Uk’s Ban on Crypto Derivatives to Hurt Investors, Not Protect them
Following the decision of the U.K’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to ban the sale of crypto derivatives and exchange-traded notes (ETNs) to retail investors, financial experts are saying the decision will hurt investors and not protect them.
In a statement issued about a week ago, the FCA had said it considers certain types of crypto assets to be ill-suited for retail consumers due to the fact that they cannot be reliably valued by retail consumers because of the following reasons:
- Inherent nature of the underlying assets, which means they have no reliable basis for valuation
- Prevalence of market abuse and financial crime in the secondary market (e.g., cyber theft)
Extreme volatility in crypto asset price movements
- Inadequate understanding of crypto assets by retail consumers
- Lack of legitimate investment needs for retail consumers to invest in these products.
According to the UK regulator, the ban will affect “the sale, marketing and distribution” to retail investors of any derivatives contract or ETNs that linked to “unregulated transferable crypto assets” issued by entities in or outside the U.K.
The regulator further classifies unregulated transferable crypto-assets as “tokens that are not ‘specified investments’ or e-money, and can be traded.” The term incorporates major cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, ether and XRP.
The new ban will be effective from January 6, 2021, according to the statement.
However, experts are now saying the ban will not protect investors but hurt them as they will not be able to take advantage of market opportunities like their global peers.
Nigel Green, chief executive and founder of deVere Group, has this to say, “This move by the FCA underscores the regulator’s rather misguided approach to cryptocurrencies.
“Whilst the FCA is not stopping people buying Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies directly, it is banning the sale of products based on their prices.
“The regulator does express some valid concerns in its new rules, which we welcome and support.
“However, rather than banning, the FCA should be regulating the booming and unstoppable sector.
“This market, thanks to its exponential growth, needs a robust and enforceable regulatory framework. It needs scrutiny.”
The deVere boss added that “The staggering pace of the digitalisation of economies and every aspect of our lives highlights that there will be a growing demand for digital, global, borderless money.
“Already digital currency is almost universally regarded as the future of money – and we need a joined-up approach to tackling those who undermine it.
“In this regard, most major financial institutions globally already have or are preparing to establish crypto desks. It is why more and more retail and institutional investors are piling into the market. And it is why tech giants, like Facebook, amongst others are getting involved.”
Bitcoin Near $60,000 Per Coin After Bloomberg Report Favour Bitcoin ETF
Bitcoin, the world’s most capitalised cryptocurrency, rallied near $60,000 per coin after a report by Bloomberg said bitcoin futures exchange-traded fund (ETF) will clear the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) late on Thursday.
Cryptocurrency’s most dominant coin rose to $59,961 per coin before pulling back to $59,258.38 at the time of writing.
The SEC is reviewing around 40 bitcoin ETF filings with multiple decision deadlines on futures-linked products hitting next week. According to Bloomberg, the regulator is expected to approve at least some of them, clearing the way for trading to begin.
The SEC does not need to take any formal action to approve the filings. Under federal law, applications can become effective if the SEC allows a mandated deadline to pass by without requesting changes or directing the aspiring issuer to pull the filing.
Bloomberg named applications by ProShares and Invesco as two proposals that may be allowed to launch under this law next week.
G7 Finance Officials Endorse Principles For Central Bank Digital Currencies
G7 finance officials on Wednesday endorsed 13 public policy principles for retail central bank digital currencies, saying they should be grounded in transparency, the rule of law and sound economic governance, the Treasury Department said.
“Innovation in digital money and payments has the potential to bring significant benefits but also raises considerable public policy and regulatory issues,” Group of Seven finance ministers and central bankers said in a joint statement.
“Strong international coordination and cooperation on these issues help to ensure that public and private sector innovation will deliver domestic and cross-border benefits while being safe for users and the wider financial system.”
The finance officials met in person, with some joining by video, in Washington on Wednesday during the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank under the leadership of British finance minister Rishi Sunak.
In their joint statement, the G7 officials said central bank money in the form of Central Bank Digital Currencies, or CBDCs, would complement cash and could act as a liquid, safe settlement asset and an anchor for the payments system.
They said the principles were meant to support policy and design deliberations within and beyond the G7, complementing recently published work by a group of central banks and the Bank for International Settlements.
No G7 authority has decided to issue a CBDC, and careful consideration of the potential policy implications will continue, the statement said.
“We reaffirm that any CBDC should be grounded in our long-standing public commitments to transparency, the rule of law and sound economic governance,” the statement said. “Any CBDC must support, and ‘do no harm’ to, the ability of central banks to fulfill their mandates for monetary and financial stability.”
The G7 officials stressed the importance of rigorous privacy standards, cybersecurity, the need to protect users’ data and transparency on how the information will be secured and used.
They said such currencies must be energy efficient and operate in an open, transparent and competitive environment while underscoring the importance of interoperability on a cross-border basis and the need to minimize any harmful spillovers to the international monetary and financial system.
They reiterated that no global stablecoin project should begin operation until it addresses legal, regulatory and oversight requirements, echoing a similar statement made by the larger Group of 20 finance officials earlier Wednesday.
Stablecoins are a type of digital coin pegged to traditional currencies.
Binance To Launch $1B Fund To Develop BSC Ecosystem
Binance, the world’s leading blockchain ecosystem and cryptocurrency platform, has launched a $1 billion Growth Fund for Binance Smart Chain, to accelerate the adoption of digital assets and blockchain technology.
In the span of the next few months multiple programs will be set up under its umbrella to empower the growth of cryptocurrencies worldwide. Designed to incubate rising blockchain-crypto projects the fund will also run advanced technological development programs.
“BSC’s growth has attracted 100M+ DeFi users with just an initial funding of $100 million,” said Changpeng Zhao (CZ), CEO at Binance. “With the new contribution of $1B, it can disrupt traditional finance and accelerate global mass adoption of digital assets to become the first-ever blockchain ecosystem with one billion users,” he added.
The $1 billion fund will be divided into 4 broader categories:-
Talent Development – Innovation
A total of $100M funds are reserved for Talent Development which includes mentoring developer communities, educating new crypto investors, providing academic scholarships to institutions, running bootcamps and supporting R&D around Cryptography, High-performance Consensus protocol, Cross-chain/Multi-chain infra, RegTech & Deep Analytics and more.
Liquidity Incentive Program – Trading
The Liquidity Incentive initiative will run sub-programs to encourage participation from traditional financial markets as well as crypto. It will provide flexibility and support for professional traders and institutions to provide more liquidity in DeFi protocols. For instance, more contribution in liquidity pools in Automated Market Makers, borrowing and lending in money markets, yield farming in vaults, higher arbitrage gains and more. This will be targeted in developing compliant relationships between investors and evolving emerging digital asset markets. A total of $100M funds are reserved under the Liquidity Incentive initiatives.
Builder Program – Technological startups
The Builder Program will be boosted with an additional $300 million. Of which, $100 million will be utilized to conduct regional and global hackathons, joint bug bounty programs, developer conferences and will support existing mainstream development programs. The remaining $200 million will be used to incubate 100 innovative dApps/infra buildings on top of BSC who will receive mentoring from top Venture Capitalists and infrastructural support from the BSC core community.
Investment/Incubation Program for Industrial development
To accelerate mainstream adoption and bring disruption to financial infrastructures a total of $500 million will be reserved. This fund will be utilized to grow decentralized computing, gaming, metaverse, virtual reality, artificial intelligence and blockchain-based financial services. With collaborations from industry-leading organizations, the investment fund will target scaling blockchain technology for real-life use cases and will bridge the gap between crypto-blockchain and the current technical-financial sectors.
“The thriving blockchain startup ecosystem has encouraged us to invest our time, efforts and resources in helping companies build from 0 to 1. With the $1 billion initiative, our focus will be widened to building cross-chain and multi-chain infrastructures integrated with different types of blockchains. We’re gearing up to bolster the adoption of crypto and blockchain to accelerate its growth globally.” said Gwendolyn Regina, Investment Director, BSC Accelerator Fund
With a concentrated focus on blockchain-rich regions such as Russia, India, South East Asia, Europe, US and South America; the BSC community will lead the growth of BSC regionally. The BSC core community will work closely with leading fintech companies, crypto advisors, blockchain researchers and influential people across the globe to spread the basic vision of financial inclusion and sovereignty.
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