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Current State of The Crypto Market (May 15th, 2019)

Hackers:   Cryptocurrency exchange Binance has recently announced that it is back online after completing a security upgrade prompted by a recent hack.  Beginning at 03:00 UTC Wednesday, according to a Binance support message, the upgrade meant that all services were suspended during this period. A two-hour extension to the upgrade was announced this morning as some tasks took “longer than expected.”  Following the upgrade, Binance published an update saying that trading will recommence at 13:00 UTC.  Users can now cancel open orders and process deposits, while withdrawals “will be available shortly after trading resumes,” it said.  Deposits and withdrawals have been offline since the hack last week.

Bullish Key Players:   Bitcoin’s run higher is igniting a wave of fear-of-missing-out (FOMO) among those who gloated about the cryptocurrency’s imminent demise. Fundstrat Co-Founder Tom Lee recently took time to engage with crypto Twitter now that bitcoin’s price has rebounded considerably.  Through a Twitter poll, he asked,  “At what price will see FOMO from those who gloated about 90% crash in BTC?”  Before he closed the voting over the weekend, nearly 8,000 people had participated. Most of them believe bitcoin hitting $10,000 again will bring naysayers to their knees, causing them to jump back in.

Banks & Institutions:  Institutional cryptocurrency prime dealer SFOX has partnered with a New York bank to offer state-insured bank accounts for traders, the company confirmed in a blog post on May 14.  SFOX, which says the move is an industry first, stated the deal with M.Y. Safra Bank primarily targeted institutional investors and funds.  The company has been active in the trading space since 2014, and counts businesses such as Blockchain.com and Overstock subsidiary tZero among its clients.  With Safra, SFOX traders will now have access to insurance through the United States government’s Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) worth up to $250,000.

Adoption: Gemini, the cryptocurrency exchange founded by bitcoin billionaires Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, announced this morning that it’s joining forces with Flexa, a platform that enables shoppers to spend bitcoin, ether, Bitcoin Cash, and Gemini dollars at major retailers across the U.S. including Barnes & Noble, Baskin Robbins, Bed Bath & Beyond, Caribou Coffee, Crate & Barrel, Express, GameStop, Jamba Juice, Lowe’s, Nordstrom, Office Depot & OfficeMax, Petco, Regal Cinemas, Ulta Beauty, and Whole Foods Market.  What this means is that you can use Flexa’s app to buy groceries with your crypto windfall.  While Flexa’s app is available to download in the App store you need a special invite code to access the payments system.  It is unclear when all the features of the app will become available but multiple videos have surfaced demonstrating the potential of this app and how easy it was to purchase Starbucks with crypto.

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