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Xinhua Silk Road: Experts meet to discuss financial technology innovation, development and Chengdu’s role as fintech highland

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A number of well-known experts in financial sector gathered at the Jiaozi Financial Museum on Friday, a cultural landmark in Chengdu, capital city of southwest China’s Sichuan Province, to jointly explore the path of financial technology innovation and development, aiming to accelerate the building of Chengdu as a financial technology development highland.

Chengdu has a long history of financial innovation. One thousand years ago, the world’s earliest paper money called Jiaozi was born here.

In recent years, under the goal of building a western financial center in the country’s southwestern ChengduChongqing area, Chengdu has promoted the financial technology industry to build a strong chain, strengthened the application of financial technology innovation, and continuously gathered the financial technology industry represented by big data, cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain and Internet of Things.

Chengdu has a solid financial industry background, with national demonstration zones such as the National Independent Innovation Demonstration Zone and the National New Generation Artificial Intelligence Innovation and Development Demonstration Zone, and rich scientific and educational resources. It is a dream capital and a dynamic city for innovators and entrepreneurs, said Liang Qizhou, Director of the Chengdu Municipal Local Financial Regulation Bureau.

In the latest edition of the Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI34), Chengdu’s financial technology specialty ranks 18th in the world, 4th in Chinese mainland cities, second only to ShenzhenShanghai and Beijing, ranking the first in the central and western regions in China.

Through continuous efforts in recent years, Chengdu’s financial technology development system and mechanism have been continuously improved, and the national financial technology innovation pilot has been landed. Chengdu’s financial technology shows a good development trend of high activity, good growth and strong innovation, with its influence and radiation are constantly improving, Liang added.

Li Zheng, vice president of the Central University of Finance and Economics, believes that the source of financial technology innovation lies in the financial technology ecology. To achieve the overall improvement of financial services to the real economy in terms of speed, breadth and precision, it is necessary to continuously improve the quality of finance itself and better serve the real economy by integrating new technologies such as AI.

The post Xinhua Silk Road: Experts meet to discuss financial technology innovation, development and Chengdu’s role as fintech highland appeared first on Hipther Alerts.

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Supply Chain Finance Market Forecast to Reach $9.4 Billion by 2029: Increasing Emphasis on Sustainable Sourcing

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Global Supply Chain Finance Market

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Web3 Startups Raise Nearly $1.9B in Q1 2024 Despite Overall Downtrend in Crypto VC Interest

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Venture capital funding for cryptocurrency and blockchain projects has seen a notable resurgence in the first quarter of 2024, marking its first quarterly rise since 2021. Crunchbase data released today indicates that Web3 startups secured nearly $1.9 billion in funding across 346 deals during this period. This represents a substantial 58% increase from the previous quarter, offering a glimmer of hope amidst the ongoing downward trend in overall crypto VC interest.

The recent surge in funding can be attributed to investors adopting a more long-term perspective on Web3, as opposed to the hype-driven “tourist investors” predominant in recent years. Chris Metinko, the author of the report, notes that investors are shifting their focus to the AI sector, indicating a change in investment strategy. There is a growing interest in supporting the foundational infrastructure of the decentralized internet, rather than solely concentrating on crypto wallets and lending platforms, which attracted significant investments during the peak period of 2021 to 2022.

While large funding rounds were relatively uncommon in Q1, several notable investments stood out. Exohood Labs, a company integrating AI, quantum computing, and blockchain, secured a remarkable $112 million seed round at a valuation of $1.4 billion. EigenLabs, an Ether token “restaking” platform, raised $100 million in a Series B round led by a16z crypto. Additionally, Freechat, a decentralized social network leveraging blockchain technology, secured $80 million in a Series A round. These investments, among others, contributed to the increase in valuations and the emergence of four new Web3 unicorns in Q1.

Despite the recent progress, the future trajectory of Web3 remains uncertain. Metinko suggests that the next few quarters will be pivotal in determining the industry’s direction. While investors anticipate a rebound in investment as the decentralized internet evolves, it may take another year for venture capital activity to stabilize after the exuberance of 2021. Factors such as the approval of U.S. spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds and the upcoming Bitcoin halving could also influence the market, given the rising prices of Bitcoin and Ether.

A noteworthy example of significant funding in the Web3 space is Monad Labs’ recent successful funding round, which secured $225 million led by Paradigm. Monad Labs is a layer-1 blockchain compatible with Ethereum, offering faster transaction processing. This funding round harkens back to the golden era of crypto funding in 2021-2022, when L1 solutions attracted substantial investments.

Earlier this year, Balance, a digital asset custodian based in Canada, announced that it had once again reached $2 billion in assets under custody (AUC) amidst the recent market recovery. Similarly, Korea Digital Asset (KODA), the largest institutional crypto custody service in South Korea, has experienced remarkable growth in crypto assets under its custody, expanding by nearly 248% in the second half of 2023.

Analysts at Bernstein Research project that crypto funds could reach an impressive $500 billion to $650 billion within the next five years, representing a significant leap from the current valuation of approximately $50 billion. This forecast underscores the growing optimism and potential for substantial growth within the crypto industry in the coming years.

Source: cryptonews.com

The post Web3 Startups Raise Nearly $1.9B in Q1 2024 Despite Overall Downtrend in Crypto VC Interest appeared first on HIPTHER Alerts.

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ASIC cracks down on blockchain mining firms

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Three blockchain mining companies – NGS Crypto, NGS Digital, and NGS Group – along with their directors, Brett Mendham, Ryan Brown, and Mark Ten Caten, are facing legal action from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) for allegedly operating without a license, in violation of Australia’s Corporations Act. ASIC initiated legal proceedings against these entities on April 9, citing concerns about their non-compliance with financial regulations and their solicitation of Australian investors.

According to ASIC, the NGS companies promoted blockchain mining packages with fixed-rate returns to Australian investors, encouraging the transfer of funds from regulated superannuation funds to self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) for conversion into cryptocurrency. Approximately 450 Australians invested a total of around USD 41 million in these packages, raising concerns about potential financial losses.

The legal action filed by ASIC alleges that the companies violated section 911A of the Corporations Act, which prohibits companies from providing financial services without a valid Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL). ASIC is seeking interim and final court orders to prohibit the NGS companies from offering financial services in Australia without an AFSL.

ASIC Chair Joe Longo emphasized the importance of investors carefully considering the risks before investing in crypto-related products through their SMSFs. Longo stated that ASIC’s actions send a message to the crypto industry about the regulator’s commitment to ensuring compliance with regulations and protecting consumers.

In a separate development, the Federal Court appointed receivers for the digital currency assets associated with the NGS companies and their directors to safeguard these assets amid concerns about the risk of dissipation. Mendham was also issued a travel restriction order, preventing him from leaving Australia.

While a court date for the proceedings has not been set, ASIC’s investigation is ongoing, with the regulator continuing to gather evidence and build its case. It is worth noting that the investigated companies share a similar name with NGS Super, a legitimate Australian pensions provider, leading to potential confusion among investors. NGS Super clarified that it is not involved in selling cryptocurrency or related products and has taken legal action to protect its trademark and members’ interests.

Source: iclg.com

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