Top 10 Fintech News Stories for the Week Ending Jan. 15, 2022

This week was dominated by crypto news. Six out of our top ten news articles of the week have something to do with digital assets. But leading the way on the news front were a couple of huge funding rounds, showing that 2022 is picking up right where 2021 left off. Here are what I consider to be the top ten fintech news stories of the past week.

Checkout.com raises $1B round at $40B valuation from TechCrunch – Stripe is getting some competition in the payments space with Checkout.com closing a monster round at a valuation of $40 billion (roughly where Stripe was two years ago).

Fintech Brex confirms $12.3B valuation, snaps up Meta exec to serve as its head of product from TechCrunch – Brex is another fintech that continues to grow steadily in valuation and revenue. It is moving upmarket into the enterprise space as many of its fast-growing startup customers are becoming sizable companies.

TransUnion Brings Credit Data Checks to Crypto Lending from The Wall Street Journal – I don’t think this news got the attention it deserved this week. This could be groundbreaking. One of the knocks on DeFi is that there is no KYC/AML, therefore fraud could run rampant. What SpringLabs is doing with their ky0x Digital Passport is bringing personal credit and identity data from TransUnion to the blockchain and allowing users to opt-in to attach this data to their digital wallet. So much potential here.

PayPal poses big threat to banks in race to develop stablecoins from American Banker – We found out last week that PayPal is considering creating its own stablecoin. PayPal is in an excellent position to build a global acceptance network based on this new stablecoin with 400 million consumer users and 33 million merchant accounts in dozens of countries.

Wells Fargo joins Bank of America in overdraft-stemming moves from BankingDive – The sweet overdraft news continues. This week we learned that two of this country’s top four banks are taking serious action to make overdrafts less onerous on their customers. This trend seems unstoppable right now.

Stablecoins everywhere: Where is the Fed? from LendIt Fintech News – Fed Chairman Jay Powell testified before the Senate Banking Committee and what caught our attention was talk of stablecoins. The long-awaited Fed report will be out “within the next few weeks.” Also of note, Powell said that privately issued stablecoins would have no problem coexisting with a Fed CBDC.

US Banks Form Group to Offer USDF Stablecoin from CoinDesk – Speaking of stablecoins, there is a new coin in town that is being adopted by banks. The USDF Consortium includes several large banks as founding members with the USDF coin operating on the Provenance blockchain that was created by Figure.

Crypto Exchange FTX Sets Up $2 Billion Venture Fund from The Wall Street Journal – The money keeps flowing into crypto with one the largest exchanges, FTX, announcing that they have launched a $2 billion fund to invest across the crypto startup ecosystem.

As Fintech Eats Into Profits, Big Banks Fight Back in Washington from Bloomberg – Jamie Dimon and other big bank executives claim that fintechs have an unfair advantage while at the same time they are seeking to partner and acquire such companies.

A card for people with more crypto than credit history from American Banker – Finally, a credit card targeted at crypto investors that does not do a hard pull on your credit file. Instead, it takes into account your crypto holdings, savings and investments when underwriting for this premium card.

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.