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Fintech weekly recap: bitcoin founder’s tie up with gambling mogul, Brexit impact on fintech, Singap

Alleged bitcoin godfather’s tie up with wanted gambling tycoon

Craig Wright, the self-proclaimed founder of bitcoin, was said to be amassing patents related to digital currency and blockchain. Documents reviewed by Reuters indicated that Wright intended on filing upwards of 400 patents which, according to his associates, would then be sold off for almost a billion dollars. After further investigations by Reuters, it appears that Wright’s project is being bankrolled by Calvin Ayre, a wealthy Canadian entrepreneur wanted in the US on charges of running online gambling operations. The duo has submitted upwards of 70 patent applications to date, potentially making them powerful figures in fintech in case the submissions are granted.

Post-Brexit fintech London exodus

At the height of the Brexit discussion, prognosticators mused that an exit from the EU would create barriers for small startups to scale globally and threaten the flow of talent. Subsequent to the decision, some argued that London risked losing its title as the world’s fintech capital when companies faced a decline in venture capital funding. According to some high placed industry executives, the country is on the cusp of an exodus by fintech companies. As one of them put it: “Everyone is thinking about it and anyone that is any size, that is employing more than 10 people, is active. The exodus is beginning. It will be more visible in 2018.”

Singapore creates data analytics group

The Singapore Committee on the Future Economy recently released its recommendations on what the country can do to remain globally competitive. Among these included the development of data analytics and cybersecurity capabilities. In response, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) quickly created a Data Analytics Group and appointed a Chief Data Officer. The committee’s recommendations have been given further credence with the newly created Defence Cyber Organization. Although the group’s objective is primarily military defence, the advancements it will likely develop may find a receptive audience in the local finance industry given the increasing attacks on financial institutions and MAS’ focus on technology risk.

Continued growth in fintech education

A trend is developing within institutions of higher learning as universities begin a push towards fintech curriculums. NYU’s Stern School of Business offers MBA students the opportunity to complete their studies with fintech as a specialization. Other schools are also jumping on the bandwagon, including UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and Harvard Business School. In Singapore, similar efforts are being made by MAS To add to the trend, the UK’s Wrexham Glyndwr University will offer an undergraduate degree to prepare students for a career in the industry.

Legacy systems a major concern for banks

Much is made of the need for financial institutions and fintech to cooperate. The view is that startups shouldn’t be seen as threats but rather as opportunities for partnerships. However, prior to looking outward for innovation, it may be a good idea for banks to look inwards at their aging legacy systems as years spent “patching” decades-old troublesome systems may pose an impediment to modernization.

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