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Weekly News Highlights – 17 March 2022

Stay up to date with the latest news from fintech! This week, we bring you updates and developments on partnerships, lending, banking, crypto, NFT and more. Enjoy reading!

MTN overtakes M-Pesa to become Africa’s largest mobile payments business (BusinessLive)
MTN added more than R11bn to its market capitalisation on Wednesday as Africa’s largest mobile operator rose past rival M-Pesa to become the biggest mobile payments business on the continent by users. The group is looking to grow the mobile payment business by bringing in outside partners in the second half of the year. The group, now worth R366bn, reported that it now has 57-million monthly active users, generating 10-billion transactions and a total transaction value of $239bn (R3.625-trillion) in the year to end-December 2021. Read more.

UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT ZELENSKY SIGNS LAW LEGALIZING BITCOIN (Bitcoin Magazine)
President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine has officially signed into law the structure upon which Ukraine will build bitcoin and other cryptocurrency markets, legalizing the emerging market in a way that is “bringing the crypto sector out of the shadows,” according to a translated press release from the Ministry and Committee for Digital Transformation of Ukraine. Market participants will receive legal protection and the opportunity to make decisions based on open consultations with government agencies,” said Deputy Prime Minister of Digital Transformation, Mykhailo Fedorov in the official release on February 17, the day Ukrainian parliament passed the law with 270 votes in favor. Read more.

Green paytech ReforestPay to launch in UK and EU (Fintech Futures)
ReforestPay, a new sustainability focused paytech that intends to plant a tree for every transaction the firm processes, is set to launch for merchants in the UK and EU this year. The payments processor says it integrates with most e-commerce platforms, including WooCommerce, OpenCart and PrestaShop. For every online transaction conducted through the payment gateway, a tree is planted and the customer is notified. Merchants pay per transaction only and ReforestPay has no signup fees. The transaction fee is 29p on top of interchange, card scheme and acquirer fees. Read more.

EU PARLIAMENT BACKTRACKS BAN ON BITCOIN’S PROOF-OF-WORK (Bitcoin Magazine)
The European Union (EU) has dropped its plans to impose a de-facto ban on bitcoin mining and related activities that could allegedly hurt the region’s efforts to promote sustainable technologies, according to multiple reports. The proposed de-facto ban on the Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus mechanism was part of a major draft bill in the EU, the Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) legislation, introduced in 2020 to tighten regulation around Bitcoin and cryptocurrency by establishing a more detailed and streamlined regulatory framework across the continent. Read more.

Climate Impact X Launches Global Carbon Marketplace for Meaningful Climate Action (Fintech News)
Climate Impact X (CIX), a global carbon exchange and marketplace, has announced the launch of its Project Marketplace, a digital platform for businesses and carbon project suppliers to list, discover, compare, buy and retire quality carbon credits. It aims to accelerate the corporate sector’s ability to take climate action through the provision of verified carbon projects. The marketplace will enable businesses of all sizes to participate in the voluntary carbon market, by actively lowering barriers for companies to access quality credits easily. Read more.

Acquisition of FinTech company, STRATUMN, in blockchain (Sia-Partners)
Sia Partners advances in the development of its Web3 strategy with the integration of Stratumn, a SaaS solution provider specialized in the management of corporate cash flow, founded in 2016. A pioneer in the use of Blockchain in the financial sector, Stratumn was named FinTech company of the Year in 2018 by the Paris-based “Finance and Innovation” cluster and counts Axa, CNP, and the Swedish government among its dozen or so clients and partners. Read more.

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