Donnerstag, 3. Dezember 2015

Exclusive Interview with the Media Division Manager of 1Broker

Recently, bitcoin has been drawing the attention of many companies around the world including Forex and CFD Brokers. The rise of bitcoin trading has created a multi-billion dollar industry that allows cryptocurrency enthusiasts to buy or sell digital currencies across various exchange platforms.

Now, several brokers are introducing bitcoin as part of their trading services. Forex is  the market with the biggest volume and liquidity all over the world. Forex markets are said to witness a daily volume of trillions of USD. For Bitcoin, it presents a whole new market with many trading opportunities.

1Broker is a platform that allows Bitcoin users to invest in CFDs with their bitcoin. The platform allows Bitcoin users to participate in real-world markets directly by using their Bitcoins. 1Broker currently allows traders to invest on 44 selected commodities, stock, indices and Forex pairs. 1Broker has taken the digital currency approach to a whole new level and only allows deposits and withdrawals to be made via Bitcoin.

The underlying contracts that users trade on 1Broker are called CFDs. This type of derivative allows 1Broker to peg its markets directly to the underlying markets\assets with top transparency and maximum simplicity for any type of trader.

To know more about 1Broker and the Forex-Crypto Market industry, NewsBTC was able to reach out to the company’s Media Division Manager and ask him some questions:

NewsBTC – Can you tell us a bit about the company, and its goals and history?

1Broker – 1Broker was launched in late 2012 after around 12 months of planning and development. From the beginning, our main focus was to allow Bitcoin holders to participate in global markets. Back then, we only offered trading on a few markets and had an extremely limited platform, but over the past few years we have continually improved our software and constantly added new features. Currently, there is still a lot of room for improvement and our focus for development is on a new, and innovative front-end, which is scheduled to be released in early 2016. Our long-term goal is to compete with our “traditional” competitors, which usually do not accept Bitcoin (yet).

NewsBTC – Can you tell us a bit about the platform and how it works?

1Broker – Before launching our platform we analyzed several business models of how we could implement our ideas. We decided to offer CFDs as our primary product for the several reasons:

  • We could offer high liquidity and fast order executions from the beginning.

  • All fees could be integrated transparently in the spreads.

  • Unlike other products, positions do not expire.

  • Markets are pegged to their underlyings (unlike options for example), which leads to an extremely transparent and straightforward trading experience.

A trade on our platform is basically a contract between us and the trader, where we agree to pay the “difference” specified by the profit/loss formula. In the background, there are a lot of other things going on, but we managed to completely abstract that away from the trader.

NewsBTC – Why did you decide to make bitcoin the only deposit option on your platform?

1Broker – 1Broker was solely created for Bitcoin holders. The main reason was, that there simply were no others platforms offering a similar service. We saw this as an opportunity to gain a first-to-market advantage.

NewsBTC – I see you have integrated Crypto Markets on the platform. For now, you only have the BTC/USD pair. Will you be integrating more crypto pairs shortly?

1Broker – Offering CFDs on illiquid and volatile markets is extremely difficult, and for that reason we currently have no plans to add other crypto pairs in the near future.

NewsBTC – What is the source for your charts and price indicators?

1Broker – It depends on the market. For BTC/USD, we use a non-volume-weighted average of Bitstamp, itBit and Coinbase. For our forex markets, we use several data streams redundantly. For more detailed information, people can contact us.

NewsBTC – How do you see the influence of cryptocurrency on the Forex Broker industry?

1Broker – It heavily depends on how the cryptocurrencies will develop, and the adoption rates to follow. Currently, it is still an extremely small market and mainly used by tech-savvy enthusiasts. However, in the last year we noticed a significant increase of traders who live in underdeveloped countries and have no access to a bank accounts or services, so they often use cryptocurrencies to circumvent this problem.

NewsBTC – What’s your expectations for the crypto market?

1Broker – I expect that the cryptocurrency markets will continue to see accelerated growth both in volume and transaction rates. However, I doubt that they will replace traditional currencies or banking systems in the foreseeable future. The influence and power of existing governments and institutions is simply too high, and they wouldn’t stand by while they were replaced. Which brings me to next point – If leading governments formally ban digital currencies, it could really have a negative impact. Fortunately, many countries that are beginning to regulate cryptocurrencies are taking an open-minded, and exploratory approach, which is more or less a good sign.

NewsBTC – What’s your opinion on the current situation of bitcoin and digital currencies?

1Broker – Bitcoin is slowly leaving its early stages of development and many powerful organisations and people are trying to influence the development of the protocol. (i.e. block size debate) It’s impossible to accurately predict what the long-term future will look like. There are so many possibilities that could unfold: From a new digital currency replacing Bitcoin, to consensus-based updates of the current rules.
However, the ideas and technology of a distributed ledger and all its potential use cases are certainly here to stay, and in my opinion the proof-of-work based algorithms (which secure the Bitcoin network) are one of the most important inventions in applied computer science.

Images: 1Broker


Dienstag, 1. Dezember 2015

Russia's Finance Ministry Wants to Ban Bitcoin, Not the Blockchain

Though bitcoin regulation remains a divisive topic globally, there's perhaps no country that has kept the international bitcoin community guessing about the digital currency's future more than Russia.

For more than a year, the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation, the nation's economic lawmaking body, has been repeatedly and staunchly against allowing its use as an alternative to government-issued money. Just last month, for example, deputy finance minister Alexey Moiseev told CoinDesk that the Ministry was working on a draft law that would seek to punish those converting cryptocurrencies into the ruble with up to four years in prison.

Outside of these statements, however, the agency's opinion on bitcoin as a financial technology has been less clear.

Speaking to CoinDesk, Moiseev said that his office was dealing with bitcoin and its underlying technology in different ways:

"We feel that blockchain technology is very important in the development of various Internet-based services."

Nonetheless, Moiseev remained vocal about the dangers of bitcoin as a means for facilitating payments, though his comments displayed a less aggressive stance than has been outwardly projected by his agency.

"We appreciate the potential relevance of blockchain technology for the development of e-commerce and therefore we feel that it should be allowed and developed, but bitcoin themselves, in particular, the implementation of the bitcoin transactions into the real economy, in the real banking system can be very dangerous," he concluded.

Moiseev also elaborated on the reasons the Ministry of Finance believes new rules are necessary, citing the digital currency's association with money laundering and terrorism financing. But while Russia may be looking to potentially criminalise bitcoin-to-fiat conversions, Moiseev said that he did not perceive bitcoin to be a threat to Russia's national currency.

Bitcoin and terrorism

Since its emergence government regulators have struggled to determine how best to regulate digital currencies, and whether new laws need to be applied to businesses using the technology.

New York, for example, introduced unique state law governing its use, but despite its early movement on this issue, other US states have largely sought to update or apply past statutes to cover the technology.

Of the government organizations that have issued comments on digital currency, many are concerned about that the payment method is being used by cybercriminals, the evidence of which has encouraged fears bitcoin could be leveraged by terrorists, a view that has been given new attention in the wake of last week's terrorist attacks in Paris.

The topic of terrorism is clearly on Moiseev's mind as well, as the deputy finance minister expressed concerns about bitcoin potentially making the country's financial system more vulnerable to exploitation:

"We are very concerned about the potential developments there as we have built serious system of protection against money laundering and financing terrorism using conventional banking system. We are quite afraid of opening this window up by allowing a free convertibility of bitcoins into rubles and back."

He then went one step further, noting that Russia was monitoring how bitcoin was being regulated by its contemporaries in both Europe and elsewhere.

"We are looking at how bitcoins are being regulated, how they are being protected from potential abuse by money launderers and terrorists," he added.

Crypto in Russia

Despite adding clarity to the conversation, Moissev's comments don't successfully foretell how the technology will be regulated in Russia.

Russia's central bank has indicated it is against measures that would outlaw its use, and the organization's view was supported by President Vladimir Putin when he discussed digital currencies for the first time in July this year.

At the time, Putin backed the Bank of Russia's advocacy for the technology but also implied that bitcoin is "backed by nothing", and thus might require special oversight.

Although bitcoin's future remains uncertain in Russia, it is perhaps safe to say that crypto enthusiasts can remain at ease at least for now. The draft law – which would criminalise bitcoin conversions – pursued by the Ministry of Finance is being reviewed by the Cabinet, a process which is expected to take a few months, and will then have to be submitted to the country's Parliament for final approval.

For a more detailed look at bitcoin's history in Russia check out our interactive timeline.

Russia flag image via Shutterstock


Samstag, 28. November 2015

Newsflash: Bitcoin Price Leaps $40 to Touch $369 Today

Having broken out of a wedge pattern, Bitcoin price quickly gained momentum and galloped to hit a high of $369 today.

The Bitstamp Price Index started the day at $328.90 and quickly rose through the morning to peak at $367.44 at 12:40 UTC today, November 26.

BPI-11-26 369

The figure represents a two-week high with Bitcoin price last seen at the $350 mark on November 10, with Bitcoin price hitting a monthly low of $300.30 the next day.

Bitcoin price struck a high of $502 this month with multiple factors such as an outflow of capital away from China, increased trading among Chinese exchanges and the slashing of central bank rates in the country.

The price-swell was referenced in yesterday's CCN analysis article by resident analyst Venzen Khaosan.

At the time of publishing, Bitcoin price was trading at $364.83.

For a live Bitcoin Price chart, click here.

All time references are in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).

Featured image from Shutterstock.


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