Top 10 Fintech News Stories for the Week Ending March 13, 2021

If you did not know about NFTs (non-fungible tokens) before this week it was hard to escape the news this week. We have three stories below on that topic. And, of course, there is the obligatory unicorn funding rounds and SoFi is buying a bank. Here are what I consider to be the top 10 most important fintech news stories of the past week.

SoFi is Acquiring a California Community Bank from Lend Academy – SoFi announced this week, that despite already having preliminary approval for a new banking license, they are acquiring a small community bank in Sacramento.

JPG File Sells for $69 Million, as ‘NFT Mania’ Gathers Pace from The New York Times – News of NFTs is everywhere right now with Beeple leading the way as he sells his digital masterpiece for $69 million.

How the NFT Boom Explains Square’s Tidal Buy from Coindesk – More on NFTs as Lex Sokolin thinks that this explains why Square acquired music streaming service Tidal.

NFTs show why banks must focus upon digital asset management from The Finanser – Ok, this is the final word on NFTs for this week but I thought Chris Skinner’s take on where we are going and what it means for banks was really interesting.

BlockFi lands a $350M Series D at a $3B valuation for its fast-growing crypto-lending platform from TechCrunch – Crypto lending platform BlockFi closes a massive round at a $3b valuation, up from a $450m valuation just last August.

Walmart’s Fintech Ambition: A Super App, Not The ‘Bank Of Walmart’ from Forbes – There has been much speculation on Walmart’s fintech ambitions but I think Ron Shevlin has the best take here.

Why screen scraping still rules the roost on data connectivity from FinLedger – Despite the prevalence of APIs today screen scraping is still the primary way data aggregators access and share your data.

Fidelity leads a $376 million investment in Starling, valuing the UK digital bank at $1.5 billion from CNBC – UK digital bank Starling finally joins the unicorn club after a big investment from Fidelity.

Challenger Cheese aims to fill banking gap in U.S.’s Asian, immigrant communities from Banking Dive – It seems that there is a digital bank for every market today with Cheese being the latest focusing on Asian immigrants.

Too many small banks are ‘digital have-nots’: FDIC innovation chief from American Banker – Penny Crosman interviews Sultan Meghji, the new innovation chief at the FDIC, to get a handle on his priorities.

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