Central Bank Digital Currency, Power in Asia Start-Ups, How API Transforms Businesses & Other Topics



Happy Friday!



In this edition:


  • Dash to digital powers Asia-Pacific start-ups

  • UK considers creating central bank digital currency

  • Goldman Sachs invests $69 million in British digital bank Starling

  • We’re Witnessing A Key Shift Towards Cloud & API-Based Architecture: Sachin Bakliwal, Fidelity International

  • Coinbase’s Public Listing Is a Cryptocurrency Coming-Out Party




Dash to Digital Powers Asia-Pacific Start-Ups



Pandemic has brought forward the shift to online by an estimated 10 years.


The 2021 ranking, compiled in conjunction with FT sister publication Nikkei Asia and Statista, a research company, lists businesses from the region’s most developed markets, according to their pre-pandemic compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in revenue, between 2016 and 2019. It does not claim to be complete, as some companies did not want to make their figures public or did not participate for other reasons. (China has been omitted due to difficulties in verifying data.)


But many from the tech-leaning cohort, like Carsome, have found that a strong performance before Covid-induced lockdowns helped them to keep growing through the crisis.


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UK Considers Creating Central Bank Digital Currency



The Treasury and Bank of England announced on Monday a joint task force to evaluate the creation of a central bank digital currency to future proof sterling against cryptocurrencies and improve the payments system.


Joining a worldwide fashion for investigating new central bank currencies, chancellor Rishi Sunak said that Britain “need[ed] to go further” to stay at the forefront of financial innovation.

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Goldman Sachs Invests $69 Million in British Digital Bank Starling



British digital bank Starling has raised £50 million ($69 million) in funding from Goldman Sachs’ growth equity investment arm.


The fresh cash comes on top of a £272 million investment round Starling announced last month that valued the online lender at £1.1 billion. The deal with Goldman is still subject to regulatory approval.


Starling plans to use the fresh cash to expand its services in Europe and potentially make a merger or acquisition. The company last year restarted talks to secure a banking license in Ireland after initially putting them on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic.


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We’re Witnessing A Key Shift Towards Cloud & API-Based Architecture: Sachin Bakliwal, Fidelity International



Analytics India Magazine got in touch with Sachin Bakliwal, Head of Asset Management and AMO Technology and Analytics, Fidelity International to understand how AI, big data and data analytics are playing an important role in transforming businesses in the new normal post the pandemic.


He emphasises that these shifts not only encourage us to scale on new technologies but are also redefining the ways of working. With AI being at the centre, there will be demand on important key areas: Data and our ability to create connected, secure and easy to interpret data is the most initial phase of AI evolution. AI will need scaling up massively and technologies like Quantum computing will start becoming central.


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The Work from Home Effect on Banks and Fintechs



With acceptance from traditional investors, a profitable start-up that eases transactions is offering proof of the industry’s staying power.


On Wednesday, digital or cryptocurrencies took their biggest step yet toward wider acceptance when Coinbase, a start-up that allows people to buy and sell cryptocurrencies, went public. Coinbase shares began trading at $381 each, up 52 percent from a reference price of $250, eventually closing at $328.28. That gave the company a valuation of $85.7 billion based on all its outstanding shares, more than 10 times higher than Coinbase’s last private valuation.




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Thank you for the time!




Fasanara Fintech Weekly