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Westpac hires Scott Collary as new COO

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Westpac has announced the appointment of Scott Collary as its new chief operating officer.

Scott Collary Westpac

Scott Collary, Westpac

Collary joins the bank from Bank of Montreal in Canada. His prior role was as chief information and operations officer for North American personal and business banking.

He also spent two years as chief information officer at ANZ, and six years as chief information officer at Citigroup North America.

Collary is due to commence his role later this year, subject to regulatory approvals.

“Scott has extensive experience working in senior financial services roles leading large global teams,” says Peter King Westpac group chief executive.

“He has a proven track record of delivering large-scale transformation programs at major international banks that improve operating and technology performance.”

Westpac has also taken the opportunity to announce the departure of group executive Gary Thursby.

Thursby has spent 13 years at the bank, and over the last nine months worked as group chief financial officer. Prior to that he held roles as chief strategy officer, and chief financial officer for financial services.

“Gary has made a significant contribution across a broad range of roles, as well as running enterprise services and more recently acting CFO,” says King.

“He has been instrumental in developing the organisation’s strategy, including Westpac’s fintech investments, as well as overseeing the implementation of open banking and driving efficiencies in the bank’s operations.”

Related: Regional Australia Bank approves first Aussie open banking loan

Source: https://www.fintechfutures.com/2020/08/westpac-hires-scott-collary-as-new-coo/

Fintech

Venture capital helps ‘buy now, pay later’ fintech business Affirm to $500m investment round

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Affirm, a buy-now-pay-later tech startup, has closed its Series G round on $500m.
The investment was led by GIC and Dura

Source: https://www.altassets.net/private-equity-news/by-news-type/deal-news/venture-capital-helps-buy-now-pay-later-fintech-business-affirm-to-500m-investment-round.html

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Here’s how Nasdaq-listed MicroStrategy went about buying $175m in Bitcoin

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MicroStrategy has become the poster child of mainstream Bitcoin adoption amongst corporations. It is the only publicly listed company to turn towards BTC as a reserve asset to store their capital in.

Their announcement last month regarding their decision to ditch the US Dollar in favor of BTC to store their capital was a big one, because it showed that the benchmark digital asset is gaining utility as a store of value.

For a company with hundreds of millions of dollars in cash, the decision makes sense, as the crypto’s scarcity allows them to avoid the massive losses that would otherwise be incurred due to inflation.

Acquiring this much BTC without going through over the counter (OTC) venues is no easy task, however, and the company’s CEO explained in a recent tweet how they went about doing this.

MicroStrategy now holds 38,250 Bitcoin 

Earlier this week, Microstrategy CEO Michael Saylor announced that his company had doubled down on their Bitcoin bet, adding $175m worth of the digital asset to their holdings.

This massive purchase came about just weeks after the company had revealed its plans to switch to an alternative Bitcoin-focused financial strategy. They now intend to hold their entire capital reserves in BTC to avoid inflation and devaluation of the US Dollar, which is being printed at unprecedented rates.

This strategy is unprecedented and was kicked off by the purchase of a whopping $250m worth of the digital asset.

The company revealed on September 15th that they were buying even more BTC, conducting a $175 million purchase via the spot retail markets. This may have caused Bitcoin’s price to rally to $10,900 while the rest of the market trended lower.

Their total holdings now stack up to 38,250 Bitcoin, with an aggregated purchase price of $425 million.

Here’s how MicroStrategy market-bought 16,796 BTC

During their latest bout of purchasing, MicroStrategy used the retail market to acquire their crypto, with the company’s CEO explaining that they purchased 16,796 BTC throughout 74 hours of continuous trading.

“To acquire 16,796 BTC (disclosed  9/14/20), we traded continuously 74 hours, executing 88,617 trades ~0.19 BTC each 3 seconds. ~$39,414 in BTC per minute, but at all times we were ready to purchase $30-50 million in a few seconds if we got lucky with a 1-2% downward spike.”

The massive amount of capital that was introduced into the market as a result of these 74 hours of continuous trading likely had lasting impacts that may still be influencing Bitcoin.

Bitcoin, currently ranked #1 by market cap, is down 0.45% over the past 24 hours. BTC has a market cap of $202.22B with a 24 hour volume of $26.08B.

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Source: https://cryptoslate.com/heres-how-nasdaq-listed-microstrategy-went-about-buying-175m-in-bitcoin/

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EU to see comprehensive crypto regulation by 2024

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The European Union, or EU, plans to incorporate crypto and blockchain technology into its main processes by 2024. 

Over the next four years, the economic union aims to firm up fresh regulations that will promote blockchain and digital asset usage for international money transfers, according to internal documents that Reuters reported on Friday. 

The documents detailed:

“By 2024, the EU should put in place a comprehensive framework enabling the uptake of distributed ledger technology (DLT) and crypto-assets in the financial sector […] It should also address the risks associated with these technologies.”

Finding that almost 80% of its population transacts in paper money, the European Commission, the union’s governing entity, wants to see digital payments become more common, while aiming for immediate transaction times, Reuters explained.

The commission’s reported aims include a desire for increased data access, financial activities availability — all while aiming for increased efficiency. “By 2024, the principle of passporting and a one-stop shop licensing should apply in all areas which hold strong potential for digital finance,” the documents noted. Over the next year, fast transaction avenues will likely take over, Reuters added. 

Although the COVID-19 pandemic may have expedited the desire for digital payments across the globe, blockchain and crypto assets have been the talk of the regulatory town, with many countries looking toward central bank digital currencies to streamline their payments infrastructures. 

UPDATE Sept. 18, 21:00 UTC: This article has been updated. 

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/eu-to-see-comprehensive-crypto-regulation-by-2024

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