Crypto Exchange Huobi’s ‘Strategic Partner’ HBUS Hires Ex-PWC and Intuit Compliance Director as CCO

HBUS, the U.S.-based “strategic partner” of sixth largest crypto exchange Huobi, has hired a new Chief Compliance Officer, formerly of PwC and Intuit.

HBUS, the U.S.-based “strategic partner” of sixth largest crypto exchange Huobi, has hired a new Chief Compliance Officer (CCO). The company has revealed this in a press release shared with Cointelegraph Oct. 11.

The new CCO, Megan Monroe-Coleman, was formerly MTL Compliance Officer at U.S. software giant Intuit, following the company’s acquisition of financial software firm Mint, where Monroe-Coleman had also served as a compliance officer.

Before her work at Intuit, she worked over seven years at “Big Four” auditor PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), five years of which she spent as compliance director, according to her LinkedIn profile.  

According to the press release, Monroe-Coleman has spent over 15 years in the compliance sector in total, with a focus on fintech and financial services. At Intuit, she is said to have developed and implemented the anti-money-laundering (AML) compliance programs for Mint, and to have directed the money transmission licensing strategy for Intuit’s regulated payments products.

Monroe-Coleman’s statement emphasized that she is “a compliance professional in an industry that does not always embrace regulation.” However, she emphasized the firm would ensure its operations were “safe and secure” for crypto trading in a “fully compliant” manner.

As previously reported, HBUS is headquartered in San Francisco, and was established by Huobi as its “strategic partner” U.S.-based digital assets marketplace this June.

As it vies with rival crypto exchanges Binance and OKEx, Huobi has been actively diversifying its investment products and services and expanding worldwide. Alongside the HBUS venture, the firm has recently bought a majority stake in Japanese FSA-licensed crypto exchange BitTrade, as well as acquiring a controlling stake in Hong Kong exchange publicly-listed Pantronics Holdings this September.

Earlier this year, Huobi launched a South Korean subsidiary, and opened an office in London, with over-the-counter (OTC) trading tests slated to begin in Q3 this year.

Huobi has seen $415.3 million in trades over the 24 hours to press time, according to CoinMarketCap: HBUS has seen around $1.5 million over the same period.

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Malta’s Finance Minister: Crypto Means Finance Middlemen ‘Face The Chop’

Intermediaries profiting from the fiat banking system “face the chop in the not too distant future,” Malta’s finance minister Edward Scicluna has told Cointelegraph.

Financial intermediaries will be “facing the chop” thanks to Bitcoin and cryptocurrency, Malta’s finance minister told Cointelegraph in an interview Friday, October 5.

Speaking in a private interview during the Malta Blockchain Conference: Delta Summit 2018, Edward Scicluna said that the advent of cryptocurrency that is usable by the mass populace was making the middlemen of finance go the way of traditional photo developers.

“This is a disruptive technology,” he said when asked whether he sees crypto as a future payment method, continuing:

“I can see this, just like in photography when you could tell that […] those who process the photos [are] going to lose their jobs, a lot of financial intermediaries will be facing the chop in the not too distant future.”

Scicluna revealed that although he no longer held cryptocurrency himself, he had learnt “a lot” about it early on from his son, who both bought and traded Bitcoin in its “early years.”

“I think [intermediaries] have to listen and be attentive; I think that’s what the banks are doing now,” he continued.

Scicluna stopped short of stating that cryptocurrency and blockchain could help prevent another financial crisis in and of itself. “It’s a big revolution,” he concluded. “The possibilities are endless.”

The comments come as little surprise on the back of Malta’s continued partnerships with the cryptocurrency industry as part of its quest to become the so-called “Blockchain Island.”

Last week, the country’s prime minister Joseph Muscat continued the official line of support in a speech to the United Nations, during which he called cryptocurrency the “inevitable future of money.”

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Italian Banking Association Completes First Test of Blockchain-Based Interbank System

A group of 14 Italian banks has successfully completed the initial stage of its blockchain-powered interbank system project.

The Italian Banking Association (ABI) has revealed they successfully passed the initial phase of testing their blockchain-powered interbank system, Italian financial media outlet Ansa reported September 29.

By applying distributed ledger technology (DLT), the group of 14 Italian banks is planning to improve interbanking processes. Specifically, the association intends to boost the processing time of operations, increase the transparency of banking information, and enable the verification and exchange of information directly within the application.

According to local Italian source Corriere Nazionale, the application of blockchain technology will also assist in specific aspects of banking operations that usually involve a number of complex discrepancies. In this regard, blockchain deployment in the interbank system aims to address that issue by storing data on multiple nodes shared by the banks, with the implementation of smart contracts.

According to the report, the association has successfully completed 1.2 million movements on an infrastructure of 14 nodes distributed by the banks. Based on the positive results of the first stage of the test, the banks will now start applying the blockchain-powered application for the recording of daily operations.

The association had first revealed the plans to implement blockchain technology for banking operations in June of this year. The blockchain interbank initiative, called the Spunta Project, is carried out by ABI’s banking research and innovation center Abi Lab.

The Spunta Project is based on the Corda DLT platform and developed by blockchain consortium R3, with assistance from y tech firm NTT Data.

According to ABI’s website, the project is implemented by the following banks: Banca Mediolanum, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, Banca Sella, BNL – Gruppo BNP Paribas, Banca Popolare di Sondrio, Banco BPM, CheBanca! – Gruppo Mediobanca, Credito Emiliano, Crédit Agricole, Credito Valtellinese, Iccrea Banca, Intesa Sanpaolo, Nexi Banca, Ubi.

Although audit and consulting firm Deloitte has recently claimed that the existing blockchain ecosystem has a number of issues — including the risks of too slow transaction speed —  blockchain applications have been introduced by some global banking institutions.

Recently, Thailand’s fourth largest bank Kasikornbank reportedly became the first bank in the country to use blockchain technology by applying the blockchain-powered Visa B2B Connect program targeting cross-border payments.

On September 20, Poland’s largest bank, PKO Bank Polski, revealed plans to launch a blockchain tool for client documents through a partnership with UK-based Coinfirm. The day after, the company tweeted an explanation of how the solution is working in practice.

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FT Highlights Crypto as One of Last 10 Years’ ‘Biggest Changes’ in Financial Markets

The Financial Times has released a special report on financial markets over the past 10 years, outlining crypto as one of the “biggest changes” globally.

The Financial Times (FT) has released a Special Report on global financial markets Monday, October 1. In the report, FT dedicated two out of six sections to the cryptocurrency industry.

In their report entitled “Exchanges, Trading and Clearing,” FT names cryptocurrency alongside such phenomena as Brexit and the emergence of new markets as “some of the biggest changes” in financial markets over the past ten years.

One of the two crypto-focused articles in the report, entitled “Crypto exchanges must face up to responsibilities as they mature,” provides an overview of crypto markets in comparison with traditional markets, pointing out major issues in the industry, such as regulation.

The article covers major disputes between traditional markets experts and the disruptors in the crypto space. While chief executive of the U.K. division of Coinbase Zeeshan Feroz stated that crypto markets’ structure will “eventually mirror that of traditional markets,” Peter Randall, the opponent from the fiat trading industry, considered it “unlikely” to happen.

Randall argued that the existing ecosystem of crypto markets is unlikely to provide the “operational resilience” that is required by “complex markets and financial systems,” citing the lack of liquidity on crypto markets.

In the second crypto-related article of FT’s report, the outlet details how Chicago’s proprietary trading industry is “deepening its exposure to the wild crypto market,” with proprietary trading firms claiming that they are taking a “hard look” on crypto.

Emphasizing the fact that proprietary traders are usually “the highest-volume participants” on the markets, FT authors stated that crypto prices’ volatility is actually a “good thing” for those trading groups. Rob Sagurton, director of digital asset direct trading at proprietary trading firm Jump Trading, has revealed that the company is operating crypto trading of around 10-15 “most liquid main cryptocurrencies,” as well as working with futures markets.

In a speech addressed to the general debate of the 73rd Session of the General Assembly of the U.N. last week, the Prime Minister of Malta, Joseph Muscat, said that cryptocurrencies are the “inevitable future of money,” and that blockchain can galvanize a more transparent and equitable society.

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Abu Dhabi Regulator Calls for International Cryptocurrency Regulation Effort

A senior finance official has said Abu Dhabi would like to see comprehensive international regulation of the cryptocurrency arena.

The head of the financial regulator of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) capital Abu Dhabi wants “proper” international regulation of cryptocurrency, local news outlet The National reports Wednesday, September 19.

Speaking during an interview at this week’s Fintech Abu Dhabi event, Richard Teng, head of the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), claimed that loss and theft of cryptocurrency negatively impacts its image as an asset.

“This space needs to be properly regulated, otherwise there is the risk of financial crime,” he said, noting:

“Every time a coin gets stolen or lost, it affects the confidence in this asset class.”

The comments mark the latest in a series of official opinions on cryptocurrencies to have emerged from the UAE in recent weeks.

As Cointelegraph reported, this month should see formal regulations emerge at a nationwide level in the UAE regarding both fintech and Initial Coin Offerings (ICO).

This week, a Dubai police chief went on record to say digital currency would “soon replace” traditional cash, while other senior law enforcement officials called for the central bank to issue a national cryptocurrency.

ADGM, meanwhile, has long engaged with the crypto market, publishing guidelines last year, with Teng noting the organization had since shared its expertise with a number of international governments. Teng added:

“We are confident that our comprehensive regime — which we have shared with global regulators […] can address these risks and bring greater confidence into this asset class.”

Recipients included the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority, and the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

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Unconfirmed: UAE Preparing to Adopt Formal ICO, Fintech Regulations, Local Media Report

The United Arab Emirates’ fintech and ICO regulation agreed upon in July will shortly become law, local media report.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has approved a draft of regulations governing Initial Coin Offerings (ICO), local media outlet WAM reported Sunday, September 9 citing government sources.

The reported move comes in addition to lawmakers in the country adopting plans for a regulatory sandbox aimed at attracting greater fintech activity.

“The sandbox will act as an environment that attracts innovators to test innovative products, services, solutions and business models in a controlled space,” a report from the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) published September 4 reads, adding:

“This can be achieved by adopting an approach of relaxing and / or waving regulatory requirements for participants in the sandbox, while at the same time, ensuring that appropriate consumer protection safeguards are in place.”

The regulatory proposals regarding ICOs gained approval from the SCA in July, while WAM now reports the agreement will enter into law upon its imminent publication in the UAE’s Official Gazette, an official periodical containing all the country’s legislation.

“The SCA Board of Directors has approved the SCA plan to regulate the ICOs and recognise them as securities,” WAM stated, noting:

“The Board of Directors, having reviewed a study on the best international practices in this regard, has issued a directive that the procedures for trading digital token are to be regulated. The plan developed by the SCA includes a set of mechanisms as part of an integrated project to regulate digital securities and commodities.”

The UAE has pursued an in-depth policy of fintech integration in recent years, with a particular emphasis on blockchain at both municipal and state level.

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Parity Forced to Shut Down ICO Passport Service (PICOPS) Due to GDPR

Parity, the wallet and blockchain provider, is shutting down its PICOPS platform effective May 24, 2018, due to complications stemming from the new EU GDPR guidelines. The company announced the decision in a blog post on its website on May 18. PICOPS: The Latest Casualty of the New EU GDPR The General Data Protection Law (GDPR) of the EU is causing problems for blockchain and cryptocurrency. Part of the fundamental principle of the blockchain is

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BANKEX Smart Justice is Bringing Arbitration to Blockchain

The Smart Justice service is an innovative and community-driven way to resolve disputes in the crypto industry. Top-50 FinTech company, BANKEX, launched the beta version of its service on the 14th of May as a way to introduce complete partiality during these disputes. There is no doubt that blockchain technology has the potential to drastically change our lives.  It offers security, immutability and a high level of transparency.  It also an essential part of creating a

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Coinbase Aims to Obtain Banking Licenses

Coinbase, the largest U.S. Bitcoin exchange, has initiated exploratory conversations with financial regulators regarding banking licenses. Coinbase and Ivy Koin Meet with U.S. Regulators About Banking Licenses Coinbase is now intent on learning how to obtain banking licenses. The Wall Street Journal reports that, according to undisclosed sources, the exchange held conversations with officials from the U.S Office of the Controller of the Currency in early 2018. According to the report: Coinbase Inc. and another cryptocurrency

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White Label Crypto Exchange Platform EXPREAD Announces Partnership with FuzeX

EXPREAD (expread.io) and payment solutions provider FuzeX (fuzex.co) announced their partnership May 11, 2018. According to the announcement, the projects aim to leverage experience and technology behind both teams in order to offer their communities the best-suited trading and payment solutions. Speaking about the partnership, EXPREAD CEO Leo Liu stated: We are very excited about our partnership with FuzeX, a project that we see to have great potential to develop new payment solution that successfully combines

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