1.UK – P2P
Zoopla-backed peer-to-peer lender Landbay could face further regulation as part of regulatory changes the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is looking to introduce in the P2P and crowdfunding sector, according to Property Industry Eye.
“The City watchdog has released a consultation on improving transparency and disclosure in the peer-to-peer and crowdfunding sector.
One proposal is to expand mortgage regulation rules to P2P platforms offering home finance such as buy-to-let loans and development or bridging products.
This would impact alternative property lenders such as Landbay.
They would have to follow mortgage rules on fee and interest rate disclosure, treatment of customer arrears, provide transaction data to the FCA and apply tough affordability assessments used by mainstream lenders.
The document also reminds crowdfunding platforms – which have become popular for agency brands such as Emoov as well as proptech firms to raise funds – of the importance of ensuring investors can afford to get involved in projects.”
2. US – FinTech
“DCEX, a U.S.-based cryptocurrency marketplace for retail and institutional investors, today announced registration is open to the first digital currency exchange to utilize XRP as its exclusive base currency. Founded in 2017, DCEX describes itself as a next-generation crypto-to-crypto marketplace, with all currencies trading against XRP as a base currency.
According to DCEX, clients will be able to trade a total of 15 coin pairs – XRP, Bitcoin (BTC), Litecoin (LTC), Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Bitcoin Gold (BTG), Ethereum classic (ETC), OmiseGo (OMG), EOS (EOS), DASH (DASH), Tron (TRX), Monero (XMR), VeChain (VEN), IOTA (IOTA), ZCash (ZEC), and stable-coin TrueUSD (TUSD), with plans to add Neo (NEO), Cardano (ADA), and more pairs in the coming months. The platform also offers access to all ten coins listed in the Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index (BGCI) in one location. Other features include:
- Arbitrage among currency pairs on different exchanges: XRP as a base currency allows for seamless, high-speed transfers between exchanges to take advantage of price inefficiencies.
- Faster execution times with lower latency: Allows for a very rapid transaction volume with a network designed to facilitate up to one million transactions per second.XRP blockchain transactions are also typically settled in under four seconds, allowing for faster multi-exchange strategies and providing a speed advantage over other money movement options.
- High frequency crypto trading: Advanced participants can easily connect to APIs to facilitate high-frequency crypto trading strategies.
- Increase of overall liquidity in cryptocurrency space, using the XRP protocol: Availability of novel currency pairs allows for new conversion pathways for market participants and gives traders easy ways to access many of the top cryptocurrencies.
- Lower transaction fees: Market participants will be able to rapidly move XRP between DCEX and other marketplaces at a low network transaction cost as XRP protocol withdrawals allow for lower costs.
- Margin trading: Traders can increase returns when leveraging their investment to take advantage of trading opportunities as they arise.
DCEX is notably powered by blockchain exchange technology company AlphaPoint.”
3. International – FinTech
A press release:
“Utopian.io, a provider of free crowdsourcing services to open source projects by incentivizing contributions, is proud to announce a collaboration and partnership with Fundition.io, a unique decentralized crowdfunding platform on the Steem blockchain.
Aiming to cater to the needs of independent open source projects and their developers, Utopian.io and Fundition.io offer a unique combination of crowdfunding and crowdsourcing for the development of open source innovation. With the ability to crowdfund project growth via Fundition.io and free access to a community of professionals on Utopian.io who are incentivized to contribute to innovative FOSS initiatives, the entrepreneurs and developers behind independent innovation can achieve their project goals, bringing value to the entire open source ecosystem.”
New deal announcement.
“Abu Dhabi-based Falcon Capital Group has announced that it has taken a stake in a London-based wealth management firm that uses robo-advisory models to allow Gulf investors access to low-cost, automated funds. It also offers access to investment funds provided by Hargreaves Landsdown, which typically target high net-worth investors.
In a press release issued on Sunday evening, Falcon Capital said that it has purchased of a 20 percent stake in Gulf Wealth Management - a firm set up three years ago via crowdfunding platform Seedrs with the aim of targeting Gulf investors.
Gulf Wealth Management is set to use the investment to launch operations in the United Arab Emirates and in Bahrain by the first quarter of next year. George Robb, the non-executive chairman of Gulf Wealth Management and CEO of Aberdeen Asset Management in the United Kingdom said the investment by Falcon Capital would also "enable GWM to apply for regulatory approval with a view to a business launch early in 2019”
5. International – FinTech
China’s crypto ambivalence…
“Bitmain, a China based hardware and tech firm that produces some of the most popular mining servers in the cryptocurrency world, is said to be planning an initial public offering (IPO). According to a report in Fortune, Bitmain is prepping to issue shares at a valuation of $14 billion – up from $12 billion this past June – a pretty rapid rise in valuation in just weeks.
The report states that Bitmain delivered a $1.2 billion profit in 2017 at an operating margin of 50%. In Q1 of 2018. Bitmain brought in $1.1 billion net profit and expects to deliver up to $3 billion in net income for 2018.
Bitmain was founded in 2013 and quickly established itself as a leading producing of Bitcoin miners. Their bespoke ASIC chips are continuously updated to keep up with the pace of difficulty for proof of work miners. A recent write up estimated that Bitmain controlled as much as 80% of the crypto mining hardware sector. Bitmain’s much smaller competitor Canaan Inc., has already filed for an IPO in Hong Kong.
Bitmain is not without its detractors where some industry insiders claim the company has too much control over the cryptocurrency mining sector and they use this influence to inhibit erstwhile competitors. Negative comments have gone so far to claim that Bitmain “sells the Antminers very close to the amount of BTC it will be able to mine in the future considering difficulty. Hours of work for close to nothing.” [emphasis added] CI has spoken to one miner who prefer to build their own machines to better compete in the mining space.
While China has banned cryptocurrency, and initial coin offerings, it is still acknowledged as one of the largest mining countries in the world. Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse recently stated that Bitcoin was controlled by China with four minings dominating the sector – thus publicly stating what many people already believe.”