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Brexit and Fintech – Fintexit 2: This time it’s personnel

As the UK leaves the EU, Britain is left finding a new way in the world. Chlorinated chicken and twice-price medicine are all on the menu (yum-yum), but how is the fintech landscape shaping up post Br…

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As the dust settles on Ann Widdecombe’s European Parliament seat, the chamber free from one shrill shriek, Britain is left finding a new way in the world. Chlorinated chicken and twice-price medicine are all on the menu (yum-yum), but how is the fintech landscape shaping up post Brexit?

There are two elements to Fintexit, and they are the components that make any organisation. Funding and people. The success (or failure) of Brexit in the fintech space will come down to how well innovative UK fintechs can continue to garner investment and recruit talent.

 

Funding

On this score, the situation is still looking relatively rosy. 2019 saw the UK set a new record for investment into fintech startups, with $4.9bn pumped into the industry. That figure puts the UK at the top of the European leaderboard in spite of Brexit uncertainty.

You can almost feel the smugness emanating from Widdecombe as she takes up her new political seat on Nigel Farage’s lap at Brexit Party HQ.

Globally, 2019 saw the UK rise to second in the fintech investment scene, peering over the US’s shoulder. The UK now sit above India and China, who saw a decrease of 93% in funding since 2018. There has been no dramatic cooling of investment in UK fintech.

This figure also pleases Ann. But, she can’t for the life of her work out what ‘fintech’ means. She thinks she’s heard of a Baltic nation with the demonym ‘Fin’, and once heard Farage talk of his love of techno music. It probably has something to do with those two, she decides.

In fact, the UK blows its European counterparts out of the water when it comes to funding. Slotting in behind the UK was Germany with $1.3bn and Sweden sat behind them on $778m.

A neon bright picture of the UK fintech landscape is being painted.

 

People

However, when it comes to recruiting talent, it’s not so much plain sailing in post-Brexit seas than navigating an asteroid field. The UK’s fintech scene has relied on European talent to drive technical innovation, and major proportions of the UK’s largest companies are recruited from abroad.

Ann doesn’t like that fact, and mutters something about ‘bloody foreigners’. Farage tries to make a disapproving face but only manages a smirk.

These concerns have been propagated by a number of industry leading individuals. Nikolay Storonsky of Revolut commented that “with all of the political uncertainty kicking off right now, lengthy immigration processes and bureaucracy will only slow down the UK fintech industry’s growth.” The UK will lose out on the best talent to other fintech hubs in Europe like France and Germany, he went on to say. Acting on these concerns, Revolut have made considerable efforts to align the business with Europe in post-Brexit times, recently announcing plans to shift European payments to Ireland and Lithuania post-Brexit.

Likewise, founder and Executive Chairman of Azimo, Michael Kent has echoed these sentiments. “Access to talent is a huge and on-going problem – the fintech sector relies heavily on global talent to plug the serious skills gap facing this country.” UK fintech Azimo is also looking to build out its payments platform and expand its presence in Poland. Just days after to UK withdrew from the EU, the European Investment Bank invested $23m in the money transfer company. The message is if UK fintechs want to shore up their operations on the continent, Europe is only too happy to accommodate.

 

This time it’s personnel

The old narrative of finance remaining relatively unaffected by political upheaval holds some truth in Fintexit. Investment is on the up, and despite 3 years of real uncertainty surrounding Brexit, the UK is still a global hub of activity in the sector.

But, there is a caveat. The UK tech sector is propped up massively by recruiting the brightest and best from Europe. Affordability, good work life balance and interesting job prospects in other European cities are proving attractive. Combined with bureaucratic obstacles like visas, the continued recruitment of European talent could prove a real stumbling block in the post-Brexit fintech landscape.

“What have the Europeans ever done for us?” cries Ann Widdecombe.

They prop up the UK fintech scene with talented individuals, Ann.

Source: https://www.fintechconnect.com/digital-transformation/articles/brexit-and-fintech-fintexit-2-this-time-its-personnel

Blockchain

TRON’s First Cross-Chain Prediction Market Comes Through a Partnership with Prosper

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The popular blockchain project TRON will introduce the DLT-agnostic prediction market Prosper to its ecosystem. TRON users and TRX holders will be able to provide liquidity and enhance the success-rate of the prediction market solution.

TRON Teams Up With Prosper

Justin Sun’s TRON announced its latest partnership in a press release shared with CryptoPotato earlier today. It informed that the two blockchain projects have teamed up to address some of the issues related to decentralized prediction markets.

Such tools have been active for a while, but the statement highlighted the lack of sufficient liquidity as a major hurdle on their way to receive mass adoption. This comes mostly because each prediction market “has traditionally been segregated to a single chain,” and not enough users could provide the necessary liquidity to produce accurate predictions.

Prosper works similarly – the higher the liquidity is, meaning more users are involved, the more “predictions are made, leading to a more accurate and robust prediction outcome based on greater collective insight from the crowd.”

Furthermore, Prosper operates a cross-chain platform, which enables it to aggregate liquidity into its platform regardless of the user’s access point.

With the introduction of TRX, one of the largest digital assets by market cap, TRON and Prosper expect a surge in the liquidity to the underlying pool. Additionally, the integration will enable users to receive access to new applications that could impact their investment strategies and potential earnings.

The statement also touched upon a free insurance pool provided by Prosper. It allows the platform to repay any funds stolen from hacks from an emergency fund that is automatically set aside.

This partnership with TRON is an extension of Prosper’s efforts to collaborate with the biggest players of the DeFi world.” – said Iva Wisher, co-founder of Prosper.

TRON Aims at Ethereum

The announcement further explained that TRON is currently “working to create a competing DeFi ecosystem that rivals its counterparts while allowing for inexpensive transactions, creating a win-win situation for platform users.”

The PR outlined Ethereum’s major role in the space but touched upon its scaling issues, which have caused significant transaction delays and high gas costs.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/trons-first-cross-chain-prediction-market-comes-through-a-partnership-with-prosper/

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XRP, Polkadot, Cosmos Price Analysis: 03 March

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At the time of writing, bullish movements were underway across the crypto-market, with the same precipitated by Bitcoin’s foray above the $50,000-mark. Thanks to BTC’s movement and owing to the correlation shared by the market’s alts with the world’s largest cryptocurrency, the likes of Polkadot, XRP, and Cosmos were all rallying. At press time, however, their daily charts were yet to register more than a minor uptick in price trend.

XRP

Source: XRP/USD on TradingView

Once one of the mainstays of the market top-five, XRP, at the time of writing, was ranked 7th on CoinMarketCap’s charts. Thanks to its own topsy-turvy price performance over the last few months and the performances of altcoins such as Polkadot and Cardano, the crypto is no longer among the market’s top-five.

Like the rest of the market, XRP too bore the brunt of corrections after Bitcoin dropped below $50,000. In fact, the altcoin fell by over 25% in a 5-day period.

Over the last three days, however, the cryptocurrency seemed to be gaining some bullish momentum. In fact, on the hourly charts, XRP’s hike was observed to be even more significant. However, at the time of writing, it was still difficult to predict whether the crypto would be able to sustain its movement north.

On the contrary, XRP’s indicators continued to flash bearish signals as while the Parabolic SAR’s dotted markers were well above the price candles, the Awesome Oscillator was still noting negative market momentum.

With the legal status of XRP still up for debate in the United States, it is difficult to ascertain what the future has in store for the altcoin.

Polkadot [DOT]

Source: DOT/USD on TradingView

One of the cryptos to have replaced XRP on the rankings, the last few weeks and months have been great for Polkadot, with the altcoin registering its ATH just a few weeks back. However, like most alts, it too dropped dramatically on the charts after BTC’s depreciation, with the crypto falling by 17%.

Curiously, since then, DOT has been on an impressive uptrend, with the alt up by over 22% in the last 7 days. With the rest of the market pumping at press time, it seemed likely that these gains would be pushed even higher.

While the width of the Bollinger Bands suggested some degree of near-term price volatility, the Relative Strength Index was nearing the overbought zone. Here, it’s worth noting that XRP’s price has corrected itself the last two times the RSI has climbed into the said zone.

The project made headlines recently after a Polkadot-based platform raised $1.6M in funding from venture capitalists.

Cosmos [ATOM]

Source: ATOM/USD on TradingView

ATOM’s price movements shared more similarities with the likes of XRP, than Polkadot, with the altcoin also gaining on the charts only recently. In the last 7 days alone, ATOM has climbed by 12%. However, the said hike did come on the back of a 16% depreciation. While the altcoin’s market was trending upwards at the time of writing, it is worth noting that ATOM’s indicators on the daily timeframe were yet to underline any bullishness.

While the MACD line was under the Signal line, despite the bearish momentum falling on the histogram, the Chaikin Money Flow was heading south. If these indicators reverse course in the near-term, a trend reversal can be expected soon.


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Source: https://ambcrypto.com/xrp-polkadot-cosmos-price-analysis-03-march

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Bitfinex launches Bitfinex Pay for merchants to accept payments in ETH, BTC

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Crypto exchange Bitfinex launched a payment widget dubbed Bitfinex Pay that will aim to provide online merchants with a means of receiving “seamless” digital token payments.

Merchants can integrate the payment technology onto a website facilitating e-payments. Users will have the option to pay with various cryptocurrencies which include Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin (BTC), Lightning Network BTC (LN-BTC) and Tether (USDt) via Ethereum or Tron. 

Payments made via Bitfinex Pay will be directly deposited into a merchant’s exchange wallet on Bitfinex. The value of payments is capped at $1,000. 

Furthermore, customers will not have to pay any processing fees for using Bitfinex Pay. However, transaction fees incurred on the relevant blockchain will be borne by online merchants and their customers.

In a release shared with AMBCrypto CTO at Bitfinex Paolo Ardoino said: 

Bitfinex Pay enables merchants to be easily equipped to support crypto payments as increasing numbers of consumers become more comfortable with paying for goods and services using digital tokens.

“Eligible” merchants who choose to integrate the widget on their websites will first need to register and verify their Bitfinex account to at least the intermediate level and apply for merchant verification. Merchants can create a sub-account on verification. 


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Source: https://ambcrypto.com/bitfinex-launches-bitfinex-pay-for-merchants-to-accept-payments-in-eth-btc

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