Kenya’s interior ministry has suspended the local activities of the Worldcoin crypto-asset project while government agencies assess potential risks to public safety. The project launched on July 24, 2023. It requires users to give their iris scans in exchange for a digital ID, and in some countries users also get free crypto-assets as part of plans to create a new identity and financial network. France and Germany have also raised concerns around the legality of the biometric data collection and storage. [Read more at Reuters]
According to CB Insights, global fintech funding hit its lowest level since 2017, totaling $7.8 billion in Q2 2023 (-48% from Q1 2023) through 845 rounds (-22%). The payments segment was hardest hit (-75% in funding terms), followed by digital lending (-44%). At the other end of the spectrum, fintech companies with artificial intelligence (AI)-led models (e.g., focused on digital lending, insurtech, and investment and capital market technology) saw strong funding growth according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. [Read more at CB Insights and S&P Global Market Intelligence]
According to the latest KPMG Pulse of Fintech report H1 2023 was difficult for the fintech market globally, with both total funding and the number of deals dropping. There was increasing focus on operational efficiency, sustainable cash flows, and profitability. Crypto funding declined in the wake of sector challenges, combined with increasing focus on broader blockchain solutions. However, there is rapidly growing interest in potential use cases for generative AI, particularly in cybersecurity, insurtech, and wealthtech. [Read more at KPMG]
*For those interested in intra-day updates, check out my searchable Diigo Fintech developments database, which is also a good place to go to query for past developments: https://www.diigo.com/user/kiffmeister/ART.
Kiffmeister’s central bank digital currency monthly monitor
Just a reminder that I produce a monthly digest of central bank digital currency (CBDC) developments exclusively for the official sector. So (only) if you work at a central bank, ministry of finance or international financial institution (e.g., the BIS, IMF, OECD, World Bank) and who would like to receive it by email on the first business day of every month, please DM me on LinkedIn or email me at email@example.com.
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