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New crypto exchange LVL takes on Coinbase and Gemini

New crypto exchange LVL takes on Coinbase and Gemini

Upstart crypto exchange LVL (pronounced  ‘level’) will be looking to compete with the already established Coinbase and Gemini in the US

The exchange announced it would not charge any trading fees as it attempts to draw users away from giants Coinbase and Gemini. Previously the exchange had an allowance where subscription users were not charged any trading fees. LVL is backed by several influential figures in the finance space, notably Morgan Creek Digital founder Anthony Pompliano and Bitcoin advocate Jimmy Song.

The exchange also has the support of financial institutions. It recently collaborated with MasterCard to launch two debit cards that will enter the market early next year.

“We’ve always been behind a subscription paywall, but now we’re just making our entire service free to use. You can buy and sell bitcoin, you can use the plastic debit card. So now in North America, there’s a regulated exchange that’s 100% free to use,” the company’s chief executive Chris Slaughter revealed.

LVL will be looking to capitalise on the lack of competition in the US, where exchanges use similar pricing schemes. Slaughter asserted that the exchange was willing to go above and beyond to fight the monopoly, even if it is just an upstart.

“We are a super scrappy business contender by nature,” he said. “Like, we only have seven people, but we have the first Mastercard approval in North America. We’re registered with FinCEN. And not only do we have bank accounts, they are full checking accounts.”

LVL will be counting on its distinct revenue model to disrupt the monopoly.  The exchange earns revenue by charging a $3 withdrawal fee that covers the network fees as well. A $5 fee applies for wire and same-day bank transfers. This fee finances LVL’s risk provisioning credit to users while also generating revenue for the exchange.

The premium package, which comes with a live-chat option with a banker, costs $9 per month. This fee helps LVL Autopilot bring liquidity to the platform.

“Based on our current number of pro users, and the way we expect liquidity to grow following this announcement, we expect to pass Coinbase’s liquidity within the 2% band in January,” Slaughter explained.

LVL’s services are available in 28 states and territories in this account. According to Slaughter, these states collectively account for 60% of the US population. The CEO further said the exchange has a goal of servicing 94% of Americans by the end of next year.


Coinbase suffers another outage

Coinbase suffers another outage

The Coinbase trading platforms experienced another outage yesterday as the volatility in the cryptocurrency market heightens

The US-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase suffered another outage a few hours ago. The power outage affected its website and mobile apps as the cryptocurrency exchange battles this reoccurring problem over the past few weeks. Coinbase seems to be suffering an outage whenever there is a spike in Bitcoin’s price and trading volume.

Coinbase announced its outage via a tweet. It stated that “We are currently investigating connectivity issues on Coinbase and Coinbase Pro. We’re working quickly to implement a fix, and we’ll send an update as soon as it’s resolved”.

The cryptocurrency exchange later tweeted that it had implemented a fix for the issue and is monitoring the results. The outage wasn’t unique to Coinbase as some platforms across the globe were affected. Cloud provider Amazon Web Service (AWS) experienced outages, and it affected several platforms that are hosting their services with them.

Coinbase has a track record of outages during busy trading periods in 2020. On 16 November, Coinbase reported a similar outage, making the website and mobile app inaccessible to traders and investors for a few hours.

The latest outage comes as the Bitcoin price continues to suffer this week. The top cryptocurrency broke the $19,000 barrier a few days ago but has lost more than $2,000 since then. At the time of this news, BTC is down by 3.5% over the past 24 hours and is trading at $17,236 per coin.

Coinbase plagued by yet another controversy

Coinbase has been a hotbed for controversy this year. After asking its workers to steer clear of political opinions a few months ago, the company is about to experience another significant controversy.

The company published a blog post yesterday, pushing back at an unpublished article in the New York Times (NYT). The upcoming article claims that black employees had negative experiences while working at Coinbase.

The article was written by NYT journalist Nathaniel Popper who has been interviewing current and former staff of Coinbase in recent weeks. The article will say that most black workers and contractors mentioned in the story filed complaints with Coinbase.

However, Coinbase came out to refute the claims and explain that only three black employees filed complaints during their time at Coinbase, and all the complaints were properly investigated. Following the investigations by both internal and external bodies, Coinbase found no evidence of wrongdoing and concluded that the claims were unsubstantiated.

The article by the New York Times is yet to be published, but it could further affect Coinbase’s credibility in the marketplace.


Coinbase Still Suffer Latency Issues Amid AWS Amazon Outage

Coinbase Still Suffer Latency Issues Amid AWS Amazon Outage

Crypto exchange Coinbase was hit Thursday with a prolonged outage that took down most of its services, and isn’t yet fully back. This time, however, the connectivity issues weren’t related to intense trading volumes or Bitcoin’s restless bull runs. Instead, the issues came as Amazon’s internet infrastructure service experienced a multi-hour outage that affected a large portion of the internet.

“We are currently experiencing elevated error rates on some backend systems due to an Amazon AWS outage. You may encounter intermittent delays or errors while transacting, as well as accessing other parts of our applications. Customer support inquiries are also delayed,” the exchange said on its status page.

Customers voiced on Twitter their displeasure about technical difficulties that hinder activity at Coinbase, as it prevented them from taking advantage of Bitcoin activity.

Coinbase said yesterday on its website it was investigating issues with ID verifications for some customers, later adding that it had identified the problem and implemented a solution.

Outside the crypto domain, many popular web-based services that rely on Amazon’s cloud-computing service to function, like Roku, Flickr, and Adobe, were also down.

Although Amazon said it had identified the root cause of the outage, and had completed immediate actions to prevent recurrence, Coinbase platforms still suffer tech problems.

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Down Detector reported more than 100 users experiencing problems with the service, including being locked out of their accounts.

This is not the first time that the San Francisco-based crypto exchange has experienced technical failure, but previous outages came mostly in tandem with jumps in bitcoin prices.

This year alone, Coinbase users reported being unable to trade during these times of peak Bitcoin volatility at least nine times. The most notable incident came in March when the crypto community was gearing up for the bitcoin supply squeeze, known as a halving, which also caused trading to halt.

In most cases, not much of an update is given except for a message indicating that its retail and professional-focused platforms are experiencing “connectivity issues.”

This prompted some users to call for legal actions, signaling that there is something suspicious about who Coinbase goes down when crypto markets are moving up.