News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

crowd of women talking at a business event

1.UK – FinTech        

 

AltFi reports: 


“The deadline for UK cryptoasset firms to fully register and comply with the Financial Conduct Authority’s rules has been pushed back to March 2022 after the regulator said many applicants are still failing to comply. 

A “significantly high number” of cryptoasset firms are still not meeting the regulations around anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing, the FCA said yesterday. 

“This has resulted in an unprecedented number of businesses withdrawing their applications,” the regulator wrote. 

“The extended date allows cryptoasset firms to continue to carry on business while the FCA continues with its robust assessment.” 

51 companies have withdrawn their applications, meaning they can no longer trade. 

Currently, just five firms are registered with the FCA, with 90 operating under the temporary registration rules which were due to end on 9 July before yesterday’s extension was announced.” 

 

2. UK – FinTech 

 

Still reeling from its failed merger with fellow crowdfunding platform Seedrs, Crowdcube has been on a product launching offensive as of late,” according to AltFi

 

“Early last month, the fintech launched a brand-new secondary marketplace, Cubex, and, yesterday, Crowdcube revealed its plans to launch its own IPO offering. 

In an update sent to shareholders and seen by AltFi, CEO Darren Westlake wrote: “Despite all the fintech innovation of recent years, everyday investors are still getting left on the sidelines when it comes to Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) - missing out on a financial opportunity that’s usually only available to wealthy institutions. We want to change that.” 

“We’ve democratised investment into private companies. Now, we want to do the same in the public markets by giving you, our community of investors, a way to invest in Europe’s most exciting businesses at the point of going public.” 

Community IPO will allow retail investors to take part in the stock market debuts of Europe’s fintechs, just like PrimaryBid that facilitated the participation of retail investors in the IPOs of the likes of Deliveroo and PensionBee.” 

 

3. International – FinTech 


Finextra reports: 


“The European Commission today proposed a framework for a European Digital Identity to be available to all EU citizens, residents and businesses in the EU as early as September 2022. 

Under the new regulations, public authorities or private entities in the EU will be able to offer digital wallets which link their national digital identities with proof of other personal attributes (e.g. driving licence, diplomas, bank account).

In efforts to expedite the process, the Commission invites Member States to establish a common toolbox by September 2022 and to commence the necessary preparatory work immediately. The toolbox should include the technical architecture, standards and guidelines for best practices.

The Commission adds that the European Digital Identity will: 

  • be available to any EU citizen, resident and business, 
  • be widely useable as a way to either identify users or to prove certain personal attributed, for the purpose of access to public and private digital services across the union, 
  • enable people to choose which aspects of their identity, data, and certificate they share with third parties, and to keep track of such sharing. User control ensures that only information that needs to be shared will be shared. 

Importantly, the announcement of a digital identity and wallet may be linked to a potential decision on a digital euro. CBDC has been openly and frequently discussed by EU leaders over the past 12 months, with leaders often highlighting the need for a digital identity in order for a digital euro to be successfully developed.

Just yesterday, the ECB commented that a digital euro could boost the single currency’s international status by making it easier to use for paying or saving.” 

 

4. International – FinTech 


The Fintech Times reports: 


“Traditionally, it has taken a long time for fintechs to launch their payment cards – both digitally and physically. Getting the required certifications for a payment card often takes multiple months as it is a long and arduous process. Enfuce is partnering with Visa to launch a new programme that will enable European fintechs to launch their own payment card offerings cost-effectively in only eight weeks. 

Whether physical or virtual, modern payment cards have created a whole new commerce, business and payments landscape. Fintechs that have introduced their own payment card offerings have been able to monetise their customers’ payments, expand their services and differentiate their brands. 

Enfuce allows fintechs to design and launch flexible payment cards that are highly customisable, and support the latest digital payment features, including Apple PayGoogle Pay and Samsung Pay. Built on Enfuce high-performing and scalable payment processing platform, the service allows fintechs to enter new geographical markets and launch new features fast. 

Enfuce’s new service is a fully turnkey card issuing service including key enablers such as BIN sponsorship, card scheme integration as well as fraud prevention and dispute management. With Enfuce, fintechs can become card issuers in just a few weeks and enable their customers to start paying instantly from applying for their cards. This is a step change in speed to market compared to the traditional card issuing projects, which usually take months and require partnering with various service providers.” 

5. International – FinTech

 

Crowdundinsider reports: 

“Last month it was widely reported that Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world, was under investigation by US authorities. Both the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) were said to be scrutinizing the activity of the digital marketplace. Binance quickly issued a statement indicating they take their legal obligations very seriously and have been collaborating with regulators and enforcement officials: 

“We have worked hard to build a robust compliance program that incorporates anti-money laundering principles and tools used by financial institutions to detect and address suspicious activity,” stated the company. 

Earlier this year, it was reported that the Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) was also looking into the Binance operations. 

All of this arrives at a time of change in the US government as the Biden Administration takes over and new leadership steps in to guide policy and regulatory issues. The new Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Gary Gensler, has mentioned on several occasions that he is concerned about the lack of regulatory oversight at crypto exchanges. This has lead to more discussions about new rules and possible enforcement actions. 

Recently, Crowdfund Insider connected with Clark Frogley who spent ten years as a Federal Bureau of Investigation agent investigating issues like fraud and money laundering. After stints at big banks and other global firms like Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank, Frogley is now Head of Financial Crime Solutions at Quantexa – a deep data firm providing services to the financial industry. CI discussed the news of the Binance investigation and what may be in store for crypto exchanges going forward.”