Fintech market wrap-up, cryptocurrency

1) Finally, Crypto-companies and cryptocurrency exchanges are considered “obliged entities” to perform customer due diligence and submit suspicious activity reports.

On January 10th, 2020, the Fifth Money Laundering Directive (5MLD) came into force. One of the biggest changes in 5AMLD is that all European Crypto companies must be registered by the competent authorities in their domestic locations, for example, Germany’s BaFin or the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

It makes changes in the treatment of virtual currencies:

- It implies a legal definition of cryptocurrency as “a digital representation of value that can be digitally transferred, stored or traded and is accepted…as a medium of exchange.”

- Cryptocurrencies and cryptocurrency exchanges are considered “obliged entities” to perform customer due diligence and submit suspicious activity reports.

2) The Bank of Lithuania and the European Central Bank work on development of own cryptocurrency

The Bank of Lithuania published a new research paper highlighting CBDC (Central bank digital currency) design choices as well as monetary policy and financial stability implications.This report is one more step to urge peers joining digital currency goldrush. The in-depth analysis comes ahead of the central bank's launch of 24,000 digital collector coins created using a blockchain-based approach, and the establishment of a sandbox platform for testing digital ledger projects, LBChain.

The Board of the Bank of Lithuania has approved the sample of the physical version of the digital collector coin – an original silver coin bearing a denomination of €19.18 to commemorate the year of the Act of Independence of Lithuania. LBCOIN is dedicated to this prominent Act and its 20 signatories.

On December 17th, the European Central Bank published a new proof-of-concept project called EUROchain. The report states, “That proof of concept boasts several novel features developed by the ESCB’s EUROchain research network using distributed ledger technology (DLT).” The project is a study on how privacy can be balanced with compliance procedures

3) The Cryptocurrency hype has subsided and this shows great promise for Crypto and Blockchain Technologies

Saga, a global, democratic, stabilised, non-anonymous digital currency, launched in an effort to build towards "worldwide money". SGA (Saga token) wants to replicate the mechanics of central bank national currencies and apply them on a global scale. 

Morgan Stanley vets launch cryptocurrency derivatives trading platform Phemex. “Phemex is ten times faster than traditional crypto trading platforms with the ability to manage 300,000 TPS – the fastest matching engine online,” said Jack Tao, who served as a senior leader at Morgan Stanley's electronic trading desk.

PayPal invests in cryptocurrency compliance startup TRM. PayPal has joined a $4.2 million funding round for cryptocurrency compliance and risk management platform TRM Labs. PayPal Ventures was joined by Initialized Capital, Blockchain Capital, and Y Combinator as investors, bringing the total raised in TRM's seed round to $5.9 million.

Credit union-owned blockchain outfit CULedger is ready to launch its cross-border payments product, CUPay, next year. The firm has unveiled a viable proof-of-concept version of CUPay, which is built on R3's Corda platform, and is designed to facilitate connectivity between multiple payment networks, both traditional and blockchain-based.