The crypto meltdown continued unabated this week with a major exchange filing for bankruptcy protection. We also had Meta pulling the plug on its ill-fated and much-maligned crypto payments wallet, Upstart is hitting some headwinds, startup funding is down (big surprise!), the US Treasury is developing a framework for crypto regulations and more. Here are what I consider to be the top ten fintech news stories of the past week.
Crypto Broker Voyager Digital Files for Bankruptcy Protection from The Wall Street Journal – Publicly traded crypto exchange Voyager Digital has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after a huge unsecured loan to crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital defaulted.
Meta is pulling the plug on its crypto payments wallet, Novi from TechCrunch – It has been three years since Facebook announced its Libra project and amid continued criticism the company announced this week it is shutting the whole thing down. They may use the technology in a future project, possibly connected to a metaverse development.
Upstart says its funding is ‘constrained’ as credit concerns swirl from American Banker – Upstart had a rough day on Friday with the stock down 20% after acknowledging that its consumer loan marketplace is “funding constrained”, as in not enough investors want to buy loans. They announced lower revenue expectations for Q2 which was significantly lower than analysts were expecting.
Start-Up Funding Falls the Most It Has Since 2019 from The New York Times – While reduced funding for startups this year is not exactly a surprise this article gives some raw data. Investments in U.S. tech start-ups plunged 23% over the last three months to $62 billion and in the first six months of the year, M&A and IPO activity was down 88% from a year ago.
US Treasury Develops ‘Framework’ for International Crypto Regulation from CoinDesk – The Treasury Department published its first report on crypto regulation since the President’s executive order on crypto. There are not many details but the report did signal the government’s intention to reduce the use of crypto for illicit finance and the commitment to work with international partners to create standards for digital payment architectures.
Embattled crypto lender Celsius is a ‘fraud’ and ‘Ponzi scheme,’ lawsuit alleges from CNBC – A former partner of Celsius has sued the company claiming that it is a fraud and a Ponzi scheme. Jason Stone co-founded a company called KeyFi that was doing business with Celsius and claims in the lawsuit that Celsius failed to put adequate risk controls in place and that the company engaged in fraudulent and illegal transactions.
FTX Presses for Crypto Derivatives Approval, Agitating Legacy Exchanges from The Wall Street Journal – FTX is seeking CFTC approval for a proposal for crypto derivatives trading but traditional exchanges are claiming it will increase market risk. Under the proposal, investors could bypass brokers and place derivatives bets directly with FTX and trade 24/7 instead of relatively short windows during workdays.
How Banks Can Compete In The Post-Neobank Era from Forbes – In Ron Shevlin’s weekly column he lays out two strategies for banks to compete in this new era. Banks need to embrace embedded finance, where banks offer their products through third parties and embedded fintech, where banks integrate fintech offerings into their app and website.
Goldman Sachs people are quitting en masse for this fintech from efinancialcareers – The new fintech company now called ONE (a joint venture between Walmart and Ribbit Capital) is run by former Goldman Sachs executive Omer Ismail. He has invited several of his former colleagues to join him and many are jumping ship to ONE.
DeFi Is Real, Whatever Happens To Cryptocurrency from Forbes – With the crypto meltdown, you could be forgiven for thinking that the DeFi movement is flailing. Dave Birch points out that, regardless of the price of crypto, the technology underpinning DeFi is transformational and will change the financial system for the better.
Every Thursday afternoon, the LendIt Fintech News team and a special guest discuss the news of the week live on LendIt TV, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Twitter. We have now made the show available in podcast format – click on the audio player below.