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Enigma Spins Off New Lending Platform To Help Small Businesses Get Loans

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Enigma, a data science company that provides comprehensive intelligence about the financial health and identity of more than 30 million U.S. businesses, announces the spin-off of Prime, a lending platform that will make it easier for financial institutions to extend loans to small and medium businesses (SMB).

More than 50% of small businesses do not have sufficient access to financing, according to a recent Federal Reserve Survey, and the pandemic has introduced even more challenges for small business owners. Small business lending is often limited by the inability of financial institutions to assess the risk of extending credit to a given business.

Community and regional banks have especially faced challenges providing financing to the small businesses in their communities due to limited resources and a lack of reliable data about business health. Although these banks have strong relationships in their local economies, the high cost of originating and servicing small business loans has caused them to struggle to compete with large financial institutions.

Prime will broaden access to advanced data analytics, risk modeling, and capital markets to smaller financial institutions like community banks, as well as more established lenders. This will ultimately lower the cost of capital for small businesses, as more banks will be able to efficiently originate, monitor, and securitize small business loans.

Prime’s dashboard will allow banks to upload loan books and see advanced indicators like Enigma’s data on business revenue and growth, in order to make risk and lending decisions more efficiently and confidently. With Prime, small banks will be able to gain improved insights into their SMB credit portfolios and will finally be able to syndicate, swap, and securitize exposures.

Enigma is partnering with leaders in the small business financing space, including Capital One, Third Point Ventures, Customers Bank, and NEA to launch Prime with a funding commitment of $49 million. Prime, which will begin serving the market in the second half of 2022, will provide new loan opportunities for lenders while opening up a new financing channel for small businesses.

Prime’s lending solutions will be powered by Enigma’s proprietary SMB identity and financial health data, covering more than 30 million U.S. businesses. Enigma’s data provides unique visibility into the monthly revenues, growth, and detailed firmographics of a small business.

Prime’s launch partners provide a range of deep experience with SMB lending.

Capital One, a current Enigma client and investor through Capital One Ventures, has seen firsthand how better data about small businesses leads to growth. Capital One brings unparalleled expertise in the small business ecosystem, acquired by listening to and learning from the millions of businesses they serve every day. Capital One is committed to supporting all businesses, from budding entrepreneurs and growth-stage companies to more established, high-revenue enterprises.

Third Point Ventures, an investor in Enigma and one of the early investors in the revolutionary consumer lending platforms Upstart and SoFi, will bring expertise in developing securitization programs to Prime. While over 10% of consumer loans per year are securitized, less than 1% of small business loans are securitized, limiting capital liquidity and financing availability.

Customers Bank is a digital-forward top 100 bank in the nation with nearly $20 billion in assets that used technology to participate in approximately 347,000 Paycheck Protection Program loans with an aggregate value of $10 billion through the COVID-19 Pandemic, and recently launched a blockchain-based real-time payments platform for cryptocurrency and digital asset institutions.

NEA is a leading global venture capital firm and early investor in Enigma. NEA has partnered with founders on initial go-to-market strategy for many successful platforms like Jet.com and Coursera.

“Building on our success in digital consumer lending, bringing digital lending to the SMB market is a logical and important strategic priority,” said Customers Bank President & CEO Sam Sidhu. “We are excited to be a co-creator of Prime using insightful data to craft and shape products and services to the specific requirements of each current and prospective borrower, depositor, and specialty financing customer as we help them take on tomorrow.”

Enigma CEO Hicham Oudghiri will be acting as executive chairman and interim CEO of Prime during the transition period. The new leadership team will be in place by the first half of 2022.  “We are excited about what the months ahead will look like, knowing Prime’s mission is to unlock growth and lending for all kinds of communities,” said Oudghiri.

Blockchain

Virtualness want to be the Canva of Blockchain:Kirthiga Reddy

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Virtualness is positioning itself as the Canva of the blockchain world, according to Kirthiga Reddy. Reddy, the former Managing Director of Facebook India, is now the CEO of Virtualness. She believes that the platform can empower users to create content and communities in the virtual space, similar to Canva’s success in the design world.

Virtualness aims to provide tools and resources that simplify the process of creating and managing virtual communities. Reddy envisions the platform as a one-stop destination for individuals and businesses looking to leverage the power of blockchain technology for community building.

The platform offers a range of features, including customizable templates, social media integration, and analytics tools, designed to streamline the creation and management of virtual communities. Reddy highlights the platform’s user-friendly interface and intuitive design as key factors in its appeal to users.

Virtualness is tapping into the growing demand for virtual experiences and communities, driven by the shift towards remote work and digital interaction. Reddy sees immense potential in the platform’s ability to democratize access to blockchain technology and empower users to create meaningful connections in the virtual world.

With Virtualness, Reddy aims to democratize access to blockchain technology and empower users to create meaningful connections in the virtual world. She believes that the platform has the potential to revolutionize the way people interact and collaborate online, much like Canva has transformed the design industry.

Virtualness has already garnered attention from investors and industry experts, positioning itself as a promising player in the burgeoning virtual community space. Reddy’s vision for the platform reflects her deep understanding of the digital landscape and her commitment to driving innovation in the blockchain industry.

Overall, Virtualness is poised to make a significant impact in the virtual community space, offering users a powerful tool to create, manage, and monetize their virtual experiences. With Reddy at the helm, the platform is well-positioned to become the go-to destination for virtual community building, much like Canva has become synonymous with design excellence.

Source: exchange4media.com

The post Virtualness want to be the Canva of Blockchain:Kirthiga Reddy appeared first on HIPTHER Alerts.

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Sei Foundation proposes a version 2 network upgrade to bring EVM compatibility

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Sei Foundation, the overseeing entity of the Sei blockchain operating at Layer 1, has taken a significant stride towards version 2 of its network, as revealed in an announcement made on Monday. Spearheaded by Sei Labs, this upgrade aims to elevate the blockchain’s performance by introducing a high-performance instance of parallelized Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM).

Following the necessary approval of the governance proposal, the network upgrade is scheduled to take place one week later. This swift timeline underscores the Sei team’s dedication to continually enhancing the efficiency of their network.

The introduction of Sei’s parallelized EVM marks a notable technological advancement in the company’s operations. This innovation enables Ethereum-based contracts to be seamlessly deployed on the Sei platform, resulting in near-instantaneous execution. Such a feature drastically reduces transaction validation times, significantly elevating existing efficiency and effectiveness standards.

Version 2 of Sei’s blockchain, slated for release, will support Ethereum and parallel execution, akin to other high-performance blockchains like Solana. This development further solidifies Sei’s standing as a formidable player in the industry. The upcoming Sei v2 update will also compete with other parallelized EVMs, including popular ones like Monad and Neon, in the fiercely competitive blockchain landscape.

Sei Labs has already indicated that the current upgrade is poised to attract significant interest, given the applications available on Ethereum. Notable investors and partners such as Uniswap, Frax, X2Y2, Bancor, Balancer, Rarible, Layer Zero, Nansen, and The Graph are currently in discussions with Sei to access v2. The anticipated adoption of Sei v2 is a significant testament to the platform’s potential to emerge as a leading hub for blockchain collaboration.

Since its beta launch on the mainnet within Cosmos in August 2023, Sei has primarily focused on applications developed with Rust that run on Cosmos. However, with the introduction of Sei v2, the team intends to expand its reach by engaging both new and existing users and optimizing network compatibility. This strategic pivot aims to foster inclusivity and adaptability for development.

Having secured substantial funding in April 2023, Sei Labs is now prioritizing the transition to Sei v2. The successful funding round, which raised $30 million across two rounds from investors such as Jump and Multicoin Capital, underscores Sei Labs’ commitment to supporting the Sei blockchain ecosystem financially and technologically.

The recent developments at Sei exemplify a strategic direction aimed at enhancing the blockchain’s efficiency and competitiveness. By embracing cutting-edge technological innovations and bolstering support for Ethereum-based applications, Sei positions itself as a potential catalyst for its services and a significant player in the blockchain industry. Investors and the broader tech community are closely observing how this substantial change could shape the future of blockchain.

Source: cryptonewsz.com

The post Sei Foundation proposes a version 2 network upgrade to bring EVM compatibility appeared first on HIPTHER Alerts.

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Brazil Central Bank Crafting Crypto Regulation Plan, Expected by Year’s End

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Brazil’s central bank has revealed a multi-phase strategy to regulate cryptocurrency and virtual asset service providers, intending to finalize the regulatory framework by the year’s end.

These regulations will establish guidelines to ensure and enforce increased transparency regarding the potential benefits and risks associated with these investments, the bank stated. It opted for a phased approach to effectively oversee Brazil’s cryptocurrency service market.

“The contributions received will be utilized as we proceed, and the regulatory proposals are slated for completion by the end of 2024,” the bank added.

Reuters reported that the central bank’s recent decision delays the finalization of the process, following a 2022 law granting the bank authority to formulate these regulations.

During a congressional hearing in the previous year, Otavio Damaso, the central bank’s director of regulation, anticipated completing the crypto regulations by June 2024.

In December 2023, the bank conducted a public consultation on the matter, concluding in January. Subsequently, it announced a new public consultation scheduled for the latter half of this year.

The central bank informed Reuters that the initial consultation aimed to gather feedback from the public on the proposed regulations, also addressing aspects not covered by the 2022 law, such as the segregation of assets by virtual asset service providers. To this end, the first public consultation necessitated “considerable dedication from the involved teams.”

Additionally, the bank is progressing with the regulation of stablecoins, especially those utilized for payments and foreign exchange.

Brazil Restricts Crypto Contributions in Elections
In an effort to curtail cryptocurrencies’ role in campaign finance, Brazilian authorities recently enforced a ban on crypto donations to political parties and candidates.

The electoral court defended this ban, underscoring the importance of transparency and traceability in campaign financing. It reiterated its commitment to safeguarding elections “against irregular or illicit practices.”

Source: cryptonews.com

The post Brazil Central Bank Crafting Crypto Regulation Plan, Expected by Year’s End appeared first on HIPTHER Alerts.

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