Let's take a look back at the stories from the worlds of forex, fintech and crypto that dominated this week's news in our best of the week segment.

Samtrade FX Faces Probe in Singapore, 3 Men Arrested

The trading week kicked off with the news that the online trading platform, Samtrade FX is facing an investigation in Singapore under the suspension of irregular trading activities, the Singapore Police Force and Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) jointly announced on Monday.

The investigation against the trading platform started on December 28 and led to the arrest of three men, aged between 31 and 36 years old.

In an immediate response, Samtrade FX stopped all services in Singapore.

Read more on the Samtrade FX Singapore drama here.

CFTC Fines Binary Options Platform Polymarket $1.4 Million

The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has taken action against Delaware-registered Blockratize, which is operating as Polymarket, for illegally offering event-based binary options contracts in the country.

Polymarket was charged for operating without obtaining a designated contract market (DCM) or registration as a swap execution facility (SEF). The regulator has entered an order filing and simultaneously settled with the company on Monday, making it pay a civil monetary penalty of $1.4 million. In addition, it agreed to wind down all the markets that do not comply with US regulations.

Read more on the Polymarket CFTC fine here.

Is 2022 Going to Be the ‘Year of the RegTech’?

In a Finance Magnates analysis, we delved deep into the booming world of RegTech.

With expert analysis from industry leaders Ron Finberg, the Director of Global Regulatory Reporting Solutions at IHS Markit, Remonda Kirketerp-Møller, the Founder and CEO of Muinmos, and Sophie Gerber, a Director at Sophie Grace and TRAction Fintech, we looked at what's next for the RegTech industry.

Read more on 2022 being the year of RegTech here.

Aristocrat’s £2.7Bn Takeover of Playtech Faces Delay amid JKO Interest

Playtech’s £2.7 billion sale to the Australian gambling equipment maker, Aristocrat Leisure was hit with delays this week as Playtech moved to postpone a shareholder vote on the deal.

The UK online gambling software developer and content supplier, Playtech stated that it had pushed back shareholder approval of the Aristocrat deal. Initially, a vote was scheduled to take place on January 12, but now it will be held on February 2.

Read more on the Playtech takeover latest here.

Brazilian Brokerage XP to Acquire Local Investment Bank Banco Modal

The Brazilian investment management company, XP Inc. announced this week that it has reached an agreement to acquire Banco Modal, a Brazilian investment banking firm.

XP stated that it is purchasing a stake of up to 100% of Modal in a deal that will see Modal’s shareholders receive up to 19.5 million in XP shares. The transaction is set to make Modal’s valuation stand at $528.5 million.

Read more on the Banco Modal acquisition here.

Will Blockchain Gaming Dominate Crypto in 2022?

At this time of year, it makes sense to wonder what major areas of interest will be in 2022. If you are looking for a new growth area for 2022, then blockchain gaming might be a decent bet.

Here, columnist Sam White looks at the emerging world of blockchain gaming, and why 2022 could be the year for blockchain gaming.

Read more on Blockchain gaming here.

Fintech iFast to Acquire 85% Stake in UK’s BFC Bank

Singapore-based iFast Corporation, a wealth management company, is looking to acquire an 85 percent stake in the United Kingdom-licensed BFC Bank for £40 million, a regulatory filing on Friday revealed.

iFast has already entered into an agreement with partner Eagles Peak to acquire stakes in the platform from its Bahrain parent BFC Group. Eagles Peak was incorporated in 2020 for the sole purpose of acquiring the BFC Bank. If the deal goes through, iFast will hold an 85 percent stake in Eagles Peak, while the remaining 15 percent will be held by MMSS Investments, the current sole owner.

Read more on the iFast acquisition here.

PrimeXM Sees $1.05T in December Volume, Demand Jumps 21% YoY

PrimeXM, a leading forex technology provider, reported a monthly decline of the total traded volume in December, but the figure strengthened significantly on a yearly basis.

In absolute terms, the platform handled a total volume of more than $1.05 trillion last month. That figure is 14.65 percent lower than the previous month when the platform recorded $1.23 trillion in total volume. However, the yearly demand gained significantly as the latest monthly volume jumped by more than 21 percent from the same month of the prior year.

The average trading volume for December 2021 came in at $45.65 billion, which is down from the prior month’s volume of $55.92 billion but is up from the previous year’s figures of $39.38 billion.

Read more on PrimeXM December volume here.

Cboe Sees Cyclical Dip as December 2021 FX Volume Dropped 12.2%

Cboe FX Markets released the key trading metrics of the spot forex trading for December, showing an expected pullback for the month.

According to the official numbers, the total volume on the platform came in at $681 billion, which is a month-over-month decline of 12.2 percent.

The platform reported $776 billion in volume for November 2021. Additionally, the average daily volume (ADV) in December declined to $29.6 billion from the previous month’s amount of $35.2 billion. Although, December had 23 trading days compared to 22 days in November.

However, the forex trading demand on the platform dropped year-over-year. In December 2020, the platform recorded $719.1 billion in trading volume, showing that the metrics had dropped by more than 5 percent.

Read more on Cboe FX Markets' December volumes here.

Interactive Brokers Posts 20% MoM Decline in December DARTs

US-headquartered Interactive Brokers this week published the key metrics of its trading platform for December 2021, reporting a 20 percent decline in the Daily Average Revenue Trades (DARTs) from the previous month.

In absolute terms, the electronic trading platform reported 2.229 million in DARTs for the last month of 2021. Additionally, the figure dropped by 3 percent when compared with the same month of the prior year.

Read more on the Interactive December metrics here.

Saxo Sees Dip in December FX Demand, Equities Soars 49%

Saxo Bank has released the trading numbers for December, showing a massive monthly surge in demand for its equities offering, but a decline in the foreign exchange (forex) trading volume.

The total trading volume with the asset class came down to $95.7 billion from the previous month’s $99.2 billion. That was a month-over-month decline of 3.5 percent. In addition, the daily average volume declined to $4.2 billion last month from November’s volume at $4.5 billion.

Read More on the Saxo Bank Dip in December here.

Illegal Crypto Transactions Hit Record High in 2021

With a jump of approximately 200% in the total market cap, digital currencies gained popularity among retail and institutional investors. However, scammers and fraudsters have increased their activities in the last 12 months.

A recent report published by Chainalysis, one of the leading blockchain data platforms, shows that illegal crypto addresses received almost $14 billion in 2021, compared to $7.8 billion in 2020. Illicit activities related to crypto transactions reached an all-time high last year.

However, there is another side to the story. Overall crypto transaction volume jumped to $15.8 trillion in 2021, which is up by 567% compared to 2020. Due to an astonishing jump in the total volume, unlawful cryptocurrency transactions now account for just 0.15% of the volume.

Read more on the record illegal crypto transactions of 2021.

FXSpotStream Sees a 16.8% Drop in FX Trading Volume for December 2021

FXSpotStream, the multibank FX streamline aggregation and a matching service provider, announced its trading report for December 2021, revealing that FX activities decreased during December.

The month saw a total trading volume of $986.560 billion with an average daily volume of $42.894 billion. This indicates a 16.8% decrease on a month-over-month basis from November, which recorded a total trading volume of $1,133.839 billion and ADV of $51.538 billion.

However, in a similar pattern, the figure was slightly more positive and was up by 0.3% year-on-year when compared to what was recorded in December 2020. Although 2021 was a good year for FX trading volumes, the activities of a number of major FX trading venues dropped during December.

Read more on the FXSpotStream December FX volumes here.

Let's take a look back at the stories from the worlds of forex, fintech and crypto that dominated this week's news in our best of the week segment.

Samtrade FX Faces Probe in Singapore, 3 Men Arrested

The trading week kicked off with the news that the online trading platform, Samtrade FX is facing an investigation in Singapore under the suspension of irregular trading activities, the Singapore Police Force and Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) jointly announced on Monday.

The investigation against the trading platform started on December 28 and led to the arrest of three men, aged between 31 and 36 years old.

In an immediate response, Samtrade FX stopped all services in Singapore.

Read more on the Samtrade FX Singapore drama here.

CFTC Fines Binary Options Platform Polymarket $1.4 Million

The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has taken action against Delaware-registered Blockratize, which is operating as Polymarket, for illegally offering event-based binary options contracts in the country.

Polymarket was charged for operating without obtaining a designated contract market (DCM) or registration as a swap execution facility (SEF). The regulator has entered an order filing and simultaneously settled with the company on Monday, making it pay a civil monetary penalty of $1.4 million. In addition, it agreed to wind down all the markets that do not comply with US regulations.

Read more on the Polymarket CFTC fine here.

Is 2022 Going to Be the ‘Year of the RegTech’?

In a Finance Magnates analysis, we delved deep into the booming world of RegTech.

With expert analysis from industry leaders Ron Finberg, the Director of Global Regulatory Reporting Solutions at IHS Markit, Remonda Kirketerp-Møller, the Founder and CEO of Muinmos, and Sophie Gerber, a Director at Sophie Grace and TRAction Fintech, we looked at what's next for the RegTech industry.

Read more on 2022 being the year of RegTech here.

Aristocrat’s £2.7Bn Takeover of Playtech Faces Delay amid JKO Interest

Playtech’s £2.7 billion sale to the Australian gambling equipment maker, Aristocrat Leisure was hit with delays this week as Playtech moved to postpone a shareholder vote on the deal.

The UK online gambling software developer and content supplier, Playtech stated that it had pushed back shareholder approval of the Aristocrat deal. Initially, a vote was scheduled to take place on January 12, but now it will be held on February 2.

Read more on the Playtech takeover latest here.

Brazilian Brokerage XP to Acquire Local Investment Bank Banco Modal

The Brazilian investment management company, XP Inc. announced this week that it has reached an agreement to acquire Banco Modal, a Brazilian investment banking firm.

XP stated that it is purchasing a stake of up to 100% of Modal in a deal that will see Modal’s shareholders receive up to 19.5 million in XP shares. The transaction is set to make Modal’s valuation stand at $528.5 million.

Read more on the Banco Modal acquisition here.

Will Blockchain Gaming Dominate Crypto in 2022?

At this time of year, it makes sense to wonder what major areas of interest will be in 2022. If you are looking for a new growth area for 2022, then blockchain gaming might be a decent bet.

Here, columnist Sam White looks at the emerging world of blockchain gaming, and why 2022 could be the year for blockchain gaming.

Read more on Blockchain gaming here.

Fintech iFast to Acquire 85% Stake in UK’s BFC Bank

Singapore-based iFast Corporation, a wealth management company, is looking to acquire an 85 percent stake in the United Kingdom-licensed BFC Bank for £40 million, a regulatory filing on Friday revealed.

iFast has already entered into an agreement with partner Eagles Peak to acquire stakes in the platform from its Bahrain parent BFC Group. Eagles Peak was incorporated in 2020 for the sole purpose of acquiring the BFC Bank. If the deal goes through, iFast will hold an 85 percent stake in Eagles Peak, while the remaining 15 percent will be held by MMSS Investments, the current sole owner.

Read more on the iFast acquisition here.

PrimeXM Sees $1.05T in December Volume, Demand Jumps 21% YoY

PrimeXM, a leading forex technology provider, reported a monthly decline of the total traded volume in December, but the figure strengthened significantly on a yearly basis.

In absolute terms, the platform handled a total volume of more than $1.05 trillion last month. That figure is 14.65 percent lower than the previous month when the platform recorded $1.23 trillion in total volume. However, the yearly demand gained significantly as the latest monthly volume jumped by more than 21 percent from the same month of the prior year.

The average trading volume for December 2021 came in at $45.65 billion, which is down from the prior month’s volume of $55.92 billion but is up from the previous year’s figures of $39.38 billion.

Read more on PrimeXM December volume here.

Cboe Sees Cyclical Dip as December 2021 FX Volume Dropped 12.2%

Cboe FX Markets released the key trading metrics of the spot forex trading for December, showing an expected pullback for the month.

According to the official numbers, the total volume on the platform came in at $681 billion, which is a month-over-month decline of 12.2 percent.

The platform reported $776 billion in volume for November 2021. Additionally, the average daily volume (ADV) in December declined to $29.6 billion from the previous month’s amount of $35.2 billion. Although, December had 23 trading days compared to 22 days in November.

However, the forex trading demand on the platform dropped year-over-year. In December 2020, the platform recorded $719.1 billion in trading volume, showing that the metrics had dropped by more than 5 percent.

Read more on Cboe FX Markets' December volumes here.

Interactive Brokers Posts 20% MoM Decline in December DARTs

US-headquartered Interactive Brokers this week published the key metrics of its trading platform for December 2021, reporting a 20 percent decline in the Daily Average Revenue Trades (DARTs) from the previous month.

In absolute terms, the electronic trading platform reported 2.229 million in DARTs for the last month of 2021. Additionally, the figure dropped by 3 percent when compared with the same month of the prior year.

Read more on the Interactive December metrics here.

Saxo Sees Dip in December FX Demand, Equities Soars 49%

Saxo Bank has released the trading numbers for December, showing a massive monthly surge in demand for its equities offering, but a decline in the foreign exchange (forex) trading volume.

The total trading volume with the asset class came down to $95.7 billion from the previous month’s $99.2 billion. That was a month-over-month decline of 3.5 percent. In addition, the daily average volume declined to $4.2 billion last month from November’s volume at $4.5 billion.

Read More on the Saxo Bank Dip in December here.

Illegal Crypto Transactions Hit Record High in 2021

With a jump of approximately 200% in the total market cap, digital currencies gained popularity among retail and institutional investors. However, scammers and fraudsters have increased their activities in the last 12 months.

A recent report published by Chainalysis, one of the leading blockchain data platforms, shows that illegal crypto addresses received almost $14 billion in 2021, compared to $7.8 billion in 2020. Illicit activities related to crypto transactions reached an all-time high last year.

However, there is another side to the story. Overall crypto transaction volume jumped to $15.8 trillion in 2021, which is up by 567% compared to 2020. Due to an astonishing jump in the total volume, unlawful cryptocurrency transactions now account for just 0.15% of the volume.

Read more on the record illegal crypto transactions of 2021.

FXSpotStream Sees a 16.8% Drop in FX Trading Volume for December 2021

FXSpotStream, the multibank FX streamline aggregation and a matching service provider, announced its trading report for December 2021, revealing that FX activities decreased during December.

The month saw a total trading volume of $986.560 billion with an average daily volume of $42.894 billion. This indicates a 16.8% decrease on a month-over-month basis from November, which recorded a total trading volume of $1,133.839 billion and ADV of $51.538 billion.

However, in a similar pattern, the figure was slightly more positive and was up by 0.3% year-on-year when compared to what was recorded in December 2020. Although 2021 was a good year for FX trading volumes, the activities of a number of major FX trading venues dropped during December.

Read more on the FXSpotStream December FX volumes here.