CySEC Audits Broker Tech, Another Bitcoin ETF Brewing: Best of the Week

Catch up on last week's top stories.

Analysis: Pass the cryptocurrency on the left-hand side

Cryptocurrency and cannabis are both popular industries on the fringes of legalisation. But does this mean that they’re a match made in heaven?

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In some ways they can be seen as perfectly suited to one another – for example, blockchain technology could be used to ensure that marijuana has a legal supply chain.

In addition, cryptocurrency could supple financial services to the cannabis trade. Traditional institutions often refuse to work with cannabis outfits even if in places where they are legal. The businesses have to deal in cash, which comes with a host of inconvenient restrictions.

It can also be argued that because the legal cannabis industry is so new, the building of a blockchain-based infrastructure wouldn’t be hampered by a competing legacy system.

So can you expect blockchain technology to be supplying your area with legal wacky baccy in the future?

Finance Magnates spoke with a number of related businesses – including Paragon, which has designed a blockchain specifically for the cannabis supply chain, Honest Marijuana Company, which cultivates organic cannabis products, and OurCrowd, a venture capital company with an employee holding a role called ‘Cannabis-Tech Lead’ – to find out.

Analysis: Bitcoin ETF, take #137

Another attempt to get a Bitcoin-based exchange-traded fund may be on the cards, this time courtesy of cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase and investment company BlackRock.

An ETF is when a company has an active investment in a certain asset, and the public can take part by buying shares in that investment portfolio. They do not actually ever own the asset. Multiple institutions have attempted to gain approval from the US Securities and Exchange Commission for ETFs based on Bitcoin futures; all have failed so far.

Media reports claim that the aforementioned entities are working on their own candidate, which could be the most likely to receive approval.

In this analysis, Finance Magnates examines the environment that the new ETF would be born into, the reasons that the SEC has shot down all Bitcoin ETFs so far, and how viable this new iteration is likely to be.

Exclusive interview with CEO of Trade.io

Trade.io, a Swiss blockchain company with dreams of becoming a cryptocurrency-based financial institution, has had a busy couple of weeks. It recently signed a partnership with Forbes, under the terms of which it will manage a new cryptocurrency-focused media portal, and it also had $50 million worth of tokens stolen from a safety deposit box held in a bank.

It managed to freeze most of the stolen money and decided to fork its token to stop the thief from selling it on.

Finance Magnates got hold of Trade.io CEO Jim Preissler to ask him a few questions.

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Exclusive: Destek is now Britannia

Destek Markets, a foreign exchange broker licensed in the UK, has been sold, sources told Finance Magnates. The firm’s board of directors has been re-staffed, and the company will become ‘Britannia Markets’.

The company first told Finance Magnates of its plans to sell up in January of this year.

Exclusive: CySEC checks computers

CySEC, the financial watchdog of Cyprus, has ordered a number of companies to undergo audits of their technology, sources told Finance Magnates.

This is because smaller firms are finding it difficult to comply with the demands of the EU’s new financial laws, MiFID II. Companies have been buying the necessary technology instead of developing in-house.

In addition to this, the bureaucratic language in the law makes it difficult for companies to be sure if they are compliant.

The audits will be conducted by third parties. A source told Finance Magnates: “The CySEC doesn’t know how to review our technology and there are no standards for firms to follow.”

Swissquote hosts ICO for artificial diamonds

Swissquote, a bank based in the landlocked realm of clocks, chocolate and plundered gold, became the first traditional financial institution to host an ICO – the fundraising campaign of a blockchain company.

The company in question is LakeDiamond, which produces diamonds in a laboratory for industrial applications. Swissquote customers will be able to buy the startup’s tokens with Swiss francs through their trading accounts.

The bank will execute the sale and take custody of the tokens.

Interestingly, the tokens of LakeDiamond, LKD, represent actual production machine time. It is issuing CHF 60.5 million worth, with each LKD being worth CHF 0.55. The minimum purchase is 60 LKDs, which translates to CHF 33.

World sees first XRP exchange

Estonia-based XRP United, the world’s first cryptocurrency exchange fully based on the Ripple cryptocurrency, officially went live on the 23rd of October.

The exchange supports three trading pairs: BTC/XRP, ETH/XRP, and BCH/XRP. XMR/XRP will be added once a Monero wallet is integrated into the exchange.

The exchange was apparently created by two people identifiable only by their online nicknames – P3T3RIS and @BankXRP. The website has no ‘about’ or ‘contact’ page for non-members.

Meanwhile, Ripple, the company behind the cryptocurrency, announced increasing profits in its latest financial report. It sold $163.33 million worth of XRP during the third quarter of 2018, compared with $73.53 million in the second.

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