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Abu Dhabi’s ADGM Regulated Yoshi Markets Begins Global Client Onboarding

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Yoshi Markets Limited, the ADGM regulated  Multilateral Trading Facility (MTF) and Custodian for virtual assets announces today that it has started onboarding global clients on its Trading and Custody Platform. 

The announcement marks a significant milestone towards the final goal of launching a trading and custody services on the Yoshi Markets platform. The platform will facilitate customers from across the world to open a trading account directly with the regulated Virtual Assets MTF (Cryptocurrency Exchange) based in the UAE, rather than trading on unregulated platforms or through brokers. Yoshi Markets will provide a much safer environment for customers, along with multiple benefits and reduce trading costs.  

“We are proud to announce this major accomplishment as we have deployed best in class technology and processes to provide a superior trading experience to our customers,” said Arshad Khan, Yoshi Markets Founder and CEO. “To make this experience even more rewarding for our customers, we will be soon announcing very exciting sign-up packages.”

Yoshi Markets will commence the onboarding of clients before proceeding to launch the trading in different virtual asset pairs, including Bitcoin and Ethereum. Additional virtual asset pairs will be added at a later stage.

The launch of Yoshi Markets in the MENA region sets forward the growing vision towards the future economy coming out of the UAE in recent months.  According to Chainalysis, the Middle East is one of the fastest-growing cryptocurrency markets in the world, making up 7% of the global trading volume.

“We are excited to be part of the cryptocurrency ecosystem in the United Arab Emirates, which has been thriving thanks to the continuous support by the local government and supervision by the Abu Dhabi Global Market,” Mustafa Kheriba, Executive Chairman at Yoshi Market stated. “We believe this milestone will bring us closer to our goal, which is to offer regulated virtual assets trading and custody services to an enthusiastic retail and institutional base in the United Arab Emirates and beyond.”

Global clients can now register by visiting the Yoshi Markets website (www.yoshimarkets.io) or by scanning the QR code through their mobile phones. The registration process takes only a few minutes to complete. Yoshi Markets will engage with customers and other market participants to collaborate and offer innovative and much-needed products within the virtual assets space. 

Former Trussle execs move out of stealth with B2B BNPL startup

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Tranch, a new London-based buy now pay later (BNPL) platform for SaaS sellers and professional services providers, is coming out of stealth, having raised £3.5 million in pre-seed equity and debt fundingThe funding round is led by Flash Ventures, the pre-seed investor behind companies including Spenmo, Everstox and Voly, and Global Founders Capital. Tranch is also backed by Y Combinator and will join YC’s Summer 2022 cohort as the startup gears up to launch in the US later this year. The round includes a debt facility from Columbia Lake Partners.

Tranch combines traditional credit reports with open banking to provide a way for suppliers to offer their end-customers flexible payment terms on contracts worth £10,000 to £250,000, while they themselves get paid upfront, faster.

Instead of settling invoices in full within a standard 30 to 90 day term, an end-customer that chooses to ‘Pay with Tranch’ can spread the cost of their contracts over six to 12 months.

Tranch was founded in London in 2021 by Philip Kelvin and Beau Allison, former CFO and head of engineering respectively of proptech startup Trussle, which was acquired by US mortgage bropker Better HoldCo in July last year.

Kelivin says: “My time as a scaleup CFO made me realise just how inflexible payment options can be for crucial SaaS tools and other business services, and how detrimental this lack of choice and payment ownership can be on thousands of companies. ‘Pay with Tranch’ solves that huge and costly problem, by putting flexibility and choice at the heart of the payments process in a way that works simply and favourably for both suppliers and buyers.”

He says proceeds of the investment will be used to grow the team, as well as onboard more suppliers across multiple verticals as the company continues its growth in the UK and then expands to the US later this year.

Securrency Opens Liquidity Lounge in Davos for World Economic Forum

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Securrency, a leading developer of institutional-grade blockchain-based financial and regulatory technology, opens the Liquidity Lounge on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos taking place May 22-26.

Located in the heart of Davos, the Liquidity Lounge serves as the hub for focused discussions covering the evolution of global capital marketsand the ramifications for current and future market participants. From the use of distributed ledger technology (DLT) to enhance current market infrastructures to new regulations to innovative products, services, and practices that remove friction in global financial markets to opening up new opportunities for the financially underserved and excluded, the Liquidity Lounge offers participants and attendees the opportunity to gain a first-hand view of where the future of finance is headed.

Securrency and its world-class partners invite all World Economic Forum attendees to join them in the Liquidity Lounge at ESCHER Raumdesign, Promenade 115, 7270 Davos Platz, Switzerland. A seminal event, bringing together global leaders in digital asset finance, compliance and regulation, the Liquidity Lounge is co-hosted by several prominent stakeholders including, Abu Dhabi Global Market, Halo Investing, State Street, and the Stellar Development Foundation, and offers a full program at the cutting edge of global digital finance.

FinaMaze Appoints Harriet Yorston as Business Development Manager in Line with Growth and Expansion Efforts

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ADGM-based innovative asset management firm FinaMaze has announced the appointment of Harriet Yorston as its Senior Business Development Manager. Her appointment comes into effect from May 16th 2022.

Harriet has been working in business development for startups and SMEs across the Middle East, Asia, Europe and Australia; accelerating businesses into the next stage of their growth and expanding into new markets. With a focus on fintech and the next generation of investment, Harriet joins the team to continue to build the FinaMaze journey by increasing the commercial footprint and establishing strategic partnerships. 

FinaMaze has over the past six months launched a number of products which have disrupted the UAE market and GCC region as a whole, and as it continues to expand, the department of business development remain key in achieving its vision – along with an existing strong code of ethics, transparency, and commitment to realistic investment scenarios and outcomes.

Speaking about her new role, Harriet said with excitement: “I am incredibly privileged to join FinaMaze. The opportunity to work with such an experienced team, working with technology that is set to empower investors through the impact of AI, I cannot wait to see what we can achieve together”. 

FinaMaze is a Category 3 Asset Management firm regulated by ADGM’s Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA). Teaming powerful AI with Data Scientists, Quantitative Finance and Software Engineers, FinaMaze connects machine learning with human behavioral science to provide personalized investment solutions. 

U.S. needs ‘to act quickly’ to regulate stablecoins, treasury secretary says

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U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen pushed for regulation during an annual testimony in front of the Senate Banking Committee, at a time where Terra’s algorithmic stablecoin UST struggles to retain its peg.

“New products and technology may present opportunities to promote innovation and increase efficiencies,” Yellen said. “However, digital assets may present risks to the financial system and increased and coordinated regulatory attention is necessary.”

In response to questions from Senator Pat Toomey and Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, Yellen said it would be “highly appropriate” for stablecoin regulation to occur by the end of 2022 because there are “many risks associated with cryptocurrencies.

“We really need a consistent federal framework,” Yellen commented. “I really look forward to working with [Toomey] and members of Congress to devise legislation that would accomplish that.”

Stablecoins by definition are supposed to be stable and hold their value through a 1:1 ratio that is fixed to an external peg like the U.S. dollar or it can be tied to other assets like UST, which is backed by dollars, but also cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and Avalanche.

While every stablecoin in circulation is backed by $1 equivalent in a reserve, there have been concerns recently about the validity of some stablecoins. For example, the algorithmic-based stablecoin UST fell as much as 35% from its 1:1 dollar peg on May 9, when it should technically never be away from the $1 amount.

“A stablecoin known as TerraUSD experienced a run and declined in value,” Yellen said. “I think that this simply illustrates that this is a rapidly growing product and there are rapidly growing risks.”

Key investors to back Elon Musk on the $44 billion Twitter bid

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Cryptocurrency exchange Binance committed $500 million, while venture capital firm Sequoia Capital committed $800 million to finance Elon Musk’s $44 billion takeover of social media platform Twitter (TWTR).

Around $7.1 billion has been committed by 19 different parties with investment firm Fidelity putting aside $316 million for the takeover

Tesla (TSLA) founder Elon Musk recently agreed to acquire the social media firm. Musk had said that he wants Twitter to be a proponent for free-speech. The billionaire is also a known supporter of cryptocurrencies, like memecoin dogecoin (DOGE) and bitcoin (BTC).

According to an updated Schedule 13D filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed on Wednesday, the world’s largest crypto exchange was among the equity investors for the deal. A Schedule 13D is a form that must be submitted to the SEC when an entity acquires more than 5% of a company’s equity.

Twitter Equity Investors Commitments
A.M. Management & Consulting$25,000,000
AH Capital Management, L.L.C. (a16z)$400,000,000
Aliya Capital Partners LLC$360,000,000
BAMCO, Inc. (Baron)$100,000,000
Binance$500,000,000
Brookfield$250,000,000
DFJ Growth IV Partners, LLC$100,000,000
Fidelity Management & Research Company LLC$316,139,386
Honeycomb Asset Management LP$5,000,000
Key Wealth Advisors LLC$30,000,000
Lawrence J. Ellison Revocable Trust$1,000,000,000
Litani Ventures$25,000,000
Qatar Holding LLC$375,000,000
Sequoia Capital Fund, L.P.$800,000,000
Strauss Capital LLC$150,000,000
Tresser Blvd 402 LLC (Cartenna)$8,500,000
VyCapital$700,000,000
Witkoff Capital$100,000,000

BIS and Bank Indonesia to run CBDC TechSprint

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Bank Indonesia and the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) Innovation Hub are inviting developers to take part in a central bank digital currency hackathon.The latest TechSprint event, which comes as Indonesia takes on the G20 Presidency, is looking for participants ready to accept technology challenges related to wholesale and retail CBDCs.

The online hackathon will focus on three issues: building effective and robust means to issue, distribute and transfer CBDCs; enabling financial inclusion; and improving interoperability.

Shortlisted teams will showcase their prototypes in July, with winners to be chosen in October by an independent panel.

The winners for each category will receive an award of $53,000. All short-listed projects receive a stipend of S$10,000.

Agustín Carstens, general manager, BIS, says: “There is a collective belief that CBDCs have potential for promoting the public interest in this age of digital money. Trust in money is the glue that holds the financial system together.

“It is for this reason that, as technology advances, central banks must ensure that the monetary system remains fundamentally a public good and preserve its stability.”

Signicat acquires UK RegTech Sphonic

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Norway’s Signicat has acquired UK-based anti-fraud and identity technology company Sphonic for an undisclosed sum.Established in 2021, the London-based RegTech has created a suite of products capable of automating compliance decision processes. The firm’s primary product, Workflow Manager, enables clients to tap into identity verification and security tools from around 100 vendors via a single API. More recent products include a real-time fraud & AML transaction monitoring system in addition to a case management platform that also offers tools for visualising identity, fraud and AML data.

The deal is part of asn ongoing acquisition spree by Signicat, as part of a strategy to become a single provider for the entire digital identity and anti-financial crime lifecycle across Europe. Since 2019 Signicat has acquired five companies, including in the last year mobile authentication company Encap, electronic signing provider Dokobit, and identity proofing innovator Electronic IDentification.

“With digital fraud continuing to rise globally, it has become critical to know that your customers are who they claim to be,” says Asger Hattel, CEO of Signicat. “With Sphonic’s leading team of professionals and their data orchestration and decisioning platform, we will be able to offer a more extensive range of onboarding services with highly flexible risk and compliance solutions – all of which can keep international customers safe from fraud.”

The price of free speech-$44 billion – Elon Musk buys Twitter

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Elon Musk inked a deal to buy Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) for $44 billion cash on Monday in a transaction that will shift control of the social media platform populated by millions of users and global leaders to the world’s richest person.

It is a seminal moment for the 16-year-old company, which emerged as one of the world’s most influential public squares and now faces a string of challenges.

Musk has criticized Twitter’s moderation, calling himself a free speech absolutist, said that Twitter’s algorithm for prioritizing tweets should be public, and has criticized giving too much power on the service to corporations that advertise.

Political activists expect that a Musk regime will mean less moderation and reinstatement of banned individuals including former President Donald Trump. Conservatives cheered the prospect of fewer controls while some human rights activists voiced fears of a rise in hate speech.

Musk himself has described user-friendly tweaks to the service, such as an edit button and defeating “spam bots” that send overwhelming amounts of unwanted tweets.

Kraken Receives ADGM License

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Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) said on Monday it has licenced the Kraken group to operate a regulated virtual asset exchange platform in the financial free zone.

Kraken is the first global virtual assets exchange group in the United Arab Emirates to receive a full financial licence from the ADGM, it said.

Kraken MENA (Middle East and North Africa) aims to provide access to virtual assets through regulated funding, trading, and custodial services in dirhams, UAE’s currency.

ADGM introduced a virtual asset regulatory framework in 2018 and has since established itself as a leading global hub and business platform for virtual asset activities for local, regional and international firms.

UAE’s main business hub, Dubai, has also been attracting crypto-currency firms as it issued its first law governing digital assets and formed the Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA) to oversee the sector in March.

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