This Week in Fintech ending Friday 25th December 2020

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Yes it is Xmas – sadly constrained this year. The good news is that 2020 is nearly over and 2021 looks more promising.

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

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Your Editor is Bernard Lunn. He is also the CEO of Daily Fintech and author of The Blockchain Economy and occasional opinion columnist.

Monday Ilias Hatzis our Greece-based crypto entrepreneur (Founder & CEO at Mercato Blockchain Corporation AG and Weekly Columnist at Daily Fintech) @iliashatzis wrote Bitcoin Keeps Rising. Why? Will it Continue?

Whether you like how the financial world is shaping up, one thing you can’t deny is the rise of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. This Christmas the three wise men have journeyed to visit baby bitcoin. All year round all kinds of wise men have been paying their respects to bitcoin. This year, anyone already HODLing bitcoin will be having a Very Merry Christmas. The price of bitcoin this week hit a new all-time high, shooting past $24k and reaching $24,209.66 on Dec 20, 2020, The record price came two days after bitcoin first sliced through the $23,000 price point. Cryptocurrency giant Coinbase announced on Thursday that it has confidentially filed for a public offering. MicroStrategy raised $650 million to buy more bitcoin, expected to take its holdings to over $1 billion, triggering a fresh wave of bullishness among crypto investors. The number of tweets about bitcoin reached its highest level since mid-January 2018 on Wednesday, according to The TIE, with over 92,000 tweets posted. Bitcoin mentions in mainstream media and finance publications are on track to overtake gold. The key question remains. What is driving the eye-popping ascent of the digital currency and why does something without any fundamental value as NYU Stern School of Business Professor Nouriel Roubini claims, keeps going up? Will it continue? I think it will.

Editor note: A good summary of the reasons we are in a Bitcoin bull market

Bernard Lunn, CEO of Daily Fintech and author of The Blockchain Economy wrote: Buyback stock, issue dividend or buy Bitcoin – MicroStrategy adds to the Treasury rule book

Here are the things that Corporate Treasury managers normally think about

  • Cash.
  • Short term US Treasury Bonds and other “cash equivalents”.
  • Using that cash to buy back company stock in order to raise the stock price.
  • Using that cash to issue dividends in order to raise the stock price.

Here is what Corporate Treasury managers do NOT normally think about:

Editor note: Bitcoin is wildly speculative, but when the alternative is negative interest rates, even conservative financial folk will take a serious look.

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Tuesday Efi Pylarinou @efipm our Swiss-based Fintech Adviser,  founder of Efi Pylarinou Advisory and a Fintech/Blockchain influencer – No.3 influencer in the finance sector by Refinitiv Global Social Media 2019 wrote The new way of `Armchair Activism` & Diversification in wealth management

Armchair activism is on the rise in the investment world and in wealth management. This kind of activism was adopted & embraced by consumers first who changed their consumption habits towards ESG, more social justice and fairness.

In the Fall of 2018, I highlighted a report that showed that Sustainability was a factor that didn’t weight a lot in our investment decisions. This was in stark contrast with our behaviors in consumer spending that took Sustainability factors into account much more. (read more in Is Sustainability your driver? Stop Borrowing from the Future.)

Editor note: ESG has a lot of supply push and demand pull but the lack of data/rating providers means there will still be lots of green-washing.

Wednesday Alan Scott Managing Director EMEA at 24 Exchange @Alan_SmartMoney wrote Stablecoins: 2020 in review, what happened, why and the future.

This week our Stablecoin maestro departed from his usual snapshot of  the news that matters in the Stablecoin market to reflect on the year ahead, as this rather extraordinary year draws to its very welcome close.

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Thursday

Rintu Patnaik, an Insurtech expert based in India, wrote: Can WhatsApp Ape WeChat’s China Success, As It Enters Indian Fintech?

WhatsApp announced plans to venture into health insurance and micro-pension in India via tie-ups with leading local players, having piloted last few months. According to its P&C insurance partner CEO, WhatsApp’s reach can prop up the low 4% penetration of health insurance, closer to the world average of 6.3% of GDP. WhatsApp has identified four key areas for growth in India, its largest market with 400 million users, two of these being small business ecosystems and financial inclusivity.

Editor note: India, at the epicentre of the tech cold war between America and China, will do well getting great deals from both. 

Christian Dreyer @x3er, our Swiss based CFA who focusses on how XBRL changes our world wrote: XBRL News – Reporting ’21!

Editor note: This week our XBRL maestro departed from his usual snapshot of  the news that matters in the XBRL market to reflect on what promise financial and other reporting might hold for the near future, as this rather extraordinary year draws to its very welcome close.

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Friday Howard Tolman, a well-known banker, technologist and entrepreneur in London, wrote: Alt Lending for week ended 25 December 2020

Editor note: This weekly snapshot is the news that matters in the Alt Lending market.

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