The Week in Digital Wealth (1/8/24)

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Welcome to 2024!

The industry kept the hits coming over the holidays, with new and old players showing their strengths.

  • The SEC continued with its rulemaking (some of which came into effect last week)
  • The IRS introduced new crypto rules
  • Salaries may soon become extinct (read on to find out)
  • Almost everyone now prefers to shop online (who knew, right?)
  • Plus, the InsurTech industry was busy

As always, it’s your week in digital wealth!

(We already covered the TIFIN/Franklin Templeton story here.)


WealthTech, RegTech, Regulatory, and Treasury

SEC/Department of Justice

The SEC’s cybersecurity rules that mandate public firms to disclose cybersecurity breaches within four business days took effect on December 18, 2023. Consequently, firms are also required to reveal policy measures in that regard.

In related news, on December 18, 2023, the Consumer Protection Branch of the Department of Justice revealed plans to shut down fraudulent networks that steal from customers via microtransactions.

Liquidnet/bondIT

Liquidnet, the global liquidity provider, teamed up with bondIT, an AI-driven upstart, to integrate credit analytics into its ecosystem. The deployment aids in the identification of trading opportunities and improves decision-making for investment firms.

Cboe Global Markets, Inc.

Cboe, the premier derivative behemoth, indicated the listing of Tuesday and Thursday expiries for its Mini-Russell 2000 Index Weeklys (MRUT) options and Russell 2000 Index Weeklys® (RUTW).

The move gives investors daily trading expiry capabilities.

Crypto, Blockchain, and Digital Assets

Visa/SmartMedia Technologies

To give its customers a feel of the decentralized industry, Visa launched a Web 3.0 loyalty program. Additionally, the program offers giveaways, treasure hunts, and other rewards in a gamified environment.

Visa developed the program in partnership with SmartMedia Technologies, an Australian-based Web 3.0 company.

Paxos

Paxos, the premier crypto infrastructure firm, indicated it had secured approval from the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) to feature the USP stablecoin on the Solana blockchain.

Also, Paxos indicated that the USDP stablecoin equals the greenback on a 1:1 basis.

Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

America’s taxman threw a New Year curveball at the crypto community with new tax rules. Individuals must report digital asset transactions of $10,000 and above.

FinTech, Personal Finance, and Apps

Dun & Bradstreet/Climate Engine

Things could get pretty hot (later in the year after a cold winter) per the climate with the revelation of a partnership between Dun & Bradstreet, the analytics powerhouse, and Climate Engine, a niche-focused specialist firm.

The cooperation between the duo created a massive business-focused data cloud and the D&B Climate Risk Insights, a combination of the best of both worlds.

Virtusa/AWS

Virtusa, an AI-focused industry leader, announced its partnership with Amazon Web Services (AWS). The collaboration included the launch of Virtusa AI labs across the globe to help fast-track and improve corporate processes and research.

RevsUp

Could salaries and wages be gone forever? That may be possible with a new performance-based pricing model from RevsUp, a North American sales recruitment leader.

The model eliminates salaries and has a six-month probationary period for new hires with a success fee. Additionally, companies could pay the new hires five percent of generated revenues or a flat fee, depending on the lower figure.

Mastercard

Online shopping took center stage over the holidays and might play a larger-than-life role in the new year. According to data from Mastercard’s SpendingPulse, online retail sales rose 6.3% YoY compared to in-store sales, which grew 2.2% YoY.

Also, total retail sales were up 3.1% (except for everything auto-related).

Banking, Payments, and Infrastructure

TD Bank Group/Plaid

As the business year drew close, things got pretty interesting per cybersecurity with the unveiling of a partnership between TD Bank Group and Plaid, the go-to industry FinTech.

The cooperation allows TD’s customers to securely share information within the Plaid ecosystem via APIs without sharing their access credentials.

Digifi/Scienaptic AI

On January 3, Scienaptic AI, the automated credit decisioning firm, partnered with Digifi, the boutique lending ecosystem. The collaboration integrates Scienaptic AI’s infrastructure with Digifi’s loan origination system, enabling faster and more accurate credit processes.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)/American Fintech Council (AFC)

In response to the CFPB’s proposal, the American Fintech Council, the leading industry trade group, expressed concerns about some aspects of the regulator’s plans.

The AFC indicated that its members are already setting standards for the responsible access to and usage of consumer data. However, the group noted a few issues that could slow things down.

They include access reauthorization requirements, standards, and the existing setup for the new rules.

The CFPB is seeking to alter the personal financial data rights of Section 1033 of the Dodd-Frank Act.

REtech, InsurtTech and Investing

Ushur

Getting an insurance quote will get much faster, thanks to Ushur, a boutique AI-focused FinTech. Ushur unveiled its new solution that automates the Request for Proposal process for group benefits, saving time and improving efficiency.

Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance (BHSI)/ChainThat

As part of ongoing efforts to improve its operations, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance revealed the integration of WorldLink, a solution powered across the pond by UK-based InsurTech ChainThat.

First American Financial Corporation

Following the cybersecurity incident faced by America’s second-largest title insurer, First American Financial Corporation unveiled measures it took over the holidays. FAFC took several components of its information infrastructure offline, but things returned to normal in the new year.