ESMA bans Binary Options, restricts CFDs, while spread betting firms expect revenue growth due to Digital Currency boom

On March 27 2018 the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) announced the official ban of Binary Options to retail investors, while imposing leverage restrictions on the sale of Contract for Differences (CFD), which includes :

• a margin close out rule on a per account basis
• negative balance protection
• a restriction on incentives
• a full disclosure of the risks entailed
• a disclosure of the percentage of losses

The ban is announced in a context which shows more and more concern for investors protection and lack of transparency from unscrupulous financial spread betting firms, as a recent survey confirmed through the publication of alarming results showcasing up to 89 per cent of retail accounts in EU being concerned by average losses ranging from €1,600 to €29,000.

While European spread betting firms raised the concern of local retail clients now turning to overseas traders, the boom of crypto-currencies seems to predict a revenue growth nonetheless. In terms of crypto-currency regulations the U.K. Treasury and the EU have been taking action to end anonymity for crypto-currency traders since December 4, 2017. The U.K. Treasury stated to be “working to address concerns about the use of crypto-currencies by negotiating to bring virtual currency exchange platforms and some wallet providers within anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing regulation.” While to this day EU and the U.K. have not mentioned any final regulations on crypto-currency trading, some future announcements on the topic are not excluded.

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