Goldman Sachs becomes the first to allow customer to trade Bitcoin, while South Korea steps up its financial investigation. The Tradefair team brings you the latest cryptocurrency roundup...
"Regarding the unique nature of cryptocurrencies, each country has its own assessment. That means an international discussion and cooperation among regulators to come up with policies on crypto-assets is necessary."
- Kim Yong-beom, FSC Vice Chairman.
Cryptocurrency continues to excite and engage investors around the world, with the added risk arising from the volatile market being an added incentive for some. Here are some of the latest stories occuring in digital currency trading:
Expert endorsement could spark cryptocurrency hype
Forbes reports that Goldman Sachs has become the first financial institution to endorse cryptocurrency by allowing customers to trade in Bitcoin at its New York desk. But the big question is whether this will see a boom in digital currency as investors get the reassurance they need?
It's hoped that the move will bring legitimacy to cryptocurrency trading, which has been pulled into question by various investigations and the volatile nature of asset value. Goldman Sachs is still proceeding with caution. Instead of allowing people to trade with actual Bitcoin, it will use its own money to facilitate Bitcoin contracts for clients.
After a record-breaking end to 2017, Bitcoin has had a tumultuous start to 2018, falling 48% at one point. If Goldman Sachs's seeming approval of digital currencies influences investors, it could bring both positive and negative consequences, Forbes warns, as it brings more players to the market.
The Gender Gap in cryptocurrency trading
Cryptocurrency trading is dominated by men, according to Bitcoin.com, with just 8.5% of investors being female. This Gender Gap has been highlighted by new demographic data from social investing network Etoro using their client base. The company wanted to understand more about digital currency traders and, as well as the gender disparity, found other common traits shared by its customers.
Looking at data from March 2017 to February 2018, Etoro analysed the public profiles of cryptocurrency investors using their systems and extracted certain demographic insights. One particularly interesting takeaway was that the majority (81.96%) of traders are absolute novices, having little or no previous experience. There was also a surprising number of people coming from sales and marketing backgrounds (14.49%) and who are currently not in the job market (30.65%).
South Korea's joins exchange probe
Korea Times highlights the continuing investigation into cryptocurrency exchanges in the Asian markets, as South Korea's top financial regulator the Financial Services Commission (FSC) joins a local conduct probe. It will now be part of the anti-money laundering currently being led by the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) to help it be a more comprehensive investigation, the Korea Times reports.
According to the news outlet, Korea's major cryptocurrency exchange UPbit has been raided as part of the probe, which has had a knock-on impact on the global market. However, FSC Vice Chairman Kim Yong-beom said the agency wasn't opposed to the idea that blockchain technology would change financial services but is weighing the benefits of cryptocurrencies being used as payment.
"Regarding the unique nature of cryptocurrencies, each country has its own assessment. That means an international discussion and cooperation among regulators to come up with policies on crypto-assets is necessary.
"We are seeing a steady development of blockchain technology thanks to its greater accessibility and efficiency. Because this technology has the potential to shake up today's regulations on securities, regulators have to respond to such a looming challenge," he said.