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Fintech A.M.: 19-12-2017

New bitcoin products and cryptocurrency applications played an important role in today’s fintech news. Fintech hubs are entering international partnerships to stimulate global financial innovation.

Bitcoin futures and developments in international cryptocurrencies

Exactly a week after CBOE’s exchange was the first to offer bitcoin futures, CME Group’s bitcoins futures started trading last Sunday at 6 p.m. EST. The starting sentiment was bullish as the sale price for the January 18th contracts opened at USD 20,650, which was USD 1,150 above CME’s last reference rate at the time. Compared to CBOE’s launch, which coincided with overwhelming website traffic, CME’s website remained stable and bitcoin’s price even dropped to a low of USD 18,424 over the course of the first hour, sending a potential message regarding bitcoin’s market sentiment.

Instead of speculating on bitcoin’s future value, Denmark’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a new report on the potential of the application of blockchain and cryptocurrencies in the distribution of foreign aid. Together with blockchain startup Coinify and think tank Sustania, the Danish Ministry is exploring ways to deliver assistance to impoverished regions. The report suggests that Denmark should “consider being the first donor country to transfer aid via cryptocurrency.”

Talking about international cryptocurrency-related developments, the Central Banks of the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia are launching a pilot initiative to assess the potential of cryptocurrency use for cross-border payments. The involvement of Saudi Arabia’s central bank is particularly remarkable, as it has not commented on cryptocurrencies to date.

International collaboration to boost financial innovation

FinTech Australia is on a partnership streak with other international fintech hubs, as it announced a new partnership with FinTech Indonesia. Both parties signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) aimed at boosting the mutual development of fintech in both nations.

Australia and Indonesia are not the only countries entering international fintech oriented partnerships. The Singapore FinTech Association and the Israeli City TLV association inked a MoU as well. The memorandum is aimed at bridging both fintech ecosystems through cross border collaboration and initiatives. Both hubs are profiled as leaders in technology with excellent reputations for business services.

 

By Michael Brooijmans, Research Analyst at Holland FinTech

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