Top 10 Fintech News for the Week Ending February 5, 2022

Another busy week in fintech news with many digital asset stories in our top 10. We finally saw the Project Hamilton report this week, FTX raised a massive round, as did Ramp, Amount acquired Linear Financial Technologies and Block has completed its acquisition of Afterpay. Here are what I consider to be the top ten fintech news stories of the past week.

Project Hamilton can handle 1.7 million transactions per second from LendIt Fintech News – The long-awaited report is out, dubbed Project Hamilton, on how the Federal Reserve could implement a CBDC. The partnership between the Boston Fed and MIT shares some of the technical details of a possible U.S. government CBDC.

Cryptocurrency exchange FTX hits $32 billion valuation despite bear market fears from CNBC – The crypto winter doesn’t appear to be hurting valuations, as executives appear to be able to raise unlimited capital at ever-higher valuations. Bahamas-based crypto exchange FTX (not to be confused with sister company FTX US) closed a $400 million Series C at a valuation of $32 billion, its third such raise in the past nine month.

Founders Fund invests in corporate card startup ramp at $8 billion valuation from The Information – Expense management startup Ramp isn’t yet three years old, but it’s already worth $8 billion, double the valuation of its previous round which took place in August.

Fintech Amount buys Linear for $175 million from Banking Dive – It’s likely to be a busy year for fintech M&A and the latest deal is Amount buying smaller fintech companies Linear Financial Technologies (created a year ago when Fundation and ODX merged) for $175 million in cash and shares. This gives Amount a small business loan offering to complement their suite of consumer-focused banking-as-a-service offerings.

Jack Dorsey’s Block completes acquisition of Afterpay for $29 billion from Finextra – Block (formerly known as Square) has completed its $29 billion acquisition of leading BNPL Afterpay and immediately offered BNPL functionality to all Square merchants in Australia and the United States.

Upgrade launches purchase functionality, CEO Renaud Laplanche shares his thoughts on neobanks from Crowdfund Insider – Upgrade is the latest company to become a super app, adding purchases to the popular Upgrade Card with 20,000 registered merchants, offering cashback rewards of up to 10%.

PayPal admits 4.5 million accounts were illegitimate as Fintech fraud problem worsens from Forbes – PayPal announced its earnings this week and while it’s not a terrible report, they did report slower growth in 2022 and that sent the stock down 25%. And the fact that they also uncovered 4.5 million fraudulent accounts didn’t help either.

Blockchain Wormhole Bridge Confirms Exploiter Stole $320 Million in Crypto Assets from TechCrunch – Another week, another crypto hack and this one was big. Wormhole is a DeFi platform that acts as a bridge between multiple blockchains and they discovered this week that the bridge between Ethereum and Solana was attacked with around $320 million stolen.

India Heads Towards Crypto Legalization With 30% Tax, Announces Digital Rupee from CoinDesk – Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced two big new digital asset initiatives in her annual budget speech to Parliament: a 30% tax on all crypto transactions and the piloting of a new CBDC which will be launched next year.

TD allows customers to overdraft $50 free of charge from Banking Dive – Another top 10 bank is making changes to its overdraft policies. Later this year, TD Bank will allow customers to overdraw their accounts for up to $50 free of charge and will also introduce low balance alerts as well as a 24-hour grace period for consumers in danger of overdraft.

Every Thursday, the LendIt Fintech News team and a special guest discuss the week’s news live on LendIt TV, YouTube, LinkedIn and Twitter. We have now made the show available in podcast format – just click on the audio player below.

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