Category: Financial Services

Posted on

Could this be the answer to Bitcoins volatility?

Categories Financial Services, Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Technology, Bitcoin

Could this be the answer to Bitcoins volatility?

The price of Bitcoin has been a little dim so far this year, dropping more than 10% with an overall loss of 50% since its January drop. There has also been a lot of negative news about Bitcoin and other cryptos, from hacking, high power consumption and criticism from leaders in the financial services industry.

Not all doom and gloom

But it hasn’t all been doom and gloom. Transaction fees are getting lower, the number of vendors accepting Bitcoin is increasing and regulators are taking steps towards legislating in favour of the market’s growth. One of the best bits of news for the price of Bitcoin so far has been the interest from some of the world’s leading exchanges and trading platforms with at least two big names set to announce they will soon support Bitcoin.

Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) is the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange and they have recently announced they are developing an online platform which will allow them to buy cryptocurrency. Nasdaq has also paired up with a crypto-exchange called Gemini and they plan to launch futures market for cryptocurrencies in the near future. These big names will join Cboe Global Markets and CME Group which have already started issuing crypto futures.

ICE is expected to become the first US-based equities exchange operator to have its own cryptocurrency exchange and Nasdaq are expected to launch theirs in the coming weeks.

Industry stabilisation

CME and Cboe both entered the Bitcoin arena in December of last year when the price of Bitcoin was at an all-time high of $19,000. Whilst the price has dropped considerably since then, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies remain a volatile market. It is hoped that the introduction of more big-name exchanges will help the crypto sector to mature and stabilise.

 

Interested in Learning More about ICOs Legislation in Malta? Contact us directly on +356 20103020 or by mail at [email protected] to find out more.

Read More
Posted on

Banks saw an increase in blockchain budgets during 2017

Categories Financial Services, Blockchain, Bank, Technology, Increase, Proof-of-Concept

Banks saw an increase in blockchain budgets during 2017

A recent survey has shown that the global financial services industry spent an impressive $1.7billion on blockchain development in 2017. An increase of 67% for individual blockchain budgets was registered as well during the same time frame.

This research was published by the US-based market intelligence firm Greenwich Associates and as well as the general increase, they noted an average spend of $10 million or more during 2017. The report also stated that 14% claimed to have already integrated and deployed a blockchain solution with 75% expected to move from proof-of-concept to live production over the next two years.

Richard Johnson, the author of the report and the VP of the firm’s market structure department stated that over 50% of the execs that were interviewed said that implementing the new technology was much harder than they expected. Over 200 institutions were interviewed, all of which said that the number of staff dedicated to blockchain within their institutions had doubled over the same time frame. This led to Greenwich Associated declaring that on average, a top-tier bank now has around 18 full-time blockchain focussed employees.

This report is indicative of the growth of investors that are being made by various financial institutions in terms of blockchain technology. A similar survey that was published in 2016 estimated that the total spending on such projects could reach over $1 billion in the near future.

 

To know more about ICO legislation in Malta please follow this link.

Contact us directly on +356 20103020 or by mail at [email protected] to find out more.

Read More
Posted on

Binance, the world’s top crypto exchange moving to Malta.

Categories Business, Modern, Economy, Financial Services, Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Regulatory, ICOs, Malta, ICO Legal Service, BankTags , ,

Binance, the world’s top crypto exchange moving to Malta.

One of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by traded value is seeking a fresh start on a little Crypto island in the Mediterranean.

Binance, founded last year in Hong Kong, will soon start a “fiat-to-crypto exchange” in Malta. In an interview, Zhao Changpeng stated that it is planning to open an office on the island. He added that the company mission is currently close to securing a deal with local banks that can provide access to deposits and withdrawals.

Zhao mentioned that “Malta is very progressive when it comes to crypto and fintech.”

Since last year both regulators from China to the U.S. have been cracking down on cryptocurrency exchanges and businesses, leaving many companies like Binance struggling to find a stable base. Before, the company had an office in Japan however it struggled to get a licence to operate. Moreover, Japan’s Financial Services Agency issued a notice to the venue on Friday for working without consent.

Zhao’s venue was the world’s top-ranked exchange by volume for the past 24 hours, according to Coinmarketcap.com, trading about $1.7 billion.  He mentioned that he had recently been invited by the Maltese government to review an upcoming bill that was favourable to crypto businesses.

Malta came to play as policy makers and the government has held public consultations on regulating virtual currencies, token sales, and crypto-exchanges. Last month there was the unveiling of the plans by the Malta Digital Innovation Authority that will certify and regulate blockchain-based businesses and their operations which will also create a framework to oversee initial coin offerings, the Malta Independent newspaper said.

In the coming months, Binance, is currently underway to launch a decentralized exchange.

If you have any questions in relation to cryptocurrency or ICOs, please contact us on [email protected]

Read More
Posted on

The European Commission released a FinTech Action Plan

Categories Financial Services, Blockchain, European Commission

The European Commission released a FinTech Action Plan

On Thursday 8th March, the European Commission released an Action Plan that provides opportunities to FinTech financial services.

FinTech – is short of Financial Technologies.

During the release of the Action Plan, Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society stated that: “Technologies like blockchain can be game changers for financial services and beyond. We need to build an enabling framework to let innovation flourish, while managing risks and protecting consumers.”

Nowadays, technology gained popularity and are of beneficial use to Financial institutions. The European Commission is seeking to regulate and provide FinTech around EU states. Since the introduction of the blockchain technology, the European Commission is helping financial institutions to regulate and use this digital technology.

Through the introduction and regulation of such technologies FinTech companies can use crowdfunding platforms more freely.

Vice-President responsible for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union, Valdis Dombrovskis, said that, “To compete globally, Europe’s innovative companies need access to capital, space to experiment and scale to grow. An EU crowdfunding licence would help crowdfunding platforms scale up in Europe. It will help them match investors and companies from all over the EU, giving more opportunities for firms and entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas to a wider base of funders.”

The European Commission has sought the need to regulate these new technologies such as blockchain, artificial intelligence and cloud service. These regulations in digital technologies will provide safer markets and easier access for new players in the industry.

Who will benefit from this FinTech Action Plan?

Since Blockchain technology is increasing in popularity, many businesses are merging in this new sector. Moreover, the European Union is envisaging that consumers, investors, banks and new market players will benefit from these digital technologies.

In the wake of the blockchain technology phenomenon, the European Commission is now seeking to implement a Digital Single Market (DSM) around member states. By the introduction of DSM, the Commission will licence the use of digital technology across Europe. This licence will allow European companies to operate across EU states with the same concept as the single market.

By building a FinTech laboratory, European national authorities will be provided with a neutral commercial space through technology. The Commission is seeking to set-up a Capital Markets Union (CMU), hence becoming a digital hub for the single market for financial services.

Through this Action Plan the European Commission is aiming to regulate the blockchain technology. Hence, blockchain innovation will provide beneficial use to financial institutions.

Planning an ICO or simply want more information? Click here to read more about ICOs or contact us on [email protected].

Read More
Posted on

Debating new laws on the MFSA act – A new autonomous company registry

Categories Business, Financial Services, Regulatory

During the annual IFSP conference titled, ‘Efficiency and Innovation, the way forward for Malta’s Financial Service Industry’, Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services Silvio Schembri, announced that a separate, standalone registry of companies is going to be created. This motion is still in progress however it will help the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA), to focus more on its regulatory roles.
During the conference, Hon Schembri emphasised that there is a need to strengthen the internal management structure of the authority. This will then help to make it more proactive and explore non-traditional segments of the market.
The Parliamentary Secretary stated that “This will primarily be spearheaded by the creation of a new role, that of a CEO”. This idea of a new autonomous registry was brought up through a public consultation a few months back.

For more information visit our website www.ellulschranz.com

Read More
Posted on

ESMA opens consultation on potential CFD and binary options measures to protect retail investors.

Categories Business, Modern, Economy, Financial Services, Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, RegulatoryTags , ,

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has just published a consultation on potential product intervention measures relating to the provision of contracts for differences (CFDs), including rolling spot forex, and binary options to retail investors. This is in line with a statement published by ESMA in the end of 2017 which highlighted the possibility of use of its product intervention powers under Article 40 of MiFIR to address concerns regarding investor protection posed by the marketing, distribution and sale of CFDs and binary options to retail investors. Consultation is now open and stakeholders are to provide their opinion regarding the following measures:

Contracts for Difference

The specific potential measures under consideration are:

  1. Leverage limits on the opening of a position by a retail client. These would range from 30:1 to 5:1 to reflect the historical price behaviour of different classes of underlying assets;
  2. A margin close out rule on a position by position basis. This would standardize the percentage of margin at which providers are required to close out a retail client’s open CFD;
  • Negative balance protection on a per account basis. This would provide an overall guaranteed limit on retail client losses;
  1. A restriction on the incentivization of trading provided by a CFD provider;
  2. A standardized risk warning by CFD providers. This would include an indication of the range of losses on retail investor accounts.

The Authority is furthermore considering the possibility of CFDs in cryptocurrency being addressed in the measures as well. In this context ESMA is currently discussing whether CFDs on cryptocurrencies, whose underlying assets have displayed very high price variation, should be addressed in the measures.

Binary Options

The potential measure under consideration is prohibition on the marketing, distribution or sale of binary options to retail investors.

Stakeholders are to submit their feedback no later than 5 February 2018.

 

Contact us on [email protected] to find out more.

www.ellulschranz.com

Read More
Posted on

MFSA Consults on Investments in Virtual Currencies

Categories Business, Modern, Economy, iGaming, Remote Gaming, Financial Services, Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, RegulatoryTags , , , , , , ,

With the fast pace of technological development in the world, Malta aims to become the first country in Europe to regulate virtual currencies. Changes are inevitable, and constant development needs to be embraced and adapted to. Especially for Malta being an iGaming and financial services hub, virtual currency can’t be ignored, therefore authorities representing the industries which are directly effected by technological development, and virtual currencies in particular, had to take this matter seriously, especially considering possible involved risks.

Malta Financial Services Authority has launched a consultation paper on the regulatory framework for regulation of virtual currencies. The paper proposes rules and policies to be introduced to ensure market integrity and investor’s protection.

Guidelines are being  developed to regulate PIFs (Professional Investor Funds), which objective is to invest in virtual currencies. Furthermore, the Authority is considering a possibility of AIFs (Alternative Investment Funds) to be able to invest into virtual currencies.

Considering the risks associated with the collective investment schemes including virtual currencies in their portfolios, the Authority decides that structures for PIFs opting for such investments should be limited to SICAV and INVCO structures. Reason for such decision being that such structures are required to have a board of Directors caring the responsibility for the overall conduct of business of these collective investment schemes.

The consultation paper is primarily developed on the existing background of rules applicable to PIFs, adding further rules which are designed specifically to limit and mitigate the risks associated with virtual currencies and investment in such. The proposed framework primarily aims at protecting the investors’ interests through imposing specific requirements on governing authorities of the collective investment schemes, as well as collective investment schemes’  service providers in relation to risk warnings, quality assessment, risk management and required competence level, besides others.

Proposals are still subject to revision based on the feedback to be received from the stakeholders of the industry. Stakeholders are to submit their feedback for further consideration by the Malta Financial Services Authority by no later than 10th November, 2017.

Contact us to find out more about virtual currencies and blockchain on [email protected], by calling us on +356 20 10 30 20 or  via our live chat!

Read More
Posted on

Malta climbs up the WEF Global Competitiveness Index

Categories Business, Economy, Financial ServicesTags , , , ,

The World Economic Forum has reaffirmed Malta’s continued growth and competitiveness in the business world in the Global Competitiveness Index 2017-2018. Malta moved up in the ranking three places from the previous release, now ranking 37th out of 137 countries.

This publication ranks these countries on 12 main pillars. Of these Malta performed exceptionally well in the areas of higher education and training (30th), labour market efficiency (29th), business sophistication (31st) and innovation (38th).

The reduction of public debt and deficit is a major contributing factor to Malta’s economic performance. The increase in female participation in the labour force is having a further positive impact on Malta’s Economic Performance. The World Economic Forum Report is a highly respected global publication and as such its positive ranking of Malta encourages the Government to carry out further positive changes in this field.

One of the challenges still facing Malta moving forward is the lack of a better-skilled workforce. As Malta’s economy has only recently made a shift to these fields there is a lack of employees who have a high enough level of training and expertise. Moving forward this is a challenge that the Government is working on addressing to ensure that Malta continues to experience economic growth.

This positive ranking from the World Economic Forum further indicates Malta is likely to sustain its continued positive economic growth in the long term.

Read More
Posted on Content Writing

Malta Financial Services Industry Continues to Grow

Categories Business, Economy, Financial ServicesTags , , , , , ,

Financial services in Malta continue to experience steady growth with a noticeable increase in licences and authorizations carried out for various  types of activities. The Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) through the publication of their Annual Report 2016 commented on such changes and the individual activities which seemed to have attracted the greatest amount of growth.

Investment services increased at a steady rate, at the closing of 2016 there was a net increase of seven licences from the previous year. The greatest increase observed was in the issuing of Category 2 licences where the closing of 2016 saw the issuing of eight new Category 2 licences. Not only was growth observed in the area of investment services but further an additional 113 investment funds were licensed by the Authority during 2016.

Another significant area of continued growth observed in 2016 was in relation to financial services surrounding pensions. The replacement of the Special Funds (Regulation) Act with the Retirement Pensions Act in early 2015, which had to be fully complied with by 31 December 2015, gave way to even more growth in financial services in 2016. As of the end of 2016, 10 new retirement schemes were registered under the Retirement Pensions Act. Further growth due to pensions was also seen through the registration of three new companies to act as Retirement Scheme Administrators under the new act.

 

The closing of 2016 saw financial services as a whole experience overall growth in many areas. Insurance business sectors experienced further growth with three new undertakings given authorisation by the Authority to carry on business in terms of the Insurance Business Act. In other sectors under the Company Service Providers Act there was a further 74 new registration certificates issued by the Authority.

Throughout the course of 2016 the Register of Companies registered 5,166 new companies and 103 partnerships.

 

Contact us today to find out more about licensing process and requirements on on +356 20103020 or by mail at [email protected]

Read More