Deutsche Börse mulls bitcoin futures contracts after volatile CBOE debut

Deutsche Börse is considering becoming the first European exchange to offer bitcoin futures, which began trading for the first time in the US this week. The volatile debut of futures contracts on the Chicago Board Options Exchange has contributed to recent surges in the price of bitcoin and other crypto-currencies amid growing interest from institutional investors. It has also led to warnings from regulators worldwide about individuals trading futures and bitcoin itself.

French government authorises blockchain-based securities exchanges

The French government has approved rules authorising banks and fintech companies to set up blockchain platforms to trade unlisted securities as part of efforts to strengthen the country’s position as a centre for financial technology innovation. Securities listed on blockchain-based platforms will still require custodians and clearing houses, but finance minister Bruno Le Maire says the change will facilitate new ways of trading that are faster, cheaper, safer and more transparent.

Russian hacking group implicated in stealing $10m from 20 banks

A Russian cyber-criminal gang has allegedly stolen as much as $10m from around 20 US and Russian banks over the past 18 months, as well as breaching systems at a UK-based software provider. The so-called MoneyTaker group, identified by researchers at Russian cyber-security firm Group-IB, has primarily targeted smaller institutions with limited cyber-defences, but is thought to be expanding the scope and scale of its attacks, including probing for vulnerabilities in the SWIFT interbank messaging network.

UnionPay provides unified payment platform for 30 banks

UnionPay has partnered with 30 commercial banks and payment institutions to launch a unified payments app for Chinese banks that are looking to compete with popular third-party payment services developed by Alibaba and Tencent. Mobile QuickPass is designed to standardise and simplify user experience, saving bank customers from having to use distinct apps, services and products from different providers.
South China Morning Post

AI’s spread could amplify the next financial shock

The rapid expansion of artificial intelligence in the financial industry could have unexpected consequences in the event of a shock to the financial system, potentially amplifying the effects of the next crisis. Researchers are concerned that much of the financial data on which AI systems are trained has been generated in recent years, a period of ultra-low interest rates and post-crisis economic conditions that are unusual by historical standards. If that situation changes suddenly, it is unclear how AI systems without larger data sets over a longer timespan will react.