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

Dec 11, 2017

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 prostate and testicular cancer and suicide prevention.~JJL

John Lothian News has started a new Friday feature named “The Spread with Spencer Doar.” This is a recap of key stories in the world of options trading with a video introduction by JLN’s one and only Spencer Doar.~JJL

Joe Newton, the legendary York Community High School cross country coach died Saturday at the age of 88. He won 28 state titles in 53 years of coaching at Elmhurst, IL’s community high school, including coaching former JLN interns Evan Fabry and Timothy Lothian. -Via the Chicago Tribune ~JJL

All of the winners of the Risk Awards 2018 can be found here along with a profile on the company/product/individual.~SD


The Spread – Week of 12/4 – 12/8

A JLN debut! The Spread is a brief weekly recap of some of the notable activity in the options world. (It won’t always be this crypto heavy – we swear.)

The following are stories referenced in this week’s episode of The Spread:





Watch the video here »


Deutsche Bˆrse AG turns 25; Foundation of Deutsche Bˆrse as a stock corporation in December 1992
Deutsche Bˆrse AG celebrated its 25th anniversary on the floor of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange on Monday. On December 11, 1992, the then owners of the three independent companies Frankfurter Wertpapierbˆrse AG, DTB Deutsche Terminbˆrse GmbH and Deutsche Kassenverein AG decided on the merger, which took effect on January 1, 1993 – the birth of Deutsche Bˆrse AG. As a result, an integrated provider of exchange services emerged in Frankfurt and Germany for the first time.

***** I believe this means they get cheaper auto insurance rates now they have turned 25.~JJL


Bitcoin Options Would Tame This Beast
Andy Mukherjee – Bloomberg
The seminal financial event of this year, the current decade, and possibly our generation is here: Futures trading in bitcoin has begun.

***** Excellent idea!~JJL


Bridging the Week by Gary DeWaal: December 4 – 8 and December 11, 2017 (Bitcoin Futures; Report Card; Initial Coin Offering; Disclosing Customer Information)
Bridging the Week
After a week that witnessed Bitcoin soaring to over US $17,000 at one point, CBOE Futures Exchange commenced trading cash-settled Bitcoin futures on Sunday night – albeit with a temporary website crash. But CFE’s launch of its newest futures contract, as well as other upcoming scheduled launches of cash-settled Bitcoin derivatives contracts, is not without controversy. Separately, CME Group exchanges received a generally good report card from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission following a rule enforcement review. However, CFTC staff raised concerns about certain warning letters issued by constituent exchanges and recommended that either the exchanges or futures commission merchants heighten surveillance to ensure that suspended traders don’t trade.


Annoying office drone forces overworked Japanese employees to knock off at night
Amanda Woods – MarketWatch
A Japanese company has created a torturous new device to force overworked employees out of the office at night ó a drone that buzzes around blaring “Auld Lang Syne.”

***** Sounds like a fly by night operation.~JJL


Friday’s Top Three
No surprise – our list is a bitcoin trifecta. The most clicked was Bloomberg’s piece Bitcoin Futures Coming From Team That Rebounded From Epic Snafu. Second was a piece on digital assets from Trading Technologies’ Blog A Trader’s View on Crypto. In third was a JLN video – The Future of Bitcoin (Futures) – with Lanre Sarumi.

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Lead Stories

Prices soar as new bitcoin futures start trading; Cboe Global Markets forced to halt trading twice due to ‘heavy traffic’
Philip Stafford and Gregory Meyer – FT
Bitcoin futures surged more than 20 per cent on their debut on Monday, forcing a major US derivatives exchange to halt trading twice as Wall Street seeks to ride a wave of interest in the controversial digital currency.

****More in our exchanges section.

Two of the Nicest Stock Exchanges Make a Fine Couple; Companies will be protected from short-term activists, and investors won’t have to deal with predatory high-frequency traders.
Matt Levine – Bloomberg
Yesterday the Long-Term Stock Exchange and IEX announced that they are teaming up to be the very nicest stock exchange, or subset of a stock exchange

****Press release here

Another leadership change at Deutsche Boerse?
After a tumultuous year, the head of Deutsche Bˆrse’s supervisory board, Joachim Faber, is said to be discussing plans to leave his post in 2019. The company’s shareholders appear to support the idea.

LSE moves quickly in search for new chief executive; Exchange begins interviews ahead of activist investor’s vote to oust chairman
Philip Stafford – FT
The London Stock Exchange Group has begun interviewing candidates for chief executive, a sign of the board’s growing confidence it will fend off an activist investor’s attempt next week to oust the chairman.

****The Telegraph – City’s big guns will back LSE chairman in leadership battle

The New Face of Treasury Auctions; There has been a shift since the financial crisis in who is buying U.S. government bonds
Daniel Kruger and Peter Santilli – WSJ
In the depths of the financial crisis, the borrowing needs of the U.S. more than tripled, surpassing $2 trillion on an annual basis each year since 2009. Foreign investors and Wall Street banks bought most of the debt at government bond auctions.

HSBC set free from deferred US criminal charges; Department of Justice decision lifts five-year threat of prosecution hanging over bank
Martin Arnold in London – FT
The US Department of Justice has given HSBC a significant boost by dismissing the deferred criminal charges that have been hanging over the bank since it was fined for money laundering and sanctions breaches five years ago.

Bitcoin fairy dust sends other niche assets soaring; Chipmakers and investment vehicles linked to cryptocurrency rocket in value
Robin Wigglesworth, US markets editor – FT
The bitcoin mania is spilling over into semi-related, niche areas of the broader financial markets, where a clutch of cryptocurrency funds, blockchain companies and digital currency groups have rocketed in value.

CBOE Launches Bitcoin Futures, Site Immediately Crashes
In a vindication of cryptocurrency exchanges which have had their share of growing pains this year, CBOE launched Bitcoin futures trading at 5 PM Central time and their website went down within minutes. CBOE has confirmed that the slowness (and 404 errors) users are receiving are due to much higher than normal traffic

Singapore exchange to increase derivatives trading fees; Annual levies to rise as much as 10-fold to S$25,000 from next year
Emma Dunkley in Hong Kong – FT
The Singapore Exchange is to increase fees as much as 10-fold for derivative trading members next year, following a recent large technology upgrade.

SEC Delays New Mutual Fund Disclosures, Citing Risk of Hacking; Details about positions in stocks, bonds and derivatives will be disclosed starting in 2019
Dave Michaels – WSJ
Mutual funds will get a nine-month reprieve from sending detailed portfolio information to their regulator as the government reviews how to ensure the valuable data isn’t hacked.

Deutsche Bank Economist Says a Bitcoin Crash Would Endanger Global Markets
David Z. Morris – Fortune
An economist at Deutsche Bank thinks a crash in the price of bitcoin will be among the top risks to broader markets in 2018.

Investors Will Never Get the Answer to “Why Now?”
Joshua M Brown – The Reformed Broker
Andrew Lo’s heuristic to understanding why markets are resistant to rules is that we can’t think about them as though they’re governed by physics or mechanics. He refers to markets as biological systems, which are highly susceptible to unpredictability, adaptation and evolution. I think that’s right, based on everything I’ve seen, read and experienced over the last twenty years. Or, I should say, this is the best explanation I’ve seen anyone make.

‘A Christmas Story’ actor runs digital sports financial exchange
John Aidan Byrne – NY Post
Zack Ward ó the actor who played Scut Farkus, the bully who wore the ridiculous raccoon hat in the 1983 holiday classic “A Christmas Story” ó has a brand-new gig. He’s CEO of Global Sports Financial Exchange, which former NHL All-Star Bernie Nicholls has called a “revolutionary technology and platform.” Nicholls praised the novel way the site and app give fans of the NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB a “fantasy” sporting chance to buy and sell their favorite teams.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

Bitcoin Futures Start With a Bang as 26% Rally Triggers Halts
Rob Urban, Camila Russo and Yuji Nakamura – Bloomberg
Cboe website stalls, bitcoin’s price spikes as contracts start; Products should ease wagers on cryptocurrency’s rise or fall
Bitcoin has landed on Wall Street with a bang. Futures on the world’s most popular cryptocurrency surged as much as 26 percent in their debut session on Cboe Global Markets Inc.’s exchange, triggering two temporary trading halts designed to calm the market. Initial volume exceeded dealers’ expectations, while traffic on Cboe’s website was so heavy that it caused delays and outages. The website’s problems had no impact on trading systems, Cboe said.

****SD: WSJ – U.S. Bitcoin Futures Climb in First Day of Trade; Reuters – Hotly anticipated bitcoin futures surge 21 percent on debut

Cboe Bitcoin Futures Open for Trading
Cboe Global Markets, Inc., one of the world’s largest exchange holding companies, today announced that Cboe bitcoin futures (XBT) began trading exactly as planned at 5:00 p.m. CT on Sunday, December 10, 2017, at the start of Global Trading Hours.

What Comes After Bitcoin Futures?
Tiffanie Bederman – Bantix Blog
CBOE and CME are both listing Bitcoin futures products in the upcoming couple of weeks (see below for a few differences or go to our blog post for a more robust contract comparison and how to view bitcoin in QuikStrike). Established exchanges are better positioned to handle large volumes of trading like those that have presumable hobbled the major cryptocurrency exchanges today.

****SD: Also from the Bantix Blog – Bitcoin Futures: CBOE vs CME

Intercontinental Exchange Appoints Boudewijn Duinstra as Head of First Line Clearing Risk for ICE Clear Europe
Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE: ICE), a leading operator of global exchanges and clearing houses and provider of data and listings services, today announced that Boudewijn Duinstra has joined ICE Clear Europe as Head of First Line Clearing Risk.

Intercontinental Exchange Announced Election of Sharon Bowen to ICE Board of Directors
Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE:ICE), a leading operator of global exchanges and clearing houses and provider of data and listings services, announced that its Board of Directors has elected Sharon Bowen as a new Director effective December 8, 2017. She fills a newly created seat on the Board.

CME Group Named Exchange of the Year in 2018 Risk and FOW Awards
CME Group
CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, today announced the company was named ‘Exchange of the Year’ at the 2018 Risk Awards. In addition, CME Group was named ‘US and Canada Exchange of the Year’ and ‘Trade Repository of the Year’ by FOW in its annual international awards. Both sets of awards seek to showcase the work of firms and individuals in the derivatives markets and risk management and are widely recognised as being the most prestigious in the industry.

London Stock Exchange bounces back to top Europe’s IPO charts
Jasper Jolly – City AM
The London Stock Exchange (LSE) is set to end the year atop the European podium for company floats, bouncing back from a weak 2016 at a crucial time for the exchange.

Bitcoin exchange warns customers of system collapse if prices crash
Courtney Goldsmith – City AM
A leading bitcoin exchange has warned that customers may be unable to get their money out quickly in the event of a crash in the cryptocurrency’s price. Writing in a blog post last week, Coinbase’s co-founder and chief executive Brian Armstrong, said despite “sizeable and ongoing” increases in the firm’s technical infrastructure and engineering staff, access to Coinbase services could become “degraded or unavailable during times of significant volatility or volume”.

MSCI South Africa Index Futures: Withdrawal of availability for trading for U.S. Participants
As of 8 January 2018, tradability of the MSCI South Africa Index (Eurex product code: FMZA) will be withdrawn for Eurex Participants and investors domiciled in the U.S.


R.J. O’Brien becomes latest distributor of Fidessa workstation
Fidessa group plc (LSE: FDSA) today announced that R.J. O’Brien has signed a global agreement to distribute Fidessa’s award-winning futures and options workstation in order to meet demand from its institutional clients, initially in the UK and Europe. R.J. O’Brien is one of the largest independent futures brokerages and one of the world’s premier clearers specialising in exchange-traded futures and options.

G. H. Financials Limited Implements Born Technology’s CrossCheck Solution for MiFID II Real-time Surveillance
Born Technology
Today Born Technology announced that G. H. Financials Limited, the global clearer of exchange traded derivatives, is implementing CrossCheck to manage their real-time surveillance needs mandated by the MiFID II regulation in Europe. The gold standard for compliance with MiFID II real-time monitoring obligations, CrossCheck consolidates multiple data feeds of real-time trading activity to provide surveillance and alert notification capabilities.

J.P. Morgan’s Daniel Ciment: Artificial intelligence won’t kill trading jobs
Sarah Butcher – efinancialcareers
If you’re a trader who’s fearful that your entire species will be displaced by intelligent algorithms, don’t be. Daniel Ciment of J.P. Morgan says it won’t happen, and Ciment should know. Ciment is J.P. Morgan’s global head of electronic equities trading.

Bitcoinófriend or foe?; The now infamous cryptocurrency is sparking interest among the institutional investor community but will its dark history, volatility and technological issues hold it back?
Sarfraz Thind – The Trade
The never-ending rise of bitcoin has been both meteoric and frightening. The cryptocurrency price hit the fabled $10,000 mark in November, from just $1033 at the start of the year, while market capitalisation has surged tenfold to $160 billion leaving those who had the nerve to remain invested with some of the highest returns of any asset in the world.

Thomson Reuters platform to help further develop Hong Kong’s fintech offerings
South China Morning Post
News and data giant says platform can help fintechs distribute their products (at a fee) as well as use its technology, tools and data to create products, for free


The Trump-Russia Probe Is About to Get Uglier; Unpleasant facts are spilling out. Republicans don’t want to know them.
Albert R. Hunt – Bloomberg
Here are two certainties about the Trump-Russia investigation. It won’t end soon. It will get uglier.

Wall Street lobbies against measure hitting high-tax states; Bankers say provision in Republican bill could drive high earners out of New York
Ben McLannahan, James Fontanella-Khan and Courtney Weaver – FT
Wall Street executives have begun lobbying against controversial provisions in the Republican tax overhaul bill that would hit high-tax states, arguing they could damage New York’s financial industry by driving out bankers and fund managers.

Trump, Brexit and Echoes of World War I; A Q&A with the historian Sir Max Hastings on worrisome parallels with the Great War.
Tobin Harshaw – Bloomberg
Of all the famous things Mark Twain never actually said, perhaps none is repeated more often and with less justification than “history doesn’t repeat, but it rhymes.” And since the election of Donald Trump as president, history as verse has become a farce:

Small Investors Face Steeper Tax Bill Under Senate Proposal; Senate bill would require investors unloading partial stakes in a company to sell oldest shares first
Michael Wursthorn and Veronica Dagher – WSJ
A little-discussed provision in the Senate tax bill could lead to a higher tax bill for millions of small investors and cause many to unload stocks before year-end to avoid those costs.

Senate Tax Plan Could Also Hit Digital Wealth Advisers; Algorithms that prioritize sales of share lots that have lost value would become less effective
Michael Wursthorn and Veronica Dagher – WSj
The Senate’s proposed tax change could also hurt digital wealth advisers who rely on algorithms to make investment decisions for investors.


Labour considers moving Bank of England to Birmingham; Relocation would be part of attempt to create regional economic policy hub
Henry Mance – FT
Labour is considering relocating most of the Bank of England to Birmingham if it wins power at the next general election, a move that would shake up more than three centuries of association between the Old Lady and the City of London.

Monitoring of Basel Rules will be Critical
Publication of the latest package of capital requirements – often dubbed Basel IV – has been a long time coming. A year later than expected after a disagreement between European and US regulators over the level of an output floor, banks finally have clarity on the detail of the final framework.

China Levies Large Fine on Bank Over Bond Guarantees; Penalty is a sign Beijing is ramping up crackdown on ways banks have been hiding risks
Chao Deng and James T. Areddy – WSJ
China’s banking watchdog fined a midsize bank more than $100 million for its role in a bond default last year, one of the largest penalties levied on a Chinese bank and a sign Beijing is ramping up a crackdown on ways banks have been hiding risks.

Not even an SEC probe can damp demand for initial coin offerings; PlexCorps action likened to ’70s cases against sellers of whisky and orange-tree groves
Ben McLannahan – FT
Scams require at least two things: a perpetrator and a victim. In the case of PlexCorps, it appears we have perps: Dominic Lacroix and his partner, Sabrina Paradis-Royer, who are said to have conspired to defraud investors of $15m. That, at least, is the charge from America’s Securities and Exchange Commission, which launched a debut action from its cyber crime unit this week.

The FCA fines Bluefin £4m
Ida Axling – Insuranceage
Regulator says broker failed to manage conflict arising from being owned by Axa in 2011 to 2014.

FCA Fines Return to New Normal With 10-Fold Increase in 2017
Suzi Ring – Bloomberg
Regulator levied $307 million in fines over the last 12 months; Fines fell to decade low last year after Libor, FX probes end
U.K. Financial Conduct Authority fines increased 10-fold in 2017 from the previous 12 months, returning to figures more commonly seen from the regulator in the last five years.

Chinese Regulator Cracks Down on Booming Hedge-Fund Industry
Bloomberg News
Regulator says it’s probing 10 cases involving private funds; CSRC cites misuse of Shanghai-Hong Kong stock connect
China’s securities regulator is cracking down on the fast-growing hedge-fund industry, investigating 10 cases of alleged wrongdoing.

Trump Says Wells Fargo Fines Will Not Be Reduced
Alan Rappeport and Jessica Silver-Greenberg – NY Times
President Trump warned on Friday that Wells Fargo could face severe penalties for mistreatment of its customers and dismissed reports that the new leadership at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will go easy on banks.

ASIC’s MoneySmart Teaching Program makes a difference in school communities
ASIC’s MoneySmart Teaching Program aims to strengthen the financial capability of students across Australia. An independent evaluation found that the Program supports stronger student financial literacy and greater engagement with teachers and the wider school community in financial literacy education.

SEC Modifies Approach to Form N-PORT Filing Requirements
In recognition of the importance of sound data security practices and protocols for sensitive, non-public information, the Securities and Exchange Commission today modified its approach to the pending requirement for registered investment companies to file Form N-PORT electronically while the agency continues its previously announced review and uplift of its EDGAR and other systems.

CFTC Approves Exemption from SEF Registration Requirement for Multilateral Trading Facilities and Organised Trading Facilities Authorized Within the EU
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today announced the issuance of an order exempting certain multilateral trading facilities (MTFs) and organised trading facilities (OTFs) authorized within the European Union (EU) from the requirement to register with the CFTC as swap execution facilities (SEFs). The order will become effective on January 3, 2018.

FCA sets out its approach to authorisation and its approach to competition
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has today published its approach to authorisation and its approach to competition.

Investing and Trading

Can CalPERS Time the Market?
Amy Whyte – Institutional Investor
For nearly nine years straight, U.S. stock prices have been on the rise. By many measures, valuations are high. No one knows where the current bull run will end ó but the aging market cycle is enough to make investors nervous.
Attempts to time the market, however, can have mixed results: Sell too soon, and miss out on gains from the continuing market rally. Fail to de-risk in time, and suffer during the crash. And when the portfolio being invested is beholden to government officials and future retirees, not to mention a board, rebalancing is often easier said than done.

Here’s what bitcoin futures could mean for the price of bitcoin
Jacqui Frank – Business Insider
Grey Dwyer, BitMEX head of business development, talks with Business Insider executive editor Sara Silverstein about how futures contracts are going to impact the bitcoin community. Following is a transcript of the video.

Bring On the Bitcoin Futures Trading Insanity!
Brian Sozzi – The Street
This quote says it all about bitcoin: Be honest about three things this weekend: (1) You hate bitcoin; (2) You don’t get bitcoin; and (3) You wish the media, which really doesn’t understand bitcoin, would stop talking about bitcoin. Nevertheless, here we are on the precipice of watching bitcoin futures trading kicking off on the Cboe Sunday.

An Expert’s Guide to Navigating the World of Bitcoin; A Q&A between Julie Verhage and Elaine Ou on crypto-assets and the resources involved in bitcoin mining.
By Elaine Ou And Julie Verhage – Bloomberg
Elaine Ou, a blockchain engineer and Bloomberg View columnist, answered questions about cryptocurrencies from Bloomberg Terminal customers in a TOPLive chat on Tuesday with Julie Verhage, who covers markets for Bloomberg News. Since then, bitcoin has skyrocketed to new heights and Cboe Global Markets Inc. plans to launch bitcoin futures trading on Sunday. Here’s a lightly edited transcript.

Invest in workers, not tax cuts, to boost US productivity; Too often labour has been viewed as a balance sheet cost rather than as an asset
Rana Foroohar
Defenders of proposed tax reform legislation in the US, a corporate boondoggle being hashed out in Congress, insist tax cuts for business will ultimately be good for labour, since some of that money would trickle down in the form of more jobs and higher wages.

Could Bitcoin’s ‘Whales’ Manipulate the Market?
By David Z. Morris – Fortune
Bitcoin has captured the public imagination this year ó or at least, as its price skyrocketed, tapped into public greed. But bitcoin was built by a tight-knit community of technology buffs and entrepreneurs, and a relatively small number of them own an outsized share of the cryptocurrency. As smaller investors enter the market, some are asking whether those “whales” are in a position to take advantage of the newcomers.

Bitcoin feeding frenzy fuelled by 15 times leverage, says exchange; Investors on Tokyo’s bitFlyer drive cryptocurrency price higher
Robin Harding in Tokyo – FT
The Japanese exchange at the heart of bitcoin’s recent surge has said its investors are fuelling the cryptocurrency’s feeding frenzy as they buy in with leverage up to 15 times their cash deposit.

Bitcoin bubble follows classic pattern of investment mania; Growth story is only an absurd appendage to what is already a craze in everything
John Authers – FT
Investment bubbles must be respected. They do not come from thin air, but rather from a reality that has been misperceived.

Gold’s Time Is Nigh
David Fickling – Bloomberg
Remember gold?It seems like only six years ago the shiny metal was flavor of the month, hitting a record $1,900 a troy ounce while its backers prophesied the end of the fiat money system.

This Harvard PhD’s AI Startup Aims to Help Analysts Triple Coverage
Adam Haigh – Bloomberg
Firm run by 31-year old Harvard alum began with Fed statements; Recommendations more useful for short-term trades: investor
After applying his machine learning programs to central bank policy statements to churn out trading calls, a hedge fund-backed political economy specialist is aiming his sights on corporate earnings announcements.

You Can Trade Bitcoin Futures. But Should You?
Annie Massa – Bloomberg
Trading in bitcoin futures opened today on Cboe Global Markets Inc. Its rival, CME Group Inc., will soon follow suit. It’s a milestone in the acceptance of the digital currency by the world of mainstream investing, spurred in part by bitcoin’s meteoric rise this year. Skeptics still abound, however, including executives at some of the world’s largest banks. For the doubters, at least there’s this silver lining: Futures trading may add an opportunity to burst what they see as a bubble.


Go with the flow
The Trade
Broker crossing networks will be banned and various new trading venues are entering the scene in 2018, so where the order flow will go and who will be the winners and losers, asks Hayley McDowell.

Traders and bankers will get some of their bonuses in bitcoin
John Aidan Byrne – NY Post
Wall Street is unveiling the bitcoin bonus for employees. Banks and brokerages will show them the money ó wads and wallets of bitcoins and cryptocurrencies to digitally juice big year-end payouts of hard cash and deferred stock awards to traders and bankers, Wall Street insiders claim.

Danske Bank’s Wealth Management Robot Now Has 11,500 Clients
Tasneem Hanfi Brogger – Bloomberg
In just over half a year, Danske Bank A/S has attracted 11,500 clients to an investment service provided by a robot. Denmark’s biggest financial firm now hopes the project will help it expand its wealth management operations.

Cantor Fitzgerald PB founder exits to join Cerberus
HFM Week
Noel Kimmel joins private equity and hedge fund giant after eight year stint


10 Japanese Cryptocurrency Exchanges and Tokyo Police Unite to Fight Cyber Crime
Ten Japanese cryptocurrency exchanges have signed an agreement with the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department to collaborate to prevent cyber crime. Along with growing bitcoin adoption in Japan is the number of cybercrime cases including unauthorized access to online accounts and money laundering.

‘Well, there’s no limit on it’: Ohio student makes a fortune buying Canadian-invented ether cryptocurrency; Eddy Zillan, 18, has made over $500K betting on the virtual currency
Anne Gaviola – CBC
Eddy Zillan is an 18-year-old high school senior in Cleveland. He loves going to car shows and he plans to attend dental school after he graduates to become an orthodontist. In many ways, he’s like most students his age except for the fact that he’s made a fortune buying and selling cryptocurrencies.

North Korea is hacking bitcoin exchanges as currency value soars, expert says
Katherine Lam – Fox News
As bitcoin’s value continues to surge, North Korean hackers are taking advantage by targeting exchanges to gain financial profit, experts said on Friday as sanctions against Kim Jong Un’s regime threaten to impede on economic development.

China’s ethical bonds take it to top spot in green paper league; Country is joint-largest source of issuance, along with France
Kate Allen and James Kynge in London – FT
Chinese banks are using ethically labelled bonds to refinance existing loans, helping to propel the country to become the world’s biggest issuer of green paper.

Bank of Japan’s $150 Billion ETF Binge Looks Likely to Slow Next Year
Min Jeong Lee and Emi Urabe – Bloomberg
BOJ will cut annual target by a third, UBS and Daiwa SB say; Bank currently aims to spend $53 billion a year on ETFs
As stocks surge and consumer prices inch higher, investors say it’s time for the Bank of Japan to reduce equity purchases that have been criticized for distorting the market.

World’s Largest Water Diversion Plan Won’t Quench China’s Thirst
Bloomberg News
$40 billion spent so far on aqueducts to feed northern cities; Government taps technology, boosts food imports to save water
Autumn rains came too late to save the stunted stalks of Shu Xinguo’s corn crop, withered by a dry July growing season.

China Audit Finds Provinces Faked Data and Borrowed Illegally
Bloomberg News
Fiscal revenues inflated, building sales faked to boost income; Xi had ordered data fraud ‘throttled’ after string of scandals
China found some local governments inflated revenue levels and raised debt illegally in a nationwide audit, a setback for Beijing in its bid to boost the credibility of economic data after a run of scandals.

Norway faces dilemma over oil fund without oil; Questions raised whether sovereign wealth fund could sell out of asset it was built on
Richard Milne in Oslo – FT
An oil fund without oil. The divestment of all petroleum companies would be a momentous change for Norway’s $1tn investment fund, itself fuelled by the country’s oil and gas revenues.

The decline of the Swiss private bank; A clampdown on tax evasion is forcing the closure of many institutions
Ralph Atkins and Laura Noonan in Zurich – FT
Laurent Gagnebin does not fit the traditional image of a Swiss private banker. Fifteen years ago, he worked as a manager at a luxury hotel in Gstaad. Now he is putting his hospitality skills to work as head of Rothschild’s Swiss private bank.


Ex-London Brokers Cash In on Brexit as Luxembourg Lures Bankers
Stephanie Bodoni – Bloomberg
Shop selling Brit delicacies is already bustling, owners say; Grand Duchy proving to be appealing EU hub for funds, insurers
Two former London brokers in Luxembourg have hit on an old-fashioned way to hedge against Brexit.

Only One Side Compromised for This Brexit Breakthrough; The U.K. bowed to EU demands on all the main issues and will have to keep doing so during trade talks.
Leonid Bershidsky – Bloomberg
After U.K. and EU negotiators reached a deal opening a path for trade negotiations on Friday, arch-Brexiter Michael Gove declared British Prime Minister Theresa May had “won.” That is a statement worthy of all the now-debunked Brexit slogans. The parties’ agreement shows the EU has given up virtually no ground, and that’s what’s likely to happen in the trade talks, too.

Single market deal might halt London bank exits; Some bankers willing to reverse Brexit departures in event of eleventh-hour agreement
Laura Noonan in London – FT
Some of the City’s most influential bankers say they would halt or even reverse moves out of London if there was an eleventh-hour deal to keep the UK in the single market, in a significant departure from previous warnings of an imminent “point of no return”.

As Brexit Looms, Paris Tries a Business Makeover
David Segal – NY Times
The phone rings a lot at Paris Region Entreprises, a one-stop shop for companies deciding whether to move employees to the City of Light. Typically, callers ask about visas and minutiae of employment law. But not long ago, an executive from Japan called with a stumper: Where, he asked, are the dancing clubs?

Brexit: City of London will lose 10,500 jobs on day one, says EY; Dublin and Frankfurt are most likely to benefit from UK’s departure from EU, says accountancy firm
Jill Treanor – The Guardian
City firms plan to move 10,500 jobs out of the UK on “day one” of Brexit, with Dublin and Frankfurt the financial centres most likely to benefit from the UK’s departure from the EU.


Climate Change Might Make Chocolate Taste Better, Which Gives Us Mixed Feelings
Janissa Delzo – Newsweek
Good news, chocolate-lovers: climate change may have a silver lining. In fact, it could make the delicious, sweet treat even tastier. According to a recent study, the type of weather that a cocoa tree is raised in can impact how the fermented seedsóthe main ingredient in chocolateótaste.

How to give the gift of bitcoin this holiday season
The crazy rise of bitcoin is certainly going to be the topic at holiday dinners this season. Forget giving out lotto ticket scratch-offs. This season you should be giving the gift of bitcoin.

Men in positions of authority are in dire need of rules on appropriate workplace behaviour
Peter Guy – South China Morning Post
As a journalist, I love to witness people being burned at the stake. The spectacle never gets boring. The theme that represents the “stake” and the type of heresy may change. But the cheering crowd never fails to congregate – especially on the internet.

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Crypto Nomads: Surfing the World for Risk and Profit

Crypto Nomads: Surfing the World for Risk and Profit

First Read $51,906/$300,000 (17.3%) ++++ Hits & Takes John Lothian & JLN Staff The STA is holding the 88th Annual Market Structure Conference in person on October 6-8 at the JW Marriott in Washington, DC with the title "The Great Return." That is a very good...

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