UK Regulators Financial Conduct Authority Approve First Cryptocurrency Hedge Fund

Prime Factor Capital was the first crypto hedge fund approved as a full-scope alternative investment fund manager by the Financial Conduct Authority, UK regulators.

The firm will abide by European regulations, though approved by the UK watchdog. Under these guidelines the firm will be allowed to hold more than 100 million euros in assets under management. It is the first agency to be approved to invest exclusively in the cryptocurrency asset class.

The founders believe that by focusing on a single asset class, even one that carries market distrust, they will surge ahead of their global competitors and become the trusted authority in crypto investing. Prime Factor’s chief operating officer Adam Grimsley told:

“Most vehicles for investing in cryptocurrencies are outside the scope of regulators and that’s a big problem in a market that has such a bad reputation.”

Prime Factor is required to appoint a custodian under EU regulations to ensure and validate investors’ returns and the fund’s holdings. This custodian will act independently of the firm and also provide cash flow reconciliation.

The firm manages funds for professional and institutional investors including high net worth individuals, family offices, and private wealth managers, according to a company statement.

There is no information available publicly regarding the firm’s investment strategy. The team is comprised of former employees from Blackrock, Legal & General, Goldman Sachs, and Deutsche Bank.

Company CEO Nic Niedermowwe published on their website a report titled “The Fallacy of Uncollateralised Stablecoins,” in which he argued that uncollateralised stablecoins are problematic. He has also considered such subjects as the scalability of bitcoin. (Positive)

The eToro Cryptocurrency Wallet is Adding Support for 120 ERC-20 Standard Tokens

According to a press release, first to be included in the wallet from Tuesday are Maker (MKR), Basic Attention Token (BAT), OmiseGO (OMG), with the others to follow in the “near future.”

ERC-20 is a technical standard that sets rules for tokens launched on ethereum or related blockchains.

The wallet is managed by eToroX, an eToro subsidiary that is regulated by the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission.

Managing director of eToroX Doron Rosenblum said:

“Adding 120 ERC-20 tokens to the eToro wallet is further evidence of our belief that one day all investable assets will be tokenized. One of the main barriers to mass adoption of cryptoassets is lack of access. Making these first 5 tokens available enables more people to transfer and hold them into a secure and regulated wallet.”  (Neutral)

Cuba ‘Studying Cryptocurrency’ To Dodge U.S. Sanctions, Says Gov’t

Cuba is the latest country to consider using cryptocurrency to skirt U.S. sanctions, Reuters reported quoting a government source on July 3.

In a public address on local television, the country’s president, Migual Diaz-Canel, said the plan would raise capital for around one quarter of the population, helping to pay for reforms.

Cuba has felt a severe knock-on effect from the crisis in Venezuela, which was previously a major source of aid.

“We are studying the potential use of cryptocurrency… in our national and international commercial transactions, and we are working on that together with academics,” Reuters quoted economy minister Alejandro Gil Fernandez as saying.

Venezuela itself rolled out its own state-run cryptocurrency, Petro, last year. Also designed to dodge sanctions, its use has so far remained limited due to a lack of international interest.

Other states are considering following suit, such as Iran, which is facing an ever more hostile U.S. reception.

It remains unclear whether Cuba is looking at creating its own cryptocurrency token or seeking to use an existing public one, such as bitcoin (BTC). (Neutral)