Fintech Fast Facts for 8/4/17

Fintech Fast Facts

Some days there is WAY more news going on in the fintech world at large than we can realistically report as individual stories, so we’re going to periodically drop in a “Fintech Fast Facts” piece to update our readers on big stories of the day (or week).

Up first is word that our friend Ron Suber, President Emeritus of Prosper, has joined Credible, one of his “Sweet Sixteens“, as Executive Vice Chairman.  We wonder, where does he find the time?  Between world travels, daily Yin Yoga classes with his wife, keynotes in Asia and forming a new venture – Rewire LLC – seems he’s been pretty busy this past month for a guy supposedly “ReWiring” (yes, that’s WAY different than ReTiring, according to Mr. Suber).  Our sincere congratulations to him!

Up next – a whopping $250M round has been allocated to Kabbage from a division of Softbank, the high profile Japanese robotics firm whose CEO appeared with President Trump earlier this year to announce their $50 BILLION venture pledge to invest in American companies.  That’s a fintech WOW moment.

This was also the week that bitcoin went through the infamous hard fork, and the new cryptocurrency Bitcoin Cash emerged.  So far, some chaos but not terrible.  We think we have a better handle on the whole digital currency market than most, but it is truly bizarre when things like this occur, when taken in the context of “normal” nation-based currencies.  Imagine an alternative “Dollar Cash” version of the dollar bill emerging (after a fight in Congress).  How would that work???  Head-scratching, but we’ll be watching.

Bank Innovation is reporting that the Office of Comptroller of the Currency, which established an Office of Innovation to deal with emerging financial technologies, appears to have underestimated the sheer scope of the market.  The OCC had said it would hold meetings with national banks, fintechs, and others to discuss fintech innovation, but received hundreds of requests and could apparently only a lot time for about a third of them.  As we’ve said MANY TIMES, our government has GOT to get on the ball and get up to speed with fintech innovation.  It is moving very fast and the old way of doing the government’s business with these bureaucracies will not work in this new rapid-fire fintech environment.

That’s it for today!  Have a great weekend, folks!