2019 kicked off with a volatile and busy week. Read the most interesting stories of the week.
Think 2018 was a bad year for Forex? Think again!
Judging from most news on the Forex industry from the past year, one might think that 2018 was a very bad year. ESMA’s suffocating restrictions, and other regulatory changes around the world have cause quite a damage to the brokers. This joins a range of other hardships that are challenging the industry for years, like bad reputation, growing marketing costs and tough competition.
One of the parameters that are supposed to suffer from this situation are the trading volumes. However, contrary to the gut feeling, our analysis has found that the volumes have actually spiked during 2018.
Toyga’s parent to storm Asia, after merging with a NASDAQ listed firm
ParagonEx, the owner of brokerage solutions provider Toyga, has made a major move to expand its global outreach, with special focus on the APAC region.
For this purpose, ParagonEX has merged with MICT and Brookfield Interactive Hong Kong (Brookfield), to form Global Fintech Holdings (GFH).
The company is based in Hong Kong, where it is in the process of applying for requisite licensing. MICT, one of the companies taking part in the merger, is already listed on NASDAQ. That means, once the merger is complete, GFH will be listed on the New York-based stock exchange.
Bakkt raises $182.5 million and delays launch of BTC futures
Bakkt, a cryptocurrency platform owned by the New York Stock Exchange owner, announced this week it has raised $172.5 million in a massive Series A funding round that could value the company at over $1 billion.
Bakkt, which is backed by Intercontinental Exchange, along with Starbucks, Microsoft, and BCG, will facilitate bitcoin futures trading by the first quarter of next year.
The funding round was led by Boston Consulting Group, CMT Digital, Eagle Seven, Galaxy Digital, Goldfinch Partners, Alan Howard, Horizons Ventures, Intercontinental Exchange, Microsoft’s venture capital arm, M12, Pantera Capital, PayU, the fintech arm of Naspers, and Protocol Ventures.
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DX Exchange goes live and boosts liquidity
After a very long wait, DX.Exchange, the Estonian based cryptocurrency exchange, is expected to go live next week on January 7, 2019. Ahead of the launch, the NASDAQ powered exchange announced it will offer its clients tokenized stocks of leading listed companies. Traders will be able to buy stock-backed tokens of firms like Google, Facebook, Amazon, Intel, and many others.
Furthermore, the firm also teamed with Fingenom’s daughter company Algoz to enhance its liquidity. AlgoZ will provide liquidity on all cryptocurrency trading pairs listed on the exchange.
The rumours of Bitcoin mining’s demise have been greatly exaggerated… Or maybe not.
As the coins lose their value, mining cryptocurrency becomes less and less profitable. Therefore, with the downward trend in the markets, it was only a matter of time until those firms which diverted funds to set up mining operations, will decide to desert this ship.
We all saw the videos of ASIC miners being sold by the kilos in China and Russia and the news of mining farms being shut down around the world. Then followed the corporations, like Japanese giants DMM and GMO, who began announcing their withdrawal from the mining industry. Beforehand, it was the Chinese mining giant Bitmain, who shut down its R&D center in Israel and its BCH mining arm.
We have analyzed this trend and tried to answer the question: Did the mining industry enter a death spiral?
Russia’s nationalization of the retail forex market was no surprise
As we reported throughout the week, Russia’s Central bank has canceled the licenses of the top 5 leading brokers working within the country. This move, that at once killed the local retail forex industry and left the big banks as the sole providers of the trading services, was not really a surprise.
When analyzing the latest moves by the Russian regulator and the general atmosphere within the industry, one might spot several hints on what was about to come.
Abshire Smith leaves the UK market
Another industry player decided to give up on operating in Great Britain. As Finance Magnates reported exclusively, the Forex and CFD broker Abshire-Smith Global Ltd is to close down its UK operations.
Speaking to Finance Magnates the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Founder of Abshire-Smith, Adam Neal, confirmed that the broker is winding down its operations within the UK.
“We’ve been working on restructuring the business for over 12 months inclusive of how we deal with UK, European and global clients following the change in UK and European regulations. No customers are effected [sic] by this change,” commented Neal.