This Week in Fintech ending 13 November 2020

This week our experts brought you the following insights based on their experience as investors, entrepreneurs & executives.

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Your Editor is Bernard Lunn. He is also the CEO of Daily Fintech and author of The Blockchain Economy and occasional opinion columnist.

Monday Ilias Hatzis our Greece-based crypto entrepreneur (Founder & CEO at Mercato Blockchain Corporation AG and Weekly Columnist at Daily Fintech) @iliashatzis wrote I remember the last time Bitcoin hit $15k

When I wrote my previous post last Sunday, bitcoin was around $13.8k a coin. This week it has skyrocketed  past $15,000, for the first time since January 2018. The price increase was more or less synchronized with the vote count in the United States and the ever-increasing tension in the country. Bitcoin has gained 17% in the past week, 28% in October, almost 60% since the end of August and is up nearly 300% so far this year. The capitalization for the entire cryptocurrency market  has been bullish over the last 30 days, shooting up to almost $450 billion, its highest level since the spring of 2018. Bitcoin has more than tripled since the pandemic kicked off in March, when the financial markets were infected by the coronavirus. If we look back at the end of 2017, when bitcoin and rest of the market was setting new records every day, there was a complete mania, with coverage around the clock and everyone talking about bitcoin and digital assets. This time, no one is really surprised, things are a lot calmer and the hype is barely getting started. It’s as if everything that’s happening is normal and its suppose to be like this. As I write this post, bitcoin is hovering around $15,500 and everything points to a bull run that is going to be a lot longer and a lot bigger. More importantly, we’ve reached a critical point, where bitcoin is no longer considered an outsider, but has become a mainstream option for investors. 

Editor note: Ilias offers a good guide to the growing number of conservative financial investors looking seriously at Bitcoin.

Bernard Lunn, CEO of Daily Fintech and author of The Blockchain Economy wrote:Cross border payments part 3: stablecoins is the nearly but not quite yet disruptor.

Quiz; what do USD Tokens, Libra, Single Currency CBDC, Synthetic  Basket CBDC all have in common?

(CBDC = Central Bank Digital Currency).

Answer: they are all Stablecoins

Stablecoins could disrupt the cross border payments business. Not today, when you still have to use the rails described in Part 1 & 2. Maybe tomorrow it will be possible. Stablecoins for cross border payments is a nearly but not quite yet story.

Editor note: Any investor or entrepreneur eyeing the cross border payments market should read this 4-part series.

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Tuesday Efi Pylarinou @efipm our Swiss-based Fintech Adviser,  founder of Efi Pylarinou Advisory and a Fintech/Blockchain influencer – No.3 influencer in the finance sector by Refinitiv Global Social Media 2019 wrote Curating the Q3 2020 Robo Report

The quarterly Backend Benchmarking Robo Report for Q3 is out and I am sharing my reflections after reviewing it.

Bear in mind that this is a US-centric sector in which several large incumbents have already stepped in. I don’t need to highlight that this year is unique in more than one ways.

In the robo-advisory sector we saw healthy fundraising starting with Stash as the main example and then Wealthsimple and M1.

We saw increased brand recognition for standalone fintechs in the micro-investing sector, like Acorns.

The hybrid business model (humans with machines – sorry Wealthfront) is being validated – JP Morgan is mentioned in the Robo Report as on a hiring spree for advisors that can serve digitally clients.

The most important takeaway for me, is the continued cross-selling trend in the robo sector which leads to connecting banking services with investing services. We are seeing from both the large incumbents with robo investing offerings but also from the grownup standalone Fintechs, more integrations and connecting capabilities for clients.

Editor note: Read this for a well informed analysis on the Robo Advisor market.

Wednesday Alan Scott Managing Director EMEA at 24 Exchange @Alan_SmartMoney wrote Stablecoin News for the week ending Wednesday 11 November 2020.

This weekly snapshot is the news that matters in the Stablecoin market.

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Thursday

Rintu Patnaik, an Insurtech expert based in India, wrote: Future At Lloyds: Digital Blueprint for a 330 Year Old Exchange

In Sep 2019, Lloyds of London published their vision for the Future at Lloyds (FAL) as Blueprint One. Amid a tumultuous world economy, Lloyds has refined its strategy and game plan to launch Blueprint Two last week, a bold two-year program to establish newer ways of doing business, driven by digital channels with advanced data collection and management. The ensuing solutions will equip market participants to operate at materially lower costs.

As a leading (re)insurance marketplace, Lloyds has throughout its 332 year history, pioneered coverage for different risks, from the first motor and satellite policies to today’s cover for cyber and sharing economy risks. It is most sought after for complex and specialty risks. With 80 syndicates, it reported a GWP of 36 billion pounds last year.

Editor note: During a year which put a spotlight on the need for Insurance, this post offers great insight into the future of Insurance. Lloyds was a business ecosystem before the term became digitally hip. 

Christian Dreyer @x3er, our Swiss based CFA who focusses on how XBRL changes our world wrote XBRL News about regtech, mostly (ESEF, UK, HK)

Editor note: This weekly snapshot is the news that matters in the XBRL market.

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Friday Howard Tolman, a well-known banker, technologist and entrepreneur in London, wrote: Alt Lending for week ended 13 November 2020

Editor note: This weekly snapshot is the news that matters in the Alt Lending market.

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