New month, new year, new chapter, and new issue of FinTech Wire! We enter 2021 with high hopes and a handful of exciting updates from the world of FinTech. What happened during the last days of 2020 and the first moments of 2021? Let’s find out!

Weekly FinTech news digest: 29 December 2020—4 January 2021

Surely everyone is wondering what 2021 has in store for us. Maybe the first few days are not enough to give answers, but as you can see, things are beginning to be pretty intriguing. Cryptocurrencies go through their ups (Bitcoin) and downs (XRP), popular platforms plan their further expansion (TikTok and Square), and new services hit the market (TONI Digital insurance platform). Moreover, the UK’s financial regulator made the news trying to alleviate post-Brexit uncertainty in trading. Sounds interesting? Keep reading to learn more!

Crypto firms in troubles because of XRP cryptocurrency

Ripple Labs and Coinbase face lawsuits on the grounds of inappropriate classification of the cryptocurrency

Over the course of just a few days, the two leading crypto platforms faced serious legal problems. On 22 December, the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) informed in a press release that it filed a lawsuit against Ripple Labs and two of its executives, for the alleged inappropriate classification of XRP token as a commodity rather than a security. A week later a private person has sued Coinbase on similar grounds, claiming that its employees were aware that XRP was a security when they made it available on the Coinbase trading platform.

Read more about Ripple in the previous issue of FinTech Wire

Is a new payment feature coming to TikTok?

ByteDance applies for a “TikTok Payment” trademark in China

Rumours about a new TikTok-related e-payment service has risen once again. ByteDance, the company behind the popular social media platform, applied for a “TikTok Payment” trademark, following the acquisition of several licenses for payments and insurance back in 2020. ByteDance is also said to be actively recruiting new team members to strengthen its competencies in the area of payment solutions. Does it mean that TikTok users will soon be able to use a new payments feature on the platform? We’ll see!

Read more about popular payment methods in 2020

Derivatives trading to continue after Brexit

The UK’s financial regulator saves the day amidst Brexit chaos

As the Brexit transition period has come to an end, the first tangible consequences for financial institutions on both sides of the Channel have materialized. Just hours before the beginning of 2021 and the UK’s official departure from European Union, the British regulator FCA relaxed rules allowing for the derivatives (swaps) trade to continue. Before Brexit, London was the center of derivatives trading in Europe and the UK’s firms had direct access to European markets and companies. However, this access wasn’t granted in the agreement between Brussels and London. As a consequence, FCA decided to take this emergency measure, allowing for the trade worth about $200bn to continue.

Read more about leading trading platforms

New white-label Insurance-as-a-service platform

TONI Digital partners with Socotra to raise the game in insurance technology

TONI Digital announced the launch of a brand new Insurance-as-a-service solution, in a partnership with Socotra, the provider of a cloud-native insurance core platform. The company stated in a press release that this service will enable insurers to provide customers with a fully digital and transparent experience of using an insurance product. According to TONI Digital’s CTO, Alexander Sanders, the integration of both platforms was configured seamlessly thanks to Socotra’s well-documented API.

Read more about API integration in FinTech

Bitcoin broke yet another valuation record…

… and is probably worth even more when you’re reading this

The price of Bitcoin continues to rise at least $1000 every single day, and for the first time in history it crossed the $34,000 mark on 3 January… just hours after passing the $30,000 milestone. This means that the price of the cryptocurrency needed just three days of 2021 to rise $5,000, reaching 12% year-to-date return. The depreciation of the U.S. dollar and the sudden surge of institutional investments in cryptocurrencies are among the reasons of this record valuation.

Read more about other popular investment trends 

Square to hire staff in its European headquarters

The company’s office in Dublin will soon welcome new employees

Square, a US-based FinTech led by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, has begun hiring staff in its European headquarters in Dublin. The Dublin office staff is taking care of customer service and compliance since 2016, despite the company wasn’t offering its services on the Irish market. New team members are said to be responsible for operating Cash App, the money transfer app, that is rumoured to be launched in Europe soon. The news follows some recent acquisitions in Europe carried out by Square, including the Italian startup Satispay and Spanish payments app Verse

Read more about Square in our top FinTech startups roundup

Tune in next week for more FinTech news!

That’s all news in this issue of FinTech Wire, but more is coming next week! If you want to be the first to hear the latest updates from the world of FinTech, follow Code & Pepper on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter. Feel free to comment on our posts if you want to share your opinion with us!