FINRA hits Virtu with $125K fine, ESMA cracking down on Crypto
The New Year has gotten off to an interesting start with changes to the cryptocurrency and foreign exchange (forex) industries. To keep abreast on the recent changes within the industries mentioned, we highlight those most relevant to investors.
eFX engine launched by BNP Paribas in Singapore
BNP Paribas announced this week that its electronic forex (e-FX) pricing and trading engine will launch in Singapore. They will join others such as Standard Chartered, JP Morgan and others. The launch will offer e-FX trading for fifty currencies for swaps, options, non-deliverable forwards, spots and forward
Crypto regulation being pushed by ESMA
Over the next several years, it has been reported that the ESMA will focus its efforts on the data security of the financial industry. This will include special emphasis being placed towards crypto assets as mentioned in its 2020-2022 Strategic Orientation and will further work towards bringing a legal framework for digital currencies. Speaking on cyber threats, the ESMA stated, “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.”
FINRA probe agrees to $125,000 fine to settle Virtu probe
The FINRA, the largest securities firms’ independent regulator for all who carry out business in the United States, has levied a fine against Virtu Americas LLC for a series of failures and violations this week. The fine, which Virtua agreed to is $125,000usd was levied based on the way the company executed and prioritised pending orders between the periods of May 2013 to September 2019.
FMA license needed by Crypto businesses in Austria
The Austria Financial Markets Authority (FMA) has revealed that those companies operating in the crypto markets within the country will now have to apply for a license with the nation’s financial watchdog when new Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations become law. It will require all companies wishing to be issued a license to prove they have the ability to provide the appropriate levels of solvency, coherence, and capability to operate their business to the Austrian financial watchdog. Failure to register will result in a fine of up to $200,000 being imposed by the regular.
Japanese FSA license secured by OTC Clear
The central counterparty subsidiary of HKEX, OTC Clear, has been given approval by the Japanese Financial Services Agency to provide client clearing services to banks in Japan. In its announcement on Wednesday, HKEX stated the license issued gives the company a green light to operate as a Foreign Financial Instruments Clearing Organisation and clearing services to Japanese banks.
Dismissal of fraud charges appealed by Former Mt. Gox CEO
The former CEO Mark Karpeles of Mt. Gox, a company that is no longer in business, has requested that a class-action lawsuit filed against him be dismissed to the exchanges collapse. Based on documents filed with the Illinois district court on Wednesday Karpeles is requesting that all charges against him be removed as the result of a summary judgment.
IFCM Commodities acquired by INTL FCStone
It was announced this week on Monday that INTL FCStone has acquired IFCM Commodities, a German based company. The deal was finalized on the 2nd of January this year and is part of INTL FCStone plan to expand its footprint throughout the continental Europe and Germany so it may continue to serve its clients post-Brexit.
$3 million BTC demanded by Travelex hackers
The latest victim to be targeted by ransomware, Travelex has announced hackers are demanding $3 million in Bitcoin. Owned by Finabir, an Abu Dhabi financial services group, it operates in seventy countries offering currency exchange counters and an online fiat exchange. The status of whether the company has given in to the hackers demands is unknown at the time of this article being published.
2019 revenues forecasted at $354 million Plus500
This week, it was revealed by Plus500 that the company anticipated to report that is 2019 revenue will come in close to $354 million and that the 2019 financial year had an approximate $190 million EBITDA.
While Plus500 said it was happy with the results and its performance, it is notable that the company had almost twice as much in revenue this same time last year. However, that is consistent with the industry overall as most have experienced technological, ideological and financial shifts in recent years, and that has had an impact on the landscape of crypto overall.