Complaints Against Brokers Declining and More ICO Fraud: Best of the Week

Catch up on last week's top stories.

Ethereum sees 1090 new applications in 2017

Finance Magnates visited an event run by Consesnsys at the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange last week, which featured speeches from the management of the blockchain outfit and product pitches from some budding businesses.

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One speaker was from a company called Alethio which offers analytics for Etherium-based programmes. The audience was told that more than 700 tokens were launched on Ethereum in 2017 and that approximately 100,000 people join the network every day.

Analysis: cryptocurrency and Islam

After a Muslim legal expert declared in April that cryptocurrency is acceptable in Islam as long as it used as payment and not investment, the price of Bitcoin rose considerably – not surprising given that a large proportion of the world population is Muslim.

However not all within the Islamic world agree. Financial conduct is thoroughly controlled by the laws of Islam, so it is interesting to see where cryptocurrency fits in.

New rules from ESMA coming in August

European foreign exchange businesses now know exactly when they will have to limit the leverage that they offer their customers – the 1st of August. As part of the new restrictions, binary options will be prohibited – this comes into effect on the 2nd of July.

The chairman of EU watchdog ESMA said: “The measures ESMA has taken today are a significant step towards greater investor protection in the EU.”

Complaints against brokers on the decline

The Financial Ombudsman Service, the organisation to which UK citizens complain in cases of financial misconduct, said last week that complaints against foreign exchange companies made up only 0.1 percent of the total.

During the 2017/2018 period, the Ombudsman Service reported that the total number of complaints against the financial industry increased by about 50,000 to 1,456,396. However, the proportion of complaints against brokers declined by approximately 22 percent.

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ICO steals $21 million, stopped by SEC

An initial coin offering by a company called Titanium raised millions of dollars between December 2017 to March 2018 on the strength of its claim of new, useful services. However, in February the firm announced that it had suffered a theft, which led the US Securities and Exchange Commission to obtain an emergency asset freeze.

The company’s founder is now under investigation for fabricating many of his company’s claims, such as supposed partnerships with PayPal, Boeing, and Walt Disney. ‎

No such thing as bad publicity

A Riga-based social network company sponsored a team to climb Everest as a way of promoting its ICO. Sadly, one of the team’s Sherpa guides died, and both the climbers and the sponsoring company attracted criticism.

The team buried a cryptocurrency wallet at the summit, apparently worth $50,000, and invited anyone brave enough to come and get it.

Company responds to Everest story

Finance Magnates spoke to the CEO of ASKfm, the company that sponsored the climb. We gave him a chance to respond to the criticism.

He was generally critical of the media coverage.

Deutsche Börse subsidiary buys GAIN Capital subsidiary for $100m

‘360T’ is Deutsche Börse’s institutional foreign exchange business. Last week, 360T purchased a business called ‘GTX’ from GAIN Capital. GTX is an electronic communications network that supports foreign exchange trading. Last year, 360T launched an electronic communications network of its own

GAIN Capital CEO Glenn Stevens said: “We have taken this strategic step in order to focus our attention and resources on our core retail business and on using available levers to unlock shareholder value.”

 

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