News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

Lively discussion in a pub

1.UK – P2P

P2P Finance News reports:

“JustUs has embarked on a £4.5m fundraising campaign, as it prepares to expand its lending into residential owner-occupied mortgages.

The peer-to-peer lender, which already provides bridging and buy-to-let loans, is offering equity in its own platform and will use some of the money raised to enter the residential owner-occupied mortgage market.

There is a minimum investment of £5,000 in the fundraising, which is eligible for inclusion in the Enterprise Investment Scheme – a tax relief designed to encourage investment in unlisted companies.

It comes as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is due to release a policy statement during the second quarter of 2019 in response to its P2P post implementation review consultation, which Birkett says will outline the regulator’s approach to regulated home finance in the P2P market.


2. US – Equity


Crowdfund Insider reports on a conference presentation delivered by David Weild, a former Vice Chairman of NASDAQ and now CEO of his own firm Weild & Co., which bemoans, inter alia, the decline of the IPO.

“Weild, a staunch proponent of the JOBS Act, has long championed the benefits of entrepreneurship and the smaller initial public offering (IPO) market – a sector that has dramatically declined in recent years. He believes that misguided policy decisions have crushed the small to mid-market IPO and thus undermined access to capital and wealth creation in the US.

Today in the US, much of the innovative entrepreneurship takes place in hotbeds of creativity like Silicon Valley or Silicon Alley – to the exclusion of most of the country. Weild believes this is a shortcoming that must be addressed and the loss of small-cap IPOs have accelerated the decline in entrepreneurship.

Additionally, part of the economic impact due to this concentration of innovation is that the concept of upward mobility has been undermined. For much of the country, it is harder to get ahead. The wealthier get more wealthy while the poor and middle class struggle to make ends meet.  Opportunity and access to capital, is not being equally disseminated across the country. Now, Weild is no social democrat. As he explains:

Weild is on a mission. He believes that education, access to capital, company formation, and “exitability” are all essential for upward mobility. Fostering a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem is vital.

He has advocated on behalf of the concept of creating a venture exchange: a marketplace for smaller firms to raise capital, provide liquidity, and create an exit opportunity.”

3. International – FinTech


CNBC is among those reporting on JP Morgan’s intention to create the world’s biggest blockchain product with its new cryptocurrency.

“In a report by CNBC, it was mentioned that Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPM, commented on the previously announced JPM Coin, a blockchain based stablecoin that has received some heat from hardcore crypto types while others have lauded the entry.

Dimon, during a Q&A session, stated:

“JP Morgan Coin could be internal, could be commercial, it could one day be consumer.”

The comment is indicative of the evolving concept of crypto and JPM’s experiment with distributed ledger technology.

Buried within the various presentations delivered today, the Corporate & Investment Bank deck was peppered with mentions of blockchain.

JPM Coin “Will Enable 24/7/365 Global Value Transfer”

  • Digital coin designed to facilitate instantaneous payments using distributed ledger technology
    • Will be available to JPMorgan Chase institutional clients
    • Prototype tested successfully
  • JPM Coin will facilitate payments in United States Dollars
    • Will be extended to other major currencies in the future
    • Will be issued on Quorum Blockchain, but can be used on other blockchain platforms
  • Many potential uses in the future for institutional clients of JPMorgan Chase:
    • Cross-border money movement 24/7/365 – outside traditional banking hours
    • Payments for asset transfers over blockchain
    • Internal liquidity optimization for large, complex corporate clients

The presentation indicated JPM’s intent to create the largest blockchain based banking information network with Interbank Information Network (IIN).”

Jamie Dimon Says JPM Coin Could be Used by Consumers in the Future | Crowdfund Insider

4. International – FinTech


News from Tokyo, reported by Crowdfund Insider

SoftBank Corp. (announced that it has formed a new partnership with  TBCASoft, Inc. to launch a blockchain-based “Identification & Authentication” Working Group under the Carrier Blockchain Study Group (CBSG), the global blockchain consortium of telecom carriers.

According to the duo, TBCASoft created a new foundation application framework called Cross-Carrier Identification System (CCIS), which will focus on enabling identification and authentication services. SoftBank and TBCASoft will be leading this Working Group under the CBSG Consortium as well as collaborate with CBSG Consortium members around the globe.”


5. International – FinTech


Crowdfund Insider reports another scam in cryptoland:

“Korean cryptocurrency trading platform Coinbin, which took over “Top Ten Korean …Exchange” Youbit last April after Youbit lost $15 million USD (17 billion won) in customer funds in a hack, has declared bankruptcy and ceased all trading on February 22nd, Business Korea reports.

Coinbin CEO Park Chan-kyu reportedly told reporters assembled at Coinbin’s Seoul office Feb. 20th that the bankruptcy was induced by embezzlement:

“We are preparing to file for bankruptcy due to a rise in debt following an employee’s embezzlement.”

All further settlements, said Park, will be managed as part of bankruptcy proceedings.

The embezzlement was allegedly perpetrated by a former Youbit CEO who claimed he lost access to “private keys” (passwords) needed to access hundreds of bitcoins and Ethers he’d moved to crypto “wallets.”