Best of the Week: New Licenses and Fines as ICO Fever Continues

TigerWit, IQ Option, TechFinancials, the SEC and the ISA. all appeared in last week's top stories.

Last week the trading industry saw the cryptocurrency realm continue to draw regulatory scrutiny, a new license awarded and financial results released.

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CrowdWiz to launch ICO

CrowdWiz is a decentralised crypto investment fund powered by TRADOLOGIC via Krypton Software. It is preparing to launch its own initial coin offering (ICO) in mid-September. The amount sought appears to be uncapped, and the proceeds of the ICO will be collected and used to form the general pool of funding money for the platform.

Slavena Savcheva, co-founder and Head of Business Development & Marketing for CrowdWiz, said: “We are extremely proud to be launching a fully decentralized and democratic investment platform on Ethereum.”

IQ Option to launch ICO too

Continuing with the subject of ICOs, binary options brokerage IQ Option is preparing its own. The CySEC-regulated firm is not yet too forthcoming regarding details of the effort, but it has set up a website dedicated to the subject.

As pressure from legal authorities pushes binary options to the sidelines, IQ Option recently rolled out trading apps for CFDs and cryptocurrencies.

TigerWit now licensed in the Bahamas

TigerWit is one of the fastest-growing fintech companies in China, and it is now officially regulated by the Securities Commission of the Bahamas.

The licensing process took about three months to be completed, and the firm is now permitted to deal in CFDs, forex, indices, commodities and metals to retail and wholesale clients.

Commenting on the news, the CEO of TigerWit Group, Summer Xu, said: “Receiving the Securities Commission of The Bahamas regulatory license is a very important milestone for TigerWit Group and our clients.”

SEC and ICA turn attention to ICOs

The growing number of high profile ICOs in recent times has demonstrated the popularity of this new avenue of fundraising and investment. The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), while recognising the benefits of this phenomenon, has warned investors against unjustified hype – according to the regulator, ICOs are sometimes used to “convince potential victims to invest their money in scams.”

“The SEC recently issued several trading suspensions on the common stock of certain issuers who made claims regarding their investments in ICOs or touted coin/token related news,” the agency said. It advises would-be investors to excersise caution and due diligence.

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Taking a cue from its American peer, the Israeli Securities Authority has established a committee to judge the exact legal status of these ‘token sales’.

The committee’s mandate is to:

  1. Evaluate the financial essence of ICOs and whether it overlaps with other financial activity under Israeli law;
  2. Make a comparative analysis of cryptocurrency regulations in various countries to evaluate the legitimacy of Bitcoin;
  3. Examine if cryptocurrency trading and ICOs should be watched by the ISA;
  4. Devise a new regulatory policy balancing between alternative funding channels and technological innovation while protecting Israeli investors from unsupervised investments; and
  5. Examine potential collaborations with fellow regulators and with the local Blockchain industry.

Click here to read the statement by ISA head Prof. Shmuel Hauser, and some legal and industry responses to the initiative.


Ikon Global Markets fined

The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission is fining a firm which exited the country several years ago, following its failure to produce records of trades when requested. Ikon Global Markets stopped trading in the US after the Dodd Frank act increased the law’s capacity to oversee the financial industry and punish wrongdoing.

The civil monetary penalty stands at $200,000. The firm is also required to cease and desist from further violations of regulations and to withdraw and never reapply for CFTC registration.

Commenting to Finance Magnates, a company representative stated that the changes are false and that the firm will seek to vacate the court case.

TechFinancials faces challenging times 

TechFinancials (LON:TECH), UK-listed trading technology provider for the financial industry, has announced its unaudited interim report for the six months ending 30 June 2017.

Pre-tax losses attributable to shareholders were reported at $0.8 million, with the company foreseeing a continuation of the challenging trend in the industry in which it operates.

“The Group performed well in 2016 achieving record revenues and profitability, but as we anticipated, the first half of 2017 has been challenging as a result of the loss of our largest customer and the uncertain and tightening regulatory environment particularly in Europe, which impacted revenues in our core B2B software licensing business,” said Asaf Lehav, Group CEO.



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