Kiffmeister’s #Fintech Daily Digest (10/01/2020)

ECB Applies for ‘Digital Euro’ Trademark Amid Feasibility Study

The European Central Bank (ECB) has applied to trademark the term “digital euro” as officials prepare to release an assessment of the benefits and drawbacks of creating a digital version of the currency. The application was filed on September 22 by the ECB’s legal representatives Bock Legal, according to the website of the European Union Intellectual Property Office. An ECB spokesman confirmed the filing. 

U.S. CFTC, Department of Justice file charges against owners of crypto derivatives exchange BitMEX

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) filed charges against crypto derivatives exchange BitMEX and its owner-operators. They are accused of operating a facility for the trading or processing of swaps without having CFTC approval as a designated contract market or swap execution facility, and operating as a futures commission merchant by soliciting orders for and accepting bitcoin to margin digital asset derivatives transactions, and by acting as a counterparty to leveraged retail commodity transactions. The exchange was also accused of violating anti-money laundering and know-your-customer regulations. In addition, the U.S. Department of Justice charged charged the founders and executives with violation of The Bank Secrecy Act.

Most Crypto Exchanges Have Weak KYC, DeFi Is Making It Worse: Report

According to a CipherTrace study 56% of virtual asset service providers lack strong know-your-customer (KYC) practices, and 81% of decentralized exchanges (DEXs) have little-to-no user verification. The study analyzed more than 800 cryptocurrency exchanges, as well as over-the-counter trading desks and other kinds of service providers. It looked at 21 DEXs, which have seen massive trading volume growth over the past year, and are designed to let users exchange currencies without a third party and therefore bypass certain regulatory obstacles. 

SWIFT to move into low-value consumer payments market

SWIFT is working with over 20 banks is to develop a service to make instanteous transactions across borders for small and medium-sized companies and consumers. Costs and processing times known upfront and real-time status updates will be available to both originator and beneficiary customers via their financial institutions. The service builds on the strength of the SWIFT Global Payment Initiative (GPI), SWIFT’s response to blockchain-based RippleNet: 

Alt data aims to shake up credit scoring business

New agencies are trying to widen the range of financial data that’s used to assess loan applicants. They hope to extend credit scoring to the unbanked, gig economy workers and young people with little credit history. These challengers use machine learning techniques to plough through financial transaction data, or to scrutinise online questionnaires. Machine learning is controversial in this area, as it could give rise to bias and discrimination in lending decisions. Nevertheless, large credit card companies such as Capital One and established agencies like Experian are showing interest in these new methods. 

Crypto prediction markets turn against Trump after first debate

The first debate of the 2020 U.S. presidential election had no clear winner, but crypto-powered prediction platforms are having a field day. Election futures on crypto derivatives exchange FTX boomed, with the platform’s CEO reporting more than $4 million in open interest trying to pick the winner between Democrat Joe Biden, and Republican Donald Trump. Volumes on FTX are amplified by leverage. On predictive platforms that do not offer leverage, more modest six-figure volumes were recorded. Polymarket saw more than $100,000 in volume flow into its ‘Will Trump win the 2020 U.S. presidential election?’ market on September 30. 

Australian Securities Exchange to triple capacity of DLT system

The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) will again delay its blockchain-based CHESS replacement after huge trading volumes due to the pandemic required a massive expansion of capacity. The system had been scheduled for official trials in December, with a planned launch window of early 2022. The ASX has been working on the CHESS-replacement for the last four years, which has become the subject of much debate. The firm was looking into how much further the timeline needed to be extended to accommodate demand for significant additional capacity and functionality from the day it goes live. Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank of Australia and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission told the ASX to get on with it in a safe but timely manner.

Australian government’s digital business plan includes $5M for blockchain

The Australian government unveiled a $574 million Digital Business Plan that includes seven-figure grants for distributed ledger technology (DLT) initiatives. The plan outlines $4.95 million in support for two blockchain pilots directed at reducing business compliance costs. $480 million has been designated for various technological initiatives that could intersect DLT, including $183 million towards a new digital identity system, and $301 million for developing a single business register — allowing businesses to quickly view, update and maintain their business registry data in one location. 

EY faces mounting backlash after Wirecard whistleblower revelation

EY faced a mounting backlash from investors and German politicians across the political spectrum after it emerged that one of the accountancy firm’s own employees flagged potential fraud at Wirecard four years before the company collapsed. German politician warns accountancy firm could face its Arthur Andersen moment. 

Posted from Diigo: