SEC Undecided on Bitcoin ETFs, Binary Options Still Banned: Best of the Week

Catch up on last week's top stories.

eToro takes over English football with Bitcoin

eToro, a foreign exchange and cryptocurrency brokerage, announced partnerships with no fewer than seven teams of the English Premier League. The sponsorship deals will all be paid in Bitcoin. The spree could be the result of the $100 million funding which eToro raised in March.

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The teams involved are Tottenham Hotspur, Brighton & Hove Albion, Cardiff City, Crystal Palace, Leicester City, Newcastle United and Southampton.

Just say no to binary options

The European Securities and Markets Authority decided to continue its prohibition of the scam-riddled binary options industry for a further three months. The ban began on the 2nd of July 2018, and will now continue until January 2019.

The decision was approved by the regulator’s board of supervisors on the grounds that companies offering binary options-style trading pose a sgnificant threat to investors.

Notably, binary options contracts are excluded from the extended ban if they last for at least 90 days, and/or if they exclude the possibility of the customer ending up owing the company money.

Most Russians trade with foreign companies

New regulations restricting foreign exchange companies in Russia are causing Russian customers to look elsewhere for business. This is because the laws restrict the amount of credit which these firms can offer. They also force brokers to bet against their customers, causing a conflict of interest.

The head of the country’s FX industry association said that only 1.75 percent of Russian customers are transacting with the eight firms that are approved.

Foreign exchange executive launches cryptocurrency company

Jan Strømme, former Global Head of eFX Sales and Distribution at XTX Markets, started a cryptocurrency trading company called Alphaplate in December. The new firm has six shareholders.

Strømme has held senior roles at a number of financial firms, including Reuters.

Exclusive interview with CEO of TradAir

TradAir is a distributor of trading software with offices in Singapore, London, Tel Aviv and New York. Viral Tolat became CEO six months ago.

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Finance Magnates talked to Tolat about how he is settling in to his new job, how he intends to make the company grow, and how he sees opportunity in cryptocurrency.

Another rejection of Bitcoin ETFs

The Securities and Exchange Commission, the American financial regulator, decided not to allow the New York Stock Exchange to launch exchange-traded funds based on Bitcoin futures. Some had hoped that approval would have injected more money into the Bitcoin market and made its value increase.

The SEC has rejected similar products in the past on multiple occasions. Other disappointed parties include financial corporation VanEck and entrepreneurial twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss.

But maybe not

Following the rejection, SEC commissioner Hester Peirce said that the review and decision-making had been delegated to staff, and would be reviewed by the higher-ups. No timeframe was provided. She also said that she disagrees with the Winklevoss verdict.

Ever-hopeful, VanEck is awaiting a decision on its third attempt to get a Bitcoin ETF approved by the watchdog. The fateful date is the 1st of September.

Analysis: are people losing interest in cryptocurrency exchanges?

The Finance Magnates Intelligence Department discovered that the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchanges have been receiving fewer and fewer visitors to their websites between February and July this year. In some cases the drop in numbers is very dramatic.

Two cryptocurrency exchanges have registered growth in their visitor numbers in the same period, however. Want to know which ones? I’m afraid that you’ll have to click here to find out.

Analysis: cryptocurrency companies are the new hot employer

As the big financial institutions of Wall Street try their hand at transacting in cryptocurrency, their employees are being poached away from them by that same upstart industry. People are willing to make the leap even though firms like Goldman Sachs and Bank of America are rumoured to pay fairly well.

Is this change more than an economic, but cultural/political too? Read this analysis and find out.

Analysis: EU brokers must take better care of remaining customers 

One month ago, ESMA introduced strict new laws restricting foreign exchange companies from doing things like offering their customers enormous levels of credit to bet on. Given that an average of 76.3 percent of traders lose their bets, this move can be considered a responsible one.

Companies are now realising that in order to survive, they must focus on long-term customers rather than those looking to get rich quick. This means that they are now compelled to invest money in services that make customers more likely to win their trades, such as market education courses.

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