This Week in Fintech ending 13 August 2021

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

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 passwords and Weekly Columnist at Daily Fintech) @iliashatzis wrote The end of Ethereum mining. What does mean for Ether’s price?

Bitcoin and Ethereum hit their highest value in more than two months, as the market faces uncertainty because of regulations in the United States’ infrastructure plan. Early Sunday morning, bitcoin surged as much as 3.1% to over $45k, the highest price since May. Ethereum gained as much as 3.5% reaching $3,191 after its London upgrade. Other tokens like Binance Coin, Cardano, XRP, and Dogecoin have also rallied in the past week. A big reason that continues to cast doubt in the market is the U.S. infrastructure bill, which addresses reporting requirements for cryptocurrency transactions and tax collection. It is anticipated that the proposed crypto tax will offset some of the expenses of the $550 billion infrastructure plan. On the other hand, Ethereum network upgrade introduces some interesting features, that solve some old issues, making the block size more flexible and splitting the fees into two different parts, one which is burned and is set algorithmically by the network based on past demand and the other is given as a tip to the miner. The Ethereum network has a long-standing problem with scaling and its highly unpredictable and sometimes exorbitant transaction fees. The upgrade makes the protocol less intimidating to use, as an automated bidding system that sets a fee that fluctuates, based on how congested the network is, instead of users bidding on how much they’re willing to pay to have their transactions verified by a miner.

Editor note: Eth moving to Proof Of Stake from  Proof Of Work is a huge differentiator vs BTC. It will be interesting to see how the market reacts.

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Tuesday Bernard Lunn, CEO of Daily Fintech and author of The Blockchain Economy wrote: Part 2 Tech is neutral and bad young Fintech is as bad as old legacy Fin. 

The Google founders famously put “don’t  be evil” into their corporate code of conduct, softening it to “do the right thing” in 2015 and de-emphasized it again in 2018.

The reality is that tech companies have only one mandate which is profit for shareholders. Keeping customers and talent happy is aligned to that mandate.  That is true even if they have Fin or Health or Clean as a moniker in front of Tech.  Technology is neutral – it can be used for good or bad ends – and companies are amoral – only humans are moral or immoral.

The pitch that young Fintech is better than old Fin is as wrong as saying Millennials are better than Boomers.  It is a pitch to consumers – investors know what the real mandate is or they would not invest.

Editor note:This is second post in 4-part series on Fintech and Climate Change.

Wednesday Alan Scott Managing Director EMEA at 24 Exchange @Alan_SmartMoney wrote his weekly roundup of Stablecoin news.

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Thursday

Rintu Patnaik, an Insurtech expert based in India, wrote: The Progressive Frontier In Usage Based Insurance

Progressive Insurance has risen from modest beginnings since being founded in 1937. After its 1986 IPO, it has delivered 20.5% CAGR vs 9.9% by S&P 500. Personal auto insurance (with specialty lines of watercraft, RVs, motorcycles) remains the biggest revenue source. Already highly ranked on the Fortune 500, it kept delivering consistent results over last few years. Among its many firsts, it pioneered selling directly over the internet in the late nineties. Subsequently, Progressive’s position in North American private auto insurance catapulted from #15 to #3.

Editor note: Progressive Insurance is an interesting stock ($PGR) for investors who like looking at the fundamentals of a business.

Christian Dreyer @x3er, the Swiss based CFA who focusses on how XBRL changes our world wrote his weekly roundup of XBRL news.

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Friday Howard Tolman, a well-known banker, technologist and entrepreneur in London, wrote his weekly roundup of Alt Lending news.

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