最有看点的互联网金融门户

最有看点的互联网金融门户
国际资讯

[未央翻译]Fintech国际资讯周报|2017年第19周

《经济学人》:加密代币泡沫即将破裂 你准备好了吗?

4月25日,加密代币众筹项目Gnosis正式启动,仅仅15分钟之后,参与人数超过750人,共募集25万以太币(约合1200万美元)。据官方发布的数据显示,代币平均成本为29.8488美元/枚。项目方占有代币占总量95.81%,投资者占有代币占总量4.19%。按此单价和流通比例计算,Gnosis估值已经超过3亿美元(约20亿元人民币)。

区块链资产集资正在经历疯狂的增长,目前在以太坊区块链平台中流通的加密代币价值已经超过50亿美元。然而,加密代币众筹产业的发展过热也引发了一系列的问题。首先,随着ICO的不断发展,投资者越来越难深入研究每个ICO背后的可行性。由于每一次交易都是匿名情况下公开进行的,人们很容易就会对投资进行虚假宣传,发布伪造的白皮书误导投资者。同时,由于ICO和加密代币的法律分类仍然模糊,因此即使投资者的权益遭到侵害,目前也无法通过法律途径进行维权。

光芒褪去 智能投顾究竟该如何定位

自2008年金融危机以来,智能投顾作为一种新型的金融模式迅速的成长起来。以美国的Betterment和Wealthfront、法国的Fundshop、澳大利亚的Stockpot为代表的智能投顾创业公司,通过互联网信息技术手段,降低投资门槛,为用户提供个性化、低费率、透明化、便捷化的财富管理服务,并逐渐发展成为了一场席卷全球的金融风暴。

在当前的金融行业中,以富国银行和美国银行为代表的部分银行机构所服务的客户群体相对固定,因此它们通常选择使用标准化数据集来构建自身的人工智能系统。然而,既然数据算法是由人类编写的,个人的倾向性就难免会渗透到算法中来,进而影响整个决策过程。因此,如何在智能投顾系统中实现公平原则,将是行业监管机构在未来所面临的巨大考验之一。

硅谷风投教父Tim Draper入局区块链投资项目Tezos

近日,DFJ投资基金创始人,被誉为硅谷风投教父的Tim Draper宣布将参与区块链平台Tezos的ICO项目,这也是这位亿万富翁首次涉足区块链投资领域。

作为一名比特币及其底层区块链金融分类账本技术的狂热爱好者,Tim Draper却从未染指与区块链相关的投资项目。直到几个月前,他才公开表示,将于近期着重关注区块链投资项目,挑选创新型项目进行投资。Tezos区块链项目是由一个具有深厚华尔街以及对冲基金背景的夫妻团队共同开发的,计划将于本月22日正式开启ICO。除Tezos之外,Tim Draper还计划投资由Tezos创始人创办的另一家专注于区块链动态账本解决方案的公司Dynamic Ledger Solutions Inc,但投资的具体细节还尚未公布。

Credit Karma:窄域人工智能将改变未来金融信息服务市场

创业初始,Credit Karma为6000万人免费提供了信用评分,这种创举可谓颠覆了整个付费信用报告市场。而今年,Credit Karma又准备免费提供纳税申报服务,这着实也让89亿美元的报税行业吃了一惊。H&R Block和IBM之前曾大力宣传其人工智能报税服务。

简单来说,Credit Karma业务模式是这样的:用户提供个人信息(姓名、地址、电话、社保号码)以获得信用分。如果信用达标,用户将会得到获取最优惠信用卡、个人贷款和汽车贷款产品的机会。此外,用户还可以借助Credit Karma申报联邦税。而所有这些服务都是免费的。Credit Karma从信用卡和贷款提供商那收取佣金,并且承诺永远不会向消费者收钱。然而,Credit Karma虽然看似只是为用户提供了免费的午餐,但其实得到的用户数据价值却远超服务费用本身。通过Credit Karma独特的窄域人工智能(ANI)分析模型,注意不是普通的人工智能技术,Credit Karma可以在20毫秒之内就为用户提供精确到分钟的金融决策建议。

卡塔尔商业银行成功完成区块链国际汇款原型测试 打造贸易与现金封闭集团网络

卡塔尔商业银行宣布已经完成了针对国际汇款而设计的区块链原型的测试。该项目是与IT巨头Infosys的子公司EdgeVerve Systems一起开发的,并且与商业银行的几家子公司和相关银行的一起在系统在进行交易。

这条新闻紧跟在该地区其他银行进行了类似的区块链试验之后。在上个月,卡塔尔商业银行披露了与阿联酋,阿曼和土耳其银行的合作,并且参与者汇出了另一笔款项,作为在中东和菲律宾建立付款通道开发新业务线的一部分的投标款项。据卡塔尔商业银行透露,这个计划仍然在议程上,该机构正在寻找更广泛地区的更多合作伙伴。在宣布试点完成后,该银行重申了过去关于其贸易融资解决方案计划的声明,也是以区块链作为技术支持。

联合国:央行数字货币可能助长独裁

联合国(UN)近期发布的一篇报告,声称央行发行的加密货币如果落到独裁者手中将会十分危险。

联合国拉丁美洲和加勒比经济委员会(ECLAC)在5月1号发布的新报告探讨了区块链系统在改进该地区经济体系方面的作用。报告中提到这项技术能够提高跨境资金转账的透明度并且削减成本,但同时还就此发出了警告,尤其是其在政治方面的影响。

报告指出,一旦独裁者掌权,数字货币系统就很可能成为社会压迫的有效工具。在数字货币系统中,独裁者能够剥夺那些和其持不同政见的人的金融系统参与权,同时还能全面了解有哪些公司和其政敌存在财务关系。

数字货币在某些缺乏"严格法治传统"的地区的实施是不明智的。不过作者还提到,如果数字货币的使用范围不局限于同一个国家,那么其存在的风险就会大大降低。

全球金融科技专利申请数量直线攀升

来自部分商业出版物的数据显示,全球范围内金融科技领域专利申请数量显著提升。一份分析报告指出,2016年全球金融科技专利申请量9545份,这一数字比2015年多出了500份,比2011年多49%。据报道,2016年美国高居榜首,有4523份专利申请,同年中国居第二,但数量离美国有一段距离,数量为美国一半。

为了回报发明者把成果公之于众,专利允许发明者在限定期限(通常是20年)内对自己的发明拥有商业开发专享权利。最近专利申请数量大涨,清楚地反映了金融科技领域中研究开发工作显著发展,也反映了这一领域的发明者切实想要保护自己的劳动成果,并使之商业化。申请专利的金融科技发明类型多样,包括比特币管理系统,也包括以区块链为基础的货币储备系统。另外还包括信用评估工具、判定并分析欺诈及非法交易活动的人工智能系统。

世界银行宣布助力肯尼亚政府发行区块链债券,规模可达4700万美元

世界银行透露其已经计划探索区块链技术如何能够帮助提振肯尼亚金融前景。根据一份新报告显示,世界银行正在寻求提供后续研究来支持一种基于手机的债券"M-Akiba"的发行,为此,肯尼亚政府目前已经筹集了110万美元。

肯尼亚政府计划出售大约4700万美元类似产品,据报道该国政府正在考虑区块链如何能够改善这种发行程序。不过,世界银行的工作从技术上讲还未开始,因为世界银行正在等待肯尼亚公共债务管理办公室(PDMO)(该机构负责监管着该国公共部门债务)来批准这项工作。

这份报告指出,世界银行团队已经提出肯尼亚政府提供市场研究支持,评估金融技术的使用,特别是分布式账本或区块链来监管支持该系统的平台。这些研究已经计划好了…正在等待PDMO的批准。世界银行同时还正在与肯尼亚其他机构政府机构进行合作,包括肯尼亚资本市场管理局和中央存管处(肯尼亚中央证券存管处)作为其资本市场工作的一部分。

马云出手投资区块链,其控股公司恒生电子战略投资Symbiont

5月5号消息,区块链创业公司Symbiont已从中国软件公司恒生电子那募集到一笔融资,但具体金额不详。

据悉,恒生电子聚焦于财富资产管理领域,为证券、银行、基金、期货、信托、保险等金融机构提供整体的IT解决方案和服务。值得注意的是,恒生电子的第一大股东正是电子商务巨头阿里巴巴的创始人马云,据报道,马云在2014年中期花了32.99亿人民币全盘收购恒生电子集团,成为恒生电子的第一大股东。根据恒生电子在过去的一份声明,该公司从今年一月份开始投资金融科技公司。根据Symbiont表示,恒生电子会将Symbiont的智能合约软件整合到其中国客户群。特别是,双方的合作重点将放于公共和私人证券市场业务流程的精简之上。这笔投资距Symbiont 获得125万美元种子轮融资,已大约过去了两年的时间。

京东拟斥资数亿美元 投资印尼电商Tokopedia

京东称正与印度尼西亚电商Tokopedia商讨相关投资事宜,为扩张其在东南亚地区的海外市场,京东将向印度尼西亚电商Tokopedia投资数亿元美元。

Tokopedia成立于2009年,由WilliamTanuwijaya和LeontinusAlphaEdison创建,目前是印尼一家C2C电商平台,被称为印度尼西亚版的"淘宝"。据了解,目前双方的商洽还处于初期阶段,京东的这笔潜在投资可能会将Tokopedia的估值推高到10亿美元以上。

在电商领域,BAT几大巨头阿里、腾讯早已在东南亚进行了海外布局,而今京东欲再斥巨资投资电商Tokopedia,假设Tokopedia的投资成功这意味着京东与阿里巴巴国内两大电商巨头的竞争将会被带到印度尼西亚市场。

区块链平台Populous即将上线 中小企业票据融资难题有望解决

近些年来,FinTech行业中的一些企业正在试图将抽象的区块链融入到真实的商务世界,而初创企业Populous正是其中之一。

这家英国公司在上周向全世界进行了项目介绍,宣布计划在几个月内正式运行。Populous的目标是利用区块链技术,对中小企业金融领域带来革命性的创新。特别是在票据融资行业,Populous采用分布式账本技术来生成和传输智能合约,并创建数字资产市场,通过这些市场,中小企业可以将未贴现的票据出售,以此获得资金。

在票据融资方面,中小企业面临着巨大的障碍,延迟付款已成为英国B2B中最大的问题之一。正如Populous创始人兼CEO史蒂夫·威廉姆斯威廉姆斯所说,法律法规在这个问题上一直在努力完善。因此,对企业商业模式进行彻底的改革是及其必要的,以及"不同的激励机制,并在个人层面上创造机会,以获得其他形式的现金流,从而实现增长。

Maecenas:艺术品市场迎来区块链投资时代

Maecenas是一家艺术投资平台,旨在利用区块链技术把资本市场高效、流通的特点带入艺术品市场。平台提供实时市场反馈,也提供初级市场及次级市场,让投资者能够部分拥有可实时交易的艺术品。

具体来说,Maecenas的任务就是匹配艺术品收藏者与投资者,创造公平公开的市场,降低交易费用,让雾里看花的传统市场透明公开。任何投资者都可获得艺术珍品的部分股权。Maecenas的创建者使用区块链技术公开交易,让价值超过100万美元的艺术品可像流通金融产品一样实时交易。这样一来,昂贵且流通性差的艺术品就被转化为单价更低、更便于交易的单位金融产品,这一点与可通过公开交易频繁买卖的公司股票极为相似。投资经理能够更加准确地定位,通过投资不同的艺术品分散风险,而非把资金集中于少量难以出售的艺术品上。

日本第一大互联网巨头GMO

为了满足巨大的市场需求,日本最大的联合大企业看起来想要推出一个新的比特币交易所。日本最大互联网巨头GMO Internet将于5月24日上线自己的GMO-Z交易所平台。此举可能会进一步推动比特币价格迈向新的高度推出比特币交易所。

这个新的交易所名字叫做GMO-Z.com。单凭名字来讲,无法将其与比特币联系在一起。不过,这家电子巨头在日本社会的渗透足以让这个新平台在数月之内传遍整个日本。这个消息出现的时机对日本来说也很有意思。日本于4月1日正式承认比特币为一种合法的支付方式,对比特币的监管法规正式生效,比特币在日本进入发展正轨。比特币价格如今也正在加速上涨。此外,GMO-Z还将提供一种钱包服务,不过这不会是其主要的业务。

股权众筹平台Seedrs启动二级市场

英国最大的股权众筹平台之一Seedrs意欲在今夏启动二级市场。该市场将成为尚处在早期的股权众筹业首个二级市场。

此二级市场一旦成型,将给予Seedrs现有投资者每月增加或减少所持公司股份的机会,具体频次取决于其他投资者的需求。股份交易窗口开发时间为一周,将于每月第一个周二开启。只有已对该公司进行投资的投资者才有机会交易该公司股份。测试版交易平台允许股份按Seedrs规定的价格交易,价格由Seedrs采用其自己的估价方法推定。审计公司安永(EY)已认可了此估价方法,称该方法符合《国际私募股权和风险投资估值指引》(International Private Equity and Venture Capital Valuation (IPEV) Guidelines)。Seedrs并不是首家为股权众筹投资者需求二级市场作为解决方案的公司。许多聚焦不动产的平台,如Property Partner,都已拥有活跃的二级市场。

区块链创业公司Filament已经完成了新的1500万美元融资轮

这次融资由通讯巨头Verizon的风险投资部门Verizon Ventures和后种子期投资公司Bullpen Capital领投。

英特尔公司和美国航空公司JetBlue同样参与了本次融资,其他参投者还包括芝加哥商品交易所(CME)风险投资部门,Lab IX,Backstage Capital,Tappan Hill Ventures,以及之前的投资者数字货币集团,Resonant Venture Partners和三星NEXT。根据美国证监会的文件显示,Filament在二月份就已经筹集了超过900万美元。2015年8月,Filament完成了500万美元A轮融资。Verizon同样参与了当时的融资,那次也是该公司首次涉足区块链领域。在有关声明中,这些支持这家IOT区块链创业公司的参投者--特别是美国第六大航空公司JetBlue--表示他们的参与可能会影响到他们各自的公司业务模式。

M&A狂欢?特朗普税收政策将刺激科技公司并购

2017年4月底,美国经济部门发布了最新的税改框架。其中,公司税将大幅降低,合伙和责任有限公司将享受优惠税率(与风投相关),同时允许美国公司以低于35%现有税率的水平将海外利润转移回国内。

微软、Alphabet、Cisco和苹果等科技巨头都属于这一系列。此外,这些科技龙头企业的股票最近也纷创新高。而在美国,股票是可以用作并购货币的,因此未来科技公司并购前景一片大好。但这些税收政策的改变只有得到议会通过后才会成为法律,而议会是否通过还是一个未知数。有人认为,民主党可能会支持移回海外利润这个部分,因为移回海外利润后公司资产负债表就会得到提升,这不仅将鼓励公司进行并购和回购股票,也会促使他们进行更多资本支出并参与投资基础设施。共民两党都希望在接下来的几年中基础设施投资会增加。

马云出手区块链,恒生电子战略投资Symbiont

据媒体5月5号报道,区块链创业公司Symbiont已从中国软件公司恒生电子募集到一笔融资,但具体金额不详。

据悉,恒生电子聚焦于财富资产管理领域,为证券、银行、基金、期货、信托、保险等金融机构提供整体的IT解决方案和服务。值得注意的是,恒生电子的第一大股东正是电子商务巨头阿里巴巴的创始人马云。据报道,马云在2014年中期花了32.99亿人民币全盘收购恒生电子集团,成为恒生电子的第一大股东。根据恒生电子在过去的一份声明,该公司从今年一月份开始投资金融科技公司。根据Symbiont表示,恒生电子会将Symbiont的智能合约软件整合到其中国客户群。特别是,双方的合作重点将放于公共和私人证券市场业务流程的精简之上。

CB Insights:2017年第一季度区块链新兴企业融资全面回暖

2017年第一季度,区块链新兴企业连续三个季度融资交易数上升。

围绕比特币加密货币ETF上市的纷争不断,代币销售也正如火如荼,但这一切并没有阻碍投资者重振旗鼓,坚持对这一领域的浓厚兴趣。与前一季度相比,2017年第一季度区块链新兴企业投资交易量与交易额都呈上升趋势。以太坊是一个智能合约网络,旨在建立分散式应用平台。以太坊宣布建立企业以太坊联盟,即发展以太坊实用商业的顶级技术企业及集团联盟。随着这一消息宣布,以太坊获得显著发展。区块链利用密码学进行安全保障,同时利用分布式账本,作为流行的密码货币比特币技术已经率先发展起来。

Coining it

These are just three of a new wave of what are called Initial Coin Offerings(ICOs).Nearly $250m has already been invested in such offerings, of which $107m alone has flowed in this year. But it was in April that ICOs, or "token sales", as insiders prefer to call them, really took off. On April 24th Gnosis collected more than $12m in under 15 minutes, valuing the project, in theory, at nearly $300m.

ICO "coins" are essentially digital coupons, tokens issued on an indelible distributed ledger, or blockchain, of the kind that underpins bitcoin, a crypto-currency. That means they can easily be traded, although unlike shares they do not confer ownership rights. Instead, they often serve as the currency for the project they finance: to pay users fora correct prediction, as does Gnosis; or for the content users contribute. (Source: The Economist)

AI may just create the illusion of good credit decisions

AI has been conflated with big data, machine learning and neural networks. AI is also second only to blockchain technology as the most overused and overhyped term referring to technologies that are taking over banking and finance, particularly in credit decisions.

The founders believed that AI and fintech will disrupt the banks; some entrepreneurs even  state that banks were already obsolete. They believe that the technology will make loan officers obsolete (probably true) and lending more consistent and efficient, and safer. The reality is AI will make lending more consistent and efficient; however, it remains to be seen if it will make lending safer. (Source: American Banker)

Billionaire investor Draper to participate in blockchain token sale for 1st time

Billionaire venture capitalist Tim Draper soon plans to take a step that even he, a long-time bitcoin aficionado, has eschewed to now: buying a new digital currency offered by a technology startup.

Tezos, a new blockchain platform launched by a husband and wife team with extensive Wall Street and in hedge fund backgrounds, will launch the ICO on May 22. Draper will also invest in U.S.-based Dynamic Ledger Solutions Inc, the creator of Tezos, but did not disclose details.This would be a significant stamp of approval for this new financing mode of blockchain start-ups. Some investors have expressed concern about lack of regulatory oversight for ICOs. (Source: NASDAQ)

Credit Karma:Believe the hype for'artificial narrow intelligence'

By giving away free credit scores to more than 60 million people, Credit Karma upended the paid credit report market. And by offering free tax returns this year - at the same time H&R Block and IBM Watson were bragging about AI-powered tax filings - the company stormed the $8.9 billion tax preparation industry.

Credit Karma works like this: Members supply personal information (name, address, phone, social security number) to receive credit scores and, if desired, to be matched with the best credit card, personal loan, and auto loan offers, and to file their federal income taxes - all for free. The company gets paid a commission by the credit card and loan issuers, and it vows it will never charge consumers. (Source: VENTURE BEAT)

Qatar's Commercial Bank is Expanding its Blockchain Remittance Trials

The Commercial Bank of Qatar has announced the completion of testing on a blockchain prototype designed for international remittances. Developed in conjunction with EdgeVerve Systems, a subsidiary of IT giant Infosys, the project saw the Commercial Bank partner with several of its subsidiaries and associated banks in conducting transactions over the system.

The news follows hot on the heels of a similar blockchain trial conducted with other banks in the region. Last month, the Commercial Bank revealed work with banks in the UAE, Oman and Turkey, which saw the participants sending one another payments as part of a bid to develop new lines in established payment corridors in the Middle East and the Philippines. (Source: Coindesk)

ECLAC: Central Bank Digital Currencies Could Empower Dictators

The UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) published a new report on 1st May which explores how blockchain-based systems could help improve conditions in the region's financial system. While outlining how the tech could boost transparency and cut the cost associated with international funds transfers, the organization did include some caveats, particularly political ones.

The paper explores the concept of a central-bank issued digital currency (CBDC) - that is, one in which a central bank uses some implementation of blockchain to underlie the issuance of an electronic money distinct from the kinds they maintain today. It's an area of research being conducted by a range of central banks, including those in China, Canada and the UK, to name a few. (Source: Coindesk)

Surge In Fintech Patent Applications

Several business publications have recently reported a dramatic increase in the number of patent applications filed globally for fintech-related inventions. According to one widely-reported analysis, 9,545 applications were filed in 2016 which is 500 more than in 2015 and over 49% more than in 2011. The United States is reportedly leading the charge with 4,523 patent filings in 2016 and China, in a somewhat distant second place, filed about half that number in the same year.

The types of fintech-related inventions seeking to be patented are diverse and include systems for managing bitcoin and blockchain-based currency reserves. Other examples include credit risk assessment tools and artificial intelligence agents for identifying and analysing fraud and irregular trading activities. (Source: The National Law Review)

World Bank to Support Blockchain Bonds Trial in Kenya

The World Bank has revealed plans to explore how blockchain technology could help boost Kenya's financial prospects.

According to a new report, the World Bank is seeking to provide follow-up research to support a mobile phone-based bond issuance dubbed 'M-Akiba' through which the African country's government has so far raised $1.1m. The World Bank is working with several other government agencies, including the Capital Markets Authority and the Central Depository & Settlement Corporation (Kenya's central securities depository) as part of its capital markets work.

Kenya's government plans to sell roughly $47m in similar products, and is reportedly considering how blockchain could improve the issuance process. (Source: Coindesk)

Jack Ma-Backed Tech Firm Invests in Blockchain Startup Symbiont

Blockchain startup Symbiont has raised an undisclosed sum from Chinese software firm Hundsun Technologies.

The firm is partly owned by Chinese billionaire Jack Ma, who founded e-commerce giant Alibaba, after Ma spent more than $500m in mid-2014 to buy a controlling stake, per reports at the time Past statements from Hundsun indicate that it has been looking to invest in financial technology startups since as early as January.

The partnership between the two firms will see Hundsun opening up Symbiont's smart contract software to its Chinese customer base. In particular, the partnership will focus on "business processes in both public and private securities markets". (Source: Coindesk)

JD reportedly in talks to invest in Tokopedia, may propel its valuation past US$1B

Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com is reportedly in talks to invest in Indonesian e-commerce platform Tokopedia, according to a report by Bloomberg. Citing various anonymous sources, the report stated that the investment is currently in early-stage negotiations.

Tokopedia raised US$100 million from SoftBank Group and Sequoia Capital in 2014, a record-breaking sum that was considered, "Indonesia's coming-of-age as a bona fide destination for technology investment." For JD, the investment will strengthen its ability to compete directly with rival Alibaba (which purchased controlling stake in Lazada in 2016). (Source: Fintech ranking)

B2B PAYMENTS Populous, A New SME Lender, Puts Blockchain Into Invoice Finance

The U.K. firm made its introduction to the world last week, announcing plans to formally launch in a few months. Populous aims to use blockchain to disrupt the SME finance space, in particular the invoice financing industry, using distributed ledger technology to generate and transmit smart contracts and create a digital marketplace through which small businesses can finance their unpaid invoices.

In an interview with PYMNTS, Steve Williams, founder and CEO of Populous, said his company is "one of the first, if not the first, smart contract-based platforms with a real business plan attached to it," speaking to the recent rise in papers and experiments that explore blockchain. He added that not only is Populous looking to introduce a real-world use case for blockchain-based smart contracts but that the firm will also aim to play a role in the financial services market. (Source: PYMNTS)

Blockchain-based art market will allow investors to trade shares in masterpieces

Maecenas is an art investment platform aiming to bring the efficiency and liquidity of capital markets to the art market using a blockchain. The platform will provide live market feeds and a primary and secondary market in which investors will have fractional ownership of works art, which can be traded in real time. Maecenas will match art owners with investors, creating a fair and open market, reducing costs and bringing transparency to a traditionally opaque world, said a release.

Co-founder and CEO Marcelo Garcia Casil said: "We are using technology to revolutionise the art finance market, reducing costs, introducing transparency and creating liquidity. We are creating a new way to invest in fine art. Our ambition is to make the art industry a better place for everyone." (Source: INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TIMES)

Japanese E-Giant Will Launch GMO-Z Bitcoin Exchange In Two Weeks

It is to be expected more Japanese cryptocurrency exchanges will come to fruition soon. GMO Internet is the first major conglomerate to do so. Although their platform will only launch two weeks from now, pre-registration is already open.

This new exchange will be named GMO-Z.com. It is not necessarily a name people will associate with Bitcoin, though. Then again, the e-giant has a big enough presence to spread the word about this new platform in the coming months. It is good to see the company come through on their word. GMO Internet mentioned in December of 2016 how they would launch a cryptocurrency exchange. (Source: Newsbtc)

Equity crowdfunder Seedrs launching secondary market

Seedrs, one of the UK's biggest equity crowdfunders, intends to launch a secondary market in the summer of this year. This would be the early-stage equity crowdfunding sector's first secondary market.

Once live, the secondary market will give existing Seedrs investors the chance to increase or reduce their holdings in companies on a once-monthly basis, subject to demand from other investors. The window for trading shares will last a week, and will open on the first Tuesday of every month. Investors will only get the chance to trade a company's shares if they've already invested in it. The beta version of the trading platform will allow shares to be traded at a price set by Seedrs, deduced using its own valuation methodology. (Source: ALTFI)

Verizon, JetBlue Back Blockchain Firm Filament's $15 Million Funding

Blockchain startup Filament has closed a new $15m funding round. The round was led by Verizon Ventures, the venture arm of telecommunications conglomerate Verizon, and Bullpen Capital, a post-seed stage investment firm.

Venture arms for Intel and US airline JetBlue also took part in the round, along with CME Ventures, Lab IX, Backstage Capital, Tappan Hill Ventures and existing investors Digital Currency Group, Resonant Venture Partners and Samsung NEXT. The startup had raised more than $9m as of February, SEC documents showed at the time, and the round comes less than two years after Filament raised $5m in a Series A round in August 2015. (Source: Coindesk)

M&A Fiesta? Trump's Tax Plan Would Help Fuel Tech Acquisitions

Given the most acquisitive tech companies have the largest overseas cash piles, the proposal to allow corporations to repatriate overseas profits at reduced rates could help fund new rounds of tech M&A.

This week, US economic officials launched the outline of a new tax reform, which among other things would slash the corporate tax rate, allow for partnerships and LLCs to be taxed at attractive rates (relevant to VCs), and allow US corporations to repatriate offshore profits at a rate lower than the current 35%. That's potentially a big deal since some of the companies with the largest overseas cash piles are the most acquisitive tech corporations, including Microsoft, Alphabet, Cisco, and Apple. (Source: CB INSIGHTS)

Jack Ma-Backed Tech Firm Invests in Blockchain Startup Symbiont

Blockchain startup Symbiont has raised an undisclosed sum from Chinese software firm Hundsun Technologies. The firm is partly owned by Chinese billionaire Jack Ma, who founded e-commerce giant Alibaba, after Ma spent more than $500m in mid-2014 to buy a controlling stake, per reports at the time Past statements from Hundsun indicate that it has been looking to invest in financial technology startups since as early as January.

When reached, a representative for Symbiont declined to comment on the amount Hundsun invested in Symbiont. In addition to providing the funds, Hundsun will gain a board observer. (Source: Coin Desk)

Blockchain Startup Investment Bounces Back

Even as debates around scaling bitcoin, cryptocurrency ETFs, and token sales rage on, it isn't slowing renewed investor interest in the space. Q1'17 blockchain startup investment deals and dollars trended up on a quarterly basis. Notably, ethereum - a smart-contract enabled network that seeks to be the platform of choice for the development of decentralized applications - has seen real growth with its announcement of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, a consortium of top tech firms and corporations advancing ethereum business use-cases. Blockchains are cryptographically secured, distributed ledgers, first developed as the underlying technology of the popular cryptocurrency, bitcoin. (Source: Coin Desk)


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