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Royal Park Partners launches in the US with the appointment of specialist Fintech banker John Clark

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Royal Park Partners, the leading independent corporate finance advisory firm exclusively focused on the Fintech industry, has appointed John Clark as Senior Director to lead its U.S. operations.

In this newly created role, John will focus on generating advisory mandates and connecting investors to fast-growing Fintech companies across the Americas, EMEA, Europe and Asia. He will be based in New York.

John has over a decade of investment banking and private equity experience in the Fintech sector, having held senior roles at Long Ridge Equity Partners, global entrepreneurial network Techstars, and most recently at Financial Technology Partners. Throughout his career he has developed trusted relationships and deep expertise working with companies and investors across the Fintech space.

The U.S. launch coincides with the rapid growth of Royal Park Partners. In the last 12 months, the firm has supported marquee fundraises for BUX, Thought Machine, Habito, Concirrus, Twisto and Divido, totalling over half a billion dollars and making it the most active Fintech advisor in Europe.

“We’re very pleased to have John join Royal Park Partners at this time of great opportunity and activity in the Fintech sector,” said Aman Behzad, Managing Partner of Royal Park Partners. “He will lead a dedicated New York based team, initially tapping into increased interest from U.S. investors in EU deals but working in parallel to build out our operations to service domestic US clients. John has outstanding expertise in the sector, having been involved in dozens of deals throughout his career.”

U.S. investor interest in the EU Fintech sector is expected to continue to grow this year and beyond, driven by the quality of technology being developed in the region, combined with attractive business models.

“This new role with Royal Park Partners is an exciting challenge and I’m very much looking forward to getting started,” said John Clark. “There is significant amount of deal flow in the Fintech sector and as we move beyond the pandemic and back to more normal business conditions, I believe this trend is set to continue. I plan to combine my deep network of investor relationships in the U.S. with my EU and EMEA relationships, and work to increase the company’s presence in the global Fintech market.”

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://www.finextra.com/pressarticle/87982/royal-park-partners-launches-in-the-us-with-the-appointment-of-specialist-fintech-banker-john-clark?utm_medium=rssfinextra&utm_source=finextrafeed

Payments

Bitcoin is now money in El Salvador. What’s next?

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El Salvador made history last week. It became the first country in the world to adopt bitcoin as a legal tender. In ninety days from now, people in El Salvador will be able to pay for goods and services using the cryptocurrency and no one will be able to refuse bitcoin as payment. Businesses will have to accept bitcoin for any transaction, just like they do with the US dollar. To minimize risk from bitcoin’s volatility, a government trust fund will guarantee the automatic conversion to dollars. This is huge step for the crypto market and testament that bitcoin is not going away, any time soon, even though on countless occasions in the past, it’s been pronounced dead. This is a bold step by a small country, that could drive other nations to follow in its footsteps. This live experiment could serve as case study for bigger countries to see and learn from the mistakes in El Salvador, before they making their step into digital currencies. If this proves successful, then we will see a massive adoption, especially in countries with cash economies, where bitcoin is already the main tender.

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El Salvador is the smallest country in Central America with a population of about 6.5 million, and one of the poorest countries in the world.  The country’s economy is ranked 104th with a GDP per capita of $4,326. El Salvador’s GDP has remained in the low single digits for two decades and remittances from the U.S. constitute $3 billion annually, about 17% of the country’s GDP. Violence, crime, poverty, corruption and everywhere.

So, why did El Salvador decide to make bitcoin a legal tender?

El Salvador currently uses the US dollar as its official currency. Overall, this system has worked fine for El Salvador, but recently things have taken a turn for the worse. To fight the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the US Federal Reserve dramatically increased the supply of circulating dollars, from $15.35 trillion in February 2020 to $20.26 trillion in May 2021. That’s an increase of 32 percent, unprecedented in modern peacetime US history.

These extraordinary measures have caused Salvadorans to lose purchasing power due to US monetary inflation. When you have to deal in a currency for which you have no control, you suffer with the consequences of third-party decisions, such as interest rates, inflation, GDP, money supply. Argentina tried a similar strategy with the dollarization of its economy, and it failed. Being dependent on a currency controlled by some other central bank, outside your jurisdiction, can only lead to disaster. This is exactly what happened to El Salvador.

How is Bitcoin different?

Bitcoin is predictable with a finite supply, not controlled by anyone. It’s completely decentralized and the supply of bitcoin is capped at 21 million coins, making the digital currency immune to the types of policy changes that affect the US dollar and other fiat currencies. Every 10 minutes 6.25 bitcoins are minted, and 900 bitcoins are released into the market every day. No one can mint more or less bitcoins at will, This is extremely powerful, because it lets governments plan ahead without risk. Try comparing that with the Federal Reserve printing $6 trillion this year. You can’t.

We’ve just witnessed history in the making. What El Salvador has done is very brave, but it’s not without risk. While this is uncharted territory, how much worse could it be when you compare it with the current situation in the country?

With El Salvador making this decision, other countries may follow El Salvador’s lead in adopting bitcoin as legal tender. Most Caribbean nations peg their currencies to the US dollar, for example, and many, like the Cayman Islands, are already well-versed in attracting foreign capital through low tax rates and efficient financial regulation

Already, countries like India are reconsidering their position on cryptocurrencies and I am sure you’ve read articles about nations like China, Mexico, or Canada working on their own cryptocurrencies. I would expect a domino effect with governments all around the world making similar announcements. Partly inspired by El Salvador, and partly in case they actually succeed.

Nothing will ever be the same.

The genie is out of the bottle. El Salvador’s decision has a lot of short-term and long-term repercussions and ramifications on bitcoin’s staying power. Bitcoin’s greatest risk is its own success. Could the US ban the digital currency if it ever becomes a true competitor to the dollar? A side effect of El Salvador’s decision could be more regulation for bitcoin.

Personally, I find it exciting to live through there changes. The fact that bitcoin is stable and secure enough for a country, no matter how small, to use it as a legal tender is massive. If other countries around the world follow suit, the momentum will influence even more countries to make a similar decision and mark a new age in the digital currency’s dominance.

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Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://dailyfintech.com/2021/06/14/bitcoin-is-now-money-in-el-salvador-whats-next/

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Crowdfunding

Digital Money Firm Merchantrade Asia Partners LintraMax to Offer Digitized Payroll to Malaysian Plantation Workers

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Earlier this week, Merchantrade Asia, a digital money services business operator and e-money issuer, teamed up with palm plantation management services provider LintraMax in order to digitize the payroll system for underserved plantations workers in Malaysia.

Through the partnership, Merchantrade Asia and LintraMax plan to reach out to the plantations’ workers in order to show them the benefits of using Merchantrade Money, a digital wallet offered by Merchantrade.

Merchantrade’s management noted that digital wages payment services may assist firms with lowering the overall risks associated with using or carrying physical cash. The solutions may also help with minimizing or eliminating the need to make physical contact during the COVID-19 health crisis while ensuring greater transparency of company payroll processes.

Through the digital wallet, workers should be able to get their wages and have improved access to virtual payments platforms, which should allow for convenient cashless purchases of provisions as well as being able to send funds back home to friends and family.

The firm further noted that migrant workers will find its online wallet solution ideal or well-suited for their needs as it comes with support in several different languages.

Additionally, they’ll  offer the Merchantrade’s digital payment solutions to oil palm plantations that have been using the Quarto plantation management system provided by LintraMax.

At present, there are around 100 plantation firms across Malaysia that are using the Quarto plantation management system offered by LintraMax.

Khor Kheng Khoon, Founder and Managing Director of LintraMax, stated:

“Payroll processing at plantations is the main pain point that we are trying to address through this partnership. Currently, many plantations still rely on cash and cheques to pay employee wages every month. These methods are not the most efficient or safest, so LintraMax hopes to turn these methods of wages payment into digital, such as through the use of digital wallets. This is where Merchantrade’s expertise is crucial for the mission, and we are excited to partner with them.”

Ramasamy K. Veeran, Merchantrade’s Founder and Managing Director, remarked:

“We are excited to partner with LintraMax to enable seamless digital experience into their growing ecosystem through our innovative Merchantrade Money e-wallet. We believe that this collaboration is a definite step in the right direction and will indeed benefit the plantation management space and drive digital payments adoption as it not only benefits plantation companies as well as directly impacts workers daily lives by encouraging digital experience.”

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/06/176563-digital-money-firm-merchantrade-asia-partners-lintramax-to-offer-digitized-payroll-to-malaysian-plantation-workers/

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Crowdfunding

Luxembourg Fintech Finologee Develops Automated Payments Solutions for Enhancing Workflows

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Luxembourg-based Fintech Finologee has reportedly created a hosted system that offers API end-points in order to automate payments and support secure web interfaces which improve workflows and data visualization while establishing a direct connection to the SWIFT network.

The product’s development has been supported by the Luxembourg government. Crédit Agricole Life Insurance Europe (CALIE) is notably the first client/end-user to adopt the new platform.

Finologee started the development of its Enterprise Payments (ENPAY) platform in 2020 with the goal to assist the financial services sector with addressing business process enhancement and various automation requirements (with its payment workflows and interactions).

Instead of managing multiple, host-to-host banking channels or adapting consumer-focusing PSD2 access-to-account channels to their specific needs, users may work with FinologeeENPAY, a platform hosted in a secure Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) setup in Luxembourg, using a bank-agnostic connection to manage any bank account.

To streamline and automate their payment processes, companies may connect through Finologee’s API end-points. The platform comes with a modern web interface that uses multi-factor authentication and allows customers to implement complex workflows and advanced transaction signature processes.

The ENPAY system is hosted on the company’s Trusted Fintech Platform, along with Finologee’s bank compliance, KYC and digital payments infrastructure. The SaaS setup meets outsourcing compliance requirements that apply to financial services providers, significantly lowering their implementation lead times.

For payment network and messaging connectivity with banking institutions, Finologee decided to implement direct access to SWIFT, the provider of secure financial messaging services, which connects over 11,000 banking and securities organizations, market infrastructures and corporate customers globally.

User authentication and manual transaction signature components are being offered with assistance from Luxtrust, a Luxembourg-based provider of digital identities and a trust service.

Crédit Agricole Life Insurance Europe (CALIE), one of Luxembourg’s largest life insurance providers, is the first client/end user to integrate FinologeeENPAY. Accounts with multiple banks have been connected, now covering Indosuez Wealth Management, CACEIS, ING, BGL BNP Paribas and Spuerkeess, and others will be added in the coming weeks.

Finologee also entered a joint financing agreement with the Luxembourg government that supports the process and organizational innovation objectives of the initiative.

Franz Fayot, the Luxembourg Minister of the Economy, stated:

“Luxembourg is the perfect breeding ground for digital products addressing the needs of financial industry professionals. The country is well positioned to trigger projects that combine regulatory, communications, financial and technological aspects. The Luxembourg Government’s unique set of research, development and innovation programs and the encompassing ecosystem provide the right toolset to support digital innovation projects efficiently. Projects led by Fintech companies such as the Finologee ENPAY platform and boosting their relationship with established businesses effectively demonstrate how cooperation cannot only solve current business challenges but also reshape existing technical setups to be ready for tomorrow’s challenges.”

Pierre Gramegna, the Luxembourg Minister of Finance, remarked:

“I salute the Enterprise Payment initiative ENPAY, which is another successful illustration of the potential of cooperation between a traditional player like Credit Agricole Life Insurance Europe and a new FinTech like Finologee. By providing innovative financial solutions that benefit all actors, such collaborations strengthen our ecosystem and thus fully reflect the philosophy and vision that lies behind the LHoFT (Luxembourg House of Financial Technologies).”

Raoul Mulheims, CEO of Finologee, added:

“We firmly believe that our Enterprise Payments platform can be the missing link many financial service professionals and institutional players are looking for to automate their payment processes and reduce risks. From the start, the project received strong support from partners and stakeholders. We would like to thank them for their contributions and encouragements, as well as our team for its commitment and its expertise. We are eager to quickly build up this new product and we are looking forward to establishing the foundations to a new ecosystem that has the potential to have a genuine positive impact for many businesses in Luxembourg.”

When developing the FinologeeENPAY product architecture and associated roadmap, the firm depended on its expertise and experience working with this type of project (stemming from various other digital platforms the firm and its founders have been working with for the past 15 years in Luxembourg).

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/06/176496-luxembourg-fintech-finologee-develops-automated-payments-solutions-for-enhancing-workflows/

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Blockchain

Algorand could soon process up to $800 million in healthcare costs in Bermuda

MAPay, a global healthcare technology firm with a focus on decentralized payment networks, will use Algorand to issue a stablecoin for facilitating over $800 million worth of healthcare-related costs in Bermuda, as per a development this past week.

The post Algorand could soon process up to $800 million in healthcare costs in Bermuda appeared first on CryptoSlate.

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MAPay, a global healthcare technology firm with a focus on decentralized payment networks, will use Algorand to issue a stablecoin for facilitating over $800 million worth of healthcare-related costs in Bermuda, as per a development this past week.

The firm boasts healthcare partnerships in the US and beyond, and will use Algorand’s blockchain as the backbone for its forthcoming advancements in the healthcare sector.

Onboarding Algorand

Traditional healthcare payment systems are slow, cumbersome, and riddled with unnecessary expenses. But by using a high-speed blockchain, MAPay aims to create efficiency in the system, across stakeholders like insurance companies, government health providers, and banks.

The collaboration will allow MAPay to provide Bermuda with a country-wide deployment plan to lower transaction costs of healthcare encounters through the MAPay network, which will run on Algorand.

MAPay will also implement a patient-driven data exchange aimed at providing medical interoperability, population health management, and better overall outcomes.

“Our relationship with Algorand is a global game changer in healthcare commerce and data exchange,” said MAPay CEO Michael Dershem. 

Kevin Richards, head of portfolio and investment advisor Bermuda Asset Management (BAM), said that Bermuda’s innovative regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies continues to attract transformational projects.

“[It] places us at the center of what could power a global change in the way healthcare payments are transacted in Bermuda and around the world,” he said in a statement.

At a conference earlier this year, Dershem stated that if global healthcare transaction costs could be reduced by even 10 percent, nearly $1 trillion in capital would be freed up in the world, preferably to be used for providing vaccines in developing geographic regions, access to care in urban health deserts, and orphan drug research instead.

The Algorand blockchain operates at over 1,000TPS and is final in under 5 seconds on a platform that is verified to not fork. And in addition to providing an open, public infrastructure, Algorand’s technology is a high performing Layer-1 that enables immediate transaction finality, security required in the healthcare space, and advanced smart contracts that expand future potential.

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Source: https://cryptoslate.com/algorand-could-soon-process-upto-800-million-in-healthcare-costs-in-bermuda/

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