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Pakistan to Conduct Research on Developing its own Central Bank Digital Currency to Enable Greater Financial Inclusion




Pakistan is reportedly planning to carry out studies in order to potentially launch a State-backed virtual currency so that it can enhance its existing banking system, enable greater financial inclusion, and also ensure that illicit activtiies such as money laundering are not being carried out by local or foreign entities.

Pakistan‘s digital currency will aim to provide more transparency by more accurately keeping track of monetary transactions. The nation’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government is focused on combating corruption while providing more accessible financial services to locals.

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), the nation’s central bank, stated that they’re “studying” digital currencies “very carefully.”

SBP Reza Baqir spoke to CNN correspondents earlier this month. He pointed out that the benefit of virtual currency is that it will give another boost to their efforts to promote financial inclusion. A central bank digital currency (CBDC) will also allow Pakistan to make more progress in its fight against money laundering and terrorism financing, the Governor added.

He also mentioned that they’re hoping to make an announcement regarding the development of a CBDC in the coming months. For now, however, they’re supporting a digital banking framework for local consumers and businesses.

The digital currency will not actually be replacing physical currency and coins, at least not right away. Paper currency may be difficult to replace considering Pakistan’s economy is heavily dependent on cash payments. But the Pakistani Ministry of Finance could begin promoting the use of a virtual currency and focus on increasing its use in the long-term

As reported by the Tribune, a State-backed virtual currency could help the Pakistani government in its efforts to combat money laundering and terror financing, because it would become a lot easier to trace transactions on a digital ledger. This would also help ensure compliance with the action plan provided by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

Pakistan has reportedly managed to increase its compliance with 27 points of the FATF action plan during the past couple years. The country is expected to be placed in the FATF white list in the coming months, according to local sources. This reclassification may help the country attract significantly more foreign investments while also helping it increase its revenue from exports.

In statements shared with the Tribune, Noman Said, a technology professional, noted:

“Pakistan has 60-70% infrastructure in place for introducing a digital currency. However, strict monitoring to shield the digital currency from cybertheft will remain a challenge … like the one every modern economy is facing these days.”

The SBP governor added:

“We are doing a comprehensive internal study to know the trends in this regard (digital currency) at other central banks around the world. We will soon share the outcome of the studies … what are the possible considerations for us for introducing a digital currency by the central bank and what is the experience of other central banks in this regard. Pakistan has witnessed 100-200% growth in online banking during the Covid-19 pandemic as the country has a huge tech-savvy population.”

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Brazil based Fintech Ebanx Appoints Company Co-Founder João Del Valle as New CEO




João Del Valle, Co-founder at Ebanx, is the new Chief Executive of the firm.

After working as COO for several years, preceded by nearly seven years as company CTO, Del Valle has now taken over the executive leadership of the Fintech firm, which was being led by Co-founder Alphonse Voigt for nearly a decade (since it was established in Curitiba, Brazil).

With this senior management change, Voigt will be serving  as the Head of the Board of Directors, as Executive Chairperson, and Wagner Ruiz, also a company Co-founder, is now the Chief Risk Officer, leaving the CFO role to the newly appointed Alexandre Dinkelmann, the former executive in the Brazil-based BTG Pactual and TOTVS.

As COO, Del Valle led key initiatives for the Fintech firm’s business expansion, like the ensemble of the international commercial team, the deployment of 50 new integrations and payment methods within the firm’s B2B solutions portfolio (last year), and the Push LatAm, a project that aims to establish EBANX business operations in various other Latin American (LatAm) countries, including in Central America and the Caribbean.

Del Valle stated:

“EBANX has a unique story and it will be a privilege to lead this next chapter. Our vision of being the best payment provider in Latin America is growing stronger, and always fueling the urge to innovate. The path we want for EBANX is very clear for the three of us, co-founders: focus on the mission of providing access in Latin America, through technology, speed, consistency and quality of execution.” 

Voigt has been EBANX‘s Chief Executive since the launch of the firm which, during his time as CEO, surpassed the market value of $1 billion, notably becoming the first unicorn in Brazil’s southern region.

Now, as Executive Chairperson, Voigt will be in charge of the firm’s strategic expansion efforts.

Voigt remarked:

“The big dream got even bigger and from now on I take on this new position, helping to envision the next decade of EBANX. And João, our new CEO, is an example of dedication, focus and result orientation. He has a unique capacity to keep the company growing exponentially while projecting our future.”

Alexandre Dinkelmann, who has now been appointed CFO, will continue the work of Wagner Ruiz, who will now be tasked with the firm’s risk management, strategic partnerships and regulatory issues – which are all key in driving the growth of EBANX.

Ruiz added:

“Alexandre’s arrival brings us even more robustness, capacity and talent to maintain the pace of growth and adapt our financial sector to the new moment that EBANX will experience.”

Dickelmann brings his extensive experience working as CFO at TOTVS and Even Incorporadora, along with his previous experience at BTG Pactual and also his role as a Co-founder of the Onyo platform.

The new EBANX senior management team aims to consolidate the company as a key payments service provider in Latin America.

EBANX will further expand its operations that have provided access to over 70 million Latin American consumers to the biggest global brands, like Uber, Spotify, AliExpress and SHEIN.

Del Valle also mentioned:

“These changes arrive in line with our goals for the next decade. Our success depends on the success of customers in the region and this is our focus. We remain even stronger and more structured to establish the leadership of Latin America in the global market and the leadership of EBANX in the world of payments and technology.” 

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France’s Shift Technology, an SaaS Provider of AI based Decision Automation for Insurance, Secures $220M via Series D




France-based Shift Technology, an SaaS provider of AI-enhanced decision automation and optimization solutions for the insurance sector, recently revealed that it has finalized a $220 million Series D funding round.

Shift Technology‘s latest investment round brings total investment in the company to $320 million along with a market valuation of over $1 billion. This investment reportedly marks Advent’s sixth growth equity investment in 2021. Shift’s round was led by Advent International, via Advent Tech, along with contributions from Avenir and other investors.

Previous Series C investors Accel, Bessemer Venture Partners, General Catalyst, and Iris Capital also took part in Shift’s Series D round.

With this latest funding, Shift said it would use the capital to expand its business operations into the US, Europe, and Asia as well.

In the United States, the firm will be penetrating the property and casualty (P&C) insurance sector and will also expand into the health insurance industry, an area in which the company sees a great opportunity.

The funds raised by Shift Technology will also be used to support researach and development (R&D) work in the implementation of new solutions to cater to innovative decision automation and optimization needs for insurers.

Initially known for its fraud detection and claims automation solutions, in January 2021 Shift Technology launched its Insurance Suite to enable insurance providers to leverage AI-powered decision automation and optimization tech to a wider array of critical processes (related to policy lifecycle, including underwriting, subrogation, and compliance).

The firm currently serves over 100 clients in 25 countries and has reportedly analyzed almost 2 billion claims so far.

Thomas Weisman, a Director on Advent’s technology investment in London, stated:

“Since its founding in 2014, Shift has made a name for itself in the complex world of insurance.Shift’s advanced suite of SaaS products is helping insurers to reshape manual and often time-consuming claims processes in a safer and more automated way. We are proud to be part of this exciting company’s next wave of growth.”

Jeremy Jawish, CEO and co-founder, Shift Technology, remarked:

“We are thrilled to partner with Advent International, given their considerable sector expertise and global reach and are taking another giant step forward with this latest investment. We have only just scratched the surface of what is possible when AI-based decision automation and optimization is applied to the critical processes that drive the insurance policy lifecycle.”

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China: WeiyangX Fintech Review




Insurtech Firm Waterdrop Starts Trading on New York Stock Exchange 

On May 7th, Waterdrop Inc., China’s leading insurance and healthcare service technology platform, went public on New York Stock Exchange. Founded in 2016, Waterdrop has built an online insurance marketplace (“Shuidibao”) and a medical crowdfunding platform (“Shuidichou”).

In the future, Waterdrop intends to increase investment in data analysis & technical infrastructure and expand to healthcare and pharmaceutical service, building an ecosystem of “insurance + healthcare”.

Waterdrop has been awarded as the Top 10 in the “Global Fintech Venture Competition (2018)” organized by WeiyangX. (Source: WeiyangX)

China Regulates App’s Collection of Personal Information

Over the past years, apps have played an important role in providing convenience to Chinese people and promoting social and economic development. However, some apps collected users’ personal information which may not be needed, claiming it is compulsory for authorization.

On May 1st, China put into effect a new regulation to supervise the commonly used apps (e.g. navigation, car booking, online shopping, ticket booking, food delivery), making sure the apps would not refuse to offer services to users who do not agree to submit unnecessary personal information. The regulation was jointly initiated and released by Cyber Administration of China, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the Ministry of Public Security and the State Administration for Market Regulation (Source: Cyber Administration of China)

Data Analysis Service Provider DeepInv Secures a New Round of Financing

As reported on April 30th, data analysis service provider DeepInv has secured an angel-plus round of financing from Z Capital. DeepInv provides Fintech services for professional investment institutions. Through its SaaS and AI ability, DeepInv help professional investors make an in-time qualitative and quantitative analysis of market change, improving the effectiveness of traditional investment decisions. Previously, DeepInv has received angel investment from ZhenFund and PurpleSky. (Source: iyiou)

Cross-border Fintech Service Platform Tuotuo Digital Receives First Round of Investment

On May 6th, cross-border fintech service platform Tuotuo Digital received a 10-million-yuan level of investment from Sky Saga Capital. Established in May 2020, Tuotuo Digital is committed to providing services of cross-border payment, supply-chain financing, cross-border risk-control for the key players in cross-border eCommerce business (buyer, seller, platform, and financial institution).

In the future, Tuotuo Digital plans to make further investment in R&D of cross-border payment and rick-control. (Source: 36Kr)

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

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Aventus Network, a Blockchain Protocol for Supporting Economical Ethereum Transactions, Introduces Governance Platform




Aventus Network, a layer-2 blockchain or distributed ledger tech (DLT) protocol that aims to provide scalability, speed and lower costs to Ethereum (ETH) transactions, has introduced its community governance platform, offering Aventus Token (AVT) holders with complete control over “major decisions” regarding the network and a lot more transparency.

In the foreseeable future, all decisions regarding parameters, chain configuration, and upgrades related to the Aventus Network (AvN) and AVT will be “decided by a binding community vote,” according to a blog post by Aventus.

As mentioned in the announcement:

“The voting system is being rolled out using the framework via — a popular off-chain, gas-less, multi-governance community polling dashboard. Any AVT holder can participate in voting, with each held token equating to a single vote. AVT holders who are part of the Validator Scheme can also participate, receiving two votes for each AVT staked. There are 10 million AVT in circulating supply, with 2.5 million of these staked on the Network.”

Alan Vey, Co-Founder and CEO at Aventus Network, noted that the introduction of their governance platform aims to ensure that AVT holders have a say in deciding or determining the future development of the Aventus Network.

Vey explained that this is part of their wider ethos of promoting transparency and “robustness” in all of their activities.

Vey added:

“Not only do we believe that this is an important step for our Network — we believe this approach is the natural next step for blockchain as the technology matures and its use-cases expand. We are 100% committed to being community-led and look forward to engaging directly with our token holders.”

The initial proposals being hosted via the platform will be “non-binding” test proposals, in order to accurately assess or gauge voter turnout levels while ensuring that token holders “understand the process.”

To learn more about the Aventus Governance process, check here.

As covered in March 2021, the team at Aventus Network explained how block explorers offer greater transparency (while carrying out monetary transactions).

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