Coinbase May Go For ETF, Playtech Sells Stake in Plus500: Best of the Week

Catch up on last week's top stories.

Playtech sells Plus500 holdings

Gaming and financial technology giant Playtech sold its 9.99 percent stake in brokerage Plus500, earning £176 million. It originally bought the shares in 2015.

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At the time, Playtech actually planned to purchase Plus500. But now, the latter is actually worth more than the former. Read here about the twists and turns that brought this situation about.

The milking of Bitthumb 

South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Bitthumb is being scammed by wash trading, according to some internet sleuths.

Specifically, it has a special offer on at the moment of reimbursing 120 percent of trading fees every day, which runs until the reimbursements reach 1 billion won.

Trading charts show a sudden spike in trading activity at the beginning of each trading day, approximately equal to exactly the amount needed to take home all of those wons. This means that someone is taking home $90,000 a day, and also that around $250 million of the trading volume is fake.

Exclusive: Amana Capital’s new service

London brokerage Amana Capital is preparing to launch AmanaPRO, which provides the MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 trading platforms to customers.

AmanaPRO also includes a client management system, an introducing broker portal and business consultation services. Amana Capital is regulated in the UK, Dubai, Cyprus and Lebanon.

Exclusive: JFD in China no more

Doris Zhang, formerly Chief Manager of the Chinese Market at JFD Brokers, told Finance Magnates that the firm closed its office in China in May of this year. This was because of problems with payment service providers – in late 2017, the People’s Bank of China ordered PSPs to stop working with 40 brokers.

“All brokers were struggling with it and trying to find solutions,” said Zhang. “Unluckily, all payment solutions were blocked by the authorities.”

However, the firm continues to serve Chinese customers from abroad, according to COO Mihail Kamburov.

Coinbase may try what others have failed

US cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase is in talks with BlackRock, the world’s largest investment management firm, to establish a cryptocurrency ETF. This is interesting because the US Securities and Exchange Commission has repeatedly vetoed attempts to get these contracts listed.

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Reportedly, the Coinbase ETF would most likely track multiple cryptocurrencies, rather than Bitcoin alone. It is not known if Coinbase’s talks with BlackRock are ongoing, or if the conversation was a one-time event.

Analysis: is trading education legit?

Trading education, where customers are taught how to trade better, is a service provided by many foreign exchange companies. However, in a world where a trader’s profit equals a company’s loss, is this not a conflict of interest?

Furthermore, when we consider the fact that it is illegal for companies to guarantee profits, should educators expounding on the promise of foreign exchange trading not be subject to supervision by the authorities?

Analysis: ESMA probably won’t relax

Pan-European regulator ESMA recently banned binary options trading and introduced strict limits on leverage, or the credit that foreign exchange firms can offer to clients.

Last week it decided to uphold that ban for a further three months, and some hope that the leverage limits may come under review.

In this analysis, Finance Magnates explains why this is unlikely.

Kraken fires people, denies firing people

American cryptocurrency exchange Kraken was the subject of rumours last week – namely, that it had closed its office in the Canadian town of Halifax.

Social media users reported that a team of security personnel were on site, escorting people from the premises and making them sign forms.

Kraken denied the rumours: “We can confirm that we are not shutting down any operations in any specific place, and there has been no security breach. Everything is fine & secure.”

Fine and secure

The next day, CEO Jesse Powell told Bloomberg that 57 employees in Halifax had indeed been fired.

He said that it was a cost-cutting measure, but people shouldn’t be worried – the company is “still aggressively hiring in all areas.”

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