Fintech founders pessimistic

As Brexit looms, UK fintech founders are pessimistic about the country’s ability to remain a world leader in the field, according to a survey from the Digital Finance Forum.

Of 50 financial technology company founders surveyed by the Digital Finance Forum, 63% say the UK is the global leader in fintech. However, only 33% are optimistic that this will still be the case in five years.

Brexit uncertainty is a factor in the founders’ concerns about the future, with over two thirds of respondents saying they are worried or extremely worried about the impact of the EU exit on their businesses.

Inside the podcast gold rush

When Matt Sacks worked for a large American venture capital firm, he would spend his commute plugged into the latest episode of acclaimed American sports writer Bill Simmons’ podcast. Simmons was among the earliest adopters of the podcasting medium and Sacks was an early, obsessive listener. “It was one of the first ones that opened my eyes to the world of podcasting,” he explains.

At the same time as Sacks was listening to Simmons, New Yorker staff writer and bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell was doing the same. “I’ve been a devoted listener of his for God knows how many years,” says Gladwell, who created his own podcast, Revisionist History, in 2016.

Read the article.

N26 review: a challenger bank lacking key features

Want to know how fast disruption happens? Look at N26. This Berlin-based challenger bank has been around since 2013, after longtime friends Valentin Stalf and Maximilian Tayenthal co-founded it. Back then, Number 26, as it was then known, was little more than an app interface for Wirecard.

But in 2016, it rebranded to N26, won a banking licence, and became one of the first mobile banks, landing in the UK in 2018. There were early challenges, with a withdrawal-limiting fair-use policy angering German customers, but only a few years on and N26 now has a valuation of $2.7 billion and 3.5 million customers – and is set to add plenty more as it launches in the US, where it is sure to blow the minds of Americans still amazed by contactless payments.

Read the article.

Stable-coins are not the future of Crypto

The future of stablecoins isn’t really about stablecoins, but cryptocurrency as a whole. The ebb and flow of the cryptocurrency market continues to be volatile and far from predictable.

The good news is that there is a solution that could disrupt and “stabilise” the cryptocurrency market. This solution is already in use. We are talking about stablecoins.

Stable-coins are not the future of Crypto

Read the article.

Can we trust AI in UK Government?

Civica recently sat down with central government leaders to discuss whether the public sector is prepared for the artificial intelligence revolution and the ethics behind the technology. Steve Thorn, Executive Director, Civica shares his views from the event

By 2035, AI is estimated to add £630 billion to the UK economy. In many ways, AI is already a key feature of our everyday lives and its capabilities are expanding quicker than ever. From spotting lung cancer before a doctor is able to identify it to better predicting traffic routes, as demonstrated by Highways EnglandAI is undoubtedly improving UK citizens’ lives already, but its adoption doesn’t come without challenges across all sectors. The UK government is no exception.

Read the article.

Ripple Partnership Provides New Payment Rail for UK Remittance Firm

Distributed ledger startup Ripple has added a new client to its global settlements platform, RippleNet.

UK-based remittance firm, Xendpay, announced a partnership with Ripple that allows the firm to enter new markets like the Philippines, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Thailand.

According to a statement published August 21, RippleNet supports currencies that were previously inaccessible to the remittance firm. So called “smaller currencies,” including the Malaysian ringgit or Bangladeshi taka, formerly required Xendpay to form local banking partnerships.

Read the article.

US and Asian Investment in UK Tech Skyrockets

The UK tech sector has attracted more foreign investment in the first seven months of 2019 than it did during the whole of last year, according to latest industry figures, and has overtaken the US for foreign investment, per capita. 

Research prepared for the Digital Economy Council by Tech Nation and shows that between January and July this year, UK-based tech firms received a staggering $6.7 billion in funding – with $3.7 billion, or 55%, coming from American and Asian investors thanks to billion dollar tech companies such as energy supplier OVO Energy and food delivery startup Deliveroo.

The sector is attracting an average of $1bn a month from both foreign and domestic investors – one and a half times the amount raised during the same period last year – making the UK one of the most attractive and dynamic markets in Europe.

Read the article.

Artificial Intelligence for Energy Efficiency

As energy systems worldwide continue to decarbonise and decentralise, there is an increasing need to manage and predict the distributed constituents of the system, such as renewables, EVs and battery storage, the letter says.

AI will be “essential” to managing this system and the data that comes with it, the letter continues, adding that London is “the European capital for AI and acts as a base to 750+ AI companies – double the total of Paris and Berlin combined”.

Read the article.

Global fintech investment doubles to €43 billion in 2018

FinTech funding has continued to boom in the UK, with the country seeing investment in the sector at the start of 2019 almost doubling on the levels seen over the first six months of 2018. The global FinTech sector could be set to see falling interest, however, following declines in both volume and value.

As financial institutions look to tackle complex problems such as shifting consumer expectations, regulatory burdens and heightened competition from digital upstarts, many are turning to innovative FinTech platforms for their salvation. The threat and opportunities created by disruptive FinTech firms has not been lost on a whole host of actors – from consultancy firms to accelerators seeking to profit from the action – meaning investment in the segment has boomed continuously in recent years.

Read the article.

Coinbase and Barclays Part Ways, Will UK Users Be Affected?

It is being reported that Barclays, the London-based global bank, recently stopped banking for Coinbase, the United States-based crypto exchange. Coinbase reportedly found a quick replacement in the form of another United Kingdom-based establishment, ClearBank.

While Barclays connected San Francisco-based Coinbase to the U.K. Faster Payments Scheme (FPS), enabling instant withdrawals and deposits of British pounds at the exchange, ClearBank won’t offer the exchange the same service until at least the end of Q3 2019. Deposits and withdrawals in pounds for Coinbase’s U.K. customers, which once took seconds, will for now take days to process.

In the wake of Barclay’s decision regarding Coinbase, reports contended that major Spanish bank Santander had blocked U.K. customers from depositing fiat funds to the exchange.

Read the article.