BITCOIN, BLOCKCHAIN

Norwegian Air to Accept Bitcoin Payments

Norwegian Airlines founder Bjørn Kjos is moving into the cryptocurrency industry, announcing plans to set up a cryptocurrency exchange, as well as accept bitcoin on Norwegian.

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The new Norwegian Block Exchange (NBX) is expected to launch in August, according to local business newspaper Dagens Naeringsliv (DN).

Once NBX is operational, Kjos plans to expand into neighboring countries and to provide Norwegian Air customers a pay with cryptocurrency option when purchasing tickets.

Norwegian is Scandinavia’s largest airline and Europe’s third-largest budget airline.

The airline offers a high-frequency domestic flight schedule within Scandinavia and Finland, and to business destinations such as London, as well as to holiday destinations in the Mediterranean and the Canary Islands, transporting over 30 million people in 2016.

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BITCOIN, BLOCKCHAIN

U.S. CFTC Investigates Cryptocurrency Exchange BitMEX

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission is investigating Seychelles-based cryptocurrency exchange BitMEX, according to people familiar with the matter

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“HDR Global Trading Limited, owner of BitMEX, as a matter of company policy, does not comment on any media reports about inquiries or investigations by government agencies or regulators and we have no comment on this report,” a BitMEX spokeswoman said.

The months-long CFTC probe is focused on whether BitMEX broke rules by allowing Americans to trade on the platform, which isn’t registered with the agency, said one of the people who asked not to be named discussing the investigation, which hasn’t been made public.

The regulator considers virtual currencies like Bitcoin to be commodities, and it has jurisdiction over futures and other derivatives based on them.

The probe is ongoing and the regulator’s investigations often don’t lead to allegations of misconduct. The CFTC declined to comment.

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BITCOIN, BLOCKCHAIN

Bank of Japan: Crypto Operators Must Comply with Rules

TOKYO – Cryptocurrency operators such as Facebook must comply with regulations on money laundering and risk management, Bank of Japan Deputy Governor Masayoshi Amamiya said on Friday.

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They must act responsibly and comply with various regulations to take root as providers of safe and secure payment settlements, Amamiya told a Reuters Newsmaker event.

While details of Facebook’s cryptocurrency plan remain sketchy, central banks must be vigilant to the impact such moves could have on their country’s banking and settlement systems, he added.

Bank of Japan Deputy Governor Masayoshi Amamiya
Bank of Japan Deputy Governor Masayoshi Amamiya speaks during a Reuters Newsmaker event in Tokyo, Japan July 5, 2019. REUTERS/Issei Kato

“As for Libra, we must bear in mind that the potential global user-base could be enormous,” Amamiya said.

“If central bank digital currencies replace private deposits, that could erode commercial banks’ credit channels and have a negative impact on the economy.”

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BLOCKCHAIN

Cuba Turns to Cryptocurrency Amid U.S. Sanctions

Cuba’s government is considering utilizing cryptocurrency as part of a series of measures to boost its economy amid a deepening crisis exacerbated by U.S. sanctions.

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The announcement was made by Cuba’s President Miguel Diaz-Canel on government-funded TV with the goal of raising national production and demand to boost growth.

Earlier this year, Cuba’s ally Venezuela launched its own “petro” cryptocurrency. Similar to Venezuela, Cuba is under strong U.S.-led sanctions.

At this time, it’s unclear whether Cuba will launch its own cryptocurrency or utilize existing ones.

According to President Diaz-Canel, the program would increase some pensions and wages for employees within public administration, social services and state-run media, almost doubling their average monthly wage.

Venezuela’s petro cryptocurrency has not yet taken off internationally, even after the country attempted to pitch the currency at OPEC as a way for the world to pay for oil.

Soon after the Petro launched, U.S. President Donald Trump added the asset to a list of sanctioned assets.

Firms caught assisting the Petro project have also been sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury, including a Russian bank.

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BLOCKCHAIN

Prime Factor Capital Announces First Cryptocurrency Hedge Fund

Prime Factor Capital has announced the launch of a cryptocurrency fund catering to growing demand from professional and institutional investors such as sophisticated high-net-worth individual, family offices, and private wealth managers.

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Prime Factor Capital also announced that it has closed an equity financing round with Speedinvest, a European Fintech investor, and participation from Entrepreneur First, the world’s leading talent investor.

Nic Niedermowwe

“Blockchain technology is an innovation that has the potential to disrupt a variety of industries,” said Nic Niedermowwe, CEO of Prime Factor Capital.

“Value from this transformation is captured by blockchain-native assets. We have seen growing interest from investors looking to get exposure to cryptocurrencies in order to access their return profile, and to diversify portfolios with an uncorrelated asset class”.

Prime Factor Capital was founded by seasoned professionals with decades of experience in the financial services industry managing complex investment portfolios and structuring bespoke customer solutions at firms such as Blackrock, Legal & General, Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank.

Marcel van der Heijden, Partner at Speedinvest continues: “Institutional investors need trusted solutions that are robust and meet their requirements. The Prime Factor team, with their experience in asset management and cryptocurrency trading, have built just that”.

Prime Factor Capital utilises its deep quantitative and cryptocurrency trading expertise to provide innovative solutions for clients seeking exposure to crypto assets.

Prime Factor Capital aims to become the world’s leading crypto asset manager.

The firm is an appointed representative of Helford Capital Partners which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

It uses established fund service providers for functions such as fund administration, audit, and custody.

“It is great to see that the founding team of Prime Factor, who met on the EF programme, have gone on to become one of the most promising crypto start-ups in London. We are pleased to be supporting the team’s vision with a follow-on investment in the current financing round” says Matt Clifford, founder of Entrepreneur First.

For more information visit: www.primefactor.capital

About EF
Entrepreneur First is the world’s leading talent investor. EF invests time and money in the world’s most talented and ambitious individuals, helping them to find a co-founder, develop an idea, and start a company. So far, EF has helped 1,000+ people create 200+ companies, worth a combined $1.5bn.
About Speedinvest
Speedinvest is a pan-European brand of venture capital funds with €200m under management that invests in seed stage technology start-ups. Besides providing financial investments,

Speedinvest actively deploys its network and know-how to support its portfolio companies. Speedinvest’s office in Silicon Valley supports portfolio companies entering the US market.

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