Crypto exchange Binance has announced plans to offer European bitcoin options.

Crypto exchange Binance will expand its cryptocurrency trading offering with the launch of a European-style bitcoin (BTC) options contract.

The launch was announced on December 28 and follows a successful testnet trial in November. The press release also stated that the new options contract would be settled in Tether (USDT).

As part of the announcement, Binance cited growing demand for BTC options as the reason for launching the new product. In early December, Bitcoin Future options surpassed $1 billion for the first time. Total open interest rose to nearly $6 billion.

Commenting on the launch, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said Bitcoin, which recently reached US$28,000, underscored the rising level of investment in the crypto space. He added:

„The growth of the crypto industry is largely due to a combination of factors. Among them, for example, increased public education and institutional interest, innovations in DeFi protocols and smart contracts, and the development of a robust derivatives market.“

In April, Binance joined a growing number of other exchanges in introducing U.S.-style bitcoin options trading. The main difference between the American and European formats is that traders can only exercise the latter when the contract expires.

Binance previous bitcoin options were also criticized for being one-sided, as users could not „write“ options and claim the premium for themselves. As a result, Binance options were generally more expensive due to the inability to arbitrage.

European BTC options are just one of many Binance announcements in December. As Cointelegraph reported, the exchange recently began offering Segregated Witness (SegWit) support for bitcoin deposits.

Crypto exchange OKCoin suspends XRP trading and deposits

The crypto exchange said it will take some time to find a solution to the situation between Ripple and the SEC.

Crypto exchange OKCoin announced it will suspend XRP trading and deposits following news that the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will take legal action against Ripple.

In a blog post today, OKCoin stated the „best course of action“ in response to the recent SEC action would be to suspend XRP trading and deposits. The exchange wrote that the suspension would take place over two days. Users who borrowed the XRP/USD pair through OKCoin are required to return the borrowed value before Jan. 3. The following day, the exchange will suspend spot trading, margin trading and deposits for XRP.

„It is likely that it will take some time to reach a resolution to this situation,“ OKCoin said in the blog post. „We will inform our customers when we have arguments that could change our mind.“

On Dec. 22, the SEC had announced plans to sue Ripple, as well as CEO Brad Garlinghouse and co-founder Chris Larsen. The commission alleges that the company and its executives engaged in an „unregistered, continuous securities offering of digital assets“ to investors by selling XRP tokens since 2013. Garlinghouse responded by saying the SEC „chose to attack crypto“ and it is doing exactly „the opposite of ‚promoting innovation'“ in the United States.

Since the SEC charges became public, the XRP price has fallen more than 36 percent. Some exchanges have announced they are halting trading in the token, including the likes of OSL, Beaxy and CrossTower. Digital currency exchange Bitstamp also plans to suspend XRP trading, but only for users based in the United States. However, the suspension of XRP on the OKCoin exchange, which ranks 29th according to CoinMarketCap, could become a model for major exchanges.