After a busy week in the forex, fintech and crypto industry, Finance Magnates brings the major news that moved the news space.

Plus500 Enters Japanese Market, Acquires EZ Invest Securities

Plus500, an international multi-asset fintech group operating proprietary technology-based trading platforms, confirmed its entrance into the growing market of Japan with the acquisition of EZ Invest Securities, Co., Ltd. (EZ Invest).

Regulated by the Financial Services Agency (FSA) in Japan, EZ Invest is licensed as a Type 1 Financial Instruments Business Operator. Additionally, the financial services provider is a member of the Japan Securities Dealers Association (JSDA) and the Financial Futures Association of Japan (FFAJ).

Read more on Plus500's acquisition of EZ Invest Securities here.

CySEC Withdrew ICF Membership of Daweda, LCG (Cyprus) and Felicitas

The Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) has withdrawn the Investors Compensation Fund (ICF) membership of three companies: Daweda Exchange Ltd, London Capital Group (Cyprus) Ltd and Felicitas Management Investment Services Ltd.

All of these companies have lost their Cyprus Investment Firm (CIF) license over the past few years for non-compliance with mandatory regulations.

Read more on CySEC's withdrawal of ICF membership here.

Israel’s Bank Leumi to Offer Crypto Trading Services

As more and more banks are jumping into crypto, Bank Leumi announced that it is going to enable cryptocurrency trading, thus becoming the first Israeli bank to allow customers to buy and sell digital assets.

The lender’s digital platform, Pepper Invest has partnered with blockchain infrastructure provider, Paxos for facilitating the launch of crypto trading. Initially, only Bitcoin and Ethereum will be offered.

Read more on Bank Leumi's crypto services here.

TradeStation Launches Its Crypto Offering in Puerto Rico

In another crypto adoption news, TradeStation announced that residents from Puerto Rico are now eligible to apply for crypto accounts on the platform. It is now offering crypto trading services on the island and other parts of the US.

Additionally, TradeStation Securities, Inc. is licensed and permitted to do business in Puerto Rico, giving TradeStation Securities customers access to trade stocks, ETFs, options and futures.

Read more on TradeStation's Puerto Rico's crypto offering here.

Thailand Bans Crypto Payments, Allows Trading

Thailand’s Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) has brought more clarity on the use of crypto with its decision to ban cryptocurrencies as means of payment, effective from April 1, 2022. However, Thai people can still invest and trade digital assets.

The regulator highlighted several concerns, including the possibility of money laundering. In addition, it said that crypto payments do not provide an improved and efficient payments market due to volatility and high transaction fees.

Read more on Thailand's crypto payments ban here.

Apple Reportedly Purchases Fintech Startup Credit Kudos

In a major move, Apple, the giant tech company, has reportedly acquired Credit Kudos, a UK-based fintech startup. The manoeuvre is seen to bolster the payments technology by the Macbook and iPhone manufacturers.

Credit Kudos relies on machine learning to create an alternative to traditional credit scores, which might suggest that Apple could expand its arms into lending services.

Read more on Apple's acquisition of Credit Kudos here.

Playtech Sees 12% Jump in 2021 Revenue, Profit Soars

Playtech (LON: PTEC) released its annual financials for the year 2021 on Thursday, reporting a 12 percent jump in its revenue to €1.2 billion.

The adjusted EBITDA for the period came in €317.1 million, which is 25 percent higher than the previous year, whereas the adjusted post-tax profit was 366 percent higher at €127.6 million. In addition, the company generated €686.7 million as reported post-tax profits from its continuing operations, compared to a loss of €73.1 million in the previous year.

Read more on Playtech's 2021 financials here.

BUX Acquires Cyprus License

BUX, a Dutch online broker, announced the completion of its acquisition of a Cyprus Investment Firm (CIF), thus gaining a regulatory green light to offer financial services from Cyprus.

BUX previously offered contracts for differences (CFDs) products only under its FCA-regulated UK unit. Now, it will offer CFDs products to European Union clients under the Cypriot entity.

Read more on BUX's CIF license acquisition here.

South Korean Brokerages Net Profits Surged in 2021, Data Shows

South Korean brokerage firms’ net profit increased sharply last year as a result of higher transaction fees.

Based on data from the Financial Supervisory Service, Korea’s financial regulator, 58 brokerage firms reported combined net profits of 9.09 trillion won ($7.5 billion) last year, which is an increase of 54.2% over the previous year.

Read more on South Korean brokerage profits here.

Australia Government Defines Crypto Assets, Proposes Regulations

The treasury department of the Australian government has released a consultation paper, defining cryptocurrencies and outlining its plan to impose a regulatory framework on the growing sector.

The paper defined crypto-assets as “a digital representation of value that can be transferred, stored or traded electronically” and uses “use cryptography and distributed ledger technology.”

Read more on the Australian government's proposed crypto regulations here.

Crypto Exchange Coincheck to Go Public with a $1.25B SPAC Deal

Japanese crypto exchange, Coincheck, which is owned by the Monex Group, announced that it will go public through a merger with the blank-check company, Thunder Bridge Capital Partners IV.

Both the companies have entered into a definitive agreement for the deal that is valued at around $1.25 billion. The merger is expected to be closed in the second half of 2022, resulting in the listing of the combined entity on Nasdaq.

Read more on Coincheck's SPAC deal here.

FIFA Inks Sponsorship Deal with Crypto.com for World Cup 2022

Crypto.com, one of the fastest-growing digital asset trading platforms, has recently confirmed its partnership with FIFA. According to the details of the sponsorship deal, the cryptocurrency trading platform will become an official sponsor of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

Read more on Crypto.com's FIFA sponsorship deal here.

Lugano and El Salvador Lead Bitcoin Adoption, Others to Follow?

Finance Magnates looked into the Bitcoin adoption trends of jurisdictions and countries to see how lawmakers are approaching cryptocurrencies.

Earlier this month, Swiss city Lugano accepted Bitcoin as legal tender in the region. The authorities also encouraged local businesses to accept crypto payments in everyday transactions. While Lugano’s crypto announcement surprised anti-bitcoiners, the crypto community’s reaction was pretty normal as they expected more countries and regions to accept Bitcoin due to rising inflation, uncertain geopolitical conditions and BTC’s status as a hedge against an unstable global economy.

Read more on Finance Magnates' analysis on Bitcoin Adoption here.

Analysis: FX Traders Starting 2022 with Lower Deposits

Finance Magnates Intelligence continued to look into the forex industry data and found that the first month of the new year was a continuation of the trend seen in December.

January was the third month in a row of continued decline in the size of total monthly deposits. On average, traders were depositing $12,774 during the whole month. In December, it was $13,257. The highest result was seen in October when traders deposited $14,401 on average.

Read more on FX traders' deposit trends here.

After a busy week in the forex, fintech and crypto industry, Finance Magnates brings the major news that moved the news space.

Plus500 Enters Japanese Market, Acquires EZ Invest Securities

Plus500, an international multi-asset fintech group operating proprietary technology-based trading platforms, confirmed its entrance into the growing market of Japan with the acquisition of EZ Invest Securities, Co., Ltd. (EZ Invest).

Regulated by the Financial Services Agency (FSA) in Japan, EZ Invest is licensed as a Type 1 Financial Instruments Business Operator. Additionally, the financial services provider is a member of the Japan Securities Dealers Association (JSDA) and the Financial Futures Association of Japan (FFAJ).

Read more on Plus500's acquisition of EZ Invest Securities here.

CySEC Withdrew ICF Membership of Daweda, LCG (Cyprus) and Felicitas

The Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) has withdrawn the Investors Compensation Fund (ICF) membership of three companies: Daweda Exchange Ltd, London Capital Group (Cyprus) Ltd and Felicitas Management Investment Services Ltd.

All of these companies have lost their Cyprus Investment Firm (CIF) license over the past few years for non-compliance with mandatory regulations.

Read more on CySEC's withdrawal of ICF membership here.

Israel’s Bank Leumi to Offer Crypto Trading Services

As more and more banks are jumping into crypto, Bank Leumi announced that it is going to enable cryptocurrency trading, thus becoming the first Israeli bank to allow customers to buy and sell digital assets.

The lender’s digital platform, Pepper Invest has partnered with blockchain infrastructure provider, Paxos for facilitating the launch of crypto trading. Initially, only Bitcoin and Ethereum will be offered.

Read more on Bank Leumi's crypto services here.

TradeStation Launches Its Crypto Offering in Puerto Rico

In another crypto adoption news, TradeStation announced that residents from Puerto Rico are now eligible to apply for crypto accounts on the platform. It is now offering crypto trading services on the island and other parts of the US.

Additionally, TradeStation Securities, Inc. is licensed and permitted to do business in Puerto Rico, giving TradeStation Securities customers access to trade stocks, ETFs, options and futures.

Read more on TradeStation's Puerto Rico's crypto offering here.

Thailand Bans Crypto Payments, Allows Trading

Thailand’s Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) has brought more clarity on the use of crypto with its decision to ban cryptocurrencies as means of payment, effective from April 1, 2022. However, Thai people can still invest and trade digital assets.

The regulator highlighted several concerns, including the possibility of money laundering. In addition, it said that crypto payments do not provide an improved and efficient payments market due to volatility and high transaction fees.

Read more on Thailand's crypto payments ban here.

Apple Reportedly Purchases Fintech Startup Credit Kudos

In a major move, Apple, the giant tech company, has reportedly acquired Credit Kudos, a UK-based fintech startup. The manoeuvre is seen to bolster the payments technology by the Macbook and iPhone manufacturers.

Credit Kudos relies on machine learning to create an alternative to traditional credit scores, which might suggest that Apple could expand its arms into lending services.

Read more on Apple's acquisition of Credit Kudos here.

Playtech Sees 12% Jump in 2021 Revenue, Profit Soars

Playtech (LON: PTEC) released its annual financials for the year 2021 on Thursday, reporting a 12 percent jump in its revenue to €1.2 billion.

The adjusted EBITDA for the period came in €317.1 million, which is 25 percent higher than the previous year, whereas the adjusted post-tax profit was 366 percent higher at €127.6 million. In addition, the company generated €686.7 million as reported post-tax profits from its continuing operations, compared to a loss of €73.1 million in the previous year.

Read more on Playtech's 2021 financials here.

BUX Acquires Cyprus License

BUX, a Dutch online broker, announced the completion of its acquisition of a Cyprus Investment Firm (CIF), thus gaining a regulatory green light to offer financial services from Cyprus.

BUX previously offered contracts for differences (CFDs) products only under its FCA-regulated UK unit. Now, it will offer CFDs products to European Union clients under the Cypriot entity.

Read more on BUX's CIF license acquisition here.

South Korean Brokerages Net Profits Surged in 2021, Data Shows

South Korean brokerage firms’ net profit increased sharply last year as a result of higher transaction fees.

Based on data from the Financial Supervisory Service, Korea’s financial regulator, 58 brokerage firms reported combined net profits of 9.09 trillion won ($7.5 billion) last year, which is an increase of 54.2% over the previous year.

Read more on South Korean brokerage profits here.

Australia Government Defines Crypto Assets, Proposes Regulations

The treasury department of the Australian government has released a consultation paper, defining cryptocurrencies and outlining its plan to impose a regulatory framework on the growing sector.

The paper defined crypto-assets as “a digital representation of value that can be transferred, stored or traded electronically” and uses “use cryptography and distributed ledger technology.”

Read more on the Australian government's proposed crypto regulations here.

Crypto Exchange Coincheck to Go Public with a $1.25B SPAC Deal

Japanese crypto exchange, Coincheck, which is owned by the Monex Group, announced that it will go public through a merger with the blank-check company, Thunder Bridge Capital Partners IV.

Both the companies have entered into a definitive agreement for the deal that is valued at around $1.25 billion. The merger is expected to be closed in the second half of 2022, resulting in the listing of the combined entity on Nasdaq.

Read more on Coincheck's SPAC deal here.

FIFA Inks Sponsorship Deal with Crypto.com for World Cup 2022

Crypto.com, one of the fastest-growing digital asset trading platforms, has recently confirmed its partnership with FIFA. According to the details of the sponsorship deal, the cryptocurrency trading platform will become an official sponsor of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

Read more on Crypto.com's FIFA sponsorship deal here.

Lugano and El Salvador Lead Bitcoin Adoption, Others to Follow?

Finance Magnates looked into the Bitcoin adoption trends of jurisdictions and countries to see how lawmakers are approaching cryptocurrencies.

Earlier this month, Swiss city Lugano accepted Bitcoin as legal tender in the region. The authorities also encouraged local businesses to accept crypto payments in everyday transactions. While Lugano’s crypto announcement surprised anti-bitcoiners, the crypto community’s reaction was pretty normal as they expected more countries and regions to accept Bitcoin due to rising inflation, uncertain geopolitical conditions and BTC’s status as a hedge against an unstable global economy.

Read more on Finance Magnates' analysis on Bitcoin Adoption here.

Analysis: FX Traders Starting 2022 with Lower Deposits

Finance Magnates Intelligence continued to look into the forex industry data and found that the first month of the new year was a continuation of the trend seen in December.

January was the third month in a row of continued decline in the size of total monthly deposits. On average, traders were depositing $12,774 during the whole month. In December, it was $13,257. The highest result was seen in October when traders deposited $14,401 on average.

Read more on FX traders' deposit trends here.