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SEC Pours Cold Water on Prospect of Bitcoin ETFs; Rolling back regulations often comes before a financial meltdown; Bond Markets’ Last Line of Resistance Faces Digital Encroachment John Lothian Newsletter,Newsletter

First Read Hits & Takes JLN Staff I will be in Washington, DC on Monday and Tuesday for the Technology Advisory Committee meeting on Tuesday at the CFTC. ~JJL IMC was in the builtinchicago list of “The 10 coolest Chicago tech offices we saw in 2017”. ~JJL This, from https://goo.gl/xGjaTW|today’s New York Times piece, “‘Every time you transfer a cryptocurrency, you might trigger a gain and pay a tax,’ said Selva Ozelli, a tax lawyer and accountant.” ~JK There’s a new report out from WalletHub regarding 2018’s [U.S.] Cities with the Highest and Lowest Credit-Card Debts. Chicago comes in the…

This Is Where People Are Buying Bitcoin All Over the World; Who Wants to Be Bitcoin’s Watchdog? John Lothian Newsletter,Newsletter

First Read Hits & Takes JLN Staff Unsurprisingly, yesterday’s STAC panel on cryptocurrency, moderated by Bcause‘s Sean Ristau, looked to be the best attended. The lack of regulatory certainty is the biggest challenge in crypto, as no one is sure yet whether it is going to be considered a security or cash (SEC Chairman Jay Clayton has said “virtual currencies are unlike any commodity that the CFTC has dealt with in the past, and….pose challenges for the SEC as well.”) Clayton and CFTC Chairman Chris Giancarlo are scheduled to speak with the Senate on the matter next month. The CFTC…

London loses oil futures listings as Mifid bites; Wall Street Is Claiming Tax-Cut Bounty; South Korea plans to ban cryptocurrency trading John Lothian Newsletter,Newsletter

First Read A Grateful Scouter with a Big Silvery Beaver-Like Smile By John Lothian 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…

Don’t Get the Munchees! A Lesson from the SEC Blog,Commentary,Fintech,Investing & Trading,Mwiki,Regulation,Regulation & Enforcement

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…

Two futures exchanges call for post-Brexit Mifid rethink; CME Group and JPX Announce Contract; Systemic risks of clearing John Lothian Newsletter,Newsletter

First Read Hits & Takes JLN Staff Today’s top story, Two big futures exchanges call for post-Brexit rethink on Mifid, reiterates what Jeff Sprecher said in April 2017 as covered by Business Insider, “Not to sugarcoat it, I think it [MiFID II] is the worst piece of legislation I’ve ever seen in the history of my career.” But he’s been blasting it since 2016.~JK Eric Piscini of Deloitte Consulting wrote that advancements in the coming months will make the use of blockchain platforms “easier than ever. And it will happen across the main stacks of Hyperledger, ethereum and Corda, among…

Who Regulates Bitcoin Trading?; China’s Oil Pricing Bid Will Fail; Senate Confirms Jackson, Peirce to SEC John Lothian Newsletter,Newsletter

First Read Hits & Takes JLN Staff The JLN Staff is working from home this week, with the exception being Wednesday, when we will convene in our CBOT Building offices to map out our January schedule.~JJL Jim Kharouf has officially stepped down as CEO of John J. Lothian & Company, Inc.~JJL Want some fun map facts? The cartographic debate over the distortion of Africa came up again this week – The Economist has the details. Let’s just say when it comes to map making, there are a number of ways to skin a cat.~SD The A Wealth of Common Sense…

Bastion of Financial Stability Is Now Home to Marijuana Startups and Bitcoin Miners; Watch Out VIX: Nasdaq Amps Up Volatility Game John Lothian Newsletter,Newsletter

First Read Hits & Takes JLN Staff Spencer Doar is getting better and better with his “The Spread” weekly video riff on options trading news. This week is his BEST yet. ~JJL According to the CDC’s report on mortality in the United States, male life expectancy decreased from 76.3 years to 76.1 years in 2016 compared to 2015. Meanwhile, female life expectancy remained the same at 81.1 years. ~SD Seismic Foundry, a fintech fund run by Bill Templer, Cathryn Lyall, David Feltes, Jeff Gale and Brendan Bradley, made its first investment in fintech start-up Kite Edge. ~JJL Yesterday’s JLN Options…

US financial regulators warn investors on bitcoin risks; Asian buyers spur bitcoin rise John Lothian Newsletter,Newsletter

First Read Hits & Takes By JLN Staff A new survey from DTCC shows geopolitical risk as a top 5 concern of 69 percent of those surveyed – an all-time high. Plenty of other fun stats and infographics in there to digest.~SD Deutsche Boerse turned 25 years old. I believe I was once told that the average age of the people who started it was 28. ~JJL Have you seen the Chicago Blockchain Project?~JJL Yesterday’s JLN Options newsletter covered the lack of FX volatility, the potential for bitcoin options and the short vol trade.~SD The NFA staff coordinated the donation…

Bitcoin futures start trading; IEX and LTSE team up; Another Deutsche Boerse leadership change? John Lothian Newsletter,Newsletter

First Read Hits & Takes By JLN Staff If you, too, want to help crash the Cboe website, or check out its bitcoin futures prices, you can click HERE.~JJL As of 7:20 AM Chicago time, 2918 contracts of Cboe bitcoin had traded.~JJL Breaking news: A pipe bomb exploded at the Port Authority Bus Terminal near Times Square. One person is reportedly in custody and he apparently was the only one injured.~JK Congratulations to the CME Group, which raised $186,000 for its Movember Foundation campaign, including its $125,000 corporate donation, to shine the spotlight on men’s health in the areas of…