FinTech Crypto Briefing: Do we need another banking app?
Emma, a London-based "banking app for millennials", has just raised a susbtantial six-figure investment.
I know what you're thinking, does the world really need another banking app? Apparently so, at least according to Kima Ventures and Aglaè Ventures.
And they should know, Kima Ventures was one of the first backers of FinTech unicorn Transferwise and Aglaè Ventures is an investor in both Netflix and Airbnb.
Emma helps consumers avoid overdrafts, find and cancel subscriptions, track debt and save money. In fact, its website makes the bold claim that it saves the average user £600.
It also helps you manage your money, something which the company says has become "extremely difficult" in the past few years with the rise of multiple accounts, several contracts and different credit cards.
In the words of Edoardo Moreni, the Italian co-founder and CEO, Emma was launched "with the aim to democratise the figure of the private wealth manager".
"In an age where a new financial product comes to the market every week, consumers are destined to get lost in a financial chaos," he says. "We believe they deserve a financial advocate with the goal of driving them through the difficult financial challenges that life presents. This round is the first step to fully achieve our mission."
Truth or crypto scaremongering?
When three of some of the world's best-known economists launch what feels like a joint attack on bitcoin, the world's largest cryptocurrency, you tend to sit up and pay attention.
You might know Joseph Stiglitz as a Nobel Prize-winning economist or you might know him as the former chief economist of the World Bank.
He says governments and authorities will "use the hammer" once crypto "becomes significant" - although some would argue that the cryptocurrency space already is.
Meanwhile, fellow economists Kenneth Rogoff and Nouriel Roubini (also known as Doctor Doom) predict that bitcoin will be "regulated into oblivion" and could easily be worth a measley $100 in 10 years.
The comments have attracted mixed reactions, with some accusing the economists of scaremongering. It's worth remembering that bitcoin was worth almost $20,000 less than a year ago...
Initial Coin Failings
In a revelation that will shock very few people, new research has claimed that a large portion of ICOs (initial coin offerings) have a high failure rate.
Although more than 4,000 ICO projects have managed to raise a combined total of around $12 billion to date, more than half of them fail within four months of their token sales.
The research was conducted by a small team at Boston College in Massachusetts, who found that only 44.2 per cent of token projects are active into the fifth month or beyond, using their social footprint through Twitter as a barometer of health.
Let's face it though - the methodology of the study isn't exactly airtight, as they have primarily used their social footprint through Twitter as a barometer of health.
Still, it does beg the question: where does all that money go?
A billionaire's paradise?
A bitcoin billionaire is quietly building the world's first decentralised bank on the small, idyllic island of Malta - but not quietly enough.
Binance, one of the world’s biggest crypto exchanges backed by billionaire Changpeng Zhao, is hoping to lay the groundwork for a new bank whose owners will be digital-coin investors.
According to Bloomberg, the company says Malta will be the home of the future Founders Bank, which would need a licence from regulators in Malta.
The project will be based on blockchain systems and will seek to turn Founders Bank into the first decentralised and community-owned bank in the world.
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