Blockchain and Bitcoin round-up: 19 June 2017 » Banking Technology

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Don’t let the blocks cause you too much mental blockage. Our latest blockchain and Bitcoin round-up keeps it ultra-brief. Featuring Ayondo, XBT Provider, Xapo and the European Commission.

Financial services firm Ayondo has expanded its product portfolio with the launch of Bitcoin trading, offering access to price movement without the need to open an e-wallet to make purchases. The digital currency can now be traded via its spread betting / contract for difference (CFD) trading. The firm reminds people these are “high risk investments”. Bitcoin is also available to signal providers on the firm’s social trading platform WeTrade.

Raza Perez, chief product officer at Ayondo, says: “In times of low volatility at the financial markets, the high variation in price offers an excellent trading opportunity.”

Xapo is watching

Xapo is watching

Sweden-based XBT Provider, which offers “Europe’s only exchange traded Bitcoin note”, says it has surpassed $100 million in assets under management and is announcing partnerships with Xapo, a cryptocurrency custodian. Because of the deal, Bitcoin held in cold storage on behalf of investors in XBT Provider’s ETN will now be secured.

Security and legitimacy in the cryptocurrency world has been an issue for a while. One example – of many – is the massive 2014 JP Morgan Chase data breach. Earlier this year, a New Jersey pastor (who doesn’t sound very pious) and a Florida software programmer were found guilty of helping launder virtual currency that was obtained from drug sales and ransomware hacks.

Finally, better late than never, the European Commission (EC) has launched its “#Blockchain4EU Blockchain for Industrial Transformations”. The European Union’s (EU) Policy Lab will explore existing, emerging and potential applications based on blockchain and other distributed ledger technologies (DLTs) for industrial/non-financial sectors.

The project’s main goal is to identify, discuss and communicate possible uses from supply chains and assets monitoring, to intellectual property rights and authentication or certification. It will assess risks and opportunities within EU industrial and business contexts, with key focus on SMEs, innovation and competitiveness.