April 2021: The Month in FinTech

Our April stories mirrored many of those themes through articles covering banks’ continuing investment in FinTech and the increasing legitimation of cryptofinance within traditional financial institutions. Here’s a review.

Banking on FinTech

U.S. banks made more than 65 strategic bets in FinTech in 2020. Capital markets investments led the way. “Despite the economic uncertainty surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic, U.S. banks are future-proofing by actively investing in FinTech,” research firm CBInsights reported. (04/02/2021)

Crypto’s Regulatory Imperative

For many FinTechs, particularly those operating in cutting-edge spaces like blockchain and cryptocurrency, regulation has often been seen as a dirty word; something that can only shackle innovation. But lack of regulation in the blockchain and crypto space has often served as a greater restriction than most actual laws can be, creating an air of uncertainty for companies looking to innovate in the U.S. and convincing many that the risks are simply not worth the potential gains.m. (04/03/2021)

Navigating Startups from Seed to Series B

The allure of startups has rarely seemed stronger. Much of the tech industry is built on the backs of multi-billion dollar giants that came out of the startup space, and while tech appears to be in the middle of another bubble, the lure of relatively free-flowing investor money is hard to ignore. But what does it take to build a successful startup in this environment? Two long-time veterans of the startup space took some time to offer their advice at a recent meeting of the Chicago Payments Forum. (04/10/2021)

Follow the Money: The Institutional Rise of Crypto and FinTech

One of the most famous scenes in one of the best movies ever made, All the President’s Men, shows a close-up of the late Hal Holbrook telling a journalist how to unravel the puzzle of the burglary at the Watergate Hotel. Hidden in the dark shadows of a deserted parking garage in the middle of the night, Holbrook, playing the secret source Deep Throat, intensely whispers, “Follow the money.” It startles Robert Redford, playing Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward. The trail of money into cryptocurrency and FinTech is no less startling. (04/17/2021)

Local FinTech Deals

Just as all politics is local, all business is ultimately local. National and international media tend to cover the large local companies, which tend to get identified with their country of origin. PayPal is American. Ant Group is Chinese. Wise is British. Klarna is Swedish. Yet the FinTech revolution is going local, as reflected in FinTech investments in cities throughout the U.S. (04/23/2021)

Banks Increasingly Need Crypto Literacy

As bitcoin prices have exploded upward throughout the beginning of this year, many traditional financial institutions have been forced to one conclusion: cryptocurrency is here to stay. Even if your institution doesn’t plan to deal directly in the space, the need to be knowledgeable about it is becoming an increasing imperative. (04/30/2021)