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Bitcoin Whales, FX Acquisitions, ETH Options Expiry, XRP: Editor’s Pick

ICYMI: the biggest news stories of the week



In a stable week for news, let’s take a look back at the biggest news stories from the worlds of Forex, Fintech and Crypto, in our best of the week segment.

XRP Wallet Transfers 176 Million Coins

The trading week started with news that XRP whale addresses have started moving the world’s 7th most valuable digital currency amid market volatility.

According to the latest data published by blockchain tracking and analytics firm, Whale Alert, a leading XRP wallet transferred 176 million coins worth approximately $146 million on Saturday 12 May.

Read more on the XRP Whales here.

Bitcoin Whales Accelerate BTC Transfers around $40,000 Level

Staying with Whale movements, Bitcoin (BTC) millionaires have accelerated the movement of the world’s largest cryptocurrency.

WhaleAlert highlighted a transaction involving the transfer of 5,001 Bitcoin on Tuesday from the US-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase to a digital wallet. The total value of the transfer stands at around $202 million.

Read more on the Bitcoin Whales here.

US SEC Charges Three Individuals Allegedly Tied to a $30 Million ICO Fraud

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced on Tuesday that three other individuals had been charged in a $30 million initial coin offering (ICO) scam.

According to the press release, defendants Ali Asif Hamid of Oakville, Ontario, Canada, Michael Gietz of Idaho Falls, Idaho, and Cristine Page of Brooklyn, New York, were part of the scheme led by Boaz Manor, currently convicted, and his associate, Edith Pardo.

The complaint was filed before the US District Court of New Jersey. Per the documents, the defendants had leadership roles within the ICO fraud, helping to hide Manor’s position within the criminal scheme.

Read more on the SEC charges here.

ECU Group Accuses HSBC of Fraud and Misconduct Made on Its FX Trading Desk

The ECU Group has accused the multinational investment bank, HSBC of fraud and misconduct within its foreign exchange (forex) trading desk between 2004 and 2006.

According to a report published by the Financial Times, quoting a hearing at the UK High Court on Monday, an alleged ‘rotten culture’ between such a period allowed bankers to misuse confidential data.

The ECU Group claims that HSBC is responsible for having committed fraud related to 52 forex trades it placed with the bank in those years.

Read more on the ECU Group HSBC Accusations here.

Deposit Contract of ETH 2.0 Reaches 5.6 Million Ethereum

Ethereum 2.0, a much-awaited network upgrade of Ethereum (ETH), now has more than 5.6 million coins under its deposit contract, which is the highest level on record.

According to the latest data posted by Etherscan, the total value of ETH locked under the staking contract of Ethereum 2.0 stands at around $13.5 billion.

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Read more on ETH 2.0 here.

ETH’s Upcoming Options Expiry Date Is the Largest in 2021: What Could Happen?

Ether is set to face its largest options expiry date so far in 2021 in what a Cointelegraph report has called a “make-or-break” moment for ETH markets. More than $1.5 billion worth of open interest in ETH will be settled on June 25th.

The upcoming expiry is 30 percent larger than the one that took place on March 26th, which coincided with a 17 percent plunge in the price of Ether over five days, bottoming out at around $1550. However, following the March expiry, the price of Ether rallied nearly 60 percent within three weeks.

Now, analysts are wondering whether Ether’s next moves could follow along a similar trajectory. Read more on ETH’s Options Expiry here.

Interactive Brokers (UK) Posts 21% Jump in 2020 Revenue

Interactive Brokers (UK) Limited, the British subsidiary of the American brokerage giant, has published its annual financials for the year 2020, ending December 31, showing an impressive jump in yearly revenue and in other key metrics.

The FCA-regulated entity reported a total turnover of £42.3 million for the period, compared to the previous year’s £35 million. The brokerage generated its revenue by charging commissions on all executed trades.

Read more on the Interactive Brokers (UK) results here.

Finvasia Group Announces Acquisition of Fxview

Finvasia Group announced on Tuesday that it has acquired Cyprus-based financial services provider, Fxview for an undisclosed amount. Fxview offers trading services in multiple assets, including FX and commodities.

According to the press release, Finvasia has acquired a 100% stake in Fxview to expand its portfolio and to develop a strong presence in the European market through the latest acquisition.

Read more on the Finvasia Fxview acquisition here.

Global Kapital Enters the US Acquiring a FINRA-Licensed Broker-Dealer

Global Kapital Group (GKG), which operates multiple brokerage brands globally, announced on Wednesday that it has acquired a United States-based broker-dealer that is licensed by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

Per the press release shared with Finance Magnates, the group will commence its US operations under the SEC-registered entity, GK TRADE New York LLC. The licensed entity can legally onboard clients in the country and is allowed to offer trading services with securities and mutual funds.

Read more on the Global Kapital acquisition here.

Interview: CySEC’s Demetra Kalogerou on Crypto, EU, Future Policy and More

Finance Magnates got the opportunity recently to interview Mrs Demetra Kalogerou, Chairwoman of CySEC. A respected voice in the global financial services industry, Demetra is approaching a full decade as Chairwoman of CySEC, having been first elected in September 2011.

After a challenging twelve months involving pandemics, regulations and Brexit, Mrs Kalogerou opens up on the key subjects past, present and future affecting financial services.

Read more on the Demetra Kalogerou interview here.

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“Bad For Bitcoin”: Congressman Warren Davidson Blasts Last-Minute Crypto Tax Insertion In Infrastructure Bill



Biden's Tax Plan Could be Bullish for Ethereum but Bearish for Bitcoin

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As the U.S. Senate plans to hold a popular vote on the proposed infrastructure bill under which a last-minute cryptocurrency tax law was introduced, some believe that the whole bill is ill-fitted due to its vagueness and could prove colossal to the industry and by large, the U.S. economy.

Privacy Concerns

The law, which seeks to subject players in the crypto space to the same regulatory rules placed on various securities such as stocks has disgruntled some industry players as well as legislators who feel that its language is detrimental to the crypto industry. In essence, the government aims at individuals and institutions not only reporting on gains and losses but also any activity associated with crypto, such as the sale of mining equipment.

Congressman Warren Davidson who coined the cryptocurrency language in the proposed infrastructure bill as “the big bank protection act” particularly believes that if passed, it could spell adverse problems on a big chunk of crypto-related activities that might not even need to be taxed. 

The congressman who is an ardent supporter of bitcoin speaking to Bitcoin magazine added that he was not a fan of governments spying on virtually all individual activities with one’s money, especially using the 16th amendment.

“The government just seeks to know too much about you. It really is not the government’s business as to whether you got paid or you ended up paying somebody, did you buy or sell something, gain or lose money – this extends that logic way beyond just collecting taxes, it collects all kinds of information.”  

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Sloppy Language

Davidson further criticized the language in the 16th amendment now inserted to serve in taxing crypto-related activities, terming it as sloppy, dangerous, and must have been advanced by people who were ignorant about the cryptocurrency industry or by people intending to only destroy it.

“Either this language was skilfully crafted to completely new crypto in America or it was willfully ignorant, I mean you would have to work hard to be that ignorant about how much collateral damage this kind of sloppy language would cause ” he added.

He called on Bitcoiners to raise their voices to their senators on the colossal harm the proposed bill could cause to them, and for the country as it threatened not only financial stability but also innovation.

Jerry Brito, the executive director of Coincentre had also raised alarm over the proposed infrastructure bill seeing that it has a provision that could be very bad for crypto, forcing non-custodial actors including miners to comply with IRS tax reporting obligations. He echoed Davidson’s concerns over the broadness in wording which potentially covers miners and DEXs. 

He was however relieved at the fact that arguably miners and DEXs did not have “customers” as defined in the tax code. He posited that despite the last-minute addition to a must-pass bill, he and other stakeholders were working around the clock to make sure that the bill was not passed in its current form ahead of Wednesday’s vote.

Portman spokesperson however sought to clarify the language on crypto in the infrastructure bill stating that the language did not redefine digital assets or cryptocurrency as security for tax purposes.

“It simply clarifies that any person or entity acting as a broker by facilitating trades for clients and receiving cash must comply with a standard information reporting obligation.” he said.

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Ethereum: Are you wrong to expect ‘changes’ from London



Ethereum is days away from one of the most important system upgrades since its inception. The London hard fork, the implementation of EIP-1559, is expected to completely change the monetary and economic model of Ether and its network.

These changes are expected to take place after the commencement of the hard fork on 4 August. However, there have been other changes too, each of which has transpired over time for the altcoin.

The issue of transaction fees

One of the most discussed changes expected out of EIP-1559 is that ETH’s transaction fees will become relatively stable. Any entity wanting to conduct a transaction on the Ethereum network is required to pay a “gas fee.” The same is to be paid in Ether, to miners, to process these transactions. During the 2020-2021 bull run, these fees skyrocketed.

Source: Ycharts

In fact, according to the attached chart, the transaction fee was as high as $71 at one point. However, that aspect might end up being tackled before the hard fork itself.

Over the past few weeks, the gas fees for ETH transactions have drastically dropped on the charts. Now, many have suggested that this was due to the bearish market.

Source: Spencer Noon

However, a contradictory argument is that DeFi applications are still rampant. UNI and AAVE registered strong on-chain performances over the past few weeks, and major functionality within these assets rely on the utility of Ether. For both June and July, the Ethereum network’s fees were already under the yearly average. Such a healthy fee market allows for a stronger security budget for Ethereum.

Investment and trading are not the only ways to profit from Ethereum anymore

ETH held on Exchanges

Source: Glassnode

A common bullish argument for Ethereum in 2020-2021 was the fact that it registered massive exchange outflows. Here, the inference was that hodlers were taking the asset out of centralized platforms and simply holding their allocation. It might have been true in late 2019 and early 2020, but right now, the playing field has evolved.

According to data, exchange outflows have definitely increased but the key point remains that more and more Ethereum is flowing into smart contracts. Further, ETH users are pursuing other opportunities to earn interest and yields.

The rise of yield farming and interest lending platforms has opened new avenues for ETH users. The reason being that they are able to earn capital without depending too much on a bullish or bearish cycle.

Changes are coming but, “change” is already here

The industry is evolving at a break-neck speed and Ethereum is gunning towards its massive upgrade. And yet, users should not be expecting ground-breaking changes. In fact, those who are might as well be ‘wrong’ to some extent.

Over the past few weeks, Ethereum has already been incorporating changes that may define its functionality and usage going forward.

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Bitcoin Cash, Cosmos, VeChain Price Analysis: 01 August



With Bitcoin soaring up to $42,000 today, other altcoins pumped too. BCH was preparing to test its immediate resistance, ATOM hiked by 8% overnight, and VET flashed signs of an uptrend. 

Bitcoin Cash

Bitcoin Cash, Cosmos and VeChain Price Analysis: August 1

BCH/USD, TradingView

Bitcoin Cash was trading at $554 on the back of a 2.1% gain over the last 24 hours. From the 4-hour chart, BCH depicted an upward movement towards its immediate resistance of $566. On failing to test the same, the prices could land near the $544 mark and then subsequently rest on $528. 

The Relative Strength Index despite noting a slight fall in buying pressure stayed well within the bullish territory. The green signal bars on the Awesome Oscillator depicted the presence of the bulls in the market.

Conversely, however, the MACD flashed red bars on the histogram at press time after a bearish crossover yesterday, although it was declining in size marking a reversal of the bearish sentiment on the indicator. 

Cosmos (ATOM)

Bitcoin Cash, Cosmos and VeChain Price Analysis: August 1

ATOM/USD, TradingView

ATOM displayed a considerable hike of almost 8% within a day. It alt was priced at $12.88 at press time. If it continued moving on the upside, the token might cross the immediate price ceiling of $12.96. 

If ATOM reaches the $12.96 mark over the upcoming trading sessions, it could expect strong resistance at $13.60. If the coin dips below its current price level, the support region lies at $12.00 and then eventually at $11.53. 

Overall technical outlook of ATOM remained quite bullish with the Relative Strength Index spotted above 60 despite a minor fall. Awesome Oscillator showed amplified green signals bars validating the same. 

Bollinger Bands widened suggesting chances of market volatility as prices kept touching the upper band. 

VeChain (VET)

Bitcoin Cash, Cosmos and VeChain Price Analysis: August 1

VET/USD, TradingView

VET had seen a period of consolidation a few days back, however, it rebounded from that and registered steady gains over the last few days. VET’s price at press time stood at $0.0913 as it recorded a 5.2% gain overnight. 

The technical analysis chart showed that VET witnessed a bullish trade, with the Relative Strength Index touching the overbought zone just 24 hours ago. At press time, however, the indicator fell below the overbought territory.

Chaikin Money Flow, over the last few days, registered increased capital inflows and was pictured in the bullish zone despite the minor fall in capital inflows at press time. 

Bollinger Bands opened up in anticipation of increased market volatility. With prices touching the upper band, the bulls might push the prices higher. The immediate resistance for VET lay at $0.93, failing to test that, the support region awaited at $0.0870 and then at $0.801.

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