The Daily: EU Budgets €1M to Monitor Crypto, Wyoming Mulls Fintech Bank
The European securities and markets watchdog ESMA has dedicated over 1 million euros to finance the monitoring of developments in the crypto sector. Also in The Daily this Saturday, Wyoming legislators are working on a bill that would facilitate the provision of banking services to crypto and blockchain companies, and according to a new survey, Wall Street institutions are more optimistic about bitcoin than crypto community members active on social media.
ESMA Saves 1 Million Euros for Oversight of the Fintech Industry
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has set aside over one million euros that it intends to spend on monitoring activities related to cryptocurrencies and financial technologies. According to its Annual Work Program for 2019, the watchdog plans to closely follow trends in the crypto and fintech industry in order to identify problems and risks that may arise from financial innovations. The authority also wants to provide recommendations to market participants and consumers in that regard.
ESMA is responsible for ensuring compliance with the requirements of the Markets and Financial Instruments Directive of the European Union. Some of them concern the providers of instruments such as contracts-for-difference (CFDs) and binary options. The marketing and distribution of CFDs among retail investors is currently banned in the EU. Recently, the agency announced its decision to extend the restrictions applied to a number of financial derivatives, including CFDs, until the end of January.
Wyoming Bill Envisages the Creation of a Bank for Crypto Companies
Wyoming, one of the U.S. states with a generally crypto-friendly attitude, is working on another interesting project in support of the fintech industry. Members of the State Legislature have teamed up with financial experts to draft a legislation that would set the stage for the creation of a financial institution tasked to provide services to blockchain and crypto companies.
The group has been preparing a draft law to address the lack of adequate access to secure and reliable banking services these businesses are currently facing. According to the authors – senators, representatives and finance executives – this has so far hampered the development of blockchain services and products in the marketplace.
If adopted, the new bill would create conditions for the establishment of “special purpose depository institutions” (SPDIs). An SPDI can be licensed as a money transmitter in Wyoming and provide exchange services for both cryptocurrency and fiat funds. The bank-like organization would have to open a branch in the state and operate within the federal banking system.
According to the draft, this institution would be obliged to maintain a 100% cash reserve to match digital money accounts. Businesses would be required to hold a minimum balance of $100,000 in either fiat or cryptocurrency.
Institutions Think Bitcoin Has Bottomed, Survey Finds
Institutional investors are more optimistic about cryptocurrencies than members of the crypto community active on Twitter, according to a new survey conducted by Fundstrat. 25 institutions have been polled and their answers have been compared to the opinions of 9,500 users of the microblogging platform, CNBC reported.
Responding to the question, “When do you think bitcoin will bottom?”, 44% of the Twitter users said it had already hit its low, Fundstrat managing partner and head of research Tom Lee revealed. At the same time, 54% of the representatives of Wall Street financial institutions questioned in the survey believe the worst period for bitcoin prices is over.
According to Lee, institutional investors are more optimistic about the future levels of the price of BTC – 57% said bitcoin core would rise anywhere from $15,000 to “the moon” by the end of 2019. Only 40% of the polled Twitter bloggers, however, shared the same prediction.
Google Searches for Leading Cryptos Hit New Lows
Google Trends has detected that the general interest in cryptocurrencies continues to decrease. According to the available statistical data from the most popular search engine, the number of searches for the two leading digital coins by market capitalization, bitcoin core (BTC) and ethereum (ETH), has dropped to its lowest in the past 18 months. Compared to the highest score for the period (100), registered in December 2017, the frequency of searches for ‘bitcoin’ has gone down to just eight in the first week of October, 2018. The situation with ‘ethereum’ is pretty much identical. The findings coincide with a relative stabilization of crypto prices and a drop in investor activity.