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Author Archives: Thom Thompson

About Author

Thom Thompson is a derivatives specialist who has worked in regulatory roles for the CFTC, the Chicago Board of Trade, The Clearing Corporation, Swiss Exchange and Eurex and is currently working with JLN on our CryptoMarketsWiki.

Look Who’s Talking Standard

Last week many of us were surprised to hear EF Hutton talk again – Wow! They exist? – when Hutton issued three press releases over eight days. Hutton has emerged as potentially much cooler, socially conscious version of a money machine and not just because the money takes the form of cryptocurrency. It seems that Hutton’s brand had been hanging out somewhere deep in Citigroup until half a dozen years ago when it was resurrected and sent out to fare on its own. EF Hutton today is a broker dealer unit of HUTN, Inc. Based in Springfield, Ohio, HUTN’s CEO…

A Couple of Takes on the Voice of Blockchain Conference Standard

A few folks from JLN attended the Voice of Blockchain Conference at Navy Pier this past Friday and Saturday. Here are some observations from two of them: Sarah Rudolph: The Voice of Blockchain event at Navy Pier was big – at least, the room where it was held was enormous, with the microphones on each stage just loud enough to drown out the echo from the microphones on the other stages. There was perhaps an overabundance of stages and topics from which to choose, but there were some interesting speakers as well as startup companies with vendor booths. Denny Chared…

Report from the International Blockchain Congress Standard

The second International Blockchain Congress (IBC) took place on Friday at the Aon Center in Chicago. Topics ranged from crypto trading to smart contracts to the regulations surrounding ICOs. While the Congress was run much more efficiently than the first version, which fell hours behind schedule, this iteration saw much less in the way of attendance and speakers from outside the U.S.  That said, a couple of speakers from Asia shed interesting light on cryptocurrency markets that those in the West rarely see or understand. Highlights from IBC included: Panel: Crypto Trading 2018 Somewhat surprisingly, the Crypto Trading panel actually…

Crypto and the Law at IIT Blockchain Conference Standard

It used to be said that August was a quiet month for the markets – but apparently no one told that to the boosters of blockchain and cryptoassets, at least in Chicago. The month of August 2018 has no fewer than three significant conferences, each with its own special flavor, kicking off with “Block (Legal) Tech: A conference about the future of the law” on August 9. Hosted by the Law Lab at Illinois Tech Chicago-Kent College of Law and FinTEx, the event gathered experienced lawyers in the cryptoasset space and regulators for a day-long look at the past, present…

JLN Profile: George Gero’s long winding road through the futures industry Standard

George Gero started out as a floor clerk on the New York Stock Exchange in 1959. He has been a witness to the growth and changes in the markets over the years, becoming a member of NYMEX, COMEX, the American Stock Exchange and PHLX later on.  In this John Lothian News Profile, Gero talks about some of the changes he has witnessed, and participated in, throughout his long history in the markets, from the birth of the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil contract on NYMEX, through decimalization and of course the technology revolution, which changed the entire culture of…

EU Parliament and ECB Taking a Look At Cryptocurrencies Standard

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Last week, which admittedly was a slow financial markets news week, headlines in the cryptocurrency press announced that a new EU report told officials not to ban bitcoin. Blockchain News said the report “. . . blasts economists who criticize cryptocurrencies.”  There was no blasting. While the report prepared by an EU policy department did provide some sound bites, it was one of five reports about central bank monetary policy toward virtual currencies that the EU Parliament had requested. If the briefing papers do guide the discussions, there is no reason to expect shifts in today’s slowly evolving bank regulatory…

FinTank WealthTech Chicago Event Standard

FinTank, the Chicago-based fintech incubator, extended its recent run of successful financial conferences, this time teaming with Morningstar to take a look at the changing landscape of wealth management at WealthTech 2018. Topics covered included robo-advising and AI, but the meat of the material focused on the area of cryptocurrencies, with separate panels on crypto exchanges and ICOs. As is so often the case with panel discussions on these types of topics, there were tempting tidbits of information and some interesting observations but a lack of clarity and cohesion in the final analysis. You simply can’t do a complex and…

Rumi Morales Announces Joining Outlier Ventures at “Launch, Lunch & Learn” Standard

Rumi Morales, the former head of CME Ventures, is now a partner at the London-based blockchain investment company Outlier Ventures. She and Jamie Burke, the CEO of Outlier, announced the news and spoke about the company’s plans Wednesday to a packed room at the Connectory in Chicago’s Merchandise Mart. Morales will head up Outlier Ventures’ Chicago branch, which the company expects to be a launch pad for expansion into the rest of the U.S. She and Burke said they are looking 3-5 years ahead of what’s going on in crypto and other technology right now, and are focused on the…

More Exchange News for Today Standard

CME to add options for Black Sea grain futures Reuters Staff CME Group is to introduce options contracts for its Black Sea wheat and corn futures as it seeks to further develop the derivatives targeting a major export zone. https://goo.gl/177vT9 Nasdaq Commodities to Launch European Spot Market Nasdaq, Inc. STOCKHOLM, Sweden, June 26, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Nasdaq (Nasdaq:NDAQ) Commodities today announced a plan to offer Day Ahead Auction Markets for Electricity in Germany, France and the Nordics alongside the existing Power Futures contracts. The implementation of Capacity Allocation & Congestion Management (CACM) aims at promoting effective competition in the…