IronFX Clients Drop Claims, Crypto IPO Launched on LSE – Best of the Week

Catch up on last week's top stories.

Analysis – is blockchain always the answer?

A Latvian startup announced that is “de-tokenizing” itself, saying that it wants to succeed on the strength of its product rather than price speculation. A rare occurrence nowadays, but could this be the beginning of a wider trend?

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There have been others that cancelled cryptocurrency-based projects too. People may be starting to realise that it might not always be appropriate to ‘upgrade’ a system with blockchain technology.

Analysis – is the Lightning Network all it’s cracked up to be?

The Lightning Network is a protocol which represents the best hope for the future for Bitcoin by making transactions fast and cheap. It was released in beta mode in March 2018, and over the last month has seen usage grow by 85 percent.

However, one user has reported the network to be plagued with bugs and errors, and Diar reported a 99 percent failure rate on large transactions and only 70 percent success with transfers worth a few dollars.

So we are left asking – is the Lightning Network a realistic dream for the future?

Interview with CEO of Spotware Systems

Financial technology provider Spotware Systems is developing its own cryptocurrency exchange and has hired a new CEO in the shape of Alexander Shulman.

Shulman spoke to Finance Magnates about cXchange (as the new venture is called) and updates that the company is making to its foreign exchange software.

93 Chinese customers drop all charges against IronFX 

IronFX, the Cypriot foreign exchange broker about which hundreds of people complained because it wouldn’t give them back their money, has gained some relief now that 93 of its Chinese customers have withdrawn their claims at the same time. The firm had denied their charges, arguing that the customers had abused its bonus system.

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In January it was granted a similar reprieve when the Hungarian high court ruled that its former Hungarian customers were not protected by EU law.

Australian FX company buys British FX company

Australian foreign exchange broker AxiCorp announced that it would be purchasing a British foreign exchange broker called One Financial Markets, pending regulatory approval.

Reportedly, the companies have been negotiating the deal for around a year. Under the agreed terms, One Financial Markets will continue to operate under its own name.

ESMA regulations are forcing customers out of Europe

The European Securities and Markets Authority recently put its restrictive new laws into action, and foreign exchange companies are feeling the pressure. They are no longer allowed to lend at high rates or offer binary options trading and must supply negative balance protection so that its customers cannot go into debt with them.

As a result, many customers are now trading with companies based outside of Europe. However, their choices seem to be for other regulated areas such as the United Arab Emirates rather than to unregulated Caribbean islands, as European firms had warned.

Swissquote buys European bank, gains access to EU

Swiss banking group Swissquote has purchased a Luxembourg-based bank called Internaxx Bank S.A. for 27.7 million euros. This acquisition will give the bank access to the European market.

Internaxx has been licensed since 2001 and has approximately 12,000 clients, who are in the main not local. It is popular with international investors, ex-pats and so on. The bank hopes to reach even more customers using Swissquotes more ample resources.

London Stock Exchange lists cryptocurrency mining company’s IPO

The London Stock Exchange has allowed a cryptocurrency company to launch an IPO. Argo Blockchain is a mining company that deals with Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Bitcoin Gold, and ZCash. The company is approved by the UK Listing Authority and went live in June 2018.

It is valued at £47 million and has listed 53.2 percent of its shares on the exchange. It is based in central London, but its mining activities are located in Quebec.

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