This week was good for Bitcoin as its value soared to an all-time high of more than $1,000 on Thursday. Its worth has doubled since a US Senate committee hearing earlier this month backed Bitcoin as a legitimate financial service. Launched in 2009, the alternative currency can be traded anonymously and freely worldwide and is increasingly seen as an efficient way of handling global money transfers. The increased valuation also means that Exante’s Bitcoin fund is the best performing hedge fund so far in 2013 with a return of 4,847%.
On Monday, five major US banks said they would fund a new electronic bond trading venue on Tradeweb, a company owned by Thomson Reuters and a consortium of banks. This is regarded as an attempt to improve liquidity in the $9tn market for US corporate debt while retaining their control over the way securities change hands.
In other news:
- The Istanbul exchange wants Nasdaq OMX to take an equity stake of between 5% and 20% to extend its presence throughout southeast Europe, the Middle East and Africa – Financial Times
- Lisa Dallmer, COO for European cash market execution services, is planning to leave NYSE Euronext by the end of the year – Financial News
- London-based multilateral trading platform (MTF) Aquis Exchange executed its first equities trades on Tuesday with no reported systems problems or glitches – Automated Trader
- Following allegations of manipulation, senior market participants suggested widening the time window in which benchmark exchange rates are set in foreign exchange – Risk
- Proposed regulation restricting dark trading to 4 and 8% has the potential to seriously impact institutional investors’ ability to execute order flow, according to research from TABB Group Europe – FTSE Global Markets
- A number of investment banks proposed global mobile phone recording solutions to comply with post-crisis regulatory reform in the US and Europe – The Trade