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FinaCom Expands A-category Members as BalansFX Gets Tick of Approval

BalansFX is solely focused on the Turkish market though it apparently has no regulation status in the country.

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The Financial Commission (FinaCom PLC) today announced that it has approved a retail FX broker called BalansFX to obtain its membership, becoming the 49th company to join the ranks of the self-regulatory organization.

Following the acceptance of its application by FinaCom PLC, BalansFX has obtained membership status which means that its traders can be eligible for compensation of up to €20,000 per submitted claim and have access to all dispute resolution services offered by the commission.

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BalansFX is a multi-asset brokerage firm that offers trading of FX, indices, CFDs, and commodities. The brand is solely focused on the Turkish market though it apparently has no regulation status in the country.

Turkey’s regulators have been tough on retail FX business and since 2017 they had given no indication of their intention to ‎revise the significant limitations on forex ‎regulations.‎ In 2018, the CBM introduced amendments in leveraged forex trading transactions. The board brought a minimum margin of TL 50,000 (USD13,840) and the leverage was rearranged as 10:1. Previously, before the amendment, it was 100:1.

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Most recently, Turkey’s banking regulator said on May 7 that FX units of Citigroup, BNP Paribas and UBS Group can no longer process transactions involving Turkish lira. The watchdog lifted the ban that stayed in place for four days after it determined that the lenders managed to fulfill their liabilities in Turkish lira transactions with local banks.

Membership benefits

In addition to a more streamlined and swift resolution process, relative to traditional channels of arbitration, the status of BalansFX as an A-category Member provides clients with up to €20,000 of protection per submitted claim, backed by Financial Commission’s compensation fund.

According to its latest annual report, the self-regulator made progress across some of its key business drivers. Specifically, the number of new complaints rose seven percent year-over-year as a record $7.4 million sought by traders in 2019, up from $3,184,932 in 2018.

Likewise, the number of resolved complaints in “clients favor” increased 17 percent to 179, up from 153 the previous year. The commission also ruled in favor of its broker members in 451 cases it assessed, up from 373 in 2018.

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Bitcoin Breaks New 2020 High As Total Market Cap Topped $400 Billion (Market Watch)

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Bitcoin continues with the 2020 records and just a few hours ago marked a fresh high of above $13,350. Most alternative coins followed suit with impressive increases, but the market has calmed since then. The entire cryptocurrency market clocked at above $400 billion.

Bitcoin To Yet Another 2020 High

CryptoPotato reported a few days ago that the primary cryptocurrency exceeded the August 2020 high of about $12,500 and reached $13,200. What followed was a slight retracement to about $13,000 and stagnation yesterday.

Nevertheless, the volatility returned in the past 24 hours, and BTC headed towards new highs. This time, Bitcoin broke above $13,350. In fact, according to data from Bitstamp, BTC’s new 2020 high is at $13,362.

Another sharp rejection followed, and the asset tanked briefly below $13,000. Nevertheless, the bulls have since driven it above the coveted mark, and BTC trades at about $12,940.

A compelling chart recently revealed that Bitcoin is forming an inverse head and shoulders pattern. If it’s to play out, the cryptocurrency could soon skyrocket even further and top its all-time high of $20,000.

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If this scenario is indeed to materialize, Bitcoin would have to break above the resistance lines at $13,420, $13,500, $13,815, and $14,000 before reaching new records.

btcusd_chart
BTC/USD. Source: TradingView

Altcoins Follow Up And Calm Down

Most alternative coins experienced similarly increased volatility as Bitcoin. Ethereum surged to a new 7-week high of nearly $420. However, ETH quickly retraced and is now hovering around $409 again.

Ripple’s highest level came at about $0,26, but XRP has since decreased to below $0.253.

Thus, on a 24-hour scale, most larger-cap altcoins have remained essentially at the same positions as yesterday, despite the brief price jumps. Chainlink and Litecoin have registered the most gains of about 3.6%. LINK trades close to $12.35, and LTC is positioned at $56.3.

heatmap
Cryptocurrency Market Heatmap. Source: Quantify Crypto

The most impressive gainer since yesterday is Filecoin. After the recent controversy and continuous price slump, FIL has surged by 45% in the past 24 hours.

Ocean Protocol (18%), Quant (17.5%), THETA (10.2%), Reserve Rights (10.2%), and Ampleforth (10%) have also increased by double-digit percentages.

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Disclaimer: Information found on CryptoPotato is those of writers quoted. It does not represent the opinions of CryptoPotato on whether to buy, sell, or hold any investments. You are advised to conduct your own research before making any investment decisions. Use provided information at your own risk. See Disclaimer for more information.

Cryptocurrency charts by TradingView.


Source: https://cryptopotato.com/bitcoin-breaks-new-2020-high-as-total-market-cap-tops-400-billion-market-watch/

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Ripple Board Member Arrested on Cyberstalking Charges

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  • Ripple board member and a close family friend of US President Donald Trump, Ken Kurson, has been arrested following allegations of cyberstalking.
  • According to the New York Times, Kurson has stalked and harassed a total of five victims, including his ex-wife.
  • He was reportedly most vicious against a friend of his ex-wife, whom he blamed for his divorce. He used pseudonyms to contact the hospital she worked and sent fraudulent emails claiming that she had an affair with her boss. Kurson also initiated a flood of negative Yelp reviews, threatening emails, and anonymous calls and messages to other hospital employees. 
  • The woman claimed that Kurson had used the same tactics against another female victim, who was fired from her job. The criminal complaint also asserted that the second victim is Kurson’s ex-wife.
  • The public corruption unit of the United States attorney’s office in Brooklyn is handling the case. A judge released Kurson from custody pending trial. 
  • Kurson is a close friend of Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner. Kushner had previously appointed Kurson as the editor in chief when he owned The New York Observer in 2013. 
  • In 2018, the Trump administration offered Kurson a seat on the board of the National Endowment for the Humanities. After a routine background check from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Kurson withdrew from consideration.
  • Kurson joined the board of directors at Ripple in early 2017. The announcement highlighted that Kurson was one of the first investors in the company. 

Featured Image Courtesy of CNBC

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/ripple-board-member-arrested-on-cyberstalking-charges/

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Analysis: Are CBDCs a Threat For Bitcoin or The Opposite?

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Ever since Facebook announced its plans to create a digital payment currency dubbed Libra, central bankers have tried to counter it with an invention of their own.

While Libra is facing regulatory troubles, a BIS report indicated that over 80% of the world’s central banks are currently developing a central bank digital currency (CBDC).

The idea and purpose of a CBDC are fundamentally different than everything Bitcoin stands for. As such, the community has been speculating on possible consequences for the primary cryptocurrency. Will a government-owned digital currency harm BTC’s role in the online world, or will it simply set the stage for its grand entrance?

Scenario A: CBDCs Are Bad For Bitcoin

The CBDCs will represent the cash bills that we use every day, but, as the name suggests, they will be digital-only. There’re still many unknown factors regarding their developments. Which country will be first, what technology will they use, will CBDCs be for retail payments or not?

These questions will eventually receive their answers. However, most people fear that the introduction of a CBDC will give governments absolute control to track, approve, or suspend all future payment transactions.

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Authorities have justified this potential constant surveillance by claiming that they will be able to reduce and even eliminate illicit activities, such as money-laundering.

On the other hand, concerns have emerged within the community that the inevitable launch of a CBDC will harm the industry and its most-well known representative – Bitcoin.

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) recently predicted that a well-designed CBDC could “become a threat” for the first-ever cryptocurrency. He highlighted that most such currencies will be very centralized and won’t provide the same freedom as Bitcoin.

Consequently, world governments will push their own inventions further while be inclined to reduce the role of something as decentralized as BTC.

Bitcoin’s whitepaper described it as an “electronic peer-to-peer cash system.” However, having tons of competition backed by the world’s superpowers could indeed decrease its role. It could be especially harmful if the CBDCs enable cheaper and faster transactions than BTC.

Additionally, their value won’t fluctuate as much as Bitcoin’s. This may be another reason why people would prefer sending or receiving a currency that won’t lose any value by the time the transaction is complete.

Scenario B: CBDCs Will Help Bitcoin As A Payment Tool

On the other hand, there’s the narrative that when CBDCs arrive, they could only open the door for Bitcoin. Major cryptocurrency manager Grayscale Investment recently argued that when launched, CBDCs may “accentuate Bitcoin’s role in the global digital economy.”

This is partly because people would have to become familiar with the digital payment infrastructure, which hasn’t been necessary so far. By educating themselves on the matter, people would be able to find the significant differences between Bitcoin and the government-owned digital currencies.

“Bitcoin is special not because it is digital, but because Bitcoin is a scarce, uncompromising, apolitical currency that is open for anyone to use.”

Scenario C: CBDCs To Help BTC As A Store Of Value

If one assumes that the first scenario comes into reality and Bitcoin stops serving as an electronic peer-to-peer cash system, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it will have no value to society.

Instead of being used to transfer funds from one address to another, BTC may become what many others have argued for years – a store of value.

After all, Bitcoin shares several similarities with the most-widely accepted store of value asset – gold, such as scarcity. The two assets’ price performance has also resembled each other lately. The COVID-19 financial crisis only accelerated their increased correlation.

Even the US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell compared the two and noted that both are a speculative form of a store of value.

Another believer in this thesis is Fidelity’s cryptocurrency arm – Fidelity Digital Asset. In a report compiled earlier this year, the company named Bitcoin an “inspirational store of value.”

So, If BTC is indeed to fail as an online payment resource because of CBDCs, it’s unique setup could prompt it to another, perhaps even a more critical role in today’s (digital) world.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/analysis-are-cbdcs-a-threat-for-bitcoin-or-the-opposite/

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