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Weekly Analysis & Opinion Highlights – 11 January 2021

For this analysis & opinion piece, we dive into 2021 predictions for crypto, find out the latest on legal technology regulations, look at payment transaction tools, analyze the implications of 5AMLD & 6AMLD, see the contribution of digitalisation for trading, and discover the 10 fastest fintechs to reach billion dollar valuations.

Enjoy the material!

2021 predictions for Digital Assets…

What will happen to Bitcoin and Crypto this year? (The Finanser)

In a recent interview conducted by Chris Skinner, an independent commentator on the financial markets, Janis Legler, Chief Product Officer at LSE-listed challenger Mode, presents his views about tokenization, regulations and the price of bitcoin in 2021. According to Legler, Bitcoin is expected to have a very strong place in the modern digital economy. Regulations are also in place for Bitcoin alone, with many tools available for the financial institutions in order to facilitate buying and selling and transacting in bitcoin. Read more

On Legal Technology…

Legal Tech’s Predictions for Legal Technology Innovation in 2021 (

According to Zach Warren, editor-in-chief of Legaltech News, attorneys and legal technologists expect that 2021 will introduce new trends mainly due to the rapid increase of remote working, which will most likely involve AI technology and a special focus on data analytics. Artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics remain hot topics in legal tech, with AI-enabled content generation and other tools catching more than a few eyes. Many also believe there will be an emphasis on showing value and return on investment (ROI) in the next year more than ever before. Read more

On payment transactions…

Seamless payment experiences essential in months ahead (

Aoife Morgan, writer at, explains in this analysis why 2021 is expected to be a transformative year for the payments industry. Research shows that QR codes are  becoming a widely popular payment method, particularly in Asia. The payments tool which provides a seamless payment experience to customers are the most essential ones and highly regarded. Other experts predict that the beginning of the year will focus on managing the impact of Europe’s second payments directive (PSD2), and assessing the feasibility of current regulatory frameworks. Read more

On new fintech regulations to be expected for 2021…

Meeting the requirements of AML 5 and 6 (Finextra)

Alistair Catto, Managing Director at Beyond, highlights why financial institutions are struggling to complete their implementation plans for the Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (5AMLD) and what solutions firms can implement to adhere to 5AMLD and also to the recent Sixth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (6AMLD). Furthermore, the analysis explores how the financial services community can continue to enhance and develop their ability to detect and prevent money laundering and terrorist financing. Especially for 2021, it will be important for all financial institutions to focus on accelerating any delayed implementations to ensure processes, systems and risk management. Read more

Is digitalisation the right solution for trading?

Digitisation answers the quest for risk mitigation in global trade (FinTech Futures)

Andrew Raymond, CEO at Bolero International, shows why digitisation is an important feature for cross-border trade transactions, due to the fact that banks and corporations seek to minimize their risks. With Covid-19 pandemic, major disruptions are taking place, which leave firms particularly exposed, with numerous warnings issued by the US Attorney General, US security agencies and Interpol. In this sense, digitalisation can offer a protective layer. Applications for trade finance, including letters of credit, standby letters of credit and guarantees can be submitted safely from any location including someone’s home, with approval given remotely by all parties. The immediate digital transfer of documents is fast and secure. Read more

On top 10 fintech valuations…

The 10 fastest fintechs to reach billion dollar valuations (

According to Isabel Woodford, fintech journalist at, shows in a recent analysis the the 10 fastest fintechs to reach a $1bn valuation. The number one company on the list is Brex, practicing in the lending sector, which in only two years managed to reach a billion dollar valuation. Just one European firm – WeFox, a German insuretech – made the top ranking; suggesting the continent still lacks the capital allocation of the US and China (see below complete overview). Read more

Rank Company Country Sector Year Founded Year $1bn Valuation announced Months Taken to $1bn Valuation
1 Brex United States Lending 2017 2018 21
2 Figure Technologies United States Lending 2018 2019 21
3 Zenefits United States Insurance 2013 2015 28
4 Symphony United States Multi 2014 2017 32
5 Linklogis China Lending 2016 2018 32
6 Dave United States Banking 2016 2019 35
7 Airwallex Australia Payments 2015 2019 40
8 Cgtz China Wealth 2013 2017 41
9 wefox Group Germany Insurance 2015 2019 41
10 SoFi United States Lending 2011 2015 42


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