FinTech Crypto Briefing: Will Facebook's U-turn help?
If, like me, you find it important to stay on top of all things crypto then you will have read about Facebook's decision to reverse its ban on cryptocurrency ads.
The social media giant says it will now allow ads and related content from "pre-approved advisers" but will still ban ads promoting binary options and initial coin offerings (ICOs).
The U-turn comes six months after Facebook initially decided to ban all crypto ads on its platform in January.
So what effect, if any, will this have on the cryptocurrency space?
According to the boss of one of the world's largest independent financial organisations, the move will be "another catalyst for the unstoppable cryptocurrency revolution".
Strong words indeed.
Nigel Green, founder and CEO of deVere Group, welcomed Facebook's "proactive step" and said: "Whilst we respect Facebook’s good intentions behind prohibiting the adverts, an outright ban on new concepts and innovation is seldom a positive or helpful stance.
He added: "The crypto market has been in bear territory over the last week or so. Facebook’s step can be expected to help take it back towards the bulls."
Mr Green is clearly a supporter of the cryptocurrency revolution, but the lifting of Facebook’s ban was also welcomed by other industry figures.
It's also sparked further speculation that the social media giant could be planning its own entry into the blockchain arena. Watch this space.
Silicon Valley investor embraces crypto
Speaking of things that are good for the health of the cryptocurrency sector, one of Silicon Valley’s leading venture capital firms has decided to launch a whopping $300 million crypto fund.
Andreessen Horowitz will use the fund to back new crypto-related ventures or even invest directly in digital currencies.
Chris Dixon, a partner at the firm who will be co-leading the fund, said they will be taking a long-term and "patient" approach in the space. That's probably for the best!
There's obviously no shortage of investor interest in the space. As a recent report by tech investment bank GP Bullhound revealed, a total of $4 billion was raised by blockchain companies through ICOs in 2017. To put that into perspective, that was five times more than traditional VC funding.
The author of the report said it was "only a matter of time before serious institutional money arrives into the space".
With Andreessen Horowitz's new $300 million crypto fund, it looks like that time has arrived.
FinTech expert joins our London event line-up
As you may already know, BusinessCloud is hosting two events exploring the future of the FinTech next month, the first of which is taking place on 12 July in London.
The second will closely follow in Manchester on the 19th of July.
We’ve now confirmed KPMG’s FinTech senior manager Rachel Bentley and Emilie Bellet, founder of Vestpod, as our two latest speakers.
We now have a great line-up of 13 speakers who will provide our guests with unrivalled insight into the world of FinTech and what the future looks like.
You can still register to attend the event for FREE here.
Building society turns to FinTech to stay ahead
I must admit that Nationwide Building Society isn’t an organisation that I would immediately associate with the fast-paced world of FinTech. But clearly, I was wrong.
The company has this week announced it will invest £50 million start-ups working on technology that could potentially benefit both its existing and future members.
Crucially, Nationwide said this fund was an important step to “stay ahead of expectations”.
Deputy CEO Tony Prestedge said although the society doesn’t always shout about its latest innovations, it actually has a strong track record of getting there first.
Did you know that it was the first financial services provider to introduce internet banking back in 1997 and that it was also the first to launch 24/7 customer service on social media? I certainly didn’t.
The society has already announced its first partnership, investing an undisclosed amount in a London proptech start-up that helps people in shared living accommodation manage and split their house bills.
An Internet owned by us
There's been a lot of speculation about what the future of the Internet looks like, along with terms like the 'Internet of value' being bandied about – but what does it all mean?
A British tech start-up has now launched the ‘internet of the future’ which will be majority-owned by the public and apparently powered by our unused devices.
The DADI network is based on the blockchain and will harness unused computing power in our devices to provide a “fairer, faster and safer” internet.
If you’re still sceptical, media giant Bauer has already signed up and is moving products and websites for its 100 brands over to the platform. Aspects of the BT, Virgin Limited Edition, Empire and WhatCar? businesses are also using DADI's technology.
The best part? The DADI will give people the chance to earn money from their unused devices by simply linking them to the network.
So while you’re pulling a 9 to 5, your smart TV and gaming console could be doing the same.