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Hacked Crypto Exchange KuCoin Resumes Deposit, Withdrawal Services for All Tokens

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KuCoin, the Singapore-headquartered digital asset exchange that was hacked to the tune of $281 million in September, said it’s restored the deposit and withdrawal services of all tokens  as of Sunday.

This is a developing story and will be updated when further information is available.



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Why Ethereum and Bitcoin Are Very Different Investments

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Those new to crypto, such as the institutional investors recently buying into bitcoin’s “digital gold” narrative, might now be looking around for the next big thing.

With the long-anticipated arrival of the Ethereum 2.0 upgrade on Dec. 1, that could be the network’s native token, ether. But analysts say ether should be judged on its own merits and not as a bitcoin replacement.

“I’ve always thought this digital asset space is huge – and it’s not just bitcoin – because there are going to be different applications for different things,” Raoul Pal, CEO and co-founder of financial media group Real Vision, said in Real Vision’s documentary “Ethereum – An Investigation,” which was released on Nov. 30. “I think of the two [bitcoin and ether] as having a very nice combined asset allocation.”

For Pal, an early bitcoin investor, the rationale seems even more plausible these days: As bitcoin’s price hits a new all-time high, the number one cryptocurrency by market capitalization is now more expensive and thus potentially a riskier bet for new investors. 

It can be expected investors are looking for a new opportunity in crypto at affordable prices. Given that ether is trading roughly 59% below its all-time high of $1,432.88, it is tempting to believe there’s a bargain to be had. What’s more, the Ethereum 2.0 upgrade to increase the network’s scalability, security and energy efficiency has generated a lot of hype.

Read more: Investment Giant AllianceBernstein Now Says Bitcoin Has Role in Investors’ Portfolios

However, at least for now, analysts and traders who spoke with CoinDesk don’t think ether will replace the FOMO over bitcoin.

“For institutional investors, they are buying BTC for the digital gold narrative,” Ryan Watkins, senior research analyst at Messari told CoinDesk. “ETH just isn’t in that conversation yet.”

Ether “benefits from spillover and likely has more conversation around it from crypto-natives,” Vishal Shah founder of derivatives exchange Alpha5 told CoinDesk. “For the uninitiated, [it is] hard to see how bitcoin is not the sole on-ramp.”

Weakening correlation between bitcoin and ether

Some analysts say that as more institutions pour money into bitcoin and push up its price, ether and other cryptocurrencies will gradually decouple from bitcoin.

Indeed, while bitcoin this week logged a record high price, ether isn’t even close to its all-time high of $1,448.18. Data from CoinDesk shows the 90-day correlation coefficient between the prices of the top two cryptocurrencies, while still strong, has gradually weakened a bit since the summer from as high as 0.93 to nearly 0.7 at the beginning of December.

Source: CoinDesk Research

“The thing about correlation is it can disappear at any time,” Ashwath Balakrishnan, research analyst at digital asset research firm Delphi Digital, told CoinDesk. “In that case, you want to understand the core fundamentals of what you hold because if you hold ether as a proxy [to your] bitcoin exposure, and [when] prices decouple, you are now exposed to something very different.”

Bitcoin has been used by many investors this year as a hedge against a drop in the purchasing power of U.S. dollars. Ether is considered the currency of “the world computer,” which aims to build an ecosystem of decentralized applications, according to Balakrishnan.

The close historical correlation between bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies may be due to how tiny the digital-asset ecosystem is relative to the global economy. The total market capitalization of crypto assets is estimated at $562 billion, a mere 1.7% of the S&P 500 stock index’s combined market cap of $32.2 trillion. With almost every crypto asset built on different fundamentals, non-bitcoin cryptocurrencies may be trending with bitcoin prices simply because the nascent market is still so small and insular. 

Read more: Volume Surge Brings 25% Turnover to ‘CoinDesk 20’

Correlation data doesn’t tell the whole story. Prices may move in tandem but the degree to which that happens is another matter. When the explosive decentralized finance (DeFi) boom hit the market during the summer, ether’s price rallied to its highest in more than two years because most DeFi projects are built on the Ethereum blockchain. At the time, bitcoin was struggling to break a similar two-year record.

What Ethereum 2.0 could mean for investors

The market will have to wait and see what kind of real impact the ongoing Ethereum upgrade could have on its native currency because the final phase of the process is scheduled to be completed in 2023. But a major fundamental upgrade on the network underpinning ether could lead its price to move on its own fundamentals, instead of merely following bitcoin’s price.

“The heart of ETH 2.0, which makes the entire system possible, is ether,” according to a report by Messari. “ETH will not only be Ethereum’s native store of value asset and fuel for transactions, but will also be Ethereum’s ultimate source of security from its role in the [proof-of-stake] system.”

Thus, while bitcoin can be seen as somewhere between a store of value and a commodity on the “asset superclass triangle,” ether could ultimately become the first asset to be a combination of all three classes of assets: capital assets, commodities and stores of value.

“When ether’s price starts to be driven by its own catalysts, holding it as a proxy to having BTC exposure will not work as expected,” Balakrishnan added.



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Xiaomi Suspends Trading on HKEX after Record Stock Placement

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Xiaomi has seen significant growth this year owing in part to the woes of its major competitor Huawei that is caught in between the polarized US-China trade wars.

Chinese mobile smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp (HKG: 1810) has suspended its trading on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX) following its latest stock placement that ranks as one the biggest the city has ever recorded. Per a report from Business Times, Xiaomi revealed in a Hong Kong exchange filing that trading would be halted Wednesday, without stating any reasons.

Per the reports, Xiaomi has yet to disclose the full details of the stock placement sales, the record secured by Bloomberg revealed that the company sold 1 billion shares at the lower range of HK$23.70 each to pull off about USD3.1 billion. This placement share sale comes at a discount of 9.4% when compared to the latest closing value of Xiaomi’s stock at HK$26.15.

Halting trading in the manner in which Xiaomi had it is quite unusual and while a Xiaomi represent was not available for comments at press time, it is generally expected particularly in the case of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange for a company to halt trading only when certain inside information has been leaked before an official announcement has been made.

“We are still figuring out the reason for the suspension,” said Castor Pang, head of research at Core Pacific-Yamaichi International Hong Kong. “It’s definitely unusual because other companies which had share placements usually file the official announcements soon after pricing. It’s hard to know what’s going on.”

While this unprecedented halt is inevitable, the impact is currently being seen on the shares of Xiaomi which is currently down by 7.07% to HK$24.30 at the time of writing. The plunge in the share price of Xiaomi has also dragged down the Hang Seng Index which slipped 0.1 percent to 26,532.58. The 140% growth of Xiaomi thus far this year appears to have been dented, hopefully temporarily with its current stock price dip.

Xiaomi Stock Placement and Fundraising Goals

The firm Xiaomi Corp has seen significant growth this year owing in part to the woes of its major competitor Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd that is caught in between the polarized US-China trade wars. Huawei has received sanctions that have crippled its efficiencies with respect to sourcing the chips for use in its smartphones.

While Huawei reels in the face of this sanction and more, Xiaomi was pushing forth to secure a larger market dominance. With an already large customer base, both in China, Asian countries, and around the world. One of the key ways Xiaomi hopes to utilize the scheduled funding through the stock placement is expected to used to drive more market penetration strategies.

“The proceeds from the equity placement will be used for business expansion, investments to increase market share and strategic ecosystem investments,” as noted in the filing document presented or shared.

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Benjamin Godfrey is a blockchain enthusiast and journalists who relish writing about the real life applications of blockchain technology and innovations to drive general acceptance and worldwide integration of the emerging technology. His desires to educate people about cryptocurrencies inspires his contributions to renowned blockchain based media and sites. Benjamin Godfrey is a lover of sports and agriculture.



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CoinDesk to Reveal Most Influential 2020 Dec. 7-8

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Who moved the needle on crypto this year? What were the projects that mattered? Who shattered the glass ceiling and broke the mold?

From DeFi to bitcoin’s late year surge, 2020 was full of big stories, trends and personalities.
Join us as CoinDesk unveils its 2020 Most Influential list, a selection of 12 people who helped push the industry forward this year. 

Monday, Dec. 7, 2020 | 1 p.m. ET

Each year since 2014, CoinDesk has identified the “most influential” members of the crypto community. In the early days, the technology was revolutionary but mainstream adoption was nowhere in sight. The community needed influencers to spread awareness, build confidence and set precedents for the digital currency industry to reach its full potential.

These evangelists broke through all the white noise and ushered in a new wave of enthusiasts into the space. To recognize their contributions, CoinDesk launched its “Most Influential” franchise to highlight individuals who moved the needle. 

In this CoinDesk Live segment, set for the day before the launch of the Most Influential 2020 list, CoinDesk podcast editor Adam Levine, CoinDesk veteran Bailey Reutzel and Peter McCormack, host of the “What Bitcoin Did” podcast, look back to the first list and take stock of the industry’s progress. 

They will share stories from the early days, update us on where the Class of 2014 is now, and interview Lyn Ulbricht of the “Free Ross” campaign. 

Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020 | 1 p.m. ET

2020 was a watershed year for the cryptocurrency industry. From DeFi and stablecoins, to CBDCs and bitcoin, theses were validated, adoption abounded and a whole new financial system seemed possible.

Join us for a live event on CoinDesk.com, YouTube and Twitter as we sort through these trends and announce the winners of this year’s Most Influential list.

CoinDesk Live: Most Influential 2020
Dec. 7-8, 2020

Where Are They Now?
Dec. 7, 2020 | 1 p.m. ET

Moderators and guests: 
Adam Levine, CoinDesk podcast editor
Bailey Reutzel, Events Content Manager
Peter McCormack, host of “What Bitcoin Did” podcast
Lyn Ulbricht, “Free Ross” campaign

Introducing the Most Influential 2020
Dec. 8, 2020 | 1 p.m. ET

We’ll be joined by Most Influential special guests and talk to the writers and artists who helped bring the influencers’ stories to life. 



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