BIS Economist Proposes DLT-Based Financial Market Monitoring

An economist of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) has proposed new ways of supervising financial risks through distributed ledger technology (DLT). In a recently released working paper, economist Raphael Auer made the case for so-called embedded supervision, which would automatically monitor tokenized markets. This would purportedly eliminate the need for the collection, verification and delivery of companies’ related data. New forms of transparency and data credibility Per the report, DLT and smart contracts can facilitate the development of financial markets through new forms of transparency and data credibility, and…

VanEck Now Offering Bitcoin Financial Product for Institutional Investors

The CEO of investment management firm VanEck Associates, Jan Van Eck, said that the company is now offering a type financial product with exposure to Bitcoin (BTC). In an interview with CNBC on Sept. 11, Van Eck said that the product offered by the firm is a broker-traded fund and is currently not available to the public, but to institutional investors only. Van Eck further specified that it will trade over-the-counter and will not trade on a national securities exchange. The broker-traded fund is called VanEck SolidX Bitcoin Trust 144A…

Maltese Financial Regulator Will Actively Monitor Cryptocurrency Firms

The Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) says in its recently published strategic plan that it will actively monitor and manage business-related risks related to cryptocurrency firms. Monitor crypto firms to prevent crypto-related crimes On Sept. 6, the MFSA published its three-year strategic plan for 2019–2021 which states the Malta financial regulator will strive to modernize their regulatory approach to be one step ahead of industry developments. The MFSA said it will work closely with the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit and other national and international authorities, including the newly formed Malta Digital…

Swiss Crypto Banks Receive Licenses From Financial Regulator

The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) has reportedly granted two banking and securities dealer licences to crypto-focused banks. Two Swiss crypto-specializing firms, Seba Crypto AG and Sygnum have received banking and securities dealer licenses, the banks said in separate statements on Aug. 26. With the new license, Seba expects to officially launch its new trading platform platform in early October 2019, the company stated. Seba’s plans include the establishment of a digital asset platform for professional traders, firms and institutional clients, as well as custody storage and asset management.…

House Financial Services Committee Will Continue Libra Review

Representative Maxine Waters, chair of the United States House of Representatives’ Financial Services Committee, says the committee will continue to review Facebook’s proposed cryptocurrency Libra and the corresponding digital wallet Calibra. A priority for autumn 2019 Waters announced the committee’s priorities for fall 2019 on Aug. 23. According to the statement, the committee plans to receive the testimony and opinions from governmental officials and regulators.  Specifically, Waters lists Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Kraninger, Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Calabria and Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Quarles. Waters…

Bitcoin Price ‘Will Struggle’ in Big Financial Crisis, Says Investor

Spencer Bogart, a general partner at venture capital firm Blockchain Capital, thinks that Bitcoin (BTC) will be a safe haven in the long term. However, he has a nuanced view of how BTC price will play out with respect to various economic events. Bogart shared his views during an interview with Bloomberg on Aug. 20. According to him, risks of monetary devaluation can drive Bitcoin’s price up. Bogart commented: “I think longer term Bitcoin will absolutely be a safe haven […] I think that when you have looming risks of…

Israeli Financial Authority to Accelerate Blockchain, Fintech Licensure

The Capital Market, Insurance and Saving Authority, a division of Israel’s Ministry of Finance (MoF), is looking to accelerate the process of procuring licenses for blockchain and fintech companies in the country. Israeli business news outlet Calcalist reported the development on Aug. 19. According to the report, the authority has launched dedicated industry teams, some of which specialize in blockchain companies.   According to the report, the authority is hoping to foster local competition by licensing more fintech companies. Moshe Barkat, who was appointed as the supervisor for the department back…

Germany Grants BaFin License to Financial Firm for STO Platform

Luxembourg-registered financial firm Black Manta Capital Partners has received a license from the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) for its Security Token Offering (STO) platform. A regulated STO platform in Germany Black Manta Capital Partners announced on Aug. 19 that its Berlin-based entity received a MiFID II license by BaFin for its regulated STO platform on Aug. 1 nine months after filing. Now, the company will be able to offer regulated brokerage services using blockchain technology. On its platform, the firm represents rights to an asset as tokens managed…

US Financial Regulators Reach $7M Settlement Over PlexCorps ICO

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has reached a multi-million dollar settlement with PlexCorps owner Dominique Lacroix, business partner Sabrina Paradis-Royer and PlexCorps over an allegedly fraudulent initial coin offering (ICO). The SEC submitted its settlement agreement to a U.S. District Court in Brooklyn on Aug. 12. According to the filing, the defendants will collectively be fined nearly $7 million as part of the settlement agreement.  The SEC concluded that the defendants raised $8,269,218 through the PlexCoin ICO. The agreement further states that the defendants will pay 55%…

Bitcoin Outshines Gold Amid Risk Aversion in Financial Markets

Bitcoin is outperforming gold amid heightened uncertainty in the global markets. The world’s most valuable cryptocurrency is currently trading at $11,700, representing 16 percent gains on a month-to-date basis. Meanwhile, gold, the traditional safe-haven asset, has added 6 percent this month. The precious metal picked up a bid at $1,400 on Aug. 1 as the U.S. President Trump’s decision to escalate trade tensions with China triggered a flight to safety. The S&P 500, a global benchmark for riskier assets, fell 0.90 percent on the same day. The risk aversion worsened…