Top 10 Fintech Stories for the Week Ending April 23, 2022

More crypto stories dominated the news this week. We had Coinbase releasing their new NFT platform, Stripe teaming up with Twitter to allow crypto payments and Robinhood acquiring a UK crypto platform. In non-crypto news Goldman started beta testing their new checking account with employees and the co-founder of Plaid has started a new “fintech infrastructure bank”. Here are what I consider to be the top ten fintech news stories of the past week.

Coinbase launches NFT marketplace in hopes of appealing to crypto and mainstream users from TechCrunch – Six months ago Coinbase announced it was launching an NFT marketplace and this week they did their beta launch with a collection of Ethereum-based NFTs. The new marketplace is aimed squarely at creators and will have a social component where buyers can interact with creators.

Stripe Teams Up With Twitter in Renewed Crypto Payments Push from Bloomberg – Stripe continues its push into crypto announcing that they will allow a select group of Twitter creators to get paid in crypto via the Stripe Connect platform. Payments will be made in the USDC stablecoin via the Polygon network.

Goldman’s checking account for the masses nears as bank tests product with U.S. employees from CNBC – Goldman Sachs has been teasing their new Marcus checking account offering for some time now but this week they moved into a serious beta-test with all 20,000+ of their US employees now eligible to open an account.

Plaid co-founder’s next venture is a bank to power fintech apps from TechCrunch – William Hockey is a co-founder of Plaid although he left the company in 2019. But he has not been idle. His new venture is called Column, a “fintech infrastructure” bank, and is already 60 people strong. He has acquired a community bank and is offering a developer-friendly banking-as-a-service offering.

Robinhood revives plans to launch in the UK with deal to buy crypto app Ziglu from CNBC – Robinhood is back in the UK, after abandoning expansion plans there two years ago, with the acquisition of FCA-regulated crypto platform Ziglu. Terms of the deal were not disclosed but Ziglu has raised a total of £17.5 million and was last valued at £85 million.

Goldman Sachs sought to woo FTX at Caribbean meeting from The Financial Times – I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall in this meeting. Goldman CEO David Solomon met with the CEO and Founder of FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried (or SBF). Solomon was pitching for the FTX IPO and providing advice for discussions with U.S. regulators. Hopefully, SBF also provided some advice for Solomon on understanding the potential of crypto.

Nexo launches the first crypto-backed credit card in the world from LendIt Fintech News – Nexo has introduced an innovative new credit card where crypto is held as collateral and used to pay off the card when the payment is due. And if you have enough crypto there is 0% interest and no minimum monthly payments.

US Senator Falsely Claims Chime And Digital Banks ‘Make Users Vulnerable To Losing Their Money’ from Forbes – Ron Shevlin takes issue with the recent comments from Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) that neobank users were “vulnerable to losing their money” and are “without the consumer protections and safeguards that actual banks must adhere to”, both of which are easily proven to be false.

Cutting-Edge Crypto Coins Tout Stability. Critics Call Them Dangerous. from The Wall Street Journal – A lot of attention is being paid to algorithmic stablecoins these days (see also Matt Levine here) with the rise of Luna and TerraUSD. Critics say these types of stablecoins are susceptible to a “death spiral” which has actually happened in recent times.

Leaving money on the table: Neglect after digital onboarding from LendIt Fintech News – In fintech, a lot of attention is paid to customer acquisition but 30-50% of new customers go dormant or close their accounts. There is a real opportunity to improve customer retention through better engagement and more human customer service.

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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