A Fortnight in Fintech: Tyson, Tech Track 100, Bitcoin and BKL
Where finance meets technology, interesting things continue to happen. A scan of fintech news always guarantees something eye-catching; this time it’s a name more commonly associated with boxing rings, not blockchains.
What makes this roundup different is that we’re not only commenting on fintech news: we’re part of it. Read on to find out how.
Mike Tyson and blockchain
Mike Tyson was not a name we expected to see in a blockchain project. But he has publicly distanced himself from Fight to Fame, a blockchain-based platform for fighters. The project has been branded a ‘scam’. Coin Telegraph has investigated what turns out to be a cryptic situation.
This story shows there are still bad players in the market, so any investment in tokens or coins must be looked at carefully.
Even so, we believe that blockchain can provide solutions in sport and entertainment, for example in dealing with royalties, ensuring accurate distribution.
As for Tyson: as per his nickname of Iron Mike, he seems keen to stick to solid metal currencies.
Liberation from Libra?
It looks like some of the initial backers of Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency project are putting themselves in reverse gear.
We’d say this is hardly a surprise, given the response from regulators and legislators towards the proposals.
With existing issues around personal data handling and security, added to the fact that Facebook would surely have to verify each account holder for anti-money laundering, the potential for serious reputational damage is perhaps not insignificant.
Mobile payment popularity
This headline from CNBC – Mobile payments have barely caught on in the US, despite the rise of smartphones –is thought provoking. We’d suggest that there isn’t much greater adoption in the UK, say up to 15%.
However, when it comes to new payment methods, it can be a generation before wider adoption occurs. Just as cheques are dying out with a generation, so is cash as contactless cards become the norm.
Perhaps mobile payment needs another generation. Or maybe people just need reminding that you can still get your BA Avios rewards through Samsung Pay…
Sunday Times Hiscox Tech Track 100
Last weekend, The Sunday Times published this year’s Tech Track 100 league table of Britain’s 100 private tech, media and telecoms companies with the fastest growing sales. This supplement is encouraging reading right from its main headline: The smart money is funding fintech.
24 of the 100 are fintech firms; of those 24, three have a $1bn-plus valuation; topping the list is digital banking provider Revolut, whose sales have increased over 500% annually over the past three years.
This only adds to our optimism about fintech and our enthusiasm for working with growing businesses in this sector.
Last but not least… Bitcoin and BKL
Putting ourselves in the news may not be modest but it is justified. With help from BitPay, BKL is now accepting Bitcoin as fee payment.
Fintech is all about innovation and to our knowledge, we are the first UK mid-sized accountancy firm to accept a cryptocurrency to settle invoices.
As a forward-looking business, we are always exploring new ways to develop our offering. We are pleased to now offer that option to clients: this move has been driven by demand from them. It’s a convenient way for many people, particularly those in the fintech and technology sectors, to buy our services.
We have more information about this here.
You can also read our previous fintech news roundup here.