Robinhood Down, FCA Kraken Warning Retract, BaFin on Crypto: Editor’s Pick

In a busy week of broker technical issues and FCA Kraken drama, here are the headlines that dominated.

As the first week in March draws to a close, it’s time to look back on the news stories that mattered, in our best of the week segment.

FCA Cautions Against Kraken and Bitmex, Retracts Kraken Warning

In a surprise move that sent shockwaves throughout the industry, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) issued a warning on Tuesday against Kraken.com for offering services in the United Kingdom.

“We believe this firm has been providing financial services or products in the UK without our authorization,” the FCA stated. “Almost all firms and individuals offering, promoting, or selling financial services or products in the UK have to be authorized by us.”

However, all was not what it seemed. Within a short space of time, the warning on Kraken turned out to be a major error on the part of the regulator, and the caution was quickly removed.

For BitMex, it was a different story, as the FCA BitMex warning is still live. “We believe this firm has been providing financial services or products in the UK without our authorization,” the UK regulator stated on BitMEX warning. “Almost all firms and individuals offering, promoting or selling financial services or products in the UK have to be authorized by us.”

Robinhood, Interactive Brokers Experience Technical Issues

It was a difficult week technically for two of the biggest brokers in the US. First, as Finance Magnates reported, the Robinhood app experienced a system-wide outage in a day of fast-rising stocks. Although stressful volumes were initially blamed, it did not stop a number of theories surfacing as to what caused Robinhood’s technical issues. The company did confirm that the Robinhood outage was caused by “Unprecedented Load” on their system.

It was a similar story for another broker this week. Interactive Brokers experienced technical issues with the European website down for a couple of hours due to system errors.

FXCM Launches Zero-Fee Equity Trading

As Finance Magnates reported, FXCM Group announced this week that it had expanded its product offering to now include commission-free equity trading in collaboration with Interactive Brokers.

Named FXCM Stocks, the new service will be offered on a dedicated online and mobile trading portal. You can read more about the new product and the race for zero-free trading here.

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Tagomi Explains Why They Joined Facebook’s Libra Association

In an exclusive interview with Finance Magnates, the New Jersey-based electronic agency prime brokerage discussed record growth and their membership to Facebook’s Libra Association. Announced as the 22nd member of the Libra Association, Marc Bhargava, the company’s president and co-founder, explained in a candid interview exactly why they joined and what they think its future will be.

You can catch up with the whole Tagomi Interview here.

Standard Chartered Buys Stake in FX Platform 24 Exchange

Finance Magnates reported this week that Standard Chartered purchased an undisclosed stake in 24 Exchange. The transaction sees Dmitri Galinov, the Fastmatch founder, assume the CEO role at 24 Exchange. Standard Chartered’s global head of FX trading, Geoff Kot, will also join 24 Exchange’s board of directors.

Other changes include Bridgewater Associates’ former executive Jason Woerz as president and Paul Millward, ex-head of FX product strategy at Cboe Global Markets

Read more on Standard Chartered’s purchase of a stake in 24 Exchange here.

BaFin Classifies Cryptocurrencies as a Financial Instrument

BaFin, the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority, released guidance this week, classifying digital assets as financial instruments. Over 40 banks in Germany are now seeking BaFin’s approval to offer digital asset custody services as the regulator clarified that digital currency does not have the legal status of currency or money, but is accepted as a medium of exchange by natural or legal persons and can be transmitted, stored and traded electronically.

Finance Magnates reported on the clarifications and its potential impact. Read more here.

 

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