This Week in Fintech ending 17 September 2021

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This week our experts brought you the following insights based on their experience as investors, entrepreneurs & executives.

Monday Ilias Hatzis our Greece-based crypto entrepreneur (Founder & CEO at  Kryptonio a “keyless” non-custodial bitcoin and cryptocurrency wallet, that lets users manage bitcoin and crypto, without private keys or passwords and Weekly Columnist at Daily Fintech) @iliashatzis wrote CBDCs and bitcoin will co-exist for now

A couple of months ago, El Salvador became the first nation to adopt bitcoin as legal money. On Tuesday, companies like McDonald’s and Starbucks began accepting bitcoin, making it possible to use the cryptocurrency for everything from purchasing a cup of coffee to paying taxes. Economists, the IMF, and credit rating agencies have slammed the initiative, saying it jeopardizes economic stability, puts consumers at risk, and exposes the government to potentially significant currency rate swings. Central banks around the globe are attempting to co-opt digital currencies for their own reasons. Unlike bitcoin, CBDCs are government-issued, basically digital versions of existing national currencies. China’s digital yuan is leading the race and has already been used in over $5 billion in transactions. More than 80 countries nations are considering launching a digital currency. Five already have and there will be more in the future. While the digital currency’s first week in El Salvador has been anything but smooth, El Salvador beat everyone to the punch. El Salvador’s move, to base the country’s monetary policy on a decentralized network controlled by a set of predetermined rules, is a significant step toward a future where money is secure and not susceptible to political whims. El Salvador is unquestionably the start of something magical.

Editor note: CBDCs are only viable for countries with strong global currencies. El Salvador took the radical move adopt bitcoin as legal money because they did not have a strong global currency and there are many other countries in this position. 

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Tuesday Bernard Lunn, CEO of Daily Fintech and author of The Blockchain Economy wrote: Part 2 Twitter’s moves in Bitcoin

Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, is on record as a Bitcoin fan. As such he is also a fan of Lightning Network and on June 11 he tweeted that “it is only a matter of time” to integrate the Lightning Network into Twitter.

For more on Lightning Network, see our 4-part series

This is a radical stance for the  CEO of a publicly traded social media business with a market cap over $50 billion and the implications are significant.

Editor note:  Some subjects are too complex for our short attention spans, so we do 4 posts one week apart, each one short enough not to lose your attention but in aggregate doing justice to the complexity of the subject. Stay tuned by subscribing.

Wednesday Alan Scott Managing Director EMEA at 24 Exchange @Alan_SmartMoney wrote his weekly roundup of Stablecoin news.

Bernard Lunn, CEO of Daily Fintech and author of The Blockchain Economy wrote: Why equity investors need a crash course in debt risk.

In ye olden days, equity investors could pay cursory attention if any to the balance sheet, focussing attention on more exciting stuff like growth and market opportunity.

However, two inconvenient truths today mean that equity investors need to pay attention to the boring old balance sheet:

  • Many companies funded the lack of revenue caused by the pandemic by using debt, which led to many bankruptcies.
  • even if a business emerges from bankruptcy so that customers and employees are fine, equity is wiped out – yes, that is 100% loss if you own the equity!

The good news is something as boring as a strong balance sheet will lead to exciting growth opportunities as weaker competitors go under. Survival of the fittest Darwinism is tough unless your business is a survivor and picks up market share from competitors who went bankrupt.

Editor note: To find good  risk adjusted growth at the right price, investors need to analyse revenue growth AND debt risk AND valuation.

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Thursday

Rintu Patnaik, an Insurtech expert based in India, wrote: Digital Health Ecosystems Part 2: The Discovery Growth Engine

In Part-1, ecosystem characteristics and successes in digital health were discussed. In Part-2, Discovery’s Vitality health ecosystem is covered.

In September 2018, John Hancock declared that it would discontinue traditional life insurance and instead offer only its Vitality branded interactive health tracking policies. This announcement was newsworthy at the time, as behavior-based programs such as Vitality had begun to transform insurance into clickable media content. As a leader in this market, Vitality provides pertinent insights for self-tracking in health insurance. Discovery Limited, a 1992 founded South African financial services group, became the largest health insurer in South Africa at the turn of the century. It soon initiated an international expansion spree centered on Vitality, a health promotion program comprising financial and non-financial incentives. The core proposition: resulting healthy behavior lowers rates of healthcare consumption and the price of cover.

Editor note: A fascinating look at a radically disruptive approach to cutting healthcare costs.

Christian Dreyer @x3er, the Swiss based CFA who focusses on how XBRL changes our world wrote his weekly roundup of XBRL news.

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Friday Howard Tolman, a well-known banker, technologist and entrepreneur in London, wrote his weekly roundup of Alt Lending news.

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https://dailyfintech.com/2021/09/17/this-week-in-fintech-ending-17-september-2021/