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UK FCA Derivatives Ban Signals Disapproval of Crypto

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Besides ETN, FCA also banned other derivatives such as crypto futures, options, and CFDs for being ‘ill-suited for retail consumers’.

A UK cryptocurrency exchange-traded notes provider CoinShares has reacted to Tuesday’s definitive cryptocurrency derivatives ban that United Kingdom Financial Conduct Authority imposed.

CoinShares head of product Townsend Lansing expressed his disappointment about the FCA’s decision in an interview with Cointelegraph, saying:

 “We are extremely disappointed by the FCA’s decision to include delta 1 ETNs in its ban on distribution of crypto derivatives to retail investors in the UK. We and many other industry participants put forward a number of reasons why such a ban would be ill-advised and would not benefit retail investors. Unfortunately, the FCA ignored those reasons, or dismissed them with little additional information.”

According to the executive at CoinShares – a company known for cryptocurrency exchange-traded notes (ETNs) provision – the firm was one of the organizations that were hit hardest following the decision.

ETNs differ from exchange-traded funds in that there is no underlying asset ownership but are a means through which the returns of a particular index can be tracked. Therefore, the difference between ETN underlying index return and its initial purchase price is rewarded to the holders as soon as they mature. 

From the regulator’s point of view, the derivative nature of crypto products like ETNs poses risks as they are able to open leveraged positions that are highly risky. Lassing, on the other hand, said that CoinShares ETNs track the underlying prices one-to-one as they are “delta 1x” or completely unleveraged. 

Reasons for Retail Crypto Derivatives Ban

Besides ETN, FCA also banned other derivatives such as crypto futures, options, and CFDs for being ‘ill-suited for retail consumers.’ However, direct crypto trading – which often features milder leverage amplification – will remain open to retail investors as it is not affected by the ban.

The FCA stated that they are incredibly volatile, subject to abuse, and financial crimes since they lack a reliable valuation basis. Furthermore, the regulator added that retail investors have no “legitimate investment need” for the derivatives, and retail consumers do not adequately understand crypto-assets.

As a measure to save retail consumers from presumably trading losses amounting to almost $62.5 million, the ban is anticipated to take effect on Jan. 6, 2021.

FCA’s Efforts Unfair for ETNs

The ban will likely produce an opposite effect, according to Lassing, since it will push UK retail investors to unregulated crypto exchanges – that offer far less protection compared to those that the regulated ETNs offered CoinShares and other providers offer.

CoinCorner crypto exchange CEO and Co-Founder Danny Scott supports the FCA bans. He said that the regulator has a pro stance approach with [crypto] assets but is just against products that an average person doesn’t understand.

However, Lassing disagreed with those regulator’s efforts, stating that FCA believes digital assets are fundamentally unsuitable for investment, as highlighted in their draft rules and initial consultation. He doesn’t understand why the FCA’s retail crypto trading ban included the seemingly lower risk profile ETNs. The agency could have otherwise opted for more mild restrictions to derivatives trading, like limiting maximum leverage.

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James Lovett is a talented crypto enthusiast who finds pleasure in sharing more knowledge on fintech, cryptocurrency as well as blockchain and frontier technologies. He likes to keep himself furnished and updated with the latest innovation in the crypto industry, blockchain technology, Internet of Things (IoT) and other technologies. As a result, he tries to furnish ardent crypto supporters with the latest news on blockchain and distributed-ledger technologies. Indeed, Blockchain and Cryptocurrency is changing the world as we know “one block at a time”. As a hobby, he also trades in small amounts of cryptos every now and then.
An author with experience writing for tech, digital, and cryptocurrency blogs!



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Polychain Monsters Launches on Polygon for Better User Experience

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As part of the launch, the team has also designed a special background for Polymonsters that are discovered through Polygon-powered booster packs.

Blockchain games continue to be some of the most exciting developments in the space. They’re both promising use cases for the nascent technology and also where its functionality is most put to the test. The issues of interoperability and scalability are always at the forefront of any game development team and nowhere is this more evident than in Polychain Monsters’ recent partnerships and rebranding.

Polychain Monsters are digital collectibles that can be integrated into any blockchain-compatible product including other games and art. Every collectible represents a unique Polymon with a certain level of rarity and value. More so, these unique NFTs can be unpacked with the game’s native $PMON tokens which are compatible with the popular ERC20 and BEP20 standards.

The project formerly known as Polkamon changed its name to Polychain Monsters due to its focus on becoming a cross-chain and multi-chain game. As part of its efforts towards this goal, the game recently expanded to popular blockchain networks such as Binance Smart Chain and Elrond. The team has stated its belief that “the future of crypto blockchains will not be winner-takes-all and multiple solutions will co-exist based on their various strengths and weaknesses.”

More recently, however, these integrations with other protocols also became a means to ensure the growth of the project’s technical infrastructure. Polychain Monsters just announced a new step in its ongoing partnership with the most sought-after Ethereum scalability solution Polygon. The game will be launched on the protocol during Q3 2021 in order to introduce faster transactions and lower costs to its features, including Booster Opening, Staking, and OpenSea Trading. A development it expects will attract thousands of new users who will be drawn to a superior user experience.

Lennart Brandt, CMO at Polychain Monsters, shared his outlook on the upcoming launch. “Integrating Polygon brings us closer to our goal of making Polychain Monsters easily accessible and inexpensive to use, ensuring that our growing community will not be priced out of the Polyverse once Ethereum gas fees are on the rise again,” said he.

As part of the launch, the team has also designed a special background for Polymonsters that are discovered through Polygon-powered booster packs. Likewise, the introduction of an all-new iconic Polymon is expected.

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Having obtained a diploma in Intercultural Communication, Julia continued her studies taking a Master’s degree in Economics and Management. Becoming captured by innovative technologies, Julia turned passionate about exploring emerging techs believing in their ability to transform all spheres of our life.



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Bitfarms (BITF) Stock Plunges Over 8% Following Nasdaq Debut

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Bitfarms stated that it powers an estimated 1% of the global Bitcoin network, with over 99% “green” hydropower.

Bitfarms Ltd (NASDAQ: BITF), a sustainable-energy Bitcoin miner, saw its stock decline 8.6% to as low as $3.9 on Monday – its first day of trading on the NASDAQ. Notably, BITF stock closed yesterday trading at $3.96, a 7% drop from its opening price of $4.27. The drop was likely due to a huge crypto sell-off motivated by the recent Chinese crypto crackdown.

Notably, figures provided by Coin98 Analytics show the total BTC in circulating supply is 89.2%, while the supply in all crypto exchanges is approximately 7.4%.

Chinese authorities ordered bitcoin miners to “clean up and terminate” all operations, including shutting down 26 mining firms in Sichuan province by Sunday. Illegalizing Bitcoin mining and transacting caused the Bitcoin hash rate to drop to a six-month low.

The happenings, however, worked in favor of the Canadian company as it explained:

“As the hash rate of Chinese miners falls, Bitfarms has earned higher transaction fees and increased its share of the total Bitcoin network hashrate. As a result, Bitfarms has been earning more Bitcoin for the same amount of computational power and operational cost.”

Notably, the company stated that it powers an estimated 1% of the global Bitcoin network, with over 99% “green” hydropower. The company estimates that compared to other crypto mining companies, it has mined the most BTC using renewable energy sources. On June 10, the company added 1,000+ mined BTC to their YTD treasury, further raising its share of the total bitcoin network hash rate.

Bitfarms Stock Performance

Bitfarms stock has plummeted in its 5-day, 1-month, and 3-month record, losing 4.81%, 11.21%, and 26.12% in that order. The prices of shares have also stagnated in the range of $3.9 – $4.11. However, the stock has gained 108.42% YTD and 1,100.73% year-on-year.

The recent stock plunge also impacted other similar companies including Riot Blockchain Inc (NASDAQ: RIOT) and Marathon Digital Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: MARA). The two closed at price drops of 1.90% and 3.77% respectively.

Moreover, Bitcoin and Ethereum have also declined in prices, trading at $32,764 and $1,947 respectively, at writing time. This represents a 19.5% and 24.7% 7-day decline sequentially, going by data from CoinGecko.

Initially, Bitfarms was enlisted on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) Venture Exchange in 2019. To ease stock trading in areas outside Canada, the company sought a NASDAQ listing, which was approved last month. Nevertheless, the crypto miner has stated that its stock will continue to trade on the TSX Venture Exchange under the same ticker symbol “BITF”.

Listing on the NASDAQ made Bitfarms “the largest publicly traded bitcoin miner in North America using greater than 99% hydroelectricity renewable electricity,” according to its CEO and founder, Emiliano Grodzki.

In today’s pre-market session, shares were exchanging hands at $3.72, down 6.06% from its closing position, as per data from Seeking Alpha.

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A financial analyst who sees positive income in both directions of the market (bulls & bears). Bitcoin is my crypto safe haven, free from government conspiracies.
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“You cannot enslave a mind that knows itself. That values itself. That understands itself.”



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Mollie Now Third-biggest Fintech in Europe

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Mollie is acting in contrast to its American rivals by focusing on small businesses in Europe.

Mollie, a payment processor, based in Amsterdam, has become a new fintech “unicorn.” As of September last year, the little-known online payment processor is now worth over $1 billion, just over a decade after its launch in 2004 by Dutch entrepreneur, Adrian Mol.

On Tuesday Mollie revealed that it raised $800 million during a financing round, increasing the company’s worth to over $6.5 billion and earning it a place as the third-largest fintech unicorn in Europe after competitor, Checkout.com.

Mollie founder stated in a report that the company was initially a text messaging business. Before integrating the payment system, “the company originally got its start as a text messaging business, but soon pivoted to payments after trying to integrate its system for clients to pay their invoices.”

Shane Happach, who is the new CEO of Mollie, while commenting on the company’s funding, noted that for years it stuck to growing organically before extending it to external financing in 2019 and 2020, $100 million in a round led by growth-stage tech investor, TCV.

According to a report, its latest funding round, “Series C was led by Blackstone’s growth equity investing unit. EQT, General Atlantic, HMI Capital, and Alkeon Capital also invested.” The funding aims to expand internationally, both within Europe in countries like the U.K., and other regions like Asia and Latin America.

There has been growing competition among fintech giants in recent years, such as Stripe, Square, and Adyen, each battling to have the largest share in the $2 trillion markets. 

Mollie is acting in contrast to its American rivals by focusing on small businesses in Europe. According to Mollie, “A lot of the bigger players in online payments come out of the US, like PayPal,” Happach said. “Even Visa and Mastercard are US companies. A lot of investors don’t have a bet on Europe,” added he.

As per a report by CNBC, the firm’s service “is more localized than Stripe’s and not targeted at enterprise clients, unlike Adyen and Checkout.com. Onboarding smaller merchants requires “complex” compliance checks, which some competitors don’t want to focus on.”

Last week, the French president hoped that by 2030, Europe would produce 10 companies worth 100 billion Euros. Currently, the continent’s start-ups have raised over 45.9 billion, far above the 2020 investment.

Mollie’s Shane Happach shares the same view when he says they are “trying to build a $100 billion company”. They “know that takes a long time. It’s capital-intensive.”

Paul Morrissey, Blackstone Growth’s European investing lead, in a statement, said “this investment underlines Blackstone’s confidence in Europe as a place for high growth companies to thrive.”

Read other fintech news on Coinspeaker.

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Oluwapelumi is a believer in the transformative power Bitcoin and Blockchain industry holds. He is interested in sharing knowledge and ideas. When he is not writing, he is looking to meet new people and trying out new things.



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