusion when 16 tokens were simultaneously delisted from KuCoin in late 2018: they were useless tokens, and the Hong Kong-based exchange was making an example of them for failing to generate trading volumes for its 5 million registered users.
But, as ever in crypto, the story goes deeper.
The Block has found that at least four projects received an ultimatum from KuCoin; pay up to $180,000 in volume-boosting fees, or face being delisted.
After falling into the bottom 18 percent of tokens in daily trades, putting them on so-called “Special Treatment rules,” sources say that Jibrel, Encrpgen, Publica and Unikrn were advised there was one quick route to recovery: pumping volume by “any means necessary”.
“We received an email saying ‘you have the ability to improve your volume or you’ll be delisted,'” said Jibrel’s COO Talal Tabbaa. “Then they recommended market-making firms that would help us reach the minimum daily volumes they set for projects. I was honestly shocked at the requests they were making.”
Tabbaa said the exchange recommended two market-making options, who introduced themselves as KuCoin affiliates who did the “listing and marketing” for the exchange.
Read More on The Block (6 Minutes)
Around The Block
BlockTower Capital’s VC head has left the firm
BlockTower Capital’s VC head has left the firm, The Block has learned.
Eric Friedman, who joined the firm in April 2018, was an early stage investor at the company, according to his LinkedIn profile. At the time of the VC fund’s launch, BlockTower was aiming to raise up to $25 million to invest in young startups in the nascent digital asset space.
Friedman is now a freelance consultant for startup tech entrepreneurs, as per his personal website. “I decided to leave my recent role and get back to doing what I love – advising founders,” he wrote. “My goal is to help entrepreneurs build the machine within their startup to help their companies grow and scale and keep them running smoothly.” — More
Cumberland took a big step to modernize its market — here’s our conversation with its head of OTC Bobby Cho
DRW’s Cumberland is among the most notable trading firms in the nascent digital currencies market. The firm trades dozens of cryptocurrencies via its over-the-counter trading operation, which has been up and running since 2014. Now, the firm has gotten a major facelift that will allow it to engage with clients electronically, the unit’s head Bobby Cho told The Block in an interview.
The firm’s new platform, Marea, will allow its counter parties to trade with Cumberland via a new graphical user interface. It’s a move that follows its Chicago cross-town rival Jump Trading and other market makers in crypto that have modernized their marketplaces. — More
Confirmed! New Samsung Galaxy device will offer private key storage — More
Crypto funds outperformed Bitcoin and broader market in 4Q18, but still lost nearly 20 percent in aggregate — More
Crypto Twitter rejoice! A new way to bet on just about anything in the market is live on Ethereum — More
Study claims businesses are interested in blockchain, but most aren’t ready to implement the technology — More
Blockchain analytics company raises $15 million to expand global AML solutions — More
FBI seeks out potential BitConnect victims — More
Two bitcoin ETF proposals are awaiting SEC’s decision — More
Binance’s new blockchain and decentralised exchange enter public testnet phase — More
These Fortune 500 companies are teaming up to boost Hedera’s governance — More
QuadrigaCX customers are still looking for their money; a portion might have gone missing — More
DeFi project highlights from the ETHDenver hackathon — More
ICO startup escapes penalty after settling with the SEC — More