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FTX Exchange Adds 5 More Election-Based Futures Trading Products



FTX will be adding five additional presidential election-based future products after launching the TRUMP futures trading last week.

According to a representative of the FTX derivatives exchange, the company is trying to come up with similar contract futures for the top democratic candidates during the 2020 election.

FTX will be launching BLOOMBERG trading futures, PETE trading futures, WARREN, BIDEN, as well as BERNIE futures trading products. These products represent the top five Democratic candidates vying for position in the upcoming general election in the United States.

Release dates for the futures not finalized yet

FTX has not concluded on the date of release for the products of the new future. However, the representative revealed that the company plans to roll them out within the next few days. After the launch of the TRUMP futures last week, the market has been very favorable so far for the product.

Basically, the contract trades of TRUMP product is between $0 and $1. The deal is set such that the contracts would become useless if TRUMP fails to win re-election. However, if he succeeds and gets reelected, the contract will automatically be valued at $1 per product.

crypto derivatives

The representative pointed out that TRUMP has received good feedback since its launch last week. He said that people are happy about this launch, which has enabled FTX to reach a new height in terms of active users. The representative also revealed that the 5 additional futures products will have a similar structure to the TRUMP futures product.

The Democratic Presidential Primaries for the upcoming U.S. presidential election are currently ongoing. As FTX is rolling out five more futures products, four out of these five FTX products are likely going to become worthless before the 2020 election.

The FTX representative stated that there is no specific contract on the final winner of the presidential primaries. But there is a certainty that one of those contracts would be valued at $1 after the election. The remaining contract products, whose representing candidates lost would become worthless, according to the representative.

FTX restricting trading in several countries

FTX is limiting trading of TRUMP in several countries, including the U.S.  (the country where the election is holding), the United Kingdom, the European Union, as well as Canada. Following this restriction, FTX explained that the exchange wants to be cautious because trading laws defer by country. The representative pointed out that contracts such as this has various licensing regimes.



Australian Judge Says Crypto Is a Legitimate Investment Vehicle



As part of a defamation case in front of the New South Wales, or NSW district court, Judge Judith Gibson allowed cryptocurrency usage as collateral.

“This is a recognized form of investment,” Gibson said of cryptocurrency, also acknowledging its volatility, according to a brief from the Australian Associated Press.

The plaintiff vies for crypto usage

As part of the defamation case, the NSW court stated the accusing party must place $20,000 AUD, or approximately $13,000 USD, in a bank account guarded by the courts. Should the accusing party lose or secede, the funds would pay for a portion of the defendant’s legal fees.

Instead of a bank account, the court allowed the plaintiff to use their cryptocurrency exchange account.

The account requires monitoring

Given concerns of instability from the defendant’s legal team, the plaintiff agreed to provide reports each month on the status of the crypto account’s value.

The courts also required the plaintiff to notify the defendant’s solicitor if the crypto account’s value falls south of $20,000 AUD.

“I can see the desirability of the defendant receiving prompt notification of any drop in the value of the account,” Gibson said. “These are uncertain financial times.”

Cointelegraph reached out to the court for additional details, but received no response as of press time. This article will be updated should we receive a response.

Although cryptocurrency usage as collateral is not the most glamorous use case, it shows growing industry validity in the eyes of governments worldwide.


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CoinMarketCap CEO Hosts ‘Live’ AMA on Twitter — With No Video



Crypto data site CoinMarketCap hosted a “live” ask me anything, or AMA, session on Twitter with company CEO and founder Brandon Chez — but the session only included Chez on Twitter standby posting comments, not on video. 

“I do value my privacy, but [am] not completely opposed to trying more of a live format in the future,” Chez said in a tweet when asked if the AMA format was for anonymity or privacy purposes. “We’ll see how this AMA goes,” he added. 

Chez appears quite private

The AMA’s format lines up with Chez’s reputation as someone who prefers to lay low, labeled as CoinMarketCap’s “mysterious” founder in a recent blog post from the company.

Many references and profiles for Chez on various sites also include no pictures of the CoinMarketCap, or CMC, founder. Chez ranks 25th in Cointelegraph’s top 100 most influential people in crypto and blockchain. 

The founder answers the public’s questions

As one of the largest crypto data sites in the industry, it makes sense that CMC would be a target for hackers. The company has not faced much in this department though, according to Chez. 

“CMC been DDoS’d several times in the early days but I’m happy to say that we’ve never been hacked,” Chez said, referring to distributed denial-of-service attacks — a type of attack which leaves users without website or network access.

A Twitter user also brought up the topic of fake volume numbers on CMC, as research data revealed in 2019. “We’ve released a new metric to give a more accurate picture of activity on exchanges,” Chez said, pointing to a blog post with further information. 

As for how Chez got into crypto, the CMC founder noted he stumbled on an article about Bitcoin in 2011 when the asset hit $1, and has been involved since then. 

Several months ago, Cointelegraph also reported on CMC adding a liquidity metric to its data sets. 


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Brazil’s PIX Payments System Has the Same Spirit, but Not a Blockchain Structure



The Central Bank of Brazil made some waves last week with its new instant payment system. While not blockchain-based, the new system, dubbed PIX, nevertheless is imbued with some of blockchain’s core attributes.

Money transfers have historically been slow, cumbersome and expensive. For example, Bank A takes its fee when a payment is sent and Bank B also charges its fee when the payment is received. More intermediaries mean additional fees and sometimes more delays.

But now the Brazilian central bank, or BCB, wants to cut out those intermediaries. The central bank will enable peer-to-peer and business-to-business transactions in 10 seconds or less via mobile phone, internet banking or select ATMs beginning in November 2020. “Transfers take place directly from the paying user’s account to the receiving user’s account, without the need for intermediaries, which leads to lower transaction costs,” the central bank said.

When implemented, a number of Brazilan banks could take a hit to their income from fees. Point-of-sale machines and payment processing firms could become scarce. “There is no need to have a POS machine,” the BCB noted.

The BCB had reportedly been feeling some heat from cryptocurrencies like XRP and their promises of low-priced, quick, transparent and secure payment instruments, which spurred the move.

“Trillions can be saved”

Dirk Andreas Zetzsche, a professor of financial law at the University of Luxembourg, told Cointelegraph that “instant payment is important since it makes expensive security margins for payment delays unnecessary. These are trillions of USD/EUR that can be saved.”

“Others have tried instant payment systems,” he continued. For example, the 28 countries of the European Union as well as Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Monaco and San Marino are able to use the instant credit transfer system known as the Single Euro Payments Area, or SEPA, which promises payments across its network in less than 10 seconds.

One key difference between SEPA and the BCB’s system, however, is that PIX is mandatory for large Brazilian institutions. SEPA, by comparison, is optional, as European banks can elect to participate. According to Brazil’s central bank:

“It is mandatory for all financial institutions and payment institutions licensed by the BCB, with more than 500,000 active customer accounts — including checking and savings accounts, as well as prepaid payment accounts to participate.”

This larger group includes about 20 institutions. Smaller nonfinancial businesses would most likely partake as indirect participants, meaning their transactions will be settled through a direct participant such as a bank. But all Brazilian businesses are welcome to connect to the system, directly or indirectly, and reap the benefits of instant payments, the BCB said.

Payers can initiate payments in at least three different ways: first, through the use of keys or account nicknames such as a cell phone number, Brazilian ID numbers (i.e., CPF or CNPJ), or an email address; secondly, through a QR code (static or dynamic); or thirdly, via technologies that allow the exchange of information by proximity, such as NFC technology.

Crypto exchanges gain access

More crypto firms — including exchanges — expect to now gain access to Brazil’s National Financial System, and Brazil’s crypto community reacted positively to the news of PIX. Reinaldo Rabelo, the CEO of Mercado Bitcoin exchange, told Cointelegraph, “The Bitcoin market follows with great interest and appreciation the movements of the Central Bank of Brazil in relation to instant payment.” Furthermore, Carlos Eduardo de Andrade Brandt Silva, a deputy governor of the BCB, said in a statement to the Cointelegraph:

“There will be no restrictions for entities not regulated by the Central Bank of Brazil, including exchanges of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.”

Rocelo Lopes, CEO of fintech firm Stratum, who has lobbied for greater access for crypto firms to the National Financial System, also found much to approve of:

“PIX will give more freedom to cryptocurrency exchanges that operate in Brazil and will deliver more freedom to users. The entire Bitcoin ecosystem is the big winner of this initiative. Through PIX, for example, it will be possible to transfer money from one exchange to another in real time with a QR code.”

Before, Lopes explained, if he were to see an arbitrage opportunity, he would need to file a bank withdrawal request, wait for confirmation, send the funds to the transacting company’s bank, wait for the funds to arrive and be confirmed, and finally purchase the new position. He will now be able to do this directly in two seconds, he told Cointelegraph, adding:

“The winner is the entire market — including fintechs in other sectors. This will inaugurate a new Bitcoin market in Brazil and, I believe that PIX also clears the way for the central bank to issue its own CBDC [i.e., a central bank digital currency].”

Why not blockchain?

As noted, this is not a blockchain-based system. It makes use of a centralized database, owned and operated by the central bank of Brazil. Asked why the BCB may have steered clear of distributed ledger technology for the new system, law professor Zetzsche told Cointelegraph:

“A DLT takes a while until all ledgers have been updated. In the BTC universe, it is 15 minutes. That would be longer and more costly than what exists in the SEPA. I think the instant payment system that you find in Brazil and in many other countries across the world are heading in the same direction.”

Ross Buckley, a law professor at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, told Cointelegraph that distributed ledger systems are most useful if there is a trust problem, adding that, “It would be an odd central bank that had a trust problem. Also distributed ledgers are not as fast usually as centralized ledgers.”

Nonetheless, the BCB has been studying DLT for several years. In 2017, for instance, the central bank published a positioning report titled “Distributed Ledger Technical Research in Central Bank of Brazil,” in which it noted:

“A blockchain may be fully trusted to have been recorded by a verifiable entity (i.e. one which possesses the respective private keys) and untainted by anyone else. Thus, another benefit of this technology is the creation of a permanent, trusted record of assets and transactions.”

According to Cointelegraph Brasil, the BCB initially considered blockchain technology for the system but opted in the end to use ICP Brasil Digital Certificate, the Brazilian public key infrastructure that is already used in the National Payment System and does not use DLT.

Still, even if the payments system is not DLT-based, it appears to share some blockchain-like qualities, such as the way it disintermediates traditional banks and payment firms and allows for peer-to-peer and business-to-business transactions 24/7, 365 days a year.

It’s also potentially disruptive, as BCB President Roberto Campos Neto declared that by reducing operating and money transfer costs, the new system can help wean people from physical money — something that “generates a great cost for society.”


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