Japanese bitcoin exchange is robbed of $60 million worth of cryptocurrency

Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Zaif has been robbed of $60 million worth of digital coins. Zaif was hacked on September 14th during a two-hour time frame. Three days later, it uncovered server problems and began to investigate. By September 18th, it confirmed it was hacked and notified authorities. Of the $59.67 million stolen, almost $20 million belonged to parent company Tech Bureau, while $40 million belonged to clients of the exchange.

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Pay for Play: Why Exchange’s Token Listing Fees are Bad for the Industry

Centralized exchanges have the power to make or break a coin–and more often than not, the coins who “become big” are the ones that can pay to play. Coin listing fees could be anywhere from $50,000 to $1 million, the higher end of which is “higher than the cost to list on most stock exchanges.” The high listing fees represent an imbalance of power between cryptocurrency firms and cryptocurrency exchanges. Coins need exchange listings in order to survive. An ICO token that isn’t listed on any exchange is essentially dead in the water–investors who bought the tokens to hold on to for a longer period of time may be okay with waiting months for a listing to happen, but others may find themselves “holding the bag.” Exchanges that charge high listing fees without practicing any other form of vetting may also be contributing to the prevalence of so-called “shitcoins.”

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Fintech Firm To Teach Blockchain Courses Via Live Stream And On-Site

Financial technology firm Future Fintech (FTFT) announced its partnership with Nova Realm City to provide its Blockchain Education Courses to the NRC Institution. The said courses are prepared by FTFT’s subsidiary Chain Future, and which will be rolled out on NRC’s live streaming platform Yizhibo.com. FTFT’s Blockchain Education Courses will be taught in two media: live streaming and on-site. The on-site courses are expected to be launched by the end of October, and will have a maximum capacity of 30 students per class. As to the online classes, the partnership is confident of the success, as FTFT has already done the same since May. So far, its 21 courses totaled 1.5 Million viewers, with one course receiving over 310,000 viewership.

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Plug and Play Singapore Announces First Batch of Startups Selected For Its Fintech and Insurtech Program

After screening over 200 applicants, the final selection of 24 startups has been accepted into Fintech and Insurtech Singapore, which aims to facilitate pilots, POCs, and business development opportunities between the financial and insurance institutions and startups participating. Throughout the duration of the 12-week program, startups will be introduced to Plug and Play’s corporate partners and have the chance to work with their different business units to evaluate pilot projects and investment opportunities with these companies. The EXPO or Demo Day for these startups will be in mid-November, coinciding with the Singapore Fintech Festival. There is no cost for the startups to be in the program and they will remain part of the ecosystem even after graduation. The 24 selected startups cover a diverse cross-section of insurance and financial technologies.

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Sydney fintech Frollo scores $65,000 grant to take “Fitbit for finance” app to the next level, and reduce stress for Australians

Fintech startup Frollo has taken home a $65,000 grant from the MetLife Foundation, having been named best financial solution for low- to moderate-income Australians at MetLife’s Inclusion Plus competition for its gamified personal finance solution. Frollo is a personal finance app that uses gamified features to help users identify and change bad spending habits. The startup also licences its software to financial institutions and challenger banks. Frollo is designed to give users more insight into their finances, allowing them to set themselves goals and see the differences small changes in spending habits can make.

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Cryptocurrency Exchanges Binance, Kraken May Be Operating Unlawfully in New York: AG Report

New York State Attorney General Barbara Underwood has referred three major cryptocurrency exchanges to the state’s Department of Financial Services potential violation of New York’s virtual currency regulations. The exchanges referred are Binance, Gate.io and Kraken. This was revealed in the Virtual Markets Integrity Initiative Report released by the Office of the New York State Attorney General (OAG). The report details the concerns initially raised by the OAG about the operations of cryptocurrency exchange platforms, especially regarding security, internal controls, market surveillance protocols, and other relevant consumer and investor protections.

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Fintech Trends – How Belgium and Japan Resemble & Differ

Numerous articles compare different European countries or compare Europe and the US when it comes to financial regulation, the IPO market or the types of FinTech applications that are easily adopted (or not) by the public. Simont Braun decided to take a look in a different direction and together with the Japanese law firm Keiwa Sogo Law Offices, Simont Braun’s Digital Finance team examined the FinTech trends in both Belgium and Japan. Interesting resemblances, but also surprising differences came out from this analysis and showed that there are different means to the same end, especially when it comes to payments.

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Don’t cut up your credit cards yet — or sell MasterCard, Visa and AmEx

The demise of the credit card is greatly exaggerated. Yes, companies like Square and PayPal, which owns Venmo, are red hot — especially with millennials. But the stocks of American Express, Visa and MasterCard have all hit record highs in the past week. It’s easy to dismiss these credit card companies as financial endangered species, at risk of extinction as people use credit and debit cards, not to mention cash, less often. Yet all three are benefiting from their own digital efforts.

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Irish fintech player PFS hits €50m revenues and eyes potential IPO

Fast-growing fintech company Prepaid Financial Services (PFS) has just recorded its 10th consecutive year of returning record profits. The company, which has operations in Navan and London, has reported that revenues have hit more than €50m and EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) of €6.2m. The company’s solutions include e-wallets, physical and virtual prepaid cards and accounts, and current accounts in the UK and the eurozone. PFS is authorised and regulated by the FCA in the UK as an electronic money institution and has passported its e-money licence to enable e-money issuance in the EEA.

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A third of banks expect to hold cryptocurrencies on their balance sheets

The report named Digital Transformation in Financial Services from the law firm DLA Piper is focused upon how blockchain is changing the financial services markets around the world, with the aim of establishing the position of major financial institutions with regards to cryptocurrencies and the use of blockchain in their daily operations. The report picks up on some key highlights and surprising findings, such as:

  • 31% of Financial Services firms believe central banks will hold cryptocurrencies on their balance sheet in the next five years;
  • 18% expect central banks to establish their own cryptocurrency; and
  • 17% of asset managers have or are considering a strategy to invest in cryptocurrencies.

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Download the report