What Is BitGold?

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What Is BitGold?

Bit gold was one of the earliest attempts at creating a decentralized digital currency, proposed by blockchain pioneer Nick Szabo in 1998. Although the Bit gold project was never implemented, it’s often regarded as being the direct precursor to Satoshi Nakamoto’s Bitcoin Protocol. 
Nick Szabo BitGold

Bitcoin and BitGold

There are many similarities between Bitcoin’s architecture and the Bit gold proposal, particularly in the technical mechanisms used to process transactions and secure the decentralized network.
Both Bitcoin and Bit gold are powered by a POW-based consensus algorithm in which computing power is spent to solve cryptographic puzzles. The solution to those puzzles is then processed through a Byzantine Fault Tolerant (BFT) peer-to-peer network. Finally, a cryptographic hash chain is created to link the most recent puzzle’s solution to the outcome of the following one, thereby validating blocks of transactions. This process for posting transactions to the network is consistent between Bitcoin and Bit gold.  
Consensus POW Bitgold
Bitcoin is distinguished for solving the double-spending problem, which the Bit gold proposal could not at the time. Bit gold’s proposal called for a Byzantine method that relies on a quorum of network addresses rather than a quorum of (hash) computing power. This made the Bit gold network overly vulnerable to Sybil attacks. Bitcoin, on the other hand, added block confirmations to successfully protect against double-spending.
Bitcoin successfully realized the intent of Bit gold and is currently a fully functional protocol, serving roughly 20 million users globally, as of May 2018. The two protocols draw such close parallels that people often speculate about Nick Szabo being the anonymous Bitcoin creator, Satoshi Nakamoto(despite his denial.)

Why Was BitGold Created?

Bit gold was inspired by inefficiencies of the traditional financial system and the use of precious metals as currency.

Traditional Financial System Inefficiencies 

Szabo points out that the traditional financial system requires parties to invest a great deal of trust in order for transactions to take place. For example, If somebody were to accept a loan from a bank, the bank must then trust that person with repaying the loan as agreed. Similarly, clients of a bank must trust that their money is properly secured and not being misappropriated by the bank. 
trust-based traditional financial system | What Is BitGold?
Transacting through trust-based systems leaves opportunity for costly problems such as fraud or theft. A study conducted by Lexis Nexis in 2009 showed that merchants in the United States are losing approximately $190 billion a year to credit card fraud. The traditional financial system’s consistent large cost of losses and siloed architecture motivated Szabo.
Bit gold was introduced to provide a more trustless model for transacting. Szabo’s presentation at the 2015 Bitcoin Investor Conference helped highlight the underlying purpose of Bit gold as being“software to minimize vulnerabilities of all parties to each other.” 
When asked about the intent of Bit gold, Nick Szabo explained, “I was trying to mimic as closely as possible, in cyberspace, the security and trust characteristics of gold, and chief among those is that it doesn’t depend on a trusted central authority.” Szabo’s response was describing the defining characteristics of a decentralized network, which Bitcoin successfully implemented a little over a decade later. 

BitGold as an Improvement to Precious Metals as Currency

Bit gold was an attempt to replicate the economic properties of gold (gold’s unforgeable value) while improving its security properties. 
Szabo argues that gold has historically lacked security. He references historical events such as the Spanish looting of the Aztecs and the English looting of the Spanish to acknowledge that physical gold can be acquired through force. Szabo also discusses contemporary political threats, giving the example of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s executive order of 1933, which required Americans to surrender much of their gold to the federal government. 
The Bit gold proposal was revolutionary in that it utilized advanced principles of computer science (likeencryption) to devise a new, trustless financial system. The proposed decentralized network offers individuals a degree of monetary sovereignty that physical gold could not. Bitcoin expert Trace Mayer describes monetary sovereignty for individuals as “a way that people can hold the private keys to their own wealth.” 
Possessing your wealth first-hand is quite directly the purpose of owning gold, but decentralized financial networks, like that proposed by Bit gold, suggest that personal wealth control can be accomplished in a more secure, digitized, and trustless manner.

 Benefits Proposed By BitGold

Bit gold’s trustless financial model proposed a set of unprecedented benefits for users. In particular, Szabo envisioned two key features of a trustless system:
  1. Independence From Financial Institutions
Through a decentralized Bit gold network, users could transact securely without needing to trust or pay a financial institution to administer those transactions. The Bit gold network itself would provide the functionality of accurately tracking user account balances and processing legitimate transactions. Additionally, users are in possession of the private keys to their own wealth (monetary sovereignty.)
These characteristics in combination meant that transactions and storing money could take place virtually and independently, removing the dependence from financial institutions.
  1. Seamless Operation Across Borders
The traditional financial system has many silos. Sending money across borders can take anywhere from a couple of days to weeks to fully go through. This is because banks must undergo a very rigid and regulated process to send money to other financial institutions before those funds can reach the intended party. 
traditional banking silos
Decentralized networks like Bitcoin and Bit gold remove these silos and create the ability to process cross-border transactions within minutes. Again, these benefits were not realized with Bit gold since the model was never implemented, but are currently being realized through Bitcoin’s Protocol.

Final Thoughts

After discussing the inefficiencies of both precious metals and trust-based financial systems, Nick Szabo puts forth the vision for Bit gold: “Thus, it would be very nice if there were a protocol whereby unforgeably costly bits could be created online with minimal dependence on trusted third parties, and then securely stored, transferred, and assayed with similar minimal trust. Bit gold.”

Key Takeaways

  • Bitgold was the first feasible proposal of a decentralized financial network.
  • Nick Szabo conceived of Bit gold after addressing inefficiencies of the traditional financial system and the use of precious metals as currency.
  • A decentralized financial network (Bit gold) could remove dependence from financial institutions while providing seamless operation across borders
  • The vision of Bit gold was realized by Bitcoin over a decade later and the two protocols share a very similar architecture. 

To find out more, check out Nick Szabo’s Bit gold post on his blog Unenumerated.

ForexMart Forex Broker review 2018

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ForexMart Forex Broker review 2018

On-line since 2015
Country of origin Cyprus
Regulation CySEC
Payment options NETELLER, PayCo, Paxum, Cashu, Skrill, WebMoney, Ukash, Visa/MasterCard, China Union Pay, Megatransfer, Bank Wire, Paypal, Yandex Money, QIWI
Minimum account size $1
Minimum lot size 0,01
Leverage 1:1 to 1:1000
Spreads 2 pips

ForexMart is an investment company  and financial service provider that has a cleintele from everywhere around the globe.

ForexMart Regulation

ForexMart is a trading name of Instant Trading EU Ltd.Forexmart eu regulated

They operates under the authority of the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) (license number 266/15) and is registered under the following EU regulators:

  • French Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Résolution (ACPR) (Registration number 75426),
  • the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) (registration number 146395),
  • the British Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) (registration number 728735).

ForexMart is a certified member of the Investor Compensation Fund (ICF) and is MiFID compliant according to the Investment Services and Regulated Market Law of 2007 (law number 144(I)2007).

What Can you Trade with ForexMart ?

ForexMart offers currency trading with tight, competitive spreads to both retail and institutional investors.

  1. over 100 currency pairs, major and exotic. (Trading terms for Forex base and cross-rate contracts.  Minimal lot size – 0.01 lot, minimum deposit amount – $0.20.)
  2. Over 50 CFD on shares

Forexmart Trading Platform

When it comes to trading platforms, ForexMart has opted for an extension on the reliable MetaTrader 4 called the ForexMart MT4.

It holds more than 40 technical indicators along with a customization interface so traders have more control over their trading experience

ForexMart MT4 is a simple and intuitive trading platform and as it supports many trade size allocation methods

ForexMart MT4 provides an in-depth analysis of the market by uploading charts and blocks of information . It also offers a feature for new traders to communicate with professional or more experienced traders this can be useful for traders in the beginning of their career.

Forexmart

ForexMart Features

  • Demo accounts available
  • Impeccable customer support
  • Top of the line trade execution
  • Free educational materials
  • Negative balance protection
  • Efficient trading platform
  • Welcome bonus of 30%
  • No deposit bonus of up to 300 USD
  • Leverage of up to 1:1000
  • Minimum initial deposit of $1
  • Tight spreads starting from 2 pips
  • Minimum lot size of 0.01

Account types

ForexMart offers two types of live accounts.

forexmart account information

Special Features of ForexMart

  • The company provides free VPS hosting to all it’s clients,
  • Money Fall”, it’s weekly contest where traders can win up to $850 every week

Customer Support

ForexMart takes great care of its clientele, which is why it has made a call-back feature available on its website that allows traders to leave a notification on the site and a representative of the firm would ring back as soon as possible.

Moreover, the Forexmart website is available in several languages such as English, French, German, Italian, Russian, Spanish, Portuguese, Bulgarian, and even Malay and Japanese .

Furthermore, 24/5 customer support is available via email, phone, and mail. and if you are stuck and unable to reach them otherwise you also can leave your complaints via a dedicated Skype account.

ForexMart Bonuses and Promotions

ForexMart has three bonus offerings:Forexmart Promotions

  • 30% Bonus,
  • 50% Bonus
  • No Deposit Bonus.

When a trader opens an account and makes the deposit, the company deposits 30% or 50% of the total amount of money deposited.

The No Deposit Bonus allows clients to test trading platforms without experiencing any investment risk.

conclusion

this is a broker that has been in the business now for a couple of years and has gone through the growing pains that every growing company faces, they have come out for the better of it and is now a good solid trustworthy broker that gives its traders the space and tools to trade for profit.

furthermore, their customer service and relations is very active and you will find that you will feel comfortable trading here.

withdrawals are processed as they should without too much hassle and within an acceptable timespan. in short , forexMart should be a consideration to be your forex broker.

Forexmart

Statements and Thoughts about Cryptocurrencies

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Statements and Thoughts about Cryptocurrencies

Cryptocurrencies are in a bubble and regulators could burst this at a whim.

  • Eight years after the introduction of Bitcoin, there are now over 900 cryptocurrencies and their prices are at all-time highs.
  • Richard Schiller categorizes bubbles as an underlying story driving the market forward, as opposed to the fundamentals of the assets. Cryptocurrencies are riding on a narrative of economic empowerment and freedom.
  • Despite the widespread attention that cryptocurrency receive, many of the actors involved in the market are not fully informed. Debate tends to turn to hype and naive investors are buying crypto-assets without fully understanding what they are.
  • Banks spend 73% of the market capitalization of Bitcoin each year on regulatory compliance. Crypto-assets are currently unregulated and free of these restrictions. As such, the market has thrived but also developed some bad habits.
  • Regulators cannot necessarily shut down cryptocurrencies, but they can restrict liquidity into them from fiat currencies and hamper their growth. The global derivatives market, for example, is worth $1.2 quadrillion, dwarfing Bitcoin’s $100 billion market cap.

Statements and Thoughts about Cryptocurrencies

Market manipulations in crypto markets are undermining their credibility.

  • Due to low liquidity, no regulation, and a lack of clear understanding of the markets, pump and dumps are widespread in crypto markets. This is where a speculator can artificially sell while concurrently buying their own currency, wait for the market to rise, and then dump their holdings.
  • Frontrunning is also a common occurrence in ICOs, where early investors—who are used to show initial faith in the enterprise—buy discounted tokens before immediately selling them on. 

As with historic bubbles, scams are exploiting naive investors.

ICOs can have the characteristics of vaporware. Entrepreneurs are raising hundred of millions of dollars purely on concepts. Money is being raised from investors who do not truly understand the technical concepts being proposed to them, let alone whether they are feasible.

  • The actual asset structures of ICOs are not only complex but also new forms of assets in their own right. This further confuses investors, which is compounded by the “FOMO” mentality of rushing into investments and following the crowd.
  • The use of celebrities to promote ICOs further demonstrates the use of manipulative marketing techniques used to cajole immature investors into participating in ICOs.
  • The current ICO craze is reminiscent of the South Sea Bubble of the 18th century, a speculatory period that involved crazed investment into enterprises in the New World. Once one of the highest valued companies of all time, the South Sea Company’s bubble burst and the company disappeared almost as quickly as it appeared.

Blockchains are still not proven technology, and more work is required.

  • Blockchains are still new concepts and their technology has not yet been proven on a consumer-wide scale. Attention should be focused on developing this, not speculating on short-termist projects.
  • The security of blockchains is a concept that most investors in crypto-assets do not understand. The onus is on them to protect their assets, which, on the basis of the amount of thefts and frauds in the space, is not being done properly.

There are some solutions to these issues.

  • A less polarized mentality of “us against the world” is needed; this could be enforced by the promotion of self-regulatory standards. These could also help to highlight the bad actors in the ecosystem.
  • More development is required into the underlying technology of blockchains. In the long run, this would be far more valuable than ICO moon-shot projects.
  • Awareness and discussion needs to be promoted. Conferences should present balanced debates from both sides of the crypto-view and more emphasis should be placed on educating investors instead of soliciting their investments.

Originally Published here at https://www.toptal.com

written by

What are cryptocurrency Brokers?

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What are cryptocurrency Brokers?

If you look at the market and industry today you see that cryptocurrencies are as hot as ever, thou they lost a bit of the hype that was soaring in the end of 2017, they are still the most exciting industry today.

The development and maturing of this industry will affect everyone and people that understand this will benefit more then those that do not, it is just that simple.

This said there are so many IO’s coming out and so many new cryptocurrencies launched that it can become a bit daunting to try to follow all.

There I actually no need for that as with most thing the best ones will stay, and many others will just slowly disappear.

People tend today to trade these cryptocurrencies before that actually invest in them.

The reason for this is clear as when you are trading you are able to make money on the rise but also on the fall of a crypto.

You don’t actually buy or sell any real cryptocurrency and do not need a wallet, what you in fact are doing is trading on the price changes of this cryptocurrency.

As we have seen with bitcoin that dropped after it was at a rate close to the $20,000 back to below $10,000, this move makes many people say that this is a bad investment but they tend to forget that at the beginning of last year Bitcoin did not even pass the level of the $1,000.

What are cryptocurrency Brokers?

Traders today have for trading currencies , indices and commodities always turned to the numerous forex brokers that offering trading services for this , companies, etoro, avatrade and GKFX to just name a few. There literally hundreds of such companies and some are good others are bad.

These companies are often regulated through regulations like Cysec, FSA and other regulatory entities. The regulation required the brokers to work in a certain format to avoid money laundering and at the same time protect the traders from scam brokers.

After this the Binary options Broker came along.

These brokers offered a different kind of trading which also required most of the time a different trading platform. Where forex brokered in general offered metatrader 4 or metatrader 5 from metaquaotes. Or had their own trading platform like etoro binary option brokers used other providers like the trading platform like spotoption .

Now with the new market of Cryptocurrencies there is a new type of broker.
What are cryptocurrency Brokers?
What are cryptocurrency Brokers?

The cryptocurrency brokers.

These brokers also have their own trading platform that is dedicated to trading cryptocurrencies, you will be able to trade these currencies against the main valuate like the USdollar British pounds, euro and other majors. Or you will be able to trade one cryptocurrency against the others, the last one is in general not offered by the forex brokers and might actually be even more interesting to trade then for example Bitcoin against the Dollar.

The Platform is very easy to use and fully mobile compatible because there are still not a huge number of cryptocurrencies that one can trade the platform looks simple and not over crowded.

Trading in MT4 one does for the charting and I have to admit that some of the charts and EA’s that you have in MT4 could benefit the crypto trader. s there is room for improvement in this matter.

Now there are new brokers that are not offering the standard trading platfor

m the Forex industry offers but are going only for thee dedicated cryptocurrency trading platform for example AirsoftLTD.  These brokers like WeberFinance and Xcoinbroker are not regulated but full-service brokers that look to make a name for themselves and establish a broker for the long term.

 

They offer leverage and margin like the forex brokers but you are in general also able to fund your account with the cryptocurrencies.

Should you Use a Crytobroker instead of a Forex Broker?

This depends on what you look to trade. The Forex industry will never make cryptocurrencies it is main tradable assets , this you will notice in the daily analysis and market pates as they are more stock, commodities and regular currencies related . same for the market view.

The cryptocurrency broker focusses only one thing and that is cryptocurrencies. So, this is their bread and butter and this you will feel.

Xcoinbroker for example has a very thorough market analysis for its main cryptocurrencies and weberfinance offers a crypto news section on this trading platform.

So yes, if I plan to trade only crypto I rather do this with a broker that is only offering crypto trading.

 

 

Supreme Court Sides With Bits of Gold in Bank Dispute

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Supreme Court Sides With Bitcoin Broker “Bits of Gold” in Israeli Bank Dispute

Upon appeal, the Israeli Supreme Court has rejected the closure of Bits of Gold’s banking facilities at Leumi bank, Tel Aviv.

The Israeli cryptocurrency brokerage’s appeal followed a previous ruling against it that has now been set aside by the higher court.

As Israel and many other countries struggle with the accelerated phenomenon of virtual currencies, Leumi Bank recently made the news for being a particularly blunt in its rejection of Bitcoin.

We should of course not be surprised with the banks attitude towards bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency for that matter. keep in mind that the banks become more and more obsolete because of them. Bits of gold versus leumi

They will keep on loosing money which now they make with ridiculous commissions of work that is fully automated. so they will try to see how they are able to make the operation and acquiring cryptos  as hard as possible knowing that they will never be able to stop them.

There is widespread anticipation that the upcoming G20 Summit in March 2018 will produce a global, moderate framework for a regulatory approach. Set against that are persistent hostile stances the world over from banks, asset managers and even governments towards cryptocurrencies.

Now that the countries understand there is money to be made with Taxation in cryptocurrencies they might want to make sure that the banks stay within their lane. 

Apart from the Israeli revenue service opting to tax cryptocurrency assets as “properties” and other more positive developments dating back to mid-2017, Israel remains a strange mix of genteel acceptance alongside wildly opposing voices.

There is thus Hope But no decision

Bits of Gold has fought a David and Goliath battle since their banker decided it wanted to steer clear of all cryptocurrency-related business.

On record as recently telling another bitcoin-related trader that they simply don’t want the business, Leumi Bank’s hard-line stance is accumulating bad press. The second-largest bank in Israel appears as discriminatory when analyzing virtual currency traders and other digital coin businesses.

During 2017, a customer made a bank transfer to the Kraken exchange site for buying bitcoin worth $1000. The bank identified the request, halted it, and started investigating.

Bits of Gold

The elated CEO of Bits of Gold, Youval Rouach said that “The court’s decision enables us to focus on the growth of the Israeli cryptocurrency community.”

 

The February 26 Supreme Court ruling granted Bits of Gold a temporary injunction against their account closure pending further scrutiny by the bank and other parties. The presiding bench declared that the company had “acted transparently and did not violate any provision of law.”

Calling the bank’s concerns “speculative” and turning an unsympathetic ear to the plaintiff, the ruling does, however, allow for the bank to still close the account on any small technical detail that defies legislation. As a record of a public spat around cryptocurrency’s right to be recognized in many ways, the ruling is seen as a victory for the local cryptocurrency community.

One Small Step Forward

Although not as absolute as nations like China that has opted for draconian bans, Israel is a front line for digital coins’ right not just to exist, but also become assets in the true sense of the word. The Supreme Court noted in its written ruling that Bits of Gold had not made itself guilty of the violation of any standing laws since opening its doors for business.

 

The Bits of Gold v. Leumi Bank case might become something of a test case once the bank applies its mind in scrutinizing the company’s accounts against the backdrop of existing legislation. The outcome will also be informed by sentiment post the G20 Summit due in March as well as other global regulatory trends.

Now that the countries understand there is money to be made with Taxation in cryptocurrencies they might want to make sure that the banks stay within their lane.

This was First Published by coindesk

 

AETOS CAPITAL GROUP Partners with SYDNEY FC

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AETOS CAPITAL GROUP Partners with SYDNEY FC’S AFC CHAMPIONS LEAGUE 2018 CAMPAIGN

On December 18, AETOS Capital Group announced the official signing of the Sydney Football Club (Sydney Football Club), becoming the sole designated partner of the Sydney FC 2018 AFC Champions League.

The two sides held a press conference at Allianz Stadium in Sydney FC. Mike Thomas, senior vice president of AETOS Capital Group, and Scott Barlow, chairman of Sydney FC, attended the press conference.

Fox Sports, Sydney Morning Herald Sydney Morning Herald and Daily Telegraph, as well as well-known Chinese media such as Sina, Netease and Today’s headlines, focused on this press conference and in-depth coverage.

AETOS CAPITAL GROUP Partners with Sydney FC

AETOS CAPITAL GROUP Partners with SYDNEY FC

AETOS ITTO Capital Group IS to become the only designated partner for Australian soccer team “Sydney FC ” for the 2018 AFC Champions League.

AETOS hopes to enter the field of football as a financial transaction service provider.

as football being the world’s most popular sport. AETOS Thinks that their brand will benefit and through this partnership will be able to reach a much larger trading community around the world of brand image, to further strengthen the group’s global influence.

Scott Barlow, chairman of Sydney FC FC, said: “We welcome AETOS Capital Group exclusively sponsors of the Sydney FC 2018 AFC Champions League and is delighted to see the AETOS brand The logo appears on our 2018 AFC jersey. “

AETOS is a global leader in the industry. It enjoys a high reputation in the Asia-Pacific region and is regarded as a ‘authority ‘ in the field of financial services.

Mike Thomas, AITOS Senior Vice President, Capital City Group

Commenting on the news that AETOS CAPITAL GROUP Partners with SYDNEY FC, Mike Thomas, AITOS Senior Vice President, Capital City Group, said:

“As Australia’s leading financial services provider, AETOS is feeling great pride  in becoming the Sydney FC 2018 AFC Champions League”

AETOS Capital Group is the industry’s leading financial transaction service provider for retail clients and financial institutions such as foreign exchange, CFD financial trading products.

AETOS is committed to creating a world-class financial services platform for investors, and provide advanced online trading technical support and trustworthy customer service.

Headquartered in Sydney, AETOS has clients serving customers in more than 100 countries around the world.

In recent years, with the steady development of the Group, while continuing to stabilize its position in the Asia-Pacific market, AETOS accelerated its pace of expansion.

AETOS CAPITAL GROUP Partners with SYDNEY FC

FBS offers cryptocurrencies for the retail Trading Community

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FBS offers cryptocurrencies for the retail Trading Community.

For those that do not know this broker , FBS is an international broker that has traders in more than 197 countries  all together they boast 6 000 000 traders .

to get to the crypto’s , this is what they offer, not the cheapest but it is atleast clear what it costs and what you are able to do with it.

 

they offer trading in Bitcoin, Dash, Litecoin and Ethereum

MINIMAL SPREAD TYPICAL SPREAD SWAP LONG SWAP SHORT COMMISSION, $ STOP LEVEL
Bitcoin 1000 10000 -10 -10 15 1000
Bitcoin vs USD
Lot size 1
DASH 1000 5000 -10 -10 15 1000
DASH vs USD
Lot size 10
Ethereum 1000 10000 -10 -10 15 1000
Ethereum vs USD
Lot size 10
LiteCoin 1000 10000 -10 -10 15 1000
LiteCoin vs USD
Lot size 100

*The chart price for Cent and Standard accounts differs from the real market price by 0.1 pip, due to the characteristics of MetaTrader4.

**The value is given for 4-digit quotes. In 5-digit quotes the fourth digit after a comma is indicated (0.0001). In 3-digit quotes – the second digit after a comma (0.01). For example, in EURUSD quote – 1.36125; in USDJPY quote – 101.852

To provide the best customer experience FBS organizes seminars and special events, providing its clients with training materials, cutting-edge trading technologies and latest strategies on the Forex market.

Both newbie and professional traders will find these sessions useful thou for experienced traders there is less of interest. But this is ofcourse to be expected.

Every event is thoroughly planned and prepared in advance to make sure everything goes perfect. During the break guests are offered delicious food and coffee.

All meetings take place in a family-like atmosphere, where everyone is welcome and can enjoy the company of the best FBS traders and partners. And most importantly, participation in all their events is absolutely free.

FBS features FBS offers cryptocurrencies

We value diversity of our clients and understand that different categories of customers have different demands. Specially for Muslim traders we provide swap-free accounts (also known as Islamic accounts), that do not contradict with the teachings of Islam.

FBS offers cryptocurrencies for the retail Trading Community

 

FX Broker ActivTrades Wins the “Le Fonti Forex Broker of the Year Award”

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Leading Broker ActivTrades Wins Le Fonti Forex Broker of the Year Award for the Second Time

, one of the world’s leading online Forex Brokers, has won the Le Fonti Forex Broker of the Year Award for the second year running.

ActivTrades was awarded at the Le Fonti Awards (Photo: Business Wire)

ActivTrades was awarded at the Le Fonti Awards (Photo: Business Wire)

A UK-regulated firm with offices in Europe and the Middle East, ActivTrades was selected as the winner by the editorial staff of over 120 journalists at Le Fonti, the international and independent media company and research center.

Le Fonti credited the broker for “aiming to maximize its clients’ trading through a unique mix of superior value proposition, diverse product offering and stellar customer service“. Le Fonti’s judges added that ActivTrades offers “some of the tightest spreads in the industry” and a “wide range of professional webinars

ActivTrades specializes in providing industry-leading trading services in Forex and Contracts for Difference.

As part of the company’s ongoing commitment to protect its global customer base, ActivTrades doubled its client insurance in September to £1 million, at no additional cost to the customer. This upgraded protection provides further assurances to clients with significantly larger investments.

Ricardo Evangelista, International Desk Manager at ActivTrades, said, “Our corporate values center on the needs of our clients and it is hugely satisfying to have our efforts recognized for the second year running

In times of rapid industry changes, we pride ourselves on going the extra mile for our clients. Our global customer base of over 50,000 is increasing year-on-year and in the third quarter of 2017 we recorded nearly 20,000 active traders. This is a testament to our ability to meet the market’s expectations as well as our ongoing commitment to expand and add value to our services

A highly anticipated celebration uniting the world’s leading corporate stars, the Le Fonti Awards recognizes industry leaders in fields such as finance, banking, business, and insurance.

ABOUT ACTIVTRADES

ActivTrades is a leading independent broker providing online trading services in Forex, Contracts for Difference (CFDs) and Spread Betting, operating since 2001. From its headquarters in London and its offices in Milan, Sofia and Dubai, ActivTrades serves an expansive global clientele who, over the years, have come to value its continuous innovation, excellent trading environment and effective risk management.

ActivTrades’ award-winning customer service is available 24 hours a day, Sunday evening through to Friday, and assists clients in 14 languages via phone, email and live chat.

A number of globally recognized awards have confirmed ActivTrades’ high standards over the years in areas like customer service, client protection and trading execution. The firm was also included in the Sunday Times Profit Track 100 list in 2017 for its large profit growth.

All leveraged products carry a high degree of risk to your capital and are not suitable for all investors.

ActivTrades PLC is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, registration number 434413.

The ActivTrades Excess of FSCS Insurance is subject to the Terms and Conditions of the policy wording; eligibility to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme depends on the nature and status of the claim.

View source version on businesswire.com: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20171120005576/en/

 

Islamic finance transaction broadens investor base for the Africa Finance Corporation

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Forex Islamic account

*This content is sponsored by RMB, a diversified financial services brand encompassing investment banking, fund management, private wealth management and advisory services.

by Ebrahim Moolla*

In 2016, the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), a pan-African multilateral lender based in Nigeria, sought to raise financing at competitive pricing levels in a bid to help it fund a number of new infrastructure projects in Africa. It also aimed to diversify its investor base in the process. This objective was achieved through the successful issue of a Murabahah Sukuk.

At the time of the issue, Andrew Alli, AFC president and chief executive said: “The core values of Islamic finance and the need to invest ethically in assets that have a tangible positive social impact, made a Sukuk issuance a natural choice for us. We offer global investors the chance to be involved in high-impact infrastructure projects that not only promote social and economic development across Africa but also generate economic returns for our investors.”

Ebrahim Moolla, RMB

The AFC initially sought to raise US$100 million, but upsized its issuance on the back of strong demand from international investors to $150 million and was still oversubsribed. AFC was able to attract investor interest from Asia, an important part of the bank’s bid to diversify its investor base. Close to two-thirds (63%) of the notes were placed with accounts based in the Asia Pacific region, 23% with accounts in the Middle East, 15% with accounts in Africa and 1% in accounts based elsewhere.

Emirates NBD Capital, a Dubai-based investment bank, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, a Japanese financial services group, and Rand Merchant Bank acted as joint bookrunners and joint lead managers with Emirates NBD Capital also acting as the sole global coordinator.

The innovative solution was structured as a Murabahah Sukuk backed by Shari’ah Compliant cash flows. For this deal to be classified as being Shari’ah compliant, it needed to be reviewed and approved by a Shari’ah Advisory Committee (SAC). This approval was obtained by the Emirates NBD Shari’ah Council and reviewed by the FNB Islamic Banking SAC which houses the SAC that has world-renowned and accredited scholars as members. The SAC is mandated to look after all Shari’ah related issues across the FirstRand Group. A Sukuk al-Murabahah is a Sukuk that is structured based on the contract of Murabahah (cost-plus sale).

Sukuk are defined by the Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions as certificates of equal value representing undivided shares in the ownership of tangible assets, usufructs and services or (in the ownership of) the assets of particular projects or special investment activity.

A Murabahah contract is an agreement whereby the seller sells to a customer a commodity or an asset, which the seller has purchased and acquired based on a promise received from the customer to buy. The selling price comprises the cost plus an agreed profit margin.

Murabahah Sukuks are generally short term in nature with tenors between two to four years. They are a suitable product for new issuers to use as an entry point to attract targeted investors while allowing the issuer to establish a presence in this market and the opportunity to build a track record which can be used when issuing longer dated Sukuks. According to the Sukuk Perceptions and Forecast Report 2017, these types of Sukuks were the second most used in terms of structure type, valued at around $11 billion, and can play a key role in tapping much needed funds in the future as well as allow for the issuer to diversify its funding base.

The AFC Sukuk demonstrates the possibilities that can be achieved using the right partner who understands the client’s funding needs and objectives and, at the same time, delivers a product that is inclusive in allowing investors requiring a Shari’ah compliant return to meet their objectives simultaneously.

This transaction was awarded the 2017 Deal of the Year in the category Islamic Finance in Africa by The Banker magazine.

  • Ebrahim Moolla is Islamic banking/finance specialist at Rand Merchant Bank
Growth of Islamic finance:Islamic finance is one of the fastest growing segments of financial opportunity in the world The Islamic Finance Economy had an estimated $ 2 trillion is assets in 2015, with  Islamic banking responsible for $1.4 trillion, the Takaful (insurance) sector for $38 billion, Sukuk (bonds) at $342 billion, Islamic funds at $66 billion, and other financial institutions $106 billion. Islamic funds and Sukuk led year-on-year growth at 15% and 14%, respectively. Takaful was close behind with a growth rate of 11%, while Islamic banking experienced more modest growth of 6%.

Total Islamic finance assets are expected to reach $3.5 trillion by 2021, a CAGR of 12%, with Islamic banking responsible for most of this growth, and projected to reach $2.7 trillion in assets by 2021.