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Happy new year!

This week: ✨ Year in review ⛓ Cryptocurrencies rising and falling 📈 Crowdfunding on the rise

This week in fintech

January 4 · Issue #41 · View online
A weekly summary of the latest news in our world of finance, design, and technology.

This week: ✨ Year in review ⛓ Cryptocurrencies rising and falling 📈 Crowdfunding on the rise 🌏 Addictive investments  🎁 Christmas gifting

✨ Year in review
A new year means a round-up of years in review and predictions for the year ahead. Sifted has written about their seven top Fintech stories and analysis from the year. One of them is the rise of the fin-fluencer, Fintechs going social with the help of influencers. This is a trend we’ve seen in Norway the last year also with profiles like Pengesnakk and Fattig Student. Andreessen Horowitz believes social networks are still on the rise and has created a beautiful site covering this topic. They are calling the combination of social and Fintech “The Holy Grail”.
Andreessen Horowitz believes social networks are still on the rise
Andreessen Horowitz believes social networks are still on the rise
Yngvar Ugland, the manager in DNB’s “New Tech Lab” sees two trends for the year ahead: Payments without touching (with face, voice, or tapping), and virtual currencies.
Things are moving fast. Three years ago, this was an underground movement. We now sit as a department in Norway’s largest bank and build test systems in Libra / Diem’s development environment, says Ugland.

⛓ Cryptocurrencies rising and falling
Bitcoin reached new heights while we passed into the new year. As usual, this means more news about Blockchain. The biggest news is that the company behind XRP, Ripple, is charged by SEC for conducting $1.3 Billion in unregistered security offeringsCoinbase will suspend trading of XRP in January – a quite dramatic move considering XRP is (was?) the fourth largest cryptocurrency in the world.
📈 Crowdfunding on the rise
Equity-based public financing had its real breakthrough in the last few months of 2020. The campaigns in the fourth quarter saw investments higher than the first three combined.. Crowdfunding companies are starting to be profitable, but Chairman of the board of the Norwegian Crowdfunding Association, Linn Hoel Ringvoll, warns that there needs to be some change in regulations for this to continue: special Norwegian regulations hinder SME’s access to capital. One of these regulations is that each investor cannot lend more than NOK 1 million per year and that the tax system favors investment in large, stable companies.
🌏 Addictive investments
While we’re talking of large investments: The Dutch design firm Clever Franke has created a new visual platform for Swiss bank Globalance that maps your portfolio’s macro-level social and environmental effects. The interface called Globalance World makes it easier to figure out how your money can do good. You can review the impact of everything from the S&P 500 to individual companies like Amazon through a series of data visualizations. Clever Franke’s case study of the project is also worth a look.
Globalance World
Globalance World
Robinhood has, during the pandemic, seen a lot of traffic, but has been criticized for its addictive app luring young traders, sometimes with devastating results. This week we saw a gripping Twitter tread documenting how they are doing this.. The summary? “This is probably the best UI/UX of any investing app I’ve seen and also the most dangerous.”
In Norway, we’ll see many companies trying to expand their reach when the new pension-solution in Norway (EPK) is rolling out in Q1 of 2021. DNB is now in the process of opening up its Spare app to all users, not just DNB customers. This will be an interesting topic to follow in the weeks to come.
🎁 Christmas gifting
MobilePay in Denmark added an exciting feature right before Christmas, a marketplace for gifting directly inside the app. So far, it seems like it’s only possible to send gift-cards or similar, but it’s promising to see a marketplace embedded into the payment-app. I certainly see the familiarity to what we suggested for Vipps last year. 😉 
Vipps is popular. According to YouGovs brand index in 2020 they are Norwegians brand favorite. However, the popularity created problems when more than 200 000 Norwegians newly sent Christmas presents through Vipps. The traffic was 15 times more than expected, so the payment function crashed, and many had to wait for their Christmas presents until well after midnight.
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Marius Hauken, partner Stacc X
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