Germany’s 2nd Largest Stock Exchange To Launch Zero-Fee Crypto Trading App

The Stuttgart Börse, which reportedly has a trading volume of $100 bln, has announced it is launching a zero-fee smartphone crypto trading app, dubbed ‘Bison.’

Germany’s second largest stock exchange, the Stuttgart Börse, which reportedly has a trading volume of $100 bln, has announced it is launching a zero-fee cryptocurrency trading app, Thursday, May 17. The smartphone app, dubbed ‘Bison,’ will be free to use as of fall 2018, and has been developed together with fintech startup Sowa Labs.

Four cryptocurrencies – Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Ripple – will be supported from the app’s launch, with additional digital assets promised “in the near future.” The interface and trading process aims at convenience, forgoing the need for crypto wallets or paperwork.

The platform also gives users an artificial intelligence (AI) data analysis tool, ‘Cryptoradar,’ which analyzes over 250,000 crypto-related tweets from the crypto sphere daily to give real-time insight into community sentiment. As of press time, Cryptoradar’s algorithm on the Bison website shows Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin as neutral, with Ripple edging towards the positive spectrum.

A prototype of the app was presented today at the finance and investment trade fair Invest in Stuttgart, with Dr Ulli Spankowski, Managing Director at Sowa Labs, commenting that Bison “is the first crypto app in the world to have a traditional stock exchange behind it.’ Sowa Labs claims that their survey of over 1,000 participants showed that the majority of investors would like “easier” access to the crypto markets.

Last week, Cointelegraph reported on stock trading mobile app Robinhood raising $363 mln in funding in order to expand its crypto-specific platform US-wide, with plans to support 16 different cryptocurrencies, all zero-fee. With the recent funding, Robinhood became the second most valuable fintech startup in the US, with a current valuation of $5.6 bln, and an SEC-compliant broker-dealer status, unlike leading US crypto trading platform Coinbase.

Beyond convenient entry points into the crypto space for individuals, perhaps the most important precedent for Stuttgart Börse’s new crypto venture is the New York Stock Exchange owner’s recent announcement of its own plans to offer Bitcoin (BTC) swap contracts that would be settled in BTC, allowing its traditional Wall Street clients to both buy and hold the cryptocurrency.

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LedgerX Debuts First Bitcoin Savings Account Licensed By CFTC

LedgerX has launched the first BTC savings product licensed with both a CFTC derivatives clearing organization (DCO) license and a swap execution facility (SEF) license.

Trading and clearing platform LedgerX has launched a new Bitcoin (BTC) savings product that is licensed by the US Commodities Future Trading Commission (CFTC), Forbes reported May 15.

The savings product introduced by LedgerX is certified by a CFTC derivatives clearing organization (DCO) license and a swap execution facility (SEF) license. Juthica Chou, Chief Operating Officer at LedgerX said:

“Everything we do requires both the licenses. And a lot of that is intentional, because by making it a package deal we can offer a number of services to our customers in a really clear, vertically integrated way.”

The licenses permit users to earn a yield on their Bitcoin assets. Rather than just “hodling” and hoping that Bitcoin appreciates, investors can earn a fiat-based yield on their BTC by employing what is referred to as a call overwrite technique, wherein an investor deposits BTC into LedgerX, then sells a call option at a slightly longer date, with a higher strike call option.

The project is designed to simplify BTC option trading to a basic point-and-click format, so “less sophisticated” bull traders can potentially get a premium price on their holdings. The product’s interface allows users to choose the implied rate they’re anticipating to earn and the number of BTC they wish to earn the yield on. Chou said:

“This interface will definitely be skewed to the long Bitcoin holders, who will likely only deposit bitcoin and who will want to earn interest off of that Bitcoin.”

According to Forbes, during the past three months, 70 percent of the trade volume of LedgerX has come from options, with an average trade size of $60,000. The options contracts will reportedly be available for a three-month and a six-month duration, while LedgerX charges a transaction fee for each service.

Yesterday, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange launched an Ethereum reference rate and real time index to the US dollar. The rates are offered in partnership with Crypto-Facilities, a UK-based digital asset exchange, that debuted the “first regulated” Ethereum futures last week.

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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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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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