CME Group Launches Ethereum Price Indexes In Partnership With Ethereum Futures Exchange

CME Group And Crypto Facilities have introduced Ethereum indexes, which “will provide a standardized reference rate and spot price index” to the market.

The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME Group) in partnership with Crypto Facilities, a UK-based digital asset exchange specializing in crypto futures, have launched the CME CF Ether-Dollar Reference Rate and Real Time Index, according to an announcement May 14. The indexes will provide users access to a real-time Ether (ETH) price in US dollars.

According to a press release, the CME CF Ether-Dollar rates will “provide a standardized reference rate and spot price index”. Both rates will reportedly be calculated by Crypto Facilities, and will be based on transactions and order book activity from crypto exchanges Bitstamp and Kraken. CME Group further states that “the oversight of the products is managed by an independent committee that sets forth a code of conduct and meet to review the practice standards.” According to CME:

“The products include a spot price index called the CME CF Ether Dollar Real Time Index, known as ETH_RTI_USD, and a reference rate called the CME CF Ether Dollar Reference Rate, known as ETH_RR_USD… ETH_RTI_USD is a real time index of the US dollar price of one Ether published once per second 24 hours a day 365 days per year. This index provides real time transparency to the US dollar price of Ether. ETH_RR_USD is a daily reference rate of the US dollar price of one Ether as of 4 p.m. London time…”

Tim McCourt, Managing Director and Global Head of Equity Products and Alternative Instruments at GME Group said:

“The Ether Reference Rate and Real Time Index are designed to meet the evolving needs of the marketplace. Providing price transparency and a credible price reference source is a key development for users of Ethereum.”

Bitcoin (BTC) futures trading was launched in December 2017 by the Chicago Board Options Exchange and Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Recently, Crypto Facilities, which is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK, introduced the “first regulated” futures contracts for ETH. The products reportedly will enable investors to take a long or short position on the cryptocurrency.

Earlier in May, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco released an Economic Letter, suggesting that the BTC price decline following its $20,000 peak was the result of the launch of BTC futures trading.

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CFO of Australia’s Commonwealth Bank Quits Role To Join EOS Token Developer Block.One

Rob Jesudason, the CFO of Australia’s Commonwealth Bank has resigned with immediate effect in order to become the COO of EOS token developer Block.one.

Rob Jesudason, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Australia’s Commonwealth Bank (CBA), has left the bank to join a blockchain company, the Sydney Morning Herald reports May 14. Jesudason resigned with immediate effect in order to become the group president and chief operating officer of blockchain software firm Block.one.

Block.one is the developer of the ‘EOS.IS’ blockchain software, an operating system-like platform that aims to support the creation of decentralized apps on an industrial scale. The firm launched an initial coin offering (ICO) in June 2017 to issue its ECR-20-compatible ‘EOS’ tokens, which are scheduled to be distributed incrementally over a 341-day period until July 2018. At $12 bln, EOS is the fifth largest crypto asset by market capitalization.

CEO of Block.one Brendan Blumer said that Jesudason’s skills are an “ideal fit” for the company, underscoring Jesaudson’s track record in “facilitating regulatory advancement” for emerging technologies.

According to the Morning Herald, Jesuadson’s resignation – after less than a year in the role – comes at a difficult time for CBA. The bank is facing “explosive” allegations that it has consistently breached anti-money laundering (AML) and terrorism financing laws, and the disarray has left six of its 12 senior leadership positions empty. Reuters further reports that CBA is part of an ongoing independent inquiry that has leveled accusations of widespread misconduct against several of Australia’s leading financial institutions.

CLSA banking analyst Brian Johnson said that Jesudason’s departure in the midst of CBA’s tumult has “surprised” the Australian markets. This year has increasingly seen prominent traditional financial sector talent move into the cryptocurrency space. In April, a former Goldman Sachs executive joined as COO of crypto merchant bank Galaxy Digital, itself founded by former Wall Street exec Mike Novogratz. That same month, the lead of JP Morgan’s blockchain arm left the bank to start her own independent venture.

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Polish Financial Watchdog To Fund Anti-Crypto Social Media Campaign

Polish financial watchdog seeks contractors for a social media campaign against cryptocurrencies, the latest in a series of government led anti-crypto moves.

Poland’s Financial Supervision Authority (KNF) is conducting a social media campaign about the risks of investing in cryptocurrency, according to a May 10 post on the KNF’s website. KNF has placed a tender order of 615,000 zloty (around $173,000) to plan and conduct the campaign, which focuses on the risks associated with cryptocurrencies, pyramid schemes, and forex trading.

The KNF’s recent initiative is evidently part of a larger anti-cryptocurrency campaign led by the country’s authorities. In mid-February, the Central Bank of Poland admitted to funding a $27,000 anti-cryptocurrency campaign that specifically consisted of a YouTube video – with no indication that it was sponsored content – about a man who lost all his money in crypto trading.

The Central Bank of Poland and the KNF have also partnered to make an anti-crypto educational website that explains why “virtual currency is not money” and “cryptocurrencies are not currency.”

Also in February, as a response to the government’s efforts, a small film studio released a documentary about cryptocurrency in Poland, called Krypto, with the declared goal of educating the Polish public facts about crypto and blockchain technology.

The KNF’s official post says it will be accepting applications and proposals for the campaign until May 18, and the campaign will begin in June 2018 and last for 30 days. The KNF’s description of the initiative also mentions the promotion of an app referred to as “KNF Alert”.  According to local news outlet Bitcoin.pl, the campaign will include two 30 second video spots, presumably on television.

Poland’s previous anti-cryptocurrency education campaign was received mainly negatively in the country, particularly due to the lack of transparency around the YouTube video’s sponsorship. Poland’s central bank responded in depth to the criticisms, mentioning the volatility of crypto markets and the use of crypto for cyber crimes as impetus for the video. However, the bank did note that they are not opposed to the development of blockchain technology.

Earlier today, Cointelegraph reported that the Polish Credit Office, the largest credit bureau in Central and Eastern Europe, has partnered with a UK fintech firm to implement blockchain for customer data storage.

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Forex Platform Serving Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley Adds Crypto Trading

Kx Systems has recently launched crypto trading on its forex trading platform to “meet the ‎current and future needs of clients.”

Software developer Kx Systems has launched cryptocurrency trading on its white label forex (FX) trading platform Kx for Flow, the company reported in a blog post May 14. Starting today, Kx for Flow customers are able to conduct spot trading of Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Litecoin (LTC), and Ripple (XRP).

US-based Kx Systems is a high-performance software supplier with customers including global investment banking group Goldman Sachs, multinational investment bank Morgan Stanley, and GSA Capital Partners hedge fund. Kx Systems also commercialized the proprietary processing languages K and Q.

Kx for Flow, an HTML5 FX trading platform, allows customers to create liquidity pools and publish price information to markets and clients. The platform operates with such liquidity sources as banks, non-deliverable forwards, precious metals, contracts-for-difference, and now cryptocurrencies.

According to the Kx Head of FX Solutions Rich Kiel, the company’s move toward cryptocurrencies is mainly driven by customer acquisition purposes, since the company has been “inundated with ‎interest in crypto.”

“As with most ‎leading trading technology providers we have been inundated with ‎interest in crypto. When you sift through the noise the interest from ‎mainstream financial services firms to begin trading cryptocurrencies ‎has been growing and we are delivering this solution to meet the ‎current and future needs of our clients.”‎

Kiel’s comments echoed those of Goldman Sachs executive Rana Yared, who cited customer interest as a driving motive for the firm to introduce contracts with Bitcoin exposure earlier this month.  Yared said, “It resonates with us when a client says, ‘I want to hold Bitcoin or Bitcoin futures because I think it is an alternate store of value.’”

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