Since the opening of crypto exchange VALR, it’s been more than two years. It’s been an amazing journey from zero to one of the most important crypto exchanges in SA in terms trading volumes. Its cumulative trading volume jumped from R10 billion and R50 billion in a year. But even more impressive was the growth of the customer base, which grew from 20 000 a decade ago to more than 125 000 today. It launched bitcoin-rand trading one year ago. It has the highest trading volumes of any cryptocurrency platform in SA and Africa. VALR was founded with a simple proposition. It offers the most cryptos in SA (more that 50), cuts fees to the bone (and actually pays rather than charges customers who provide liquidity), as well as the best market security.
All of this is not cheap. It partnered with Bittrex to provide crypto security and secured a $1.5million investment from Bittrex in July 2018. Michael Jordaan, former CEO of FNB, also invested in Bittrex. Recently, VALR received $3.4 million more from 100x Ventures, and 4Di Capital, bringing its total raised to date at R79 million.
VALR’s sign-up process took only five minutes and was accessible to both beginners and seasoned crypto investors. VALR has been closely involved with South African regulators and played a crucial role in educating policymakers on cryptocurrencies.
CEOs of VALR
The four co-founders and CEOs of VALR – Farzam Ehsani (Theo Bohnen), Badi Sudhakaran, Chris Tsimogiannis, and Badi Sudhakaran – were all part of Rand Merchant Bank’s original blockchain team.
“Valor was founded with a sense purpose because we believe that cryptos can make the world a better place.” Ehsani says that there is so much you can do about cryptocurrency to address the shortcomings of the current financial system. “For example, the notion that a bank payment takes two to three business days to clear is absurd. Blockchain technology, which is used to create cryptos such as bitcoin, can do this almost immediately.
Ehsani was born to Iranian parents in Kenya. He spent most of his childhood on the African continent, before moving to the United States to study at the University of California, Berkeley. He was the first chair of the SA Financial Blockchain Consortium. He also worked previously at Deloitte Consulting, San Francisco, and McKinsey. He is a committed Baha’i Faith member, having worked for a while at the Baha’iWorld Centre in Haifa (Israel), and sees cryptos as a way of overcoming national and sectarian divides.
“But the true democratic force of cryptocurrency is that no one can unilaterally control them and everyone is invited to participate.
He says, “We are at a turning point in a financial revolution that will unfold over the next 10-20 years where mankind’s concept of money and value will dramatically change.”
“Many people don’t realize that Bitcoin is still undervalued. It is still worth an order of magnitude less that gold at $1 trillion, but it is more portable and rarer. The issuance of bitcoin is not controlled by anyone. 21 million bitcoin will never be issued, which explains the remarkable price gains over the past 12 years. Bitcoin is fulfilling its purpose of being a store value, or what some call Gold 2.0.
This contrasts sharply with inflationary government currencies, which are devalued each year by huge money printing programs of central banks around the world.
VALR also introduced a referral program that allows customers to receive up to 15% back on their trading fees when they refer new clients. You can also earn 10% from the fees that are paid by the person you refer.
Digital assets can be safely stored. This may not be a concern for those new to cryptocurrency, but it should. Some terrible security breaches marred the birth of cryptocurrency. Mt Gox, a Tokyo-based cryptocurrency exchange, grew to be the largest in the world until it was hacked. An estimated 650 000 bitcoin, worth R481 billion, was stolen.
VALR holds clients’ cryptocurrencies in both a ‘cold storage area’ and a ‘hot wallets area. Cold storage refers to offline institutional vaults that are geographically-dispersed, access-controlled, and video-monitored. Hot wallets are multi-signature online wallets that maintain operational liquidity.
Two-factor authentication (2FA), which is a time-sensitive code that is linked to your smartphone that verifies that you are the account owner, is required for all critical transactions. Client personal and account information are encrypted in transit and at rest. All attempts to access your account via VALR require your authorization.
Internal controls prevent anyone within VALR from transferring cryptocurrencies single-handedly. Multiple signatures are required to move funds. VALR offices do not store cryptocurrencies. Register at VALR.com. To get started, you will need your ID. It will take approximately five minutes for the process to complete. After verification, your account will be verified. At that point, you will be asked to fund it with rands or any cryptos you already have.
A good place to start for newcomers is to buy some bitcoin (you only need R10) or Ethereum. There are more than 50 altcoins, which is any cryptocurrency that isn’t bitcoin.
Bitcoin Cash has reached its bottom and has increased 138% since then. Bitcoin Cash has now bounced off of the golden ratio and the weekly candle is currently below the 0.5 Fib mark. This candle should be closed below the 0.5 Fib level. The Bitcoin Cash price is generally not looking bad. It has rebounded strongly and is in a symmetrical triangular (neutral). While the RSI makes lower lows and the MACD moves upwards (bullish), the Bitcoin Cash price is not looking too bad. Bitcoin Cash has found support at the 50-month EMA for short-term trading. Bullish signals have also been seen at the MACD lines.
Bitcoin Cash must still break $ 385 in order to be bullish. It will then encounter violent resistance between $440-$ 480. Bitcoin Cash will continue to find support at $ 300, $ 170, and $ 200. Bitcoin Cash is more likely than not to move down in the short-term.
The Litecoin rate has been trending downwards since December 2017 and is currently in a descending triangle. The MACD is showing bullish signals because the MACD lines have crossed bullish and since October 2019, the histogram has been increasing. The RSI is bullish as it shows a very slight bullish divergence. Litecoin recovered between $ 59 to $ 65 initially, which is where the 0.236 Fib level and slightly above the 50-week EMA. It will be interesting for Litecoin to break the resistance.
If so, the Litecoin exchange rates between $33-$36 expects strong support. If Bitcoin falls, there are high chances that Litecoin will fall accordingly.
EOS has increased more than 100 percent over the past five weeks. It is currently between $ 3.6 horizontal resistances and $ 4.2 horizontal resists, the 0.236 Fib Level and the 50-week EMA. EOS is also in the triangle. However, EOS has rebounded strongly from the lower trend line. EOS is at the 0.236 Fib level. It will be interesting to see if EOS breaks this level or falls below it. EOS will find support at $ 2.66 again.
Positive prospects are provided by the MACD histogram, which is steadily moving upwards, and the MACD lines that have crossed bullishly. These indicators are only a confirmation tool and should not be used to forecast the price.