The Week in Digital Wealth (12/19/23)

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There may not be any gifts on Christmas trees in the industry, but there were a lot of solutions and partnerships to wrap up the year.

  • That said, BlackRock wants to lead in everything AI;
  • It appears the world is not enough for Aladdin;
  • The Bloomberg issue across the pond got fixed with a new firm vying for the spot;
  • The SEC is going after a new target: AI;
  • How they intend to catch up this time remains yet to be seen;
  • Crypto ads are back again on Google;
  • Ordering Waffles is now an all-digital affair (who knew, right?);
  • Plus, BNY Mellon has a new AI partner;
  • Also, you can now buy a house while you drive, thanks to Rocket Homes;
  • Who is ready for a real estate road trip?

It’s your week in digital wealth!


WealthTech, RegTech, Regulatory, and Treasury

BlackRock

It seems that BlackRock wants to lead in the generative AI space.

The financial behemoth revealed that gen AI tools for human resources and customers will be available in the coming year.

According to sources, a leaked memo from Rob Goldstein, BlackRocks’ Chief Operating Officer, and Kfir Godrich, the head of engineering for Aladdin, reportedly revealed the intentions.

In related news, Tradeweb Markets revealed the next phase of integrations with BlackRock’s Aladdin.

Users can now trade using the Tradeweb AllTrade solution.

CME Group

Subject to regulatory approval, CME Group indicated it would combine its two non-deliverable forward (NDF) liquidity pools into a single entity by October next year.

The move centralizes liquidity and enables faster price discovery for NDFs.

Etrading Software

Across the pond, following the decision to drop fixed-income solution plans by Bloomberg, MarketAxess, and Tradeweb, Etrading Software, a UK-based market solutions firm, unveiled bidding plans.

Etrading indicated data value as its motive for the decision.

Securities and Exchange Commission

According to a Wall Street Journal report, the SEC sent requests for information to investment advisors over their AI solutions uses and deployments.

The regulator didn’t indicate suspicion of misconduct as a possible motive.

Also, the SEC amended rules for the centralized clearing of Treasuries.

The rules now require clearing agency members to submit Treasury-collateralized repurchase and reverse purchase transactions.

Related and affiliated counterparties are exempt.

Crypto, Blockchain, and Digital Assets

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB)

The FASB unveiled new rules that allow companies to factor cryptocurrencies at fair value on their balance sheets. Firms can now disclose the market value of held tokens.

The new rules allow companies to account for increased and decreased token prices, rather than the latter only.

KuCoin

KuCoin, the cryptocurrency exchange, bowed to the New York Attorney General and agreed to pay $22 million in fines alongside an exit from the state.

The New York Attorney General sued KuCoin for violating state securities laws.

Google

Crypto ads are finally getting the green light from Google (again).

The search engine giant indicated that crypto trusts can run ads in 2024.

However, the new rules are much stricter than the previous ones.

Also, direct promotions to buy, sell, or hold tokens are still prohibited.

Google banned crypto ads five years ago.

FinTech, Personal Finance, and Apps

SAP/PayPal/Braintree

SAP, the multinational software firm, and PayPal unveiled enhancements for Braintree.

The SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP) will integrate with Braintree’s existing infrastructure to enhance efficiency, analytics, and automation.

PayPal acquired the Chicago-based Braintree, a boutique web and mobile startup, in 2013.

Citizens Financial Group

Rhode Island-based Citizens Financial Group revealed eco-friendly cards as part of its efforts to protect the environment.

The cards have 90% recycled PVC.

Quicken

Quicken, the all-American personal and business finance application, is now available for Mac users, expanding its reach and keeping creatives in the loop.

Waffle House/Olo

Waffle House, a leading restaurant chain, indicated the selection of Olo, a hospitality-focused Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).

The cooperation enables digital ordering and payments for all of Waffle House’s nationwide locations.

Banking, Payments, and Infrastructure

BNY Mellon/Behavox

Behavox, a New York-based AI solutions firm, revealed its partnership with BNY Mellon.

The cooperation enhances the banking behemoth’s compliance and risk management capabilities.

FactSet

FactSet, an enterprise-focused FinTech, launched a chatbot to help improve banking workflows (“Mercury”).

Mercury uses a Large Language Model (LLM) integrated with boutique tools to enable financial institutions to access data, regulatory information, and more from a friendly interface.

REPAY/Greendot

Bill payment options became easy with the revelation of a partnership between REPAY and Greendot.

The cooperation allows REPAY’s clients to offer eCash options via Greendot’s massive network.

Bankjoy/InvesTex Credit Union

Bankjoy, the boutique solutions provider, revealed the onboarding of InvesTex Credit Union into its ecosystem.

The digitization efforts will enable seamless transactions for the seventy-one-year-old credit union.

REtech, InsurtTech and Investing

Rocket Homes

Rocket Homes, the boutique RETech firm, indicated that its iOS App is now available on car screens across America via Apple CarPlay.

Real estate purchase features are now fully accessible while driving.

Upright

Upright, the boutique real estate lending ecosystem revealed the availability of debt service coverage ratio (DSCR) rental loans.

The lending firm indicated it introduced DSCR loans because of customer requests and market demand.

SimplePin/Mountain West Insurance

SimplePin, a leading payment FinTech for the insurance industry, unveiled its partnership with Mountain West Insurance, a regional industry leader.

The collaboration improves Mountain West’s ongoing digitization efforts and enables SimplePin’s payment solution, SimpleMatch.