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P2P Finance News reports:
“A NEW fintech hub has opened in Belfast to give the city its first co-working space for firms in the sector.
The Catalyst Belfast Fintech Hub is part of a partnership between Danske Bank and Catalyst Inc.
It is located on the ground floor of Danske Bank’s Belfast headquarters.
The Catalyst Fintech Hub is dedicated to the growing cluster of local early-stage technology companies operating in the finance space who are ambitious to scale and expand into new markets.
Catalyst Inc and Danske Bank have announced fintech company Finmondo as the first company to join the new hub.
“We are delighted that the Catalyst Belfast Fintech Hub is now open as it allows us to showcase this fantastic working space in the heart of the city centre,” said Steve Orr, director of connect at Catalyst Inc.”
2. International – FinTech
“Singapore-based loan broker platform Lendela has raised $1.3 million (US$942,000) in a seed round led by Cocoon Capital and IMO Ventures.
It will use the newly-raised funding to finance its full launch in Singapore and Malaysia. The company will channel some of the investment to boost its marketing capabilities and hire more management and core operations staff.
Founded in 2018 by global fintech group Zentro Finmarket, Lendela speeds up the loan application process by allowing borrowers apply for a personal loan to multiple lenders through a single application. They will then be able to view valid and relevant offers tailored to their specific demographic and financial situation.”
3. International – FinTech
“Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms in China are shutting shop at a rapid pace. A P2P lending platform is a virtual marketplace where actual lenders meet actual borrowers. A Bloomberg report from July states that 4,500 P2P lending platforms in China have closed shop since 2013. The P2P lending industry in China has 50 million registered users and $192 billion of outstanding loans, according to the Bloomberg report. Other estimates put the size of outstanding loans through P2P lending platforms in China at $430 billion.
The crisis in China’s P2P lending market was a fallout of regulatory attempts to clean up the lending space of problems like high interest rates, misuse of funds and exaggerated return figures. Instead of complying with stricter regulations, some platforms chose to shut operations, which led to panic among investors who started placing withdrawal requests on other P2P lending platforms too, leading to further confusion.’
4. International – FinTech
More from Iceland…
“Seven suspects have been charged with various crimes related to a series of high-profile equipment thefts from Bitcoin mines in Iceland last year, Modern Consensusreports.
The thefts came to the attention of industry aficionados in December last year, but became widely reported internationally in April 2018 when one of the robbers, Sindri Thor Steffanson, escaped from an Iceland prison and then the country on a plane carrying the Iceland prime minister to Sweden. Steffanson was later arrested in Amsterdam.
He and 6 accomplices now face charges ranging from conspiracy to drugs to burglary to weapons.
According to police, the gang began robbing Icelandic Bitcoin mines in varying configurations starting December 5th, when Sindri Steffanson and two other men managed to rob 100 complete cryptocurrency mining rigs from various locations between 10:20pm and 9am.
On December 6th, Steffanson allegedly tried and and failed to rob BDC mines in Asbru when he was repelled by an alarm.
Members of the gang are accused of then robbing the AVK data centre at Borgoarner on December 15th. They allegedly made off with 28 Bitmain Antminer mining rigs worth $60 000 and did $180 000 worth of damage during the course of that heist.
The gang, including Steffanson, then returned and once again failed to rob the BDC mine on December 26th.
But on January 16th, the gang finally pulled off its most audacious heist when, with the help of an insider, a team of five of them dressed as security finally accessed the BDC mine and spent hours stealing 225 mining rigs worth over one million dollars.
The suspects then remained at large for two weeks until February 1st, when police arrested the first suspect and charged him with robbery, possession of narcotics (14.34 grams of cocaine) and possession of an “electric shock gun.”
Steffanson was also arrested in February, but escaped his low security prison through by climbing out a window.
He later claimed that he understood that he was free to go after a Iceland judge failed to extend his expired temporary incarceration order.
All told, the gang is accused of stealing $871 819 USD in property and causing $845 566 in “piggyback damages.”
The men will be tried by between one and three judges and not by a jury.”
5. International – FinTech
The Government of New South Wales has decided to trial a blockchain-based version of its driver’s license program starting in November, ZDNet reports.
“During the trial, participants will be able to display a digital version of their drivers’ licenses on their phones at clubs, pubs and police road checks throughout the Sydney Eastern Beaches region, though they will be required to carry their physical licenses as backup.
The company behind the trial, Secure Logic, reportedly just came off a successful pilot of a similar program which took place in Dubbo last year.”