Tag Archives: crypto

Stephen Curry Becomes Global Ambassador and Shareholder of Leading Cryptocurrency Exchange FTX

West Realm Shires Services Inc. and FTX Trading Limited, the companies behind FTX.US and FTX.COM respectively, today announced a long-term partnership with three-time NBA champion, two-time NBA Most Valuable Player, philanthropist and entrepreneur, Stephen Curry. In connection with being an FTX global ambassador, Curry will receive an equity stake in FTX Trading Limited and Curry’s foundation, Eat.Learn.Play., will partner with FTX on charitable initiatives.

“I’m excited to partner with a company that demystifies the crypto space and eliminates the intimidation factor for first-time users,” said Curry.  “FTX is likeminded when it comes to giving back to the community in meaningful ways and I can’t wait to see what we can achieve together.”

Curry, who has spent his entire 12-season professional career with the Golden State Warriors, is the latest high-profile athlete to partner with FTX in 2021, joining NFL stars Tom Brady and Trevor Lawrence. Curry’s equity stake in FTX Trading Limited further advances the company’s position as the fastest growing and most trusted place to buy, sell and trade Bitcoin, cryptocurrency, NFTs and other digital assets. He will be taking on the role of global ambassador to expand the reach of the FTX brand and tout the viability of cryptocurrency to new audiences around the world through several upcoming initiatives.

The partnership with FTX marks the 33-year-old’s first investment in the cryptocurrency space as the burgeoning entrepreneur continues to diversify his growing portfolio.

Additionally, FTX has committed to providing an annual charitable contribution to Stephen and Ayesha Curry’s foundation, Eat.Learn.Play. The foundation seeks to unlock the full potential of every child, anchored around the three core values vital to a successful childhood: nutrition, education and active living. Likeminded with FTX, Eat.Learn.Play. and its founders are committed to ensuring an equal road to a brighter future for all kids, with a specific focus on fighting to end childhood hunger, ensuring students have access to a quality education and providing safe places for all children to play and be active. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Eat.Learn.Play. and its community partners have served over 17 million nutritious meals to Oakland kids and families affected.   

Sam Bankman-Fried, CEO of FTX, said, “After meeting and speaking with Stephen, it was clear that he is a seamless fit for FTX. His tireless commitment to charity alongside a ferocious work ethic to become the greatest in any arena he steps foot in, whether it is basketball, investing or business, perfectly align with FTX’s core values. I look forward to working together with Stephen to create a positive impact for those who need it most in the world.”

About FTX.US

FTX.US is a US-regulated cryptocurrency exchange, built from the ground up. Its mission is for FTX.US to grow the digital currency ecosystem, offer US and international traders a platform that inspires their loyalty, and to become the market leading US regulated cryptocurrency exchange by volume within the next two years.

To learn more about FTX.US, please visit: https://ftx.us/

About FTX.COM

FTX.COM is a cryptocurrency exchange built by traders, for traders. It offers innovative products, including industry-leading derivatives, options and volatility products, tokenized stocks, prediction markets, leveraged tokens and an OTC desk. FTX.COM strives to be an intuitive yet powerful platform for all kinds of users, and to be the most innovative exchange in the industry.  FTX.COM has grown quickly since its founding, becoming one of the most respected cryptocurrency exchanges in the world in less than 2 years.

Europe’s First Bitcoin Futures, Based on ETC Group’s BTCetc Physical Bitcoin, to List on Eurex in September

  • First futures contract on a Crypto ETP in Europe launching 13 September 2021
  • BTCE is the world’s most heavily traded Crypto ETP
  • Eurex is the largest derivatives exchange in Europe

ETC Group ( www.etc-group.com ), Europe’s leading specialist provider of innovative, digital asset-backed securities, announces that Eurex, Europe’s largest derivatives exchange, will list Bitcoin ETN Futures on 13 September 2021 based on its flagship product BTCetc. This will be the first time futures contracts are available for investors on a Crypto ETP in Europe.

Bitcoin ETN Futures is based on ETC Group’s BTCetc™ – ETC Group Physical Bitcoin (ticker: BTCE), which launched on Deutsche Börse XETRA in June 2020. Since then it has been listed on multiple European exchanges, and is currently the world’s most heavily traded crypto ETP, with the narrowest spreads1. The new futures contract will be traded in Euros and physically delivered in BTCE, which is 100% backed by bitcoin and can be readily redeemed by any investor for the underlying bitcoin.

Bradley Duke, CEO of ETC Group said: “The announcement that Eurex will list a futures contract based on BTCE is a game changer, it firmly establishes BTCE as the benchmark Bitcoin ETP and go-to product for Bitcoin price discovery. We see the selection of BTCE by Europe’s largest derivatives exchange as recognition of the quality of the product and its world beating liquidity. Also, because BTCE is fully-fungible with the underlying bitcoin, it means physical settlement of the futures contract is enabled through BTCE’s standard creation/redemption mechanism.”

Randolf Roth, Member of the Eurex Executive Board said “Given the growing institutional demand for secure exposure to Bitcoin, we are delighted to begin listing these Bitcoin ETN futures on our regulated trading and clearing infrastructure at Eurex. This move will allow a greater number of market participants to trade and hedge Bitcoin, with this new future being treated in the same way as any other derivatives contract in terms of central clearing, netting, and risk management.”

This set-up allows investors to track the price development of Bitcoin in a fully regulated on-exchange environment and based on a transparent price discovery of the underlying BTCE. Structured in a similar way as physical Gold ETCs, with an equivalent physical redemption mechanism in place, BTCE’s primary listing trades on Deutsche Börse’s ETN trading segment since 18th June 2020. Bitcoin ETN futures are centrally cleared like any other derivatives traded on Eurex. Eurex’s standard clearing, netting, and risk management processes thereby come into effect, mitigating counterparty risk, and reducing operational costs for market participants.

Cryptocurrencies are highly volatile, and your capital is at risk.
Disclaimer: https://bit.ly/etcdisc

ETC Group ( www.etc-group.com ) is specialized in developing innovative digital asset-backed securities such as BTCetc (BTCE) and ETHetc (ZETH) which are currently listed on Deutsche Börse, Euronext, SIX, AQUIS UK and Wiener Börse. ETC Group is backed by a number of major London-based financial institutions. Shareholders include firms such as XTX Ventures, the venture capital arm of electronic market-making firm XTX Markets. ETC Group’s securities are marketed by HANetf.

The future of money – innovating while retaining trust

Article by Christine Lagarde, President of the ECB, in L’ENA hors les murs magazine

Paris, 30 November 2020

Important lessons can be drawn from the past to understand the factors influencing the journey towards the future of money, including the possible introduction of a digital euro. Ensuring the euro meets the needs of European citizens is at the core of the ECB’s mandate.

Throughout history, the nature of money has evolved in response to socioeconomic changes. But the functions of money – as a means of exchange, a unit of account and a store of value – have remained the same for centuries.

One reason why money first emerged was to overcome the limitations and inefficiencies of bartering. As economies became more specialised, trade became all the more essential, and a universal medium of exchange was needed to facilitate it. Coins made from (precious) metals fulfilled that purpose for centuries.

But with the development of international trade, coins became increasingly impractical because they are difficult to store and transport in large volumes.

This led to the next phase in the evolution of money through medieval times into the late middle ages and early modern times. Developments included the advent of Templar’s credit notes in France, private giro banking in Italy, bills of exchange and promissory notes, and the first predecessors of paper money.

Role of the public sector

All of these instruments foresaw convertibility into precious metal coins. The acceptance of these forms of dematerialised and easy-to-carry money depended on the reputation of the issuer, and credit risk became relevant.

This led to the public sector playing an increasingly important role in issuing money and ensuring its value remained stable. Examples include the emergence of early public giro banks at the beginning of the 15th century and the first attempts to issue modern banknotes in the second half of the 17th century.[1]

In today’s modern economies, including in the euro area, money is no longer convertible into, or backed by, any commodity. Fiat money, as it is known, serves as legal tender by decree of the government or even constitutional legislation (such as the EU Treaty[2]). The value of money is based on citizens’ trust in it being generally accepted for all forms of economic exchange and in the ability of central banks to maintain its purchasing power through monetary policy. Central banks’ institutional independence also bolsters their ability to maintain trust in money.

Since early modern times central banks have gradually been assuming an increasingly pivotal role in ensuring that money delivers on the three functions I outlined. They must be fully aware of and adapt to changing realities.

Technological progress

As we enter the digital age, the nature of money, but also of goods and services, is changing quickly. Digitalisation and technological advances are transforming all areas of society, accelerating the process of dematerialisation.

Non-cash payments continue to increase. In the euro area, over the last year the total number increased by 8.1% to 98 billion. Nearly half of these transactions were made by card, followed by credit transfers and direct debits.[3]

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has accelerated this trend towards digitalisation, with a surge in online payments and a shift towards contactless payments in shops.[4] Market participants expect payments to be the financial service that will be most affected by technological innovation and competition over the next five years, according to a survey conducted in 2019.[5]

To meet the demand for digital means of payment, new forms of private money (i.e. a liability of private entities) have emerged. They are available as commercial bank deposits which can be used for transfers and direct debits, and as electronic money through credit cards and mobile payment apps.

In the euro area, the Eurosystem’s supervision mechanisms ensure commercial banks and payment service providers are effective and safe. This enables people to continue to have confidence in private money, which remains an integral part of our financial system.

But central bank money in digital form is still not available for retail payments.

Digital euro

The ECB wants to ensure the euro remains fit for the digital era. Early this year, the Governing Council decided to explore the possibility of issuing of a digital euro – digital central bank money for retail payments, in other words.

The Eurosystem is assessing the implications of the potential introduction of a digital euro, which in legal terms would be a liability of the central bank. In October the ECB published the Report on a digital euro[6] and launched a public consultation[7].

But why issue a digital euro, if other forms of (private) digital money are already available?

Central bank money is unique. It provides people with unrestricted access to a simple, essentially risk-free and trusted means of payment they can use for any basic transaction. But for retail use it is currently only offered physically in the form of cash.

A digital euro would complement cash and ensure that consumers continue to have unrestricted access to central bank money in a form that meets their evolving digital payment needs.

It could be important in a range of future scenarios, from a decline in the use of cash to pre-empting the uptake of foreign digital currencies in the euro area. Issuing a digital euro might become necessary to ensure both continued access to central bank money and monetary sovereignty.

A properly designed digital euro would create synergies with the payments industry and enable the private sector to build new businesses based on digital euro-related services.

A digital euro would also be an emblem of the ongoing process of European integration and ultimately help to unify Europe’s digital economies.

Crypto-assets pose risks

But what about bitcoin or other crypto-assets that have been trying to gain a foothold in the digital payments space and to anchor trust in their technology?

Innovations like distributed ledger technology (DLT), in particular blockchain (which is at the core of crypto-assets such as bitcoin), bring both new opportunities and new risks.

Transactions between peers occur directly, with no need for a trusted third-party intermediary. The trust that is usually inherent in a transaction is replaced by cryptographic proofs and the security and integrity of records is ensured by DLT, which avoids the “double-spending” problem. Nevertheless, trust is not entirely dispensable.

The main risk lies in relying purely on technology and the flawed concept of there being no identifiable issuer or claim. This also means that users cannot rely on crypto-assets maintaining a stable value: they are highly volatile, illiquid and speculative, and so do not fulfil all the functions of money.[8]

Recently, we have seen the emergence of stablecoins, which try to solve crypto-assets’ problem of a lack of stability and trust by pegging their assets to stable and trusted fiat money issued by States.[9] And the issuers of “global” stablecoins, which target a global footprint, further aim to introduce their own payment schemes and clearing and settlement arrangements.[10]

Although stablecoins could drive additional innovation in payments and be well integrated into social media, trade and other platforms, they pose serious risks.

If widely adopted, they could threaten financial stability and monetary sovereignty. For instance, if the issuer cannot guarantee a fixed value or if they are perceived as being incapable of absorbing losses, a run could occur. Additionally, using stablecoins as a store of value could trigger a large shift of bank deposits to stablecoins, which may have an impact on banks’ operations and the transmission of monetary policy.[11]

Stablecoins, particularly those backed by global technology firms (the “big techs”), could also present risks to competitiveness and technological autonomy in Europe, as they would attempt to leverage their competitive advantage and control of large platforms. Their dominant positions may harm competition and consumer choice, and raise concerns over data privacy and the misuse of personal information.[12]

“Money is memory”

In general, end users prioritise ease of use and smooth integration with other apps or services, and therefore welcome new solutions in exchange for providing their personal data. Public authorities are open to innovation and are prepared to act as catalysts for change, while implementing appropriate policy measures to ensure this innovation helps consumers rather than hindering them.

Payment providers and their payment solutions must be subject to appropriate regulation and oversight – in accordance with the principle of “same business, same risks, same rules” – to protect users and safeguard the stability of the economy against new risks that even go beyond financial ones.

Some say that “money is memory”[13], and it seems that this memory is becoming increasingly digital. But consumers’ digital data and records must not be misused. The abuse of personal information for commercial or other purposes could endanger privacy and harm competition. These and other potential risks are being assessed by the Eurosystem and European institutions.

At the same time, public authorities must balance the benefits and risks of innovation in payments and be prepared to take a leading role in ensuring that payments remain efficient, safe and inclusive in the digital age.

As the economy continues to evolve and new expectations about the nature of money emerge, the Eurosystem must be ready to respond and ensure that European payments adapt to changing consumer preferences and remain inclusive and efficient.

Despite all the changes I have mentioned, the foundations of money remain intact. People accept money only if it is highly trusted, maintains its value and respects privacy – an aspect that is becoming increasingly important in the digital age. These foundations have been and will continue to be found in central bank money, irrespective of the form it takes in the future.[1]Bindseil, U. (2019), Central Banking before 1800: A Rehabilitation, Oxford University Press; Le Goff, J. (2010), Le Moyen Age et l’argent, Perrin.[2]Article 128(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.[3]ECB (2020), “Payments statistics: 2019”, 11 September.[4]ECB (2020), “Impact of the pandemic on cash trends (IMPACT)”, forthcoming.[5]Petralia, K., Philippon, T., Rice, T. and Véron, N. (2019), “Banking Disrupted? Financial Intermediation in an Era of Transformational Technology”, Geneva Reports on the World Economy, No 22, International Center for Monetary and Banking Studies and Centre for Economic Policy Research, 24 September.[6]ECB (2020), “Report on a digital euro”, October.[7]ECB (2020), “Public consultation on a digital euro: public consultation (questionnaire)”, October.[8]ECB Crypto Assets Task Force (2019), “Crypto-Assets: Implications for financial stability, monetary policy, and payments and market infrastructures”, Occasional Paper Series, No 223, ECB, May.[9]ECB Crypto Assets Task Force (2020), “Stablecoins: Implications for monetary policy, financial stability, market infrastructure and payments, and banking supervision in the euro area”, Occasional Paper Series, No 247, ECB, September.[10]G7 Working Group on Stablecoins (2019), “Investigating the impact of global stablecoins”, October.[11]See footnote 9 and Panetta, F. (2020), “The two sides of the (stable)coin”, speech at Il Salone dei Pagamenti 2020, 4 November.[12]G7 Working Group on Stablecoins (2019), “Investigating the impact of global stablecoins”, October; Panetta, F. (2020), ibid.[13]Kocherlakota, N. (1998), “Money Is Memory”, Journal of Economic Theory, Vol. 81, No 2, pp. 232-251.

eToro FX broker announced has just added IOTA for trading

Now available for trading on eToro, the IOTA coin is another interesting addition to the platform’s ever-growing selection of crypto. With multiple uses as an Internet of Things (IoT) platform and quite a bit of attention from the blockchain and cryptocurrency communities, IOTA presents an alluring trading and investing opportunity to some.

What is IOTA?

IOTA is a platform designed for enabling fast communication and transactions for IoT platforms. As more household items, cars and other products become connected devices, the need for a reliant protocol to mediate between them is on the rise. For example, in the near future, a smart fridge could “sense” that you are running low on orange juice and autonomously order more from your grocery store. This scenario requires a platform that could both relay the messages between the machines and take care of the financial aspect of the transaction.

And that is what IOTA is trying to do. Its Tangle technology enables multiple devices to communicate on a vast network that actually becomes stronger as it grows. Unlike traditional blockchain platforms, IOTA does not have miners, or specific nodes that verify transactions, but rather, each device that processes a new transaction is first required to verify a previous one and register it in a public ledger. The network’s overall processing power actually grows as more devices join it, while in most other blockchains, more network members could lead to latency and growing transaction processing times.

The creators of IOTA set out to make a network that has no transaction fees and is extremely scalable. Its unique architecture is designed to do just that, using the process described above. Moreover, since to buy a single IOTA token would cost fractions of a cent, it is quite easy to process even the smallest of payments (microtransactions) – another important feature for an IoT platform.

IOTA vs Bitcoin: Main differences

IOTA is quite different than other cryptos. To highlight these differences, here are a few key factors that separate it from the world’s first cryptocurrency, Bitcoin:

  1. Scalability: Bitcoin relies on a blockchain network, which requires miners to process transactions. These miners compete amongst themselves to be the first to make the calculations necessary to approve the transaction and the winner earns a small fee in return. With its Tangle architecture, IOTA eliminated the need for miners by making each device responsible for processing its own transaction and the one requested by the device before it. This minimises transaction times and accelerates the network’s speed as it grows.
  2. Microtransactions: Each Bitcoin is worth quite a bit, with its value reaching thousands of dollars. Therefore, it is counterproductive to use it for transactions which require a small amount of money, as the transaction fees could outweigh the price of the services or goods exchanged. In contrast, a single IOTA is valued at fractions of a cent, so it is easy to use it to make small transactions (such as the orange juice example used earlier). In fact, those wondering how to buy IOTA will find that the IOTA coin price is so insignificant, that exchanges trade it in units of millions (MIOTA).
  3. Quantum computing resistance: While there are still no functional quantum computers in existence, the scientific community is mostly in agreement that they will eventually be introduced, with computing power that is massively greater than that of current computers. While, to this day, no blockchain network has ever been hacked, it is presumed that a quantum computer used by malicious entities could theoretically do so. However, IOTA founders claim that they designed their network in such a way that is much more resilient to such an attack.

What drives IOTA’s price?

Being both a cryptocurrency and an IoT platform, the IOTA chart is subject to various factors that can move it in any direction. For example, if the entire crypto market is on an upward trend, it could lift the IOTA price as well – and vice versa. In contrast, if the market is on a downtrend due to a negative perception of blockchain platforms, that could potentially be beneficial for IOTA, since it is not a blockchain platform per se.




On the IoT front, developments relating to the industry, its adoption by a popular sector, or events relating specifically to IOTA, such as a partnership with a high-profile company, could also influence its price. In addition, IOTA’s infrastructure is entirely original, not relying on any previous blockchain/cryptocurrency code. While this could be perceived as an advantage, there have been times when criticism of the platform impacted IOTA’s price.

Trading IOTA on eToro

Since being launched in 2015, the IOTA cryptocurrency has gathered a following and established itself as one of a handful of cryptos whose market caps are in the billions. Making its way into the top 10 ranking, IOTA is popular among many traders and investors. Now, IOTA is also part of eToro’s cryptocurrency selection, and traders and investors of the eToro community can add it to their portfolios.