Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) Wants to Facilitate Bitcoin Trading As Soon As Regulation Opens Up

Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) Wants to Facilitate Bitcoin Trading As Soon As Regulation Opens Up

National exchange of the Philippines The Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) plans to enable crypto trading on its platform. To do this, the exchange needs approval from regulators.

PSE Best For Crypto Trades

Speaking to CNN Philippines, PSE CEO and President Ramon Monzon said that the exchange would be a suitable platform for crypto trading due to its unique trading infrastructure and investor protection safeguards.

Monzon believes that the structured trading of crypto in the Philippines should be on the PSE platform. According to him, cryptos are an asset class the Philippines cannot ignore anymore, given growing interest.

“If there should be any exchange for cryptos, it should be done at the PSE. Why? Number one, it’s because we have the trading infrastructure. But more importantly, we’ll be able to have investor protection safeguards especially with a product like crypto.”

Monzon said the idea surfaced during a top management meeting two weeks ago. He added that PSE is currently awaiting guidelines from the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) alongside other regulators.

The SEC began seeking public comments from banks, investors, and others in 2019 to ascertain whether the country needs a domestic crypto exchange. The same year, the regulator announced intentions to issue guidelines for crypto exchanges.

In 2020, SEC chairman Emilio Aquino said the agency has set draft rules in place after receiving comments and is looking to finalize them. However, there are no concrete rules in place yet.

Philippines’ Attitude Towards Crypto

Unlike some countries, the Philippine government has been relatively friendly towards cryptocurrencies.

Although the Philippine Central Bank has been outspoken about its crypto rules as it aims to curtail money laundering, it has approved several crypto exchanges.

Some of the firms approved last year include Bitan Moneytech, Rebittance Virtual Currency Philippines, and Bexpress.

In January, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), or the central bank of the Philippines, published new guidelines for the virtual asset service providers (VASPs) operating in the country. The bank imposed new restrictions and directed the firms to have licenses before operating.

BSP requires exchanges to register as remittance and transfer companies while putting anti-money laundering and consumer protection mechanisms in place.

While the country’s government seems invested in cryptocurrency, it is not making the same effort for its central bank digital currency (CBDC) program. Last year, the BSP said they were not considering the development or issuance of a CBDC any time soon. According to a report by CNN Philippines, BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said work needs to be done before a digital Peso can be issued.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Robinhood’s IPO Pushed Back As SEC Delays Approval

Robinhood’s IPO Pushed Back As SEC Delays Approval

The initial public offering (IPO) of stock trading platform Robinhood Markets LLC is being slowed.

According to a Bloomberg report, several people familiar with the matter say the Securities and Exchange Commission has been delaying its review in recent weeks.

SEC Scrutinizes Robinhood’s Crypto Arm

Per the report, the approval has been delayed because the regulator is reportedly looking closely at Robinhood’s growing cryptocurrency business.

The report says the two parties have had extensive discussions about the firm’s IPO prospectus with the regulators particularly concerned about the crypto arm.

Robinhood started cryptocurrency trading on its platform in 2018, before expanding it in 2021. The platform now has a wide range of cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, and others.

The firm had earlier planned for a June listing after its filing in March 2021, before shifting to July 2021–which is not certain.

Nevertheless, Robinhood says it would reveal its financials and go public once the SEC finally finishes its review.

Founded in 2013 and headquartered in California, Robinhood is known for offering commission-free trades of stocks and exchange-traded funds.

Robinhood’s Rise To Fame

Robinhood soared in popularity last year. The firm’s rapid rise to prominence was preceded by the GameStop short-squeeze controversy in January 2021.

The broker had halted trading of Gamestop stocks on its platform alongside shares of AMC Entertainment and Blackberry.

This did not sit well with retail traders as the company received public backlash over it. The company later lifted Gamestop restrictions saying they did so to guard against market manipulation.

In terms of revenue, Robinhood has had a good run this year. The brokerage firm made $331 million in payment in the first quarter of 2021, according to an SEC filing.

Out of the payments, $133 million was made from equity trades while $198 million came from options trading. Robinhood’s crypto customers also rose to 9.5 million during the first quarter of 2021.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Head of Italy’s Stock Market Watchdog Concerned About ‘Savings,’ Calls for ‘Proper Oversight’ of Crypto

The Head of Italy’s Stock Market Watchdog Concerned About ‘Savings,’ Calls for ‘Proper Oversight’ of Crypto

Italy’s Companies and Exchange Commission President Paolo Savona is urging the government for clear regulation as the lack of it can damage the way the market operates, he said.

Like other officials, Savona is also calling for more regulation, arguing cryptocurrencies could facilitate illegal activity such as tax evasion, money laundering, and the financing of terrorism.

Additionally, the technology behind them prevents private and public entities from properly tracking and surveilling the markets. The head of Italy’s stock market regulator said on Monday as he presented the watchdog’s yearly report,

“Without proper oversight, there could be a worsening in market transparency, the basis of legality and rational choice for (market) operators.”

He further noted there were some 4,000-5,000 cryptos in circulation without any form of real regulation. And the push to introduce technological innovation led to a minimization of the effects that a lack of clear rules on the exchange can cause as such leading to the “intertwining of traditional and virtual assets,” which could induce liabilities towards daily savings.

“If we add to this Consob’s recent own experience in closing down in Italy hundreds of websites illegally gathering savings, the picture that emerges is worrying.”

According to Savona, cryptocurrencies could even undermine central banks’ ability to conduct monetary policy.

“If it takes too long at a European level to come up with a solution, (Italy) will have to take its own measures.”

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Author: AnTy

Meme Stock GameStop to Launch NFT Platform on Ethereum & A Dedicated GME Token

Meme Stock GameStop to Launch NFT Platform on Ethereum & A Dedicated GME Token

Meme stock GameStop (GME), a video game retailer, is back on the rise this week.

Though still down 57% from its all-time high of nearly $483 in late January, currently trading around $209, GME is up over 435% from the mid-February low of $39.

The pump in prices was also seen in other meme stocks like movie theater company AMC Entertainment Holdings (AMC), headphone maker Koss Corp, and clothing company Naked Brand Group Ltd.

GME’s latest pump could be attributed to the platform entering into the non-fungible token (NFT) space.

NFT.GameStop.com was unveiled on Tuesday with the message, “Power to the Players. Power to the creators. Power to the collectors.”

It will be launched on the second-largest network, Ethereum. Currently, GameStop is looking for engineers (solidity, react, python), designers, gamers, marketers, and community leaders for its platform, reads the website.

Not many details are known about the project, but the smart contract code states “Game On Anon” and that a dedicated token GME will also be released.

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Author: AnTy

Bank of America to Speed Up Stock Trade Settlement Using Paxos Blockchain Network

Bank of America to Speed Up Stock Trade Settlement Using Paxos Blockchain Network

Crypto firm Paxos has welcomed Bank Of America to its blockchain-based network for settling US equities.

According to Bloomberg, Bank of America has become the latest US bank to join the Paxos Network for blockchain stock settlement. The Paxos network facilitates the quick settlement of securities.

European banking giant Credit Suisse and Nomura Holdings Inc’s Instinet already use the network known as Paxos Settlement Service.

Improving Return-on-Assets for BoA

Speaking on the new development, the Bank of America’s head of financing and clearing, Kevin McCarthy, said joining the Paxos network would help improve the return-on-assets in the business, which he said has been a challenge for the bank.

Paxos Settlement Service is an alternative settlement platform to existing market infrastructure. It was launched in 2020 after receiving a no-action relief from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in October 2019. Paxos has also applied for a clearing license with the SEC.

The CEO of Paxos, Chad Cascarilla, said his platform could threaten the Depository Trust & Clearing Corp. (DTCC), which currently dominates equity settlement. The DTCC offers a “T+2” settlement process via legacy software. The DTCC settlement takes up to two days and only offers same-day settlement for trades are recorded on or before 11 a.m.

This is unlike Paxos that settles stock trades within minutes using the blockchain. Paxos runs a permissioned version of the Ethereum blockchain.

Using Blockchain In The Stock Market

In recent times, financial firms worldwide have begun to explore how blockchain can help address inefficiencies in the financial markets. Even as the total value of stocks traded globally is pegged to be around $77.5 trillion, the complexity in stock-related transactions persists. The stock market still has problems regarding the time it takes for transactions to be approved and the operational costs.

NASDAQ is one stock exchange that has been a front-runner when it comes to adopting blockchain. The exchange already uses blockchain technology to issue and manage private securities. Most of the other exchanges are still exploring prototypes and looking into the opportunities in blockchain technology.

Banks like JP Morgan Chase have also leveraged blockchain technology to develop specialized payments systems and offer niche banking products. Since last year, JPMorgan has used the blockchain to execute intraday repurchase agreements totaling billions of dollars.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

BaFin Warns Binance of Offering “Stock Tokens’ Without ‘Necessary Prospectuses’

BaFin Warns Binance of Offering “Stock Tokens’ Without ‘Necessary Prospectuses’

This is in violation of European Union securities law, as per Germany’s financial regulator, while Binance says it is “committed to following local regulator requirements.”

Germany’s financial regulator is warning that Binance risks being fined for offering its tokenized stocks without filing a prospectus before offering the assets. The regulator said in a statement,

“BaFin has grounds to suspect that Binance Germany is selling shares in Germany in the form of ‘share tokens’ without offering the necessary prospectuses.”

“Please bear in mind that securities investments should only ever be carried out on the basis of the necessary information.”

Earlier this year, the leading stock exchange announced the launch of zero-commission stock trading, starting with Tesla (TSLA). Binance then announced the listing of competitor Coinbase’s COIN shares, and then this Monday, MicroStrategy (MSTR) joined Apple (AAPL) and Microsoft (MSFT) on the platform.

These “stock tokens” are denominated in the exchange’s own stablecoin BUSD.

The Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) said this week that there is no prospectus on the exchange’s website for MicroStrategy, Tesla, and Coinbase issues, which is a violation of European Union securities law.

The violation can result in Binance being fined 5 million euros ($6 million). A spokesperson for the UK’s financial watchdog said,

“The firm offers a number of regulated and unregulated products and services across multiple jurisdictions … We are working with the firm to understand the product, the regulations that may apply to it, and how it is marketed.”

The synthetic shares, backed by actual stock, allow investors to reap the economic gains of a company’s stock performance and dividends, according to Binance. A Binance spokesperson said,

“Binance takes its compliance obligations very seriously and is committed to following local regulator requirements wherever we operate. We will work with regulators to address any questions they may have.”

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Author: AnTy

New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) to Mint NFTs of its Largest IPOs of 2021

New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) to Mint NFTs of its Largest IPOs of 2021

New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) has joined the non-fungible token (NFT) crowd by announcing the launch of NYSE First Trade NFTs.

The idea is to commemorate the moment a company gets listed on the NYSE and trading for the first time — a “major milestone.”

During the public debut of a company, the exchange processes over 350 billion orders, quotes, and trade messages across its markets shared NYSE president Stacey Cunningham in a LinkedIn post.

“Only one of those messages marks the NYSE First Trade: the exact moment a company became public, creating an opportunity for others to share in their success.”

“The NYSE First Trade NFT memorializes that unique moment in a company’s history.”

After being the first with Direct Listings and then being at the forefront of SPACs, NYSE wants to try its hand at digital art, NFTs — “a fun way to mark the instant a company joins our community.”

These NFTs memorialize a company’s First Trade using the blockchain’s digital ledger, providing irrefutable proof of authenticity and ownership.

“First Trade Slips” starts with six NYSE listings that will include the largest initial public offerings (IPO) of 2021 so far, Spotify, SnowflakeDB, DoorDash, Coupang, Roblox, and Unity3D.

These NFTs can be accessed on Crypto.com, which recently launched its NFT platform.

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Author: AnTy

Risk-On Sentiment Sends Crypto & Stock Market to New All-Time Highs as Bitcoin Holds the Line

Risk-On Sentiment Sends Crypto & Stock Market to New All-Time Highs as Bitcoin Holds the Line

“60k is merely a psychological resistance” as BTC miners accumulate, on-chain activity gives “strong vote of confidence,” futures premium rises, dollar slides, and OI keeps above $22 billion.

The cryptocurrency market enjoys a strong bull rally as it hits a new all-time high above $2 trillion amidst growing demand from both retail and institutional investors.

Momentum for Bitcoin is strong, with the number of BTC held by the first-ever Bitcoin ETF (BTCC) soaring to 16,710 BTC.

But altcoins are particularly enjoying the leading cryptocurrency taking a rest under $60k. This has Ether flying past $2,100 ETH 0.18% Ethereum / USD ETHUSD $ 2,121.30
$3.820.18%
Volume 29.24 b Change $3.82 Open $2,121.30 Circulating 115.36 m Market Cap 244.72 b
4 h Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) Warns: Crypto is ‘Highly Risky’ & ‘Not Suitable for Retail Investors’ 6 h Bitcoin Mining Chip Maker, Ebang Launches a New Cryptocurrency Exchange, Ebonex 8 h CI Global Asset Management Launches Bitcoin Mutual Fund, Also Files for Ether ETF & Mutual Fund
, XRP hitting $1 after a long three-year period XRP 21.56% XRP / USD XRPUSD $ 1.11
$0.2421.56%
Volume 37.13 b Change $0.24 Open $1.11 Circulating 45.4 b Market Cap 50.51 b
4 h Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) Warns: Crypto is ‘Highly Risky’ & ‘Not Suitable for Retail Investors’ 8 h Risk-On Sentiment Sends Crypto & Stock Market to New All-Time Highs as Bitcoin Holds the Line 1 d Kimchi Premium on Bitcoin & Ethereum Aiming for 15%
, and other old crypto coins waking up from deep slumber.

According to trader and economist Alex Kruger, the best-case scenario for the crypto market is a “euphoric bull run into Coinbase listing,” which is to happen next week, to sell in May go away. The coursing of bulls will then lead to their come back in September.

“Merely A Psychological Resistance”

While BTC hasn’t broken its mid-March ATH of about $62k, Glassnode said in its research report that the fact that the largest cryptocurrency held the $1 trillion market cap for one week is a “strong vote of confidence for bitcoin and the cryptocurrency asset class as a whole.”

Glassnode further notes that on-chain activity reinforces Bitcoin’s robust position with over 1.98 million BTC, equivalent to 10.6% of the circulating supply, transacting above the $1 trillion thresholds.

As analyst Mati Greenspan puts it, “60k is merely a psychological resistance.”

As we reported, Bitcoin network fundamentals are also strong, with hash rate and difficulty both hitting new all-time highs. Also, miners have begun to accumulate BTC after selling through Q1 as miner revenue hit a new peak in March and a hat-trick for keeping above the $1 billion levels this year.

All of this is long-term bullish, says Ki Young Ju of CryptoQuant. “Network fundamentals are getting stronger, and those who make the network strong don’t cash out Bitcoins to buy new mining rigs. They buy mining rigs with cash, not Bitcoin,” he said.

What’s Happening in Futures?

Meanwhile, in the futures market, open interest across major exchanges continues to stay over $22 billion for almost a week now.

Moreover, the BTC futures premiums on retail-focused platforms are climbing higher this week, widening the institutional platform CME gap.

The funding rate on Bitcoin perpetual contracts has reached 0.1264%, the highest on Bybit. On CME, Bitcoin price is trading just 1.2% higher, as of writing.

image1

Source: Arcane Research

Macro is Bullish Too

Just like the Bitcoin market and network are bullish, the macro environment also gives bullish signals as risk appetite makes a return. The S&P 500 and Dow both surged to an ATH over the growing momentum of economic recovery.

Additionally, the dollar has started April on a weak note despite stronger-than-expected monthly payroll data.

After rising along with the Treasury yields this year, the USD index posted its biggest drop in three weeks as hedge funds cut their long positions, but it steadied on Tuesday. This latest weakness, according to strategists, is because USD has “outstripped the pickup in non-U.S. growth expectations” and could further be a sign that the U.S. reflationary advantage compared to other major economies is running out of steam.

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Author: AnTy

Brazil Approves the First Bitcoin ETF (QBTC 11) of Latin America

The ETF can launch on the Sao Paulo stock exchange under the ticker QBTC 11 by June. The company executive believes this approval could “increase” the pressure for a Bitcoin ETF in the U.S.

Brazil’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has approved the first Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) of Latin America.

Launched by QR Asset Management, manager of the QR Capital group, the Bitcoin ETF is expected to be listed on B3, the main stock exchange of the region’s largest economy. It is expected to be listed under the ticker symbol QBTC 11 on the Sao Paulo stock exchange by June.

The ETF aims to offer qualified investors exposure to Bitcoin, which has seen the “highest appreciation of the decade” in an easy and secure manner.

The executives say the crypto asset can be an alternative for portfolio diversification for multimarket funds and has attracted interest from family offices and so-called professional investors.

QBTC11 has become the fourth Bitcoin ETF after the launch of three Bitcoin ETFs — Purpose Bitcoin ETF, Evolve Bitcoin ETF, and CI Galaxy Bitcoin ETF, in Canada in recent weeks.

This latest Bitcoin ETF approval, the company executives believe, could “speed up” the approval of one in the US as well.

The SEC commissioner, Hester Pierce, said this week in an interview that the agency has “dug ourselves into a little bit of a hole” by refusing to approve a bitcoin ETF.

As we reported, SEC is actually officially on the clock on VanEck’s Bitcoin ETF, while Anthony Scaramucci’s SkyBridge has also filed for a Bitcoin ETF. Other applications pending the SEC’s review are from WisdomTree Investments, VanEck Associates Corp., NYDIG Asset Management, and Valkyrie Digital Assets.

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Author: AnTy

A Growing Number of British Investors Believe Crypto is as Safe as the Stock Market

A Growing Number of British Investors Believe Crypto is as Safe as the Stock Market

A recent poll suggests that Brits are getting more comfortable with cryptocurrencies. American investors also appear to be warming up more to crypto as their appetite for risk grows.

  • Despite their growing maturity over the past few years, cryptocurrencies have continued to face criticism over their perceived volatility and susceptibility to massive price swings.
  • However, the tide appears to be turning in Britain, as investors are getting more comfortable with the fledgling asset class.

Crypto on the Same Pedestal as Stocks

This week, market research and consumer insights provider, Piplsay, shared the results of a survey conducted on British investors about cryptocurrency. The survey consisted of 6,070 British investors above the age of 18, showing that a growing number of them now view cryptocurrencies as safe investments.

As the survey showed, over 40 percent of respondents described cryptocurrencies as safe, compared to 31 percent who viewed them as dangerous. Another 27 percent responded neutrally. Comparing cryptocurrencies to stocks, 41 percent claimed that both asset classes are on equal risk footing, while 45 percent believe that stocks are still safer than cryptocurrencies.

Of those who expressed concern about cryptocurrencies, almost 30 percent cited the potential for fraud and hacks as their primary concern. 26 percent also expressed concern over regulatory uncertainty, while only 19 percent pointed to the issue of price volatility.

Despite the growing sentiment over cryptocurrencies’ safety, 57 percent of respondents claimed that they didn’t have any desire to own digital assets. Of these, 46 percent claimed that they stayed away from cryptocurrencies because they had little to no knowledge of the asset class.

At the same time, 46 percent of all respondents also opined that large brands in the country should accept crypto payments. Most of these people cited the recent increased demand for crypto as payment methods as their reason.

American Investors Beef Up Risk Appetite

Investors’ growing desire to trade in cryptocurrencies isn’t native to Britain alone. Across the pond, professional investors are also trooping into the crypto space, encouraged by the market’s growth over the past year.

Last month, a fund manager survey from Bank of America showed that Bitcoin had become the most crowded trade in the country. Per a Reuters report, 36 percent of respondents in the survey identified the “long Bitcoin” bet as the most crowded trade, beating out “long tech.”

The Bank of America report marked the first time that “long tech” will be knocked from atop its perch since October 2019. It also marks a growing positive investor sentiment for Bitcoin, which was only third on the list in December 2020.

Several fund managers have also been hyping Bitcoin as a safe asset to invest in. Last month, Anthony Scaramucci and Brett Messing of New York hedge fund SkyBridge Capital wrote in an op-ed that Bitcoin is just as safe an investment as stocks or government bonds. The hedge fund managers wrote,

“[…] increased regulations, improved infrastructure and access to financial institutions — like Fidelity — that hold investors’ money have made bitcoin investments as safe as owning bonds and commodities like gold, which are also used to balance portfolios.”

With the cryptocurrency market delivering steady returns over other investment classes, investor sentiment remains strong.

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Author: Jimmy Aki