Category Archives: fintech

Auto Added by WPeMatico

RBI Sandbox to Promote Fintech, Blockchain, Excludes Crypto

RBI Sandbox to Promote Fintech, Blockchain, Excludes Crypto

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has rolled out what it termed a ‘Draft Enabling Framework for Regulatory Sandbox,’ that will serve as a requirement guide for the burgeoning fintech sector.

In 2016, in response to the rapidly growing fintech space, the RBI set up a committee (Inter-Regulatory Working Group on FinTech and Digital Banking in India) tasked with the responsibility to ascertain the implications of the evolving space and advise on an appropriate regulatory framework. A ‘regulatory sandbox/innovation hub’ was one of the recommendations of the working group following their findings. The RBI has finally developed a test environment to increase efficiency, manage risks and create new opportunities for consumers with respect to fintech innovations.

According to the press release:

“The proposed financial service to be launched under the RS (regulatory sandbox) should include new or emerging technology, or use of existing technology in an innovative way and should address a problem, or bring benefits to consumers.”

While it does seem like the financial regulator thinks to promote the innovative stems of the fintech industry to include applications under blockchain and smart contracts, however, it did clearly state that cryptocurrency and initial coin offerings – both essential components of the decentralized blockchain – will be excluded from the test environment.

This would come off as bad news to crypto ventures in the country as they have been waiting desperately to resume their crypto-related activities – to include trading of cryptocurrencies to fiat counterparts – without incurring further sanctions from the watchdog.

The Indian government has been mulling over cryptocurrency regulations and sought external help to formulate a befitting legislature for the industry, and earlier in February, a report suggested stunting the growth of cryptocurrency may have negative feedback to the nation.

In the month of March, a protest was carried out by Indian crypto enthusiasts across 4 major cities expressing their dissatisfaction on the state of the industry, as crypto regulations are in their final stages. With the exclusion of cryptocurrency testing in the regulatory sandbox, it remains unseen how the crypto community will react en masse to the development.

Overall, the RBI’s sandbox development as with other jurisdictions bodes well for the fintech space as it joins the race for inclusion in the emerging market.

 

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter: @BitcoinNewsCom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com: https://t.me/bconews

Want to advertise or get published on BitcoinNews.com? – View our Media Kit PDF here.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

 

The post RBI Sandbox to Promote Fintech, Blockchain, Excludes Crypto appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

IBM, Microsoft, JP Morgan Lead Ethereum Blockchain Initiative

IBM, Microsoft, JP Morgan Lead Ethereum Blockchain Initiative

The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) has announced that it will be launching a new “Token Taxonomy Initiative” that will see a collaboration by some of the most influential names in traditional and emerging financial technology (fintech), including Microsoft, IBM, JP Morgan, ConsenSys and many others.

The EEA Token Taxonomy Initiative states that it will work on developing clear definitions for the token concept, as well as an outline of its scope. This will include business use cases, terminology and taxonomy, as well as technical specification.

Microsoft principal architect and EEA board member Marley Gray noted that the acceleration of blockchain tech adoption made it ever more important for industry players to cooperate in developing mutual understanding of the token model, while agreeing on common definitions as well as helping to ensure interoperability through standards and best practices:

“With a standardized global approach, the Token Taxonomy Initiative will form the foundation of critical standards in tokenization that could streamline the way entire industries and ecosystems work on a blockchain.”

Despite the occasional denials of being friendly towards cryptocurrency, traditional banking leaders such as JP Morgan as well as accounting firms like EY, who are part of this new initiative, have been much warmer towards the underlying technology of crypto, known as blockchain.

 

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter: @bitcoinnewscom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com: https://t.me/bconews

Want to advertise or get published on BitcoinNews.com? – View our Media Kit PDF here.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

The post IBM, Microsoft, JP Morgan Lead Ethereum Blockchain Initiative appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

VC Fund Says India Fintech “Insanely Addictive”

VC Fund Says India Fintech “Insanely Addictive”

The founder of Emphasis Ventures (EMVC) VC fund Melissa Frakman, has told local business media outlet YourStory of her experience with the Indian financial technology (fintech) scene, professing that the country’s sector can be “insanely addictive“.

Canadian-born Frakman insisted that India was the stage for some of the most exciting trends happening right now in the fintech sector, especially with the entry of many new players over the past few years.

Spurred by the high penetration rates of low-cost internet access, many Indians have seen their businesses and lives transformed by the development of financial tech in banking, insurance, payments and investments. The popular use of the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) by the National Payments Corporation of India (NCPI) has also benefited the space, and NCPI has been mulling blockchain to improve on that. It

Frakman said:

“I saw over and over again how incredible the (Indian) market is, and I’ve always been completely captivated by how quickly the markets change here. It’s insanely addictive to build and work in India because you actually see the results and progress that’s happening.”

The investor stressed that while EMVC was very much focused on India, their strategy was that of a global- and US-based fund.

In her early time, she was the Director of the US-India Business Council, advising Fortune 500 companies on market strategy in India.

 

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter: @bitcoinnewscom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com: https://t.me/bconews

Want to advertise or get published on BitcoinNews.com? – View our Media Kit PDF here.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

The post VC Fund Says India Fintech “Insanely Addictive” appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

Australia’s First Government-Funded Blockchain Incubator Gets One Up on State Rivals

Australia’s First Government Funded Blockchain Incubator Gets One Up On State Rivals

The first crypto lab in South Australia to receive government funding is hoped to boost the industry and catch up with other states such as New South Wales and Victoria.

The new lab due to open in September has been awarded Federal Government funding to the tune of AUD 170,00 offering 10 blockchain startups both workspace and mentoring services.

Although Australia has a forward-thinking approach to cryptocurrency in general, the government is still slow coming forward to promote the industry. Currently, under a Liberal Government the Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) whose aim is to deliver world-leading digital services for the benefit of all Australians, feels that the technology needs more research before it can be described as the real deal.

South Australia is playing catch up with its state neighbors, but it is moving forward after holding the ADC Global Blockchain Summit in Adelaide last month, giving it the added credibility of holding Australia’s first international blockchain technology summit.

Adelaide crypto lab’s co-founder Yawn Rong claims that since the summit blockchain interest has “exploded”. He said that “South Australia may never be an industry leader, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be successful”. Rong was clearly happy to get one over on Sydney and Melbourne arguing:

“There are co-working spaces for blockchain in Melbourne and Sydney but there are no acceleration programs there… There are think tanks with blockchain departments, as well as university courses, but there are no specialized incubator programs in Australia that support the development of the proof of concept after their preliminary blockchain studies.”

Crypto SA’s federal government funding formed part of the Incubator Support program, which provides new and existing business incubators with grants of up to USD 500,000 to assist Australian startups to compete in international markets.

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation’s (CSIRO) Data 61 is continuing to examine blockchains capability within government and private use, claiming that Australia has the potential to lead the world in further developing the technology.

Australia’s major banks maintain cautious policies when it comes to cryptocurrencies, despite wide public interest, but many banks now permit the purchasing of cryptocurrency using credit cards.

 

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter: @bitcoinnewscom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com: https://t.me/bconews

Want to advertise or get published on BitcoinNews.com? – View our Media Kit PDF here.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

The post Australia’s First Government-Funded Blockchain Incubator Gets One Up on State Rivals appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

South Korea Banks to Open Payment Network to Fintech Firms by December 2019

South Korea Banks to Open Payment Network to Fintech Firms by December 2019

Banks in South Korea have agreed to make their payment networks fully available to financial technology (fintech) firms by December this year, according to local news outlet Korea Bizwire. The move is seen as the latest in a government effort to encourage the development of modern payment technologies and foster a more competitive financial sector.

Bank payment networks can only be accessed by banks themselves at the moment and even so, only open for transactions between accounts held by themselves. In 2016, a new protocol was jointly launched for an open banking system, which is available to a handful of fintech companies, but at a high cost in fees.

A fully open payment system would allow unbridled access and theoretically, customers should be able to access all their different banking accounts via a single application to make payments across any bank network.

Senior official at the Korea Financial Telecommunications and Clearings Institute Choi Seok-min said that a computer network would be ready by October for a trial period. It expects full access to be ready by October. The immediate benefit would be a huge discount on fees; fintech firms can expect to pay a tenth of current fee levels.

Financial authorities in the country are determined to promote the fintech industry since the National Assembly passed bills last year for a regulatory sandbox that would give fintech firms a controlled environment to experiment technologies under friendly laws.

 

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter: @bitcoinnewscom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com: https://t.me/bconews

Want to advertise or get published on BitcoinNews.com? – View our Media Kit PDF here.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

The post South Korea Banks to Open Payment Network to Fintech Firms by December 2019 appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

Insurtech Lemonade Valued $2 Billion After $300 Million Injection

Insurtech Lemonade Valued  Billion After 0 Million Injection

Fintech insurer and insurance tech (insurtech) firm Lemonade yesterday raised a fresh funding injection worth USD 300 million in a deal led by SoftBank Group. Although the company did not reveal its valuation, sources said to Forbes that this fresh investment now means that this Washington-based unicorn is now worth more than USD 2 billion.

Having previously raised in December 2017, a year after it launched, this latest round sees it flush with USD 480 million in investment, with backers this round including Allianz, General Catalyst, GV, OurCrowd and Thrive Capital.

Lemonade provides insurance to renters and homeowners and its success has seen it getting mentions in last year’s list of 2018 Next Billion-Dollar Startups. Renters are able to purchase insurance as cheaply as USD 5 while homeowners could buy protection from as low as USD 25.

With a platform on mobile and and web, the company has been looking into an expansion into other US states as well as across the pond to Europe. With offices in New York and Tel Aviv, CEO Daniel Schreiber said that a European headquarters was already set up in Amsterdam. He said:

“We’re not looking to create a small technology vendor or something else in this space. We are looking to create a dominant and technologically enabled insurance company on a global basis.”

Lemonade’s name in insurtech was made on its unique business model of using AI to issue policies and pay claims in minutes, eliminating conflict of interest between insurer and insured. It boasts some 300,000 customers and did USD 57 million in sales last year.

 

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter: @bitcoinnewscom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com: https://t.me/bconews

Want to advertise or get published on BitcoinNews.com? – View our Media Kit PDF here.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

The post Insurtech Lemonade Valued $2 Billion After $300 Million Injection appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

UK Fintech Firms Go “Jurisdiction Shopping” as Brexit Looms

UK Fintech Firms Go

Financial technology (fintech) startups based in the United Kingdom are apparently now seeking to relocate their operations, as the UK faces an imminent breakup with the European Union (EU), thereby losing its regulatory passport and privilege of free trade within the EU.

This trend was exemplified by such a firm, London-based payments startup Azimo, whose interview with current affairs commentator Politico revealed that fintech businesses in the UK had already been searching for alternatives overseas as soon as the Brexit referendum was finished in June 2016. Azimo CEO Michael Kent bluntly said:

“We went jurisdiction shopping the week after the referendum.”

His company is one of UK’s most popular digital payments company, boasting over a million users and employing 135 employees across London and Krakow in Poland. While Kent believed that the UK’s position as a fintech hub and top consumer market for neo financial services would not be in danger, he said that free trade in the EU was paramount to continued success.

A continental license that would allow passporting of services to other EU member states, was what he and others were looking for. And after negotiating with many suitors, Azimo found that in Amsterdam in the Netherlands, it seems. Kent explained:

“We like the Dutch regulator. They are strict, highly regarded and although it took a lot longer to get approved than we thought, they have an open mind to us and what we do, which you can’t say about all the others.”

The Dutch financial market regulator claims to have had some 150 Brexit-related discussions with firms and has already issued over 30 new licenses.

 

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter: @bitcoinnewscom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com: https://t.me/bconews

Want to advertise or get published on BitcoinNews.com? – View our Media Kit PDF here.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

The post UK Fintech Firms Go “Jurisdiction Shopping” as Brexit Looms appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

Australia Government Change Would See Labor Push Blockchain

Visa, Horowitz, Among Investors in African Lending App’s 0 Million Funding Round

A spokesman from Australia’s Labor Opposition party has stated that it will push blockchain technology if in government, despite current views that tech is overhyped.

Currently, under a Liberal Government The Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) whose aim is to deliver world-leading digital services for the benefit of all Australians, feels that the technology needs more research before it can be described as the real deal.

The current Shadow Minister for Human Services and the Digital Economy, Ed Husic, disagrees with the incumbent government’s stance over blockchain technology and is disappointed after the DTA was given AUD 700,000 to investigate blockchain as part of the 2018-19 Budget.

The government’s findings through DTA chief digital officer Peter Alexander was that “for every use of blockchain you would consider today, there is a better technology — alternate databases, secure connections, standardized API engagement”.

Husic responded during the launch of a blockchain paper from the Australian Computer Society (ACS), saying that some of the anti-blockchain reports were disappointing: “There’s this line that’s starting to creep out into the public space more and more about is blockchain over-hyped.”

He went on to compare the situation regarding the adoption of blockchain to the early days of the internet when people asked, “Do we really need a webpage? Do we really need this?”. He said, “We can just rely on what we’ve been doing at the moment… we don’t need to use this technology called the internet and other people will do it first. Then we saw other people do things first and get the advantage… and then we had to play catch-up.”

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation’s (CSIRO) Data 61 is continuing to examine blockchains capability within government and private use, claiming that Australia has the potential to lead the world in further developing the technology. Data61 CEO Adrian Turner commented:

“We’ve got high-performance computing capabilities, strong cryptography capability, strong protocol development experience — for example, wireless — we’ve got all the ingredients to actually smash it globally if we can get focused.”

 

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter: @bitcoinnewscom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com: https://t.me/bconews

Want to advertise or get published on BitcoinNews.com? – View our Media Kit PDF here.

Image Courtesy: bitcoinnews.com

The post Australia Government Change Would See Labor Push Blockchain appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

London Firms Snared 39% of European Fintech Funding in 2018

London Firms Snared 39% of European Fintech Funding in 2018

Financial technology (fintech) firms based in London took the lion’s share of investment in 2018, collectively attracting 39% of all European funding, against a total USD 36.6 billion in global venture capital (VC) investment last year, according to a CNBC business report.

Research from Innovate Finance has singled out the United Kingdom as an emerging leader when it comes to securing VC funding in fintech, ranking third in the world, behind only China and the United States.

These have largely been thanks to London’s top fintech unicorns that include financial service providers and so-called neobanks such as Revolut, TransferWise, and OakNorth. Challenger bank OakNorth is tipped as the one to keep an eye on, citing its “phenomenal” income growth from GBP 77.1 million (USD 100.81 million) to GBP 177.6 million in just twelve months — a year-on-year revenue increase of 268%. OakNorth was valued at USD 2.8 billion when SoftBank pumped $440 million of investments into the bank.

Another UK unicorn, digital bank Monzo, was reported by the Guardian as nearing a US deal that would double its value to GBP 2 billion.

These developments, according to a report by British recruiter Robert Walters and research firm Vacancy Soft, could put the status of San Franciso as the world’s unicorn breeding ground, under threat. Out of the world’s fintech unicorns numbering 29, 7 are already based in London, only 2 fewer than in San Francisco.

The report saw “signs of potential to threaten San Francisco’s historic dominance of the market”, noting also that London led all other EU cities in European fintech funding. Berlin and Paris came in second and third respectively.

 

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter: @bitcoinnewscom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com: https://t.me/bconews

Want to advertise or get published on BitcoinNews.com? – View our Media Kit PDF here.

Image Courtesy: bitcoinnews.com

The post London Firms Snared 39% of European Fintech Funding in 2018 appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

Swiss Federal Council Begins National Blockchain Framework Changes

Swiss Federal Council Begin National Blockchain Framework Changes

The Swiss Federal Council has initiated a consultation period on the adaptation of federal law for blockchain developments.

According to the state-issued press release, the consultation will be an opportunity to improve the framework for blockchain and other decentralized technologies in Switzerland. Specifically, it will look to increase legal certainty, restrict risks associated with misuse of the technologies and remove obstacles for blockchain-backed applications, most predominantly looking at use-cases in the financial sector.

The council first published a blockchain report in December last year addressing the current circumstances, then making it clear they would be prepared to make changes to the existing framework to provide a ”leading, innovative and sustainable location for fintech and DLT companies.”

There will be a revision of the current anti-money laundering policies, with an amendment to theAnti-Money Laundering Ordinance scheduled.

Several policy adjustments have already been proposed also, including the separation of cryptocurrency assets in the event of bankruptcy, as well as establishing a digital registration of rights in the Swiss Code of Obligations.

The Federal Council’s consultation period is scheduled to last until late June 2019.

 

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter: @bitcoinnewscom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com: https://t.me/bconews

Want to advertise or get published on BitcoinNews.com? – View our Media Kit PDF here.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

The post Swiss Federal Council Begins National Blockchain Framework Changes appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.