51% of Young British Investors Trading or Holding Crypto: Charles Schwab Survey

51% of Young British Investors Trading or Holding Crypto: Charles Schwab Survey

This is more than double the number of young investors, aged between 18 and 37, involved in stocks.

Young British investors are more interested in cryptocurrencies than they are in stocks, revealed a survey by U.S. financial group Charles Schwab.

The retail investing behemoth, which is also looking at the crypto market “closely” and awaiting regulatory clarity before they start offering crypto investment, surveyed investors aged between 18 and 37.

Its finding showed that 51% of these young investors have traded or held cryptocurrencies, double the number, 25% of those who are buying or owning equities.

Meanwhile, a mere 8% of investors over the age of 55 have traded cryptocurrencies.

Compared to Bitcoin’s 70% and Ether’s 205% returns YTD, which is after the recent 23%-26% pullback from all-time highs, S&P 500 surged 10.09%, gold -5.85%, and WTI 33.33% during the same period. The press release from Charles Schwab presenting the survey read,

“As more young people purchase speculative products, there is a fear that these investors are not diversifying their portfolios enough to mitigate risks in case cryptocurrency markets decline.”

The survey’s findings revealed that seven out of ten young investors were uncertain about building protections against losses in the current financial environment.

Schwab conducted the survey earlier this year, between February and March 2021, among 1,000 UK investors holding at least one type of investment.

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Author: AnTy

FCA: Thrill & Status-Seeking Young People Are Investing in Crypto; BIS Boss Calls for Regulation

FCA: Thrill & Status-Seeking Young People Are Investing in Crypto; BIS Boss Calls for Regulation

Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) says younger people seeking thrills are turning to high-risk crypto assets and foreign exchange though most of them are unable to absorb big losses.

The FCA shared the findings of its latest research that showed that new, younger, and more diverse groups of customers are getting involved in high-risk investments.

Reportedly, these consumers tend to be female, under 40, and from a BAME (Black, Asian, and minority ethnic) background, using social media for news and tips, said the agency.

“The research found that for many investors, emotions and feelings such as enjoying the thrill of investing, and social factors like the status that comes from a sense of ownership in the companies they invest in, were key reasons behind their decisions to invest.”

The FCA said it was launching a campaign to “disrupt” an investors’ journey by directing them to a high-return investments webpage covering key questions investors should be asking before investing.

“We are worried that some investors are being tempted – often through online adverts or high-pressure sales tactics – into buying higher-risk products that are very unlikely to be suitable for them.”

Sheldon Mills FCA Executive Director for Consumer and Competition

Online trading has been increasing ever since the pandemic that forced people to stay at home during lockdowns, and regulators have been issuing warnings to consumers about the risks of investing in crypto assets.

Agustin Carstens, the general manager of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), meanwhile called for regulation of crypto assets which he said are used as a “speculative vehicle.”

Many crypto assets are “used to do some arbitrage, or to circumvent some regulations,” and laws against money laundering and terrorism financing were “absent in many applications of some cyber currencies,” said Carstens in an interview with CNBC aired on Wednesday.

“I don’t see any dominance of cyber currencies,” he said, adding cryptos haven’t made “any inroads in terms of working as money.”

As for stablecoins, they have limited applications with the issue of backing; Carstens said, “I think we need to work on regulation so that these instruments are fit for purpose.”

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Author: AnTy

Thailand SEC Plans to Introduce New Rule on Crypto Trading as Young Investors Rush In

Thailand SEC Plans to Introduce New Rule on Crypto Trading as Young Investors Rush In

In January, the trading on the nation’s licensed exchanges tripled from the previous month. With very young investors involved, students and teenagers, regulators will be revealing new proposed rules this week.

Thailand is planning to introduce new rules to curb cryptocurrency trading by individuals. The move is made in response to a surge in inflows from young investors, which is concerning the regulators. Ruenvadee Suwanmongkol, the secretary-general of the Securities & Exchange Commission, in an interview on Friday, said,

“It’s a big concern as most crypto investors on domestic exchanges are very young, such as students and teenagers.”

“We realize those people love innovations and technology, but investments in these assets have enormous risk.”

The regulators are now planning to have retail investors show their income or assets before being allowed to open trading accounts with the nation’s six licensed cryptocurrency exchanges, said Suwanmongkol.

She added that those who aren’t allowed to trade cryptocurrencies through their own accounts could invest through financial managers or licensed fund managers.

As per these new rules, individual investors may even be required to have some knowledge of crypto markets before they are allowed to open accounts to trade digital currencies.

In the month of January, crypto trading on the licensed bourses of Southeast Asia’s second-biggest economy tripled from the previous month to 56 billion baht ($2.17 billion), revealed SEC data. Over 90% of this trading comes from Thai citizens.

These new proposed rules on cryptocurrency trading will be disclosed by the regulators this week before holding a public hearing in early March, said Ruenvadee. However, before finalizing the limitations, officials will be taking suggestions and recommendations from crypto exchange operators, brokerages, and other related parties, she added.

The nation may soon see its first initial coin offering as well. The new token to be offered by a local company in the first half will be backed by the rental revenue of properties.

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Author: AnTy

EY Debuts First ERP Solution on Ethereum and Enhances On-Chain Analytics Explorer

Consulting giant Ernest & Young (EY) has launched an enterprise procurement solution based on the Ethereum public blockchain. This initiative will leverage smart contract capabilities to enable participants to design and implement procurement contracts on a public blockchain. Dubbed the EY OpsChain Network, it will oversee a shift of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) into decentralized networks instead of the current frameworks, which are fundamentally centralized.

EY announced this development on September 27, noting that it will be the first of its kind to facilitate day-to-day ERP activities while benefiting from Ethereum’s decentralized architecture; interested prospects can try out the beta version for free. The press release further highlights that building on Ethereum’s public blockchain will increase efficiency through the automation of figures in procurement pipelines,

“It has become difficult to manage network-level agreements from inside a single enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. The solution allows buyers and sellers to operate as networks, automatically keeping track of total volumes and spend, and using globally agreed terms and pricing.”

The EY OpsChain Network is built on Baseline protocol, an open-source initiative developed by EY earlier in the year. This protocol is the base of fundamental core features given that it leverages zero-knowledge proofs, distributed identity tech, and off-chain storage. This will allow firms to interact with each other on the EY OpsChain Network without exposing sensitive or private data on the public blockchain.

EY’s global blockchain leader, Paul Brody, has since expressed bullish sentiments on adopting enterprise blockchain solutions. He had previously informed Decrypt that EY believes that more than half of all business contracts will be made on the blockchain by 2030. Brody said,

“Competition is increasing between networks of companies, their partners, and suppliers. The ability to work as a network, above the level of any single ERP system, is crucial. Doing so on a public blockchain means not having to persuade a company or supplier to join a costly, closed proprietary network.”

EY Blockchain Analyzer

Apart from the OpsChain Network, EY also made some new enhancements to its blockchain analyzer and explorer product suite. The newly integrated functions will enable clients to analyze on-chain crypto activity in-depth, an approach that could improve the management of compliance, legal, and fraud risks. Currently, the beta release supports only BTC, although plans are underway to feature Ethereum as well,

“The Explorer & Visualizer solution makes it possible for internal audit teams and forensics accountants to search for specific transactions, addresses, and blocks to gather relevant information.”

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Ernst & Young: Nearly 17,000 Claims From Creditors Submitted On QuadrigaCX Assets

Ernst & Young (EY), the trustees of the now-bankrupt QuadrigaCX crypto exchange, announced nearly 17,000 applicants have filed for the remaining assets of the exchange.

According to the published note on May 6th, EY claimed it will pay out the funds, totaling to around $300 million in current valuation, in Canadian dollars. However, the process to pay out the customers is expected to take years due to court and technical proceedings.

Nearly 17,000 claims on QuadrigaCX’s assets

The audit firm took over custody of the exchange’s assets following the reported death of the founder of QuadrigaCX, Gerald Cotten, who held the private keys to the crypto holdings, in early 2019. The published report states a total of 16,959 applicants claim assets ranging from Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Litecoin (LTC), Bitcoin Gold (BTG), Bitcoin SV (BSV) and also fiat in Canadian and U.S dollars.

The trustee holds about $300 million in assets recovered from the failed exchange at the time of writing. However, the company is yet to release a working plan on how they will distribute the assets once clearance is given. The post, however, warns that the distribution could take years, as seen with the Mt. Gox case – now in its sixth year.

On the technical side of things, the exchange is yet to verify all documents received from the applicants. Moreover, some do contain technical deficiencies such as a missed signature or some minor details missing and the difference in amounts stated by the claims and the exchange’s database.

At the time of closure, the exchange had over 115,000 accounts on the platform.

The Canadian Revenue Authority (CRA) dues

The wait for refunds will take a few more years as the Canadian tax authorities, CRA, also come into the fray according to Miller Thomson, the court-appointed law firm representing Quadriga’s users. According to Thompson, the regulatory authority will have to check for any unfiled taxes on the funds before they are disbursed – and they are yet to audit them. Miller’s note to customers,

“As Quadriga failed to file tax returns in the ordinary course of business, the determination of a Canada Revenue Agency tax claim against Quadriga is necessary prior to the Trustee declaring any distribution to Affected Users or creditors.”

Canadian attorney in bankruptcy, Evan Thomas, believes the fastest way to recover the funds to users would mean no difference in QuadrigaCX ‘accounts’ and the claims and The CRA laying off claims of the taxes. He said,

“The best-case scenario is that the CRA doesn’t file a claim, there aren’t a lot of disputed claims and that the trustee can proceed to a distribution of what it has on hand relatively soon.”

Still Alive?

The case of QuadrigaCX, which left close to $150 million in user assets lost in the wind raised the skepticism in the industry. A recent poll during a Virtual Consensus 2020 event ⁠on QuadrigaCX shows that close to 60% of the people believe that Gerald Cotton may still be alive and some have called on the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to exhume the body for proof.

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Author: Lujan Odera

EY (Ernst & Young) Releases New OpsChain Public Finance Manager Blockchain Tool

Ernst & Young (EY), one of the Big Four auditing firms, has recently launched a new blockchain-based product, a platform that was designed to enhance the transparency of the government. According to the reports, the new platform will be called OpsChain Public Finance Manager.

This system is set to enable transparent tracking of public finances and budgets so that all citizens can view it. The service can also be used to match how much money is being spent against outcomes, which can show how effective the policies are.

One of the main goals of this system is that governments will be able to make data-driven policy decisions with more efficiency. With the data gathered by the platform, they can understand the outcome of their decisions better and create better policies.

According to EY’s official statement, blockchain technology can be important when impacting public spending. This way, public managers can focus on what they need and enhance their work by making it more transparent and accountable.

EY is already testing the product in some cities. One of them is Toronto, Canada. The system allows financial transfers between different sectors of the government and the company claims that its experiments were important to increase the transparency of the city.

Heather Taylor, the chief financial officer of Toronto, affirmed that the official os the city is constantly striving to find better technologies to meet the needs of the residents and to help them more effectively.

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Author: Gabriel Machado

Goldmoney Founder: Bitcoin Is An Enterprise And Users Are Akin to Its Shareholders

Goldmoney-Founder-Bitcoin-Is-An-Enterprise-And-Users-Are-Like-Its-Shareholders

Unless you are very young, you probably remember the 2008 financial crisis. The last crisis that rocked the financial world and its consequences (the bank bailouts, for instance) were part of the reason why Bitcoin was created.

Back in 2008, a man who used the alias of Satoshi Nakamoto decided that a revolution was needed and Bitcoin was born. Fuelled by the lack of confidence in the institutions, Bitcoin rose from the depths of the internet to the mainstream and now it is the hottest financial asset of the world, some would say.

With fame, came the need for regulation. The governments would not simply allow everybody to use BTC without regulating it somehow, so the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) teamed up with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in order to define that BTC was a commodity and that it should be taxed that way.

Obviously, not everybody agrees with this definition. Roy Sebag, the Goldmoney founder, is one of these people. He recently tweeted that Bitcoin was not a commodity but an enterprise instead. According to him, BTC was working its good and he compared the token holders with traditional shareholders of financial companies.

Because of this, he believes that BTC can be considered a security, not a commodity. The reason for that, he affirmed, is that miners are constantly issuing new tokens and they are the ones responsible for the governance of the system. The fact that they do not have any kind of formal relationship is irrelevant to him, but it has confused the regulators, in his opinion.

Sebag also affirmed that the miners had the role of “stewarding” the enterprise that Bitcoin is and that they get paid fees for their work. Because of this, BTC is akin to an enterprise and the miners work there, as the token holders are shareholders who have a common interest in seeing the prices going up.

He affirmed that all tokens are traded at exchanges, which makes it clear that they are designed for price appreciation.

Because of this, Sebag believes that the U. S. government could shut BTC down like they did with some other file sharing big players. BTC would be a security and, therefore, it would be acting illegally this way, according to the Act 34 of the SEC.

Obviously, he enraged the crypto community with his remarks. The CTO of Casa, Jameson Lopp, refused to agree with Sebag and affirmed that he may believe whatever he wants, but he is not participating in the ecosystem, so his opinion is pretty much irrelevant to the consensus formation.

Other people have also responded negatively to his allegations, which is to be expected since he is affirming that BTC is illegal.

The truth is that we are far from having a consensus about BTC, so this kind of discussion will keep happening for a long time.

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Author: Gabriel Machado

Quadriga’s Fraud is Surfacing as Founder Moved Customers’ Funds in his Personal Account

Quadriga’s Fraud is Surfacing as Founder Moved Customers’ Funds in his Personal Account
  • Ernst & Young report: Quadriga late founder Gerald Cotten created fake accounts
  • Over $200 million stolen from customers, 9,450 BTC, 387,738 ETH, and 239,020 LTC
  • QuadrigaCX’s late founder and CEO moved the funds of users to his own account on other cryptocurrency exchanges, according to the fifth report by Ernst & Young.

In a 70-day page report released Wednesday, one of the big four accounting firms claimed that Gerald Cotten, who died last December transferred millions of dollars in cryptocurrency out of customer accounts into others exchanges. These funds were used by Cotten to furnish his trading habits and personal lifestyle.

Cotten, it appears stole more than $200 million from his customers.

“Significant volumes of Cryptocurrency were transferred off Platform outside Quadriga to competitor exchanges into personal accounts controlled by Mr. Cotten,” the report said. “It appears that User Cryptocurrency was traded on these exchanges and in some circumstances used as security for a margin trading account established by Mr. Cotten.”

Fake Accounts, Poor Practices, Mismanagement

Cotten reportedly created fake accounts on Quadriga under multiple aliases and credited them with fake fiat that did not exist. This resulted in:

“inflated revenue figures, artificial trades with Users and ultimately the withdrawal of Cryptocurrency deposited by Users.”

EY further noted that in trading on competitor exchanges, Cotten incurred trading losses and incremental fees that adversely affects the crypto reserves of the exchange.

Between 2016-29, Cotten transferred 9,450 Bitcoin (BTC), 387,738, Ether (ETH) and 239,020 Litecoin (LTC) out of exchange’s accounts.

The report also detailed poor practices and mismanagement, noting that Quadriga had no contingency plan for the loss of its funds or the owner. The exchange even engaged in poor accounting practices and did not maintain any documentation.

EY Recovers $32 Million in Fiat

While Cotten had full access to the platform, the system didn’t register its activities within the site that EY says this approach could be made on Cotten’s request.

It has also been found that a significant amount of fiat currency was transferred to both Cotten and his widow. Per the report, the acquired assets of the pair worth about $12 million including a boat, aircraft, luxury cars and 16 properties in Nova Scotia.

As reported previously, Quadriga initially filed for creditor protection when the exchange lost access to its cold wallets and corresponding keys that held the assets owed to clients. This was after the death of co-founder Gerald Cotten.

So far, EY has recovered $32 million in fiat currency, with most of the funds collected from third-party payment processors and identified an additional $1 million in cryptographic competition.

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Author: AnTy