Archive: January 16, 2017

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Competition concerns in the payment systems market
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The world’s first listed regulated bitcoin fund

Competition concerns in the payment systems market

By Jonathan Lawrence

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has found that Mastercard’s acquisition of VocaLink gives rise to UK competition/anti-trust concerns. Mastercard UK Holdco Ltd, a subsidiary of Mastercard International Incorporated (Mastercard), is buying VocaLink Holdings Ltd (VocaLink).

Mastercard already owns and operates credit and debit card schemes Mastercard, Maestro and Cirrus, and has also bid to supply infrastructure services to UK interbank payment systems. VocaLink is a supplier of payment infrastructure services to three major UK interbank payment systems:

  • Bacs, the automated clearing system allowing credit and debit payments between bank accounts;
  • the Faster Payments Service (FPS), which enables near ‘real-time’ payments between bank accounts within the UK; and
  • the LINK ATM network.

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The world’s first listed regulated bitcoin fund

By Jonathan Lawrence

Global Advisors (Jersey) Limited (“Global Advisors”), the investment manager of the Global Advisors Bitcoin Investment Fund PLC (“GABI”) announced on 19 December 2016 that the Channel Islands Securities Exchange (“CISE”) has approved the admission to listing of all of the redeemable participating no par value shares of the open ended fund. The CISE listing means that GABI becomes the first regulated bitcoin fund to be listed on any exchange globally.

GABI was launched in 2014 as the world’s first regulated bitcoin fund when it received certification as an Expert Fund from the Jersey Financial Services Commission. Its listing on the CISE means that it joins over 2,000 listed securities on the exchange comprising a market capitalisation of over £300 billion. It is the first digital asset-related listing on the exchange.

GABI is the third exchange listing for Global Advisors. The firm currently manages two Bitcoin Exchange Traded Certificates – COINXBT and COINXBE – on NASDAQ’s OMX in Stockholm. The firm is developing as a platform for digital assets combining digital asset management, direct market access and working with start-up firms developing distributed ledger technologies, including Glint, Gradbase and Aventus Systems.

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