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   Technology StocksFintech

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From: Julius Wong10/21/2020 9:16:05 AM
2 Recommendations   of 178
Bitcoin continues surge as PayPal launches crypto service in run at Square

In competition with Square's service that allows users to buy and hold Bitcoin ( BTC-USD), PayPal Holdings (NASDAQ: PYPL) introduces a new service that enables customers to buy, hold, and sell cryptocurrency directly from their PayPal account.

In addition, PayPal signals plans to increase crypto's utility by making it available as a funding source for purchases at its 26M merchants.

PayPal jumps 3.7% in premarket trading. As for Bitcoin, it's continuing its big rally, up another 4.6% today $12.4K. That's the highest level in two months and closing in the strongest since early 2018. GBTC +4.7% premarket.

PayPal has been granted the first conditional Bitlicense ever issued by the New York State Department of Financial Services.

The company is introducing the ability to buy, hold and sell select cryptocurrencies, initially featuring Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin, directly within the PayPal digital wallet. The service will be available to PayPal accountholders in the U.S. in the coming weeks. It plans to expand the features to Venmo and select international markets in H1 2021.

There are no service fees when buying or selling cryptocurrency through Dec. 31, 2020, and there are no fees for holding cryptocurrency in a PayPal account.

Beginning in early 2021, PayPal customers will be able to use their cryptocurrency holdings as a funding source to pay at PayPal's 26M merchants worldwide.

Square (NYSE: SQ) slips 0.7% in premarket trading on the same day when JPMorgan and Visa also introduce services in competition with the fintech.

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From: Glenn Petersen10/22/2020 3:47:58 PM
   of 178
Central Bank of Bahamas Launches Landmark ‘Sand Dollar’ Digital Currency

Oct 21, 2020 at 08:51 UTC
Updated Oct 21, 2020 at 13:50 UTC

Sand dollar (Laura Summers/Unsplash)

The Central Bank of the Bahamas has officially launched its national digital currency.

The first of its kind in the world to have been fully deployed, the sand dollar is a digital version of the Bahamian dollar.

Issued by the country’s monetary authority as a central bank digital currency (CBDC), the announcement of the launch came via a tweet on Wednesday.

The project is designed to bring more “inclusive access to regulated payments and other financial services,” per the central bank’s FAQ.

CBDCs have been a hot topic this year; China, for instance, appears to be close to launching its digital yuan, which in recent days has seen its biggest public trial. Others, like the U.S., Russia and the European Union are looking into their respective CBDC launches.

As reported by CoinDesk, the first phase of the Bahamas rollout sees private-sector players such as banks and credit unions readying compliance checks for personal and enterprise wallets to support the sand dollar.

The digital wallets will be secured with multi-factor authentication security and will be mobile-based, servicing the 90% of the population with smartphones.

Underserved communities of the Caribbean nation are the primary target of the initiative, which the bank said would reduce financial service delivery costs and boost transactional efficiency. The country is an archipelago with hundreds of islands, placing limits on traditional infrastructure.

The Sand Dollar is backed 1:1 to the Bahamian dollar (BSD), which, in turn, is pegged to the U.S. dollar.

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To: Glenn Petersen who wrote (141)10/24/2020 10:00:56 PM
From: Following-Mr.Pink
   of 178
state-backed digital currencies just seems like such a natural event. but I'm sure only China is able to pull this off considering how much treasuries they have and their tight capital controls for their currency

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To: Following-Mr.Pink who wrote (145)10/24/2020 11:18:59 PM
From: Glenn Petersen
   of 178
Yes digital currencies are inevitable and China certainly has a good head start on the rest of the world. The U.S. is still in the starting gates.

Asia is the cutting edge for fintech.

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To: Glenn Petersen who wrote (146)10/27/2020 7:36:11 PM
From: Following-Mr.Pink
   of 178
Helps that they're like a closed ecosystem... it's like we're handicapped by the credit card.

Because China's in a p2p system, they can do micropayments and merchants can see directly who the customer is. Additionally, Asia also seems to be the fertile ground for social and consumer applications as well; the monetization of groupchats and video platforms seems to be where we're heading here in the US with all the FaceBook properties (Instagram / Messenger / etc.) and Snapchat.

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From: Julius Wong11/2/2020 9:39:43 AM
   of 178
Lufax Proposes Terms For $2.2 Billion U.S. IPO


* Lufax has filed to raise $2.2 billion in a U.S. IPO.

* The firm has developed an online portal that provides credit facilitation and wealth management services in China.

* LU has performed admirably during the COVID-19 pandemic and the IPO is worth a close look.

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To: Julius Wong who wrote (148)11/2/2020 10:57:42 AM
From: Glenn Petersen
   of 178
Chinese fintech giant Lufax plans international push as $2.36 billion U.S. IPO gets off to a rocky start

Arjun Kharpal


-- Chinese fintech giant Lufax is laying the groundwork for international expansion over the next five years, following a cash injection from its U.S. IPO, the company’s chief executive told CNBC.

-- Lufax started trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday raising around $2.36 billion.

-- Lufax CEO Greg Gibb said countries in Southeast Asia could be “a great long-term opportunity.”

SHANGHAI — Chinese fintech giant Lufax is laying the groundwork for international expansion over the next five years, following a cash injection from its U.S. IPO, the company’s chief executive told CNBC.

Lufax started trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday raising around $2.36 billion. The stock fell as much as 14.3% on debut but pared some of those losses to close at $12.85 per share, around 4.8% lower than the $13.50 offering price. U.S. stock markets sold off last week.

The company, which partners with financial institutions to offer small business loans and wealth management products via its platform, is starting to weigh a bigger overseas push after a small initial foray.

“The way we look at the international side, particularly South East Asia, is a great long-term opportunity. In many of the markets in Southeast Asia, you add it up, it’s still smaller than a province in China, so our immediate priority for the next three of four years in terms of growth is clearly the domestic market,” Greg Gibb, CEO of Lufax, told CNBC in an interview that aired Monday.

“But if you think about the changes going around Hong Kong, Greater Bay, opening up those links there, we think it’s the right time to start to put some preparation in place for what, five years out, could be quite interesting.”

The Greater Bay Area is a plan by China to connect Hong Kong and Macau and major cities in South China.

In 2017, Lufax launched a wealth management platform in Singapore. It has also launched services in Indonesia and Hong Kong. But income from international operations are “not yet material” to the business, according to the IPO prospectus.
Gibb said that the push overseas will involve partnering with local brands but with Lufax technology behind the product. The company touts its ability to use data and artificial intelligence to help effectively match customers to the right financial product.

U.S. listing

Lufax went public in New York despite the tensions between the U.S. and China. Lawmakers in Washington are pushing for greater scrutiny of Chinese companies through proposed legislation that threatens to delist some firms in the U.S.

Other Chinese firms have increasingly looked to markets in Shanghai and Hong Kong for IPOs or secondary offerings. For example, Alibaba, and NetEase, three companies listed in the U.S., carried out secondary listings in Hong Kong.

Ant Group meanwhile will carry out a dual listing in Hong Kong and Shanghai on Thursday in what is expected to be the world’s biggest IPO.

But Lufax is not alone in listing in the U.S. Chinese carmakers Xpeng Motors and Li Auto both went public on Wall Street earlier this year.

“Our view is that we are a Chinese company that has a lot of transparency that actually welcomes being on a global stage. We think that… New York is a great place for us to start, it gives us the access to the right investors, to the right analyst coverage,” Gibb told CNBC in response to a question about listing in New York.

“As you know, over the longer term, you have many options as to what you can do. But for now we think this is the good first step.”

When asked if the company had discussed a secondary listing in Shanghai or Hong Kong, Gibb said it’s “not something that we immediately plan” for but “if we had to pull the trigger it’s reasonably straightforward.”

Regulatory risk

Lufax was once a peer-to-peer lending giant in China. But tougher regulations on the sector from Chinese authorities forced the company to scale back on that business. In 2019, Lufax exited peer-to-peer lending.

Regulatory risks are certainly high for fintech companies in China where the rules sometimes struggle to catch up with the technology.

Gibb said that Lufax is well-equipped to deal with any changes from regulators down the road.

“One of the things which is true about China in general is it changes very quickly. The market changes very quickly, the regulations are changing to keep up with the market, one of our marks of success, the reason that we’ve actually brought the company public now, is because we think the regulatory framework has improved a lot over the last couple of years,” Gibb told CNBC.

“If you went back five years ago one of the issues with fintech in China was there wasn’t much regulation and that led to its own set of problems for others. But we think actually the goalposts are increasingly clear. The regulatory risk are declining. There will always be change. But one of our key strengths that we have developed over this period is the ability to pivot when you need to and always have a plan B.”

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From: Glenn Petersen11/21/2020 5:10:56 PM
   of 178
Lagarde Says Her ‘Hunch’ Is That ECB Will Adopt Digital Currency

Alexander Weber

(Bloomberg) -- European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde signaled that her institution could create a digital currency within years in what would be a dramatic change to the euro zone’s financial sector.

“My hunch is that it will come,” Lagarde said Thursday during a virtual panel discussion hosted by the ECB. “If it’s cheaper, faster, more secure for the users then we should explore it. If it’s going to contribute to a better monetary sovereignty, a better autonomy for the euro area, I think we should explore it.”
The president said it might be two to four years before the project could be launched as it addresses concerns over money laundering, privacy, and the technology involved.

That’s still fast compared to its peers. On the same panel, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey reiterated their caution. Powell said the Fed will “carefully and thoughtfully” review the issue, and Bailey said there’s a “lot of hard work to think through the implications.”

The ECB took a major step last month by launching a public consultation that runs until the middle of January. Policy makers intend to decide around mid-2021 whether to initiate a full-fledged project and prepare for a possible launch.

China is also advance with plans for a central-bank digital currency.

“We’re not racing to be first,” Lagarde said. “We are moving ahead diligently, not incautiously. We will be prudent.”

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From: Sr K12/12/2020 8:31:36 PM
1 Recommendation   of 178
Affirm Holdings

Affirm Holdings Inc. is postponing its initial public offering, according to people familiar with the matter, the second company in as many days to pull back from the red-hot IPO market.

The point-of-sale lender, which had been set to begin marketing its shares to investors this coming week ahead of a December listing, now won’t go public until January at the earliest, the people said. While the reasons aren’t entirely clear, people familiar with the matter cited the extreme first-day pops this past week in the shares of DoorDash Inc. and Airbnb Inc. and delays at the Securities and Exchange Commission amid a flood of listing requests.

The move comes just a day after The Wall Street Journal reported that videogame company Roblox Corp., which was on a similar IPO timetable, put its listing on pause until early next year.

Roblox decided to wait because of challenges arising from the first-day jumps, according to people familiar with the offering. When shares jump like Airbnb’s and DoorDash’s did, the companies miss out on billions of dollars they might have raised and instead hand it to select investors lucky enough to get IPO allocations.

Roblox’s board met Friday and determined that, given those considerations, the company and its underwriters should rethink how to price the offering, one of the people said.

“Based on everything we have learned to date, we feel there is an opportunity to improve our specific process for employees, shareholders and future investors both big and small,” Roblox Chief Executive David Baszucki said in a memo to employees that was viewed by the Journal.

Both Roblox and Affirm will consider selling a larger portion of their shares and changing the mix of stock to be sold by the company, its employees and shareholders as they seek to mitigate any initial pop, some of the people said.

This year has been the busiest ever for IPOs as measured by dollars raised in the U.S., a frenzy that has been fed by a wave of traditional listings as well as deals by shell companies known as special purpose acquisition companies. Affirm and Roblox were set to join an unusual year-end rush of companies seeking to go public after the coronavirus pandemic upended the traditional new-issue calendar. Both companies were expected to draw strong investor demand.

Affirm, which offers online shoppers the ability to pay for goods in installments through short-term loans, was expected to fetch a valuation of as much as $10 billion.

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From: Glenn Petersen1/11/2021 6:08:09 PM
   of 178
Walmart launches fintech startup to build digital financial products for customers, employees

Julia La Roche
Yahoo Finance
Mon, January 11, 2021, 3:15 PM CST·1 min read

Walmart ( WMT), the world's largest retailer, announced on Monday that it is launching a financial technology (fintech) startup in partnership with Palo Alto, Calif.–based venture capital firm Ribbit Capital, a backer of Robinhood, Credit Karma and Affirm.

The new fintech company, which will be majority-owned by Walmart, aims to “develop and offer modern, innovative and affordable financial solutions” targeting Walmart's customers and employees.

"For years, millions of customers have put their trust in Walmart to not only save them money when they shop with us but help them manage their financial needs. And they've made it clear they want more from us in the financial services arena," Walmart U.S. CEO John Furner said in the release.

The board includes Furner, Walmart CFO Brett Biggs, and Ribbit Capital's founder and managing partner Meyer Malka. The startup, which has yet to be named, will add more board members and hire a management team. The new company expects to grow through acquisitions and partnerships.

“When we combine our deep knowledge of technology-driven financial businesses and our ability to move with speed with Walmart's mission and reach, we can create and deliver financial offerings that are second to none,” Malka said in a statement.

As the world's largest retailer, more than 265 million customers visit Walmart each week worldwide across its 11,500 stores in 27 countries and its e-commerce websites. In the U.S., Walmart has a fleet of nearly 5,000 stores, with 90% of the U.S. population living within 10 miles of a location.

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