Investment Firm Gearing Toward Cryptocurrency Exchange

US investment giant Fidelity Investments is hiring developers to build a cryptocurrency exchange, reports claim June 6 citing internal correspondence.

Fidelity, with its $2.45 trln under management, has allowed clients to hold Bitcoin alongside traditional assets, and is now reportedly circulating job offers related to building a “digital asset exchange.”

Specifically, executives notified employees the firm is looking for a DevOps System Engineer “to help engineer, create and deploy a Digital Asset exchange to both a public and private cloud,” according to Business Insider quoting the circular.

The move makes Fidelity one of an ever-increasing number of financial industry entities looking to increase direct interaction with cryptocurrency.

Last month, global heavyweight Goldman Sachs revealed it had a similar roadmap for clients.

Fidelity meanwhile will in future seek to offer “first-in-class custodian services for Bitcoin and other digital currencies,” according to an additional job offer.

The company’s CEO Abigail Johnson has been an outspoken supporter of Bitcoin for several years, but along with other officials has so far declined to comment on the new initiatives, Business Insider reports.

Cryptocurrency Markets Falling After Recent Rise, Most Coins In The Red

Cryptocurrency Markets Falling After Recent Rise, Most Coins In The Red

The cryptocurrency market is experiencing lows across the board today, Jan. 14, with only three of the top 20 coins on CoinMarketCap in the green.

The total market cap remains around $692 bln, still recovering from the Jan. 11 drop to around $630 bln.
Big drops

Altcoin Ripple (XRP), which had been up 18 percent as recently as Jan. 12, showed about a 10 percent loss over a 24-hour period to press time.

XRP had seen a significant rise after the altcoin had announced news of a partnership with MoneyGram on Jan. 11, but may have fallen after MoneyGram’s clarification that they are strictly using the altcoin for a pilot program:

Altcoin IOTA has experienced a similar drop in early December after clarifying that Microsoft was not officially their partner, as the altcoin’s blog had indicated, but rather a participant in their marketplace.

Altcoins Cardano and Tron have both seen about 13 and 17 percent drops respectively over 24 hours, with Cardano selling for about $0.76 at press time and Tron selling for about $0.92.

The largest drop today is altcoin RaiBlocks, down around 16 percent over 24 hours and in 20th on CoinMarketCap, selling for $21.19 at press time. RaiBlocks was also one of the only two coins in the red on Jan. 12 when the rest of the market was up.

RaiBlocks’s fall could be attributed to recent reports of a compromised web wallet for the altcoin, which has since been taken offline.
The only gains

Ethereum Classic (ETC) has seen the most growth over 24 hours, up more than 17 percent and selling for $44.32 at press time. This growth was likely caused by a Jan. 12 CNBC interview with Michael Sonnenshein, director at Bitcoin (BTC) and ETC investment fund Grayscale, speaking about the future of digital currency investment in terms of ETC.

Altcoin Neo also saw a small rise, growing almost three percent over 24 hours and selling for $137.45 at press time, with Bitcoin Gold also slightly up with 0.37 percent growth over 24 hours and selling for $297.98 at press time.

Bitcoin is down about seven percent over 24 hours and is trading at press time for an average of $13,474.70, higher than the Dec. 22 market low price of $12,850.

Singapore to Extend Regulatory Mandate Regarding Cryptocurrencies

Singapore to Extend Regulatory Mandate Regarding Cryptocurrencies

The Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore has sought to clarify the nation’s stance on cryptocurrencies with regards to its money laundering laws. Speaking earlier this week, Mr. Tharman Shanmugaratnam emphasized that Singapore’s financial regulator will not distinguish between cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies.

Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister Updates Stance on Cryptocurrencies.

With Singapore increasingly being seen as a potential destination for cryptocurrency, companies seeking to flee the regulatory uncertainty presently associated with China, Singaporean officials are facing increased scrutiny regarding the nation’s juridical apparatus pertaining to cryptocurrencies.

Earlier this week, Singapore’s deputy prime minister and Chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), Mr. Tharman Shanmugaratnam, sought to clarify Singapore’s anti-money laundering (AML) and countering the financing of terrorism laws (CFT) with regards to cryptocurrency. “When it comes to money laundering or terrorism financing, Singapore’s laws do not make any distinction between transactions effected using fiat currency, virtual currency or other novel ways of transmitting value.”

Mr. Shanmugaratnam emphasized that the MAS, Singapore’s financial regulator and central bank, will not distinguish between transactions conducted in fiat and cryptocurrency in seeking to enforce its AML/CTF laws, adding that all financial institutions will be subject to the same regulations. The MAS chairman also stated that The Commercial Affairs Department will be empowered to investigate and prosecute cases relating to money laundering or terrorist financing.

Unique Challenges Posed by Virtual Currencies

The MAS chairman, however, recognized that the regulation of virtual currency transactions may pose challenges not associated with monitoring fiat currency circulations.

Mr. Shanmugaratnam emphasized the pseudo-anonymous qualities of cryptocurrency, adding that the absence of a centralized clearing further complicates the challenge of regulating transactions executed using virtual currencies.
In order to mitigate said challenges, the MAS will seek to impose anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing requirements on intermediaries that exchange fiat for virtual currencies – such as exchanges and brokers. Singapore’s financial regulator is presently conducting public consultation relating to the proposed Payment Services Bill intended to empower MAS to have greater jurisdiction over cryptocurrency exchanges and brokerages.

Mr. Shanmugaratnam’s comments comprise an apparent change in the position of the MAS with regards to the cryptocurrencies, as the MAS chairman has previously stated that the MAS will not seek to regulate virtual currencies, except for when the activities relating to cryptocurrencies directly fall under the juridical purview of the MAS. By contrast, Mr. Shanmugaratnam’s recent statement illustrates that the MAS is seeking to expand its regulatory mandate to greater monitor businesses that convert fiat into cryptocurrencies.