Major New Ripple Partnerships, Google Turns on FX: Best of the Week

Mt Gox prepares to return money 

Money held in trust for Mt Gox, the Bitcoin exchange that went bankrupt in 2014, is soon to be returned to its rightful owners.

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Ex-users have until the 22nd of October to file a claim, and if approved, will receive their money on the 14th of February 2019. In total, bankruptcy trustee Nobuaki Kobayashi is in charge of approximately $1 billion worth of BTC, and must devise a distribution plan that will not disrupt the market too much.

New crypto asset management service “guarantees” 1-1.5% returns per day

Stockholm IT Ventures announced that it will be launching a cryptocurrency asset management service.

The firm was publicly listed in Frankfurt in 2014 at a value of approximately €3 per share, but its value since then has all but disappeared. A private token sale earlier this year revived its fortunes, with €5 million raised for a token called Bytemine.

As a result of this, the firm cancelled its planned crowd sale, deciding to go in the aforementioned direction. CEO Anthony Norman says that cryptocurrency volatility  “…allows us to guarantee a 1-1.5% return per trading day.” This claim is likely to draw the attention of the authorities.

Saxo Bank’s UK arm reports falling profit

Saxo Capital Markets UK, the British subsidiary of Danish broker Saxo Bank, reported an increase in net revenue but a decrease in profit in 2017. The report also said that the firm acquired 7,300 clients and their cash/assets from Barclays Stockbrokers in August of that year.

Because the company doubled its client base, it is surprising that profit is lower than in the previous year. However this can be explained by the increased operating costs.

Interview with CEO of TigerWit

Foreign exchange broker TigerWit has been expanding over the last year, particularly in the European Union. Based in London, it also holds a licence in the Bahamas.

Finance Magnates interviewed CEO Tim Hughes, who talked about the company’s new blockchain-based settlement engine, how its partnership with Liverpool Football Club will help it expand in Asia, future product launches, and how the new EU regulations are affecting business.

Google to examine all FX advertising

Google has begun to examine the advertising campaigns of foreign exchange brokers with more prejudice. Coming against a backdrop of heavily-increased regulation in Europe, Google’s new certification process is a blow.

Google’s now requires that all advertisement materials be specifically approved. This includes all landing pages for Google AdWords, blog posts, and website pages, and all marketing messages must be thoroughly reviewed.

In short, this means that financial companies must be more proactive in their communications with the internet giant.

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Interview with CEO of Smart Valor

Finance Magnates spoke with Olga Feldmeier, CEO of Smart Valor, which is building “a decentralized, community-based marketplace for tokenized alternative investments.” The aim of the company is to use blockchain technology to financial empower everyone, regardless of wealth.

Feldmeier told us about the personal experiences with currency that caused her to enter this line of work, how technology can bring wealth to more than just a privilged few, and why it’s not in the interests of mining pools to manipulate the Bitcoin network.

Two new Ripple partnerships

PNCBank

PNCBank, one of the biggest lenders in the US, has joined RippleNet, the blockchain-based cross-border payment network.

The bank handles approximately $6 billion in deposits from around eight million customers and has branches in 19 states, so this is a positive development for the team behind the world’s third most valuable cryptocurrency.

Ripple has developed services which can transfer money faster and cheaper than the legacy system SWIFT. These services have been tested by some of the biggest companies in the world, and Ripple claims that approximately 100 financial institutions in tens of countries have signed up to RippleNet already.

The National Commercial Bank

The biggest bank in Saudi Arabia, the National Commercial Bank, has committed to using RippleNet to connect to other financial institutions, beginning in Singapore and then moving on to North America. The NCB has 400 branches in Saudi Arabia and more than 5.4 million customers worldwide.

This deal is particularly significant because Saudi Arabia, with its substantial population of foreign workers, is one of the world’s biggest sources of overseas payments; once source cites $8.5 billion sent abroad from the kingdom in the first quarter of 2018.

Analysis: gender imbalance in the cryptocurrency world

Revolutionary as some claim it to be, the cryptocurrency industry is just as overwhelmingly populated by males as traditional finance. A report in the New York Times found that women make up only 4-6 percent of blockchain investors, and as the field has hit the mainstream, the gender imbalance has become a serious topic for discussion.

Apart from being a vast untapped market, market research has found that female traders tend to hold assets for longer, which could be stabilising influence on the market. Not only this, they are on average 0.4 percent more profitable in their trading activities.

In this analysis, Finance Magnates examines the roots of the differences in financial behaviour between the sexes, what is keeping women from engaging more in this field, and what can be done to get them more involved.

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