Top 10 Fintech News for the Week Ending March 19, 2022

Lots of crypto-related news this week with a huge round of ConsenSys, the EU taking legislative action and everyone wondering what Apple has planned when it comes to crypto. There was also CFPB news on BNPL, a new AML passport for DeFi and more. Here are what I consider to be the top ten fintech news stories of the past week.

Microsoft dives into Web3 with investment in Ethereum co-founder’s ConsenSys startup from CNBC – Blockchain leader ConsenSys has raised $450 million from Microsoft, SoftBank and Temasek, valuing the company at $7 billion.

The EU has voted not to ban bitcoin Protocol – The European Parliament voted this week to advance what is known as Crypto Asset Markets (MiCA) legislation, omitting the proof-of-work ban that would have effectively banned bitcoin from the region.

Apple Is Crypto’s Biggest Wildcard from Bloomberg – It’s interesting to me that the biggest tech company in the world has pretty much ignored crypto to date. But as the author acknowledges, with over a billion iPhone users, Apple could easily provide a user-friendly way to bring users into the crypto economy. Which could bring more new customers to iPhone.

CFPB urged to act quickly to buy now/pay later loans from American Banker – The CFPB opened an investigation into the BNPL industry in December. With public comment due to end next week, the CFPB could quickly provide a report on what it wants to do here.

Quadrata launches data passport for AML in DeFi from LendIt Fintech News – One knock on DeFi is that it is completely anonymous and there is no easy way to perform KYC or AML verifications. Startup Quadrata is looking to change that, working with Spring Labs and TransUnion to create a non-tradable NFT that will represent KYC information.

Andreessen, Eldridge Value Cross River Bank at over $3 billion From Bloomberg – Cross River Bank continues to lead all fintech-focused banks and this week it was reported that the company was close to closing a deal to raise more than $600 million from Andreessen Horowitz, Eldridge Industries and T. Rowe Price at greater than a $3 billion valuation.

OppFi seeks injunction over loan interest rate caps from PYMNTS.com – Last year, the FDIC and OCC reaffirmed the “valid when done” doctrine for loans issued by banks and sold to fintechs. Recently, California lost its lawsuit against the FDIC challenging this, so now OppFi is going after California over its interest rate caps.

ClearBank, a UK banking rail provider, raises $230m from Apax to expand in Europe and the US from TechCrunch – ClearBank made a name for itself in 2016 when it became the first new UK clearing bank in 250 years and is now aiming for international expansion. The company has raised £175m from private equity firm Apax Partners to enable the expansion.

Green dot, Plaid will provide financial services to the underbanked from American Banker – Green Dot serves many underbanked consumers in 90,000 outlets, including Walmart stores. Now, they are partnering with Plaid to make it easier for their customers to access fintech services.

American Express Reportedly Filed Trademark Applications to Register Services in the Metaverse from Crowdfund Insider – This week it was revealed that American Express had filed seven trademark applications for banking services in the metaverse, including NFT authentication, virtual payments and other crypto services.

Every Thursday, the LendIt Fintech News team and a special guest discuss the week’s news live on LendIt TV, YouTube, LinkedIn and Twitter. We have now made the show available in podcast format – click on the audio player below.

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