Blockstream’s in development high speed cross exchange trading platform Liquid hit a little snag this weekend when Tokyo based fintech company Quoine launched a similar product with the same name. Quoine also snagged liquid.com some time ago, virtually guaranteeing Blockstream will have to rebrand their own service.
Blockstream, one of the true giants of the cryptocurrency world, and a main sponsor of Bitcoin Core, has long been working on ‘Liquid’; “Rapid, confidential, and secure bitcoin transfers to give traders the liquidity they are looking for”.
Through Liquid, Blockstream will offer the service of allowing traders to move between exchanges at high speeds, without waiting for the actual Bitcoin blockchain to confirm any new blocks.
Instead, users’ balance will be kept track of using a side chain. Future plans include support for multiple other currencies, but initially only BTC support will be available. Liquid is currently in early access.
Unfortunately for Blockstream, the Japanese fintech company and cryptocurrency exchange Quoine this weekend launched their latest service, a ‘one stop trading portal’ that allows users to take advantage of arbitrage opportunities, with automatic cross-exchange trades on the way.
The name of this new service – Liquid. And to go with their new service, Quoine long ago went ahead and registered liquid.com. The identical name for such a similar service can be seen as a snub against Blockstream, and would have been a challenge for the name and concept on its own, but by securing the .com address Quoine ensures that anyone looking around for the Blockstream project will stumble upon the already further-along rival project.
Any name recognition or advertisement by Blockstream will therefore help their rival as well, leaving Blockstream in a position where, most likely, they are going to have to change the name of their project, and forfeit much of the buzz they have created so far.
Nor did Quoine emerge out of thin air with this product. The Tokyo based fintech company is one of the first players to be approved by Japanese regulatory authorities as a legitimate cryptocurrency exchange, with its books open to the authorities and guaranteed compliance with financial best practices.
At the time of writing, the ‘Liquid’ exchange had a respectable $90 million daily volume – much less than Binance, but also quite a lot better than most, and enough to mark Quoine out as one of the more serious contenders in crypto trading platforms. All in all, this cannot have been a good weekend for Blockstream.