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eToro Adds 11th Cryptocurrency

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European investment hub eToro has added cardano to its cryptocurrency offerings, joining an impressive list that includes bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin, XRP and dash. Cardano currently holds the eighth highest valuation in the crypto world, with a $4 billion market capitalization. According to eToro, the coin was constructed “according to a scientific philosophy” by leading “academics and engineers” and operates in two layers: handling transactions and processing smart contracts.

The broker announced a major expansion into U.S. markets in May, launching cryptocurrency trading capacity that will now include 11 coins. The new platform will include a community tool that lets account holders chat with other American traders and investors about cryptocurrencies while documenting the strategies of more experienced clients. It will also allow clients to invest directly in coins, copy the activities of other traders or buy a portfolio of major crypto assets through a Crypto CopyFund. The company hasn’t announced the opening date, but eToro.com now lets U.S. residents sign up for a waiting list.

Metatrader Announces Changes to Account Settings 

Forex standard Metatrader 5 has added software that makes it easier for novice clients to open accounts and comply with MiFIDII proof of citizenship requirements as well as the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The materials will also assist compliance with European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) rules that will lower margin on major currency pairs to 30:1 from current levels that run as high as 200:1. Those rules, going into effect in August, will also end negative account balances and sharply restrict CFD trading. In addition, new users can now access a list of participating brokers, allowing them to open new accounts without leaving the platform.

IG Group, GAIN Capital Holdings, Inc. (GCAP), Oanda, Pepperstone, XTB, Saxo Bank and dozens of other forex brokers offer Metatrader as their primary or secondary trading platform.

[Check out Investopedia’s forex broker reviews to find a reliable broker for your currency trades.]

Robinhood Crypto Offerings Expand to 16 States

Robinhood has expanded commission-free trading of bitcoin and ethereum to 16 states, adding Texas and Arizona. The broker views the program as “early access,” requiring customers to join a waiting list, but it expects nationwide coverage later this year. Co-CEO Baiju Bhatt recently discussed the initiative, stating, “We had been watching bitcoin over the years and noticed one thing which we really looked at when considering when to offer it to our consumers, which is its resiliency. It has this tenacity to it where it just keeps on coming back.”

FxPro Profit Rises in 2017

The U.K.’s FxPro reported 2017 revenues at $5.93 million, marking a 36% year-over-year increase from 2016’s $4.34 million. Profits rose 42% from 2016’s $1.77 million to $2.52 million last year. The cryptocurrency craze didn’t affect results because the broker avoids this asset class, focusing its growth initiatives on spread betting. The company rated 3.5 out of 5.0 stars in Investopedia’s 2018 broker review, with excellent marks for desktop experience and website research. 

New Head of Client Services at Saxo Bank

Saxo Bank announced that Eric Krueger will join the firm on July 2 as global head of client services. In his prior role at Barclays Bank, Krueger had regional responsibility for program trading, electronic trading and sales trading. CCO Damian Bunce noted the hire, stating, “The new global head of client services role is key to drive Saxo’s client-centric strategy, value proposition and reflect the needs of our customers.”

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