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Weekly News Highlights – 18 August 2022

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

British Fintech Revolut Granted Crypto License in Cyprus (Bitcoin.com)
U.K.-based digital bank Revolut has been authorized by Cyprus to provide cryptocurrency services to millions of customers on the Old Continent. The fintech firm says the regulatory approval will allow it to establish a European crypto hub in the island nation. A leader in the neobank sector, Revolut, has received approval from the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) to operate with cryptocurrencies and other digital assets. The company plans to establish a cryptocurrency hub on the island that will allow it to offer additional services to its 17 million European customers under the EU’s upcoming regulations. Read more

RBI rules may force fintech firms to leverage NBFC operations (The Economist Times)
The Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI’s) latest digital lending guidelines has stepped up pressure on new age lending businesses, forcing them to focus on their non-banking financial company (NBFC) units and book building, as the regulator gives importance to regulated entities. This is a shift for the digital lending industry, which has largely focused on growing the lending-distribution platform to show scale and rely on loss guarantee cover practices such as First Loss Default Guarantee (FLDG) to participate in lending activity through risk-taking with banks and financial institutions. Read more

Ukraine to sell NFTs to fund war against Russia (Fintech News
Since the start of the Russian invasion, the Ukrainian government has looked to digital assets as a means of support. Digital assets have proven to be an ideal option for a government needing aid for its war effort and civilian population. Ukraine’s government has launched a website allowing people to donate NFTs and buy donated pieces, in a bid to raise funds to further support its war efforts. The new site lists several NFT collections. According to the Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine, Mykhailo Fedorov, the funds “will contribute to the Ukrainian victory”. The website also features a number of NFT collections the government supports. Read more

Startups among entities to face tougher laws as Kenya moves to protect personal data (Teach Crunch)
Startups processing personal data in Kenya are among the entities required to register with the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner (ODPC), as the East African country implements a law protecting the right to privacy of persons within its borders. The registration, which has kicked off after the coming into effect of the data protection regulations, is mandatory for any company acting as a data controller, defined as a person or entity that determines the purpose and means of processing of personal data, or a processor. A processor may not necessarily collect or determine how data is used but handles it on behalf of another firm. The data controller or processor is required to reveal the kind of personal data they process, their target subjects and the reasons for collecting and storing it. Read more

Lithuania’s OKEO taps Mambu for multi-currency payments offering (Fintech Futures)
OKEO, a digital payment service provider for European businesses and entrepreneurs, has gone live on Mambu’s cloud banking platform. Mambu says its platform will help OKEO offer multi-currency foreign exchange payments at rates “up to five times better” than traditional institutions with delivery times ranging from “minutes to maximum one day” for any chosen currency. OKEO says it was looking for a cloud-native platform that can facilitate regulatory processes and integrations with European payment schemes. Read more

UN urges curbs on crypto uptake in developing countries (Finextra)
The United Nation’s Conference on Trade and Development, UNCTAD, has released three policy briefs on the dangers of cryptocurrency in light of the rising use of digital assets in developing countries. Along with the three briefs that detail the instability of digital assets for both developing and advanced economies, UNCTAD has also outlined actions to directly control the development of crypto. To limit the expansion of cryptocurrencies, UNCTAD has listed new policy actions that include restricting financial institutions from holding or offering cryptocurrencies, rolling out regulation for digital assets, crypto exchanges, digital wallet, and centralised finance, and banning crypto and high-risk asset advertising. Read more

FCA issues warning to alternative investment bosses (Fintech global)
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has written an open letter to CEOs of alternative investments companies to set out a strategy for dealing with alternative assets. According to IPE, the FCA’s head of asset management and pensions policy Nike Trost said its portfolio priorities are consistent with the FCA’s 2022 business plan commitments, with integrity of the markets and market abuse, ESG and consumer needs all priority areas. He added, “Where they apply, firms should ensure their actions and culture support and promote these initiatives. Our business plan also focuses on promoting competition and positive change, with a priority to strengthen the UK’s position in global wholesale markets and attract new capital. Read more

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