Weekly News Highlights – 19 May 2023

Fintech calls for anti-fraud tax to tackle scamming epidemicStay up to date with the latest news from fintech! This week, we bring you updates on regulations, legislation, partnerships, and more. Enjoy reading!

Ripple acquires Metaco and plans to expand its enterprise offerings (The Paypers
US-based crypto solutions provider Ripple has acquired Switzerland-based digital asset custody provider Metaco to expand its enterprise offerings. The acquisition is in line with Ripple’s strategy to diversify into custody solutions and bring new revenue opportunities to the company. The two entities share a history of working with regulated entities to create secure enterprise-grade solutions, and the acquisition will allow Ripple to expand its own enterprise offerings and provide its customers with the necessary technology to custody, issue, and settle any type of tokenised asset. Read more

Citi, BNP Paribas, KPMG, Aquis Exchange back London’s plan for capital markets supremacy (Financial News London)
A narrative has developed in recent years that London is losing out to international exchanges on prized floats on the back of Brexit and the resulting turmoil in just about every aspect of the business landscape. What started with failing to secure Aramco in 2019 has turned into a flood of departures more recently, including Arm, CRH, Flutter and Ferguson. Household names Shell and Revolut have also talked up the benefits of listing abroad. Read more

Japan ‘seriously looking’ at joining India’s UPI payments system (mint
Japan is “seriously” evaluating adopting India’s UPI payments system as both governments look at promoting digital cooperation by creating interoperability where the digital payments system could bring ease of cross-border payments. “Japan and India are trying to promote digital cooperation. We are now seriously thinking about joining the Indian UPI payment system,” Japan’s minister for digital affairs Kono Taro told Wion news on Thursday. Read more

In Crypto: CBDCs may play key role in global payments, says G7 (Business Cloud)
A meeting of the G7 committee has raised the potential role of Central Bank Digital Currencies in ensuring a stable and transparent global financial system. The meeting in Niigata, Japan featured G7 nations the UK, US, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan. It precedes the annual G7 summit, to take place in Hiroshima from May 19th-21st. A communique following the meeting said the nations would continue to deliberate on digital money policy “to harness the benefits of innovation such as payment efficiency as well as financial inclusion while addressing potential risks to the stability, resilience and integrity of the monetary and financial system”. Read more

European Banking Authority voices concerns over large stablecoins (The Paypers)
Representatives from the European Banking Authority have expressed their concerns over large stablecoins and their effect on public policy goals. Specifically, EBA Chairperson José Manuel Campa proposed that central banks should veto large stablecoins if they believe they could negatively affect monetary policy. The EBA chair will focus on setting out the detailed rules to implement the European Union’s Markets in Crypto Assets regulation (MiCA) in the following months, and he voiced his worries during a recent event hosted by think tank OMFIF. Read more

Regulate crypto as gambling says UK Treasury Committee (Finextra)
The UK Treasury Committee has called for consumer trading in unbacked crypto such as bitcoin and ether to be regulated as gambling. The influential cross-party Committee of MPs declared that cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin have no intrinsic value and serve no useful social purpose, while consuming large amounts of energy and being used by criminals in scams, fraud and money laundering. Read more

In Crypto: Nexo ‘closing two UK subsidiaries’ (Business Cloud)
Crypto lender Nexo is closing two of its UK subsidiaries, according to a report from Bloomberg. The company has applied to close Nexo Financial Services Ltd. and Nexo Clearing and Custody Ltd as part of a restructuring, according to co-founder Antoni Trenchev. He told Bloomberg that Nexo is rethinking the way it services clients, but that it is not considering a full exit of the UK market. Nexo is under investigation in Bulgaria for alleged involvement in an organised crime scheme. Read more

Binance set to withdraw from Canada citing new guidance (Fintech Futures)
Binance has become the latest cryptocurrency exchange to exit the Canadian market citing new guidance. In a statement released on 12 May, Binance said it was “joining other prominent crypto businesses in proactively withdrawing from the Canadian marketplace”. The move follows crypto exchange OKX pulling out of Canada in March citing the same reasons, and US blockchain infrastructure platform Paxos announcing its withdrawal from the country in April. Read more

The EU adopts rules to make crypto-asset transfers traceable(The Paypers)
The council of the EU has made it more difficult for criminals to circumvent AML rules via cryptocurrencies by making the transfers traceable. This new rules update ensures financial transparency on exchanges in crypto-assets and provides the EU with a solid framework that complies with the most demanding international standards on the exchange of crypto-assets, ensuring that these are not used for criminal purposes. Read more

OpenAI launches ChatGPT for iOS as it makes its debut as a smartphone app on iPhones (euronews)
The free app of the wildly popular chatbot from OpenAI boasts new features like asking questions using your voice. ChatGPT is now a smartphone app, which could be good news for people who like to use the artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot and bad news for all the clone apps that have tried to profit off the technology. The free app became available on iPhones and iPads in the US on Thursday and will later be coming to Android devices. Read more

Online Safety Bill ‘could turn phones into surveillance tools’ (Business Cloud)
Tech mandated by the UK Government’s Online Safety Bill could turn millions of phones into facial recognition tools, an Imperial College London study has found. The new Imperial research looked at the potential privacy implications of a tool called client-side scanning (CSS). Under the Online Safety Bill, CSS would be introduced to flag when people are trying to share images that are known to be illegal content, such as images of child abuse, before they are encrypted and sent. The new research shows it would be possible for governments to use CSS to search people’s private messages, for example performing facial recognition, without their knowledge. Read more

After raising €31M and acquiring Assently, Stockholm’s Verified acquires RegTech startup Pliance (Silicon Canals
Stockholm-based Verified, a B2B SaaS company offering Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) compliance solutions, announced on Thursday, May 11, that it has acquired Pliance, an AML automation platform. This deal comes after Verified’s recent announcement of a €31M investment from Verdane and its acquisition of Assently, a digital identity verification company.  Verdane is a growth investment firm that partners with tech and sustainable European companies to help them reach the next stage of international growth. The firm has over €4.5B in total commitments and has backed over 150 businesses since 2003. Read more

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