• Late afternoon European trading sees Bitcoin recording a daily low at USD 7,229
  • JPMorgan blockchain network is due to set up roots in Japan by early 2020
  • Swedish regulators approve Amun to sell crypto asset ETPs in the EU

Bitcoin markets are in a current slump as price gave up some ground in the last few hours, with Bitcoin trading at a daily low of USD 7,229 at 3:50 pm London time (CoinDesk). Altcoins have generally followed suit, with Ether falling to USD 146 (-2.5%), Ripple/XRP to 22.2 cents (-2.7%) and EOS down to USD 2.63 (-3.3%).

Amid the slight downfall for crypto markets, Cointelegraph Japan reports that JPMorgan’s blockchain-based payment network is due to launch in Japan early next year. Using an in-house platform called Quorum, the Interbank Information Network (IIN) is designed to make payment transactions faster, while addressing the longstanding issue of banks sharing data.

According to Bloomberg, over 80 banks in Japan have revealed some sort of interest to join the platform. A significant force in banking already, this means that Japanese banks would make up more than a fifth of the 365 international members who have already confirmed their participation since September. It is the largest representation from any one country.

JPMorgan executive director Daizaburo Sanai says that IIN already is operational across three continents and operating 70 banks, but has not yet included any Japanese banks until January 2020 when the first banks will join. The main motivation, according to Sanai, is the improvement of Anti Money Laundering aspects, since IIN makes for a faster and more efficient tracking of cash movements. This is expected to greatly improve the chances of discovering the transfer of money for nefarious purposes.

According to the Bloomberg report in Japanese, IIN makes this possible by making the compliance inquiry more efficient. This is achieved by ensuring that funds transfer and information exchange are separated during international remittances. It explains:

“International remittances may go through multiple banks between remittances and remittances due to agency agreements. The current international interbank communication association (SWIFT) remittance system may take several days to confirm, even if the bank passes funds, it may not be able to receive the account information of the remittance directly.”

For once, blockchain being transparent and immutable is being recognized as actually better for preventing illicit use of money, quite a refreshing change from the old stereotypes of criminals choosing cryptocurrency to hide their ill-gotten wealth.

Meanwhile, traditional investors will be happy to hear of the latest investment news to come out from Europe, with Switzerland-based crypto company Amun AG gaining approval to offer its crypto-related products to European Union investors. Amun’s base prospectus for an exchange-traded product (ETP) was filed with Sweden’s finance regulator, the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority (SFSA), who has now given the green light to Amun.

The ETP provider has praised Sweden’s progressive regulations which has allowed the firm to market its various ETPs to qualified retail investors across the EU. In a press release, Amun president Ophelia Snyder said:

“We recognize that the regulatory framework in Sweden has been supportive of such initiatives and we welcome its deliberation… The combination of strong demand for ETPs in Sweden – especially in crypto assets – among private investors and institutional clients and our strong expertise in these product categories create ideal conditions for Amun’s entry into the Swedish and European Union markets for ETPs.”

Amun is no stranger to progressing crypto ETPs, playing a significant role in expanding crypto offerings in Switzerland and abroad. It was the firm responsible for listing an ETP for Binance Coin (BNB) back in October on the Swiss Stock Exchange (SIX). It isn’t stopping there, either, promising that the firm is “committed to maintaining the highest standards of professionalism and looks forward to continuing a productive and collaborative relationship with new and existing partners in Sweden and the rest of the European Union”.

SIX itself is now regularly listing all kinds of crypto-related ETPs. In November, it listed Tezos ETP that even gave staking rewards, while launching a physically-backed Bitcoin (BTC) ETP targeted at institutional investors just last week.


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