Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies: special focus
Euromoney's latest coverage.
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.
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 has come in for some robust criticism since the announcement of its Libra digital currency.
As entrepreneurs seek to improve institutional-grade custody and security for trading in crypto assets, conventional financial market participants remain suspicious.
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.
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.
Front End enjoys the fallout from the 'Tangle in Taipei'.
The Bank of England and Federal Reserve begin to build the bulwarks against Facebook's cryptocurrency Libra.
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.
JPMorgan announced that it will be the first American bank to launch its own digital currency, but what to other bankers think of it?
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.
JPMorgan says that its new dollar stablecoins are collateralized against client dollar deposits but it also emphasizes its own strong balance sheet as surety.
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.
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.
While negative rates fundamentally undermine its domestic lenders, the Alpine nation’s enthusiasm for cryptocurrencies also coincides problematically with threats to its private banks.
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.
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.
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.
Two of the world’s most advanced cryptocurrency markets agree to exchange notes on blockchain regulation.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If there’s one piece of advice that Euromoney would give fledgling financial journalists, it is this – don’t write about cryptocurrencies.
What a month for the cryptomaniac in us all.
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.
LHV looks to expand cryptocurrency customer base; UK head sees opportunities for EU banks in Brexit.
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.
India threatens cryptocurrency crackdown; Ripple argues it has a remittance model.
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.
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.
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.
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?
EU-regulated exchange to launch a new blockchain platform for initial coin offerings (ICOs) and token trading.
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.
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.
The search is on for masters of the bitcoin universe to rival the bond traders who appalled and fascinated the public in the 1980s.
The King Canute award for ordering back the bitcoin tide: Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan.
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.
Help is at hand for those investors who find putting their money into bitcoin just not quite risky enough.
Jon ‘Mystic Mac’ Macaskill looks ahead at possible highlights for markets in 2018.
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.
Anyone trying to keep track of attitudes to cryptocurrencies among Russian policymakers could be forgiven for feeling a trifle dizzy going into December.
Fees and regulatory uncertainty remain a concern for traders as cryptocurrency exchanges continue to broaden the range of fiat currencies they support.
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.
The People’s Bank doesn’t want a crypto-free country – it wants to own the market.
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.
The more mainstream banks pour scorn on cryptocurrency, the greater their investing clients’ interest in new investment products for taking exposure in regulated markets.
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.
JPMorgan's CEO finds it hard to shake a habit.
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.
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.
Panic buying of altcoin offerings is an obvious bubble that hints at a far more worrying loss of faith in the world monetary system.
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.
Celent has called on central banks to issue their own digital currencies to help raise inflation and reduce systemic risk
Start-up is growing fast; bitcoin leg cheapens FX conversion.
Banks are taking tentative steps to integrating blockchain technology, but so far they have focused on following established payment processes.
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.
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.
Interoperability rather than exclusivity appears to be the likely path to success for corporate blockchain services.
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.
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.
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 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.
Opportunity for banks same as in FX; Goldman investment ‘a positive signal’.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Surveys suggest that virtual currencies look a safer bet than local stocks and property.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Banks are trying their best to avoid doing business with Bitcoin exchanges, but some hardy institutions are actively seeking them out.
Escrow services crop up but lack of mainstream financial intermediaries might be an obstacle to bitcoin’s evolution into a mainstream currency.
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 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
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.
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.
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.
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.