News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

paperwork - a big pile of papers

1. UK – FinTech 


Altfi reports:


“Just shy of a month after founding member Luke Lang left Crowdcube, the crowdfunding platform has strengthened its senior leadership team. 

The go-to fintech funding platform has appointed David Halsey, Moneysupermarket’s former chief information officer, as its CTO. 

Halsey will help Crowdcube navigate its growth strategy and help the platform realise its international expansion plans as it looks to put down roots across Europe. 

“What really appeals is the true product innovation that Crowdcube is bringing to retail investment - the idea that you sign up to one platform for an investing experience throughout a company’s lifecycle,” the incoming CTO said. 

“I’m excited to bring my experience of building marketplaces to Crowdcube as it scales to become the European marketplace for investment in companies from startup to IPO.” 

Halsey brings more than two decades of technology experience with him, including a 12-year-stint at HMRC in a variety of roles.” 


2. International – FinTech 

Finextra reports: 

“The Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Banque de France are hailing the results of a cross-border digital currency simulation that could upend the current correspondent banking model, enabling banks to conduct overseas transactions across a single shared ledger. 

The experiment, supported by JPMorgan’s Onyx, simulated cross-border transactions involving multiple CBDCs (m-CBDC) on a common network between Singapore and France.

Cross border payments currently rely on correspondent bank arrangements that are subject to limited transparency on foreign exchange rates, restricted operating hours of payment infrastructures and currency settlement delays due to differences in time zones.

To address these challenges, the experiment used a common m-CBDC network, that applied automated market making and liquidity management capabilities aimed at facilitating cross border payments on a 24 x 7 real time basis.

The experiment simulated cross-border and cross-currency transactions between Singapore dollars and euros, conducted using a permissioned, privacy-enabled blockchain based on Quorum technology.

For the purposes of the trial, blockchain nodes were set up across private and public cloud infrastructures in both countries, while smart contracts automatically managed the EUR/SGD currency exchange rate in line with real-time market transactions and demands

The two central banks say the project demonstrated that the number of correspondent banking parties involved in the payment chain for cross-border transactions can be reduced. Consequently, the number of contractual arrangements, the KYC burden as well as the associated costs could be cut down.

Sopnendu Mohanty, chief fintech officer of MAS says: “Building a multi-currency shared ledger infrastructure allows participants across countries to transact with each other directly in different currencies. This m-CBDC experiment has broken new ground by decentralizing financial infrastructure, to improve liquidity management and market making services. It charts the path for scalable CBDC networks where central banks and commercial banks can work together to achieve the vision of cheaper, safer and more efficient infrastructure for cross border payments.”

While the experiment was limited to two central banks, the design of the network enables it to be scaled up to support the participation of multiple centrals banks and commercial banks located in different jurisdictions, he adds.” 


3. International – FinTech 


The Fintech Times reports: 

“Phishing attacks were the most popular as 41% of SMEs claimed to have experienced such a threat. This type of attack has become extremely popular due to remote work. 

The second most common type of attack was web-based — 40% of SMEs got hit by it. As small businesses do not have as many resources as bigger companies, they do not allocate their assets to secure web applications better, so hackers can find vulnerabilities easier. 

Next up, 39% of SMEs suffered from a general malware attack. Many small companies underrate the possibility of an attack happening to them due to their size. However, that is precisely what hackers search for, as they can get quick money with a ransomware threat from lesser secured SMEs. 

Malicious insiders were a threat to 19% of small and medium companies. Otherwise known as turncloak is someone who abuses legitimate credentials to gain financial or personal benefits. 

Denial of service attacks struck 12% of European SMEs. The point of such attacks is to disrupt a business’s website so it would not be accessible.” 

4. International – FinTech  

Crowdfunsdinsider reports: 

“Three European digital investment platforms KapilendoFinnest, and Invesdor will now consolidate under the Invesdor brand. 

Finland-based Invesdor was originally launched as a securities crowdfunding platform. In 2019, Invesdor and Finnest completed a merger. When the two companies merged, Finnest was operating as an online lender serving the DACH countries.”  


5. International – FinTech 

Swiss and Spanish Exchange group SIX has acquired index and ETF data specialist Ultumus from ETFS Capital, according to Altfi. 

“The deal completed on 12 July, however, financial details of the acquisition have not been disclosed. 

The two firms have been long-time partners on the index business side with Ultumus providing ETF calculation services and 95 per cent coverage of the global ETF market. 

Marion Leslie, head of financial information and member of executive board at SIX, said: “The combination of our capabilities will enable us to provide market-leading services to support our customers in the ETF market.” 

Bernie Thurston, CEO of Ultumus, added: “This further enables us to provide our ETF and index managed data service to trading desks, asset managers and enterprise data management groups, alongside providing our PCF calculation service to more ETF issuers to gain competitive edge.”