Charles Hoskinson Speaks, JFD Shifts to Prime Brokerage: Editor’s Pick

Find out what the most interesting news stories in the FX and crypto industries were this past week.

This week was an interesting one for the forex and cryptocurrency industries. So let’s take a moment to see what the most exciting stories of the past week were, in our latest “best of the week” analysis.

JFD Brokers moving into banking

Since ESMA announced its product intervention measures earlier this year, European-regulated brokers have been branching out into a number of different business areas to ensure they don’t fall prey to any fallout from those regulations.

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One such firm is JFD Brokers. Speaking to Finance Magnates this week, the firm’s CEO Lars Gottwik said that the broker is going to be rebranding soon as JFD Bank. Gottwik also told us that his firm plans on focusing its efforts on its prime brokerage business – as opposed to its traditional retail trading business.

Bitcoin to zero?

Over the years, many people have said that Bitcoin is destined to drop to zero. Some of these people have a vested interest in seeing its value decrease; others just don’t see any value in cryptocurrencies in general.

But as Rachel McIntosh wrote this week, with so many people invested in the cryptocurrency – whether its hedge funds or venture capital firms – it seems unlikely that Bitcoin is going to reach zero any time soon.

China better than Europe for brokers?

China is an allegedly communist country in East Asia that makes lots of stuff, including iPhones, Uniqlo jackets and Jackie Chan movies.

It’s also a country that many foreign exchange brokers have struggled to conquer, with regulatory uncertainty and payments problems making life tricky for them.

Still, local know-how and an understanding of how things work in the world’s second-largest economy can make a big difference.

That’s probably why AETOS CEO Draco Ng thinks his company is doing better business in China than Europe. Talking to Victor Golovtchenko on Monday, the broker CEO also said that AI is helping his company reach more clients.

Cardano’s founder reflects on a year in crypto

At the peak of the cryptocurrency hype that swept across the world in late 2017 and early 2018, people were running after cryptocurrencies like football fans follow their team. Since then, we’ve seen the majority of those *ahem* shit coins, die out.

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One that has stuck around – and looks to be doing well – is Cardano. The coin’s founder Charles Hoskinson spoke to Finance Magnates last week, saying that he hopes Cardano will be fully decentralized by the end of this year.

Brexit hurts London’s fintech scene

Britain’s departure from the EU is the story that never dies, and we’re just as bored with the whole thing as you are. Will it ever end? No one knows.

We do know, however, that Brexit is harming London’s role as a hub for financial technology. An analysis by our very own Celeste Skinner shows that firms, workers and graduates are all heading out of the UK to ensure they can still access the European market if Britain does leave the EU.

Worth approximately £7 billion to the UK economy and employing 60,000 people, us Londoners will have to hope the Storonskys of this world stay put.

A cold FX winter

If ESMA’s product intervention measures weren’t bad enough, low market volatility is also pushing brokers’ volumes down.

In fact, research from our intelligence team indicates that volumes have been low for three months now.

Deposits and withdrawals are also in a slump, leading to an industry-wide downturn in the retail trading volumes.

Cex.io on track to get licensed

Since it rolled out its blockchain regulatory regime in late 2017, cryptocurrency firms have been flocking to Gibraltar.

This week was no exception, with CEX.io – a London-based exchange – announcing that it has received an in-principle decision in its favor.

The decision means that CEX still has to satisfy one or more of the local regulator’s requirements but that it is at the final stage of the licensing process.

CEX is not the only firm that has one more hurdle to overcome. LMAX’s cryptocurrency exchange, LMAX Digital, also received an in-principle decision from the Gibraltarian regulator at the start of March.

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