Amsterdam-based Flow Traders NV, Europe’s largest trader of exchange-traded funds is now going crypto, but it has turned out not to be a move recommended by the Dutch Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM), according to Cointelegraph.
Flow Traders NV is reputed to be the first trader to buy and sell exchange-traded notes based on Bitcoin and, by association, is likely to encourage clientele to cryptocurrency from traditional stock, particularly given cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum’s ease of purchase.
Co-CEO Flow Traders NV Dennis Dijkstra believes that cryptocurrencies are underestimated. He said:
“It’s big, and it is to be regulated very soon. The market participants are much more professional than people think. Institutional investors are interested – we know they are because we get requests.”
The AFM doesn’t share these sentiments claiming that cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum are not regarded as an asset class by the authority. However, as the exchange is regulated there is little the government agency can do to forestall crypto trading activity. Nienke Torensma, a spokeswoman for the AFM, is quoted as stating:
“We discourage activities in cryptos both by consumers and professional license holders. By virtue of its newness and the anonymity it potentially offers, it is very prone to abuse. Given its inability to serve the promised purpose as a currency, we don’t regard it to be an asset class.”
Earlier this year, the AFM made attempts to dissuade companies considering trading in cryptocurrency to reconsider by circulating a letter suggesting that such activities came with risks and that any attempt to offer the new service may put their current licensing in question.
This is a curious move given the Dutch government reported just a month prior to the circulation of the warning letter, that cryptocurrencies posed little risk to financial stability, but it did call for further regulation.
The report stated that although cryptocurrencies pose a low risk to the financial system at this time, due to comparatively low levels of capitalization, the risk would increase with an increase of involvement by government and financial institutions in the future.
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