Top 10 Fintech News Stories for the Week Ending Feb. 5, 2022

Another busy week in fintech news with a lot of digital asset stories making 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 finalized 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 a second from LendIt Fintech News – The long-awaited report is out, dubbed Project Hamilton, on how the Federal Reserve might implement a CBDC. The partnership between the Boston Fed and MIT shares some of the technical details for a potential US 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 the leaders seem to be able to raise unlimited capital at ever-higher valuations. The Bahamas-based crypto exchange FTX (not to be confused with sister company FTX US) closed a $400 million Series C at a $32 billion valuation, its third such raise in the last nine months.

Founders Fund Invests in Corporate Card Startup Ramp at $8 Billion Valuation from The Information – Spend management startup Ramp is not yet three years old but they are already worth $8 billion, double the valuation from their previous round which happened all the way back in August.

Fintech Amount buys Linear for $175M from Banking Dive – It is likely to be a busy year in fintech M&A and the latest deal is Amount buying small business lending fintech, Linear Financial Technologies (created a year ago when Fundation and ODX merged) for $175 million in cash and stock. This gives Amount a small business lending offering to complete their suite of banking as a service offerings focused around consumers.

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

Upgrade Launches Shopping Feature, CEO Renaud Laplanche Shares Thoughts on Neobanks from Crowdfund Insider – Upgrade is the latest company that wants to become a Super App, adding shopping to the popular Upgrade Card with 20,000 merchants signed up, offering cashback rewards up to 10%.

PayPal Admits 4.5 Million Accounts Were Illegitimate As Fintech’s Fraud Problem Grows from Forbes – PayPal reported earnings this week and while it wasn’t a terrible report they did signal slower growth in 2022 and that sent the stock tumbling 25%. And the fact that they also uncovered 4.5 million fraudulent accounts didn’t help either.

Blockchain bridge Wormhole confirms that exploiter stole $320 million worth of crypto assets from TechCrunch – Another week, another crypto hack and this was a big one. 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 Edges Toward Crypto Legalization With 30% Tax, Announces Digital Rupee from CoinDesk – Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced two big new digital assets initiatives in her annual budget speech to parliament: a 30% tax on all crypto transactions and the piloting of a new CBDC to be launched in the next year.

TD to let customers overdraw by $50 without fee from Banking Dive – Another top 10 bank is making changes to their overdraft policies. Later this year TD Bank will allow customers to overdraw their accounts up to $50 with no fee and will also be introducing low-balance alerts as well as a 24-hour grace period for consumers in danger of overdrawing their accounts.

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 – just click on the audio player below.

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