Current State of The Crypto Market (July 3rd, 2019)

Hackers:  Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange Bitrue has been hacked for around $4.2 million in user assets.  The platform announced the breach in tweets, saying that the event was identified at around 1 a.m. local time Thursday. Users funds are insured and anyone who lost cryptocurrency would be refunded, according to the company.  The exchange said:  “First of all, please let us assure you that this situation is under control, 100% of lost funds will be returned to users, and we are reviewing our security measures and policies to ensure this does not happen again.”  Bitrue further detailed that 9.3 million XRP, worth $4.01 million, and 2.5 million cardano (ADA), worth $231,800, had been accessed and transferred off its platform.  As for how the breach occurred, the exchange explained:  “A hacker exploited a vulnerability in our Risk Control team’s 2nd review process to access the personal funds of about 90 Bitrue users. The hacker used what they learned from this breach to then access the Bitrue hot wallet and move 9.3 million XRP and 2.5 million ADA to different exchanges.”  Bitrue is working with the Huobi, Bittrex and ChangeNOW exchanges and says they have frozen funds and accounts associated with the hack.

Bullish Key Players:   The first and the foremost cryptocurrency registered an explosive growth in the first half of 2019.  Jamie Farquhar of blockchain advisory group, NKB Group, said that institutional investors drove their capital into the bitcoin market. The portfolio manager believed that most of those institutions, being small-scale, pushed bitcoin dominance rate — the portion held by bitcoin in a broader cryptocurrency market higher.

Banks & Institutions:  Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, is soon to launch futures trading.  During a presentation at the Asia Blockchain Summit in Taipei on Tuesday, Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, founder and CEO of the exchange, showcased a futures trading interface on Binance with features including longs and shorts on crypto assets.  “Binance will be launching a futures platform very soon. I don’t have the exact date yet. The simulation test version will be live in a few weeks,” he said. Referring to the screenshot of the interface showed on the stage, Zhao added:  “This is an actual screenshot of the working system. So Binance futures is coming.”  He indicated in his presentation slide that the leverage could be up to 20 times and will be offered for trading on bitcoin initially. While a firm releasing date of the feature is not yet set, a Binance spokesperson told CoinDesk it plans to launch the test in about two weeks from now.

Adoption: Twitch is once again accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment.  The video-game streaming platform had previously allowed users to pay for subscriptions with the popular cryptocurrency, but that feature was removed earlier this year. Now, it seems, the ability to pay with Bitcoin has been reenabled — at least in some of Twitch’s markets. BitPay, a payments processor that converts cryptocurrency into fiat currency, is likely processing the Bitcoin payments.  So although Twitch is unlikely to be receiving actual Bitcoin, one of the most popular gaming platforms in the world enabling Bitcoin-based payments is another significant step toward mainstream crypto adoption.