Bitcoin Mild Recovery, India’s Crypto Scene Flourishing, and Asia’s Crypto Surge: This Week in Crypto

March 27, 2020

After a coronavirus-inspired crash that saw bitcoin’s price hit a new 2020 low of $3,775, the crypto market is on a mild recovery trajectory. In a space of seven days, the crypto market capitalization has grown from $156.2 billion on March 19 to $184.2 billion at the time of writing. Despite the dip, Japan’s retail investors have shown more interest in buying more cryptocurrencies. India’s CoinDCX exchange has raised $3 million in Series A funding from international investors, shortly after the reversal of the crypto trading ban. Read more in this week’s edition of the crypto Asia news roundup.

Indian crypto exchange CoinDCX raised $3 million in Series A funding

CoinDCX, one of India’s leading cryptocurrency exchanges, has secured $3 million in Series A funding from global investors. Investors in the funding round include BitMEX crypto exchange operator HDR Global Trading, US-based Bain Capital Ventures, and Poloychain Capital which has previously invested in decentralized finance (DeFi) leader MakerDAO and lending protocol Compound among other blockchain firms.

The cryptocurrency exchange plans to use the raised funds to foster the adoption of cryptocurrencies, ramp up marketing efforts, and boost product development. CoinDCX wants to increase its user-base by offering more crypto-to-fiat pairs and building algorithm-based trading.

The investment came a few weeks after the Supreme Court reversed the Reserve Bank of India crypto ban that prohibited the trading of cryptocurrencies. The ban, which outlawed cryptocurrencies for two years, affected the growth of the crypto industry in the Asian nation. According to CoinDCX, their users have grown tenfold since the lifting of the ban.

With global investors flocking to invest in India’s crypto scene, there is evidence to suggest that the country’s crypto space has huge potential, said CoinDCX co-founder and CEO Sumit Gupta. “India is a market with huge potential for cryptocurrencies. Crypto as an asset is poised for takeoff,” Gupta noted

Gupta added that CoinDCX is one of the three exchanges that remained operational when the ban was effective. 

Coronavirus quarantine behind Asia’s crypto trading volume uptick, says Binance US CEO

In a recent interview with Bloomberg, Binance US CEO Catherine Coley revealed that coronavirus quarantine measures implemented in Asia have led to a surge in crypto trading volumes. Coley added that both bitcoin and traditional markets are playing a familiar cycle. 

The coronavirus pandemic recently plunged both the crypto and traditional markets. Both markets have shown signs of improvement driven by bailout measures announced by major central banks around the world.

She expects the same uptick in trading volume to hit the US if similar quarantine measures are put in place. “You also saw […] a resurgence of trading volumes taking place in Asia when the […] quarantine took place. So I think you will see the same thing happen in the U.S. when we get more firm guidelines on what the quarantine means for America,” said Coley.

She noted that the cryptocurrency ecosystem has grown over the last year and the current prices could be attractive to institutional investors. Regarding whether bitcoin was a safe-haven asset or not, she said that markets are yet to figure out what ‘safe-haven’ means.

Mt. Gox rehabilitation plan: Hold on to bitcoin and bitcoin cash, sell other cryptocurrencies

The trustee of the now-defunct Mt. Gox cryptocurrency exchange has outlined a draft rehabilitation plan that will see the liquidation of cryptocurrencies other than bitcoin and bitcoin cash. The draft plan inches a step closer to concluding a case that has been ongoing since 2014 when the exchange lost 850,000 bitcoins in a hack. 

At the time, Mt. Gox was the world’s largest crypto exchange, handling over 70 percent of the global bitcoin trading volume. 

The draft plan reveals that creditors who have filed their claims for fiat currency, bitcoin, and bitcoin cash will receive the assets as per their requests via bank transfers or get the BTC or BCH transferred to their wallet addresses.

The rehabilitation plan further said that all other assets such as cryptocurrencies other than bitcoin and its spin-off bitcoin cash will be liquidated into cash. The plan gives first preference to fiat currency claims over crypto claims.

The draft rehabilitation has not yet been filed and approved in a court, Coindesk reported.

Japanese retail crypto investors smelled blood and bought the dips

British banker and politician Baron Rothschild once said: “the time to buy is when there is blood in the streets.” And in the past few weeks, there was a lot of blood in the crypto streets as global markets tumbled in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Japanese cryptocurrency exchange bitbank saw a 40-percent surge in the number of people registering an account in the week after bitcoin’s price hit a low of $3,775. According to bitbank market analyst Yuga Hasegawa, bitcoin trading and account registrations spiked as a result of the crash.

“On top of that, given the increased volume since the crash, retail investor’s interest in bitcoin has not faded at all and, in fact, the intent to buy the dip is quite obvious,” reads part of Hasegawa’s Medium blog post.

Hasegawa further writes that there is a good chance that many retail investors are aware of the May 2020 bitcoin halving and want to buy more bitcoin at lower prices before the halving event.

NEO Foundation unlocks $11 million to fund ecosystem development in 2020

The NEO Foundation unlocked 1.66 million NEO tokens on March 24 from a cold wallet for developing the ecosystem in 2020. The unlocking of the funds was done in line with the rules outlined in the white paper.

“On March 24, 2020, the NEO Foundation completed the annual of NEO tokens in accordance with the rules, releasing 1,660,865 NEO tokens from the locked account to the current account,” NEO Foundation wrote on its website.

Neo, previously known as Antshares, is a blockchain and smart contract platform similar to the Ethereum network. The blockchain platform is sometimes referred to as the Ethereum of China.

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