Switching to the Satoshi standard and Lightning Network connectivity makes Bitcoin more tangible and easy to use. AAX has made the first move in the crypto space, already providing BTC to SAT
Brian Brooks, chief executive of the U.S. arm of global cryptocurrency exchange Binance, said on Friday he had resigned just three months after taking up the role.
The former U.S. banking regulator and crypto enthusiast is resigning at a time when regulators in Hong Kong, Britain, Germany, Japan, Italy, and Thailand have cracked down on Binance due to worries over investor protection. Watchdogs globally also fret that the boom in cryptocurrencies is aiding money laundering and increasing systemic risks.
“Letting you all know that I have resigned as CEO of @BinanceUS,” Brooks wrote on Twitter. “Despite differences over strategic direction, I wish my former colleagues much success. Exciting new things to come!”
Headed by Canadian Changpeng Zhao, Binance offers a wide range of services globally, from the crypto spot and derivatives trading to tokenized versions of stocks, as well as its own cryptocurrency, Binance Coin.
The financing comes shortly after Rapyd’s acquisition of Valitor, a European payments and card issuing company, for $100 million, and the launch of Rapyd Ventures, the company’s venture arm. The additional funds will enable Rapyd to capitalize on emerging opportunities driven by the unprecedented demand for Digital Payments, Embedded Finance, and scalable cloud-based payment infrastructure across all segments and verticals, and will be used to accelerate the company’s growth through a combination of organic growth, acquisitions, and strategic investments.
“Enabling digital payments has become one of the most fundamental business needs across every industry as the past year and a half have irrevocably demonstrated. Being in a position to help companies enhance their ability to serve customers and expand their reach across global markets is both a tremendous responsibility and an extraordinary opportunity. We are grateful to our investors for acknowledging the new needs of our ecosystem and supporting our aspirations,” said Arik Shtilman, co-founder and CEO of Rapyd.
“We plan to use the funding to continue to build out our global fintech as a service platform and invest in strengthening our network capabilities worldwide. We will continue to expand our presence across high-growth markets in Europe, Asia-Pacific, the US, and Latin America, where Rapyd’s platform can support businesses looking to grow internationally. We are doubling down on our channel partnerships strategy, strengthening our footprint across major high-growth markets, and exploring additional acquisitions that serve our strategic goals.”
Rapyd plans to use the funding to make several more strategic acquisitions to both support expansion in key markets and grow payment products and experiences. This will increase the scale of Rapyd’s platform not just across geographies, but also across verticals and solutions.
“Rapyd has built a borderless embedded fintech infrastructure critical to all digital businesses that operate globally. Their platform incorporates payments, compliance, FX, fraud management, escrow, virtual account and card issuing, and more. But now, as the world sees growing traction across global eCommerce, Gig Economy, Fintech Solutions and Technology platforms, Rapyd must take the next step.
There is currently an unprecedented need for a single partner serving as a bridge between a vast array of local payment services and merchants, providing them access to the flexible, fast-to-integrate, and scalable solutions they need to thrive. Having led Rapyd’s Series A in 2018, we are confident that Rapyd can be such a partner, and are now renewing our bet in this round,” said Mike Lobanov, General Partner at Target
The modern accounting and BFM software market is growing exponentially, and to remain competitive, companies should embrace innovative technologies and widen their service propositions. Open banking becomes a divining-rod merging tech-savvy with resource-saving solutions to streamline critical business processes.
Odoo is a Belgium-based all-in-one business management and accounting software that covers all forward-thinking company needs: accounting, billing, ERP, CRM, e-commerce, inventory, point of sale, project management, manufacturing, and much more. Using Salt Edge Account Information, the company levels up the bank synchronisation in their accounting platform. Now Odoo enables its users to retrieve bank transactions from across European banks effortlessly. It helps businesses to have a true picture of their company financials in real-time, thus saving time and gaining efficiency in all subsequent operational processes.
“We needed to cover a large number of banks in a maximum of countries, quickly. Salt Edge turned out to be our best choice as open banking partners; They have a qualitative and well-documented API, transparent communication, and a much-appreciated ability to simplify complex legal issues. Our goal is to integrate all business flows and keep them simple for our users. Salt Edge’s open banking solution helps us achieve it”, said Benjamin Stiénon, Product Owner at Odoo.
Teaming up with Salt Edge, Odoo will better serve its growing customer base of over 5 million users and 50,000+ companies and offer borderless service by getting access to more than 2,500 financial institutions in Europe.
“Open banking revolution is spreading across the financial services market, and accounting and business management are already reaping a rich harvest from it. Live bank feeds powered by open banking transform many accounting processes from physical to digital, boosting efficiency and reducing operational costs. Salt Edge’s main goal is to build a stable and secure infrastructure making integration with our solutions smooth and flawless. We are excited to join hands with Odoo, a user-friendly all-in-one business tool to automate the management of crucial business operations via open banking technology, thus helping more companies to grow their success”, said Vasile Valcov, VP at Salt Edge.
Gary Gensler said the crypto market involves many tokens which may be unregistered securities and leaves prices open to manipulation and millions of investors vulnerable to risks.
“This asset class is rife with fraud, scams and abuse in certain applications,” Gensler told a global conference. “We need additional congressional authorities to prevent transactions, products and platforms from falling between regulatory cracks.”
Cryptocurrencies reached a record capitalization of $2 trillion in April as more investors stocked their portfolios with digital tokens, but oversight of the market remains patchy.
The industry has been waiting with bated breath to see how Gensler, a Democratic appointee who took the SEC helm in April, will approach oversight of the market, which he has previously said should be brought within traditional financial regulation.
On Tuesday, Gensler provided more insight on his thinking, saying he would like Congress to give the SEC the power to oversee cryptocurrency exchanges, which are not currently within the SEC’s remit.
He also called on lawmakers to give the SEC more power to oversee crypto lending, and platforms like peer-to-peer decentralized finance (DeFi) sites that allow lenders and borrowers to transact in cryptocurrencies without traditional banks.
Kristin Smith, who runs the Washington-based Blockchain Association said that while the crypto industry is eager to help find “workable solutions” to the SEC’s concerns, it does currently comply with oversight by state authorities and other federal regulatory bodies.
“The industry shares many of Chair Gensler’s goals, including smart, appropriate regulation of the crypto industry, encouraging legal certainty, robust market integrity, and investor/customer protection,” Smith said in a statement.
“Where we differ with Chair Gensler is his characterization of the growing crypto economy as the ‘Wild West,’ Smith said. “The crypto industry is far from unregulated.”
Square, Inc. (NYSE: SQ) and Afterpay Limited (ASX: APT) today announced that they have entered into a Scheme Implementation Deed under which Square has agreed to acquire all of the issued shares in Afterpay by way of a recommended court-approved Scheme of Arrangement. The transaction has an implied value of approximately US$29 billion (A$39 billion) based on the closing price of Square common stock on July 30, 2021, and is expected to be paid in all stock. The acquisition aims to enable the companies to better deliver compelling financial products and services that expand access to more consumers and drive incremental revenue for merchants of all sizes. The closing of the transaction is expected in the first quarter of calendar year 2022, subject to the satisfaction of certain closing conditions outlined below.
“Square and Afterpay have a shared purpose. We built our business to make the financial system more fair, accessible, and inclusive, and Afterpay has built a trusted brand aligned with those principles,” said Jack Dorsey, Co-Founder and CEO of Square. “Together, we can better connect our Cash App and Seller ecosystems to deliver even more compelling products and services for merchants and consumers, putting the power back in their hands.”
Afterpay, the pioneering global ‘buy now, pay later’ (BNPL) platform, will accelerate Square’s strategic priorities for its Seller and Cash App ecosystems. Square plans to integrate Afterpay into its existing Seller and Cash App business units, enable even the smallest of merchants to offer BNPL at checkout, give Afterpay consumers the ability to manage their installment payments directly in Cash App, and give Cash App customers the ability to discover merchants and BNPL offers directly within the app.
“Buy now, pay later has been a powerful growth tool for sellers globally,” said Alyssa Henry, Lead of Square’s Seller business. “We are thrilled to not only add this product to our Seller ecosystem, but to do it with a trusted and innovative team.”
“The addition of Afterpay to Cash App will strengthen our growing networks of consumers around the world, while supporting consumers with flexible, responsible payment options,” said Brian Grassadonia, Lead of Square’s Cash App business. “Afterpay will help deepen and reinforce the connections between our Cash App and Seller ecosystems, and accelerate our ability to offer a rich suite of commerce capabilities to Cash App customers.”
Afterpay is an industry leader with a best-in-class product and strong cultural alignment with Square. As of June 30, 2021, Afterpay serves more than 16 million consumers and nearly 100,000 merchants globally, including major retailers across key verticals such as fashion, homewares, beauty, sporting goods and more. Afterpay empowers consumers to access the things they want and need, while allowing them to maintain financial wellness and control. Afterpay also assists merchants in growing their businesses by helping to drive repeat purchases, increase average transaction sizes, and provide their buyers with the ability to pay over time. Afterpay is deeply committed to helping people spend responsibly without incurring service fees for those who pay on time, interest, or revolving debt, and supports consumers in a number of countries across APAC, North America and Europe (including under its Clearpay brand).
“By combining with Square, we will further accelerate our growth in the U.S. and globally, offer access to a new category of in-person merchants, and provide a broader platform of new and valuable capabilities and services to our merchants and consumers. We are fully aligned with Square’s purpose and, together, we hope to continue redefining financial wellness and responsible spending for our customers,” said Anthony Eisen and Nick Molnar, Afterpay Co-Founders and Co-CEOs. “The transaction marks an important recognition of the Australian technology sector as homegrown innovation continues to be shared more broadly throughout the world. It also provides our shareholders with the opportunity to be a part of future growth of an innovative company aligned with our vision.”
For Square, BNPL presents an attractive opportunity supported by shifting consumer preferences away from traditional credit, especially among younger consumers, consistent demand from merchants for new ways to grow their sales, and the global growth in omnichannel commerce. Combined, Square and Afterpay’s complementary businesses present an opportunity to drive growth across multiple strategic levers, including:
Enhance both the Seller and Cash App ecosystems. Afterpay’s global merchant base will accelerate Square’s growth with larger sellers and expansion into new geographies, while helping to drive further acquisition of new Square sellers. Afterpay will expand Cash App’s growing product offering, enable customers to manage their repayments, and help customers discover new merchants when the Afterpay App is integrated into Cash App.
Bring added value, differentiation, and scale to Afterpay. Afterpay will benefit from Square’s large and growing customer base of more than 70 million annual transacting active Cash App customers and millions of sellers, which will expand Afterpay’s reach and growth both online and in-person. Afterpay consumers will receive the benefits of Cash App’s financial tools, including money transfer, stock and Bitcoin purchases, Cash Boost, and more.
Drive long-term growth with meaningful revenue synergy opportunities. Square believes Afterpay will be accretive to gross profit growth with a modest decrease in Adjusted EBITDA margins expected in the first year after completion of the transaction. Square sees an opportunity to invest behind Afterpay’s strong unit economics as well as attractive growth synergies, including the opportunity to introduce offerings and drive incremental growth for sellers and increased engagement for Cash App customers.
Afterpay’s Co-Founders and Co-CEOs will join Square upon completion of the transaction and help lead Afterpay’s respective merchant and consumer businesses, as part of Square’s Seller and Cash App ecosystems. Square will appoint one Afterpay director as a member of the Square Board following closing.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
CAPEX.com, 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 CAPEX.com’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 CAPEX.com 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, CAPEX.com, which is regulated by CySEC, FSCA, and ADGM, 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.