5 free fintech and cryptocurrency newsletters you must read
FINTECH SNARK TANK OBSERVATIONS
The rise in popularity of fintech has led to an increase in the number of industry-focused blogs and newsletters.
Last year, I posted a list of eight fintech blogs and newsletters that I thought were the best in the business. It’s time to add new blogs and newsletters to the list. This new roster doesn’t replace last year’s roster – you should still read last year’s roster (especially Jason Mikula, Simon Taylor, and Alex Johnson’s).
1) Aika Newsletter
Aika Ussenova does financial planning and analysis at Monzo Bank in the UK, and her newsletter Substack offers in-depth analysis from various players in the fintech scene, including:
- Klarna. Ussenova explains that Klarna has two companies competing for funding: 1) an interest-bearing business based on taking out long-term loans and accrued 20% interest, and 2) a commission business that has high speed and no may not function effectively if funding is withheld in the form of longer term loans. She concludes that, fortunately for the company, it has raised a lot of money, has a large client base and a capital accretion activity, which helps to solve many problems.
- Square. According to Ussenova, Square’s CashApp has three components in its innovation stack: 1) A peer-to-peer product that allows people to bring all of their networks to it; 2) Large-scale, low-cost customer acquisition; and 3) Adjacent products that enhance existing products, increasing the utility of the network.
This Substack newsletter from Paddy Ramanathan, Managing Director of the iValley Innovation Center, has a strong focus on decentralized finance. A recent article on 10 Predictions for the Decade of Post-Covid Decentralization includes a prediction that virtual and decentralized business ecosystems will lead to digital jurisdictions.
Commenting on the exodus of companies from San Francisco to Austin and from New York to Florida, Ramanathan wonders: is this the beginning of the great decentralization of the population and of the business centers?
He asserts that this is the case and that “business ecosystems will be linked virtually like network graphs with cross-border governance. This will create unique political and governance challenges that will lead to far-reaching reform of taxation, jurisdiction and regulations. “
3) FinTech Ruminations
The caption of this blog is “Thoughts on Fintech and Decentralized Finance” and it’s written by Giorgio Giuliani, Product Manager at SumUp, a fintech in Berlin, Germany that enables small businesses to accept payments by card in store, in the app and online. Giuliani provides in-depth analysis on a range of topics, including:
- What if a cryptocurrency becomes the mainstream payment method? Giuliani answers questions like: 1) What if a native cryptocurrency or digital currency becomes the popular payment method? 2) What can be the long-term impact on consumer credit?
- How could tokens revolutionize the economy of creators? According to Giuliani, “The designer economy is FinTech’s new hit: VCs are hopping on this wagon, startups are raising millions trying to build for this underserved market. Giuliani’s thesis is that the industry will be reshaped by tokenizing creator income streams and selling them to investors and fans.
4) Fintech TL Law; DR
I’m not a lawyer, I don’t watch TV, and I didn’t sleep in a Holiday Inn last night. Luckily, there’s this Substack newsletter — captioned “Fintech Laws and Regulations… for non-lawyers” —for people like (you and) me.
You would be hard pressed to understand that this newsletter is written by Reggie Young, legal counsel for financial technology firm BlueVine. His Twitter handle indicates that the newsletter is his own, but the newsletter itself makes no mention of the author.
Young provides an overview of regulatory developments impacting the world of fintech (and really, banking and financial services in general). Sound clips from recent publications shed light on the regulations on:
- Artificial intelligence. The FTC published a blog post on artificial intelligence which indicated that FinTechs could be responsible for exaggerating what their algorithms can do, and if their algorithms are fair and unbiased. What does this mean for fintech? Increased control and enforcement action to discriminate in the area of loans.
- Cryptocurrency. Young writes: “The rules of crypto are always evolving, but two options have emerged depending on the nature of the token: securities and commodities.” Young’s analysis of crypto regulations helps us lay people realize just how confusing there is a mess of regulatory interpretations today.
Each article explains the regulatory landscape for the topic of the day (eg, payments, robo-advisers, loans). The newsletter proves in a subtle and indirect way why the unemployment rate of fintech lawyers will remain low for a long time.
5) Payments tracking
This is a relatively new newsletter with only four articles to date as of this writing. The authors, Mike Sigal, founder of 20022 Labs and Debbie Landa, entrepreneur, consultant and creator, say the newsletter is a ‘newsletter curated on’ sports highlights’ to keep you up to date with what is most relevant. .
It’s much more (and much better) than that. There are a number of newsletters (which will not be on my list) that just keep the news. Payment tracking goes far beyond that and offers Sigal and Landa’s expert and experienced perspectives on what the news really means.
Topics and questions discussed in this newsletter include:
- The transition from SAP to integrated finance. SAP brought its main banking, IP and personal customers into a JV with Dediq which invested 500 million euros. According to Sigal and Landa, this leads to two questions: 1) Will the new company really build an end-to-end solution that leverages the same data across all functions? and 2) Is giving up potential revenue growth for a 20% stake and reducing operating costs a good deal?
- Can businesses keep up with the trend of conscious consumption? Sigal and Landa say there is an ESG use case for ISO 20022: “Mastercard and Klarna offer tools, distributed through banks and merchants, to help conscious consumers see how their spending is impacting environment. The tools are based on an index that measures the carbon impact of financial transactions. “
Do you know of any other free fintech and cryptocurrency newsletters that should be on this list (i.e. provide analysis, not just curate the news)? Let me know and I will update this list.