Future of Finance

By Quartz | Exploring the "new normal" in global finance

First Brexit, now this: RBS and Natwest tell British companies they could be forced to pay on deposits — Quartz

In yet another sign the financial world is being turned on its head, one of the UK’s biggest banks has warned customers that it may saddle them with negative interest rates. That is, depositors would be charged for putting their money in the bank.<p>Royal Bank of Scotland, one of Britain’s largest …

Finance (UK)

Mobile money giant M-Pesa is getting its own debit card to compete with banks

Safaricom, parent of the M-Pesa mobile money platform, is eying a piece of the $13.5 billion in annual transactions in Kenya’s payment cards industry with a new debit card. In its pilot stage, the new card, which is largely expected to challenge commercial banks for card commissions, is linked to …

Mobile

Everything you need to know about the Ethereum “hard fork”

Ethereum burst onto the virtual currency scene almost a year ago. It’s similar to bitcoin, but with a key difference. In addition to supporting its own digital currency, ether, it also supports smart contracts, agreements written in computer code that execute automatically when conditions are …

VPNs

The big daddies of India Inc. are moving aside to let the kids play

Kumar Mangalam Birla, Mukesh Ambani, and Anil Ambani are household names in India. These tycoons had their fathers—Aditya Vikram Birla and Dhirubhai Ambani respectively—to thank for establishing the business empires that they lord over today.<p>In India, over 65% of all listed companies are …

Asia

The privacy of mobile money users is under threat as the Kenyan taxman chases new revenue

Kenya has led the world in enabling the No.1 major mobile money ecosystem with over 90% of adults in East Africa’s largest economy transacting money through platform. While many other phone operators and governments around the world have looked on with envy as it has grown to nearly $30 billion a …

Mobile

A Miami judge rules that bitcoin isn’t money

Sorry bitcoiners, the US court system doesn’t think your digital currency is real money.<p>At least, Miami-Dade circuit court judge Teresa Mary Pooler doesn’t. Yesterday (July 25), Pooler handed down a verdict in the first money-laundering case in the US to involve bitcoin, a virtual currency not …

Bitcoin

You may soon be able to invest in bitcoin without all the risks of owning bitcoin — Quartz

It may soon be easier for average investors to get in on the bitcoin craze without dealing with some of the risks.<p>Blockchain startup SolidX published an initial public offering filing on Tuesday (July 12) with the US Securities and Exchange Commission for a bitcoin fund listed on the New York Stock …

Bitcoin

The halvening is upon us: Bitcoin’s reward for miners just dropped 50%

The biggest event of the year in bitcoin just happened.<p>The network saw its mining reward—the amount of bitcoin miners receive for confirming transaction—get cut in half earlier today (July 9), around 12:48 EST. The event occurs after every 210,000 blocks are mined, or confirmed, by the system.<p>It’s …

Bitcoin

A startup is trying solve bitcoin’s child pornography problem

Bitcoin, a currency with the promise of anonymity and no government regulation, is a potential hotbed for nefarious activities.<p>On Wednesday (July 6), London-based bitcoin startup Elliptic announced that it was teaming up with International Watch Foundation (IWF), a non-profit in the UK that …

Startups

Bitcoin companies are surprisingly welcoming stricter regulation in Europe

The European commission said yesterday (July 5) that it was proposing strict new rules for companies that exchange or store digital currencies such as bitcoin. The European Union’s executive arm wants to make exchanges and storage services comply with the anti-money-laundering rules that govern …

Bitcoin

After 10 years and billions in fines, the UK has convicted precisely five people for rigging interest rates — Quartz

Three former Barclays traders were found guilty by a jury in a British court of conspiring to manipulate Libor, a London-based international financial benchmark linked to some $300 trillion worth of mortgages, loans, and derivatives.<p>Jay Merchant, 45, the most senior of the traders, was convicted …

Interest Rates

Everything you need to know about the bitcoin ‘halving’ event

Bitcoin has been on a wild ride.<p>Already over the past year, Craig Wright stepped forward as Satoshi Nakamoto, bitcoin’s anonymous founder, but later backed away from those claims; a civil war raged at the upper echelons of the bitcoin community over changes to the network’s code; a renowned bitcoin …

Bitcoin

Brexit probably won’t kill London’s booming fintech scene

London is the fintech capital of Europe—and, many would argue, the world. But in the aftermath of the UK’s vote to leave the European Union, many are wondering whether it’s about to lose that title. If the world’s largest banks pack up and relocate to the likes of Frankfurt, Paris or Dublin, the …

London

After settling its Nigeria fine, South Africa's MTN can focus on banking services and fintech — Quartz

After nearly a year in corporate limbo, foundering in uncertainty created by a record regulatory fine, MTN, Africa’s largest telecoms company, looks ready to turn the corner with a future in financial services.<p>The embattled Johannesburg-based company revealed this week it had poached Vodafone’s Rob …

Africa

PayPal is warming up to bitcoin

PayPal is slowly dipping its toes in the bitcoin waters.<p>The company has partnered with Coinbase, a virtual currency wallet and exchange, so Coinbase users can sell bitcoin and cash out to their PayPal accounts. Buying bitcoin isn’t possible yet, but the small integration is a noteworthy first …

PayPal

Apple Pay is finally offering something that both retailers and customers want

Apple Pay, the iPhone maker’s mobile wallet service, has received a tepid response from the US public since it was released in September 2014. The problem has been twofold: First, it can’t be used in that many places yet, as retailers have been slow to upgrade their equipment. Second, pulling a …

Apple Pay

The developers behind Ethereum are hacking the hacker that hacked it

Hacking is a two way street.<p>The core developers behind Ethereum, which supports a cryptocurrency similar to bitcoin, launched an assault on an anonymous hacker that stole at least $89 million through its network.<p>Alex Van Der Sande, lead designer for Ethereum, announced the counterattack on Twitter …

Bitcoin

IEX’s Brad Katsuyama: The US will have many fewer stock exchanges in the future — Quartz

Today the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) voted to make Investor’s Exchange (IEX) the 13th public stock exchange in the US. You might think this decision will lead to more creative new exchanges starting up—but in fact it may signal just the opposite.<p>In a conversation prior to the SEC’s …

Administrative law

The SEC approved IEX’s bid to be a new US stock exchange and fight high-frequency traders

Beginning in late August, US brokers will have a new, and quite different, choice for making their trades. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) today voted to allow Investor’s Exchange (IEX) to operate as a public stock exchange. It will be the first public exchange to employ techniques …

Stocks

A $79 million cryptocurrency heist just happened, and it’s threatening the future of blockchains

The Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) is a radical experiment in crowdsourced investing, and it raised over $150 million in ether, a cryptocurrency that’s starting to rival bitcoin. The funds were stored at an address on the ethereum blockchain (the protocol underpinning ether) where they …

The SEC tried to fix a finance problem and created a computer problem instead

When the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) signed off on the new National Market System (Reg NMS) in 2005, the goal was to transform the 188-year-old New York Stock Exchange from an old school institution where specialists shouted from the trading floor into a hyper-efficient system of …

Markets

Only in Silicon Valley could Elizabeth Holmes lose $4.5 billion she never had to begin with

America’s richest self-made woman is broke. On June 1, Forbes went viral when it downgraded its estimation of Elizabeth Holmes’ wealth from $4.5 billion to zero. The magazine argued that Theranos, the embattled biotech company Holmes founded, should no longer be valued at $9 billion. Therano’s new …

Silicon Valley

LinkedIn may just be the beginning of mega-acquisitions for Silicon Valley

The world’s technology giants are sitting on an unprecedented mountain of cash. And with Microsoft embarking on one of the largest technology acquisitions in history, there’s new evidence that they’re willing to spend it.<p>Silicon Valley would love nothing more after two years with a moribund market …

Silicon Valley

Bitcoin’s price rose 20% over the weekend and hit a two-year high

Bitcoin soared more than 20% over the weekend, and hit a two-year high of $719.85 on Monday morning trading GMT, before dropping a bit when European markets opened.<p>Bitcoin’s been on a tear recently. On May 22, the price was at $438.77. Then the big rally started, rising 59% so far.<p>It’s still …

A group from Silicon Valley has a serious plan for creating a totally new US stock exchange

A startup backed by prominent Silicon Valley names is moving toward creating a new US stock exchange, one with additional rules for companies and investors designed to reward long-term shareholding and business strategies to generate long-term results.<p>Eric Ries, a San Francisco entrepreneur and …

Forecast: The tech IPO drought will be sticking around

The first quarter of 2016 was the worst one for tech IPOs since the Great Recession. Not a single startup went public on US exchanges, a stunning drop off from the double-digit number of debuts that were taking place just two years earlier.<p>By that standard, Blue Apron, the artisanal meal-kit …

Investment banks now offer a slew of killer perks, like “personal time” and “weekends”

There has been a lot of anxiety in the banking world about how to attract millennials (paywall). As a group, the youngest members of the workforce apparently value balance in their lives and meaning in their work, which investment banks traditionally haven’t been great at offering.<p>The panic may be …

India Post, a postal system for 180 years, is also about to become a bank — Quartz

In 1837, the British consolidated India’s postal system into one nationwide service. Almost 180 years later, the world’s largest postal network is going to transform into a bank.<p>The Indian government has cleared a proposal to set up an India Post payments bank, with 650 branches that will be linked …

Money (India)

Is the future of business a company without workers, managers or a CEO?

These days, it’s hardly surprising to hear that a hot new startup has received gobs of money from eager investors. But a new company called The DAO (short for “decentralized autonomous organization”) is not your average startup.<p>The DAO, designed to serve as a kind of venture capital fund for the …