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| October 23, 2018

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A crucial Tesla financial report is coming. Let’s go under the tent to see how Elon Musk can boost cash flow

October 21, 2018 |

Tesla’s mission is clear: “Accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.” It says so on the company’s website.

But to do that, Tesla must prove itself sustainable as an ongoing concern. A lot is riding on the financial results it will report early in November.

Chief Executive Elon Musk…

L.A. Times – Business

Only 39 Percent Pass Malta’s Cryptocurrency Exam for Financial Services Practitioners

October 20, 2018 |

Only 39 Percent Pass Malta’s Cryptocurrency Exam for Financial Services Practitioners

The pass rate for the exam developed by the Maltese government for financial services practitioners seeking to obtain cryptocurrency agent certification is reportedly only 39 percent. The exam is part of the requirements mandated by the country’s newly established Virtual Financial Assets Act.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Low Pass Rate

Only 39 Percent Pass Malta’s Cryptocurrency Exam for Financial Services PractitionersUnder Malta’s Virtual Financial Assets (VFA) Act, practitioners who wish to act as agents in the field that includes cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs) must successfully complete a short training course and pass an exam.

Noting that the first exam took place in September, the Times of Malta reported on Thursday:

Nearly two-thirds of those applying for cryptocurrency agent certification failed the official assessment process despite last-second changes intended to boost the pass rate.

Only 39 Percent Pass Malta’s Cryptocurrency Exam for Financial Services PractitionersThe exam was set by the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) and administered by the Institute of Financial Services Practitioners.

The news outlet quoted sources revealing that about 250 lawyers, accountants, and auditors took the exam, which consisted of a series of multiple choice questions. “Once the exam papers were graded, it became clear the pass rate was extremely low,” the publication conveyed, adding that “Even after the changes the pass rate was just 39 percent.”

License Required

According to the MFSA’s consultation document for VFA service providers, “any person who is providing a VFA service … shall within twelve months apply for a license with the competent authority in terms of Article 14 to the Act,” the CBS Group described.

Only 39 Percent Pass Malta’s Cryptocurrency Exam for Financial Services PractitionersThe MFSA wrote, “It has also become evident that certain industry players are not sufficiently prepared to register as VFA agents.” The regulator, therefore, proposes a number of additional rules for them to comply. They include increasing the initial and ongoing capital requirements as well as regulatory fees. In addition, the MFSA proposes “introducing a rigorous competence assessment” and “a mandatory requirement for Continuous Professional Education.”

The Times of Malta elaborated, “The VFA Act is one of three new laws forming part of the government’s ‘Blockchain Island’ strategy and which seek to regulate the blockchain and cryptocurrency sector,” adding that “It will enter into force in November.” Other than trading cryptocurrencies and issuing ICOs, the publication explained:

Companies looking to provide other virtual financial asset services, such as portfolio management or investment advice, also need an agent to apply for a licence.

What do you think of the low pass rate for the Maltese cryptocurrency agent certification exam? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock and MFSA.

Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Only 39 Percent Pass Malta’s Cryptocurrency Exam for Financial Services Practitioners appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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China’s economy is growing at its slowest pace since the financial crisis

October 19, 2018 |

China’s economic slowdown is deepening as its trade war with the United States gets worse. – RSS Channel – World

This Firm Wants Legacy Financial Players Trading Cryptocurrencies

October 17, 2018 |

This Firm Wants Legacy Financial Players Trading Cryptocurrencies

Over the last few months, there’s been a lot of talk about institutional money coming into the digital asset economy. On Tuesday, the institutional-grade cryptocurrency trading platform Caspian announced the end of its beta stage. Caspian claims 15 institutions are utilizing the trading platform and the firm expects to onboard 50 clients by the year’s end.

Also read: 160 Crypto Exchanges Seek to Enter Japanese Market, Regulator Reveals

Caspian’s Multi-Exchange Trading Platform Comes out of Beta

This Firm Wants Legacy Financial Players Trading CryptocurrenciesOn Oct. 16, Caspian has revealed the company’s flagship trading platform is out of its beta phase and over a dozen institutional investors are using the service. Caspian has been making partnerships in order to become an all-in-one platform with access to multiple exchanges. Back in May, the firm teamed up with the Seychelles-based trading platform the Bitcoin Mercantile Exchange (Bitmex), and last September the company partnered with Coinbase. According to Caspian’s creators, the company’s mission is to bring comprehensive trading tools to the “players in the legacy financial system.”

“[Institutional investors] need resources similar to those they use for managing traditional assets — systems that manage portfolios, orders and risk management,” explained Richard Mannell, director of the firm Techemy Capital. “It’s going to be fascinating to see what happens to the crypto market when institutional investors move in in the hundreds, which I think is about to happen.”

This Firm Wants Legacy Financial Players Trading Cryptocurrencies
Caspian uses an Order and Execution Management System (OEMS) which connects to all 25 exchanges, allowing a variety of management choices for cryptographic assets.

Enterprise Custody and Trading Go Hand in Hand

Caspian says it now provides over 25 exchanges via a single interface which include well-known platforms such as Binance, Poloniex, Bittrex, Bitstamp, Fisco, CME Group, Itbit and more. During the latest onboarding process, Caspian says the clientele using the system are companies such as Travis Kling’s Ikigai Asset Management, Lykke, Id Theory, and Bletchley Park.

The news follows the very large financial firm Fidelity Investments launching an institutional-grade cryptocurrency management platform. Fidelity explains the company will provide “enterprise-quality custody and trade execution services for digital assets.” Caspian’s chief operations officer, David Wills, says Fidelity’s custodial services will complement the company’s product offering.      

“At Caspian, we believe institutional investors need two things – an institutional-level custodial solution that Fidelity will bring, and secondly, intuitive and user-friendly software platforms, like Caspian for the management of these assets,” Wills noted after the announcement.

What do you think about Caspian’s institutional-grade cryptocurrency trading platform? Do you think such investors need a trading desk like Caspian’s? Let us know your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.

Images via Shutterstock, Caspian logo, and Pixabay.

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The post This Firm Wants Legacy Financial Players Trading Cryptocurrencies appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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Richard Cordray was the nation’s consumer financial watchdog. Can that propel him to governor of Ohio?

October 12, 2018 |

You can call Ohio Democratic gubernatorial candidate Richard Cordray a nerd (he’s a five-time “Jeopardy!” champion who likes to tweet state trivia).

You can even call him boring (asked by the Columbus Dispatch to name his favorite beer, wine or liquor he answered, “grapefruit juice”).

Just don’t…

L.A. Times – Business

FSB: Crypto-Assets Not a Threat to Global Financial Order

October 11, 2018 |

FSB: "Crypto-Assets do not Pose [...] Risk to Global Financial Stability"

Cryptocurrencies do not pose a threat to global financial stability, but the diverse range of national regulatory regimes throughout the world continues to complicate efforts to establish an international legislative framework overseeing their use, the Financial Stability Board says in a new report. 

Also Read: Billion-Dollar Startups Flourishing in Switzerland’s ‘Crypto Valley’

Report Advocates ‘Vigilant Monitoring’

FSB: "Crypto-Assets do not Pose [... ] Risk to Global Financial Stability"In a document titled “Crypto-asset markets: Potential channels for future financial stability implications,” the FSB argues against an alarmist view of the perceived threat that cryptocurrencies may pose to financial markets throughout the world. It finds that “based on the available information, crypto-assets do not pose a material risk to global financial stability at this time.”

However, the Switzerland-based international body, which offers recommendations on the global financial system under the leadership of Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, nonetheless advises a cautious approach to the industry. “Vigilant monitoring is needed in light of the speed of market developments,” it says. “Should the use of crypto-assets continue to evolve, it could have implications for financial stability in the future.”

The FSB predicts that said risks may include “confidence effects and reputational risks to financial institutions and their regulators.” It also points to “risks arising from direct or indirect exposures of financial institutions,” as well as “risks arising if crypto-assets became widely used in payments and settlement.” In addition, the organization points to concerns about “market capitalization and wealth effects.”

Broader Crypto Policy Challenges

FSB: "Crypto-Assets do not Pose [...] Risk to Global Financial Stability"The report is a follow-up to the FSB’s “March 2018 letter to G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors” and its July 2018 “summary of the work of the FSB and standard-setting bodies on crypto-assets.” It highlights a number of broader policy issues pertinent to crypto-assets, such as “the need for consumer and investor protection; strong market integrity protocols; anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) regulation and supervision, including implementation of international sanctions; regulatory measures to prevent tax evasion; the need to avoid circumvention of capital controls; and concerns relating to the facilitation of illegal securities offerings.”

While noting that the board has pursued a number of “domestic supervisory, regulatory, and enforcement actions related to crypto-assets,” the report reiterates the FSB’s ongoing efforts to facilitate the development of an international regulatory framework pertaining to cryptocurrencies. However, it describes the current diversity of national crypto regulations as a potential barrier to the establishment of an international juridical apparatus for virtual currencies.

The report also states that “illiquidity, concentrated ownership, fragmented market structure, and other issues also make crypto-assets potentially susceptible to price manipulation.”

What is your response to the new FSB report? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock

The Bitcoin universe is vast. So is Check our Wiki, where you can learn everything you were afraid to ask. Or read our news coverage to stay up to date on the latest. Or delve into statistics on our helpful tools page.

The post FSB: Crypto-Assets Not a Threat to Global Financial Order appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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Jobs overseeing Social Security and Medicare’s financial health have sat empty for 3 years

October 2, 2018 |

Key posts overseeing the financial health of Social Security and Medicare have been vacant for more than three years, leaving the programs without independent accountability in the face of dire predictions about approaching insolvency.

With Washington corroded by partisanship and consumed by political…

L.A. Times – Business

How much should you pay your financial advisor?

September 30, 2018 |

Dear Liz: With my advisor’s blessing, I took one of my brokerage accounts and converted it from stocks to mutual funds that charge an aggregate fee of 0.26%. Not too bad, but my advisor insists that he still must charge his standard 1% fee on top. I know of other people whose advisors dropped their…

L.A. Times – Business

Financial Blockades Are Bad for Humanity But Great for Bitcoin

September 22, 2018 |

Financial Blockades Are Bad for Humanity But Great for Bitcoin

Vloggers. Sex workers. Conservatives. Iranians. People from every strata of society, with nothing in common, save for a shared grievance. All have found themselves locked out without warning by their payment provider. Account frozen. Funds seized. Lifeline severed. And for what exactly? For the amorphous crime of failing to comply with the terms of service. In reality, however, the only criminals are the financial providers who perpetrated these deeds against their customers.

Also read: Decentralizing the Web: Handshake, Akash and the Quest for Censorship-Resistance

Once Upon a Time, In a Cryptosphere Far, Far Away…

7th December, 2010. The combined forces of Bank of America, Visa, Mastercard, Paypal, and Western Union have imposed a financial blockade against Wikileaks in retaliation for publishing the largest leak in journalistic history. Pressured by the US government, the financial cartels roll over and do Uncle Sam’s bidding. By summer of 2011, with 95% of its revenue cut off, Wikileaks turns to an obscure alternative payment system called Bitcoin.

Financial Blockades Are Bad for Humanity But Great for Bitcoin
2011 was a pivotal but volatile year for bitcoin

By December, bitcoins, then trading south of $ 3 apiece, are winging their way to Wikileaks’ BTC wallet. Not everyone is convinced that their decision to accept the nascent cryptocurrency is the right one, not least its creator Satoshi Nakamoto. “It would have been nice to get this attention in any other context,” he grumbles in a Bitcointalk thread. “Wikileaks has kicked the hornet’s nest, and the swarm is headed towards us.”

Financial Blockades Are Bad for Humanity But Great for BitcoinTwo days later, Satoshi Nakamoto logged out of the forum he founded for the last time and was never heard of again. Whatever his reasons for hanging up his mask, by the time he departed, the genie was out of the bottle. It would be several years before Bitcoin would permeate the mainstream and establish itself as a force to be reckoned with, but even back then, before Satoshi exited stage left, and long before terms like “deplatformed” had entered the collective consciousness, the seed of uncensorable money had been sown. From there, it was only a matter of time.

Financial Blockades Are a Crime Against Humanity

On September 21, 2018, Infowars revealed that it had been banned by Paypal. Ostensibly, Alex Jones’ site had been booted because a comprehensive review had found that Infowars “promoted hate and discriminatory intolerance against certain communities and religions”. Only that’s not entirely true. Paypal had been perfectly content to process Infowars’ payments for years, and to collect a hefty commission in the process. Only once it became fashionable to deplatform them in exchange for political capital did Paypal cravenly bowed out.

Financial Blockades Are Bad for Humanity But Great for Bitcoin

And therein lies the problem with relying on a financial provider: you never know when the goalposts will shift and the rug will be pulled out from under you. Many liberals will cheer the latest deplatforming of Alex Jones, arguing that Paypal has no obligation to serve him, any more than Apple, Youtube, Twitter, or Facebook do. If he doesn’t like his treatment, he should just take his business elsewhere, to…well, where exactly?

Financial Blockades Are Bad for Humanity But Great for Bitcoin

Demonized and Demonetized

When you’ve been perma-banned by every major internet platform for failing to adhere to some arcane sub-clause in their 82-page terms and conditions, your options are limited. You can’t build your own social network, form your own credit card company, or found your own bank. If only there was a non-exclusionary system that came with no checkboxes, no binding volumes of legalese, and no central authority to determine who gets to play and who’s left to sit on the sidelines…

Financial Blockades Are Bad for Humanity But Great for Bitcoin
Lauren Southern

Enter Bitcoin. Ever since the Wikileaks days, the censorship-resistant cryptocurrency has offered a lifeline to those excluded by the global financial system. And not just the dubious conspiracy peddlers like Alex Jones, but unsung members of the public who find themselves in financial straits through no fault of their own. Turks faced with a devalued national currency and no access to Paypal. Venezuelans hit with hyperinflation in need of a safe haven. Conservatives like Brittany Pettibone and Lauren Southern ejected from Patreon. Autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) creators whose nonsexual videos have been deemed in violation of Paypal’s acceptable use policy and had their funds frozen for 180 days.

Visa, Mastercard, and Paypal: Financial Criminals of the Worst Kind

You don’t have to be a terrorist, money launderer, or drug trafficker to be targeted. You simply have to be from the wrong country. Or to make the wrong kind of noises in your videos. To believe in the wrong ideology. To be, as those celebrating your demise would crow, “on the wrong side of history”. If Paypal had existed half a century ago, it would probably have banned people for the crime of being gay. Somewhat ironic coming from a company co-founded by Peter Thiel. Belief systems change from generation to generation and even decade to decade. Who knows what deeds will fall foul of the censors in years to come?

Financial Blockades Are Bad for Humanity But Great for Bitcoin

Thought crimes come and go, but Bitcoin remains eternal, impartial, and unstoppable. It doesn’t care who you are, what you’re supposed to have done, or why there’s a mob baying for your blood. And in an era where anyone can be deemed persona non grata and booted from the major highways of the web with no recourse to appeal, Bitcoin is more vital than ever.

Blackstone’s formulation holds that “It is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer”. Bitcoin’s formulation runs pretty similar: it is better that ten guilty persons transact than that one innocent suffer. Financial blockades are bad for humanity but great for Bitcoin. The more Paypal, Patreon, Visa, and Mastercard censor, the stronger it becomes.

Do you think Paypal and their ilk impose exclusionary policies, or are they simply following the law? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter and Infowars.

Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Financial Blockades Are Bad for Humanity But Great for Bitcoin appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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