Finsight Breaking News

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EDX Markets Partners with Solidus Labs to Support Best-in-Class Comprehensive Transaction Monitoring


EDX Markets (EDX) announced that it has partnered with Solidus Labs to provide transaction monitoring across EDX’s platform. Through this partnership, EDX plans to provide customers with seamless end-to-end transactional risk management capabilities in order to maintain the highest compliance standards across the cryptocurrency industry and reflect key institutional best practices.

Solidus Labs’ HALO, an automated, comprehensive and testable trade surveillance and market integrity hub tailored for digital assets, is currently used to monitor over 250 million events and $16 trillion in on- and off-chain trading volume per day across more than 150 markets, protecting more than 25 million individual and institutional investors. EDX will leverage Solidus Labs’ machine learning-powered detection models and Universal Client Risk Profile capability to identify unusual or suspicious activity on its platform, and review and coordinate the appropriate risk response.

“Solidus’ transaction monitoring solution is a powerful addition to EDX’s suite of compliance measures,” said Chris Tyrrell, Chief Compliance Officer of EDX. “We are focused on bringing the best of traditional finance to cryptocurrency markets and are committed to ensuring safe and compliant trading. As an industry-leading provider of AML solutions for detection of money laundering and financial crime activities in crypto markets, Solidus will help us protect the integrity of our platform while meeting regulatory expectations and Wall Street-grade best practices.”

“We are proud to support EDX’s vision and meet the demand for a safe and compliant cryptocurrency market,” added Asaf Meir, Solidus Labs’ Founder and Chief Executive. “Bridging traditional and digital finance through crypto-native risk mitigation tools is core to our mission, and we look forward to working together with EDX to continually increase the standards for safe and integrity-driven crypto trading.”

Backed by a consortium of major financial institutions, EDX has opened trading as the crypto marketplace of choice for industry leaders and builds on best practices from traditional finance to provide customers with distinctive benefits including liquidity, competitive quotes and a unique, non-custodial model designed to mitigate conflicts of interest. EDX also introduced a retail-only quote to the crypto markets, allowing participants the benefit of better pricing for retail-originated orders. Products listed for trading on EDX include Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH).

PayPal Introduces US Dollar-Based Stablecoin on Ethereum Platform


PayPal has unveiled a new stablecoin pegged to the US dollar, marking a significant step in the digital asset domain by a major US financial firm. This revelation comes after the company began offering crypto services in 2021, facilitating the buying, selling, and holding of prominent cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ether.

This novel stablecoin, christened PayPal USD, is being issued in collaboration with Paxos Trust Co. Starting Monday, users will have the option to buy, send, convert, and utilize the stablecoin for transactions in the forthcoming weeks. Further enhancing its usability, customers can transfer PayPal USD between PayPal and other compatible external wallets, and even use it for making purchases via PayPal.

A unique aspect of this development is the monthly Reserve Report on the stablecoin that will be released by Paxos, in addition to an attestation detailing the value of the reserves backing PayPal USD. The stablecoin pledges full backing through U.S. dollar deposits, US Treasuries, and similar liquid assets.

Charles Cascarilla, CEO of Paxos, expressed immense pride in their association with this groundbreaking product. He stated, “PayPal USD signifies a monumental advancement in digital assets and the broader financial domain.”

PayPal’s foray into the digital currency realm with PayPal USD, minted as an ERC-20 token on the Ethereum blockchain, is rooted in its commitment to “responsible innovation and compliance,” as emphasized by Dan Schulman, PayPal’s CEO. Schulman added that the digital era demands stable instruments that seamlessly integrate with traditional fiat currencies.

Highlighting the significance of clear legal frameworks, Patrick McHenry, chair of the House Financial Services Committee, underscored the necessity for Congress to legislate comprehensive digital asset regulations, especially for stablecoins.

This move closely follows PayPal’s decision to activate crypto transactions for Venmo users a few months prior.

Sam Altman’s Worldcoin project launches


Worldcoin, Sam Altman’s project to build an identity and financial network by giving away free crypto tokens to people who agree to get their irises scanned, has launched in several cities around the world.

OpenAI’s Altman and Worldcoin co-founders Alex Blania and Max Novendstern, say that 4.4 billion people lack a legal, digitally-verifiable identity, hindering their ability to access the global economy and things like government aid, financial services and healthcare.

Worldcoin has set itself the ambitious target of creating “universal access to the global economy regardless of country or background” and enabling “global democratic processes” in the age of AI.

To do this, it developed the Worldcoin token that is freely distributed to people “just for being a unique individual”. The token, along with other digital assets and traditional currencies can be used for payments and transfers globally via a World App.

To prove their uniqueness and get the token, people have their eyeballs scanned by a piece of hardware called “The Orb”.

The founders claim that the project could not only increase economic opportunity but also scale a reliable approach for distinguishing humans from AI online while preserving privacy, and eventually provide a potential foundation for AI-funded universal basic income.

After securing $115 million in funding in May, the project has now migrated to the OP Mainnet, unveiled plans to scale Orb sign ups to more than 35 cities across 20 countries and released the World ID SDK.

In tandem, a subsidiary has minted and released the Worldcoin token to millions of eligible people who participated in the beta – meaning that it is now transactable on the blockchain.

US instant payment network FedNow goes live


The Federal Reserve has switched on its new instant payment system, FedNow, with 35 banks and credit unions onboard.

The 35 early-adopting banks and credit unions are joined by the US Department of the Treasury’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service and 16 payment processing service providers.

“The Federal Reserve built the FedNow Service to help make everyday payments over the coming years faster and more convenient,” says Federal Reserve chair Jerome H. Powell. “Over time, as more banks choose to use this new tool, the benefits to individuals and businesses will include enabling a person to immediately receive a paycheck, or a company to instantly access funds when an invoice is paid.”

He says the Fed is committed to working with the more than 9,000 banks and credit unions across the country to support the widespread availability of instant payments for their customers over time.

As an interbank payment system, the FedNow Service operates alongside other longstanding Federal Reserve payment services such as Fedwire and FedACH.

The launch is coming at a cost. In June last year, the Fed decided to delay the implementation of the ISO 20022 payment messaging format by two years to 2025 in response to bank concerns that this process was hampering FedNow’s rollout.

Bunq has secured €44.5 million in funding


Dutch neobank bunq has raised €44.5 million in growth capital at a €1.65 billion valuation, bringing its total funding for the year to €100 million.

Current investors founder Ali Niknam, Pollen Street Capital and Raymond Kasiman joined the round for Europe’s second largest neobank.

The valuation is the same as when the company closed a €193 million Series A in 2021 – despite the recent market downturn.

New of the funding comes day after bunq revealed that it grew its user base from 5.4 million to nine million in just over a year. In the last four months, the neobank doubled its user deposits to €4.5 billion.

Ali Niknam, CEO, bunq, says: “With more and more people entrusting their money to us, we’re convinced that we should double down on our momentum and cement the way forward for future growth.”

Argentem Creek Partners Leads USD 20 Million Venture Loan Round for Salmon


Consumer fintech Salmon today announces it has secured a USD20MM venture loan from U.S. emerging-markets specialist investment firm Argentem Creek Partners, enabling Salmon to further scale its lending operations across the Philippines. Building on significant investor interest in the transaction, Salmon will expand its loan book, leveraging its existing point-of-sale and cash loan lending, and will launch new disruptive products in the second half of 2023.  

The transaction, which was completed despite the volatile market environment, sets a new benchmark as the largest ever venture-loan for a Series A tech company in the Philippines. The deal positions Salmon, which was founded less than a year ago in July 2022, as one of the fastest growing fintechs in Southeast Asia. Salmon was set up by a group of fintech and financial services industry veterans led by Pavel Fedorov, George Chesakov and Raffy Montemayor, who brought together a team with a track record of delivering fast and profitable growth. In year one, the fintech has expanded rapidly, launching its first credit product only four months after inception and delivering new product launches every three months since then. 

Argentem Creek Partners President and Co-CIO Maarten Terlouw commented: “Argentem Creek Partners is delighted to deliver an important component of Salmon’s capital structure. We are a long-term value-oriented investor and are excited to support Salmon in its ambitious drive to expand financial inclusion across the region, as well as to provide best-in-class customer service and make lending more accessible to consumers in the region.

“We look forward to working together with Salmon’s world class investors including Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund ADQ, one of Europe’s top venture investors and a group of prominent local investors, as well as Salmon’s top notch management team, to deliver long-term value in the Philippines.”

Argentem Creek Partners’ CEO and Founder Daniel Chapman commented: “Consumer lending is one of the fastest growing segments in Southeast Asia. We are convinced that the new generation of credit-focused fintechs like Salmon have a tremendous opportunity and that Argentem Creek could play an important role in driving forward financial inclusion in these exciting markets”.

Salmon Co-founder Raffy Montemayor commented: “We are tremendously humbled by the strong investor interest, as well as Argentem Creek’s support for Salmon’s vision to create the best credit-led fintech in Southeast Asia and for making financial services more accessible to all. We especially want to highlight Argentem Creek’s focus on building a win-win partnership with Salmon and believe that there will be many options for extending our work together, as Salmon maintains its rapid pace of development in Southeast Asia. We see this milestone as a testament to Salmon’s potential, as well as the market’s trust in our vision and business model. This transaction also conveys a message of hope to many young and aspiring Filipinos, highlighting to them the incredible opportunities that the global investment community sees in the Philippines today. Financial inclusion will be an important driver of sustainable economic growth in the Philippines, and Salmon is committed to continuing to play a key role in this transformation.”

Argentem Creek Partners obtains In-Principle Approval from Abu Dhabi Global Market


Argentem Creek Partners (‘Argentem’), an emerging markets specialist investment firm, announces that it has been granted an In-Principle Approval (IPA) for a Financial Services Permission (FSP) on 20th June 2023 from the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) of Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), the leading international financial centre in the region. Once Argentem has satisfied all IPA conditions and receives its final FSP, the firm is set to expand operations in the region. Argentem seeks to deliver uncorrelated emerging market alpha by investing in special situations, private credit, high yield, and bespoke capital solutions. Argentem’s overall focus is on delivering value for investors, partners, and local communities.

This milestone follows a strategic agreement in July 2022 between the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) and Argentem Creek Partners to establish a new regional headquarter within ADGM. This partnership was formed under ADIO’s Innovation Programme, an initiative aimed at providing growth-enabling support to innovative companies within high-growth sectors, including financial services.

With this new strategic expansion, Argentem Creek intends to expand their scope of investment opportunities across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region as well as Asia.

Daniel Chapman, Founder, CEO & CIO of Argentem Creek Partners:“I am grateful for the continued guidance and support of both the ADIO and ADGM teams. Their active involvement and introductions to influential local networks have greatly facilitated our integration and enhanced our understanding of regional best practices. The Middle East is set to play a vital role in the implementation of our growth strategy. We are incredibly enthusiastic about harnessing the distinctive opportunities presented by emerging markets in the upcoming years. Collaborating with our friends and partners in the Middle East, we aim to develop and capitalise on these opportunities.”

Commenting on Argentem receiving its IPA, Arvind Ramamurthy, Chief of Market Development at ADGM said, “ADGM is pleased for Argentem Creek Partners to receive the IPA from ADGM’s FSRA. We are confident that their capabilities and vision for the region will unlock boundless opportunities for them as well as companies based within the financial centre. Our dynamic ecosystem and progressive regulations help innovation and collaboration thrive for companies like Argentem Creek as they explore restructuring and turnaround prospects in ADGM and beyond. We anticipate remarkable contributions from them and value addition that will strategically position Abu Dhabi and the UAE’s vibrant financial landscape.”

Eng. Abdulla Abdul Aziz AlShamsi, Director General of ADIO, said: “ADIO congratulates Argentem Creek Partners on finalising this crucial step to establish operations at ADGM. The company’s arrival adds to Abu Dhabi’s status as a global financial centre with deep expertise in accessing emerging market opportunities across and beyond the wider region. Due to its strategic location, exceptional infrastructure, deep talent pool and enabling regulations, Abu Dhabi offers limitless growth potential for the financial services industry.”  

Argentem Creek Partners plans to foster local and regional partnerships to enhance the region’s access to investment opportunities across various industry sectors, leveraging its expertise in emerging markets, restructuring, and governance best practices. Beyond its flagship emerging markets special situations strategy, the office will concentrate on areas such as Asia-focused assets, trade finance in energy transition materials, and the firm’s other strategies throughout the MENA region.

Abu Dhabi grants Argentem Creek Partners access to global markets, talent, a beneficial time zone overlapping with key international markets, and proximity to some of the world’s most significant sovereign wealth funds. Furthermore, ADGM’s robust framework for asset management companies and funds creates a conducive environment for industry practitioners, ensuring optimal levels of investor protection.

ADGM Launches Comprehensive Sustainable Finance Regulatory Framework to Propel UAE’s Net Zero Ambition


Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) has implemented its sustainable finance regulatory framework today, marking an essential step towards accelerating the UAE’s transition to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. This framework comprises a broad range of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) disclosure requirements, as well as a regulatory system for sustainable funds, managed portfolios, bonds, and sukuks.

ADGM’s latest initiative harmonizes with the existing regulation of carbon offsets, contributing to the creation of the world’s first regulated carbon offsets exchange and clearing house in the region. This suite of actions underscores ADGM’s status as a front-runner in sustainable finance this year as the UAE prepares to host the 28th annual Conference of Parties (COP28).

The implementation of this framework, effective immediately, highlights the urgency of forwarding the green agenda in Abu Dhabi, the UAE, and around the world.

The sustainable finance regulatory framework, supported by robust public consultation, facilitates ADGM’s position as a natural base for sustainable finance operations. This platform addresses the rules for sustainable investment funds, managed portfolios, and bonds, and also includes ESG disclosure requirements for ADGM-registered companies. As such, the system is expected to foster the growth of a sustainable finance ecosystem and aid the UAE in achieving net zero emissions.

The infrastructure for green funds, portfolios, and bonds, coupled with sustainability-linked sukuks, represents a notable stride towards steering capital to fund the transition to net zero. ADGM will grant designations to compliant products and services, which can then utilize the ADGM “designation mark” in their promotional materials and customer communications. This seal of approval aims to instill investor confidence and stimulate further capital flow into the green transition.

Following the announcement, a feedback statement was issued, reflecting the constructive insights received and addressing the key points raised during the consultation phase. The overwhelming industry backing, including stakeholders who plan to launch products under the new framework, solidified ADGM’s decision to proceed with one of the region’s most holistic sustainable finance frameworks.

The feedback statement indicated that the industry’s involvement not only helped to mold the implemented framework, but also provided a clear insight into the areas that will be examined in a post-implementation review scheduled for 2025. As part of its commitment to constant development, ADGM will continue to rely on its stakeholders to shape its ecosystem into a world-class hub for sustainable finance.

His Excellency Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, President Designate of COP28 UAE, expressed his support, stating, “The lack of available, accessible, affordable finance is putting the world’s climate goals and sustainable development at risk. ADGM’s regulatory framework for sustainable finance is highly commendable and will play a vital role in mobilizing capital for the transition to net zero not only in the UAE, but also in EMDEs.”

His Excellency Ahmed Jasim Al Zaabi, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Global Market, added, “In the year that the UAE is hosting COP28, ADGM proudly aligns its actions with those of the country’s leadership. Our regulatory framework for sustainable finance is the most comprehensive in the Middle East and South Asia region.”

Ongoing initiatives by ADGM, such as the Abu Dhabi Sustainable Finance Declaration, the School of Sustainable Finance at the ADGM Academy, and the regulatory amendment allowing carbon offsets to come under its regulatory framework, strengthen the newly established sustainable finance regulatory framework. With these measures, ADGM distinguishes itself as a leading hub for sustainable finance.

Polimec and Deloitte Launch KYC Credentials for DeFi Fundraising


In a recent development that marks a significant stride towards regulatory compliance in decentralized finance (DeFi), Polimec, a decentralized funding protocol built on Polkadot, has joined forces with Deloitte Switzerland. The collaboration aims to issue reusable Know Your Customer (KYC) credentials to facilitate global digital asset fundraising. The move, announced on June 27th, 2023, also sets the groundwork for reducing the risk of fraud and hastening the advancement of Web3.

This venture introduces banking grade standard KYC credentials, issued by Deloitte, to simplify participation in early-stage fundraising on Polimec. The KYC credentials, secured on the KILT blockchain, offer an enhanced level of regulatory compliance, data privacy, and security.

The process ensures that users share their KYC documents solely with Deloitte, a trusted partner for major multinational corporations and governments around the globe. Deloitte Managed Services then issues the KYC credentials in Web3, the next evolution of the internet integrating blockchain technologies and decentralized systems, offering a more efficient and secure alternative to traditional KYC methods.

Kasper Mai Jørgensen, Co-Founder of Polimec, expressed his excitement over this milestone, “The fruit of our nine-month collaboration with Deloitte allows us to take one step closer to our vision of a Web3 world where individuals control their own data, identity, and destiny.”

The credentials, suitable for both individuals and legal entities, promise to revolutionize fundraising practices. Issuers can provide credibility during funding rounds, while participants can gain access to Polimec. This process paves the way for a more transparent fundraising environment compliant with regulations, where credential holders have control over their data.

Moreover, issuers can offer tokens to individuals/entities who have met the KYC/AML (Anti Money Laundering) standards, thereby reducing fraud risk and ensuring a secure and compliant investment setting. The move allows the participants to share their sensitive documents only with Deloitte, saving them time and reducing potential data breach risks.

Deloitte’s reusable KYC credentials promise a swift, secure, and compliant authentication experience for users. According to Micha Bitterli, Head of Deloitte Managed Services, this development signifies a significant move towards a compliant DeFi environment.

Thanks to the KILT infrastructure, KYC credentials can be verified at any given time. The verification is logged on the Polimec blockchain, assuring a regulatory-compliant, transparent, and secure process for all transactions while maintaining data privacy.

Ingo Rübe, Founder of KILT Protocol, was thrilled about Polimec’s evolution into a fully realized decentralized funding mechanism. The synergy between Protocols and Enterprises within the Polkadot ecosystem is credited for such innovation, fostering interoperability and shared security.

Polimec is slated to launch as a Polkadot parachain in late 2023, supporting the first projects in achieving their fundraising goals. Potential users are encouraged to join the waitlist to stay abreast of the latest developments and learn about this new way of performing KYC and managing data on chain.

SEC Charges Binance Entities and Founder Changpeng Zhao with Numerous Securities Law Violations – Lawsuit Highlights

  • The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has filed 13 charges against Binance Holdings Ltd., BAM Trading Services Inc., and their founder Changpeng Zhao, accusing them of several securities law violations.
  • Allegations include operating unregistered national securities exchanges, broker-dealers, and clearing agencies.
  • Binance and BAM Trading are also charged with the unregistered offer and sale of Binance’s own crypto assets, such as exchange token BNB, stablecoin Binance USD (BUSD), crypto-lending products, and a staking-as-a-service program.
  • Zhao is also being accused as a controlling person for Binance’s and BAM Trading’s operation of unregistered national securities exchanges, broker-dealers, and clearing agencies.
  • The SEC alleges that despite public claims, Zhao and Binance secretly allowed U.S. customers to continue trading on and that they controlled the operations of the Binance.US platform.
  • Binance and Zhao are also accused of mishandling customer assets, including commingling funds and diverting them to an entity owned by Zhao, called Sigma Chain, as well as to Merit Peak Limited.
  • BAM Trading and BAM Management US Holdings Inc. are alleged to have misled investors about the non-existent trading controls on the Binance.US platform.
  • The SEC accuses Binance entities and Zhao of conducting deceptive practices, conflicts of interest, lack of disclosure, and evasion of the law.
  • The complaint filed by SEC alleges that since at least July 2017, and Binance.US have operated as exchanges, brokers, dealers, and clearing agencies, and have earned at least $11.6 billion from transaction fees from U.S. customers.
  • Binance is charged for the unregistered offers and sales of BNB, BUSD, and crypto-lending products “Simple Earn” and “BNB Vault.”
  • The complaint alleges that Binance created BAM Management and BAM Trading to evade U.S. federal securities laws and maintained substantial involvement and control over the U.S. entity.
  • The SEC claims that BAM Trading and BAM Management misled Binance.US customers concerning market surveillance and controls to detect and prevent manipulative trading on the Binance.US platform.
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