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Financial news updates from John Lothian News.

A Grateful Scouter with a Big Silvery Beaver-Like Smile Standard

I was informed late last night that I am to be recognized for my contributions to Scouting with a Silver Beaver Award on behalf of Pathway to Adventure Council of the Boy Scouts of America. The Silver Beaver Award recognizes “registered Scouters of exceptional character who have provided distinguished service within a council.” I am honored to be recognized for my work on behalf of the Scouts, but this award is as much about you, the readers of this newsletter, and my creative and persistent use of the goodwill that you have showered on me for my work here. I…

Don’t Get the Munchees! A Lesson from the SEC Standard

The Securities & Exchange Commission (“SEC” or the “Commission”) has made good on its promise to pursue companies that engage in what it views as unregulated offerings of securities by way of initial coin offerings or “ICOs.” Specifically, the Commission recently pursued a company called “Munchee” that created an iPhone application for people to review restaurant meals. To fund the creation of its app, Munchee began an ICO seeking to raise $15 million and, in return, issue its token known as a “MUN.”  The company issued a white paper in connection with its ICO. In that document, Munchee indicated that…

Blockbuster – CME looks to increase back month activity in ag futures Standard

Twenty years ago, block trading of agricultural commodity futures never would have seen the light of day. There was no way the locals in the pit would have let block trades in corn or wheat or any of the other ag products happen. They would have demanded a piece of the action. Markets sure don’t look like they did two decades ago, though, and on Monday, block trades – large, privately negotiated trades executed off the floor or electronic market but cleared by the exchange – were executed in hogs, Black Sea wheat and urea fertilizer. Tuesday saw some corn…

Asia Pacific Financial News from John Lothian News – December 21, 2017 Standard

Lead Stories China to Shake Up Global Market With Yuan-Based Oil Futures Contract; Chinese traders, analysts expect start by early 2018 By Georgi Kantchev – WSJ China is preparing to launch its own yuan-based oil futures contract, a move set to shake up the 96 million barrel-per-day global crude market currently dominated by trading in London and New York. https://goo.gl/FMoxQ4 Cameron sold out more than China Bruno Maçães – The Royal Gazette When it was announced earlier this week that former British Prime Minister David Cameron had accepted a leadership role in a new $1 billion UK investment fund intended…

Seed CX Swaps Hemp For Cryptocurrencies Standard

Bittrex takes majority stake in Chicago fintech firm Seed CX. Bitcoin hit the derivatives mainstream, but what about its other crypto cohorts?   On Tuesday, it was announced that Bittrex, a U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange handling some $3 billion notional of transactions daily, took a majority stake in two-year-old Chicago fintech startup Seed CX for an undisclosed amount. Seed CX was originally launched with plans to trade industrial hemp derivatives on its CFTC-approved swap execution facility (SEF).   Now, Seed will apply its technology to spot and derivative crypto trading alongside corresponding settlement services for an institutional crowd. Notably, by using…

Asia Pacific Financial News from John Lothian News – December 20, 2017 Standard

Lead Stories Is Asia driving the Bitcoin craze? Karishma Vaswani – BBC But this, says Dexter Ng, is the workshop of the future. A self-professed cryptocurrency entrepreneur, he’s the chief technology officer of SG Mining – a business making and selling rigs. These are the powerful computers that solve complex mathematical problems in a process that earns their owners digital currencies such as Bitcoin. https://goo.gl/AaJZKt Smarter weapons needed to fight savvy financial criminals; With money laundering the fourth most common financial crime in Singapore, we need to step up collaboration DIVYA KHANGAROT – TNP Money laundering has existed for as…

Cash and Futures in Bitcoin Are a Different Story Standard

The high margins charged by the CME and Cboe for bitcoin futures, and the additional margins required by the futures commission merchants to trade the products, have turned the normal dynamics of futures trading versus cash trading upside down. With the CME charging 47 percent margins, and some firms charging double margins on bitcoin futures, the cost of trading is nearly 100 percent of the underlying contract value. Normally futures contracts allow traders to control higher notionally valued contracts for much lower margin amounts. Margins of 3 percent to 10 percent are the norm, depending on the commodity or instrument…

Asia Pacific Financial News from John Lothian News – December 19, 2017 Standard

Lead Stories South Korean cryptocurrency exchange to file for bankruptcy after hacking Reuters Staff A South Korean cryptocurrency exchange said on Tuesday it is shutting down and is filing for bankruptcy after it was hacked for the second time this year, highlighting concerns about security as trade in bitcoin and other virtual currencies boom. https://goo.gl/mmcpy4 China issues new code of conduct to tame overseas investors; New guidelines set out 36 dos and don’ts to bring order to booming sector Frank Tang – South China Morning Post Beijing has imposed a 36-point code of conduct for the country’s private enterprises to…

Asia Pacific Financial News from John Lothian News – December 18, 2017 Standard

Lead Stories Hong Kong Listings Rule Changes Set to Transform Market, Li Says By Benjamin Robertson and Rishaad Salamat – Bloomberg HKEX on Friday proposed allowing dual-class share companies; Profitability requirement for biotech companies also dropped Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd.’s proposal to change which companies are eligible to list in the city will boost the pipeline of initial public offerings, according to Chief Executive Officer Charles Li. https://goo.gl/LHtGVH Trump to label China as a strategic ‘competitor’; Beijing accused of pursuing policies of economic aggression to weaken US Demetri Sevastopulo in Washington – FT President Donald Trump will describe…