FinTech in Focus
Welcome to FinTech in Focus, a compilation of must-read stories about the role technology plays in the delivery of financial products and services. As part of the Center for Financial Markets FinTech program, FinTech in Focus offers a sampling of the week’s top domestic and international headlines and stories about this innovative, fast-growing sector.
As we continue to build-out the service and grow our readership, we will begin to release the weekly headlines over e-mail. Subscribe to FinTech in Focus to receive these updates in your inbox.
On the heels of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s first action related to crowdfunding, the state of Washington announced the conclusion of its enforcement action against a crowdfunded project — the first such effort by a state attorney general. Separately, the Department of Justice and Microsoft continued a legal battle to determine whether the government can access data that a U.S. company has stored in another country. Meanwhile, Japanese authorities charged the former head of the now-defunct bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox with embezzlement.
Blockchain Bill Gets Pricey
According to Aite Group, capital markets firms will spend roughly $400 million on developing the blockchain by 2019, roughly double what they spent in 2014. The forecast came as Pivit announced that part of its upcoming $5 million investment round will be issued using Digital Asset Holdings’ distributed-ledger technology, and as blockchain startup Chain.com received $30 million in funding from Capital One, Citi, Nasdaq, Visa and others.
Big News (and Investment) From Online Lenders
Orchard Platform and CommonBond announced that they raised $30 million and $35 million in investment capital, respectively. SoFi recently surpassed $4 billion in lending for mortgages, personal loans and student loan refinancing. Growth in this sector continues to unnerve banks and traditional lenders.
The U.S. Small Business Administration released an analysis of alternative financing options for small business lenders, while GroundFloor’s recent Regulation A+ filing was found to have taken “a significant amount of time” and cost nearly $500,000 in legal fees alone.
Google Launches Android Pay in the U.S.
During the same week that Apple unveiled new products, Google rolled out the Android Pay mobile payment service in the U.S. The service is supported by 20 merchant partners and multiple banks, and is accepted at over 1 million locations. Android Pay is designed to meet growing consumer demand for innovative ways to pay at retailers.
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