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Real estate in Czech Republic: regions, types, perspectives

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The Czech real estate market becomes more and more attractive for investors from all over the world. The country has rapidly developing economing and the market brings up to 10% of annual net profit.

Real estate was always regarded among the most profitable and safe investments but having enough funds investors face to the problem: where to invest and what to select. The contemporary market offers numerous variants but more and more experts nowadays regard Czech Republic as the most attractive country for investing in real estate. That may be explained by the following reasons:

  1. Czech Republic is highly developed from touristic and business point of view. The amount of tourists constantly grows and in 2017 it reached 10 million per year. Consequently the demand of apartments, guest houses, hotels, etc. also increases.
  2. Czech Republic has convenient location in the European center, developed infrastructure and reasonable prices that attracts tourists all over the world (leading countries are Germany, Slovakia, Poland and Russia).
  3. There offered numerous variants in different regions and for any budget.

Real estate is divided into residential and commercial. We regard commercial one as possibility to get maximal profits. According to calculations commercial objects may bring from 4% to 10% of annual net profit. Increasing amount of tourists makes Czech commercial real estate more and more attractive.

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As to the regions Prague is the most popular destination of tourists hosting more than 7 million tourists annually. About 57% of all investors’ funds are oriented to purchasing commercial real estate in the Czech capital. Other cities with high investing potential are Brno, Plzen and Karlovy Vary. Average profit of commercial real estate is about 4-5% while in Prague this index reaches even 10% depending on the area.

Analyzing different types of commercial real estate we may make a conclusion that hotels are the most profitable variants. Prices for one night staying in luxe class hotels is about 300 dollars while pensions or guest houses offer one night staying from 10 to 70 dollars approximately. Moreover large hotels bring profits from inbuilt bars or restaurants.

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Purchasing hotels of 3-5 stars in Prague annual net profit reaches 7-10% of the investments amount. SP Estate offers becoming an investor of profitable project that lies in purchasing a hotel in the Czech capital and get from 7 to 10% of expected annual profit. Taking into account that the Czech economy continues growing and average bed occupancy in hotels reaches 80% profits may potentially increase in the nearest future.

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Bitcoin

Japan Eyes Cryptocurrencies as it Toughens Money Laundering Laws

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Japan

Last year authorities arrived at cryptocurrency exchange operator FSHO’s one-room office in a Yokohama business district for an on-site inspection. They discovered multiple suspicious transactions.

The company had overlooked numerous transactions over a short period of time in which the same client converted large amounts of digital currency to cash, a person familiar with the investigation said. Japan’s financial regulator, fearing that the funds had found their way to illicit actors, later declined the operator’s bid to become a registered exchange, the first such rejection.

The Financial Services Agency is stepping up its countermeasures for money laundering, and that includes taking a hard look at cryptocurrency exchanges. Japan’s anti-money laundering regime will undergo an inspection by an intergovernmental body this fall, and the FSA is eager for a good review.

The issue is also expected to be taken up at the G-20 meeting this summer. As the chair of this year’s gathering, Japan does not want to fall behind other countries in implementing policies.

To ensure the country’s financial security framework is in working order, the FSA is taking aim at cryptocurrency exchanges that do not adequately confirm their clients’ identities or offer anonymous transactions, as well as at banks and other traditional financial institutions.

It has been 10 years since the birth of bitcoin, and during that time the digital currency’s value has fluctuated wildly. Security remains an issue. Last May hackers stole $41 million worth of bitcoin from Binance, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges.

Now there are more than 2,000 cryptocurrencies. They have drawn acclaim as a next generation payments solution, thanks to the conveniences they offer, like remitting money across national borders without going through banks. But that ease of use means they can be used for illegal transactions and money laundering.

A panel of experts in March reported to the U.N. Security Council that North Korea used cyberattacks and blockchain technology to steal digital currency. They estimated that North Korea has successfully attacked Asian cryptocurrency exchanges at least five times, acquiring $571 million.

“Cyberattacks involving cryptocurrencies provide the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea with more ways to evade sanctions given that they are harder to trace, can be laundered many times and are independent from government regulation,” the panel wrote.

In April 2017, Japan became the first to introduce a registration system for cryptocurrency exchanges. Until then, there were no real rules governing exchange operators, but the government started putting regulations in place to combat money laundering.

Such countermeasures are a topic of global discussion. They are now under the purview of the Financial Action Task Force, a product of the 1989 G-7 summit. The intergovernmental FATF has a strong influence on the development of regulations and practical implementation of money laundering measures.

In October, its rules were changed such that money laundering regulations could also be applied to cryptocurrency exchanges. The change also called on member countries to develop licensing and registration systems, and to put in place measures that allow for monitoring.

The FATF’s investigatory body will come to Japan this fall to assess domestic money laundering laws. It is expected to look at cryptocurrency exchange operators, banks and credit unions, according to a senior FSA official, so there is a pressing need to develop countermeasures.

Exchange companies are being asked to clearly explain what steps they are taking to prevent money laundering.

In Japan, exchanges came under the microscope after the theft of about 58 billion yen worth of cryptocurrency from Coincheck in January 2018. In June of that year the FSA took the unusual step of issuing business improvement orders to six other operators, citing insufficient money laundering countermeasures and other practices. In some cases, identity verification was insufficient, and clients were allowed to register post office boxes as personal addresses.

Japan has, at times, struggled to deal with money laundering. In its 2008 report, the FATF gave Japan its lowest possible rating in regard to financial institutions identifying their clients. In its statement, the group singled out Japan as having an insufficient legal framework.

For the FSA, the inspection this fall is a chance to expunge that blemish. “One company’s problem can’t help but affect the whole country’s evaluation,” said an official. “We’ll continue with the on-site inspections, and we’ll make sure everything is sound.”

Ahead of the inspection, the G-20 next month is expected to discuss international regulations for cryptocurrencies. Japan will chair the G-20 summit in Osaka. The topic of initial coin offerings, a form of fundraising using digital currencies, could come up. While China and South Korea have banned ICOs, Japan continues to regulate the schemes.

Already, cryptocurrency exchanges are relocating to countries with looser regulations, like the Mediterranean country of Malta.

As the global cryptocurrency playing field shifts, the need for international coordination will only grow.

Source: asia.nikkei.com

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Dutch Bank ABN AMRO to Launch Forcefield

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Oracle

Together with top commodity industry players and financial institutions, ABN AMRO is exploring the options to launch Forcefield. This is a digital blockchain platform that can provide real-time insight into trade inventories.

The platform can communicate with physical trade inventories through the Internet of Things, sensors and Near Field Communication chips. As a result, the inventories, which are often collateral for loans, can be monitored very effectively, which will lead to more secure physical handling processes and a reduction of costs.

Karin Kersten, Managing Director of Trade & Commodity Finance: “ABN AMRO is a global player in commodities financing. We are very happy to be among the companies behind Forcefield. This will strengthen the entire commodity trading supply chain. Parties involved will benefit from more effective controls, greater efficiency, transparency and traceability.”

Besides ABN AMRO, Accenture, Anglo American, CMST International, Hartree Partners, ING Bank, Macquarie, Mercuria and OCBC Bank are among the parties that have so far signed up to the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to launch Forcefield.

Forcefield has been funded and developed for the past 12 months as a stand-alone product moving through the successful proof of concept phase with Accenture as the technology provider. Following several cycles of development, Forcefield formed as an independent company to finalise the platform deployment and operate as a market utility. The system will initially focus on refined metals, but functionality will be expanded across other dry bulk commodities. Forcefield will be open and inclusive to all market participants in order to drive mass adoption.

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USDC Reserve Attestation Report

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Circle released the latest attestation report on US dollar reserves backing USDC issued by independent accounting firm, Grant Thornton LLP. The report states that as of April 30, 2019 at 11:59 PM Pacific Time:

  • USD Coin (“USDC”) tokens issued and outstanding = 293,184,174 USDC
  • US Dollars held in custody accounts = $293,351,374
  • As of the Report Date and Time, the issued and outstanding USDC tokens do not exceed the balance of the US Dollars held in custody accounts

 

You can read the full report here. Grant Thornton LLP will provide USDC attestation reports on Circle’s USDC reserves on a monthly basis.

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Crypto Exchange Goxtrade Caught Using Other People’s Photos on its Staff Page

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Goxtrade

Alleged cryptocurrency exchange Goxtrade bills itself as a “trusted platform for trading bitcoins,” but its staff page is filled with photos of people pulled seemingly at random from the internet.

The alleged exchange, which claimed to debut in 2017 yet its website is only a little more than a week old, used photos taken from social media profiles and other company websites not associated with the company.

Bizarrely, the alleged exchange didn’t bother to change all of the names of the people whose photos it used.

Amber Baldet, co-founder of Clovyr, a prominent figure in the blockchain community, and listed in Fortune’s 40 Under 40, was one of the people whose name and photos appeared on the site.

“Fraud alert: I am not a developer at Goxtrade and probably their entire business is a lie,” she tweeted Friday.

Goxtrade claims to be an exchange that lets users “receive, send and trade cryptocurrency.” After we created an account and signed in, it’s not clear if the site even works. But the online chat room has hundreds of messages of users trying to trade their cryptocurrencies. The site’s name appears to associate closely with Mt. Gox, a failed cryptocurrency exchange that collapsed after it was hacked. At its 2014 peak, the exchange handled more than 70% of all bitcoin transactions. More than $450 million in bitcoins were stolen in the apparent breach.

TechCrunch has confirmed the other photos on the site belong to other people seemingly chosen at random — including a claims specialist in Illinois, a lawyer in Germany and an operations manager in Melbourne.

Another person whose photo was used without permission is Tom Blomfield, chief executive of digital bank Monzo. In a tweet, Blomfield — who was listed on the alleged exchange as “Arnold Blomfield” — said his legal team has filed complaints with the site’s hosts.

Goxtrade lists its registered address as Heron Tower, one of the new skyscrapers in London. We checked the listings and there’s no company listed in the building of the same name. There’s also no mention of Goxtrade in the U.K.’s registry of companies and businesses. When we checked its listed registered number per its terms and conditions page, the listing points to an entirely unrelated clothing company in Birmingham that dissolved two years ago.

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Social Gaming Platform Offers Crypto Community Unrivalled Multi – Gaming Experience with Fair Odds

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With the explosion in crypto-based online gambling in recent years, the social-gaming community has come to expect not only innovation and interface interaction but also a wider range of games that deliver real payouts with fair odds

The number of crypto gaming platforms on the market is wide but few offer a range of a diversity of options to the gambler of today – that is until now.

Introducing NanoGames – The Fair Odds & Social Gaming Alternative

NanoGames is a crypto-based online social gambling site that offers industry-beating odds with four very different games.

With more coins planned for the future, users play using Nano, Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Banano. It’s simple to get started and only takes a few minutes; all that is needed is to setup an account, load some credit and then select the game that you want to play!

In addition, all users are offered the chance to play in multiplayer mode so that you can pit yourself against your friends.

Big Wins with Reduced Loss Odds – Four Great Games

With a growing community, NanoGames offers four great games that give players the chance to score large wins with minimal losses and fair odds. As a purely crypto-gaming focused platform and after extensive trials with users and now offer four easy to play games:

  • CrashOffering the best odds with the lowest chances of losing your bet, Crash gives players the chance to cash out at any time with a multiplier – take your winnings and earn more.
  • Black Jack Based on the popular game of 21’s the aim is to beat the dealer – one of the most popular games on the platform the game offers great multiplayer options for you and your friends.
  • Hash Dice Established by blockchain as a hash value calculation and algorithm, Hash Dice is a probability game where the player sets a predicted interval and clicks roll – easy to play and fair!
  • Nonce Dice using cryptocurrency to guess the nonce value of an Ethereum new height, players guess high – medium or low (or even zero). Simple to play a game with odds that cannot be manipulated.

The Social Gaming Platform with Accessibility for All

NanoGames have worked closely with the gaming community to develop the right games for the market – fair probabilities and easy to use formats has ensured user loyalty.

To allow users the chance to try the game before they confirm their own funds, new users receive complimentary coins in the shape of the CUB coin – in short, you can try before you buy!

The More You Play the More You Earn

As the NanoGames community grows, so does the number of users. With a number of top daily rewards, multi-gaming bonuses, and referral schemes there is also a great opportunity to earn more!

Equally, if you are not the gaming type but still want to make money you can invest in the NanoGames bankroll – invest and grow your investment with a passive income, the more that is invested the more you make.

With great multiplayer games, fair odds and big wins – join the NanoGames community today!

About NanoGames: NanoGames is an innovative online platform that offers users the chance to play four crypto-based gambling games with great odds, community chat and the chance to win with daily and experience-based rewards. NanoGames also accepts all major cryptocurrencies and actively encourages social-referrals. For more information please visit our homepage.

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U.S. Investor Awarded $75 Million in Cryptocurrency Crime Case

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Kristoffer Inton

U.S. entrepreneur and cryptocurrency investor Michael Terpin won $75.8 million in a civil judgment against a 21-year-old man who Terpin said was part of a scheme that defrauded him of digital currencies, court documents showed on Friday.

California Superior Court last week ordered Manhattan resident Nicholas Truglia to pay Terpin the amount in compensatory and punitive damages, one of the largest court judgments awarded to an individual in the cryptocurrency space and highlights crime in the sector.

Losses from cryptocurrency theft and fraud surged in the first quarter of the year to $1.2 billion, or 70 percent of the level for all of 2018, cybersecurity firm CipherTrace said.

Terpin told Reuters late on Thursday he filed a civil complaint in January after three million tokens were stolen from his cellphone account in early 2018.

At the time of the theft, the three million tokens were worth $23.8 million, according to a separate complaint filed by Terpin with U.S. District Court in Los Angeles in August. In that complaint, Terpin sued AT&T as his service provider.

Terpin’s tokens were stolen when Truglia and other participants fraudulently transferred Terpin’s phone number to their control. This allowed them to reset passwords and access online accounts.

Truglia was arrested in November for six other crimes and law enforcement is continuing to investigate the case. Terpin said he is preparing action against other gang members.

According to an affidavit by Truglia’s former friend Chris David, Truglia before his arrest lived a life of luxury including private jets, sports cars and Rolex watches.

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ConsenSys Spins Off Ethereum Startup Truffle To Take Blockchain To Big Business

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Some of the largest companies in the world are already using the code that lies at the core of ethereum. A copy, or “fork,” of ethereum powers Quorum, the enterprise-grade blockchain at the heart of JPMorgan’s JPM Coin, a cryptocurrency designed to simplify payments between the giant bank’s partners. The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC), which keeps the official records for $48 trillion worth of stocks, bonds, mutual funds and other assets, is moving a huge chunk of its records to AxCore, an ethereum-based blockchain.

But if the newly formed Truffle Blockchain Group has anything to say about it, that’s just the beginning. The company, which quietly spun off from the troubled ethereum incubator ConsenSys earlier this year and makes the most widely used ethereum developer tools, has raised $3 million to expand into enterprise-grade solutions, as exclusively revealed to Forbes.

As part of that expansion Truffle today announced it is the first company to integrate with AxCore, a proprietary blockchain created by Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan-backed Axoni, and scheduled to start processing $10 trillion worth of transactions annually for the DTCC’s Trade Information Warehouse later this year.

While this and other Truffle integrations also revealed today don’t mean the DTCC or other enterprises will be using the ethereum cryptocurrency, they do mean that the developers behind high-profile, high-value projects can now build on the public ethereum blockchain, bridging the cryptocurrency world with enterprises in a new way.

“Enterprise adoption is finally happening because the maturity of our space is finally advancing to a level where enterprises can capitalize,” says Wes McVay, vice president of partnerships at Truffle. “Not only that, but they have the funds to invest into making this the experience that it should be, the technology that it should be.”

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Attorney General James Announces Court Order Against “Crypto” Currency Company Under Investigation For Fraud

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Attorney General Letitia James today announced that her office obtained a court order enjoining iFinex Inc., operator of the Bitfinex virtual asset trading platform, and Tether Limited, issuer of the “tether” virtual currency, and their related entities, from further violations of New York law in connection with an ongoing activities that may have defrauded New York investors that trade in virtual or “crypto” currency.

“Our investigation has determined that the operators of the ‘Bitfinex’ trading platform, who also control the ‘tether’ virtual currency, have engaged in a cover-up to hide the apparent loss of $850 million dollars of co-mingled client and corporate funds,” said Attorney General James. “New York state has led the way in requiring virtual currency businesses to operate according to the law. And we will continue to stand-up for investors and seek justice on their behalf when misled or cheated by any of these companies.”

In papers filed with the Manhattan Supreme Court, the Office set forth certain findings of its ongoing investigation into Bitfinex and Tether. Today’s court order requires that the operators of the companies immediately cease further dissipation of the U.S. dollar assets which back “tether” tokens while the Office’s investigation continues, and produce documents and information, including material called for by the Office’s previously-issued investigative subpoenas. The companies are also barred from destroying, deleting, or permitting others to delete, potentially relevant documents and communications, including documents and communications stored on any self-deleting or “ephemeral” computer applications.

In September 2018, the Office of the Attorney General issued its Virtual Markets Integrity Initiative Report, which set forth the findings by the office about the practices of “virtual asset trading platforms” that operate, or were believed to operate, in New York. Among the findings set forth in that Report, the Office highlighted the “substantial potential for conflicts between the interests of the platform, platform insiders, and platform customers.”

In November 2018, the Attorney General issued subpoenas to Bitfinex and Tether, which are owned and operated by the same small group of individuals, and claim not to do business in New York. As alleged in court papers filed by the Attorney General’s office, the Bitfinex trading platform allows New Yorkers to purchase and trade virtual currencies, including the so-called “tether” stablecoin, a virtual currency the companies long claimed was “backed 1-to-1” by U.S. dollars held in cash reserve.

The filings explain how Bitfinex no longer has access to over $850 million dollars of co-mingled client and corporate funds that it handed over, without any written contract or assurance, to a Panamanian entity called “Crypto Capital Corp.,” a loss Bitfinex never disclosed to investors. In order to fill the gap, executives of Bitfinex and Tether engaged in a series of conflicted corporate transactions whereby Bitfinex gave itself access to up to $900 million of Tether’s cash reserves, which Tether for years repeatedly told investors fully backed the tether virtual currency “1-to-1.”

According to the filings, Bitfinex has already taken at least $700 million from Tether’s reserves. Those transactions – which also have not been disclosed to investors – treat Tether’s cash reserves as Bitfinex’s corporate slush fund, and are being used to hide Bitfinex’s massive, undisclosed losses and inability to handle customer withdrawals. The Office’s filings further detail how the companies obfuscated the extent and timing of these corporate transactions during the Office’s investigation.

Issued pursuant to General Business Law section 354, a provision of New York’s Martin Act that confers broad powers on the Attorney General to investigate and halt fraud in connection with securities or commodities, the court order bars the operators of Bitfinex from further draining the cash reserves of Tether, or taking personal distributions or dividends from the reserves. The order also compels the companies to produce relevant documents and information which, to date, they have failed to produce to the Office of the Attorney General. A copy of the court order can be viewed here.

The Attorney General’s Virtual Markets Integrity Initiative Report provides information about virtual asset trading platforms, and the risks to retail investors in these products.

This investigation is being handled by Senior Enforcement Counsel John D. Castiglione and Assistant Attorney General Brian M. Whitehurst of the Investor Protection Bureau, and Assistant Attorney General Johanna Skrzypczyk of the Bureau of Internet and Technology, supervised by Chief Deputy Attorney General for Economic Justice Christopher D’Angelo, Investor Protection Bureau Chief Kevin Wallace, and Bureau of Internet and Technology Chief Kim Berger. Legal Assistant Charmaine Blake is assisting in the investigation.

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Why Merging Cryptocurrency With Today’s Payment Platforms Should Generate Rising Revenue Streams

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A report by McKinsey & Company on global banking, projected that global payment market revenues are poised to approach $3 Trillion by 2023. As cryptocurrency payment platforms become more common… that number should rise… but the purveyors of traditional payment methods may have to get over their initial reluctance to this new disruptive technology… or they could miss the boat! A recent article in the Bitcoin Exchange Guide addressed this subject:

“One of the longtime fears that the traditional financial world seems to have about cryptocurrency is its potential for overtaking payment systems. People who are comfortable with the archaic system do not want to see a broader market… However, as the technology behind cryptocurrency and blockchain finds more use cases, the disruption of the current payment system may not be far behind. Active Companies in the industry include NetCents Technology Inc. (CSE:NC) (OTC:NTTCF), Xunlei Limited (NASDAQ: XNET), PayPal Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: PYPL), Pareteum Corporation (NASDAQ: TEUM), Riot Blockchain, Inc. (NASDAQ: RIOT).

The report continued: “Lisa Ellis is an analyst with MoffettNathanson… (recently) stated that she believes that cryptocurrency’s global acceptance could change payment systems. To be clear, she does not believe that the big names like Visa, Mastercard and PayPal will be pushed aside anytime soon, but the… idea of crypto replacing (the traditional standards) is worth exploring. Cryptocurrency has this unique quality of remaining independent of any specific country, and the way that it has jumped in as a saving grace to many countries suffering from hyperinflation is a reprieve.

NetCents Technology Inc. (CSE:NC) (OTCPK:NTTCF) (Frankfurt:26N) BREAKING NEWS: NetCents Technology is pleased to announce that it has begun processing cryptocurrency transactions for its first charity partner, HS Aware.

NetCents is a strong believer about being able to invoke change. Change not only on its business side but more importantly throughout our communities with initiatives that positively impact people’s lives. On March 7th, the Company launched its Charity Impact Initiative and we are proud to announce our first charity partnership with HS Aware.

NetCents is providing all registered charities and non-profits free cryptocurrency processing. Any charity that signs up through this initiative is able to accept donations and sell their merchandise and tickets with zero processing fees. Interested charities can visit https://net-cents.com/partners#partners-form to learn more and sign up.

“HS Aware is excited to remain an innovator in the non-profit space by now accepting cryptocurrency donations to fund our future initiatives and events,” stated Maria Goguen, President of HS Aware. “We’ve had a lot of interest to begin accepting donations in crypto to further support the HS community and now through this partnership, we are able to. We are thankful for any and all support members of the community want to give.”

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LedgerX looks to Join Bitcoin Futures Party as it Makes a Big Push Towards Retail

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Hyperledger

In an interview with The Block, LedgerX co-founder Juthica Chou said the firm, which is better known for supporting the trading of options tied to bitcoin, submitted a request for a designated contract market license from regulators, which would allow it to offer the new bitcoin futures product. The announcement comes after a slew of other trading firms have announced similar products, such as Bakkt, ErisX, Seed CX, and CoinFLEX.

In the trading of physically-delivered futures, customers are paid out in bitcoin at the expiration of a contract, whereas cash settled futures pay out in USD. CME Group offers a cash-settled product. In November, LedgerX filed for the necessary license to offer the product to retail clients and it is currently speaking to regulators.

The new futures product is part of a broader retail push for the firm via a new platform, dubbed Omni. The new platform will support trading of futures, swaps, and options for retail users. In recent months, LedgerX has shifted its strategy away from large investors and bulge bracket banks.

“I think at this current time we don’t see the demand growing among really large institutions and banks. We are still a $85 billion market cap for bitcoin — really just the size of a large stock,” Chou said. “Right now we see the opportunity towards the other end of the spectrum.”

The firm counts over 200 institutions as clients for its physically-delivered swaps product. As for the future product it plans to support, Chou said the firm has an advantage over its rivals inasmuch as its been trading similar products longer than anyone else.

“We’ve been doing LedgerX since 2014 … tons of people have announced plans to do this but ultimately we are the only ones that have done it,” she said.

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