FinTech Round-up: 3rd February



Welcome to the first edition of Satoshi Nakameowdough’s FinTech Round-up. This is a weekly article in which I will be using my position within the FinTech sector to let you guys know what is happening in the payments sector – specifically anything Blockchain related, or more often than not, where traditional FinTech entities are innovating in a way that Blockchain entities should be considerate of.

I will also be using this platform to educate about the current payment flows when it comes to transactions involving FIAT and the real challenges that the Blockchain companies I am dealing with on a daily basis are facing when it comes to AML (Anti-Money Laundering) and KYC (Know Your Customer) regulations.

The ‘Round-Up’

Our first topic today will be R3’s integration into the SWIFT payment rails. Some of you may be aware that the SWIFT network is the traditional way that money is moved around the world via the correspondent banking system. Remittance has long been earmarked as the number 1 use case for the Blockchain due to the lack of fees and the speed of the transaction. It’s true that payments on the SWIFT network take up to 48 hours to move from the UK to Australia, whereas a Crypto transaction can be confirmed instantaneously (depending on the blockchain involved).

Of course this works for me in the UK and my brother in Australia, who are both au fait with Ethereum wallets and the like, but until Aunty Gladys knows how to use private keys and mnemonics, it’s not a workable solution for the rest of the population. SWIFT have been operational since the 1970’s – so they have a 40+ year head start on Blockchain technology and are firmly ingratiated with the Financial Institutions of the world. If they successfully implement the R3 Corda platform – a private Blockchain that was developed in 2016, the narrative for cryptocurrencies surrounding speed becomes obsolescent. This is a story we will be watching with interest.

The second story we are covering this week is the integration of Fintech company App PayKey with a well known financial institution in the UK. A quick look at their website and the Israeli start-up are working with the ‘who’s who’ of global Financial Institutions. Another selling point of cryptocurrencies are the fact it is ‘programmable money.’

Popular Bitcoin ‘Maximalist’ Pierre Rochard has developed a plug-in for Microsoft Excel which will enable users to send Bitcoin via Microsoft Excel and the Lightning Network – however, this is once again a challenge for users that don’t have the technical alacrity to maintain a Bitcoin wallet. PayKey are helping the existing financial institutions treat money like ‘programmable money’ and send it via messaging systems like Whatsapp.

Our final story today is US start-up Petal who raised $30m to offer credit services to the Unbanked. After a $34million raise in October for the credit facility, this is their second raise to take total seed finding to $46m. Once again, assisting the ‘Unbanked’ is another of the major use cases for Cryptocurrencies, however the FinTech space is extremely cognisant of this fact and VC firms are backing companies that plan to operate in this space. Like any competitive business situation, it’s going to come down to the teams and how they execute. Blockchain companies like Wala are doing a great job but they’ll need to keep the momentum up.

Bank account ownership, 2017 (% of adults):

🇦🇺AUS: 100
🇨🇦CAN: 100
🇩🇪GER: 99
🇬🇧GBR: 96
🇫🇷FRA: 94
🇲🇳MGL: 93
🇺🇸USA: 93
🇲🇾MAS: 85
🇨🇳CHN: 80
🇮🇳IND: 80
🇷🇺RUS: 76
🇸🇦KSA: 72
🇧🇷BRA: 70
🇹🇷TUR: 69
🇮🇩INA: 49
🇨🇴COL: 46
🇯🇴JOR: 42
🇳🇬NGR: 40
🇪🇬EGY: 33
🇵🇰PAK: 21
🇦🇫AFG: 15
🇸🇸SSD: 9

(World Bank)— World Index (@theworldindex) February 2, 2019

Off the Record

The most important conversation I had this week was around Cryptocurrencies in India. There has been a lot of noise around the Central Bank of India banning Cryptocurrency transactions or purchases. My customer working in the the industry, who has many senior connections within the Indian government, assures me that this is smoke and mirrors preceding the general elections between April and May this year. India is considered an excellent pool of technological talent and a growing economic power. India has a young population with many tired of the status quo. Based on the conversation I had with my contact, I am very positive that India will contribute to the next major advancements in the space.

That’s it for this week – Please feel free to reach out to me if there is anything you would like to discuss.

About Satoshi Nakameowdough

Nakameowdough has only known about Crypto since late 2017. As soon as he heard about it from a trusted source, he spent the next 14 months with his head buried in books on the subject or listening to a multitude of podcasts.

This dedicated self-development allowed him to pivot from a career in I.T. towards FinTech and he now works with one of the most exciting companies in London, the FinTech hub of the world.

His position within that company affords him the benefit of working with highly innovative businesses and facing the challenges of integrating exciting solutions, with old systems.You can reach Nakameowdough on Twitter.

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