Top 10 Fintech News Stories for the Week Ending Oct. 16, 2021

Cyrpto dominated the news this week with the SEC approving a first bitcoin ETF, Coinbase is getting into NFTs, Celsius Network raised a ridiculous amount of money while a Bank of England exec and Jamie Dimon warn us about the risks. Here are what I consider to be the top ten fintech news stories of the past week.

SEC Approves Bitcoin ETF, Opening Crypto to Wider Investor Base from CoinDesk – After dozens of attempts at getting some kind of bitcoin ETF approved there was finally success yesterday when the SEC said it would approve a bitcoin futures ETF from Proshares. Now, keep in mind this is not a true bitcoin ETF, it is for bitcoin futures not for holding bitcoin, but it is still a victory for crypto enthusiasts.

Coinbase is launching its own NFT platform to take on OpenSea from TechCrunch – Coinbase is getting into the NFT game with a platform set to launch before the end of the year that will make “minting, purchasing, showcasing, and discovering NFTs easier than ever.”

Walmart, With Eyes on Amazon, Tries to Build a Fintech Startup from The Wall Street Journal – While the new Walmart fintech initiative has been keeping very quiet the WSJ did manage to squeeze a couple of new nuggets here. Walmart is apparently considering buying a startup neobank to help it offer mobile banking but will not seek its own banking license.

Crypto lending firm Celsius Network raises $400M from Coin Telegraph – Despite both state and federal regulators questioning the business model of earning interest on crypto, Celsius Network raised $400 million at a $3 billion valuation.

Tala grabs $145M to offer more financial services in emerging markets from TechCrunch – Emerging markets fintech has closed another large round and what is most interesting here is who invested. Upstart led the $145 million round with The Stellar Development Foundation participating as Tala is looking to expand into crypto as well as geographically.

Crypto could cause 2008-level meltdown, Bank of England official warns from CNBC – While the headline is a little misleading the Bank of England’s deputy governor said this week that if crypto continues to grow the risks to the financial system will grow along with it.

Oportun pulls bank charter application, says it plans to refile from American Banker – It seems that every fintech company that files a bank charter application ends up withdrawing it at least once. This has happened to Oportun now as consumer groups are asking the OCC to delay any decision.

Bank Dora: The First Neo-Credit Union in the U.S. from The Financial Brand – This was an interesting one. Four east coast credit unions have come together to launch a digital bank. Even though Bank Dora does not have a banking license they are arguing they can have the word bank in their name because they are using it as a verb and not a noun. We’ll see if that holds muster with regulators.

Jamie Dimon says bitcoin is ‘worthless’ from CNBC – In his annual (or is it semi-annual?) rant against bitcoin the CEO of this country’s biggest bank continues to knock crypto. Meanwhile bitcoin’s value marched above $60,000 undeterred.

New custom fintech stock market ticker launches from LendIt Fintech News – If you have visited our home page in the last couple of days you will have noticed we have a shiny new stock market ticker. There are so many public fintech companies we thought it was time the industry had a way to see what is happening in the markets at a glance.

Every Thursday the LendIt Fintech News team and (usually) 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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