Bakkt Volumes Soar, Scope Markets Enters Kenya: Editor’s Pick

Stay up to date with the most interesting news in the FX and crypto space.

Another week has gone by in the foreign exchange (forex) and crypto space. As always, the past seven days have been full of activity – UpBit was hacked, and Charles Schwab confirmed it would acquire TD Ameritrade. All this and more in our best of the week.

BTC futures demand soars on Bakkt

Although the price of Bitcoin (BTC) is sliding, anticipation for a comeback has sent the futures market bullish. Because of this, Bakkt saw an increase in volumes for BTC futures soar by 160 percent in a single day.

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According to the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) subsidiary, 4,443 Bitcoin futures contracts were traded on Wednesday. As Finance Magnates reported, this was a new record on the platform.

Closer Look at Zero-Fee Model, Interview with TradeZero CEO

More and more firms are jumping on the commission-free bandwagon, offering free options for trading equities, ETFs, options, cryptocurrencies, and other asset classes aimed mostly at millennials.

Although this product is great for the consumer, it does raise a lot of questions for the companies themselves, such as – how do they make money, and is this product offering sustainable?

To find out more, we caught up with the Co-Founder of TradeZero, Dan Pipitone, which recently launched commission-free stock trading and direct market center access to US stocks. You can read the full interview here.

Analysis: why is Turkey becoming a new crypto hub?

Since 2017, the global blockchain and cryptocurrency hubs and safe havens have remained largely the same – Switzerland, Malta, and Gibraltar have earned reputations as some of the most crypto-friendly countries in terms of regulation. 

However, recent moves by Binance and Huobi have signaled that Turkey is developing as a crypto industry hotspot. Why is this? You’ll need to read our analysis to find out more.

Morgan Stanley dismisses four currency traders amid FX probe

The next story in our best of the week segment concerns Morgan Stanley. Namely, reports surfaced that the firm reportedly dismissed, or placed on leave, four currency traders after being caught out trying to conceal significant trading losses. 

As Finance Magnates reported, the move comes amid investigations by the US bank into alleged charges that they exaggerated the performance of the FX options desk. A Bloomberg report identified two London based traders – Scott Eisner and Rodrigo Jolig – and two senior New York-based colleagues, Thiago Melzer and Mitchell Nadel, who were running emerging-markets desk and macro trading in the Americas.

Exclusive: Investing.com names Omer Shvili as CEO

Financial news giant Investing.com is in the midst of major changes. This week, Finance Magnates learned that the company hired Omer Shvili as its new chief executive officer. 

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Shvili replaced the prior CEO, Mickey Vinitsky, who served in the role since early 2018, and also ended the period when two co-CEOs managed the firm. Concurrently, the firm is in the process of shifting back to its core business – thus scaling down side projects it introduced lately.

South Korea takes a big step to regulate crypto space

This week, South Korea’s National Assembly’s policy committee passed a bill that will lead to effective crypto oversight, although it still needs the buy-in of lawmakers on the main floor.

The new bill officially categorizes cryptocurrencies as digital assets and recognizes crypto exchanges as regulated financial businesses. This is a significant step in the country that has long been at the forefront of cryptocurrency adoption and will have far-reaching implications.

KVB Kunlun removes Chinese domestic clients

In the wake of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) cracking down on offshore clients, KVB Kunlun announced that it has completed disengaging with certain clients from its Australian and New Zealand subsidiaries.

Specifically, in a statement filed through Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX), the company’s board confirmed that it had identified anyone who is, or who may possibly be, classified as a PRC domestic client, and has ceased offering their services.

Exclusive: Blockfills partners with Gold-i

Blockfills, a digital asset trading company, is the latest to join Gold-i’s Matrix NETwork, to offer its cryptocurrency liquidity to Gold-i’s clients, Finance Magnates learned exclusively this week. 

The crypto liquidity will be available via the Gold-i Crypto Switch™ 2.0, which is part of the Matrix suite of products. The Crypto Switch™ 2.0 platform allows institutions to distribute their liquidity to clients of Gold-i.

Charles Schwab confirms TD Ameritrade acquisition

After reports surfaced last week that Charles Schwab was in talks to by TD Ameritrade, a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) this Monday has confirmed those rumors.

As Finance Magnates reported, the two companies have entered into a definitive agreement for Charles Schwab, an online discount brokerage, to acquire TD Ameritrade in an all-stock transaction valued at approximately $26 billion.

Scope Markets officially launches in Kenya

The final article in our best of the week segment concerns Scope Markets, a global online trading provider. In particular, the company announced this Tuesday that it has officially launched its trading operations in Kenya, and already has 1,000 client accounts open.

The company’s entity in Kenya is SCFM Limited, with the trading name of Scope Markets. The company is a non-dealing online forex broker and is licensed by the Capital Markets Authority (CMA), Kenya’s government regulator for the FX space.

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