Top Cryptocurrency Exchange Tokens, Rated & Reviewed for 2019

Exchange graphical data.

During the ICO boom of 2017, several exchanges jumped on the opportunity to fund themselves by issuing a digital token.

In this guide, you will discover the top cryptocurrency exchange tokens that you can add to your digital currency portfolio in 2019.

Name Description Market Capitalization ($) Price ($) Daily Trading Volume ($) Reputation of Exchange Size of Community (measured by Twitter followers) Score
Binance (BNB) Binance Coin (BNB) allows Binance exchange’s users to receive discounts on trading fees, among other benefits on future platforms in development by Binance. 1,350,000,000 9.59 88,000,000 5 921,000 5
Huobi (HT) The Huobi Token (HT) was launched by digital asset exchange Huobi to provide Huobi users that hold HT with discounts on trading fees. It also enables holders to vote on exchange listings. 58,000,000 1.16 8,500,000 4 86,900 4
KuCoin (KCS) Similar to Binance Coin and the Huobi token, KuCoin Shares provide a discount on trading fees on the KuCoin platform as well as voting rights on new exchange listings. 40,500,000 0.45 380,000 4 324,000 4
Bibox (BIX) Bibox (BIX) token holders receive a discount on trading fees as well as a share of the Bibox exchange’s net profits. 17,000,000 0.15 8,800,000 3 18,700 3
ETHfinex (NEC) ETHFinex’s Nector (NEC) token enables holders to receive 50 percent of the exchange’s trading fees. Moreover, NEC holders are able to vote on new exchange listings. 17,800,000 0.21 2,000 4 28,200 2.5
COSS (COSS) COSS holders receive 50 percent of the COSS exchange’s trading fees paid out on a weekly basis via a smart contract. 7,700,000 0.06 50,000 3 17,000 2.5
Cobinhood (COB) Cobinhood’s exchange token COB enables holders to take part in future ICOs underwritten by Cobinhood and will provide a 50 percent off margin trading loan interest when trading on margin on the Cobinhood platform. COB holders can also pay for exchange withdrawal fees using their COB tokens. 3,100,000 0.008 15,000 4 53,900 2.5
CryptoBridge (BCO) BridgeCoin (BCO) enables holders to receive 50 percent of the CryptoBridge exchange’s profits paid out on a weekly basis. 9,300,000 0.34 4,500 3 30,000 2.5
Lykke (LKK) Lyyke (LKK) coins provide holders with a share in the Switzerland-based exchange Lykke. 6,700,000 0.02 2,000 4 6,100 2

Sources: CoinMarketCap, Twitter

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LocalBitcoins, Once a Go-To for Anonymous Bitcoin Transactions, Adds KYC

Anonymous

The Finland-based, peer-to-peer cryptocurrency trading platform LocalBitcoins released a statement on March 25, 2019, responding to a new act approved by the Finnish Parliament that will require users to verify their identities. This marks a major change for the service, which had been a primary way for users wishing to protect their anonymity to meet others willing to buy or sell bitcoin in person without sharing details about their identities.

The Act on Virtual Currency Service Providers was passed alongside an amendment to the country’s existing Act on Detecting and Preventing Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing, also known as its anti-money laundering (AML) law. Together, these regulations will bring cryptocurrency services like LocalBitcoins under the AML law and the supervision of the country’s Financial Supervisory Authority.

LocalBitcoins Introduces Changes

The changes will come into effect in November, and per the post, LocalBitcoins has framed the new regulations as an advantage for the long-term viability and acceptance of Bitcoin.

“The Virtual Currency Service Providers Act will come into full effect in the beginning of November 2019 creating a legal status for crypto assets, which should improve significantly Bitcoin’s standing as a viable and legit financial network,” according to the statement. “We have launched a new account registration process where users can verify basic information already during sign-up, making it easier for the newcomer to find trading partners … and increasing the number of suitable customers to advertisers as well as inhibiting the creation of illegitimate accounts.”

The company also said that it was improving its verification systems at users’ requests. This will include four individual account levels per trade and BTC volume, as well as a separate verification process for corporate accounts.

“In certain situations we may require enhanced identity verification,” the company’s updated terms of service states. “This may include requirements to verify details or sources of funds regarding payments you have made or received during trades on LocalBitcoins as well as bitcoin transactions that you’ve sent or received from your LocalBitcoins account.”

Prior to the inclusion of know-your-customer (KYC) measures on LocalBitcoins, new users could register an account and start trading in less than 10 seconds. Now, they apparently have to enter their personal information as it appears on their bank account, along with their country of residence and phone number, which LocalBitcoins will verify. Once all of this personal information is provided, users are granted access to the site and can find people in their area interested in buying or selling bitcoin.

Finland’s Finance Ministry Cracks Down on Cryptocurrencies

The discussion around cryptocurrency regulation has been underway in Finland for quite some time, with Yle reporting in January 2018 that the country wanted to introduce “rules that seek to prevent money laundering and organised crime activities.”

The Ministry’s legislative advisor, Armi Taipale, said that meeting this goal would require banks and insurance companies to declare all of their cryptocurrency handlings.

“In other words, virtual currencies such as bitcoin now allow customers to remain anonymous, so the idea is to bring things out into the open,” she said, per the report.

With the new regulations and the result at LocalBitcoins, it appears the country has made a major dent in the anonymous use of cryptocurrency.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

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Europol Launches Global Campaign Against Dark Web Vendors, Buyers

Globe

The European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation, better known as Europol, announced on March 26, 2019, that it has made an ongoing partnership with law enforcement from Canada, the United States and the member states of the European Union to target buyers and sellers of illegal items on the dark web.

This announcement was made on Europol’s website, describing the progress of the crackdown to date, including 61 arrests made and over €6.2 million ($6.9 million USD) worth of crypto assets, fiat currency and gold seized. Europol began gathering international teams of experts to the organization’s headquarters in the Netherlands in July of 2018 and began work in late 2018 and early 2019 to prosecute dark web traffickers of illegal narcotics, counterfeit currency and other such contraband in several nations.

The history of the dark web is deeply entangled with Bitcoin’s initial rise to prominence as a household name. In 2012 and 2013, up to 7 percent of all transacted bitcoin value was connected to darknet markets, particularly the Silk Road. While this percentage has dropped considerably, darknet market activity nearly doubled last year, according to Chainalysis.

Since the Silk Road was famously shut down in 2013, several successor sites have attempted to fill this gap. Hansa Market, for example, was shut down in 2017 following a joint law enforcement operation of agencies including Europol. Dream Market, possibly the most popular dark web site today, has announced it will shut down in April 2019 after being targeted by law enforcement. This decision may be connected to Europol’s announced crackdown.

It is not clear how long Europol will continue this operation, which had been ongoing for several months before the public announcement. The announcement included several strongly worded warnings about using the dark web for illegal purchases, noting that the risks for doing so are “actually higher than those on the surface web.” In conjunction with the enforcement action, Europol has signaled a concerted and long-lasting campaign to deter dark web users and purveyors.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

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Bitcoin Price Analysis: Upward Drift Continues Following Established Macro Support

Bitcoin Price Analysis

Since mid-February, the bitcoin market has continued to drift upward toward a band of strong, macro resistance (shown below as a red band). This slow, drift upward marks our fourth test of the resistance zone and, unlike the three prior tests, our rejection of the level has shown a weakness on the side of the bears:

Figure_1 (2).png

Figure 1: BTC-USD, Daily Candles, Fourth Rejection

If we compare the three prior rejections (labeled 1, 2 and 3), we see that the move into this resistance level was violent — and had equally violent rejections. Our fourth attempt, however, was brought into the level on low volatility and saw a weak rejection.

In addition, we are displaying our first sign of support above a crucial level in our market structure (outlined below in black):

Figure_2 (16).png

Figure 2: BTC-USD, Daily Candles, Current Rejection Finally Finding Support

This black, outlined level is significant level as it represents the first macro support/resistance flip at this level. This represents our first time withstanding a rejection of the red zone while maintaining the support of the black level. If we look a bit closer, we can see the formation of what appears to be a reaccumulation trading range that is currently finding support in the upper boundary of the range:

Figure_3 (14).png

Figure 3: BTC-USD, Hourly Candles, Low Time Frame Trading Range

One identifying characteristic of this trading range is the shakeout to the bottom side of the range, followed by a strong, impulsive move to the upside. This impulsive move to the upside represents, once again, a support/resistance flip (outlined in blue). This level previously supplied resistance as the market found itself unable to maintain support every time the market made its way to the top half of the range.

This shakeout into a support/resistance flip is often symptomatic of reaccumulation in the market. Failure to maintain this support would obviously change the market structure, but so long as the hourly time frame maintains its support on this level, the market structure remains bullish. And, considering it’s consolidating right below the red resistance outlined in Figure 1, it puts the bears in an uneasy position.

The fact that we haven’t been completely rejected at this level yet, after our fourth attempt to crack the resistance, is a good sign that supply is exhausting and bears are running out of ammo for the time being. Also, it should be noted that this red level we are testing is a level that could soon put shorters underwater on their positions. If we see a strong test to the upside and manage to push a new high, it is very likely we will see a strong continuation in the upward direction.

For months, the market has stacked short position after short position in a very tight band of prices. If we shove above that band of prices we can expect to see a strong surge of stop losses hit the market in what’s known as a “short squeeze.” A short squeeze is essentially just a cascade of stop losses that close out short positions via a market buy order. As the price pushes further up, the stop losses continue to stop out the next person in line, then the next person in line, and so on, until the bears are finally cleared out of their positions.

This short squeeze idea is all speculation at this point as we have yet to manage to find support on the red band of resistance described in this article — it’s just something to consider as the shorters begin to pile up, yet again, for the fourth time.

Summary:

  1. Creeping upward, the market finally finds itself testing long-held overhead resistance. So far, we have seen three unsuccessful tests that were swiftly rejected. And now, for the fourth time, the market finds itself testing the level without a strong rejection.
  2. The market has managed to find support on macro levels that were previously resistant for the first time as we creep up once again for a test of the macro resistance.
  3. On lower time frames, we can see signs of reaccumulation as bitcoin grinds against the macro resistance and tests the strength of the supply in the market.

Trading and investing in digital assets like bitcoin is highly speculative and comes with many risks. This analysis is for informational purposes and should not be considered investment advice. Statements and financial information on Bitcoin Magazine and BTC Inc sites do not necessarily reflect the opinion of BTC Inc and should not be construed as an endorsement or recommendation to buy, sell or hold. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

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Op Ed: Answering 10 Common Questions About Cryptocurrency and Taxes

Taxes

Depending on what country you live in, your cryptocurrency will be subject to different tax rules. The questions below address implications within the United States, specifically, but similar issues arise around the world. As always, check with a local tax professional to assess your own particular tax situation.

Are My Cryptocurrency Trades Taxable?

Yes. Cryptocurrency is treated as property by the IRS in the United States. This means that it is subject to capital gains and losses rules similar to other forms of property like stocks, bonds, real estate and gold.

You need to file taxes for your trades when you trade one coin for another or whenever you sell your crypto. Simply buying and holding cryptocurrency is not taxable; you only realize your gain or loss when you sell it.

How Do I Calculate My Gains and Losses From My Crypto Trades?

To calculate your capital gains and losses on your crypto trades, apply this formula:

Fair Market Value – Cost Basis = Capital Gain / Loss

Fair market value is simply how much an asset would sell for on the open market. Again, with cryptocurrency, this fair market value is how much the coin was worth in terms of U.S. dollars at the time of the sale.

Cost basis is the original value of an asset for tax purposes. In the world of crypto, your cost basis is essentially how much it cost you to acquire the coin.

For example:

Let’s say you bought 5 ETH on Coinbase in January of 2018. You paid $2,000 for these ETH ($400 for each coin). After the market took a turn for the worse, you sold 3 of these ETH in July for $150 each.

In this example, your cost basis for the 3 ETH that you sold is $1,200 (3 * $400). You sold the coins for $450 total. This is your fair market value.

Doing the math: $450 – $1,200 = -$750.

You incurred a $750 capital loss. You would file this loss on your taxes and it would reduce your tax bill. You would not owe taxes on the 2 ETH that you are still holding because you haven’t traded or sold them yet.

Keep in mind, coin-to-coin trades are considered both a “buy” and a “sell” for tax purposes.

A Coin-to-Coin Trade Example:

So, let’s say instead of selling your 3 ETH for U.S. dollars, you traded your 3 ETH for X amount of bitcoin. In this case, you have still triggered a taxable event, but now your fair market value is a little bit harder to calculate. You need to know what the value of the 3 ETH was in USD at the time of trading to calculate your loss on the transaction.

Using bitcoin tax software to crunch all of these historical numbers can be a huge time saver.

What Do I Do With My 1099-K from Coinbase, Gemini or Another Exchange?

A 1099-K is a form that reports credit card transactions and third-party network payments that you have received during the year. It is not an “entry” document, meaning you don’t need to attach or “include” it with your tax return.

1099-Ks from exchanges like Coinbase report the total dollar amount of transactions that occurred from your account. This number can, therefore, be very large and not at all representative of how much money you put into Coinbase or how much money you owe or do not owe in Coinbase taxes. The IRS is aware of this. Tax documents from exchanges like Coinbase will also be completely inaccurate if you ever moved crypto into other wallets, exchanges or other platforms differing from the one that sent you the 1099-K.

In order to properly report your crypto taxes, you need to capture your holistic crypto activity across all exchanges and platforms and complete a 8949 form.

Can I Save Money on My Taxes if I Lost Money Trading?

Yes. If you realized losses throughout the year from trading crypto, these losses can and should be used to offset other capital gains as well as up to $3,000 in ordinary income. Keep in mind, you need to “realize” these gains to be able to write them off on your taxes.

What does this look like in real life?

Let’s say you gained $20,000 in the stock market this year (this is a capital gain) and you lost $20,000 trading cryptocurrency. Your loss in crypto would completely offset your $20,000 stock market gain. Therefore, you would pay no taxes on your stock market activity. If you are at a 25 percent tax bracket, this form of tax loss harvesting would save you $5,000 in taxes ($20,000 * 0.25).

Note, there are many other forms of capital gains that your crypto can offset.

What if I have no other forms of capital gains?

In the scenario, where you have no other capital gains, your losses simply offset your income up to $3,000.

As an example, let’s say you started 2018 doing really well as a crypto trader. You made $5,000 trading BTC and ETH. Once August rolled around and the markets took a turn for the worse, you got hit hard and the value of your portfolio dropped significantly. You ended up selling out of all of your positions and took a $7,000 loss. From here, you would be able to harvest a $2,000 loss for the year. This loss would be deducted from your taxable income for the year. If you made $50,000 on the year in income, only $48,000 of that income would be taxable.

Crypto Is so Complex. Will the Government Really be Able to Prove I Am Not Accurately Reporting My Taxes?

It is actually not on the IRS to “prove” that you accurately reported. If audited, the IRS will require you to prove to them that you handled your money and cryptocurrency in the way you claimed on your tax return. The concept of “innocent until proven guilty” does not apply to the world of IRS audits.

The IRS has also made it clear that it is taking cryptocurrency very seriously after it announced on July 2, 2018, that one of its core campaigns and focuses for the year is the taxation of virtual currencies.

When Do I Owe Taxes on My Cryptocurrency?

The following examples have been taken from the official IRS guidance from 2014 as to what is considered a “taxable event” for cryptocurrency. A taxable event is simply a fancy term describing the circumstances in which you incur a tax liability that you must report.

  • Trading cryptocurrency to fiat currency like the U.S. dollar is a taxable event.
  • Trading cryptocurrency to cryptocurrency is a taxable event (you have to calculate the fair market value in USD at the time of the trade).
  • Using cryptocurrency for goods and services is a taxable event (again, you have to calculate the fair market value in USD at the time of the trade; you may also end up owing sales tax).
  • Giving cryptocurrency as a gift is not a taxable event (the recipient inherits the cost basis; the gift tax still applies if you exceed the gift tax exemption amount).
  • A wallet-to-wallet transfer is not a taxable event (you can transfer between exchanges or wallets without realizing capital gains and losses, so make sure to check your records against the records of your exchanges as they may count transfers as taxable events as a safe harbor).
  • Buying cryptocurrency with USD is not a taxable event. You don’t realize gains until you trade, use or sell your crypto. If you hold for longer than a year, you can realize long-term capital gains (which are about half the rate of short-term gains.) If you hold for less than a year, you realize short-term capital gains and losses.

Cryptocurrencies Change in Value All of the Time. How Do I Know What Value to Report to the IRS?

Virtual currency wages, self-employment income or cryptocurrency trades should be reported using the full fair market value of the cryptocurrency at the time the payment was made. If you don’t have a record of what the fair market value of your crypto was when you received it, you can look up previous USD values manually or upload your trades into specific crypto tax calculators to automate the process.

Will I Be Audited if I Don’t Report my Cryptocurrency Gains and Losses?

Obviously, no one can answer this question for certain. Audits do not happen very often for average citizens; however, as noted above, the IRS has explicitly stated that the taxation of virtual currencies is one of its core campaigns and focuses for the year. Staying on the right side of the law and avoiding tax fraud is a safe way to go.

Rest assured, it really is not that difficult of a process to report your crypto trades. If you have questions regarding IRS audits or your specific situation, it can be helpful to connect with a specialized crypto accountant.

I Didn’t Report My Cryptocurrency Transactions During Previous Years. What Should I Do?

If you did not report your cryptocurrency trades in previous years, you should amend your previous tax returns to accurately report these numbers. The IRS is retroactively going back as far as 2013 in audits against cryptocurrency non-compliance.

My Employer Pays My Wages in Virtual Currency. Do I Need to Report This On My Taxes?

Yes. Wages paid via cryptocurrency are treated as income for tax purposes. You will need to report this income by using the fair value of the cryptocurrency at the time you earned it. You can identify historical values automatically by importing your crypto income into crypto tax software.

This is a guest post by David Kemmerer, co-founder of CryptoTrader.Tax. Views expressed are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of Bitcoin Magazine or BTC Inc. This article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered tax or accounting advice. Always seek guidance from a tax accounting professional when assessing your individual tax situation.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

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Zebpay Integrates Bitcoin Lightning Payments on Its Mobile App

Zeb lightning.jpg

Malta-based cryptocurrency exchange Zebpay now supports Lightning payments. The exchange announced the news via a blog post, where it claims to be the “first major exchange” to enable Lightning payments for its users.

Per the report, Zebpay users can now login into their wallet and use their bitcoin balances to make micro-purchases for free.

“Making Bitcoin technology widely accessible is a key component of our roadmap. Today, with the integration of the Lightning Network, we have taken yet another step in this direction,” Zebpay’s CEO Ajeet Khurana explained in the release.

Wider Adoption of Crypto

Zebpay believes Lightning payments can drive widespread adoption of bitcoin across the globe by making it easier to make payments for goods and services without fees.

The post reads:

“Zebpay would bear the transaction cost for all lightning transactions done from its wallet and continue to evangelize this technology.”

To start using Lightning, Zebpay users have to sign into their wallets and enable the Lightning tab. Lightning payments on Zebpay will work in quick, easy steps that involve either scanning or pasting the product’s invoice into the wallet to effect payment.

Lightning payments through Zebpay are currently limited to 10 transactions a day for a total value of 0.002 Bitcoin (roughly $8 at current price). Khurana, however, believes the amount gets the job done for most purchases. In an email interview with Bitcoin Magazine, he said the exchange “found that most Lightning stores can be served with this limit. There is no reason why Zebpay won’t keep revising and improving this based on how the ecosystem/tech grows. In fact, right after the first day of going live, we (Zebpay) doubled their limits.”

Lightning payments are available for users on both the Android and iOs app. Earlier this year, Zebpay expanded its presence in Europe, opening offices in Spain, Slovakia, Romania, Lithuania and Liechtenstein.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

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Bitmain Announces Antminer s17 Date: Can It Turn the Company’s Fortunes Around?

Bitmain Announces Antminer s17: Can It Turn the Company’s Fortunes Around?

Cryptomining manufacturer Bitmain has revealed the release date for its next-generation Antminer S17 series. The S17 set of miners includes the Antminer S17 Pro, Antminer S17 and the Antminer T17.

The Antminer S17 is the latest in the company’s line of fabless mining chips. According to the post, the chips, which are expected to go on sale from April 9, 2019, will provide an energy-efficient means of mining popular cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and bitcoin cash.

The miners will be fitted with the 2nd generation 7nm ASIC BM1397 mining chips which Bitmain claims would provide a 28.6 percent improvement in power efficiency.

According to Yanxin, Bitmain’s product manager, the improved energy efficiency of the S17 miners will lead to “improved performance compared to the previous generation chip” and the increase in the “hashrate density per unit space,” which reduces costs for mining farms.

A Fortuitous Launch Date?

The timing of the S17 series launch appears to be following a strategic pattern. The Bitcoin halving is projected to hit in May 2020, just over a year after the new miners become available. The ASIC hardware producer used a similar strategy in introducing the Antminer S9 model in 2016.

The halving sees to it that the reward given to a miner for mining a block is halved after the discovery of every 210,000 blocks (which takes about four years on average). Some expect that there could be a renewed bull run leading to the third halving, which will see the block rewards reduced from 12.5 BTC to 6.25 BTC.

Bitmain’s planned launch of its next-generation S17 series miners wil allow it to capitalize on this expected bull run, which could be fueled by an increased desire to mine bitcoin (before the rewards are cut in half).

Bitmain’s Challenges

The Chinese crypto mining giant has been widely reported to be struggling in the last few months. The latest blow to the company was the expiration of its Initial Public Offering (IPO) filing, which was triggered by the lack of a hearing from the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEx).

As Bitcoin Magazine reported, the listing rules from the Chinese financial regulator provide for a six-month consideration window and a closed-door committee hearing before approval is given to an IPO application.

If an applicant doesn’t get a response from the regulator after this period, then the application automatically lapses.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

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