Virtu Pays $125K FINRA Fine, ESMA to Crack Down on Crypto: Editor’s Pick

Stay up to date with the most interesting developments in the crypto and FX space.

The first full week of 2020 is now behind us, and already the new year has brought a lot of changes to the foreign exchange (forex) and cryptocurrency industries. Keep up to date with the most interesting developments with our best of the week segment.

BNP Paribas to launch eFX engine in Singapore

This week another large bank announced that it is heading to Singapore to launch an electronic forex (e-FX) pricing and trading engine, with BNP Paribas joining the likes of JPMorgan, Standard Chartered, and more.

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As Finance Magnates reported, the French bank will launch an engine which will offer e-FX trading of 50 currencies in spot, forwards, swaps, non-deliverable forwards and options.

ESMA to push for crypto regulation

Over the next two years, ESMA has said that it plans on focusing on the data security of the financial industry, especially for crypto assets. In its Strategic Orientation for 2020-22, the regulatory agency also revealed its plan to bring a legal framework for digital currencies.

“The dangers of cyberthreats to the financial system as a whole and a sound legal framework for crypto-assets are increasingly becoming areas of focus for ESMA together with the other ESAs, the ESRB, the ECB, and the European Commission,” the regulator said.

Virtu pays $125,000 to settle FINRA probe

FINRA, the largest independent regulator for all securities firms ‎doing business in the United States, fined Virtu Americas LLC (formerly KCG Americas LLC) for a handful of violations and failures this week.

As Finance Magnates analyzed, the core allegations are centered around the broker’s methodology governing the execution and priority of pending orders from May 2013 to September 2019.

Crypto businesses in Austria need FMA license

ESMA isn’t the only regulator making cryptocurrency regulation its focus. This week, the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) of Austria revealed that crypto companies operating in Austria have to apply for a license to the nation’s financial watchdog as the new Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations come into effect. 

License applicants must show to the Austrian financial watchdog that they possess sufficient capability, coherence, and solvency to run the business. For those who fail to register, the regulator will impose a maximum fine of €200,000.

OTC Clear secures Japanese FSA license

OTC Clear, the central counterparty subsidiary of HKEX, received approval this week from the Financial Services Agency of Japan to offer client clearing services to banks in the country.

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In a statement released by HKEX this Wednesday, the license from the Japanese regulator allows OTC Clear to become a Foreign Financial Instruments Clearing Organisation. Therefore, it can offer clearing services to Japanese banks.

Former Mt. Gox CEO appeals dismissal of fraud charges

Mark Karpeles, the former CEO of now-defunct Mt. Gox, has moved to court, attempting the dismissal of a class-action suit filed against him by the victims of the collapsed exchange.

According to the documents filed on Wednesday in an Illinois district court, Karpeles is demanding a summary judgment relieving him of all charges. Read more about it here.

INTL FCStone acquires IFCM Commodities

There’s been yet another acquisition carried out by INTL FCStone Inc., with the company announcing this Monday that it has acquired IFCM Commodities, GmbH, a company based in Germany.

Finalized on January 2 this year, the acquisition of the broker is part of INTL’s strategic plan to expand its footprint across Germany and continental Europe so it can service its clients post-Brexit.

Travelex hackers demand $3 million BTC

The next article in our best of the week segment concerns another large hack in the crypto space – as currency exchange giant Travelex has become the latest major victim of ransomware Sodinokibi, with the hackers reportedly demanding a ransom of $3 Million in Bitcoin.

Travelex is owned by the Abu Dhabi financial services group Finabir. The exchange has a presence in 70 countries with its online fiat exchange and also currency exchange counters. To learn more about the hack, read our report here.

Plus500 forecasts $354 million 2019 revenues

Plus500 revealed this week in a trading update that the Group expects to report revenue of around $354 million and an EBITDA of approximately $190 million for the 2019 financial year.

Although the Group did say that it is pleased with the company’s performance, it is worth noting that the expected revenue is much less than the record $720.4 million in revenue achieved in 2018.

Interview: how has crypto journalism evolved?

The cryptocurrency industry as a whole has experienced some serious financial, technological, and ideological shifts over the past several years. Because of this, an entire sector of journalism has formed to cover the ever-changing crypto landscape.

So how has crypto journalism evolved over the years? Ron Friedman, editor in chief at BlockTV, caught up with Finance Magnates to share his thoughts on changes in crypto journalism and the BlockTV (BLTV) token.

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