As the first week in August draws to a close, let’s take a look back at the news stories that dominated the worlds of forex, fintech and crypto in our best of the week segment.
Active Bitcoin Addresses Increase 30%
Bitcoin, the world’s most valuable digital currency, saw a surge in its network activity on Monday morning as the total number of active Bitcoin addresses jumped by nearly 30%.
Active Bitcoin entities per day increased from 250,000 to approximately 325,000 over the last seven days as Bitcoin touched a high of $42,500.
Read more on the Bitcoin addresses increase here.
Google Allows Crypto Ads Again in US, Blacklists ICOs and DeFi
Google has updated its advertising policy for financial products and services, allowing marketers to run cryptocurrency advertisements again, effective from Tuesday. But, the search-engine giant is putting heavy restrictions on the advertisements related to cryptocurrencies.
The ads targeted to the United States-based consumers must be of regulated crypto companies, meaning they must be registered with the ‘FinCEN as a Money Services Business and with at least one state as a money transmitter’ or should be a federal or state-chartered bank entity.
Read more on the Google Crypto Ad update here.
Trading 212 Receives £13.75 Million in Fresh Cash Injection
Trading 212 UK Limited, which is an FCA-regulated online broker, has raised £13.75 million in capital with the allotment of new company shares.
According to the latest Companies House filing, the broker has issued and allotted a total of 13,750,000 shares on July 27 at a nominal value of £1. Additionally, the company highlighted that all of the newly issued shares have been allotted in exchange for cash.
Read more on the Trading 212 Cash Injection here.
FCA Suspends BDSwiss from Offering CFDs in UK, the Group Responds
The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has suspended Cypriot-based broker BDSwiss Holding Plc and all other entities under the BDSwiss Group from offering contracts for differences (CFDs) to UK investors.
Announced on Thursday, the financial markets regulator, alleged that although one of the BDSwiss subsidiaries is regulated in the United Kingdom, the group has onboarded a great number of UK investors through overseas entities.
The broker has been ordered to stop its services in the UK and close all trading positions and return the money to customers.
Read more on the FCA BDSwiss Ban and BDSwiss Response here.
Kapital Investment Group Acquires Turkish Broker Isik Menkul
Kapital Investment Group (KIG BV), a part of the international financial services provider, Global Kapital Group (GKG), announced today that it has acquired Isik Menkul, a leading multi-asset broker in Turkey.
The broker has a strong presence in the Turkish region and offers trading services in a broad range of regulated financial products including FX, commodities, CFDs, futures and stocks.
Read more on the Isik Menkul acquisition here.
CySEC Suspends License of Libertex.com Operator Indication Investments
The Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) has partially suspended the Cyprus Investment Firm (CIF) license of Indication Investments Ltd, the operator of the FX and CFDs broker, Libertex.com.
The regulatory decision for the suspension was made on August 3 for multiple alleged violations of mandatory compliances.
According to Tuesday’s notice, the Cypriot regulator found possible lapses on the broker’s part in complying with the regulatory framework on the restriction on the marketing, distribution and sale of CFDs to retail clients. There might be additional lapses in the company’s organizational requirements and the offerings of investment services, ‘in accordance with the best interests of the clients’.
Read more on the CySec Libertex.com Suspension here.
Playtech Releases Recommendation for Finalto Sale
The Finalto drama continued. Playtech published the supplementary circular to shareholders today and notified that the adjourned General Meeting to approve the Disposal of Finalto will be resumed at 10 am on 18 August 2021.
In the latest announcement made on Monday, Playtech mentioned that the recently received proposal from Gopher Investments is uncertain in terms of deliverability.
The company added that one of the primary reasons behind the uncertainty of Gopher’s proposal is that it remained subject to a number of conditions.
Read more on the Playtech Finalto Recommendation here.
Finalto Battle Heats Up as Gopher Responds to Playtech Recommendation
Within hours after the Playtech recommendation, Gopher responded. Gopher Investments, which is a 4.97% shareholder in Playtech plc, responded to the latest recommendation released by Playtech.
Gopher mentioned that the supplementary circular published by the Israel-based company does not contain a ‘full and fair’ representation of the interaction between the two companies.
Gopher stated that the company is ‘highly disappointed’ with the Board of Playtech’s decision not to change its recommendation in relation to the offer from Finalto’s management team backed by a consortium and led by Barinboim Group.
Read more on the Gopher Finalto response here.
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Equiti Capital UK Receives $10 Million Capital Injection from Equiti Group
Equiti Capital UK Limited, the UK arm of financial services provider Equiti Group, announced on Tuesday that it has received a $10 million capital injection from the parent company, Equiti Group Limited.
The official announcement shared with Finance Magnates states that the Group is planning to support a number of strategic business initiatives of Equiti UK through the latest capital injection.
Read more on the Equiti Cash Injection here.
Swissquote Reports Net Revenues of CHF 264.4 Million in H1 2021
Swissquote reported record results for the first half of 2021 this week. The broker saw a substantial jump in net revenues and pre-tax profits.
The net revenues of Swissquote reached CHF 264.4 million in H1 of 2021, which is 64.5% higher compared to the same period in 2020. For the full year 2021, the financial services provider is now targeting net revenues of CHF 465 million.
In terms of pre-tax profit, the number touched CHF 134.6 million in the first six months of 2021, which is 130% higher than H1 of 2020. The broker is now expecting a pre-tax profit of CHF 210 million for the full year of 2021.
Read more on the Swissquote Net Revenues here.
Saxo Bank Sees Monthly Recovery of FX Trading Demand in July
Saxo Bank has reported a monthly recovery in its forex trading volume and the overall market demand for the month of July. According to the latest figures, the total monthly volume with forex instruments on the platform came in at $111.9 billion.
Though there was a gain of almost 5.5 percent in the FX trading volume when compared to the numbers of the previous month, it declined considerably from last year. In July 2020, Saxo reported a total FX monthly volume of $138.6, meaning the demand went down by more than 19 percent on a year-on-year basis.
Read more on the Saxo Bank results here.
US Authorities Join Mirror Trading Crypto Scam Investigation
US investigators have joined a probe into South Africa’s crypto firm, Mirror Trading International (MTI). According to a recent report published by Bloomberg, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is joining forces with the liquidators of MTI in the interest of several US and local investors.
The US authorities are planning to facilitate the investigation in an effort to recover the crypto assets.
Read more on the Mirror Trading Crypto Scam investigation here.
Exness Breaks Record with $975 Billion in July Trading Volume
This week, Exness released the key trading metrics for July that turned out to be the best month in terms of trading activities on the platform since its inception.
According to the official figures, the total trading volume on the platform for the month came in at $974.5 billion, surpassing the previous peak it achieved last March. The latest figure shows that client activities on the platform have climbed by more than 13 percent from the previous month.
On a year-over-year basis, the trading volume showed an increase of 63.7 percent: the total trading volume was at $595.2 billion in July 2020.
Read more on the Exness record in July here.
Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrencies Are Speculative Assets, Says SEC Chair
Gary Gensler, Chairman of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), has recently expressed his views about Bitcoin and other digital currencies. In an interview with CNBC, Gensler said that Bitcoin and hundreds of other cryptocurrencies are speculative assets.
Additionally, the SEC Chair highlighted the importance of a clear crypto regulatory framework. “Bitcoin and the hundreds of other coins that investors are trading is a speculative asset class. The trading platforms they are on are not currently under a regulatory regime that protects them like they are trading on the NYSE,” Gensler said.
Read more on what the SEC Chair said on crypto here.
Interactive Brokers Sees 4% Monthly Dip in July DARTs
Interactive Brokers LLC (NASDAQ: IBKR) has released its monthly brokerage statistics for July 2021, reporting a monthly slow down in daily average revenue trades, or DARTS. However, the figures strengthened on a year-over-year basis.
The total client DARTs for the month on the brokerage platform came to be more than 2.36 million, which is a decline of 4 percent when compared to the previous month, but 32 percent higher than the same month in the previous year.
Read more on the Interactive Brokers July results here.
Kabu Posts Monthly Gain in FX OTC Trading for July
Japanese brokerage giant, Kabu, has reported strong trading metrics for foreign exchange (forex) for the month of July, while stock demand plummeted. The broker witnessed a healthy jump in the over-the-counter (OTC) trading demand with forex instruments.
The officially published figures on Tuesday revealed that the total trading volume with OTC forex instruments was 41.6 trillion yen. This figure went up by 10 percent when compared with the same metric of the previous month.
On a year-over-year basis, the trading demand went up further. The trading venue reported an OTC FX trading volume of 21.3 trillion yen in July 2020, meaning the latest numbers jumped by more than 95 percent on a yearly basis. Similar trends can be seen across the trading industry as other global platforms are witnessing astronomical yearly jumps.
Read more on the Kabu July Trading figures here.