Finsight Breaking News - Page 19

Finsight Reports Fintech, Blockchain, Markets and Technology. Global overview in one place.

Moody’s Lowers El Salvador Rating


In its ratings action, Moody’s lowered El Salvador’s long-term, foreign-currency issuer and senior unsecured ratings to Caa1 from B3. Noting a “deterioration in the quality of policymaking,” the agency said that the Bitcoin law and other measures reflected “weakened governance in El Salvador, raising tensions with international partners – including the United States – and jeopardizing progress toward an agreement with the IMF (International Monetary Fund).”

The ratings action added that the combined factors could increase the risk to El Salvador’s ability “to access sufficient external financing ahead of bond redemptions,” starting in January 2023.
The Bitcoin law, which goes into effect Sept. 7, requires merchants to accept Bitcoin along with the U.S. dollar. The law passed by a supermajority in El Salvador’s legislature on June 9, with 62 members voting in favor of the bill, 19 opposing and three abstaining, but it has also faced stiff dissent with some opponents arguing it violates El Salvador’s constitution.

Revolut launches US-Mexico remittance corridor, enabling expats to easily send money back home


In May 2021, remittance flows between Mexico and the U.S. increased a whopping 31%, reaching over $4.5 billion as migrants continue sending money to loved ones to alleviate the impact of the pandemic. Revolut’s timely launch of this remittance corridor will enable customers to easily make cross-border payments between the US and Mexico at a time when cross-border peer-to-peer payments are reaching peak levels. 

With Revolut, customers can spend and transfer money globally, as well as exchange 28 currencies in the app, enabling users to exchange money abroad without paying the exorbitant fees – which can reach up to 11%  – charged by most major money transfer providers.

Revolut designed its money transfer features with ease-of-use and transparency in mind to afford its customers full visibility into where their money is going and when. Customers can sign up for an account in minutes and make money transfers soon after and using Revolut’s bank transfer tracker, customers can conveniently check the status of their transfers directly within the app.

Beyond improving cross-border payments between the US and Mexico, Revolut is exploring entry into new markets in Latin America, specifically Mexico and Brazil. Although still in the early stages of its expansion, the company has appointed a Head of Operations in Brazil and continues to assess new talent to support the expansion of its team and offerings across the region.

Ron Oliveira, CEO of Revolut USA, said:

“At Revolut, we believe sending peer-to-peer payments cross-border should be simple. In the context of today’s environment, people need to lean on each other for support now more than ever, and we are committed to providing consumers with a simple way to send money to loved ones and communities, no matter where in the world they may be. We know what matters most to our customers, how to ensure the largest amount of their hard-earned money being sent home makes it home.  The launch of this remittance corridor is a major milestone for Revolut – one that we’re confident will improve the financial lives of customers in the US and in Mexico.” 

Genesis Digital Assets Announces $125 Million Raise to Expand Industrial-Scale Bitcoin Mining Operations


The funding round comes from Kingsway Capital, a UK-based private equity fund focused on frontier emerging markets with over $2 billion in assets under management (AUM). 

Commenting on the funding, Manuel Stotz, CEO of Kingsway Capital said: “Bitcoin is going to be the most important technology for financial inclusion of the global poor and unbanked and mining provides security to make this possible. The GDA team has been building highly profitable large-scale bitcoin mining farms for nearly eight years and the industry has only been around for twelve. There’s no one else in the bitcoin mining industry that has this level of experience and we’re incredibly excited to support their next wave of growth and long-term vision.” As part of the round, Manuel Stotz has joined the GDA board of directors.  

Abdumalik Mirakhmedov, Executive Chairman and co-founder of Genesis Digital Assets, said: “Our mission is to provide the infrastructure that will power the open-source monetary system revolution and we’re excited to have Kingsway Capital and Manuel onboard as we continue to scale our mining operations.” 

Genesis Digital Assets will use the $125 million in capital to purchase equipment and build new data centers in the United States and nordic region. 

As of July 2021, Genesis Digital Assets data center capacity is at over 150 megawatts, translating into a total hashrate exceeding 2.6 Exahashes (EH/s), which is more than 2.6% of the global Bitcoin mining hashrate. Another 5.5 Exahashes (EH/s) will be online in the next 12 months and by the end of 2023, Genesis Digital Assets expects to reach a capacity of over 1 gigawatt.

Gregfins upgrades its PFM app with Salt Edge open banking technology


70% of Millennials and Gen-Z use from 3 to 6 different payment providers. More than half would like to have their expenses, currencies, bills, accounts, investments, and other financial information in one place, where they can keep track of all their activities. 

Gregfins app offers a comprehensive financial experience, combining all PFM tools in one place, thus granting to the end-customers a complete control and overview of their financial life. The company provides deep analytics, simplified payment options, crypto trading, and many other features. Combined with Salt Edge data aggregation solution, Gregfins will allow their end-customers to see all their bank and eWallet account information in one place, making it easier to track and manage finances. The company will offer greater oversight and control over funds, reducing the bustle of everyday financial management tasks. Salt Edge data aggregation toolkit will allow Gregfins to access Open Banking and PSD2 channels instantly, providing access to bank accounts data of more than 5000 banks in 50+ countries. 

“The collaboration with Salt Edge allows us to use all open banking-powered solutions to upskill our existing features and offerings. Leveraging Salt Edge data aggregation we give our end-customers the possibility to connect multiple bank accounts, from any country, to obtain a single unified view and full control over their financial life”, said Miraskar Mirakhmedov, Founder of Gregfins. 

“Open banking unveils countless possibilities for innovative financial management, bringing it to the next level by enabling people to make well-judged financial decisions. Instant access to all financial data in one screen, brings much-needed ease and transparency in the current world. We are delighted to join hands with Gregfins, reckoning on their mission to bring the best possible financial management experience to the end-customers and reap all the benefits uncovered by open banking technology”, commented Cristian Gheorghita, Sales Lead at Salt Edge.

Salt Edge is a financial API platform with PSD2 and open banking solutions. The company has two main vectors of activity: enabling third parties to get access to bank channels via a unified gateway, and developing the technology necessary for banks to become compliant with the directive’s requirements. ISO 27001 certified and AISP licensed under PSD2, the company employs the highest international security measures to ensure stable and reliable connections between financial institutions and their customers. The company is integrated with 5000+ financial institutions in 50+ countries. launches zero-commission product StoX

Live, the leading global multi-licensed broker operated by Key Way Markets Ltd, has launched their latest product StoX – 0 commission in the Middle East. Regulated by the Abu Dhabi Global Market, StoX will enable our clients to diversify their portfolio by accessing more than 50 of the world’s largest US-listed companies including Apple, Tesla, Microsoft, Facebook, Alibaba, Disney, and more.

Not only StoX is a zero-commission based product offering traders a low-cost trading experience, it gets better when the very same product also brings Fractional Trading, allowing clients to trade fractions of the value of the shares starting from 0.01, as opposed to trading the full value of the share, without leverage and no swap fees on long (buy) positions.

The product will allow investors to trade on the stock price movements in either direction at will based on their investment and risk portfolio. As an added advantage, clients will also have access to various risk management techniques in addition to vital market orders such as stop loss and take profit.

We are excited to formally announce the launch of StoX – our zero-commission-based product. As we grow’s presence in the Middle East, we consistently strive to find new and exciting ways to fulfill clients’ requirements and offer them a variety of tailor-made products that match their needs and preferences. Through StoX, we aim to provide traders access to a new segment while meeting their preference to trade without leverage and hold their trading positions for a longer period without extra charges. As always, the latest product outlines our commitment to continue to shape the future of trading, both regionally and around the world,” said Madalina Rotaru, CEO, Key Way Markets Ltd, ADGM.

The product will be available on the online trading platform WebTrader. New users can sign up for a normal trading account and existing users by default will have access to StoX.

Since opening its strategic location in Abu Dhabi in 2020,, which is regulated by CySEC[1], FSCA[2], and ADGM[3], has continued to offer an authentic and exceptional trading experience for professional and novice traders alike. CAPEX.comblends technology with a customer-centered, education-oriented approach to creating a one-of-a-kind trading experience.

Nium Raises Us$200+ Million Series D And Becomes First Global B2b Payments Unicorn From Southeast Asia


Nium’s current valuation is above US$1 billion, making it the first B2B payments unicorn from Southeast Asia. The funding will be used to expand Nium’s payments network infrastructure, drive innovative product development, attract top industry talent, and acquire strategic technologies and companies. Total money raised by Nium to date, including this Series D, stands at nearly US$300 million.

Nium has established its platform as the preferred connection to the global payments infrastructure. Serving hundreds of enterprise clients, and with plans to onboard thousands more, Nium will use the Series D funds to expand its technical infrastructure and add new embedded fintech services. Through a single API, Nium provides access to the world’s payment infrastructure, including technologies for pay-outspay-inscard issuance, and banking-as-a-service. Once connected, Nium customers can send funds to more than 100 countries (most in real-time), pay out in more than 60 currencies, accept funds in 7 currencies, and issue cards in more than 40 countries. Foundational to Nium is its license portfolio, owning the most complete set of money transfer, card issuance and banking licenses in fintech, with services available in 11 jurisdictions.

“We started Nium with the humble goal of taking out regional complexity in cross-border payments,” said Prajit Nanu, Nium’s Co-founder and CEO. “Today, our sights are set higher. We believe we can be a global catalyst to increase global commerce, removing some of the payments friction which has traditionally held businesses back. The Nium platform simplifies the B2B payments experience by enabling critical financial services to be easily embedded – helping today’s local market players become tomorrow’s global giants.”

Nium’s business has significantly scaled in the past year. Nium processes US$8 billion in payments annually. It has issued more than 30 million virtual cards to date. Revenues grew by more than 280 percent year-over-year. With revenues split almost equally across EMEA and APAC, Nium will use funds from this round to accelerate growth in the United States and Latin America. Success will be driven by two recent strategic acquisitions, including the acquisition of travel B2B payments leader, Ixaris, which added comprehensive virtual card issuance capabilities to the Nium platform, as well as the acquisition of Wirecard Forex India Private Limited, which gives Nium greater reach into India’s booming payments market. The Series D investment provides the flexibility to explore additional strategic opportunities. 

“Prajit and the incredibly talented team at Nium have redefined payments for the modern era with an infrastructure that finally makes it easy for companies to embed financial services into business and banking applications,” said Francisco Alvarez-Demalde, Co-Founding Partner and Managing Partner, Riverwood Capital. “We could not be more excited about this partnership and look forward to seeing Nium continue to set the standard for how global payments are delivered.”

“Nium has built an extremely rare global footprint of licensed infrastructure that brings the world closer to global real time gross settlement,” added Alex Porto, Principal, Riverwood Capital. “We believe that Nium is on track to be a central component of the global fabric, providing faster and more democratic money movement and we look forward to supporting their growth in this next phase.”

The capital infusion arrives at a time when the global market opportunities for Nium in embedded financial services, cross-border transfers, and card payments are large and rapidly expanding. Nium estimates these global trends to have a total addressable market of nearly US$50 trillion.

Financial Technology Partners (FT Partners) served as exclusive strategic and financial advisor to Nium on its Series D.

PayPal to research blocking transactions that fund extremists and hate groups


The initiative will be led through ADL’s Center on Extremism and will focus on uncovering and disrupting the financial flows supporting white supremacist and anti-government organizations.

It will also look at networks spreading and profiting from antisemitism, Islamophobia, racism, anti-immigrant, anti-Black, anti-Hispanic, and anti-Asian bigotry.

The information collected through the initiatives will be shared with other firms in the financial industry, law enforcement, and policymakers, PayPal said.

Over the years, the San Jose, California-based company has developed sophisticated systems to help prevent illegal activity and flows through its platform. It hopes to have a positive social impact by sharing some of its capabilities, Aaron Karczmer, PayPal’s chief risk officer and executive vice president, risk and platforms said.

“We’re hoping to have an impact on fighting hatred and extremism, which sadly seems to be surging in society across the globe,” Karczmer said in an interview. “As the son of a Holocaust survivor, I know all too well the real-world impact that comes from hatred and extremist groups.”

In 2020, PayPal teamed up with criminologists and academics to research the payment systems used in the trafficking of illegal firearms and has partnerships with non-profit group Polaris to combat human trafficking through a joint Financial Intelligence Unit.

Over the past several years, PayPal has also been taking action against businesses peddling extremism that were attempting to use its platforms.

As part of the new initiative, PayPal and ADL will also work with other civil rights organizations, including the League of United Latin American Citizens.

Sources: Amazon to accept Bitcoin payments before the end of 2021


Amazon may allow users to pay in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin soon as the e-commerce giant is hiring a digital currency and blockchain product lead for its payments team.

According to a latest job listing, Amazon’s Payments Acceptance & Experience team is “seeking an experienced product leader to develop Amazon’s Digital Currency and Blockchain strategy and product roadmap”.

An anonymous source within Amazon has reportedly told London business newspaper City A.M. that the e-commerce giant is planning to accept Bitcoin (BTC) payments by the end of 2021, possibly setting the stage for broader mainstream acceptance of crypto transactions. 

“This isn’t just going through the motions to set up cryptocurrency payment solutions at some point in the future – this is a full-on, well-discussed, integral part of the future mechanism of how Amazon will work,” the source told City A.M., according to a report published on Sunday.

She indicated that, while Bitcoin is the first step in Amazon’s crypto ambitions, executives at the company were keen to add other established cryptocurrencies in the future. In addition to accepting Bitcoin payments, Amazon is said to be exploring the creation of its own cryptocurrency, possibly as early as 2022, she said. 

Speculation about Amazon’s entry into the cryptocurrency market has been raging for days after a new posting for “Digital Currency and Blockchain Product Lead” appeared on the company’s job board last week. As per the job description, the new hire will help develop Amazon’s digital currency strategy and product roadmap. The position requires strong domain expertise in blockchain, distributed ledgers, central bank digital currencies and crypto more generally.

DFS Lab and Stellar Development Foundation Launch Blockchain Bootcamp for African Startups


The bootcamp is a three-day design sprint allowing participating companies to answer critical business questions with hands-on technical support and guidance from DFS Lab and SDF. Companies will define a problem, storyboard a solution, and develop a rapid prototype of their innovation. This is an exciting opportunity to support the blockchain-oriented ideas of African developers and startups, equip them with practical tools and education, and provide support to create viable solutions that fit local needs.

The most promising solutions will be awarded prizes from 5,000 to 20,000 USDC. There will be opportunities for follow-on funding for additional grants, including potential investment from SDF’s Enterprise Fund and other investors who will be present at the demo day. Interested fintech companies, blockchain native companies, and crypto-curious companies operating in Africa and looking to advance existing services or embed digital asset solutions into their models for the first time are all encouraged to apply before August 20, 2021.

“We are excited to see what role blockchain can play in the future of digital commerce in Africa from cross-border payments to financial inclusion, and we’re excited to offer this opportunity for startups to see where the Stellar blockchain network can benefit them,” said Jake Kendall, Partner at DFS Lab.

Viable use cases that could be explored include cross-border payments, access to financial services, or payment processing. Companies could also explore new models across asset management, compliance, NFTs, gaming, charity donations, trade finance, liquidity, and more.

“We’re thrilled to collaborate with DFS Lab to support early-stage startups building the future of digital commerce in Africa. It’s part of SDF’s effort to increase financial access and inclusion specifically with solutions rooted in local needs and expertise. It’s an honor to be a resource for bootcamp companies building on Stellar. We can’t wait to see how they innovate,” said Denelle Dixon, CEO and Executive Director of Stellar Development Foundation.

Solutions built on Stellar are already being deployed by companies including Franklin Templeton, Samsung, Leaf Global Fintech, Airtm and Tribal. The speed and scale of the Stellar network will enable new opportunities for bootcamp participants and their end users to quickly and easily transfer value, no matter where they are in the world. Stellar’s presence is growing across Africa, particularly in East and South Africa. Companies building the future of digital finance across the continent are encouraged to apply.

About DFS Lab
DFS Lab is an early-stage investor that helps founders build solid foundations and matches the world’s smartest capital with Africa’s most promising founders leading the next generation of digital commerce in Africa. DFS Lab brings both global and local mentorship to its flagship accelerator program, and its portfolio companies have gone on to raise capital from firms like Accel, Anthemis, 500 Startups, Y Combinator, Flourish Ventures, NYCA, and Accion Venture Labs.

About Stellar
Stellar is a decentralized, fast, scalable, and sustainable blockchain network for financial products and services. It is both a cross-currency transaction system and a platform for digital asset issuance, designed to connect the world’s financial infrastructure. Financial institutions and fintechs worldwide issue assets and settle payments on the Stellar network, which has grown to over 5 million accounts. For more information, visit

Crypto miner Core Scientific to go public via $4.3 bln SPAC deal


Core Scientific Holding Co said on Wednesday it would go public through a merger with a blank-check company backed by BlackRock Inc (BLK.N), in a deal that values the cryptocurrency miner at $4.3 billion.

The deal with Power & Digital Infrastructure Acquisition Corp (XPDI.O) will fetch $300 million in cash proceeds, but the companies did not disclose a private investment in public equity (PIPE) round that typically accompanies blank-check mergers.

Core Scientific said it had mined 928 bitcoins in the second quarter and forecast revenues of $493 million and $1.1 billion for fiscal 2021 and 2022, respectively.

The company said it was 100% net carbon neutral and aims to remain so as it grows. Bitcoin is virtual but mining the asset consumes a lot of energy as it is created using high-powered computers around the globe.