13/09/2018: Biggest Stories in the Cryptosphere

by BlockEx

1. Morgan Stanley To Launch Bitcoin Swap Trading Service

Morgan Stanley might be the latest Wall Street company to work on the development of a way for clients to take advantage of cryptocurrencies. It has been reported that the US bank is set to launch a service allowing investors to trade in ‘complex derivatives’ tied to Bitcoin futures contracts. Clients will have access to contracts granting ’synthetic exposure’ to Bitcoin’s performance. It will be possible to go long or short on the cryptocurrency through price return swaps; while Morgan Stanley will make a profit by charging a spread. Reports claim that the bank is ready from a technical point of view. However, it prefers to wait for greater demand as well as an internal approval process to take place.

2. Blockchain Could Help Narrow The Trade Finance Deficit, Says WEF Research

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has published a White Paper research created through a collaboration between the Supply Chain and Transport industries and the System Initiative on Shaping the Future of International Trade and Investment. In the document, it has been reported that technologies such as Blockchain could help narrow the current trade finance gap of $1.5 trillion. According to the report, the emerging tech is facilitating global trading. Processing time and costs can both be cut considerably thanks to digitalisation and advanced technologies. Small businesses and companies operating in high-risk developing countries would be the ones to benefit the most from this. In fact, transferring goods across countries would be a lot easier; while documentation would become electronic. Trade barriers would also lower. Blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT) as a whole are being employed to automate trade and supply chain processes. They could especially lead to a push of $1.1 trillion new trade volume. We previously reported on numerous occasions of governments integrating blockchain in their operations.

3. Japan’s Regulator Wants Extra Workforce Due To High Demand

We discussed multiple times the initiatives taken by Japan’s Financial Service Agency (FSA) in regards to the crypto market. It has now been reported that due to high demand for licenses by crypto exchanges, the regulator wants to add 12 more people to its team. FSA’s Vice Commissioner for Policy Coordination Kiyotaka Sasaki stated that reviewing licence applications is just one of the tasks involved and that the team currently has 30 people. However, Sasaki stressed the need for 12 extra people to join and help. He also mentioned that 160 companies are currently awaiting review. The regulator wants to polish its risks assessment process. Especially, anti-money laundering (AML) and terrorism financing prevention. The information was shared during a crypto exchange study group. So far, the FSA has been reviewing 16 cases. Although one got rejecting and 12 were requested to withdraw. Three are currently awaiting response.

4. Zurich-based Area Claims To Be Biggest Blockchain Hub

We previously covered Switzerland’s concerns over losing its spot at the forefront of crypto projects. This was due to countries such as Liechtenstein, Gibraltar and the Cayman Islands attracting a growing number of projects. Regulators responded by focusing on the creation of crypto-friendly rules. Zurich-based Trust Square has now claimed to be the world’s biggest blockchain hub. The coworking space is currently expanding. By the end of this year, it’s expected for the space to cover 3,000 square metres as well as for startups and researchers to gain access to 300 workstations. They are currently benefiting from a high demand. This is part of the country’s plan to become a leader in blockchain innovation. Trust Square, which can boast high-profile clients such as NEO and Circle, has renewed its lease until the end of 2019. However, it is already looking for a longer-term solution.

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