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eToro signals tokenized future with acquisition of smart contract infrastructure provider Firmo

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– Acquisition brings eToro one step closer to becoming the first truly global service provider allowing people to trade, invest and save –

Global multi-asset investment platform eToro has today announced that it has acquired Firmo, for an undisclosed amount. Firmo enables smart contracts for derivatives to be securely enabled on any major blockchain.

Commenting on the news Yoni Assia, Co-founder and CEO of eToro, said: “The acquisition of Firmo will enable eToro to accelerate the growth of our tokenized assets offering.  Blockchain and the tokenization of assets will play a major role in the future of finance. We believe that in time all investible assets will be tokenized and that we will see the greatest transfer of wealth ever onto the blockchain.”

eToro was founded in 2007 with the vision of opening up the global markets so that everyone can trade and invest in a simple and transparent way. While this core vision remains the same, new technology namely blockchain, means that the eToro business has, and will continue to, evolve.

Yoni Assia continued: “While our expansion has been largely organic to date, as the eToro business continues to grow we are on the lookout to acquire businesses which will help us stay at the forefront of fintech innovation. We believe that the market is particularly exciting at the moment.”

The Firmo team will act as an internal innovation unit tasked with bringing to life the goal of tokenizing all assets on eToro. This will involve research and development of infrastructure for the representation of assets and the execution of trade processes on blockchain infrastructure.

Dr. Omri Ross, CEO and Founder of Firmo, said: “The advent of crypto and the blockchain technology that underpins it has driven an explosion in financial innovation, however, a number of challenges are preventing mass adoption and integration into legacy infrastructure.  Our goal is to enable our users to trade any asset globally with instant settlement by tokenizing assets and executing all essential trade processes on the blockchain.”

Firmo’s underlying technology provides a platform to securely deploy financial contracts and can work with any blockchain. They have developed a formally verified, domain-specific contract language ‘FirmoLang’ which, with the support of Firmo’s compiler can be translated onto a number of blockchain platforms such as Ethereum, EOS or NEO.

Yoni Assia said: “The Firmo team has done ground-breaking work in developing practical applications for blockchain technology which will facilitate friction-less global trading. The adoption of smart contracts on the blockchain increases trust and transparency in financial services. We are incredibly proud and excited that they will be joining the eToro family. We believe that together we have a very bright future and look forward to pursuing our shared goal to become the first truly global service provider allowing people to trade, invest and save.”

About eToro

eToro was founded in 2007 with the vision of opening up the global markets so that everyone can trade and invest in a simple and transparent way. The eToro Group consists of the eToro platform, our multi-asset trading and investment venue, and eToroX, which manages our crypto wallet and forthcoming exchange.

The eToro platform enables people to invest in the assets they want, from stocks and commodities to cryptoassets. We are a global community of more than ten million registered users who share their investment strategies; and anyone can follow the approaches of those who have been the most successful. Due to the simplicity of the platform users can easily buy, hold and sell assets, monitor their portfolio in real time, and transact whenever they want.

As technology has evolved, so has our business. In 2018, we created eToroX, our digital asset subsidiary. eToroX provides the infrastructure, in the form of a crypto wallet and the forthcoming exchange, that supports our commitment to facilitating the evolution of tokenized assets. We believe that leveraging blockchain technology will enable us to become the first truly global service provider allowing everyone to trade, invest and save.

Disclaimer:

eToro is regulated in Europe by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK.

eToroX is incorporated in Gibraltar with company number 116348 and its registered office is at 57/63 Line Wall Road, Gibraltar. It’s distributed ledger technology (DLT) provider licence was granted by the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission in December 2018 (licence number FSC1333B).

eToro is a multi-asset platform which offers both investing in stocks and cryptoassets, as well as trading CFDs.

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 76% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Cryptoassets are volatile instruments which can fluctuate widely in a very short timeframe and therefore are not appropriate for all investors. Other than via CFDs, trading cryptoassets is unregulated and therefore is not supervised by any regulatory framework. Your capital is at risk.

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Stellar now available on eToroX exchange

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eToroX announces new cryptoasset and multiple fiat pairs

7 August 2019: eToroX, the blockchain subsidiary of global investment platform eToro, today announces that Stellar (XLM) is now available on the eToroX exchange.

As of today, eToroX is making Stellar a base currency for trading pairs on eToroX. It will be tradeable against other cryptoassets and stablecoins. The pairs include USD (XLM-USDEX) GBP (XLM-GBPX), Japanese Yen (XLM-JPYX), Euro (XLM-EURX), and with Bitcoin (BTC-XLM), and Ethereum (ETH-XLM).

“We want to open up the tokenized world for everyone,” said Doron Rosenblum, Managing Director of eToroX. “eToroX is bringing crypto and tokenized assets to a wider audience and enabling them to trade with confidence on a secure and regulated platform.”

“We believe that blockchain technology has the means to include more people in a new financial world, who might have been previously excluded from it. Stellar shares this ethos, which is why we are excited to be adding it to our exchange and on-chain wallet for people to buy, sell and hold, 24/7.”

Stellar is an open source and decentralized payment network protocol with its own currency (XLM), which connects banks, payment systems and people, aiming to provide global access to low-cost financial services for all.

“It’s exciting that eToro has added Stellar Lumens as a base currency on the eToroX exchange,” said Jed McCaleb, CTO of the Stellar Development Foundation. “We believe…

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Are you an accidental bitcoin tax avoider?

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Are you one of the many millions of people who saw the price of bitcoin start rocketing in 2017? Are you one of the hundreds of thousands who bought in? Are you one of the thousands of buyers who is resident, for tax purposes, in the UK?

If your answer is yes to the last question, you need to take a deep breath and read on.

Cryptocurrency is still in its infancy as far as regulators are concerned, with few rules around what you can do with bitcoin and its peers and what can be done to you with it.

While it’s not the Wild West, you’re advised to use registered and regulated platforms, such as eToro, to trade and invest to ensure the best protection from scams.

But if those who make the legal application around burgeoning financial trends are a bit behind the curve, those seeking to tax it are not.

You might not be aware, but if the size of your pot of bitcoin – or other crypto – has risen considerably since you bought it, you need to be thinking about your potential liabilities to HMRC.

In December, HMRC published a list of ways your bitcoin can make you liable for a range of taxes. The main one for those who bought the rising bitcoin…

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Making the most of your bitcoin (by maxing your tax)

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Crypto enthusiasts will know that just because you didn’t know about the tax liable on cryptocurrency gains doesn’t mean you don’t have to pay it. Ignorance is no defence against the taxman.

But there are ways of reducing the tax you have to pay, and they are all entirely legal.

The main tax a holder of bitcoin is most likely to pay is on any gains made when selling the asset. This is called Capital Gains Tax (CGT). Like any investment, if you don’t do anything to make the value increase, it’s seen as something of a windfall – and the government wants a share of the action.

You are liable for tax on the gains you make selling cryptoassets for cold hard cash, exchanging cryptoassets for a different type (i.e. bitcoin for ripple), using cryptoassets to pay for goods or services or giving them away to someone else.

Importantly, you can give the cryptos to a spouse or civil partner and not be liable for gains… but you are just handing over the liability to them to sort out.

Also, don’t think you can just offload them onto a charity, as HMRC can take a view that you are doing it just to get out of paying what you owe.

However, CGT only kicks in after you’ve made…

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