Here's what's trending this week
FACTBOX - Fintech lingo explained — Reuters
From “insurtech” to “regtech,” “robo-advice” to “cryptocurrency,” do these fintech terms leave your head spinning? Wish you knew what it meant but were too embarrassed to ask? Well fret not! Anna Irrera (@annairrera) and Maria Caspani (@MariaCaspani85) of Reuters have provided a handy reference for all fintech-related terms you'd want to know—and then some! So the next time you're in a business meeting and overhear someone talking about the benefits of P2P lending for the underbanked, you'll know exactly what they're talking about.
Move Over, Bitcoin. Ether Is the Digital Currency of the Moment — The New York Times
Bitcoin is no longer the darling-child of digital currency. Nathaniel Popper (@nathanielpopper) of the New York Times reports the sudden rise of Ether. Ether's (bitcoin-esque cryptocurrency running on Ethereum), value has been ballooning over the past six months—a staggering increase of 4,500 percent since the new year. This demonstration of market volatility isn't startling, nor should it be surprising considering Ether business-friendly nature—being backed by such names as JPMorgan and Microsoft. This may be an early sign marking the end of the blockchain-standards war.
Add another victory for the blockchain-based Ethereum. Jemima Kelly (@jemimajoanna) and Anna Irrera (@annairrera) of Reuters report. Circle Internet Financial, backed by Wall Street heavy weight Goldman Sachs, just launched its cross border peer-to-peer money transfer service based on Ethereum's blockchain application. Unfortunately, however, Circle is currently limiting transfers between persons residing in the United States and Europe. Also of interest, is Circle's business model—choosing not to monetize on transfers, rather, relying on digital asset trading for profit.
Amazon lends $3B to Marketplace merchants, banking on their growth — The Seattle Times
Move over SoFi and incumbent SMB banks, there's a new lender in town. Ángel González (@gonzalezseattle) of the Seattle Times reports how out Amazon, the online juggernaut, has been quietly lending some $1 billion over the past 12 months. Make note, however, these loans have been exclusive to small businesses—helping its marketplace vendors stock up on more inventory or allowing them to offer lucrative pricing and other incentives to its shoppers. This is a huge increase over Amazon's prior lending efforts—a scant $1.5 billion over the course of 5 years.
Klarna, a Swedish fintech unicorn, gets a full banking licence — The Economist
Klarna, a Swedish fintech company, becomes the latest of only a handful of tech firms across the pond to secure a bank license—allowing it to play on a much larger stage. The Economist reports. The real win for Klarna, having secured its bank license, is the EU's "passporting." This grants Klarna access to the entire banking population within the Union's 28 member states—not just Sweden. Klarna is poised to enter the consumer banking scene—having some 60 million customers already.
See what you missed in the previous edition: Weekly Ledger 43
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