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Exness Closes Retail Operations in Europe

Exness has decided to close its retail operations in the EU / EEA, including the United Kingdom. The broker will now focus on other markets and develop its B2B business.

October 28, 2019, | AtoZ Markets – Exness is authorized in the EU through its two licenses granted by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC). According to the statement published today on the broker’s website, the company has decided to close its operations in the European Union and the European Economic Area, including the United Kingdom, to focus on its B2B offering.

AtoZMarkets team reached out to Exness to get some insights about the story. One of the Exness team members, Karidjatou Koulibaly, commented that “Exness is moving its operations from retail to Business to Business (B2B). The top management made the decision to provide B2B. In our case, we will offer B2B services to other brokers.”

Exness teamed up with Sumsub

Last month, the broker teamed up with Sumsub for fraud protection assistance and globally inclusive AML compliance.

Exness’s international coverage required an automated KYC solution suitable for use in multiple countries. So to achieve the necessary level of compliance and fight off growing identity fraud, the company has partnered with at Sumsub. It is a unique solution for all questions of compliance and user integration. The broker’s decision to focus more on the B2B sector is not a big surprise. The firm has already said earlier it wanted to focus more in that direction.

Previously Exness Planed into The B2B Business

Earlier this year, in August, the broker’s product manager Andrey Shamne revealed that Exness plans to expand into the B2B business. Until then, the company had focused on growing its retail customer base. He thought that time B2B is a natural step for any successful broker. They will probably focus first on Europe.

According to Andrey Shamne, this is the best way for them to grow into new markets. So if they want to enter an original jurisdiction, they may not know the market, the players, the payments provider, or how marketing works. It’s much easier to provide a white-label to someone who understands these things.

Think we missed something? Let us know in the comments section below.

Exclusive: Genesis Vision partnership with EXANTE unlocks 10000 new assets

Genesis Vision has already integrated with several Forex brokers. However, the Genesis Vision partnership with EXANTE seems to have the most firepower. Get all the details here, about the new milestone of Genesis Vision. 

July 1, 2019 | AtoZ Markets – Genesis Vision is an asset management platform that unites several parties into a single system that strives to provide all of the participants with profit. The Genesis Vision eco system consists of three groups, those being investors, managers and brokers. 

Investors invest their funds in trading managers, who, in turn, trade on the servers of partner brokers. If we were to draw a parallel with Uber, then investors would be clients willing to have a ride, managers would play a role of drivers and brokers would play the role of either roads or car manufacturers, given that they provide managers with tools to operate. 

And while investors are very dependant on the quality of the managers, managers, on the other hand, depend on the quality of brokers, where they carry out their trading endeavours. In an ecosystem like Genesis Vision, only the choice of brokers limits the possibilities of trading managers; this is why the question of integration should be treated with due diligence. 

Why did Genesis Vision partner up with EXANTE? 

Genesis Vision has already integrated with several Forex brokers, as well as crypto exchanges; however, the new partner broker called EXANTE seems to have the most firepower when it comes to the choice of various assets and derivatives. EXANTE was founded in Malta in 2011 and has quickly expanded to being present in Singapore, Latvia, Poland, Russia, Switzerland, Cyprus and the UK, as well as headquarters in Malta.

EXANTE is heavily regulated by several financial institutions such as the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA), Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong (SFC) and is also governed by MiFID and authorized by the FCA. 

Versatility is where EXANTE shines the most. The broker offers more than 50,000 financial products, which include derivatives for all tastes. With this integration, EXANTE grants Genesis Vision managers access to over 10,000 stocks & ETFs, over 50 currency pairs, over 30 global futures markets, and much, much more, giving them the most significant increase in the number of available assets in the history of the platform. 

Unlike many other brokers, EXANTE provides direct market access (DMA) to over 50 different financial markets and exchanges, including the famous giants like NASDAQ and The London Stock Exchange. This means that with the help of EXANTE, Genesis Vision managers will have a direct way to interact with order books of over 50 global exchanges, which lowers the latency, transaction costs and gives them a higher level of control over the final execution. EXANTE’s server network consists of over 400 servers all around the world to ensure the lowest latencies and safe data transfers.

Genesis Vision managers can access 10 000 assets 

The trading process is carried out through EXANTE’s proprietary state-of-the-art trading platform, that is supported on every device, including a web platform, desktop applications for Windows, MacOS or Linux, and mobile applications for iOS and Android. 

As of right now, the integration of EXANTE and Genesis Vision is already completed and Genesis Vision managers have already started sifting through the list of over 10 000 assets to find instruments to their liking. If you are an investor looking for a skilled manager to diversify your portfolio, then register on the Genesis Vision platform to choose the manager that meets your aims and requirements. 

INATBA co-founder: EU Blockchain Association facilitates wider acceptance of blockchain

April 9, 2019, | AtoZ MarketsLast week, AtoZ Markets published an article about SWIFT, IBM, Ripple, and 100 other firms and organizations joining a newly created EU Blockchain Association named as the International Association of Trusted Block Applications (INATBA). This week, we spoke to one of its founders, Kornel Kalocsai, who shared his ideas about how will INATBA benefit the blockchain market. Kalocsai expressed his opinion about how he foresees the future role of blockchain in Europe.

What is INATBA? Foundation, shape and commitment 

105 organizations founded a new EU blockchain association on the DLT ecosystem by Kornel Kalocsai, president of the Blockchain Hungary Association.
The International Association of Trusted Blockchain Applications (INATBA) was officially founded on the 3rd of April by 105 different entities: multinational companies, SMEs and non-profit organizations, such as eg. ConseSys,
IBM, Deutsche Telecom, Telefonica, IOTA Foundation, R3, Ripple, Repsol and many more. The most important players from the ecosystem found it important to join INATBA, which was supported by the European Commission.

During the interview, Kornel Kalocsai explained what is the commitment and future plans of the new EU blockchain association. Among organizations’ main activities, Kalocsai mentioned:

  • developing interoperability and sector-specific guidelines and standards
  • transparent and inclusive governance 
  • ongoing constructive dialogue with authorities and regulators, to ensure that INATBA will be a significant driver of blockchain innovation and adoption internationally

During the INATBA founding ceremony, Mariya Gabriel, the European Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society, officially hashed the constitution and the members’ list of INATBA on the blockchain.  

“We are thrilled to see that over 100 companies and organizations have partnered together to help develop the framework for distributed ledger technologies in Europe,” said Gabriel, adding: “It clearly signifies that blockchain technology will be a driving force for our economy in the coming years, and through INATBA we will be able to foster an environment that encourages the application of the technology across the EU member states.

INATBA’s Three main goals come on top

INATBA has mandated itself with a number of chief objectives:

  1. Promote an open, transparent and inclusive global model of governance for blockchain and other distributed ledger technology infrastructures and applications. A model that reflects the shared interests of stakeholders from industry, start-ups and SMEs, civil society organizations, governments, and international organizations.
  2. Support the development and adoption of interoperability guidelines, specifications, and global standards, to enhance trusted, traceable, user-centric digital services. Upholding an open, transparent and inclusive method of multi-stakeholder cooperation.
  3. Develop sector-specific guidelines and specifications for the development and acceleration of trusted sectorial blockchain and DLT applications in specific sectors (i.e. financial services, health, supply chain, energy, and financial inclusion).

World bank and UN support the EU Blockchain association

This initiative also has strong support from leading international organizations. The European Commission, the World Bank, the OECD, the UN World Food Program, UNFCCC, UNICEF, the European Investment Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the OECD have joined INATBA’s Governmental Advisory Board. All EU Member States and the European Blockchain Partnership are expected to join as governmental advisors.

INATBA paves the way for DLT and blockchain

In an answer to the question of “how will INATBA benefit the blockchain market?” Kornel Kalocsai noted:

“With the creation of INATBA, it can facilitate wider acceptance of DLT and blockchain technology and it could become a global association for the ecosystem, like eg. ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) is for the internet. INATBA is open for any organizations to join the work of it, not only from Europe but from all over the world, even from Africa, South Korea, South America, etc. and it is already decided to organize the World Blockchain Congress in Malaga in November this year.”

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Iconic Lab helps Blockchain startups fundraise €20 million

21 March 2019, AtoZ Markets – Iconic Lab is the first decentralized Venture Capital groupm, which is powered by a Token sales accelerator program. Despite the crypto winter, the venture capital group helped blockchain startups fundraise close to €20 million in 2018. The company’s main focus is to provide the tools and guidance to help blockchain ventures to successfully raise capital and fulfill their vision. 

Founded in early 2017, over 500 startups have already applied to Iconic Lab’s token sale accelerator program. Of which, the Iconic Lab’s professional investment committee has selected only 9 startups to join the program. 

About Iconic Lab: World’s first decentralised VC group

Iconic Lab is headquartered in Frankfurt, Germany. The decentralised venture capital group also opened offices in New York and London in 2018. Meanwhile, FinLab AG, a publicly-traded German FinTech company builder, and investor made a strategic investment into Iconiq Lab in late 2017. Iconiq Lab collaborates with FinLab AG on the management of a €100 million EOS venture fund backed by, the publisher of EOS. Iconiq Lab assists in due diligence for fund investments and helps develop the fund’s companies, leading their EOS ICO campaigns.

The decentralised venture capital group created its own token, called INCQ. Tokenholders will have a premium membership right into the exclusive presales of the companies which take part in Iconic Lab’s token sale accelerator program. Already, Iconiq Lab has raised approximately €2.5 million in ICNQ token sales, of which there are 20+ premium club members and over 5,000 retail holders. The success of Iconic Lab proves that OECD’s stance on ICO could be right, until there is no regulation, ICOs are unlikely to replace the orthodox venture capital means for blockchain startups fundraising.

Iconic Lab interview: Blockchain Startups Fundraising 2.0  

For more insights into this unique accelerator program of Iconic Lab, AtoZMarkets team has interviewed Patrick Lowry, Managing Partner and CEO at Iconiq Lab Holding GmbH. Find out, how Iconic Lab helped Blockchain startups fundraise €20 million and learn the vision behind the decentralised VC group.

AtoZ Markets: “To start, can you tell us a little about Iconic Holding, how it started & the vision behind?” 

Patrick Lowry: “Iconic is a crypto asset management firm with an HQ in Frankfurt and offices in London and New York. We believe that the biggest use case of cryptographic and distributed ledger technology is the $508 trillion global financial market, where every financial and real-world asset can, and will, be tokenized. We are building the financial framework for the distributed crypto economy to offer premium crypto investment opportunities for institutional and retail investors alike.

We began as Iconic Lab, a decentralized VC club and token sale accelerator program that finances and develops early-stage projects, preparing them for an ICO or STO. Iconic Lab onboarded 9 projects in 2018, of which we helped 8 fundraise more than $500k, roughly $20 million in total, with their ICO’s planned for later in 2019. We created our own ICNQ token, a premium membership right for holders into the exclusive presales of the companies which graduate our accelerator program, raising roughly $2.5M in the ICNQ sale.

From there we launched Iconic Funds, an issuer, and manager of a series of regulated crypto asset index funds that offer diversified exposure to the growth of the emerging crypto economy. The first fund will be going live in early Q2 2019, and pay its crypto industry-low 1% management fee exclusively in ICNQ tokens it purchases from the open market.

Rather than keep the regulated and enterprise-grade infrastructure for Iconic Funds to ourselves like many asset managers do, we have decided to make it available to any manager with a crypto strategy that would like to launch their own fund on our newly announced Asset-Management-as-a-Service platform, AMaaS. AMaaS is a 360-degree unified solution for crypto asset management that offers any prospective crypto asset manager best-in-class market data, trade execution, custody, banking, legal and more for their own regulated fund. AMaaS optimizes the performance of any crypto asset management strategy!”

Iconic Lab’s new vision: Focus goes to a tokenized economy 

AtoZ Markets: “We saw that you just rebranded – what’s the reasoning behind?” 

Patrick Lowry: “As you can see, Iconic has evolved significantly since Iconiq Lab was launched in early 2017. As we continued to expand it was imperative to align each of our distinct business units to our singular vision of a tokenized, crypto economy. Thus, Iconiq Lab evolved into Iconic Holding, a premier crypto asset management firm that caters to all crypto investor risk preferences through Iconic Lab and Funds, and drives crypto investment adoption through the AMaaS platform.”

AtoZ Markets: “What makes the Iconic business units stand out?”

Patrick Lowry: “Iconic values quality and professionalism above all else, and these values permeate through everything we do. Even when we launched Iconic Lab and sold the ICNQ token, we did not move forward doing so until we received a “No Action Letter” from our regulator in Germany, the BaFin, after many months of discussions. Further, we have adopted best-practices from the traditional financial industry whether it be the rigorous due diligence our team performs on investment opportunities for the Lab, or the structuring and regulatory compliance measures we undertake for Iconic Funds’ index funds. Our ultimate goal is to provide our investors and clients the same quality assurances they have come to expect from traditional asset management firms, translating this to the world’s fastest growing asset class, crypto.”

AtoZ Markets: “What do you think the next few years will hold for blockchain-based applications in the blockchain market/field?” 

Patrick Lowry: “It is inevitable that DLT and blockchain technology will penetrate every single industrial vertical in one form or another. The use cased of the underlying technology range from banking and supply chain to healthcare and government. The distributed economy is right around the corner, and incumbent corporates should be prepared for it.

The biggest use case that largely goes undiscussed, however, is the $508 trillion global financial economy. It is inevitable that all financial assets as well as tangible, real-world assets, will be tokenized. At Iconic, we have built the framework to manage these assets properly through AMaaS, the backbone of our own crypto index funds. Rather than keeping this to ourselves, we are offering AMaaS to any prospective crypto asset manager to optimize the management of their own crypto portfolios. We believe if you cannot manage crypto assets by 2025, you will not be managing any client assets.”

The strategy behind Iconic Lab’s token sale accelerator program

AtoZ Markets: “On what criteria do you evaluate investment opportunities?” 

Patrick Lowry: “For Iconic Funds’ crypto asset index funds, we adopted a passive investment strategy. We believe that as financial instruments such as stocks, bonds and derivatives are secured on-chain and institutions adopt crypto it will drive exponential growth of the market capitalization of crypto assets. Inevitably, we believe the $508 trillion global financial economy will be tokenized and offer our investors diversified exposure to the growth of this revolution as the crypto asset market explodes.

For Iconic Lab’s accelerator program we value projects that have a working product with a genuine use case of blockchain or distributed ledger technology and is on the cusp of being ready for an ICO or STO. We place a high emphasis on the project’s team in our evaluation and prefer it being a group that has demonstrated value generation for others in prior work or life experiences. We generally work with early-stage projects in the Lab, but are happy to consult large corporates that are aiming to build a distributed blockchain layer in their already existing business model.”

Are you planning on a blockchain startup and need help from a decentralised venture capital group? Don’t hesitate and contact Iconic Lab now. 

VISA crypto plans may take off soon

March 18, 2019, | AtoZ Markets Visa Inc., the well-known international financial services corporation, has just announced a new position pertinent to cryptocurrency. Can the market expect VISA Crypto plans to go live?

VISA sounds to have already built its ‘VISA Crypto Team’, as the advertisement says the “Technical Product Manager” will be appointed in the aforementioned team.

The corporation mentioned in its announcement that the team referred to will foster VISA’s product strategy within the cryptocurrency ecosystem, to deliver VISA’s new products to its Fintech space.

VISA crypto plans and actions

Over the last few months, the American financial giant displayed considerable interest in the crypto market and the blockchain technology, as it had announced the last month its intention for expanding its Fintech fast-track program to the Central and Eastern Europe, Africa and the Middle East, the thing that will allow Fintechs to connect to VISA’s payment network within a short period of time.

Based on the above-mentioned, some of VISA crypto plans have already materialised, as VISA holds a foot in the cryptocurrency market indirectly through helping Ripple’s partner InstaRem. Earlier, the American crediting corporation bought Earthport Plc which was also a Ripple-partnered British Fintech, paying around 198 million pounds. VISA also launched in 2017 a blockchain-based programme for processing cross-border payments.

All of The U.S. Commerce Bank, South Korea’s Shinhan Bank, the Union Bank of Philippines, and the United Overseas Bank in Singapore were mentioned among the first partners that could make direct transactions from one to another via Visa’s B2B technology based on the blockchain system, as per the official statement from Visa.

MasterCard Blockchain Patents are already earned

In a matter of fact, it is not only Visa that is making efforts in investing in the cryptocurrency market and the blockchain technology, either directly or through intermediaries.

MasterCard had already filed for a number of blockchain-related patents, according to reports. The MasterCard blockchain patents were for its new system on partitioned blockchains and enhanced privacy for permissioned blockchains, which allows the credit card firm to store multiple transaction types and formats. 

The well-known crediting company had filed also for a patent for a system to combat identity theft in blockchain, in addition to a system for expediting the activation of new blockchain nodes.

MasterCard had proposed in the summer of 2017 a new method for a new mechanism for linking assets between blockchain-based with fiat currency accounts, depending on publish permissionaless blockchain.