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Fintech

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies: special focus

Euromoney's latest coverage.

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Cryptocurrency’s rapid growth is a threat to conventional finance

The big questions now for governments and regulators is whether cryptocurrencies threaten the stability of the global financial system. Some investors will lose out. In crypto land, code is law. There is no benign central authority to correct obvious mistakes. Cryptocurrency has been stolen and accidentally wiped. Could such losses spiral across conventional financial markets?

Rather than try to ban them, many central banks are now considering launching their own cryptocurrencies. It would be the ultimate validation. It might also be the beginning of the end for conventional banking, if individuals, institutions and corporations all came to have digital accounts at central banks.

Why you might buy a burger with bitcoin in Venezuela, but not Europe

January 2020

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Cryptocurrencies have a specific use-case in countries where local currencies are in crisis, but elsewhere they remain a volatile speculative investment and will struggle to take off as a means of payment.

Facebook Libra 'delusional', says Chinese former mayor

November 2019

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Facebook has come in for some robust criticism since the announcement of its Libra digital currency.

Trustology tries to bring security to crypto investing

October 2019

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As entrepreneurs seek to improve institutional-grade custody and security for trading in crypto assets, conventional financial market participants remain suspicious.

How Facebook can win the global currency battle

August 2019

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Regulators, politicians, competition authorities and central bankers have all been outlining objections to the Libra project from the first day Facebook announced plans to let its 2.4 billion users exchange payments in a new virtual currency. Don’t be taken in. Facebook wants the burden of compliance with all those KYC, AML and CFT rules. Being able to identify what its users are paying for is a treasure trove. The banking system and the world’s central banks, as the more enlightened already see, had better gear up for new competition.

Regulators line up to denounce Facebook for its cryptocurrency project

July 2019

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Libra is designed to improve on the slow, costly and painful process of transferring money across borders through the banking system, but Facebook faces a long fight to launch it.

Cryptocurrency: BitMex v Roubini heads for celebrity deathmatch

July 2019

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Front End enjoys the fallout from the 'Tangle in Taipei'.

Macaskill on markets: The coming proxy war with Facebook

July 2019

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The Bank of England and Federal Reserve begin to build the bulwarks against Facebook's cryptocurrency Libra.

New digital wallet could contain the solution for online payments security 

May 2019

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Data security company Krypti claims the microtoken exchange security system used in its new digital wallet for storing bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies offers the most sophisticated protection against hackers on the market.  

Bankers weigh in on JPM’s new digital coin

March 2019

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JPMorgan announced that it will be the first American bank to launch its own digital currency, but what to other bankers think of it?

Sideways: JPM Coin – to ubiquity and beyond!

February 2019

JPMorgan is trying to advance its master plan for global fintech domination with a discipline that is often lacking in a sector better known for wildly over-promising than actually delivering practical solutions.

JPM Coin competes with the Federal Reserve as much as with Ripple

February 2019

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JPMorgan says that its new dollar stablecoins are collateralized against client dollar deposits but it also emphasizes its own strong balance sheet as surety.

Airdrops of free crypto tokens look set to replace ICOs

November 2018

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Forget raising money by selling your crypto tokens, just give them away to as many potential users as possible and raise value through network effects is the new thinking from crypto-land.

Are stablecoins the reinvention of money?

November 2018

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Even as the most infamous cryptocurrencies crashed this year, new ones were already emerging, designed to peg their value to fiat currencies. The most popular of the so-called stablecoins, Tether, broke its peg to the dollar in October, raising questions over the best design for these instruments and the worry that they may be just the latest crypto fad to sucker in the unwary. But if they succeed, stablecoins could prove a tipping point for broader crypto adoption and the reinvention of money.

Why Switzerland wants to be the crypto nation

October 2018

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A general view shows Lake Zug and the city of Zug, Switzerland September 26, 2018. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann - RC1D0F339FF0
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While negative rates fundamentally undermine its domestic lenders, the Alpine nation’s enthusiasm for cryptocurrencies also coincides problematically with threats to its private banks.

Two blockchain start-ups offer very different bets on the future of bitcoin mining

October 2018

Argo offers state of-the-art crypto mining as a service to the little guy but COTI’s trustchain may do away with miners altogether.

Forget bitcoin: stablecoins will change how money works

October 2018

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Even as the most infamous cryptocurrencies crash, new ones are already emerging that are designed to peg their value to fiat currencies and recover the dream of new forms of money moving on new rails to everyone’s advantage.

Crypto fans crow over Danske’s troubles

October 2018

Allegations of large-scale money-laundering at Danske Bank’s Estonian branch may have been bad news for Scandinavian banks, their investors and European authorities – but at least someone’s happy.

Cryptocurrencies: Israel enters into crypto partnership with Switzerland

October 2018

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Two of the world’s most advanced cryptocurrency markets agree to exchange notes on blockchain regulation.

Bitmain listing lifts lid on crypto finances

October 2018

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The prospectus for the forthcoming Hong Kong IPO of Bitmain, which dominates the market for cryptocurrency mining hardware, unveils the highs and lows of businesses linked to bitcoin. It will cause crypto ideals to collide with institutional expectations about business transparency.

Regulated exchanges for crypto security tokens could transform equity capital markets

September 2018

New efforts to execute equity transactions on blockchain are emerging, for now concentrated in private equity, as disruptors seek to build investor and regulatory confidence in security tokens.


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Goldman-backed Circle sees tokenization coming to all markets

August 2018

Undeterred by the SEC’s recent disapproval of bitcoin ETFs or cryptocurrency price falls, Circle is intent on building a framework for the tokenization of finance with its stablecoin as the next big step.


World Bank launches first bond on blockchain

August 2018

With a modest-sized two-year Aussie dollar transaction, the World Bank may have ushered in a new era of speed, efficiency and transparency in debt capital markets, with deals announced, order books built and bonds priced and allocated on blockchain.


And they say cryptocurrencies aren’t worth squat…

July 2018

If there’s one piece of advice that Euromoney would give fledgling financial journalists, it is this – don’t write about cryptocurrencies.


Cryptocraaazy: Rock around the block

June 2018

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What a month for the cryptomaniac in us all.

Fintech: The cold, hard facts of bitcoin mining

May 2018

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Soviet military bunkers in Kazakhstan and portable houses in Siberia linked up to the plumbing: Bitcoin mining is moving in some interesting directions that will become even more diverse as China cracks down on its domestic industry.

Estonian lender targets London’s fintechs

April 2018

LHV looks to expand cryptocurrency customer base; UK head sees opportunities for EU banks in Brexit.


G20 ministers wrestle with cryptocurrency oversight

March 2018

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Finance ministers and central bankers at the G20 have called for greater global coordination in their approach to cryptocurrencies, but that looks a remote prospect when different regulatory bodies in the same country cannot agree a strategy.


Ripple India tries to ignore the noise

March 2018

India threatens cryptocurrency crackdown; Ripple argues it has a remittance model.

Dash aims to be the cryptocurrency that works like real money

February 2018

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The recent price collapse shows how far bitcoin and the rest have veered from working like currencies, but one cryptocurrency just wants to be used to pay for stuff.

Japan’s FSA defends approach after Coincheck fraud

February 2018

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The Coincheck cryptocurrency fraud has rocked Japan, which had been the first country in the world to build a regulatory environment for crypto exchanges. The FSA regulator briefs Euromoney on how it built its rules and what Coincheck means for the future.


Asia totters on its cryptocurrency stance

February 2018

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The region is a vital part of the world crypto community, mostly as investor and miner. But Korea and China have turned against virtual currencies, though Japan, despite recent setbacks, may have the answer.


Fintech: Up bit creek

February 2018

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A bitcoin conference on a Thai beach, part of a cryptocurrency cruise, is quite a thing. Libertarian in outlook and cool in attendee, these are bitcoin’s true believers. But as the price of bitcoin tumbled in January, why were they still partying like it’s $19,999?


Gibraltar plans a regulated crypto exchange

January 2018

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EU-regulated exchange to launch a new blockchain platform for initial coin offerings (ICOs) and token trading.


Tend token sale points to a regulated future for ICOs

January 2018

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The luxury-asset investment platform is to raise funds by selling tokens that mirror participation certificates under Swiss law, with full KYC and AML checks on buyers.


Bitcoin bonanza: the rise of regulation

January 2018

The latest cryptocurrency price crash is shining the spotlight on the regulation of these borderless, digital currencies, but the rules differ wildly from country to country; global super-regulator IOSCO is set to make an announcement.


Sideways: Masters of the bitcoin universe

January 2018

The search is on for masters of the bitcoin universe to rival the bond traders who appalled and fascinated the public in the 1980s.


Alternative awards for the year 2017

December 2017

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The King Canute award for ordering back the bitcoin tide: Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan.

Macaskill on markets: Bitcoin greed will overcome fear

December 2017

An important step to confer respectability on trading in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies was taken in mid December when analysts from Deutsche Bank highlighted the role played in the emerging market by male leveraged foreign exchange investors from Japan.

Bitcoin: accept no substitutes

December 2017

Help is at hand for those investors who find putting their money into bitcoin just not quite risky enough.


Macaskill on markets: Bitcoining it in 2018 

December 2017

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Jon ‘Mystic Mac’ Macaskill looks ahead at possible highlights for markets in 2018.

Fintech: Conventional investors tiptoe up to cryptocurrency

November 2017

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As retail and high net-worth investors embrace cryptocurrency, delta one synthetics allow institutionals to allocate to this new asset class, but sceptics say that cryptocurrency is an immature market. They warn that catastrophic losses in crypto could destabilize the regular equity, commodity, debt and currency markets.

Russia and cryptocurrencies: will they, won’t they?

November 2017

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Anyone trying to keep track of attitudes to cryptocurrencies among Russian policymakers could be forgiven for feeling a trifle dizzy going into December.


FX: Cryptocurrency exchanges expand offerings as concerns remain

November 2017

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Fees and regulatory uncertainty remain a concern for traders as cryptocurrency exchanges continue to broaden the range of fiat currencies they support.


Bitcoin falls victim to its own success

November 2017

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As investors seek to allocate to cryptocurrency in bigger size, delays in processing blocks, limits on file sizes and increasing electricity consumption expose disagreements among those behind it and lead to high volatility.


China’s cryptocurrency ban is not what it seems

November 2017

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The People’s Bank doesn’t want a crypto-free country – it wants to own the market.


Bitcoin reaches fork in road as alternative Bitcoin Gold prepares for launch

November 2017

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Cryptocurrency architects have unveiled Bitcoin Gold, a new currency based on the bitcoin network set to begin trading in December, which attempts to resolve what some see as the excessive influence miners have on the bitcoin network.


CME to launch bitcoin futures

October 2017

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The more mainstream banks pour scorn on cryptocurrency, the greater their investing clients’ interest in new investment products for taking exposure in regulated markets.


Seven things we learned in Washington – and you won’t believe number five

October 2017

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In true clickbait style, Euromoney offers some highlights from this year’s IMF/World Bank meetings. For example, Jamie Dimon’s bitcoin problem is worse than we thought.


Dimon in the rough: bitcoin gets a thrashing

October 2017

JPMorgan's CEO finds it hard to shake a habit.


Delta-one securities for cryptocurrency

October 2017

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As more retail and high-net-worth investors embrace cryptocurrency, lightly structured delta-one synthetics now allow institutional investors to allocate to a new asset class.


Investment banking goes crypto

October 2017

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In the month when Jamie Dimon dismissed cryptocurrency as a fraud, there was a string of new breakthroughs in banking on blockchain and Euromoney caught first sight of a crypto investment bank.


Initial coin offerings suggest financial system fragility

August 2017

Panic buying of altcoin offerings is an obvious bubble that hints at a far more worrying loss of faith in the world monetary system.


FX: SEC rejects bitcoin ETF but market remains buoyant

March 2017

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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rejected an exchange’s request to list what would have been the first bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF), but it might not be long before such a digital currency fund becomes reality, say commentators.


Bitcoins you can grab

February 2017

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Bobby Lee, co-founder and chief executive officer of BTCC, the Shanghai-based bitcoin platform and second-largest bitcoin exchange in the world, certainly stole the show at London blockchain week, a series of conferences held in late January.


BitLicense not template for UK, say experts

December 2016

While accepting that regulation can help increase consumer and business confidence in cryptocurrencies, providers and industry analysts agree that the BitLicense model is not the way forward for the UK.


Fintech creeps up on the capital markets

November 2016

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The application of fintech to wholesale banking is, to date, less clear than in retail financial services, where peer-to-peer lenders, start-up remittance companies, crowdfunders and robo-advisers are quickly picking up market share from the incumbents. It is more likely that fintech startups will collaborate with and sell to the incumbents in capital markets than disintermediate them. But they will still transform those markets and the business leaders.


Celent calls on central banks to issue their own digital currencies

October 2016

Celent has called on central banks to issue their own digital currencies to help raise inflation and reduce systemic risk

Fintech 2016: Wirex brings blockchain to personal banking

April 2016

Start-up is growing fast; bitcoin leg cheapens FX conversion.


Banks begin blockchain payment integration

April 2016

Banks are taking tentative steps to integrating blockchain technology, but so far they have focused on following established payment processes.


Fintech 2016: Safello bridges crypto and fiat currency

April 2016

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Acting for now as a secure exchange between conventional and cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, Stockholm-based Safello is developing what it sees as a ground-breaking transaction browser.


FX: Cryptocurrency trading venues snowball

March 2016

The emergence of new trading venues marks a notable advance in the development of cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, although exchanges vary in their product offerings.


Fintech: Blockchain moves from hullabaloo to hard graft

December 2015

In the second half of 2015 hype around the potential for shared ledger technology to transform banking rose to a peak. Now comes the hard work as banks and fintech companies seek to put test cases into actual use. As the first practical applications begin to emerge, Euromoney surveys the banking market to ask what’s next for the blockchain.


Rival blockchain services test corporate appetite

November 2015

Interoperability rather than exclusivity appears to be the likely path to success for corporate blockchain services.

Blockchain 

Getting to grips with blockchain

November 2015

Banks have suddenly cottoned on to the power of the blockchain technology beneath Bitcoin. Inside their own treasuries and innovation labs, and increasingly in collaboration, banks are testing uses for rebranded distributed ledgers to replace their costly, proprietary systems. 

Blockchain questionnaire

November 2015

Have the banks been caught up in the hype around blockchain, or will it transform the financial system in the years ahead? Have your say, by participating in the questionnaire accompanying Euromoney's investigation.

Regulation: The benefits of blockchain

November 2015

Banks are suddenly obsessed with potential of the distributed ledger in financial markets, but regulators must make sure it is used in ways that remove collusion and wrongdoing.

Bitcoin: Jury is still out on derivatives

October 2015

Bitcoin is riding high after a recent European Court of Justice ruling that users in Europe are not liable to pay value-added tax when trading the cryptocurrency. But regulators worldwide are divided on whether it is a commodity or a currency and are still probing the advent of bitcoin derivatives as exchanges flourish to satisfy traders' demand for a wider range of products.

Crypto currencies: Bitcoin options come a step closer

June 2015

Opportunity for banks same as in FX; Goldman investment ‘a positive signal’.

Exit Bitcoin, enter block-chain technology

January 2015

Negative publicity around cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin has deflected attention from the potential of the underlying technology to facilitate real-time – and therefore much cheaper – international payments.

Bitcoin market starts to mature

October 2014

Interest and use of cryptocurrency bitcoin has undergone a meteoric rise in the past year, but it is now moving away from speculative investments into the real world of cross-border business transactions.

Rising Bitcoin adoption emboldens crypto-enthusiasts

September 2014

Despite the volatility in its price and its still-limited practical use, an increase in the number of merchants accepting Bitcoin in recent months has ignited optimism among digital-currency proponents.

CureCoin: A cryptocurrency aiming to beat cancer

August 2014

The CureCoin Forum has teamed up with Stanford University to launch a new ethical cryptocurrency that aims to find cures for common, life-threatening illnesses, such as cancer and Alzheimer’s, by bringing together science and the craze for cryptocurrencies.

Bitcoin: big in emerging markets

February 2014

Surveys suggest that virtual currencies look a safer bet than local stocks and property.

Bankers’ lobby weighs Bitcoin threat

January 2014

Regulators have woken up to the currency’s potentially huge impact on the global payments system, given the decentralized, virtual and anonymous nature of the peer-to-peer network.

China leads fresh regulatory response to Bitcoin bubble

December 2013

Successive interventions by China’s central bank to rein in trading of Bitcoins in recent weeks have not only knocked the cryptocurrency hard but seemingly helped legitimize its existence.

Bitcoin: banks are beginning to believe the hype

December 2013

The emergence of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin is beginning to pose a real threat to banks’ dominance of the multi-billion global payments business. Banks are still trying to figure out how best to respond. Some are a bit further ahead than others.



Year of the Bitcoin set to end on a low after China clampdown

December 2013

The Bitcoin rollercoaster has lurched down as BTC China said it would no longer be accepting renminbi deposits, triggering a massive sell-off across most cryptocurrencies. But Bitcoin believers remain unbowed. Here is a round-up of the most bullish projections.

Meet Monetas, the latest in Bitcoin-inspired payment platforms

September 2013

The genesis of cryptocurrencies has revolutionized the payments space, tearing down the technological boundaries of what is possible and creating a swath of new platforms to move money around faster and cheaper.

Taking a chance on Bitcoin

August 2013

Banks are trying their best to avoid doing business with Bitcoin exchanges, but some hardy institutions are actively seeking them out.

Bitcoin infrastructure evolving to enable greater use for payments

August 2013

Escrow services crop up but lack of mainstream financial intermediaries might be an obstacle to bitcoin’s evolution into a mainstream currency.

Worlds apart: banks and Bitcoin convergence unlikely anytime soon
July 2013

Banks remain disinterested or wary of Bitcoin but there is a growing acknowledgement that the digital currency’s popularity cannot be overlooked indefinitely, if a recent gathering of the faithful is anything to go by. From trade to settlement, Bitcoin offers plenty of opportunities – and threats – for banks.


Bitcoin: to use or to hoard, that is the question 

July 2013

Bitcoin faces an uphill battle to satisfy the conventional functions of money as a medium of exchange, store of value and a unit of account, participants say at a leading conference on the digital currency this week.  Explosion of digital currencies such as Bitcoin creates regulatory headache 

June 2013

Like it or not, electronic currencies are here to stay, challenging traditional payment channels. Euromoney surveys the contenders for digital dominion as security and regulatory challenges bite. 

First Bitcoin, now Google-backed OpenCoin: a new disintermediation threat for banks 

June 2013

The success of electronic currencies such as Bitcoin has turned the worlds of currencies and payments systems upside down. The latest player to join this game is OpenCoin, which in April received seed capital from a consortium of venture capitalists, including Google Ventures. Rather than becoming merely another payments system, OpenCoin is looking to be a paradigm-changing payments system that disintermediates traditional bank platforms. 

Bitcoin: a threat to the transaction banking industry? 

May 2013

Transaction bankers should wake up to the competitive threat that is Bitcoin, which, in theory, offers a multitude of benefits for multinational companies. Nevertheless, an information deficit and regulatory concerns will continue to temper corporate adoption of the digital currency, analysts say. 

Technology & innovation: special focus

From cloud technology to cashless payments, digital currencies to social media, mobile banking to FX robots... financial institutions worldwide are looking to lead technological advances while also trying to keep up with them. And as well as the cost of innovation, many organizations are finding much of their technology budgets focused on dealing with regulatory burdens. Here is the latest coverage from Euromoney. 


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