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Brokers’ Client Losses Revised, BitMarket Hacked: Editor’s Pick

It’s been a busy week on the foreign exchange (forex) and cryptocurrency markets. In Spain, the Barcelona Trading Conference (BTC) took place on the 10th and 11th of July, where professionals in the space spoke on the biggest issues affecting the sector. Find out what was said and more in our best of the week segment.

eToro CEO: tokenization will lead to the future of finance

On Wednesday, which was the first day of the BTC conference, crowds gathered to hear Yoni Assia, CEO of eToro, speak on the company’s visions and plans for the future.

The FX Industry Demands the Best – London Summit 2019

Although many things were covered in his speech, Assia said that the company is focusing its energy toward linking the crypto world with the world of traditional finance.

“We hope to build the bridge,” Assia said. “That bridge is tokenization.”

Find out what else eToro’s CEO said here.

Have ESMA’s measures really helped client profitability?

It has almost been a year since ESMA implemented its product intervention measures. The regulator has stated that the changes were implemented to protect consumers, but did the watchdog achieve its goal?

Finance Magnates took a deeper dive into this issue. What we found was that although there has been a decline in the percentage of losing accounts, the factors behind those numbers are more correlated to the booming offshore industry, instead of more stringent margin requirements.

Singapore considers removing GST on crypto transactions

Crypto traders might not have to pay goods and services tax (GST) on cryptocurrency transactions in Singapore for much longer. As Finance Magnates reported, the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) has proposed to remove the tax from crypto transactions “that function or are intended to function as a medium of exchange.”

Whilst the agency is proposing to remove the tax for cryptocurrencies, it is not willing to do so for assets that are pegged to fiat currencies, such as stablecoins.

Are Swiss brokers benefitting from ESMA?

Since ESMA implemented its product intervention measures retail traders have been looking offshore for more relaxed trading conditions and higher leverage. One such country appears to be Switzerland.

As Finance Magnates analysed, Swissquote, the leading broker in Switzerland, saw a considerable uptick in active accounts and trading volumes after the measures were introduced.

“The SEC is going after people”

There is still a lot of uncertainty regarding the legal aspects of digital assets. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has tried to bring more understanding in the crypto space with no-action letters and legal cases. Nonetheless, there is still some ambiguity when it comes to how securities laws apply to cryptocurrencies.

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This week, Finance Magnates caught up with securities lawyer Samuel Katz about how investors and token issuers can survive (and even thrive) under the SEC’s jurisdiction. You can see the full interview here.

Chinese traders make the most transactions

So far this year, Asian traders remain most active, according to data from CPattern revealed by Finance Magnates Intelligence. When it comes to traders activity, the data showed an overall improvement.

The average global activity rate for one trader increased to 134.7 transactions per month, from 107.7 in March. Also, the highest activity recorded by China surged to 163.8 transactions from 146.4.

See what other insights the numbers revealed here.

Facebook wants to work with regulators to launch Libra

Since publishing its whitepaper, Facebook has generated a lot of noise in the crypto space – both good and bad. The most criticism for the project has come from regulators and lawmakers, particularly within the United States.

This week, David Marcus, Facebook’s head of Calibra, stated that the social media company is seeking approval from governments and regulators to launch its digital currency in a letter addressed to Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo and Ranking Member Sherrod Brown

“We want, and need, governments, central banks, regulators, non-profits, and other stakeholders at the table and value all of the feedback we have received.”

Russian official: FX brokers need to set ad standards

Foreign exchange brokers need to do more to demonstrate acceptable advertising practices, that’s what antitrust regulator Tatyana Nikitina said at an event in Moscow.

Elaborating on this, she said there are occasional violations of the law when it comes to FX brokers advertising their services.

Nikitina, who heads the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service’s (FAS) advertising division, added that not all foreign exchange trading advertisements are illegal. Find out more here.

BitMarket shutdown caused by hackers

This week, Polish cryptocurrency exchange BitMarket closed down suddenly, citing “loss of liquidity” as its reasoning. Initially, the exchange did not elaborate on this, however, users theorised on Reddit that the exchange had been hacked.

On Thursday a company director, Marcin Aszkielowicza, released a statement providing some more details as to what happened at the exchange. In his statement, Aszkielowicza said that the exchange was hacked in 2017 as a result of which “several users and technical accounts of the stock exchange lost more than 600 BTC.”

The executive laid the blame for the problems this hack has caused at the feet of prior operators of the exchange.

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