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Biggest ETF Firm In The EU Expands With Plans To Offer Crypto Products

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The largest trader of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in Europe has recently made a new plan – to enter the crypto world.

As the Amsterdam-based speed trader Flow Traders NV co-CEO Dennis Dijkstra told Bloomberg, his firm is expanding its trading products to exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that are based on Bitcoin and Ether.

XBT Provider, which is a Stockholm-based firm offering ETFs based on Bitcoin and Ether, also confirmed that Flow Traders NV has “dramatically increased” the volume of securities trading over the past couple of months.

As seen in Bloomberg, unlike the major US trading firms which are only offering cryptocurrency futures, Flow Traders NV is among the first companies to “disclose is buying and selling crypto notes that are listed on regulated stock exchanges.”

As Dijkstra stated in the interview:

“People underestimate crypto. It’s big, and it is to be regulated very soon. The market participants are much more professional than people think. Institutional investors are interested — we know they are because we get requests.”

On the other hand, a spokeswoman from the Dutch Authority for Financial Markets (AFM) stated the following:

“We discourage activities in cryptos both by consumers and professional license holders. By virtue of its newness and the anonymity it potentially offers, it is very prone to abuse. Given its inability to serve the promised purpose as a currency, we don’t regard it to be an asset class,”

In March this year, the finance minister of Netherlands also issued a letter to Parliament to urge for “an international approach” towards regulating cryptocurrency.

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Kraken OTC Desk Confirms 2,000% Increase In Trading Volume (Since 2018)

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The head of over the counter (OTC) trading at the major cryptocurrency platform Kraken recently stated that the Kraken OTC desk has seen a 2,000% increase in its trading volume compared to the last year numbers. Nelson Minier is the head of the desk and the person who gave the remarks in a new episode of The Block's podcast named The Scoop - on August 20. According to the Kraken OTC desk head, “Bitcoin and Ether are the big — the whales of our desk." He additionally estimated that at press time, Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Monero (XMR) and Tether (USDT) are the top five cryptocurrencies traded by volume. Minier was also featured on many best cryptocurrency news sites for his prediction on the Bitcoin price.
“I don’t see demand for this asset going down. But I do know that supply is gonna get cut in half, some time May 2019. And I think another thing I know about Bitcoin is that higher price is the best marketing tool we have,” the head of the Kraken OTC desk said.
What's interesting is that in April this year, the altcoin news featured a lawsuit by a former Kraken employee named Jonathan Silverman, who sued the platform for more than $900,000. According to the ex-Kraken employee's claims, he was not compensated in accordance with an oral agreement with the founder (Jesse Powell) for managing Kraken's trading desk. Silverman also said that Kraken was lying about not operating in New York. As his lawsuit stated:
“Misrepresenting to the public and government regulators that it was not operating in New York; when in reality, Kraken’s OTC practice, and OTC trading (including logging into the Kraken exchange and negotiating wire transfers) occurred almost exclusively in New York.”
A spokesperson for Kraken named Christina Vee later retorted and said that Silverman was "both lying and in breach of his confidentiality agreement." Besides this lawsuit and the new announcement by the Kraken OTC desk, the latest cryptocurrency news showed that Kraken has recently seen some troubles with its website as well as its application programming interface (API). On August 13, Kraken announced that it was receiving reports of connection issues for its API as well as its website performance.  
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Facebook Owned WhatsApp Wants To Digitize Payments In Indonesia

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The popular messaging service WhatsApp is apparently in talks with a lot of digital payments firms and a state-owned bank in order to launch digital payment services in Indonesia. As the latest cryptocurrency news show, Reuters first reported that the Facebook owned WhatsApp is negotiating with several services to bring this initiative to life. According to the report by Reuters, the company is negotiating with the transportation booking service Go-Jek, the mobile payments provider DANA, the fintech startup OVO as well as the state-owned Bank Mindri. The coming altcoin news also show that Bank Mindri operates a digital wallet service, too. The Facebook owned WhatsApp has a lot of plans for Indonesia. For starters, the messaging giant wants to support payments through digital wallets in the region, as Reuters proves. The report also speculates that Facebook's dealings in Indonesia could become a solid template that would be later used to dodge local regulations, which mostly include bans on foreign digital wallets. A Facebook spokesperson confirmed that WhatsApp was negotiating with the financial partners in Indonesia, however, they declined to provide any specifics. As the Facebook owned WhatsApp is portrayed in the report:
“WhatsApp is in conversations with financial partners in Indonesia about payments, however the discussions are in early stages and we do not have anything further to share at this stage.”
The sources, however, say that Facebook has a deal with three payment firms which is going to be finalized imminently. The launch of these services, as many best cryptocurrency news sites reported, is not expected until 2020. This is why WhatsApp is looking to launch in India at the same time or sooner. According to the report, Facebook is still waiting on regulatory approval from India before the Facebook owned WhatsApp payments can be finalized and announced via the messaging app. On the other hand, we have Libra in WeChat - which is also part of Facebook's plan. As reports show, the giant wants to integrate its crypto wallet service, Calibra, into WhatsApp and all of its platforms.
“The libra blockchain will be global, but it will be up to custodial wallet providers to determine where they will and will not operate. Calibra won’t be available in U.S.-sanctioned countries or countries that ban cryptocurrencies,” a Calibra spokesperson confirmed in April.
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Crypto Custodian BitGo Hires Xapo Vice President As New CRO

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The digital asset trust and security company named BitGo has recently appointed the wallet provider Xapo's former senior vice president as its new chief revenue officer (CRO). The crypto custodian BitGo made the new hire recently, naming the former Xapo official Pete Najarian as its new CRO. The finance media outlet Finance Magnates reported the news on August 19 - which later spread to many best cryptocurrency news sites. According to the reports, Najarian will not serve as BitGo's CRO and will report to the chief executive officer (CEO) of the company, Mike Belshe. When commenting on the appointment, the CEO Belshe said:
“Pete has a deep understanding of capital markets and an exceptional breadth of experience in financial services. This makes him a perfect partner for institutional investors who are entering the cryptocurrency market. We’re building the financial infrastructure of the future and Pete’s experience in both traditional financial markets and cryptocurrency will be critical.”
The crypto custodian BitGo is one of the more stable companies out there - and Najarian's knowledge and skill set will definitely help the company. According to his LinkedIn profile, we can see that Pete Najarian has previously served as the global head of emerging markets sales at the Royal Bank of Scotland and has also been head of institutional client coverage - APAC at the financial services firm UBS (as well as other positions). Before this, the latest cryptocurrency news also showed that the crypto custodian BitGo has been expanding its presence to Japan this month - and is planning to substantially grow its Japan-based team. The expansion follows hiring a sales director for the Tokyo office of the firm. In May this year, the crypto custodian BitGo appointed a veteran Wall Street trader named Nick Carmi as its head of financial services - a hire which ostensibly intends to forge stronger connections between digital assets as well as the traditional financial sphere. Meanwhile, the latest Bitcoin and coming altcoin news show that there is a mix of greens and reds in the market, with the reds being more dominant as the crypto market suffered from another dump this Tuesday.
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P2P Dash And Bitcoin Transactions Skyrocket In Venezuela

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P2P dash and bitcoin transactions soared in Venezuela after the country’s inflation rate reached 130,000% in 2018 as we previously read in the altcoin news. For the past few years, the economy in Venezuela was rocked by economic and political instability and has even led to shortages of medicine and food, blackouts, riots and massive hyperinflation that rivals that of the Zimbabwe dollar back in the 1990s. Venezuela had the highest inflation rate of 2018 when it reached its peak of 130,060% and in May the country’s central bank publicly published economic data for the first time since 2015 which shows that the inflation rate in 2016 was 274% and 863% in 2017 but then reached 130,060% in 2018. The hyperinflation in Venezuela is so bad at the moment and most of the citizens have to spend all of their money immediately because if they hold it for too long, in the next few days the currency will continue to lose value against the rising price on daily basis. The majority of the people in the country do not trust the national currency and in the past, the people who were unable to spend their income on the spot were trying to find gold or buy US dollars as a hedge against inflation. Both of the options carry so many risks as organized crime and price gouges are always prepared to take advantage of people who hold physical currency. The cryptocurrencies are easier to gold which is why they have become a safer option embrace by the growing number of Venezuelans. This is one of the reasons why P2P dash and bitcoin transactions increased since they are both popular mediums of exchange and store of value currencies. A study from the Ledger Journal investigated the role that the number one cryptocurrency played in countries that have economic uncertainty and contributing analyst Jackie Johnson noted for the latest cryptocurrency news:
‘’In countries where residents are under pressure from economic mismanagement, Bitcoin trading becomes critical. Two factors drive Bitcoin trading: one, there is pressure to purchase Bitcoin using local currency before it loses even more value; and two, there is a need to redeem for the local currency either past purchases or purchases made outside the country by friends/family, enabling residents to cope with rising prices. This results in an increase in Bitcoin trading in the local currency.’’
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