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Category Archives: Commentary

Commentary from the John Lothian News staff and guests editors.

Crypto Regulation Is Just Getting Started Standard

One thing is certain about regulation of cryptocurrencies and other digital assets. We’re in the earliest of stages. And we’re caught between industry participants clamoring for clarity and regulators taking varied and measured approaches. It’s an awkward time for this markets as new ideas and uses for initial coin offerings range from the next great financial payment system on blockchain to the world’s first blockchain toothbrush that lets you mine coins by brushing your teeth. Last month, the Institute For Financial Markets hosted its second Smart Regulation Roundtable event, Implications of Cryptocurrencies, which covered just where we are and where…

Innovation in Distributed Markets Comes to Navy Pier Standard

The Chicago Blockchain Center and BTCMedia brought Distributed Markets to Chicago’s Navy Pier on Monday and a sizable audience was treated to myriad examples of how far cryptoassets have come and how many dynamic and potentially revolutionary efforts are happening right now. While there are still many cases of “innovation theater” and “pilot purgatory” (terms lifted from event panelists) as well as the fundamental question as to whether or not individual cryptocurrencies are worth their valuations, there are just as many serious commercial success stories, intriguing use cases, and promising paths forward to validate the hype. This was demonstrated right…

Brexit, Bitcoin and Benchmarks – Garry Jones Standard

Former Liffe and LME CEO Garry Jones kicks off JLN’s annual series of interviews with industry leaders at FIA Boca. In this year’s series of some 20 videos, executives from exchanges, fintech companies and service providers give their outlook on the coming year and state of the industry.  Jones, no longer under his LME non-compete, talks about the challenge of Brexit, the hurdles facing cryptocurrency trading in Europe and the potential effects of new Chinese product launches on global benchmarks.  Produced by Mike Forrester Interview by John Lothian

The Spread – Week of 3/19 to 3/23 Standard

The JLN team is back in Chicago  to bring you a more conventional episode of The Spread. Thank heavens our teleprompter was back in action – ad libbing a poolside chat was wicked difficult. You are likely up to date on the potential Biden v. Trump title fight that was in the headlines this week, but are you up to date on the week’s happenings in options? The following are stories referenced in this week’s episode: Reuters – CFTC ‘astounded’ as Congress prepares to cut budget WSJ – SEC Urges Exchanges to End Standoff on Trading Data Bloomberg – Volcker…

Congressional CFTC Budget Decision Lacks Vision and Reason Standard

A reasonable person could see that the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission needs an increase in its budget to address the growing responsibility it has acquired over US markets in recent years and the dramatic development and investment in fintech and cryptomarkets. A reasonable person, Democrat or Republican, would vote for the modest increase the CFTC requested unless they suffer from a chronic case of market myopia. But alas, the budget passed by the U.S. House of Representatives cuts the CFTC’s funding by $1 million to $249 million, and reason was not what ruled the day. The adjective that comes…

The Spread – The (Out)Take from FIA Boca Standard

After much travel and a spell of ill health, we can confidently say The Spread is back in action. Our “weekly” options news recap will be much more of a weekly affair now. (Flu season is pretty much over, right?) The JLN crew was at FIA Boca last week and your humble host really struggled without our usual teleprompter rig. As such, welcome to a rambling, stumbling version of The Spread that includes some outtakes from my poor pool performance. If you just want the behind the scenes action, skip to the last minute. The following are stories referenced in…

More Questions Than Answers For A Potential CryptoMarketsWiki ICO Standard

In the announcement of CryptoMarketsWiki last week, I mentioned that the project would explore the initial coin offering process from an editorial and strategic perspective. If our due diligence works out, we may go ahead and conduct an ICO and use the token in our business operations. But there are lots of questions to answer before we get there. In fact, there are lots of questions we don’t even know yet, let alone know the answers. However, if we are going to build the central knowledge base for the cryptomarkets world, having real life experience with the product would be…

Potential CME-NEX Deal Is Full of History, Dilemma, Risk and Reward Standard

For many years, the Chicago Board of Trade had cash treasuries envy, wanting to add the trading of cash treasury bonds and notes to its offerings. For many years, the CME has had cash currency trading envy. Both exchanges, now part of the CME Group, have tried to compete in cash Treasury and FX through various collaborations and initiatives. None of them succeeded. Chicago Board Brokerage and FXMarketSpace are long gone, but the desire to add treasuries and cash FX trading has never disappeared. Now, if CME Group’s confirmed interest in NEX Group becomes a deal, it can add both…

New CryptoMarketsWiki.com Site Planned by John Lothian Standard

John Lothian, the publisher of the John Lothian Newsletter and founder of MarketsWiki, today announced a new microwiki website, CryptoMarketsWiki (CMW), is in development in the burgeoning crypto markets area to launch late in the second quarter of 2018. The aim of CMW will be to educate and inform the public, traders, investors, industry professionals, government employees, the media and others interested in cryptomarkets, fintech, and related regtech subjects. “The crypto markets have grabbed the public’s attention, but there is a great deal of self-serving, promotional information that is being passed off as educational, and the investing public needs an…