Fintech Schweiz Digital Finance News – FintechNewsCH http://fintechnews.ch Wed, 15 Aug 2018 08:06:59 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Crypto Finance Conference to Feature Ripple Chairman Chris Larsen at First USA Event http://fintechnews.ch/blockchain_bitcoin/crypto-finance-conference-to-feature-ripple-chairman-chris-larsen-at-first-usa-event/21260/ Wed, 15 Aug 2018 07:48:00 +0000 http://fintechnews.ch/?p=21260 After successful events in St. Moritz and Geneva, Switzerland, the Crypto Finance Conference—the world’s most exclusive investor conference on cryptocurrencies and blockchain investments—is hosting its first event in the United

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After successful events in St. Moritz and Geneva, Switzerland, the Crypto Finance Conference—the world’s most exclusive investor conference on cryptocurrencies and blockchain investments—is hosting its first event in the United States.

The Crypto Finance Conference USA 2018 will take place from Sept. 5 to 7 in Half Moon Bay, California, and will feature Ripple executive chairman Chris Larsen , known as the richest person in crypto, as a keynote speaker, among other high-level industry leaders.

Larsen, who holds an M.B.A. from Stanford, co-founded Ripple in 2012. Ripple’s XRP token is meant to facilitate international bank payments via blockchain.Another notable speaker is venture capitalist Tim Draper , the founder of Draper Associates, DFJ, and Draper University. He has invested in over 50 crypto companies—including Coinbase, Ledger, and Tezos—and is a leading spokesperson for blockchain and Bitcoin. Former US Congress “crypto” candidate Brian Forde , who served as a White House Senior Advisor for Mobile and Data, is another impressive name on the agenda for the event.

Andrea-Franco Stöhr , co-founder and CEO of the Crypto Finance Conference says,

Andrea-Franco Stöhr​

Andrea-Franco Stöhr​

“We are extremely excited to bring the Crypto Finance Conference to California. We are the most exclusive investor conference in the world and working with such outstanding  speakers is a great honor for us. It contributes to a unique experience for all attendants.

 

We always aim to focus on quality over quantity—in terms of participants, speakers, knowledge-sharing, and investment opportunities.”

Each speaker and attendant is approved directly by the conference board, which consists of eight crypto investors and industry experts including Crypto Finance AG founder Tobias Reichmuth, entrepreneur Marc Bernegger, and unicorn hunter and angel investor Daniel Gutenberg. The Crypto Conference USA 2018 is expected to have 150 to 200 participants attending—all investors reviewed and approved by the board.

Other speakers at Crypto Finance Conference USA 2018 include:

Bill Tai

Bill Tai

Bill Tai, VC, board director (strategy chair) at Bitfury and board chairman of Hut8

Reese Jones

Reese Jones

Reese Jones, associate founder of Singularity University & biophysicist

Jalak Jobanbutra

Jalak Jobanbutra

Jalak Jobanbutra, founder and managing partner of FuturePerfect Ventures

Bobby Lee

Bobby Lee

Bobby Lee, co-founder of BTCC, board member at Bitcoin Foundation

Jennifer Zhu Scott

Jennifer Zhu Scott

Jennifer Zhu Scott, co-founder and principal of Radian Partners

Eva Kaili

Eva Kaili

Eva Kaili, member of the European Parliament

Wences Casares

Wences Casares

Wences Casares, founder and CEO of Xapo

Meltem Demirors

Meltem Demirors

Meltem Demirors, chief strategy officer of CoinShares, investor and advisor

Steve Papermaster

Steve Papermaster

Steve Papermaster, CEO of Nano Vision, former senior advisor to President George W. Bush

Notable panels and keynotes include:

  • Panel Discussion “Riding the crypto rollercoaster: Will the industry ever be stable?”
  • Panel Discussion “Token categories: Which ones will dominate in the future?”
  • Keynote: “The next big thing: How to find the next Airbnb and Uber in the crypto space”
  • Keynote: “Crypto newbie: How to identify a high potential ICO”

The full speaker-line up and agenda can be found online. To participate in the Crypto Finance Conference USA 2018, applicants can register here, though completing the application does not guarantee a seat at the conference. The final acceptance/rejection email will be sent after the screening process by the conference board. Early-bird registration is sold-out. The standard participation fee is $4,900.

Crypto Finance Conference USA 2018

 

Featured Image via Crypto Finance Conference

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2 Fintech Startups Win Swisscom StartUp Challenge 2018 http://fintechnews.ch/fintech/2-fintech-startups-win-swisscom-startup-challenge-2018/21296/ Wed, 15 Aug 2018 07:44:52 +0000 http://fintechnews.ch/?p=21296 AAAccell, Dotphoton, Exeon Analytics, Sentifi and ROVENSO have been named as the winners of the sixth Swisscom StartUp Challenge. All gave a successful pitch to the panel at the Swisscom

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AAAccell, Dotphoton, Exeon Analytics, Sentifi and ROVENSO have been named as the winners of the sixth Swisscom StartUp Challenge. All gave a successful pitch to the panel at the Swisscom Braingym in Bern. The next stop is Silicon Valley for a one-week Business Acceleration Programme.

Since the launch of the StartUp Challenge in 2013, over 852 start-ups have applied to take part. This year, a record number of 238 applications were submitted for the event. Applicants come from the ICT, Cloud Services, Fintech, Artificial Intelligence, IOT, Robotics, Digital Marketing and Cyber Security sectors.

The top ten start-ups pitched to the panel of experts today, Tuesday, 14 August, 2018. The judging panel included Roger Wüthrich-Hasenböhler (Chief Digital Officer Swisscom), Carole Ackermann (Investor and President Business Angels Switzerland), Lukas Weder (Founder of EAT.ch) and Beat Schillig (CEO of programme partner venturelab).

Tailor-made mentoring programme in Silicon Valley

The five winners impressed the panel with their convincing business model, team spirit and determination: AAAccell, Dotphoton, Exeon Analytics, Sentifi and ROVENSO have secured their places on the one-week Business Acceleration Programme in Silicon Valley. Here, they will learn from the personal experiences of top entrepreneurs and venture capitalists and develop their marketing and sales skills. The young entrepreneurs also have the opportunity to win Swisscom’s backing in a collaboration or investment. The start-ups will set out on their journey on 21 October, 2018.

Roger Wüthrich-Hasenböhler

Roger Wüthrich-Hasenböhler

Roger Wüthrich-Hasenböhler:

“I am already looking forward to opening doors for these driven young entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley. Contacts with international partners and mentors will help them to unleash their innovative energy.”

 

 

 

Short descriptions of the winners:

aaaccellAAAccell is a spin-off company of the University of Zurich. The team consists of two former bank CEO’s, 11 professors and several PhD’s/Master’s from University of Zurich, ETH, Columbia New York and others. AAAccell links together “academic excellence”, “artificial intelligence” and “algorithmic power” and develops high-tech software solutions for the finance industry in the field of asset- and risk management based on the newest breakthroughs in science.

 

dotphotonDotphoton is a quantum-inspired raw image compression solution for professional applications: it makes raw images up to 10 times smaller with a strong guarantee that quality is preserved, saving a corresponding amount of time and money and enabling the next generation of high-quality imaging and processing solutions in photography, cinema, AI, biomedical and aerospace.

 

 

ExeonExeon Analytics fights advanced cyber attacks using award-winning algorithms. It often takes months, if not years, until data breaches are detected because they are well hidden among millions of regular user activities. Our ExeonTrace security analytics and visualization software allows companies to understand their network traffic and detect hidden cyber attacks and data breaches.

 

sentifiSentifi is a provider of financially relevant Crowd Intelligence. Our solutions are viewed more than 180 million times per month and used by the world’s leading financial services organizations to gain unique insights on over 50 thousand traded companies, currencies and commodities and the events that impact them.

Sentifi uses machine learning to rank and listening to over 14 million financial influencers and connect them with events impacting global assets. Our customers use this insight to make better investment decisions, often ahead of the markets. Our solutions are also used by over 50 of the world’s leading financial publications across 9 countries to attract new customers, retain them and drive additional revenue.

 

rovensoAn EPFL startup initiated in 2014 and incorporated in January 2016, ROVENSO makes agile sensing robots for challenging and harsh environments. Based in Switzerland, it also has workshops and offices in Shenzhen (China) in partnership with HAX Accelerator. It has pilot projects with paying customers in China and Switzerland in the fields of firefighting and security surveillance.

 

 

Featured Image via Pixabay

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Instimatch Global Further Expands Leadership Team To Spur International Growth http://fintechnews.ch/roboadvisor_onlinewealth/instimatch-global-expand-leadership-team-to-spur-international-growth/20423/ Wed, 15 Aug 2018 07:00:26 +0000 http://fintechnews.ch/?p=20423 Digital trading network Instimatch Global welcomes a new board member this month, following the previous appointments of a new CEO and Executive Chairman in July. Daniel Sandmeier had been appointed as

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Digital trading network Instimatch Global welcomes a new board member this month, following the previous appointments of a new CEO and Executive Chairman in July.

Daniel Sandmeier had been appointed as CEO and Michael Schmidt as Executive Chairman in July.

The incoming board member, Lamine Brahimi, is also Co-Founder and Managing Partner of the digital asset platform, Taurus Group SA.

Instimatch Global intends to leverage its current presence in four European countries to spur further international growth.

Founded in 2016 by Hugh Macmillen, Instimatch Global aims to change the way money markets work by digitalising voice brokerage and shifting operations from a traditionally local execution to global execution.

Hugh Macmillen

Hugh Macmillen

“Instimatch Global has been up and running with a growing client base for over a year now, and we’ve found the key people to accelerate our growth,” commented Hugh Macmillen.

The earlier appointments of Sandmeier and Schmidt, he said, was designed to bring the necessary breadth of institutional and fintech experience needed for Instimatch Global to scale effectively.

The company already has bases across Switzerland, Germany, Benelux and the UK.

Commenting on the interest shown in the market so far, Executive Chairman of Istimatch Global, Michael Schmidt said:

New fintech solutions continue to enhance financial markets, but the potential for new technology has not yet been realised in money markets.”

Michael Schmidt

Michael Schmidt

According to him, Instimatch Global delivered an alternative that provided better access to markets and pricing across borders, not just within them. His experience he said, would be instrumental in stimulating large institutions to make the leap to a more digitalized approach.

On top of his having previously headed Fixed Income trading and sales teams at Deutsche Bank and UBS, Schmidt also previously spearheaded the development of several leading electronic trading platforms.

He also co-founded Algomi in 2012 to create scalable software that enabled fixed income professionals to leverage data in making valuable financial connections.

Instimatch Global CEO Daniel Sandmeier noted how Brahimi’s joining would bring with him a rare combination of wealth management and technology expertise. Brahimi previously led Lombard Odier bank’s digital strategy in his capacity as Deputy COO and Chief Digital Officer of its wealth management unit.

“His advice will prove a valuable asset in growing our digital network across Europe. We have ambitious growth plans over the next 12 months and a board with significant experience scaling financial technology businesses in institutional markets to achieve these goals,” Sandmeier said

Lamine Brahimi

Lamine Brahimi

For his part Brahimi observed that Instimatch had already built traction was growing in both trading volumes and the number of banks, corporates and asset managers using the platform. Still, there was plenty more to build upon.

“The adoption of new technology in money markets that will significantly improve efficiency and allow counterparties to better manage risk, is still in its infancy,” he said.

Instimatch Global’s network of borrowers and lenders so far includes bank treasuries, corporate treasuries, pension funds, insurance companies, asset managers, family offices and municipalities.  

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9 Must-Read Personal Finance Rockstar Blogs in the US http://fintechnews.ch/pfm/9-must-read-personal-finance-blogs-in-the-us/21222/ Tue, 14 Aug 2018 06:34:55 +0000 http://fintechnews.ch/?p=21222 On September 26-29, 2018, FinCon18 Orlando, the country’s premier conference for financial bloggers, will bring together more than 2,000 digital content creators and brands in personal finance and investing. The

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On September 26-29, 2018, FinCon18 Orlando, the country’s premier conference for financial bloggers, will bring together more than 2,000 digital content creators and brands in personal finance and investing.

The four-day event will provide participants with a platform to connect and share. These will hear from some of the most successful bloggers in the industry and learn how to create better content, reach a wider audience, and make more money.

In light of the upcoming FinCon event, we have compiled a list of the nine most must-read personal finance blogs out there that will help you accomplish your financial goals and reach financial freedom.

 

Mr. Money Mustache

Mr Money MustacheMr. Money Mustache is the website and pseudonym of Canadian-born blogger Peter Adeney. Adeney retired from his job as a software engineer in 2005 at age 30 by spending only a small percentage of his annual salary and consistently investing the remainder, primarily in stock market index funds.

Adeney lives in Longmont, Colorado, and contends that most middle-class individuals can and should spend less money and own fewer physical possessions, and that they can live with increased financial freedom and happiness as well as a decreased environmental footprint as a result.

The blog has been featured and cited in various media outlets including Market Watch, CBS News, and The New Yorker, as well as others.

 

Visual Capitalist

Visual CapitalistVisual Capitalist creates and curates enriched visual content. It is a digital media brand that uses data, art, and storytelling to make complex issues more digestible for millions of investors around the world.

Focusing on topics such as markets, technology, energy, and the global economy, Visual Capitalist is currently one of the fastest growing online publishers in North America.

The company’s approach of fusing data, art, and storytelling has helped build an affluent millennial audience (>50%) with a reach that is expanding rapidly. Visual Capitalist’s work can also often be found in Business Insider, Marketwatch, Zero Hedge, and other business-oriented publications.

 

Get Rich Slowly

Get Rich Slowly

Named Best Blog by Time magazine and Most Inspiring Money Blog by Money magazine, Get Rich Slowly is devoted to sensible personal finance.

Creator J.D. Roth’s philosophy is that building wealth takes time. He believes in setting goals, spending less than you earn and paying yourself first — and the posts on his blog reflect these beliefs.

Besides Get Rich Slowly, Roth is also the creator of Money Boss, a blog that focuses on helping readers master their money and life. The core idea is “manage your personal finances as if you were managing a small business.”

 

Money Crashers

Money Crashers

Money Crashers is a personal finance resource with the mission of educating readers about how to improve their “financial fitness.” Topics covered include money management, budgeting, frugality, careers & education, investing, retirement, and small business.

It strives to educate individuals in making wise choices and provides sensible advice to people of all ages and stages of life.

Money Crashers has been featured on national media outlets including CNN, The Wall Street Journal, US News & World Report, Yahoo Finance, MSNBC, Business Insider, Forbes, and more.

 

Wise Bread

Wise BreadWise Bread is a financial advice website that offers advice on personal finance, life hacks, and advice about buying goods and services.

This site is about being smart with your money and “Live Large on a Small Budget.” It covers a broad range of money-related topics, from opening a Roth IRA for your child to reusing detergent bottles.

Wise Bread has won several awards including About.com’s Personal Finance Blog of the Year, PC Magazine’s Top 100 Websites, and Kiplinger’s Top 10 Financial Blogs.

 

Consumerism Commentary

Consumerism Commentary

Consumerism Commentary is an online blog focusing on personal finance and consumer issues. The blog provides daily articles stemming from current events and events in the author’s own life.

Luke Landes is said to be the first blogger to share monthly financial updates, such as his net worth statement, with no restrictions.

Landes, who goes by Flexo on the site, has been blogging about personal finance and his own finances since 2003. He started the blog to hold himself accountable for his money decisions. Now the site covers all aspects of personal finance and provides reviews of financial products.

 

Modest Money

Modest MoneyModest Money provides insightful investment analysis from a diverse array of investment and financial minds. The site’s regular contributors investigate the cutting edge of investment opportunities, while helping readers steer clear of investing pitfalls.

Modest Money also provides breaking investment news, including stock market developments, currency trading reports, and the latest commodities events.

 

Financial Samurai

Financial Samurai

Financial Samurai claims to be one of the largest indy personal finance sites with 1 million organic page views a month. The blog delves deeper into investing, real estate, retirement planning, career strategies, money philosophy, and more, to achieve financial independence sooner, rather than later. It also gives honest and in-depth reviews of financial products. Every article is written based off first hand experience to provide the most helpful insights possible.

Financial Samurai has been highlighted in major publications such as Forbes, The Wall Street Journal Online, Business Insider, The Consumerist, The Sydney Herald, The Chicago Tribune and The Los Angeles Times. I’ve also done interviews with AARP, Newstalk Radio 910AM (KKSF San Francisco) and Bloomberg.

 

Budgets Are Sexy

Budgets Are Sexy

Launched in 2008, Budgets Are Sexy is a personal finance blog that follows the author’s own adventures with income, debt, and savings. It aims to make personal finance and money management fun by avoiding the usual long in-depth instruction manual format, and instead provides a fun place to share and interact.

J. Money, the pseudonym of the site’s creator, is an award winning personal finance blogger and fintech consultant. With over a decade of building communities online, Jay’s projects have reached 30+ million views and have been featured numerous times in the media.

 

Featured image via Pixabay

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UBS: Bitcoin To Reach $ 200’000 Before Replacing Money http://fintechnews.ch/blockchain_bitcoin/ubs-bitcoin-to-reach-200000-before-replacing-money/21196/ Tue, 14 Aug 2018 03:35:00 +0000 http://fintechnews.ch/?p=21196 70% of changes in bitcoin price is mainly due to speculation. Bitcoin instability, structure, and its high volatility act as limitations to go mainstream analyst says. “Bitcoin is still too

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70% of changes in bitcoin price is mainly due to speculation. Bitcoin instability, structure, and its high volatility act as limitations to go mainstream analyst says.

“Bitcoin is still too unstable.”

A report sent to UBS clients underlines that crypto enthusiasts shall still wait for quite some time before Nakamoto money could potentially replace normal money supply, coins or even travelers’ checks. To be precise, the study conducted by the Swiss bank UBS(CHF 915 Bio of assets under management and valued at CHF 58,89 Bio in 2017) mentions that the price need to hit nearly $ 213’000…while BTC price today flirts with $ 6’320.

Apart from its price that needs to reach the moon, its network’s processing capabilities would need to drastically improve as well. As a brief reminder, VISA is able to process more than 20’000 transactions per seconds, although on average it handles 2’000 transactions per second. Bitcoin, on the other hand, faces a serious problem of scalability as its maximum capacity is estimated between 3.3 and 7 transactions per second.

Would it be then to early to categorize the three keys logo bank as a bitcoin detractor? Maybe yes, but it seems that the road ahead bitcoin is still long before it could thumb its nose at the US notes.

As per UBS, apart from the scalability problems and its high price fluctuations, there is a lack of clear regulations surrounding bitcoin which could be identified as a major drawback. For this reason, the Swiss bank highlights that “bitcoin falls short of criteria that need to be satisfied to be considered money.

The 34-page report mentions:

“Our findings suggest that Bitcoin, in its current form, is too unstable and limited to become a viable means of payment for global transactions or a mainstream asset class,”

Joni Teves – UBS strategist.

UBS, Blockchain & Bitcoin

It should be noted that the report does not mention at any time that Bitcoin will not be able to eventually make it. The group of analysts behind the study underlines that if this cryptocurrency improves its scalability and the regulation around it becomes clearer, it could one day be

“a viable payment mechanism and/or a legitimate asset class in which even the most conservative and traditional investors can participate.”

The goal of the report was mainly to provide answers from the banks’ clients requests. Indeed, an important number of investors started to be highly interested in this type of asset and several questions were raised. The bank’s analysis shall therefore provide eagerly awaited answers.

Publication’s authors mention in the paper:

“We have received many questions on the subject, which we hope to address in this educational piece.”

The results obtained were mostly based while comparing “macro variables and its [bitcoin]performance against various financial asset classes“. In the study, researchers draw parallels between bitcoin and one of the most online payment service, Paypal. They conclude that its “diffusion” shall follow the same trends as online payments.

This report on Bitcoin and Blockchain is not the first one conducted by UBS. Even if the bank CEO Sergio Ermotti, told CNBC last year to be ”not necessarily” a believer in cryptocurrencies, the bank published a report on Fintech and blockchain entitled Global banks: Is Fintech a threat or an opportunity?” at the same time. In this report, the Swiss bank already mentioned the fact that the blockchain technology is expected to enable widespread cost reductions and revenue enhancement in the future.

 

Featured image via Pixabay

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EPFL and Cryptography http://fintechnews.ch/blockchain_bitcoin/epfl-and-cryptography/21190/ Tue, 14 Aug 2018 03:33:11 +0000 http://fintechnews.ch/?p=21190 When one of the most prominent Swiss research institutes ( starts reflecting upon Blockchain technology and practical aspects, the plethora of opportunities seems infinite. EPFL’s goal is to establish a digital

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When one of the most prominent Swiss research institutes ( starts reflecting upon Blockchain technology and practical aspects, the plethora of opportunities seems infinite. EPFL’s goal is to establish a digital guarantee of trust among several partners through e-voting system.

École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne & Center for Digital Trust

Blockchain education has been a hot topic for the past few years but an important number of individuals still lack of resources in order to decipher the huge potential lying in this technology. To fill this gap, some of the most comprehensive courses in Switzerland are now available and include lectures and modules from top universities and Hochschule.

In the French-speaking canton of Vaud, nestled along the Leman Lake, the prestigious Swiss Federal Institute of Technology announced last year:

Martin Vetterli

Martin Vetterli

“Digitalization is often compared to a huge wave surging across the earth. People need to know the basics if they want to ride that wave confidently and have trust in it”

noted the President of the school, Martin Vetterli.

The successor of Patrick Aebischer, has deep knowledge of digitalization having conducted numerous research and contributions in the general area of digital signal processing. It is him who announced during a conference held in Lausanne in December 2017 the creation of Center for Digital Trust (C4DT) partnering with eight high institutional and industrial experts such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Lausanne University Hospital and companies like Swisscom, SwissRe, Swissquote.

EPFL & C4DT & Blockchain Technology

In July, only seven months after the announcement was made, the first e-voting system was tested at the EPFL. This is the first one of its kind guaranteeing both cryptographic anonymity and decentralized verification. EPFL’s laboratory named DEDIS standing for Decentralized and Distributed Systems Laboratory worked closely with the university to launch and test EPFL’s internal elections through e-voting method.

What this new system enables is the decentralization of voting and counting process through principles of distributed trust via blockchain technology. To make it simple: if previously, the system was run by one central service alone, the latter entirely changed. Indeed, several independent managed machines are now ensuring collective responsibility. The data collected remains entirely anonymous while the election outcome is transparent, guaranteed to be valid and readily verifiable as well.

Bryan Ford, DEDIS director, is proud of both the partnership established with EPFL and the contribution of the laboratory. He stated in the EPFL media blog:

“We were able to harness our expertise in decentralization technology in order to increase the appeal of e-voting and meet the legitimate needs of voters and electoral authorities.”

The Swiss Confederation is not at its first attempt at e-voting. As previously mentioned, the startup Procivis and the University of Zurich were developing a joint e-voting solution based on blockchain. The Zug canton as well launched in mid-November last year the eID system allowing its citizens’ digital access to council services through the decentralized database from the Ethereum blockchain.

 

Featured image via Pixabay

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Venture Leaders Fintech: Meet Alberto Rama of Investment Navigator http://fintechnews.ch/roboadvisor_onlinewealth/venture-leaders-fintech-meet-alberto-rama-of-investment-navigator/20634/ Tue, 14 Aug 2018 00:35:01 +0000 http://fintechnews.ch/?p=20634 New York is a big city, but for the Fintech Venture Leaders flying there on September 16th, there’s only one address that matters. Wall Street is synonymous with investment, and Alberto

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New York is a big city, but for the Fintech Venture Leaders flying there on September 16th, there’s only one address that matters. Wall Street is synonymous with investment, and Alberto Rama will be taking his Investment Navigator to key players in the industry, hoping they will see the powerful advantages it confers in a complex global marketplace.

This is the 7th part of the Fintech Startup Interview serial powered by Venturelab.

Venturelab brings this autumn 10 Swiss Fintech Startups to New York.

Investment Navigator Alberto Rama

Alberto Rama

Who are you, and what’s your big idea?

Before co-founding Investment Navigator in September 2014, I worked for over a decade within UBS in different product management positions and played a pivotal role for suitability as one of the key contributors to the bank’s rule engine.

Investment Navigator is a suitability platform that efficiently provides regulatory, tax and product-specific information for services, funds and structured products in the local and cross-border advisory process of any financial intermediary. The platform is already used by over 100 financial service providers in Switzerland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Austria, Liechtenstein, Singapore and Hong Kong. In parallel we offer a free version sponsored by over 20 fund companies in Switzerland and Hong Kong.

How is the Venture Leaders program beneficial for your startup?

Having officially launched our services in Asia,we will be able to explore further markets and networks through Venture Leaders. Additionally, the admission to the Venture Leaders program gave us the validation of being a leading fintech startup in Switzerland.

Where do you see the biggest opportunities in fintech over the next five years?

My guess is that automation of banking processes will be the next buzzword.

What problems urgently need to be solved?

Financial service providers need to increase their digital footprint, not only in the interaction with their clients, but even more urgently in their operations. An increase in efficiency and quality of their internal processes is the only way to remain competitive in a changing environment, with many aspiring challengers entering the market.

What is pushing you towards international expansion?

Our clients approached us to further develop our solution for their locations outside Switzerland. At the moment our solution is used by banks based in Switzerland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Liechtenstein, Austria, Singapore and Hong Kong.

What do you see as the greatest obstacle to expansion into the global market?

Gaining the trust of customers, especially if you do not have local representation. Further challenges are identifying and hiring local staff who share the same passion for your solution, and setting up internal procedures to ensure support for the local unit and its clients.

What attracts you to New York as a business development destination?

New York is the gateway to the financial sector in the US and home to renowned international banks, asset managers and market data providers, which have to ensure suitability checks in their sales processes.

What do you hope to achieve on the trip?

Access to international banks, asset managers and market data providers which have their headquarters in the US.

What are you most looking forward to?

Getting a better understanding of the local needs.

And what are you nervous about?

I’m not nervous – I’m proud of what we achieved over the last four years, since we started the idea of Investment Navigator on a white paper in a small coffee shop in Zurich. But of course, I am excited to get feedback from the US market.

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Regulators Across the Globe Team-Up to Launch a Global Fintech Sandbox http://fintechnews.ch/fintech/gfin-fca-global-sandbox-regulator-scaling-fintech/21149/ Mon, 13 Aug 2018 10:24:07 +0000 http://fintechnews.ch/?p=21149 As one of the most regulated industries in the world, fintech companies face one big obstacle in scaling: expanding into different regions. Each nation not only comes with its own

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As one of the most regulated industries in the world, fintech companies face one big obstacle in scaling: expanding into different regions. Each nation not only comes with its own quirks and market conditions, it also comes with a strict set of regulations that could break your entire business upon entry.

Usually, the best way to expand is to anticipate a regulator’s response to your business and adapt it accordingly.

This is why the the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) collaborated with regulators around the world to create an open network for innovative fintech firms to interact with regulators. Beyond just top-down interactions though, the hope is that the Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN) becomes a framework for cooperation between distinct regulators as well on innovation-related topics, and for sharing different experiences and approaches.

Among some of the organisations that are already a part of GFIN include the Monetary Authority of Singapore, Australian Securities & Investments Commission, Abu Dhabi Global Markets, Hong Kong Monetary Authority, Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), United States Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, and a few others covering a whole plethora of regulators across the globe.

The Answer to Calls for a Global Fintech Sandbox

The GFIN is the result of the idea of a ‘global sandbox’ discussed in February 2018 which received 50 responses. A global sandbox could help reduce the time it takes to bring ideas to new international markets—as long as it’s transparent and fair to potential firms wishing to apply for cross-border testing.

Quite a few topics were highlighted in the feedback, like artificial intelligence, distributed ledger technology, data protection, regulation of securities and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), know your customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML).

Therefore, the FCA wants the GFIN to fulfill 3 main functions:

  • Act as a network of regulators to collaborate and share experience of innovation in respective markets, including emerging technologies and business models;
  • Provide a forum for joint policy work and discussions; and
  • Provide firms with an environment in which to trial cross-border solutions.

Looking for Suggestions

While the consultancy has some lofty goals for the network, it is still in its very early stages. This is why FCA is looking for more opinions to help solidify a future mission statement for the GFIN, proposed functions, and where its priorities should lie.

The group is also keen to hear from other interested regulators or related organisations who wish to get involved.

Christopher Woolard, FCA Executive Director of Strategy and Competition and Board member commented:

Christopher Woolard FCA global sandbox network gfin United Kingdom regulator

Christopher Woolard

“The establishment of the GFIN can help share the experiences and knowledge from across different markets, while also providing a platform for innovative firms wishing to scale their propositions via testing in multiple countries.”

Now, FCA is seeking more feedback which can be sent in until the 14th of October 2018.

Current plans will hopefully see FCA engaging with interested parties across different jurisdictions, and in Autumn, assess feedback to decide on their next steps.

The working group is asking for feedback on the consultation questions by 14 October 2018. Over the course of the next two months, the group will engage with interested parties across the different jurisdictions involved in the project. In the Autumn, the working group will assess feedback and agree on next steps.

Featured Image via Pixabay

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Venture Leaders Fintech Interview: Meet Oliver Werneyer of IMburse http://fintechnews.ch/fintech/venture-leaders-fintech-interview-meet-oliver-werneyer-of-imburse/20629/ Thu, 09 Aug 2018 08:36:15 +0000 http://fintechnews.ch/?p=20629 Fintech Venture Leader Oliver Werneyer is the CEO of IMburse, a startup that simplifies the entire transaction technology space. It offers companies in industries from insurance to retail the chance

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Fintech Venture Leader Oliver Werneyer is the CEO of IMburse, a startup that simplifies the entire transaction technology space. It offers companies in industries from insurance to retail the chance to improve their customer relationships through personalised, streamlined payment processes – with little to no intervention in existing IT systems.

This is the 6th part of the Fintech Startup Interview serial powered by Venturelab.

Venturelab brings this autumn 10 Swiss Fintech Startups to New York.

IMburse Oliver Werneyer

Oliver Werneyer

Can you briefly introduce your project?

As a transaction orchestrator we bring the world of transactions (collect and payout in any market, any currency, via any technology with any partner) to companies to leverage via a single, simple integration. This way we minimize intervention into existing IT systems, enhance flexibility, reduce costs and unlock new features and capabilities.

Where do you see the biggest opportunities in fintech over the next five years? What problems urgently need to be solved?

The biggest opportunities we see are in the back-end enablement, automation and customer engagement areas.

Back-end Enablement: Incumbents are now opening up to the market to look for help updating their back-end. This needed a paradigm shift, as corporations previously guarded their systems from outside involvement. Fintechs will find a lot of interest and opportunity in this space.

Automation: The ever-increasing pressure to optimize and reduce costs and time spent on task puts the whole automation topic very high on the agenda. Fintech solutions that fit nicely into the IT landscape limits of companies but enhance automation are needed.

Customer engagement: This is not about distribution or apps. This is about how large companies can drive more value to the customer by becoming customer-centric. Having been mostly product-centric in the past, companies will need to make a shift in culture and mind-set. It will be a tough journey, and helping companies succeed in this will be very well received by the market.

What is pushing you towards international expansion?

We have an extremely scalable solution that thrives on volume and partnerships. We also see that the problem we are addressing – enhancement of transaction capabilities with minimal IT intervention – is a global topic and addresses all three of the above challenges: back-end enablement, automation and customer engagement. International expansion is a must for us to attain a size where we truly become the go-to building block for ecosystems, platforms and incumbents for anything related to transactions.

What do you see as the greatest obstacle to expansion into the global market?

Major obstacles include regulation, culture and investment. The multi-regulatory considerations that a global company faces increase adminand time to market.The complete difference in culture (especially on a business level) means that taking a company globally poses challenges to its belief and values, and how to maintain the culture that made it successful when it was smaller.

Investment is key because expanding globally really means having some local feet on the ground and a presence in the market, to show seriousness. This becomes extremely expensive for growing fintechs, and managing the burn rate is critical to achieving success in a sustainable way.

What attracts you to New York as a business development destination?

New York is well known to be home of powerhouse companies from the US, especially in the financial sector. These companies are our main targets, as we can save them hundreds of millions in annual costs. With their partners on the IT development side and some key retail group HQs, we see NY as an ideal starting point into the US.

What do you hope to achieve on the trip?

A core value of our company is to solve companies’ business pain points, as this is the only thing they will pay for. It will be critical for me to speak to people who can help us understand how our solution can solve specific problems in the US, or whether we are missing the mark and should be looking to deploy our platform slightly differently to really get traction.

We are also incredibly keen to meet with companies who are working on the topics of back-end upgrading, automation and customer engagement, and form connections that will lead to proofs of concept and deals down the line. A main goal is to meet investors with whom we can share our vision, and get them to buy into it and help us finance the growth of the company to the US.

And what are you nervous about?

That companies might believe themselves to be too large (or us too small, or too early) to even engage with. We want to learn, engage and evolve with partners to deliver truly market-changing solutions, and this requires open engagement and a willingness to try.

How is the Venture Leaders program beneficial for your startup?

The program puts a great structure around the whole event, which means we will be well prepared to make the most of the trip. It also lends us a certain credibility, which will do well to get the discussion going in earnest– we want to do business and sign deals! Going to NY with Venture Leaders gives me the confidence and comfort that we will get a lot for our company from that trip.

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Blockchain Courses, Education in Switzerland http://fintechnews.ch/blockchain_bitcoin/blockchain-courses-education-in-switzerland/21157/ Thu, 09 Aug 2018 08:05:16 +0000 http://fintechnews.ch/?p=21157 Developments in blockchain technology are transforming many industries including financial services, insurance, legal, and healthcare. To better understand the opportunities and challenges that blockchain brings to businesses, and keep up

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Developments in blockchain technology are transforming many industries including financial services, insurance, legal, and healthcare.

To better understand the opportunities and challenges that blockchain brings to businesses, and keep up with this rapidly evolving world, the following list combines some of the most comprehensive courses available in Switzerland covering blockchain technology, distributed ledger technology, cryptocurrencies, and initial coin offerings (ICOs):

 

Digital Finance IMD

October 17-19, 2018

IMD Switzerland, Ch. de Bellerive 23, P.O. Box 915, CH-1001 Lausanne

Digital Finance IMD

The Digital Finance program aims to help participants understand emerging financial technologies and see how they can create value and revenue. Participants will discover new opportunities from fintech, blockchain, big data, artificial intelligence and machine learning amongst other innovations.

The program will allow participants to identify the type of financial instruments emerging from technology their business can use, discover how they can monetize digital transformation, explore fintech’s major breakthroughs, and understand the role of cryptocurrencies in this new finance world.

 

Consensys Academy: Ethereum Smart Contract Development

October 24-26, 2018

ti&m AG, Buckhauserstrasse 24, 8048 Zürich

Consensys Academy, Etherum Smart Contracts

The Consensys Academy: Ethereum Smart Contract Development course aims to allow participants to master core skills for smart contracts development. After completion, they will understand the technology and the fundamentals of smart contracts programming enabling them to apply it and develop key use cases on Ethereum.

In particular, participants will be able to understand blockchain for the decentralization of Internet and a new paradigm for solution-enabling, setup the developer environment for smart contracts, both in testnet and production, understand Ethereum as the platform for developing top and key blockchain-based applications, and develop smart contracts for solving real-life problems through key use cases of Blockchain.

This course is open to anyone with no previous or minimum experience in Ethereum interested in becoming a top blockchain developer. Participants will learn and develop fundamental skills for using and understanding the technology. They will be able to design, code, deploy and call smart contracts.

 

CAS Blockchain Economy HWZ

Beginning in January 2019, duration: 1 semester (18 days including four-day study tour)

HWZ Hochschule für Wirtschaft Zürich Sihlhof, Lagerstrasse 5, 8004 Zürich

HWZ University of Applied Sciences Zurich

The  Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS) Blockchain Economy course at the HWZ University of Applied Sciences Zurich aims to build a bridge between the established real economy and the potential of a dynamic future in blockchain.

This degree program, entirely in German, will enable participants to link the application areas of blockchain with commercial opportunities for your organization.

In addition to the 18-day course, participants will take part in a four-day study tour and will visit the emerging blockchain epicenter of Singapore and learn from global opinion leaders and thought leaders of the Swiss diaspora in Southeast Asia.

The CAS Blockchain Economy course is targeted at employees from the financial industry, their partners in the CFO offices on the client side, consultants, advisors and representatives from other corporate departments.

 

CAS Blockchain Luzern

Spring of 2019, duration: 6 months

Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Werftestrasse, 6002 Luzern

Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts

The CAS Blockchain course at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts covers the basics of the new digital world, the digital business models and the many possibilities (cryptocurrencies, smart contracts, etc.) in relation to blockchain technology. Students will gain insight into best practices from existing blockchain platforms.

Modules part of the CAS Blockchain course include Blockchain Business Models, Blockchain in the New Digital World, Blockchain Technology & Crypto Currencies, Legal, Compliance & Governance, Smart Contracts, and Blockchain Platforms & Best Practices.

The director of studies of the CAS Blockchain course is Prof. Dr. Georges Grivas, a former financial services executive who worked at the likes of Credit Suisse, Swiss Life, Allianz Suisse, and Raiffeisen Switzerland.

 

CAS Blockchain ZHAW

February 22, 2019 – July 13, 2019

ZHAW School of Management and Law (SML), St.-Georgen-Platz 2, 8400 Winterthur

ZHAW School of Management and Law (SML)

The CAS Blockchain course at the ZHAW School of Management and Law (SML) is aimed at graduates of universities with at least three years of professional experience, and professionals without a university degree with at least five years of professional experience and corresponding continuing education certificates.

Modules part of the course include Principles, including the structure of a peer-to-peer architecture, understand the nature of a public ledger, and initial coin offerings (ICOs), and Cases Studies.

 

CAS Blockchain Bern

Berner Fachhochschule BFH Holz, Falkenpl. 24, 3012 Bern

Bern University of Applied Sciences

The CAS Blockchain course at the Bern University of Applied Sciences teaches students how to evaluate, plan and implement blockchain solutions as well as embed them in an overall IT architecture. Various areas of application are highlighted with focus topics and case studies.

In a focus section of the CAS, participants will immerse themselves in the topics of “general applications”, “technology and development” and “digital health”.

The course is aimed at those responsible for projects with high demands on data protection, security relevance, process traceability and compliance, and professionals who work in the realization of blockchain applications in IT companies.

Requirements to assist include previous experience in computer science and computer science projects.

 

Blockchain Technology for Executives

Blockchain Technology for Executives

The Blockchain for Executives workshop aims to acquaint executives with the basics of the technology, enumerate the impact it can have on their business, and provide guidelines for the identification of good blockchain use cases.

The workshop is designed for executives who would like a quick overview of blockchain technology, its business potential and a tour of its current state.

Attendees are not required to have any prior knowledge about blockchain. A general interest in blockchain technology and some ‘back of the envelope’ business improvement ideas are useful, but not needed.

 

Blockchain Specialist 1 BVS

BVS Business School Zurich, Militärstrasse 106, 8004 Zürich

BVS Business School Zurich

The Blockchain Specialist 1 BVS course is designed for professionals who want to familiarize themselves with the modern tools of digital business management and use them.

The course content includes:

  • Blockchain Basics BCS 01: Blockchain in a generally understandable way. Students will be able to independently think about how blockchain can influence and transform their businesses.
  • Blockchain programming BCS 02: In this module, students will learn how to make a genesis block and how to build a blockchain.
  • Innovative Business Models BCS 03: Students will get an overview of the current possibilities to develop new business models based on blockchain technology, and concrete blockchain startup cases.
  • Ethereum & Cryptocurrencies BCS 04: This module introduces the Ethereum platform and Smart Contract services. Apart from that, the dangers are dealt with by the case The DAO, in which millions of dollars were destroyed.

 

Courses at ETH Zurich

Rämistrasse 101, 8092 Zürich

ETH Zurich
BIOTS – Blockchain and the Internet of Things

The Blockchain and the Internet of Things (IoT) annual course explores the potential of these two technologies with a specific focus on sustainable development, and provides opportunities to gain fundamental understanding of promising new technologies as well as develop creative decentralized solutions for societal challenges using these technologies.

Participants will learn the fundamentals of blockchain technology, its mechanisms, design parameters and potential for decentralized solutions. A hackathon will allow participants to work in mixed teams on concrete challenges addressing some of the pressing global challenges our societies face, like climate change, financial instability, energy, or mass migration, etc. The aim is to develop decentralized approaches towards a sustainable, sharing circular economy using blockchain and IoT technologies.

Blockchain Security Seminar

The annual Blockchain Security Seminar introduces students to the latest research trends in the field of blockchain. The seminar covers the basics of blockchain technology, including motivation for decentralized currency, establishing trust between multiple parties using consensus algorithms, and smart contracts as a means to establish decentralized computation. It also covers security issues arising in blockchains and smart contracts as well as automated techniques for detecting vulnerabilities using programming language techniques.

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