Weekly News Highlights – 1 December 2022

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

Gemini gets regulatory greenlight in Italy, Greece amid lending halt (Coin Telegraph)
Winklevoss’ Gemini exchange received the latest regulatory approvals days before its lending product Gemini Earn faced major issues. Winklevoss brothers’ cryptocurrency exchange Gemini continues expanding in Europe, announcing new regulatory approvals in Italy and Greece. Gemini has registered as a virtual currency operator with Italy’s payments services regulator, the Organismo Agenti E Mediatori (OAM), the firm announced on Nov. 30. The crypto exchange has also received registration as a custodial wallet provider and provider of virtual currency exchange with Greece’s Hellenic Capital Markets Commission (HCMC). According to official data, the OAM registration was issued on Nov. 3, while the HCMC granted its approval to Gemini on Nov. 7. Read more

Payments giant Stripe jumps into Web3 with tool that helps companies turn cash to crypto (Fortune Crypto)
Payments processing company Stripe on Thursday announced a so-called “fiat-to-crypto on-ramp” to make payments easier for Web3 companies. The service, which crypto companies can use to let their customers exchange dollars for crypto, will also handle fraud, compliance, and know-your-customer (KYC) checks, according to a company blog post. The news is significant because Stripe is a giant of the payments world, processing online purchases for the likes Apple and Walmart. Its move into crypto could help move blockchain payments further into the mainstream. Read more

Mastercard takes stake in Conferma Pay (Finextra)
Mastercard is acquiring a minority stake in Conferma Pay as part of a wider partnership to push the use of virtual cards for B2B travel payments. Conferma Pay – which was acquired by travel industry tech player Sabre earlier this year – connects issuers to more than 700 travel management companies, all the major global distribution systems and more than 100 online booking tools. The firm is now working with Mastercard on the use of virtual cards, which it says help address the historic challenges associated with B2B leisure and corporate travel payments. Read more

Digital finance: Council adopts Digital Operational Resilience Act (Council of the EU
Given the ever-increasing risks of cyber attacks, the EU is strengthening the IT security of financial entities such as banks, insurance companies and investment firms. The Council adopted the Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA) which will make sure the financial sector in Europe is able to stay resilient through a severe operational disruption. DORA sets uniform requirements for the security of network and information systems of companies and organisations operating in the financial sector as well as critical third parties which provide ICT (Information Communication Technologies)-related services to them, such as cloud platforms or data analytics services. DORA creates a regulatory framework on digital operational resilience whereby all firms need to make sure they can withstand, respond to and recover from all types of ICT-related disruptions and threats. These requirements are homogenous across all EU member states. The core aim is to prevent and mitigate cyber threats. Read more

Crypto firm BlockFi files for bankruptcy after FTX collapse (BBC News)
The troubled crypto firm BlockFi has filed for bankruptcy in the US, as the dramatic collapse of FTX continues to reverberate across the industry. The company had already halted most activity on its platform, citing “significant exposure” to FTX. BlockFi said it was seeking court protection to restructure, settle its debts and recover money for investors. BlockFi had received a rescue deal from FTX earlier this year as the values of cryptocurrencies plunged. But FTX, a crypto exchange, ran into its own problems this month, as people rushed to pull money from the platform amid doubts about its finances. Read more

Fintechs Canada Association Launches With Significant Industry Backing (The Fintech Times
Fintechs Canada launches to advance a whole-of-government approach to supporting Canada’s emerging fintech ecosystem. Fintechs Canada is a not-for-profit association. Members range from industry fintechs to fintech-friendly financial institutions. Its parallels with government officials seek to promote responsible innovation, protecting the integrity, stability and security of the financial sector. With the growing requirement for new regulations and policy innovation, the association aims to serve as Canada’s unified voice for fintech. It’s expected that its operations will encourage competition and innovation in the industry while enabling greater service choices for Canadians. Read more

The IMF wants to increase the regulation of Africa’s crypto markets (The Paypers)
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has proposed an increase in regulation and better consumer protection in Africa’s cryptocurrency market. The proposal comes in the context of FTX’s downfall and the subsequent drop in the prices of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other crypto assets. According to IMF citing a Chainalysis report, Africa’s crypto market is growing at a rapid pace, but it’s still one of the smallest in the world with crypto transactions peaking at USD 20 billion per month in mid-2021. One of the main concerns is that cryptocurrencies can be used to transfer funds illegally out of the region, while widespread crypto use could affect monetary policy effectiveness. The IMF is particularly worried about countries where crypto is accepted as legal tender, a statement based on data from the October 2022 Regional Economic Outlook for sub-Saharan Africa report. Read more

Polish regulator takes aim at PayPal (Finextra)
Poland’s competition watchdog has initiated proceedings against PayPal over the use of possibly prohibited contractual provisions. The UOKiK regulator says it could fine PayPal up to 10% of its turnover if it decides that there are problems with the payment giant’s user agreement. The watchdog takes issue with three provisions of the agreement: a list of prohibited activities; a list of sanctions; and a ban on using an account when it is blocked or suspended. Read more

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