This Week in Fintech ending 15 January 2021

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  Kryptonio a “keyless” non-custodial bitcoin and cryptocurrency wallet, that lets users manage bitcoin and crypto, without private keys or passwordsand Weekly Columnist at Daily Fintech) @iliashatzis wrote $20k, $30k, $40k… What next for Bitcoin?

The last 25 days have been breathtaking for bitcoin and the entire crypto market. Less than a month ago, bitcoin crossed $20k, then 10 days later, it crossed $25k and then, wwithout breaking its stride, it crossed $30k.The bitcoin boom has gone into overdrive this week. A few days ago, bitcoin’s price has crossed $40k. In less than one month, bitcoin’s price has doubled and the total value of entire cryptocurrency market, for the first time ever, passed $1 trillion on Wednesday. What a wild ride it has been for bitcoin in the last three years. In 2017, the bitcoin price soared from less than $1,000 at the beginning of the year to around $20,000 in under 12 months. Then it all disappeared. By December 2018, bitcoin was worth less than 4,000 bucks a coin. The primary difference between now and 2017 is that reputation risks have dissipated and more people than ever are using bitcoin as an exit from the traditional financial system, as opposed to a purely speculative investment. The only risks now are glitches in the technology or a risk-off swoon like what happened in the first quarter of 2020. When Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon river on January 10 in 49 BC, he ended the Roman Republic. But the reality is that the Republic had ended much earlier, corroded by decades of corruption and conflict. The Covid-19 pandemic has clearly reshuffled the cards and has become bitcoin’s “Rubicon moment.” Will you be able to buy a cup of coffee with bitcoin? Probably not with the current version of Bitcoin. But just like Caesar laid the foundation for the empire that followed, bitcoin is laying the foundation for the economic changes that coming and will stretch well into this century, transforming the way money is created, distributed and spent.

Editor note: Ilias is a good data driven guide to the Bitcoin revolution.


Tuesday Bernard Lunn, CEO of Daily Fintech and author of The Blockchain Economy wrote: Prepaid Revolution part 2: 6 types players in this game and where the puck is headed.

These simple but profound changes have a big impact on all 6 players in this ecosystem:

  • Consumers. You and me and 7 billion other souls on this planet. We do not pay the payment fees but we do pay egregious interest rates.
  • Merchants. These range from giant retail chains and e-commerce players to local shops and restaurants ie all the places where we buy goods and services. In the pandemic, when every penny counts for merchants, the spotlight is on the payment fees.
  • Banks. These are both incumbent/legacy banks and new digital challenger neobanks. Plus there are some niche Fintech ventures that want to round out their offerings by adding a branded spending card.
  • Card networks. We used to call them Credit Card networks, but as this is about prepaid cards where there is no credit involved, we simply refer to them here as Card networks. This is firms such as Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover.
  • Card processors. These are lesser known companies who are critical to this market, more information below.
  • Merchant Acquirers. These are lesser known companies who are critical to this market, more information below.

Editor note: Read this 4 part guide if your business is in any way impacted by prepaid banking.

Wednesday Alan Scott Managing Director EMEA at 24 Exchange @Alan_SmartMoney wrote Stablecoin News for the week ending Wednesday 13 January 2021.

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



Rintu Patnaik, an Insurtech expert based in India, wrote: API Driven Insurance-As-A-Service Can Learn From Banking

In earlier posts, I wrote of the ecosystem opportunity in insurance with references to embedded insurance. A tangible strategy in vogue for capitalizing on such opportunities is through an insurance-as-a-service approach. This follows closely what fintechs have achieved in the banking-as-a-service (BaaS) space. To better understand the insurance context, I illustrate few banking trendsetters and extend to recent insurance examples.

Editor note: Read this to understand two different strategies – a data driven platform vs Insurance-As-A-Service (IaaS)

Christian Dreyer @x3er, the Swiss based CFA who focusses on how XBRL changes our world wrote: XBRL News about the world, Europe and commodities

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


Friday Howard Tolman, a well-known banker, technologist and entrepreneur in London, wrote: Alt Lending for week ended 15 January 2021.

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


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