Starting in February, no-cost stock trading app Robinhood will allow users to trade Bitcoin and Ethereum with no fees whatsoever, the company announced in a blog post this Thursday, January 25th. The announcement is a welcome one to users of other cryptocurrency exchanges who have grown accustomed to paying fees ranging from 0.1% to as high as 4% per transaction on platforms like Coinbase. Robinhood is also allowing users to track the price of a number of other cryptocurrencies including Ripple and Litecoin, although the actual trading feature will only be available for Bitcoin and Ethereum (cointelegraph).
The Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation (Minfin) has presented the Digital Assets Regulation Bill which defines and establishes a regulatory system for cryptocurrencies, ICOs, mining and trading. Notably, the central bank of Russia disagrees with Ministry of Finance that cryptocurrency exchange should be legally accepted. According to the central bank, the digital currency trading rules should be only applied to tokens that would attract financial investments. According to TASS, the authors of the bill are confident that the legal status of cryptocurrency would reduce the risks of fraud and provide fiscal transparency, which is expected to increase tax revenue of the government. In contrast, banning cryptocurrency trading would likely only lead to the emergence of a black market. The bill defines cryptocurrencies and tokens as digital financial assets which are not legal tender in Russia (cointelegraph).
Canada’s Hydro Quebec will have to turn away cryptocurrency miners looking to setup operations in the province. The electricity supplier has been inundated with requests from cryptocurrency miners looking to setup operations in energy-rich province Quebec, according to Reuters. Many miners, including giants like China-based Bitmain, have made it clear that they are looking to setup new mining operations overseas in countries with low power costs and surplus of energy. The crack down on cryptocurrency exchanges in China, as well as talks of power regulations applying to miners, has prompted miners to consider new sites to operate from (cointelegraph).
GDAX, the cryptocurrency exchange run by startup Coinbase, has partnered with trading software provider Trading Technologies. The integration allows those using TT’s platform to access spot bitcoin trading alongside futures for the cryptocurrency, the two firms announced Thursday. Trading Technologies CEO Rick Lane also announced efforts to develop “asset-class-specific functionality on the TT platform for cryptocurrency trading”. Lane attributed the decision to partner with Coinbase to demand from the institutional trading community. Customers will have access to market data, charts and automated trading tools with which to submit orders and trade cryptocurrencies on GDAX. It will also enable spread trades, in which two assets are bought and sold concurrently (coindesk).
And lastly, on January 23rd the Venezuelan government, led by president Nicolás Maduro, revealed additional information about the presale of the petro. According to cryptocurrency superintendent Carlos Vargas, the government will accept hard currency or other cryptocurrencies in exchange for the oil-backed digital asset, but not its native currency bolivars (ethnews).
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