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Italian Challenger Bank AideXa Acquires Banking License from ECB, Will Offer Short-Term Credit Facilities

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AideXa, an Italian banking challenger for small businesses, has reportedly acquired a full banking license which was issued by the European Central Bank (ECB).

Established by Roberto Nicastro, ex- GM at Unicredit, Banca AideXa aims to leverage AI and Open Banking to better serve SMEs based in Italy that have a turnover or annual revenue of less than €10 million.

AideXa secured €45 million in capital via a seed round in November 2020. Generali Group, Banca Sella, and IFIS took part in the firm’s round along with contributions from VCs, family offices, trade associations and several angel investors.

AideXa, which plans to hire around 100 additional staff members in the next few months, says that it is planning to break even within 3 years of operations and aims to acquire about 100,000 customers in the next 5 years.

Founded during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Banca AideXa has entered the market at a time when businesses are beginning to deal with new capital requirements while also covering post-lockdown recovery costs.

AideXa’s first product  “X-Instant” is described as a digital or online short-term credit facility that guarantees approval or rejection within 10 minutes.

As covered last year, Italy’s Fintech sector remains “weak” mainly due to low levels of investments, according to a report published in 2020.

There were 278 Fintech firms operating in Italy (as of June 2020), which is 49 more than when Big Four auditing firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), released its previous report on the financial technology sector in the European nation (in mid 2019).

PwC’s report had revealed that Italy now has an emerging real estate segment, which is supported by lending and equity crowdfunding platforms. The nation’s digital asset sector has also grown in the past year.

PwC had claimed:

“[Overall,] Italy is weak [in terms of Fintech activity.] In the internation context, the Italian position about Fintech has been so far weak (in 24th place in the world according to Findexable) and the low investments play a dominant role in this ranking”

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/06/176369-italian-challenger-bank-aidexa-acquires-banking-license-from-ecb-will-offer-short-term-credit-facilities/

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Bitcoin has Given Investors in Emerging Markets Access to a High-Performing Asset: Report

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2020 was a really important breakout year for Bitcoin (BTC), as an influx of institutional capital “spurred” the digital asset to set new all-time highs, Chainalysis notes while pointing out that many individuals and countries may have benefited from the booming prices in the crypto markets.

Chainalysis writes in a blog post that a geographic analysis in cryptocurrency is challenging because of the technology’s decentralized nature. The blockchain analysis firm clarified that it is impossible to determine or know for sure where exactly the parties of any particular crypto transaction might be located.

But the company claims they can provide a “good” estimate using transaction data from all the different services that Chainalysis regularly tracks.

The blockchain firm revealed that they measure the on-chain flows to each digital currency exchange, and then estimate the total USD gains made “on the asset in question (Bitcoin in this case) by measuring the differences in the asset’s price at the time it was withdrawn from the platform versus when it was received.”

Chainalysis also mentioned that they “distribute those gains (or losses) by country based on the share of web traffic each country accounts for on each exchange’s website, as we did when building our Global Crypto Adoption Index.” That analysis provides them with a fair approximation for the “realized gains” Bitcoin investors in each country earned last year, but does not account for gains on assets that have “yet to be withdrawn from an exchange,” Chainlaysis noted.

The blockchain analysis company also mentioned that the first thing most people may notice is the US’ “apparent dominance.” American investors collectively made more than $4 billion in “realized” Bitcoin gains last year, the company revealed while noting that this amount was over 3x the next highest country, China.

Chainalysis acknowledged that these figures may seem a bit surprising or unexpected given that China historically has “by far the highest raw cryptocurrency transaction volume.” However, US-focused virtual currency exchanges saw very large inflows last year that seem to have been “realized toward the end of the year, which likely accounts for the country’s large gains,” Chainalysis revealed.

The blockchain firm added:

“Upon further inspection, what stands out the most is the number of countries that appear to be punching above their weight in Bitcoin investment as compared to their rankings in traditional economic metrics. Vietnam is the perfect example. While Vietnam has seen extraordinary economic growth over the last 20 years, cutting its poverty rate from over 70% to below 6% since 2002, the country ranks 53rd in GDP at $262 billion and is categorized as a lower-middle income country by the World Bank.”

But Vietnam has a relatively high level of “grassroots” crypto adoption, as the country ranks tenth overall worldwide on Chainalysis’ Global Crypto Adoption Index. Last year, Vietnam ranked only 13th in total BTC investment gains at $351 million, “outperforming countries that rank higher in traditional economic measures such as Australia, Saudi Arabia, and Belgium.”

This phenomenon can now be seen in other nations, Chainalysis revealed:

  • The Czech Republic “ranks 54th in GDP at $251 billion but is 18th in realized Bitcoin investment gains at $281 million.”
  • Turkey “ranks 25th in GDP at $761 billion but 16th in realized Bitcoin investment gains at $300 million.”
  • Spain “ranks 19th in GDP at $1.4 trillion but 9th in realized Bitcoin gains at $554 million.”
  • Other countries follow the opposite pattern, with India “being the best example.” With more than a billion citizens, India is “the world’s second most populous country, and has the fifth largest economy with a GDP of $2.9 trillion.” However, the country “ranks a surprisingly low 18th in Bitcoin investment gains at $241 million.” This may be “a result of the Indian government’s historical unfriendliness to cryptocurrency.”

Until a Supreme Court ruling in March of last year, India had attempted to ban all banking institutions from any business dealings with crypto-related entities, making it quite challenging for locals to buy or trade crypto-assets.

Although the ruling “prompted optimism” from India’s crypto community, the nation’s government has also proposed a “blanket ban” that could prevent residents from purchasing, selling, holding, or mining virtual currency. (Note: But now, reports have surfaced claiming that the country might not ban Bitcoin after all, and may even treat it as an asset class.)

As noted by Chainalyais, these rules might potentially have prevented Indian traders or investors from benefiting due to the recent crypto market boom “to the extent of investors in its peer countries.”

The blockchain firm added:

“As the Turkish government takes a harsher stance on cryptocurrency, an example of which includes its recent ban on cryptocurrency payments, it’s possible that cryptocurrency investors in the country may be unable to continue their recent success.”

The company also noted that when we examine realized gains over an extended period of time, we can see that investors in “nearly all countries saw the biggest increases toward the end of the year.” That’s when American traders/investors “really broke away from the pack, with most of their gains coming from activity on Coinbase,” the Chainalysis team noted.

According to the company’s observations, these gains were “driven by a sharp rise in Bitcoin’s price that began in mid-October 2020 and accelerated in mid-December.” During that period, BTC’s price surged from only $11,471 on October 14 to $29,111 on December 31, 2021.

As noted by Chainalysis, the Bitcoin price kept increasing after that until January 8, 2021 “at which point it decreased until early February 2021, at which point it began to rise again, hitting an all-time high of nearly $65,000 in April.”

But the “steepness” of the US “realized” gains curve during this time “suggests American investors sold at higher prices, while those in other countries held more,” the report from Chainalysis noted.

As mentioned in the report:

“Our analysis of Bitcoin gains by country in 2020 should be encouraging for the cryptocurrency world. The data suggests that Bitcoin has given investors in emerging markets access to a high-performing asset, the likes of which they may not have otherwise had access to. On the other side of the coin, it also suggests that countries attempting to limit cryptocurrency usage through harsh regulations are preventing their citizens from taking advantage of the opportunity.”

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/06/176540-bitcoin-has-given-investors-in-emerging-markets-access-to-a-high-performing-asset-report/

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China: WeiyangX Fintech Review

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National Internet Finance Association of China: Standardized Cosmetic Surgery-Related Financial Products and Services

The past few years have seen the rapid development of cosmetic surgery in China. In order to better serve their customers, some financial institutions have cooperated with third-party cosmetic surgery agencies to provide related financial services and products (e.g., cosmetic surgery installment plans). Yet, problems like excessive borrowing, lack of transparency, and high pricing have also brought damages to the interests of the consumers.

On June 9th, the National Internet Finance Association of China (NIFA) released an initiative on cosmetic surgery-related financial products and services. NIFA suggested the financial institutions should not collaborate with illegal cosmetic surgery agencies or provide financial products and services to these agencies.

When cooperating with cosmetic surgery agencies in compliance with administrative requirements, financial institutions should fully evaluate the repayment ability of consumers in accordance with the principle of appropriateness, independently determine customer credit and loan pricing standards, and take risk controls. For college student consumers, financial institutions should strictly abide by the relevant regulations of the financial regulatory authority on campus consumer loans. (Source: NIFA)

Red Date Technology Secures Series A Financing led by Prosperity7 Ventures  

On June 10th, Beijing-based Red Date Technology announced the completion of a USD $30 million Series A equity financing. This round of investment was led by Prosperity7 Ventures and Hong Kong-based blockchain investment firm Kenetic.

Other participants included Swiss private bank Pictet and Bangkok Bank.

In 2019, led by the State Information Center, China Mobile, China UnionPay, and Red Date Technology jointly initiated the construction of the Blockchain-based Service Network (BSN), and officially put it into business on April 25th, 2020. BSN is a global public infrastructure network that is used to deploy and run blockchain applications across cloud services, portals, and underlying frameworks, reducing cost and improving flexibility, interoperability and efficiency. (Source: lieyun)

ByteDance Entering Cloud Computing Services Market

It is reported that ByteDance’s “Volcano Engine” division will officially release cloud computing IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) services, which include computing, storage, and networking, in September or October this year.

In addition to the established data center in Zhangjiakou, Hebei, ByteDance is also planning to build large data centers in cities such as Shanghai and Shenzhen or surrounding areas to provide external IaaS services.

Volcano Engine aims to be the “fourth cloud in China” besides Alibaba Cloud, Tencent Cloud, and Huawei Cloud. (Source: LatePost)

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority Discusses CBDC in its “Fintech 2025” strategy 

On June 8th, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) released the “Fintech 2025” strategy as an effort to promote the development of the Fintech industry in Hong Kong.

According to the document, HKMA will conduct in-depth studies to strengthen preparations for the issuance of CBDCs at the wholesale and retail levels in Hong Kong.

In addition to the continued effort on wholesale CBDCs, HKMA is cooperating with the Hong Kong Center under the BIS Innovation Hub to study CBDCs at the retail level. It will also begin to study e-HKD on its use cases, benefits, and related risks.

HKMA will continue to collaborate with the People’s Bank of China on the technical tests of digital renminbi in Hong Kong, providing a convenient option of cross-boundary payments for both residents in Hong Kong and mainland China. (Source: HKMA)


The above is a weekly synopsis of the biggest stories on Fintech in China provided by WeiyangX, part of Tsinghua University, in partnership with Crowdfund Insider.

WeiyangX is the most influential website focusing on Fintech in China. The site covers the latest news, industry data analysis, business practices, and in-depth cases in Fintech. WeiyangX is incubated by Fintech Lab. Founded by Tsinghua University’s People’s Bank of China (PBC) School of Finance in 2012, the Fintech Lab is the first and leading research entity dedicated to leading best practices, promoting interdisciplinary innovation, and encouraging entrepreneurship in the field of fintech through scientific research and innovative project incubation. Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/06/176547-china-weiyangx-fintech-review-204/

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Bank of England and Bank for International Settlements Establish Innovation Hub in London

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The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) and the Bank of England (BoE) revealed on June 11, 2021, that they’ve introduced the BIS Innovation Hub London Centre, which is notably the fourth Innovation Hub Centre to have been launched in the last couple years.

The BIS and its partners are taking a “leading role” in coordinating the work of reserve banks on tech innovation in the financial industry to pave the way forward for the “future of central banking,” Agustin Carstens, GM at BIS, noted.

This new Centre in London “reflects the Bank of England’s critical role as an innovator in responding to the challenges and opportunities of the digital world while safeguarding financial stability,” Carstens added.

Andrew Bailey, Governor of the Bank of England, stated:

“As a central bank, we recognize the importance of innovation for the global financial system and look to support its safe deployment wherever possible. This requires collaboration between public authorities in all jurisdictions, and the BIS Innovation Hub is an important global initiative for achieving this.”

This launch is part of a plan “to expand the global reach of the BIS Innovation Hub, which also includes the opening of Centres with the Bank of Canada (Toronto), the European Central Bank/Eurosystem (Frankfurt and Paris) and the four Nordic central banks (Danmarks Nationalbank, the Central Bank of Iceland, the Central Bank of Norway and Sveriges Riksbank) in Stockholm.”

In January 2021, the BIS “signed a memorandum of understanding for a strategic collaboration with the Federal Reserve System (New York).”

Benoît Cœuré, Head of the BIS Innovation Hub, noted that he’s pleased to welcome the next phase of the BIS Innovation Hub’s expansion with “the establishment of the new Centre with the Bank of England in London, where there is such a strong nexus of technology and finance.”

Through this collaboration, the BIS Innovation Hub will “continue to develop key public goods that address financial sector issues of importance to central banks,” Cœuré said.

The BIS Innovation Hub’s work program is focused on the use of tech innovation in supervision and regulation (suptech and regtech); updated financial market infrastructures; central bank digital currencies or CBDCs; open finance; cybersecurity; and “green finance.”

Work related to these themes is “distributed across the various Hub Centres,” the release noted.

The United Kingdom is well-known for continuously pushing the boundaries of digital finance so it’s “great to have the new Innovation Hub opening here,” Rishi Sunak, UK Chancellor of the Exchequer said while noting that its work will “help central banks to support safe innovation, and boost our efforts to capture the extraordinary potential of technology.”

A virtual or online seminar on the launch was “held today at 09:30 BST/10:30 CEST.” Further details can be accessed here.

Speakers included:

Bank of England: Andrew Bailey, Victoria Cleland, Jon Cunliffe and Dave Ramsden
Bank for International Settlements: Agustín Carstens and Benoît Cœuré
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak

External panel members:

Katharine Braddick – HM Treasury, Sujata Bhatia – Monzo, Ann Cairns – MasterCard

The BIS Innovation Hub was formed in 2019 by the BIS “to identify and develop in-depth insights into critical trends in financial technology of relevance to central banks, to explore the development of public goods to enhance the functioning of the global financial system, and to serve as a focal point for a network of central bank experts on innovation.”

BIS Innovation Hub Centres are now in place in Hong Kong SAR with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, Singapore with the Monetary Authority of Singapore, and Switzerland with the Swiss National Bank.

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/06/176532-bank-of-england-and-bank-for-international-settlements-establish-innovation-hub-in-london/

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Top 10 Fintech News Stories for the Week Ending June 12, 2021

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This week was all about new funding rounds and fintechs hitting the public markets as the flood of money into fintech continues unabated. Here are what I consider to be the top 10 most important fintech news stories of the past week.

Marqeta stock jumps out of the IPO gate, finishes with valuation just over $16 billion from MarketWatch – Marqeta went public on Wednesday, pricing at $27, above the $20-$24 range, and closed the day with a solid bump to $30.52. It ended the week up even higher at $31.50.

Fintech giant Klarna raises $639M at a $45.6B valuation amid ‘massive momentum’ in the US from TechCrunch – The BNPL sector shows no signs of slowing down as Klarna closes another mega-round with a valuation up 47% from just three months ago.

Fintech all-star Nubank raises a $750M mega round from TechCrunch – To win the largest fintech round of the week competition you needed to raise $750m which is what Brazilian digital bank Nubank did.

SoftBank, Viking Invest $250 Million in Latam Fintech Unicorn from Bloomberg – Another Latin American fintech has raised a big round with Clip, the “Square of Mexico”, closing on $250 million at a $2 billion valuation.

Mark Cuban-backed banking app Dave to go public in $4 bln SPAC merger from Reuters – Don’t forget about SPACs. Digital neobank Dave is merging with a Victory Park SPAC valuing the company at $4 billion.

Basel suggests strictest risk weighting for crypto from Banking Dive – The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision recommended that a 1,250% risk weight, the highest risk rating, be applied to a bank’s exposure to bitcoin.

It’s Time To End Overdraft Fees (And Chase Bank Is Just The Bank To Do It) from Forbes – Ron Shevlin took on overdraft fees this week calling on Chase to end the practice. Until the big money center banks eradicate the practice, he argues, overdrafts are here to stay.

Robinhood Markets Is Said to Now Target July for IPO from Bloomberg – After initially saying it would go out in late June Robinhood is now saying it will push their public markets debut to after July 4.

Remitly files initial IPO paperwork as Seattle fintech company prepares to go public from Geekwire – Mobile remittance company, Remitly, has filed confidentially with the SEC to go public at a reported $5 billion valuation.

Walmart partners with PayNearMe, Green Dot to launch faster cash bill-pay in August from Banking Dive – Walmart customers will soon to be able to pay their bills in cash at its stores with a simple scan of a biller code.

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://www.lendacademy.com/top-10-fintech-news-stories-for-the-week-ending-june-12-2021/

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