Moonday Mornings: The institutions are coming for your blockchain

It’s Monday, you know what that means. It’s time for Moonday Mornings, Hard Fork’s wrap-up of the weekend’s cryptocurrency and blockchain news.

By no fault of our own, this week, things are a little different. Let us introduce to you Moonday Mornings: the insitutional edition. It just so happens that all the stories you missed this weekend in some way relate to institutional use of blockchain or cryptocurrencies.

1. A Liechtenstein bank has established a cryptocurrency trading platform, but it’s only for institutional investors. So unless you’re an institution, sorry, but it’s not for you. Bank Frick’s DLT Markets AG is aiming to provide “fully regulated and secure multi-exchange access to the digital token asset class.” It seems that Frick’s platform and Liechtenstein may pave the way for institutional trading of securities tokens. The central European nation is already allowing blockchain-based firms to issue registered securities tokens, a regulated trading platform seems like the next logical step.

2. According to sources close to the matter a major European derivatives exchange is set to launch cryptocurrency futures trading, reports The Block. While there is no official announcement at the moment, Deutsche Börse’s Eurex is expected to announce the launch of futures contracts tied to Bitcoin, Ethereum, and XRP in the near future. Eurex certainly isn’t the first to promise cryptocurrency futures contracts. Late last year it came to light that the Nasdaq was prepping to launch a similar service.

3. After getting approval from the Thai National Legislative Assembly earlier this month, the country’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has given the go ahead for company’s to issue tokenized securities, reports the Bangkok Post. Made possible by an amendment to the Securities and Exchange Act, firms will be able to issue stocks and bonds over the blockchain. While the legislation is in place, the trading platform is expected to go live later this year.

4. Prominent cryptocurrency-focused venture capital firm Pantera Capital has secured $125 million for its third investment fund, CoinDesk reports. The VC firm announced it had secured $100 million for the fund by last August. Pantera partner Paul Veradittikit told CoinDesk that fundraising has slowed as a result of the bear market. Indeed, the firm still has some way to go as it is hoping to close the fund in March with $175 million committed to future blockchain-based investments.

5. Despite some countries – like Liechtenstein and Thailand – ploughing ahead and setting their own regulations for cryptocurrency-based derivatives, South Korea is taking a different approach and is waiting for the US to make its move. An official at Korea’s leading exchange, Korea Exchange, told the Korea Herald that it is “observing the progress and response of the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s decision on Bitcoin ETFs (exchange traded funds).” With that in mind, it seems likely that South Korea will follow the US’ lead when it comes to the regulation and issuance of cryptocurrency-based ETFs. Now, we just need the US Securities and Exchange Commission to make their mind up.

So there you have it, maybe 2019 will be the year that the institutions make substantial steps forward into the world of blockchain and cryptocurrency.

Watch this space.

Published February 25, 2019 — 09:48 UTC

Matthew Beedham

Matthew Beedham

February 25, 2019 — 09:48 UTC

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