Former Macau gangster ‘Broken Tooth’ signs poker deal with secretive Chinese firm after raising US$750 million in ICO

Former Macau triad gangster “Broken Tooth” Wan Kuok-koi has partnered with a mysterious Beijing firm to back chess and poker tournaments in mainland China, as his company said it raised US$750 million in less than five minutes in an ICO for his “HB” cryptocurrency. In total, Wan’s company, World Hung Mun Investment, said it had sold 450 million HB tokens at three events, in Cambodia, Thailand and the Philippines, with a final stop scheduled in Malaysia. The company’s investment document said it planned to issue a total of one billion tokens, with half of those to be offered to the public.

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3 Fintech Data Analytics Startups to Watch

Bank Innovation has named three startups mining data for banks that it is watching this month:

  1. Hexanika — a data management and reporting solution for financial institutions.
  2. MindBridge Analytics — a platform that uses AI and ML to detect “anomalous patterns of activities, unintentional errors and intentional financial misstatements” in financial datasets.
  3. Harvesting — a SaaS provider that allows stakeholders in an agriculture value chain to view, analyze and manage their agri-climatic business risk via data collection, data analysis, and data reporting.

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Study Finds Cryptocurrency Rebalance Portfolios Outperform ‘Hodling’

Shrimpy cryptocurrency portfolio management is a platform that helps investors curate a portfolio with automated investment strategies. With the company’s portfolio experience, the Shrimpy team published a study that gives an informative technical analysis comparing two types of cryptocurrency investment methods: rebalance against holding (hodl). Shrimpy used a variety of data to help determine which investment strategy was more profitable such as a complete year of market data, the creation of a rebalance structure, the number of assets in a portfolio, and asset selection. Further Shrimpy tested multiple portfolios with 2-10 assets each. Within the study, Shrimpy had found that rebalancing outshined hodling in a few instances.

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Cryptocurrency Exchanges Are Getting Hacked Because It’s Easy

Since 2011, there have been 56 cyberattacks directed at cryptocurrency exchanges, ICOs and other digital-currency platforms around the world, according to an analysis by Autonomous Research, a London-based financial-services research firm, bringing the total of hacking-related losses to $1.63 billion. Some of the biggest hacks occurred at Japanese exchanges Mt. Gox in 2014 and Coincheck this past January. The most recent hack took place on July 9, when hackers swiped $23.5 million worth of cryptocurrencies from an Israeli platform called Bancor. The increasing frequency of hacks points to the vulnerabilities of cryptocurrencies and the platforms people use to trade them, adding to broader investor worries about fraud and lax regulation of the industry. Unlike stock exchanges, which facilitate trading but don’t actually hold securities on behalf of investors, many cryptocurrency exchanges charge fees for trading and store currencies for their customers. Analysts say that makes cryptocurrency exchanges like sitting ducks. Thieves that manage to break in can do something akin to robbing a bank—getting hold of valuable cryptocurrencies that they can cash out of.

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AmEx Ventures-backed financial marketplace IndiaLends secures $10 Mn Series B round

Fintech startup IndiaLends has raised $10 million in its Series B round of funding led by London-based ACPI Investment Managers and India-focused Ganesh Ventures. The funding round also saw participation from existing investors such as American Express Ventures, DSG Consumer Partners, and AdvantEdge Partners. IndiaLends will use the fresh funds to launch new products such as an app-based line of credit and point-of-sale loans to meet the needs of our customers. Besides, the fund will be deployed towards ramping up its technology. IndiaLends is a credit-scoring and analytics platform that caters to both, consumers and financial institutions.

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Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference Switzerland

On October 9, 2018 the company “Smile-Expo” will arrange the second Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference Switzerland in Geneve. The conference gathers the brightest experts of the industry, well-known specialists, and gurus of the crypto market, developers, entrepreneurs, representatives of payment systems, and lawyers who shared their way of thinking concerning blockchain technology development across the globe.

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Fintech in Switzerland: 2018 Mid-Year Review

The Swiss fintech industry has been growing steadily in the past years, supported by superior general conditions for fintech companies including the political stability and the progressive regulatory environment. As of early July 2018, Switzerland counted 264 fintech startups, 14 more than in June. But one segment in particular that’s been thriving in Switzerland is blockchain and cryptocurrency which the country set out to become a leader in. Among the key developments in the Swiss fintech industry, here are the highlights of the first half of 2018:

  • A “crypto nation”
  • SIX to launch digital asset trading platform
  • Crypto Fund granted license
  • Crypto Valley trial blockchain voting
  • Fintech alliances
  • Credit Suisse commits CHF 30 million to Swiss fintech
  • New innovation lab
  • US investors bails out troubled Swiss blockchain startup Monetas

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Crypto Unicorn Hunters: The VC Firms Behind Billion-Dollar Crypto Startups

The ranks of “unicorn” companies have been infiltrated by a growing roster of crypto organizations that are dramatically rising in value. While the lineup of crypto unicorns are widely-known, the VC firms backing them are quietly positioning themselves to gain the most from the cryptocurrency revolution. There are currently over 27 fintech unicorns worldwide. Recent data published by finance intelligence platform CB Insights sheds light on the VC firms behind the success of crypto unicorns, and where they’re investing. The three most highly valued crypto startups — Coinbase, Robinhood, and Revolut —are present in virtually all of the most dynamic fintech-focused VC firms, with a significant portion of investors entering crypto startups in seed or Series A rounds.

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Japanese fintech startup Paidy raises $55m Series C from ITOCHU, Goldman Sachs

Tokyo-based fintech startup Paidy has raised a $55 million Series C round led by ITOCHU Corporation with participation from Goldman Sachs. The startup’s unique point is it allows users to buy online without creating an account or using credit cards. The transactions can be made through Paidy by entering the mobile phone and email for verification and settling the bills on a monthly basis. The company claims to have 1.4 million accounts in use, and aims to reach 11 million by 2020.

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The Future Is Not Bright For Most Angel-Stage Fintech Startups

The landscape of payments, lending, artificial intelligence might seem bustling thanks to all the industry hoopla around it, but the success rate for a startup to make it in these fields — or for that matter any of 15-plus fintech segments — is slim. According to a new Medici report titled “Democratization of Startup Financing,”, only one out of 10 fintech startups survive. The main reason for this boils down to — surprise — money. According the report, seed/angel funding per startup among fintechs has drastically fallen over the past seven years. In fact, between 2010 and 2017, that amount dropped 57%. The average funding for seed-stage fintechs in 2017 was $3 million, in 2010 it was $6.84 million. In 2017, the total funding for seed-stage companies was $851 million.

On the brighter side, funding for more established fintechs is on the rise across the world — the average funding for late-stage VC rounds in 2017 increased to $1.56 billion from $26.64 million in 2010. In 2017, the total funding of early-stage startups was at $7.1 billion and late-stage was at $6.9 billion. In 2010, those numbers were at $316.33 million and at $156 million respectively.

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