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Brexit: What does it mean for financial markets to be open?

Speech by Andrew Bailey, Chief Executive of the FCA, at City Week ‘The International Financial Services Forum’. regarding Brexit, UK and EU authorities, and more. Highlights  Now is the time for the UK and EU authorities to come together and work on the solutions to reduce the risks to financial stability that Brexit could pose. At the FCA we want to work closely with ESMA and national EU regulators to continue to enhance the stability and effectiveness of global markets. This has global implications, not just for the UK and EU, so it is important that we get this right. Below is the speech as drafted:  I want to take this opportunity to talk about Brexit, where things stand from a financial services perspective. In doing so, I will focus on what it means to have open markets, and how we can preserve them for the benefit of all. It is useful to divide the subject into 2 parts: the prospects and reasons for a transition or implementation period; and what the steady-state future world could look like. I will follow that approach today. Before I do, I will make one point: we – that’s the UK and the European Union (EU27) - will not be able to achieve a successful outcome during both transition and steady-state without working together. Now is the time for the UK and EU authorities to come together and work on the solutions to reduce the risks to financial stability that Brexit could pose. At the FCA we want to work closely with European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) and national EU regulators to continue to enhance the stability and effectiveness of global markets. This has global implications, not just for the UK and EU, so it is important that we get this right. Transition or implementation period There are 2 reasons in my view why we need a transition or implementation period. First, we need more time to mitigate these cliff edge risks – call that the transition reason. Second, it makes far more sense for firms and authorities to put into effect their plans only once they know what the steady agreement looks like – call that the implementation reason.I welcome the agreement at the European Council on 23 March 2018 that there should be a transition or implementation period. UK withdrawal from the EU without such an agreement would create risks for both the UK and the EU27 of a so called cliff edge - which we should all want to avoid. The UK Government, supported by regulators, has taken a strong and very welcome stand on the need for a transition or implementation period, and I am encouraged by the acceptance of this point on both sides. This matters in financial services because the risks around contract continuity, data sharing, and broader market disruption could jeopardise financial stability, the preservation of which is a shared objective of both sides. If you want to know more about these risks, there is a useful description in the statement of the Bank of England’s Financial Policy Committee following its most recent meeting in March. The cliff edge risks are symmetric in that they are present in both the UK and the EU. To reiterate, regulators and authorities in the UK and the EU share common objectives to preserve financial stability, and we have a common obligation to do everything we can and work together to do that. Financial stability is far too important to engage in a standoff. I do recognise that the overall transition or implementation package is viewed as indivisible and that there remain issues to be agreed on it which are outside the area of financial services. But that does not stop authorities both here and in the EU working together to mitigate the cliff edge risks, even if we do not yet have a final agreement on what these arrangements will be. The best thing we can all do now is to engage openly and speedily together to work on solving these issues and thus to preserve financial stability and protect consumers and users of financial markets. By doing this, we can create confidence that we will put into effect as smooth a transition as possible. We are ready to get to work on this. And, I would echo the words of Vice President Dombrovskis, namely that the ‘most important common objective in relation to Brexit must be to preserve financial stability’. But for the moment we cannot assume that such arrangements will be in place and so the UK authorities have also set out plans for unilateral action in the UK to minimise cliff edge risks, providing continuity for firms doing business in the UK and confidence for their customers. The Government has committed to legislating for a temporary permissions regime. I welcome this, something that has been a priority for the FCA for some time as we believe that this provides certainty for firms which passport into the UK from the EU. Alongside this, we are working to ensure a functional regulatory framework on day one of Brexit and as much continuity as possible in any scenario. Crucial to this is the very large amount of work we are undertaking on the EU withdrawal legislation. But – and it is a big ‘but’ – while it is necessary to have unilateral actions in place for the UK, this is nonetheless a distinctly second best solution to the UK and EU authorities working together to deal with the risks. Let’s get on with it please. The steady-state ‘All merchants are to be safe and secure in leaving and entering England, and in staying and travelling in England ……… to buy and sell free from all maletotes [unjust taxes] by the ancient and rightful customs’.Dealing with the transition will allow us collectively to focus on the steady-state future. The central guiding principle here must surely be that both the UK and the EU have a long history of promoting free trade and open markets. Open markets run deep in the history of the City of London - in fact as deep as you can get. The third Mayor of London, Serlo le Mercer, was a signatory of the Magna Carta in 1215 which stated that:- His successor, William Hardell was responsible for enforcing it, the predecessor of the FCA’s enforcement function. On day one of Brexit the UK and the EU will have deeply integrated financial markets with aligned regulatory rules. That is a benefit to both sides. Moreover, the benefits of open markets are worth preserving. And we can do it. We can together build an approach that supports mutual recognition of each other’s standards to support cross-border business. To reiterate the point I made on transition, this is the best way to maintain financial stability. Unfortunately, I have heard the argument made that the best way to preserve financial stability would be to become less open, to limit cross border flows of business, to restrict domestic parties from having access to overseas markets, and thus to ensure that activity takes place in the home jurisdiction. Let me reiterate, to do this means restricting the activity of parties in the EU. I say this because I have no doubt that the City of London will remain open to business, so the question is whether EU parties will be allowed to do business here, not whether we will allow it. In my view, closing access to financial markets which are global not regional will undermine not enhance financial stability. It will reduce the potential for financial markets to support growth and trade, impair innovation and limit the ability to manage risk, and thus make the overall financial system more fragile. Moreover, closing off access to markets by not recognising on a robust basis other jurisdictions amounts to an own goal from the perspective of choice and competition. This has been recognised in a draft report from the European Parliament by Brian Hayes MEP, which notes that increased regulatory and supervisory cooperation between the EU and third countries has improved global consistency and made the EU more resilient to financial shocks. The report also notes that unlike equivalence, international agreements can provide mutual access between the EU and third countries which can better advance international cooperation. For example, equivalence decisions in the derivatives and trading space have allowed European banks to service clients across the world and EU investors to access pools of liquidity anywhere in the world.Yes. I agree. Equivalence decisions and even better mutual recognition, increase choice and competition in home markets. They are good for users. The EU has already made over 200, and continues to make equivalence decisions which demonstrate this. UK markets are highly open and have remained so notwithstanding the experiences of the crisis. It would have been tempting to retreat from such openness following the crisis, but it would have been the wrong thing to do. In the UK we already have a policy for branches from non-EU countries in the UK which allows them to establish under certain sensible criteria. One of the less well known features of the UK regime is the Overseas Person Exclusion which allows overseas firms to provide services to UK based clients on a range of wholesale business without the need to set up a branch. We think approaches like this are a sensible and proportionate way to support stable global financial markets. It is underpinned by close supervisory cooperation which we have been strong advocates for and practitioners of. I agree with Brian Hayes MEP that the current EU equivalence regime doesn’t best suit any of the parties. Mutual recognition, as he suggests, would be the better way to establish the steady-state between the UK and the EU in future. How could mutual recognition work?  We can start by recognising that our regulatory frameworks are equivalent on day one of Brexit. This will be delivered, no doubt about that. Both the UK and the EU will retain autonomy in rule making, but we should put in place cooperation and coordination structures that work to keep them materially consistent. For instance, at the FCA we want to work closely with ESMA and national EU regulators to promote common standards in international fora in order to enhance the stability and effectiveness of global markets. Our supervisory cooperation should be commensurate with the integration of our markets. We should always base our rules on prevailing international standards. Continued alignment with such standards should be a clear intended outcome of any responsible financial centre, and where rules implement international standards, there should be a strong presumption of equivalence. On this basis, mutual recognition seems to be to be eminently achievable. And, to be clear, this is not cherry picking, because that phrase gets used rather loosely at times. It is in fact the opposite.But international standards are not always sufficiently detailed, and in some cases jurisdictions may wish to go further, and expect that firms operating in their market do likewise. As our rules evolve, we should regularly assess the differences on the basis of the outcomes they deliver. It should be possible to develop a set of principles by which we assess outcomes based equivalence, and that these work across the financial services landscape. It should give both sides comfort about risks, critically in terms of risks to our goals of financial stability, market integrity, consumer protection and competition. And, it should not promote regulatory arbitrage. Conclusion I am encouraged that there are now fewer comments to the effect that financial services cannot feature in the steady-state agreement between the UK and the EU. They can and they should because the benefits of open markets will be realised by both sides. And, it is the best way to ensure financial stability, the integrity of markets, the protection of consumers, and competition and choice. These are the key public interest objectives for all of us, here and in the EU27. Meanwhile, we have to work together now to mitigate the immediate cliff edge risks. I’ll say again, now is the time for the UK and EU authorities to come together and work on the solutions to reduce the risks to financial stability that Brexit could pose.

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How To Find the Next Bitcoin, Ethereum And Ripple

 Bitcoin, Ehereum, Ripple, Litecoin and a few other high visible cryptocurrencies have made early investors very rich, very quickly. If you were lucky enough to buy Bitcoin early on, the chances are that you are retired now. No other investment in the world performed like BTC over the las few years and those that saw the revolution coming are now multi-millionaires. However, this doesn't mean that investors will not look into the next lucky coin while the crypto craze lasts. Below are the tips for finding the best new cryptocurrencies of 2018: PRICE Look for cryptocurrencies trading at less than a dollar. There are couple of reasons why to look the cheaper prices. One of them is that a price below a dollar creates the illusion that the cryptocurrency is "cheap", especially for investors with little funds to invest. Another, is that smaller numbers can more easily double and triple than larger numbers can. If you do use this tactic it is important to spready your risk by investing in a number of cryptos and not just one.  CRYPTOCURRENCY ADAPTATION One thing you should do is to check cryptocurrency websites to asses which coins are most promising. You want to choose ones that have the best chance of being adopted as a currency. By doing this, you can estimate the "intrinsic" value of each coin, once it reaches a certain level of adoption or a set level. FOLLOW COMMUNITIES Check Reddit groups or any other social media groups and follow such communities that consist of "innovators" and "early adopters". See which ones everyone is talking about and use it to help guide you to the ones you should investigate before buying.  HIGH CIRCULATED SUPPLY Look for cryptocurrencies with a high circulated supply versus the maximum supply. The reason is obvious: These cryptocurrencies are more likely to rise in price with rising demand, as there's little supply left to match it. PRICE CHARTS It is also important to check volume and price charts. You want to consider cryptocurrencies with a char of accelerating price and volume growth, as this kind og chat is a confirmation of momentum for these currencies.   Following these tips should be taken with extreme caution. If you will invest be cautious as it is a risky game and it's hard to predict when the hype will fade and coins will become near-worthless.   

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Admiral Markets warns against of fraudulent clone website admiral-cyrpto.com

FCA regulated Retail FX and CFDs broker Admiral Markets UK LTD, has issued a warning on its website, regarding a company calling itself Admiral Crypto at website domain admiral-crypto.com The clone entity site is in French and English and claims to offer cryptocurrency trading services and also claims to be an entity of Admiral Markets UK, Ltd and states that is subject to UK regulatory supervision also making reference to the actual website of Admiral Markets UK Ltd.   See the official warning on Admiral Markets Ltd 

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European Securities and Markets Authority, has issued EU Regulator ESMA Cryptocurrency Risks Warning for investors

The European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) for securities (ESMA), banking (EBA) and insurance and pensions (EIOPA) have made an announcement for consumers regarding the risks of buying cryptocurrencies.   The ESAs are concerned that an increasing number of consumers are buying VCs unaware of the risks involved. VCs such as Bitcoin, are subject to extreme price volatility and have shown clear signs of a pricing bubble and consumers buying VCs should be aware that there is a high risk that they will lose a large amount, or even all, of the money invested.   Additionally, VCs and exchanges where consumers can trade are not regulated under EU law, which means that consumers buying VCs do not benefit from any protection associated with regulated financial services. For example, if a VC exchange goes out of business or consumers have their money stolen because their VC account is subject to a cyber-attack; there is no EU law that would cover their losses. Some VC exchanges have been subject to severe operational problems in the past. During these disruptions, consumers have been unable to buy and sell VCs when they wanted to and have suffered losses due to price fluctuations during the period of disruption. ESMA ICO WARNING The ESMA states that this warning is based on article 9(3) of the three ESas' founding Regulations. It also serves as a message following the statement by the EU regulator from November 2017 about ICO risks.  

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Banco Santander Prepares to Roll Out Personal Payments via Ripple Network

Banco Santander has set a Q1 2018 launch date for the introduction of same day mobile international payments for personal customers using Ripple's distributed ledger technology. A spokesperson for the bank noted: “We plan to launch this in the coming months, and we can confirm in the registry that we plan to use xCurrent in the project. We expect to be one of the first global banks to roll out distributed ledger technology based payments for individuals.” Santander plans to introduce the application in four countries simultaneously while promising full transparency on fees and FX upfront. For now, the app will only be made available in the UK, Spain, Poland, and Brazil. With this new application, the bank’s customers will have easy and less expensive cross-border payments on the same day in less than a minute. The app also comes with a digital wallet, a personal finance manager and is designed to help with payments between people, no matter their location. In November, the UK arm of the bank also announced plans to work with American Express to use Ripple's tech for blockchain-enabled cross-border business-to-business payments.

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Singapore Will not Ban Cryptocurrencies

Singapore Will not Ban Cryptocurrencies, according to the latest commentary of Tharman Shanmugaratnan, the deputy prime minister and minister in charge of regulatory body the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). “Cryptocurrencies are an experiment. The number and different forms of cryptocurrencies is growing internationally. It is too early to say if they will succeed,” Shanmugaratnam said. “If some do succeed, their full implications will also not be known for some time,” the deputy prime minister said in a written answer to questions from members of parliament on banning the trading of bitcoin or cryptocurrency. “The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has been closely studying these developments and the potential risks they pose. As of now, there is no strong case to ban cryptocurrency trading here.”

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Windsor Brokers Announced their New Logo and Look

At BrokersWatch.com we first learned that Windsor Brokers, a Cypriot Forex Broker was planning to change their logo and look as the year 2018 marks their 30th anniversary in Forex industry. Today, Windsor Brokers is unveiling its new brand identity which builds on the company’s image and creates a modern look and feel for the broker. The new brand identity is a part of their 30th anniversary which was the perfect time to transform their look and reflect on their industry position as a leading broker, company said. The brand uplift - compromising of a new logo and revamped online presence- reflects Windsor’s rich history, long-standing values of trust and transparency as well as its brand’s dynamic future. The striking new logo is simple, bold and clean, with the deep sky blue and clean white colour choices reflecting Windsor’s values of security, strength and transparency. In addition, the interlinking of the W and B letters was chosen to symbolise the connection between Windsor’s strong past and its dynamic future. In order to celebrate the concept of “launch” they have quite literally sent their new logo into outer space and show the new heights that they aim to reach. An event held in Company’s premises, with the 120-strong team gathering to watch the logo’s space launch followed by a gala dinner. Windsor CEO, Johny Abuaitah stated: “This is a very important day for us. Today, we’re celebrating the new Windsor, a Company with history, a Company that has developed and evolved to become one that’s ready to take it to the next level.” Asked about the branding transformation Marketing Manager Sam Prath commented: “That same company that was established 30 years ago with the objective of facilitating investors access to the financial markets in a safe and ethical manner is the same one here today. Proud of our rich history and never compromising our values and clients, we felt that in line with our 30-year celebrations the timing was right for this positive visual transformation. Windsor’s next chapter begins, complete with a fresh, bold new logo and a revamped online presence, all customised for the digital era, and most importantly, for the next generation of traders.” The company said that their 30-year celebrations will be continuing throughout 2018 with more events and promotions. Watch their logo launch into outer space: Some screenshots from their site:        

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Bitcoin continues sinking down - $6000 is within reach

Cryptocurrencies are diving again on Tuesday, extending a slump that began in earnest at the start of January. Bitcoin briefly fell below $6,000 at around 8.00 a.m. GMT (3.00 a.m. ET) for the first time since mid-November. Hussein Sayed, chief market strategist at FXTM, said on Tuesday morning:  "The most famous digital currency has fallen 69% from December’s record high, and almost 56% from the start of the year." Ethereum, litecoin, bitcoin cash, and ripple are all posting double-digit percentage losses on Tuesday morning. The latest sell-off follows reports in the last week that have raised worries about increased regulation, hackers and potential price manipulation at a major cryptocurrency exchange. On Friday, J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America and Citigroup also said they have decided to ban cryptocurrency purchases by their credit card customers. SEC Chairman Jay Clayton said investors should remain cautious about investing in cryptocurrencies and gave an overview of the commission's efforts so far. Scoreboard: Bitcoin is down 11.1% to $6,131.33. Ethereum is down 15.8% to $582.03. Litecoin is down 13% to $108.40. Bitcoin Cash is down 10.6% to $785.79. Ripple is down 11.7% to $0.60.

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FXTM received a licence from FCA

FXTM announced that they have been granted a licence with the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and will be ready to operate in the coming weeks under FCA license no. 777911. It is worth mentioning that FXTM is authorized and regulated by a number of regulators, including CySEC in the EU and the FSB in South Africa.  Martin Couper, Director of Forextime UK Limited, says: “In an environment where regulators are putting compliance and client communications in financial services under the spotlight, we are extremely proud to have met the high standards required by the FCA” “We are pleased that this licence will give our traders the peace of mind that comes with knowing that they are dealing with a fully compliant and internationally regulated broker”, the company said.

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Lloyds Bank bans credit card customers from buying bitcoin

Lloyds Banking Group becomes the first major lender in the UK to ban the buying of cryptocurrencies using its credit cards. The Telegraph reports that Lloyds will tell its 9 million credit card holders that attempts to buy digital currencies will be blocked. Debit card transactions will not be blocked according to the report.  The move will impact customers of: Lloyds Bank Halifax Bank of Scotland and credit card firm MBNA All of the above firms are under the Lloyds umbrella.  A spokesman for Lloyds said the decsions was made to "protect customers"  from making unaffordable losses on Bitcoin. JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Citigroup have already announced similar bans. The price of bitcoin is back below the $8,000 level on Monday, roughly 2.5% lower in early morning European trading.

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Samsung Produces Cryptocurrency Mining Chips

Samsung has confirmed that it has begun manufacturing ASIC chips which are used to mine bitcoin, ether and other cryptocurrencies. “Samsung’s foundry business is currently engaged in the manufacturing of cryptocurrency mining chips. However we are unable to disclose further details regarding our customers." These chips are known as ASICs, or application-specific integrated circuits. ASICs are processors that have been specially designed for a single computational task, as opposed to the multi-purpose processors we use in computers and phones. It's not clear exactly what sort of products Samsunga will be making, but according to reports from Korean media, it’ll be working with Taiwanese firm TSMC. The company currently supplies chips for a number of firms set up solely to mine cryptocurrencies, including the China-based Bitmain. Meeting the demand for these chips has added around $350 million to $400 million to its quarterly revenue, says TSMC.            

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MetaQuotes just announced that it has added the functionality of using third-party Anti-DDoS services

MetaQuotes just announced that it has added the functionality of using third-party Anti-DDoS services. The new Anti DDoS Proxy Server component, allows brokers to shift the burden of blocking unwanted connections, to a third-party vendor’s server network. When using an Anti DDoS Proxy Server, all clients are connected to the provider's public access points, instead of being connected directly to the access servers. Unwanted connections are sorted out in the provider's own network of servers, while legitimate connections from real clients, are forwarded to the access servers. The broker's infrastructure is practically not affected.  Akamai Technologies, is one of the world's largest infrastructure companies, offering a portfolio of cloud security solutions. The provider's massively distributed platform, is unparalleled in scale, with over 200,000 servers across 130 countries, thus providing customers with a superior performance and with a superior threat protection. “By leveraging Akamai’s massive global network as a defensive shield, MetaTrader 5 will now be able to immediately bolster the protection of its clients from DDoS attacks", says Mr Josh Shaul, Vice President of Web Security, Akamai Technologies. "Our tools allow stopping attackers long before they are able to reach the MetaTrader 5 systems or clients”.

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Overstock.com and tZERO Advisors Launch Robo-Advisor Digital Investment Platform

Overstock.com has introduced a digital investment advice platform on its FinanceHub, bringing robo-advice into the online retail space.  “This service introduces robo-advising investment management services to our millions of customers and continues Overstock’s commitment to bridging Wall Street and e-commerce,” said Patrick M. Byrne, Overstock’s founder and CEO. “Overstock currently delivers world-class service and award-winning customer experiences to as many as 40 million unique visitors per month. They trust us with their home and, more recently, auto purchases,” continued Byrne. “We are excited about this new program that offers our customers the opportunity to bring artificial intelligence to their financial planning.” tZERO Advisors is powered by FusionIQ’s B2C investment platform. FusionIQ is an innovative fintech company that provides intelligent investment solutions that enable easy online investing. Investors can select from a group of pre-established Adaptive Dynamic Portfolios that are matched to their investment profile or can create a customized blend of these portfolios for a low-cost monthly fee of $9.95. The robust platform is driven by FusionIQ’s proprietary algorithms and scoring system that develop and rebalance the Adaptive Dynamic Portfolios based upon dynamic market factors.

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Facebook bans Cryptocurrency and ICO ads

Facebook announced its new advertising policy which bans ads that promote bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in an effort to protects its users from "financial products and services frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices." “We want people to continue to discover and learn about new products and services through Facebook ads without fear of scams or deception,” Robert Leathern, a Facebook product management director, said in a company blog post. “That said, there are many companies who are advertising binary options, ICOs and cryptocurrencies that are not currently operating in good faith.”‚Äč That means no advertiser — even those that operate legal, legitimate businesses — will be able to promote things like bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings — ICOs for short — or binary options, according to a Facebook blog post. "This policy is intentionally broad while we work to better detect deceptive and misleading advertising practices, and enforcement will begin to ramp up across our platforms including Facebook, Audience Network and Instagram," he wrote. "We will revisit this policy and how we enforce it as our signals improve."  

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Alpari launched a new Beta version of their new BinaryTrader platform

Alpari announced that they have launched a new version of our BinaryTrader platform for binary options trading. This version contains some significant upgrades to both the platform's design and functionality. The following features are now available in the new version of the platform: technical analysis indicators; charts showing an asset's price history; a market watch window (like in MetaTrader 4), where you can select an asset and a timeframe. The new version of the platform is here: myAlpari

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IronFX Changes Name to Notesco Financial Services

IronFX Changes Name to Notesco Financial Services following the $100,000 million investment from the Middle East company Gemini Financial Services.   IronFX CEO Markos A. Kassiouris said in a written statement that: "IronFX recently made a $ 100m strategic agreement with a Middle East institutional investor for capital growth and acquisitions in the industry. This is an important development that is expected to give new impetus and momentum to the company, further strengthening its market position ".   "Furthermore, it should be noted that the new investor will be joining the company’s Board of Directors. This investment is of decisive importance as it constitutes a vote of confidence in the company, on the one hand and in the long-term prospects of the Cyprus economy, on the other. This deal creates a new state of affairs and opens up new prospects with important benefits for the Cyprus economy”.

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Windsor Brokers informs clients of new logo change

BrokersWatch.com has learned that Windsor Brokers, a Cypriot forex broker that has been in business since 1988, is planning to change their logo. Clients were informed via an email message and were treated to a sneak preview of the new logo. The broker has no mention of this on its website and we guess that they are trying to be tight lipped about it and only chose to inform a very close circle of users. The announcement style is witty as it has a short video displaying the transition from the old to the new logo without further elaboration when and what it will actually be. At BrokerWatch we liked the announcement and the new look. We do not know when the new logo will be officially released, and if you are eager to see what it will be, here is the video that Windsor Brokers shared with users.  

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Alibaba Quietly Launched a Cryptocurrency Mining Platform

According to some new reports, Alibaba might be interested in entering the cryptocurrency mining market. A local media report claimed that the giant Chinese e-commerce and tech giant has launched a cryptocurrency mining platform. The news first reported by Tencent News (a Chinese local news agency that the new platform is called 'P2P Nodes' and that the platform was registered it on the 10th of October in Nanjing, the capital city of Jiangsu province. The report is quite curious considering that the founder of the company in the past said that cryptocurrency integration was not in Alibaba's plan. Furthermore, the company founder explained that Alibaba is not ready for cryptocurrencies. Even more so, the Chinese climate is not the best at the moment for new developments related to cryptocurrencies.  Chinese officials have banned cryptocurrency exchanges last year as a part of their overall negative cryptocurrency-related stance. Chinese authorities have revealed several plans to limit or ban certain aspects of the cryptocurrency market.

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BitConnect Platform Shuts Down Following Regulatory Warnings

BitConnect, the lending and exchange platform that was long suspected by many in the crypto community of being a Ponzi scheme, has announced it's shutting down.  The company, will close in 5 days according to their announced on its website published on Tuesday. “In short, we are closing lending service and exchange service while BitConnect.co website will operate for wallet service, news and educational purposes,” the post explained. The announcement blames a myriad of factors, perhaps most notably the "cease-and-desist" letters issued in recent days from regulators in Texas and North Carolina and continuous DDoS attacks on the platform.  “We have received two Cease and Desist letters, one from the Texas State Securities Board, and one from the North Carolina Secretary of State Securities Division,” the BitConnect team wrote. “These actions have become a hindrance for the legal continuation of the platform.” Their post also, blamed "bad press" that has "made community members uneasy and created a lack of confidence in the platform". Yet, BitConnect said that its in-progress initial coin offering (ICO) will continue and that it is building an alternative exchange for the BitConnect token. “This is not the end of this community, but we are closing some of the services on the website platform and we will continue offering other cyptocurrency[sic] services in the future,” the team wrote.   Source Image via BitConnect.    

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Admiral Markets is Introducing Free Credit Card Payments

Admiral Markets announced that deposits via credit card will now also be handled as cheaply as possible – 100% free! Starting from 15 January 2018, all credit card payments will be made absolutely free! Admiral Markets shared that has made this step because Forex and CFD order execution is usually counted in milliseconds, but deposits via bank may take up to three days. Further, reminds its clients that any deposits they make should only be used for trading activities.   Source