15 December 2018

Alternative investments

  • Virtual currencies such as bitcoin have been on a steep downtrend since the beginning of the year amid increased regulatory scrutiny and cases of hacking and thefts. Photo: Bloomberg

    Cryptocurrencies to survive sell-off: Allianz’s El-Erian

    Nov 28, 2018 9:09am
    Allianz chief economic adviser Mohamed El-Erian said cryptocurrencies are here to stay despite a prolonged slump this year, and will gain wider acceptance after the recent entry of more institutional investors in the space. El-Erian said...
  • Bitcoin has lost 74 percent of its value so far this year, after hitting nearly US$20,000 in December last year. Photo: AFP

    Bitcoin sinks as cryptocurrency sell-off gathers pace

    Nov 27, 2018 8:22am
    Bitcoin plunged more than 12 percent, extending falls in recent weeks in a broad-based selloff in digital currencies as sentiment sours, Reuters reports. Several factors have accelerated the downturn, analysts said, including increased US regulatory scrutiny...
  • One bitcoin is now worth around US$6,200. That is a steep 70 percent fall from its all-time high of near US$20,000 in December last year. Photo: AFP

    Early bitcoin investors count winnings after volatile decade

    Nov 1, 2018 8:53am
    Seven years ago, Marshall Hayner gave his grandfather one bitcoin, worth about US$30. On the paper wallet he fashioned to commemorate the gift, the US entrepreneur and software developer wrote: “Do not open until US$100,000.” It...
  • The move gives the cryptocurrency industry association rights to set rules to safeguard customer assets, prevent money laundering, and give operational guidelines. Photo: Bloomberg

    Japan grants cryptocurrency industry self-regulatory status

    Oct 25, 2018 9:17am
    Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) has given the cryptocurrency industry self-regulatory status, permitting the Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association to police and sanction exchanges for any violations, Reuters reports. The government has been reviewing its approach...
  • With the cryptocurrency bubble having gone bust, boosters have resorted to a defense of “blockchain”, the distributed-ledger software underpinning all cryptocurrencies. Photo: Bloomberg

    The big blockchain lie

    - Oct 16, 2018 9:01am
    With the value of Bitcoin having fallen by around 70 percent since its peak late last year, the mother of all bubbles has now gone bust. More generally, cryptocurrencies have entered a not-so-cryptic apocalypse. The value...
  • Bitcoin’s popularity and the emergence of hundreds of other digital coins or tokens have drawn more hackers into the cryptocurrency space. Photo: Bloomberg

    Cryptocurrency theft tops US$900 mln in Jan-Sept: report

    Oct 11, 2018 9:31am
    Cryptocurrency theft through hacking of exchanges and trading platforms totaled US$927 million in the first nine months of this year, an increase of nearly 250 percent from the level seen in 2017, according to a US-based...
  • Securities regulators have intensified their scrutiny of cryptocurrencies, noting that some tokens may be considered securities, which would make their issuance, sale and trading subject to federal laws. Photo: Bloomberg

    Wall Street regulators move against cryptocurrency firms

    Sep 12, 2018 9:06am
    Two Wall Street regulators announced a series of actions, including levying fines, against companies involved with cryptocurrencies, Reuters reports. Cryptocurrencies, like the well-known bitcoin, are virtual tokens that can be used as forms of payments on...
  • Maria Vullo, superintendent of the New York Department of Finance, has announced the state’s first stablecoins approvals. Photo: Bloomberg

    New York state regulator approves dollar-linked digital tokens

    Sep 11, 2018 9:35am
    New York state has approved Gemini Trust Company’s and Paxos Trust Company’s dollar-linked digital currencies, the first stablecoins to get the nod from the region’s regulator, Reuters reports. “These approvals demonstrate that companies can create change...
  • The US SEC has halted trading in crypto-related investment products Bitcoin Tracker One and Ether Tracker One in the United States with immediate effect. Photo: Bloomberg

    US regulator halts trading in two cryptocurrency products

    Sep 10, 2018 9:10am
    The US Securities and Exchange Commission has suspended trading in two investment products that track cryptocurrencies, citing confusion in the markets over whether the products are exchange-traded funds (ETFs), Reuters reports. Trading has been halted in...
  • Bitcoin's plunge came after a sell-off in shares of technology and internet companies spilled over into other risky assets. Photo: Bloomberg

    Bitcoin slips below US$8,000 as investors step away from risk

    Jul 31, 2018 7:13am
    Bitcoin briefly fell below US$8,000 on Monday as investors scaled back their exposure to cryptocurrenices, after a sell-off in shares of technology and internet companies spilled over into other risky assets, Reuters reports. The technology index tumbled...
  • Ethereum has the become the foundation for many initial coin offerings. Photo: Reuters

    Ethereum is top public blockchain, bitcoin No 13 in China index

    May 18, 2018 9:32am
    Ethereum is the top public blockchain in the cryptocurrency space, while that of bitcoin, the original virtual currency, is ranked 13th, according to the Chinese government’s first monthly Global Public Chain Assessment Index, Reuters reports. The...
  • Two of the world’s largest bitcoin plays plan to list on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange as soon as this year with each seeking to raise as much as US$1 billion. Photo: Bloomberg

    Bankers eager to meet Chinese bitcoin miners

    - May 17, 2018 5:14pm
    Investment bankers still have a vivid recollection of that time, about a decade ago, when mainland mining bosses descended on Hong Kong to list their companies on the local stock exchange. The executives looked ill at ease...
  • Jay Clayton, the chairman of the US Securities and Exchange Commission, regards all cryptocurrencies as securities, with the exception of the first mover, Bitcoin, which he considers a commodity. Photo: Reuters, Bloomberg

    Initial coin scams

    - May 11, 2018 3:58pm
    Initial coin offerings have become the most common way to finance cryptocurrency ventures, of which there are now nearly 1,600 and rising. In exchange for your dollars, pounds, euros, or other currency, an ICO issues digital...
  • Big market players are less likely to chase sudden swings in bitcoin’s value, being more interested in the potential of unproven but promising blockchain technology. Photo: AFP

    Bitcoin frenzy settles down as big players muscle into market

    Apr 30, 2018 8:57am
    After keeping investors on the edge of their seats, bitcoin may be maturing into a period of relatively boring stability, experts say. A worldwide wave of regulation has led to a collapse in trading volumes. Cryptocurrency...
  • Cryptocurrencies have been impacted this year by fears of a crackdown from regulators and concerns that they have been in a speculative bubble that is now deflating. Photo: Bloomberg

    Cryptocurrency funds down nearly 30 percent in March

    Apr 19, 2018 9:23am
    Cryptocurrency funds were down 29.2 percent in March amid an ongoing slump caused by increased scrutiny from global regulators of the virtual assets, Reuters reports, citing a new index launched by data provider BarclayHedge. The Barclay...
  • Cryptocurrency billionaires could help fund projects that improve the management of health-care finances. Photo: Bloomberg

    How should the crypto-rich spend their money?

    - Apr 16, 2018 12:20pm
    In February, Forbes published its first-ever list of cryptocurrencies’ richest people. The top ten were each worth around US$1 billion, while the wealthiest – an American blockchain innovator named Chris Larsen – was estimated to be...
  • Coincheck has not given details of how the January theft, one of the biggest ever of digital money, has affected its business. Photo: Reuters

    Japan’s Monex mulls takeover of crypto exchange Coincheck

    Apr 4, 2018 8:40am
    Japanese online brokerage firm Monex Group Inc. said it is considering buying Coincheck Inc., the cryptocurrency exchange hit by a US$530 million theft of digital money earlier this year, Reuters reports. Monex did not provide any...
  • Top officials of cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck bow during a news conference in Tokyo on Thursday. Photo: Reuters

    Japan punishes 7 cryptocurrency exchanges over control lapses

    Mar 8, 2018 4:52pm
    Japan on Thursday punished seven cryptocurrency exchanges, ordering two of them to suspend business, in an effort to shore up consumer protection, Reuters reports. Coincheck Inc., one of those punished, said it plans to reimburse from next...
  • A US court has upheld a determination that cryptocurrencies can be deemed as commodities and be regulated as such. Photo: Reuters

    Virtual currencies are commodities, US judge rules

    Mar 7, 2018 8:51am
    Virtual currencies can be regulated as commodities by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), a federal judge ruled in New York Tuesday. US District Judge Jack Weinstein in Brooklyn ruled that the CFTC had standing...
  • The US Securities and Exchange Commission is seeking 'clearer and more robust disclosure' by firms facing cyber-security issues. Photo: Bloomberg

    US regulator updates guidance on cyber-risk disclosures

    Feb 22, 2018 9:41am
    The US markets regulator on Wednesday updated guidance to public companies on how and when they should disclose cyber-security risks and breaches, including potential weaknesses that have not yet been targeted by hackers, Reuters reports. In...

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