News

Top US Financial Regulators Warn Against Perils of Stablecoins

The Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC), which was set up in 2008 to combat risks to the financial sector after the financial crisis, believes stablecoins could cause potential problems if they gained wider use.

“If a stablecoin became widely adopted as a means of payment or store of value, disruptions to the stablecoin system could affect the wider economy,” the regulators stated in its financial report for 2019. “Financial regulators should review existing and planned digital asset arrangements and their risks, as appropriate.” Read More

Moody’s Downgrades Outlook for Global Banks

Moody’s Investors Service has downgraded the outlook for global banks. Slowing growth, low interest rates, and volatile operating conditions turned the ratings firm’s outlook on banks from stable to negative.

Trade tensions between the U.S. and China “appear entrenched, with negative consequences for banks in those countries as well as in other export-oriented economies and for banks funding trade,” Moody’s said. Read More

SEC: A Bitcoin ETF Approval Forthcoming

Dalia Blass, the director of the Division of Investment Management at the Securities and Exchange Commission, says the agency could soon approve a Bitcoin ETF.

The unlisted, closed-end interval fund will not provide daily redemptions nor be subject to considerable and unexpected liquidity demands during short periods, she commented during a keynote speech for the iCI Securities Law Development Conference. Read More

Court Upholds Nordea Bank’s Ban on Employee Bitcoin Purchases

Nordea, a Danish Bank, won a court case allowing it to prevent staff from buying Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Nordea first banned its employees from owning bitcoin in January 2018, after which Danish finance and workers’ rights figures threatened legal action. Read More

Survey: Bitcoin Mining Firm Finds Nearly One-Third of Americans Think US Dollar Backed by Gold

Genesis Mining, a cryptocurrency miner, found that one-third of Americans believe the US Dollar is still backed by gold. The dollar has not been backed by gold since 1973.

The survey, conducted in late September, included 1,000 participants. Its goal: to determine just how much U.S. citizens understood money. In late October, the miner found that 29% of those surveyed believed a gold reserve backed the U.S. dollar. 24% of respondents answered that the Federal Reserve was tasked to secure the nation’s gold reserve. Read More

China Forms Alliance to Fast-Track Blockchain Development

China’s state-backed blockchain alliances features big cryptocurrency and financial companies. One of the first name brands to join the ‘Blockchain Services Network Alliance’ (BSN) is Huobi China.

Huobi China, which is a part of global bitcoin and crypto exchange conglomerate Huobi Group, revealed its participation at the Blockchain Service Network Partner Conference.

The company’s Chinese-based operations do not include the trading of cryptocurrency. “It is not an exchange. It is a fully compliant legal entity in China doing blockchain education and blockchain solutions for large corporations, solely focused on blockchain technology, said Ciara Sun, chief of staff of Huobi Group. Read More

New Bitcoin Exchange Traded Product Launches on Switzerland ‘s SIX Stock Exchange

New York-based WisdomTree launched a new bitcoin exchange traded product (ETP) on Switzerland’s SIX stock exchange. This product, which is physically backed by crypto, will compete on SIX with Amun AG’s similarly-designed bitcoin ETP, and is settled in the underlying asset.

WisdomTree, which has provided gold-based ETPs in Europe since 2003, said its Bitcoin ETP provides investors, “a simple, secure and cost-efficient way to gain exposure to Bitcoin while utilising the best of traditional financial infrastructure and product structuring.” Under the WBTC ticker, it is listed at a total expense ratio of 0.95%. Read More

Weak U.S. Industrial Data Leads Array of Worrying Economic Indicators, Gold Remains Steady

There are several reasons experts presently warn of potential economic downturn. China’s growth has been slowing, despite recent positive reports, as the trade war wages on and geopolitical tensions increase. Among others, countries like Singapore and South Korea, who export manufactured goods to China, are slowing.

Positive economic signs do persist, with consumption remaining steady at 2%, and private residential investment increasing in the third quarter of 2019. (though this has steadily declined since the end of 2017). Despite this, business investment has begun to fall. Read More

Cryptocurrency Trading Basics

Here are some simple trading concepts as they pertain to cryptocurrency. 

Price

The ask price is totally determined by the supply (represented by the ones selling) and demand (represented by the buyers). The price (shown) is the price at which the last trade was done, it is the result of buyers and sellers interacting. When they agree to trade at a certain price, operation takes place and a new ask price is determined Read More

Bank of Russia Supports Ban on Crypto as Payment Method

The Bank of Russia supports a ban on cryptocurrency payments. The Bank says that “private cryptocurrencies cannot be equated with fiat money and cannot be legal tender.”

It added: “If it is decided to ban cryptocurrencies as a means of payment at the legislative level, we consider it appropriate to support this position.” Read More

Chair of Slovakia’s Biggest Party: U.K. “Can Hardly” Be Trusted with Nation’s Gold

Slovakia’s former premier told parliament it should force the central bank to repatriate the nation’s gold, which is stored in the U.K. He said history has shown that allies “can hardly” be trusted.

Ex-Premier Robert Fico now chairs the biggest party in Slovakia. He seeks a special parliamentary session on the issue, claiming the gold isn’t safe in the U.K. because of Brexit and a possible global economic crisis. Read More

Gold Price Declines Monday Due to Bullish Factory Reports Out of China

Gold prices declined Monday with investors turning to other asset classes after reports of an expanding Chinese factory sector and a rising dollar reduced demand.

Spot gold fell 0.3% at $1,459.94 per ounce at 0645 GMT. Prices had earlier reached highs dating back to Nov. 22. U.S. gold futures declined 0/5% to $1,466.

An expansion in factory activity during November in China, which ranks as the world’s second largest economy and biggest consumer of gold, led investors into equity markets. Read More

Ethereum Foundation Researcher Spoke at a North Korea Cryptocurrency Conference. The U.S. Arrested Him.

Federal prosecutors accused Virgil Griffith, a research scientist at the Ethereum Foundation , of helping North Korea evade US sanctions. Formally charged with violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, Griffith faces up to 20 years in prison. He allegedly attended the conference after the U.S. government refused him permission to go. Read More

German Bundestag Approves New Law So Banks Can Sell And Custody Bitcoin

German banks will begin to offer the sale and storage of cryptocurrencies under new legislation. The banks had been barred from offering direct access to crypto assets.

The new law, which was written in the fourth EU Money Laundering Directive, rewrites this starting in 2020. Reported by Handelsblatt on Wednesday, the German federal parliament, the Bundestag, passed the bill, which will likely be signed by the nation’s sixteen states. Read More

How Bad is Bitcoin Mining for the Environment? New Research Suggests Not So Bad.

Bitcoin mining emissions were on par with Estonia, suggesting that the climate change impact of the first digital asset is less than previously reported. Furthermore, the research seems to suggest that where Bitcoin is mined contributes to how much carbon Bitcoin emits. With so much of the mining being done in China, one might wonder if that country’s infrastructure is more to blame than Bitcoin. Read More