Top 10 Fintech News Stories for the Week Ending April 2, 2022

Apple was in the news again this week as Bloomberg reported they are bringing more of their fintech work in-house. Also making news was Visa which is launching an NFT program, Cross River with a huge Series D, Blockchain.com with another big funding round, the war for crypto talent and more. Here are what I consider to be the top ten fintech news stories of the past week.

Apple Working to Bring More Financial Services In-House from Bloomberg – Apple is the world’s most valuable company with a massive cash war chest and it continues to make moves in financial services. The company is looking to replace fintech partners as it brings more capabilities in-house in a project dubbed internally as “Breakout”.

Visa launches NFT program as it considers the digital art a new form of e-commerce from TechCrunch – Visa has been early to NFTs and they continue to be a leader here. They announced the Visa Creator Program this week that will bring together a global cohort of artists to help them build their NFT businesses.

Cross River raises $620M Series D from LendIt Fintech News – The biggest funding announcement of the week belongs to fintech pioneer Cross River Bank. Their $620 million Series D, co-led by Andressen Horowitz and Eldridge Capital, values the company at more than $3 billion.

Blockchain.com Raises New Funding at $14 Billion Valuation from Bloomberg – While we don’t know the amount raised by Blockchain.com we do know that Lightspeed Venture Partners led the round and that Baillie Gifford & Co also participated. And the fact that the company is now worth $14 billion. There is no slow down in funding for crypto companies.

As Wall Street banks embrace crypto, high-flying start-ups look to lure top finance talent from CNBC – The war for talent in crypto is heating up with large banks competing with well-funded startups who offer faster-paced environments, equity and less red tape.

CFPB’s Chopra promises crackdown on repeat offenders from American Banker – In a speech this week, CFPB Director Rohit Chopra said the Bureau is going to get tougher on repeat offenders and he even named names: Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, American Express and Discover. These companies have been cited numerous times for repeated violations and he wants enforcement to go beyond just monetary fines.

SEC Tells Exchanges to Treat Customer Crypto Holdings as Liabilities from The Wall Street Journal – The SEC released guidelines this week for cryptocurrency exchanges. Publicly traded exchanges like Coinbase are going to have to record the digital assets they custody as assets on their balance sheet and their obligations to the customers as liabilities.

Wells Fargo partners with Bilt Rewards to launch credit card for renters from LendIt Fintech News – This week a new rewards credit card launched but this one was a little different. It was designed for renters, allowing anyone who pays rent via ACH or even via check to use the Bilt Rewards credit card. They are able to do this through a unique partnership with Mastercard and Wells Fargo.

Alviere, Coinbase Enter Coinbase Prime Partnership to Allow Brands to Offer Crypto Exchange from Crowdfund Insider – Alviere offers embedded finance solutions such as bank accounts, debit card and money transfer for non-banks and with this partnership with Coinbase they will have a crypto trading offering now.

Hackers Steal $540 Million in Crypto From ‘Axie Infinity’ Game from The Wall Street Journal – A popular online game called Axie Infinity has suffered the second-largest hack in crypto history. More than $500 million worth of cryptocurrency was stolen, not through a technical flaw but through social engineering.

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

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