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In this article:
China’s central bank fights Jack Ma’s Ant Group over control of data
The eurozone is taking the lead in testing the digital currency waters
Fintech App Usage up 61% Year-On-Year
VC Firms Have Long Backed AI. Now, They Are Using It
Rishi Sunak announces UK Treasury and BofE fintech taskforce to explore CBDC
China’s Central Bank Fights Jack Ma’s Ant Group Over Control of Data.
Beijing wants to create state-run repository to manage fintech’s most valuable asset.
China’s central bank is attempting to take control of Ant Group’s vast trove of consumer lending data, marking the latest front in Beijing’s crackdown on Jack Ma’s financial technology group.
Beijing wants to curtail the power of Ant Group and Ma, China’s best-known entrepreneur, who has largely disappeared from public view since publicly criticising state-owned banks and regulators in October. The company was forced to pull its $37bn initial public offering, which was set to be the world’s largest, the following month.
The Eurozone Is Taking the Lead in Testing the Digital Currency Waters.
Public consultation by the European Central Bank is one step ahead of counterparts but it may face a more sceptical audience.
Only a few years ago, central bank digital currency (CBDC) was seen as something exotic. Sweden’s Riksbank was alone among high-income countries in exploring it, a fact attributed to its population’s uniquely low use of cash.
Now official e-currencies have gone mainstream. Every major player is looking into it: Kristalina Georgieva, IMF managing director, said last week that “after a long period of development, the field is on the cusp of major changes”. China is trialling a digital renminbi, Sweden has completed a technical pilot, and Bahamas has just introduced the world’s first CBDC.
Fintech App Usage Up 61% Year-On-Year.
The use of fintech apps has increased more than 61% since the pandemic started last year, reveals deVere Group, one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory and fintech organisations.
The jump comes as financial technology apps show further evidence that the way we manage our finances further shifted in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
VC Firms Have Long Backed AI. Now, They Are Using It.
Venture capitalists who have long funded artificial intelligence startups are beginning to use the technology to search for a competitive edge in their own investment decisions.
Venture-capital firms see an opportunity in applying algorithms to the voluminous amount of data that their businesses collect. Correlation Ventures, for instance, built its own system to analyze troves of startup data, including from pitch decks supplied by founders seeking funding. EQT Ventures is using its own AI platform to rank investment opportunities.
These are nascent efforts, but one forecast suggests adoption is about to pick up. AI will be involved in 75% of venture capital investment decisions by 2025, up from less than 5% today, according to a recent Gartner Inc. forecast.
Rishi Sunak Announces UK Treasury and BofE Fintech Taskforce to Explore CBDC.
Chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak announced the launch of new fintech taskforce to “coordinate exploratory work on a potential central bank digital currency,” led by the UK Treasury and Bank of England.
Responding to Sunak's announcement, the Bank of England has set up a dedicated CBDC unit overseen by deputy governor Jon Cunliffe, to explore the creation of a digital pound, and set up two stakeholder forums on CBDC engagement and technology.
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