Hi all, Julie here.
Hope everyone had a great first weekend of 2022. Jordan and I did the typical “eat, sleep, workout, play with dogs” schedule. It works. Shortly before the weekend started, I was able to connect with my friend Mark Goldberg of Index Ventures to record the latest episode of “What’s Happening In Fintech Today.” Mark had some great thoughts on what’s going to create a successful fintech in 2022, Web2 vs Web3, and how fintech can help make DeFi/Crypto easier (and less expensive) to understand. Take a listen :)
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N26 Admits Mistakes
N26 founders are stating the obvious that the German fintech probably should have focused on other things than global expansion. Mostly, it's sad that it didn’t focus more on crypto, but tbh, most of us probably should have focused more on crypto the last few years. Almost a decade since its founding, N26 is closing its US operations after exiting the UK in early 2020. I’ll be watching to see if it pulls out of other markets, like Brazil, as well.
Funding and Deals
Goldfinch, a crypto startup building a decentralized lending protocol that allows organizations to receive crypto loans without already owning massive amounts of crypto, announced a $25M funding round from a16z. Now, this is not my area of expertise, but basically, the majority of lending platforms in the space rely on an end user’s existing crypto collateralization to make the call of whether they’re a safe bet for a loan. Goldfinch is building up capital pools and allowing fintech organizations outside the US (this isn’t allowed in the US yet) to make their case to lenders operating on the protocol and get access to funds while showing non-crypto collateral. Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda and the Philippines are the countries with the highest volume of loans through the protocol, and the company says it has $39M in active loans.
Binance CEO Is Worth How Much (Excluding Crypto HODLings)?!
I mean, this is just wild. I don’t even know what else to say.
NFTs in DC
Who’s minting and buying Trump’s NFT in 2024? I wish I were kidding, but y’all know it’s bound to happen. We already haveDemocrat Shrina Kurani, an engineer who’s running for a House seat in California, and Republican Blake Masters, who’s vying for the Senate in Arizona, offering NFTs as incentives for donors. Kurani even said “NFTs are our campaign merchandise.” At least this means we won’t have to see a bunch of Make America Great Again hats? Unless we’re walking around in the metaverse, then we’re fcked.
There have been rumors about this before, but PayPal has now confirmed that it is exploring a stablecoin backed by USD. My old colleagues at Bloomberg reported that code embedded in PayPal's iOS app highlighted a so-called "PayPal Coin" that included its own logo (photo below). Apparently this is the result of a recent hackathon and the name / logo could still change.
Together With Fintech Meetup
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Virtual, March 22-24. Startup rate available for qualifying cos. Get Your Ticket Now!
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Congrats to our friends at Trust & Will on their investment and partnership with UBS!
Alex Gillette is currently leading our Bachelor fantasy pool. I’ll be sure to keep all of our readers updated on the scores each week.