Europe and UK offer fintechs a strong base for success

Don’t let the current crypto market news depress you; things are not as bad as they seem, especially if you are able to look at the bigger picture around cryptocurrencies.

According to media reports, in April 2021, the cryptocurrency market topped $2 trillion of valuation for the first time, and Bitcoin’s market value was sitting at 1.15 Trillion dollars. Bitcoin registered a crucial growth in the last six months, equivalent to a 450 percent rise, and Bitcoin and Ethereum have also been witnessing huge rallies this year.

Add into this mix the fact that cryptocurrency has rapidly gained popularity and has begun affecting the economy of some countries and you have a promising outlook.

An interesting report IBS Intelligence shines a light on the European fintechs that are doing well, as does an article in today’s Guardian that reveals a growing level of value in the UK’s digital finance industry, which has just passed a “multibillion-pound peak of investor interest.”

IBS Intelligence claims that the four fintechs currently performing well across Europe are Luno, Wirex, Ziglu and Bitcoin Suisse – two of them (Luno and Ziglu) are London based.

Luno is a global cryptocurrency co-founded by CEO Marcus Swanepoel and CTO Timothy Stranex. Its products and services aim to make it safe and easy to buy, sell, store and learn about cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. Last year, the Securities Commission (SC) of Malaysia gave Luno its approval to operate as a recognised market operator (digital asset exchange), and the fintech now has hubs in Singapore and Cape Town. It has grown significantly in recent years, with nearly 400 employees and more than five million global customers spanning over 40 countries.

Wirex is already well known. It is a digital payment platform and regulated institution that developed a contactless payment card giving users the ability to seamlessly spend crypto and traditional currencies in real life.

Ziglu was founded in London in 2018 and is a cryptocurrency venture that aims to offer exchange services at interbank rates and at the same time, facilitate the purchasing of cryptocurrencies through various exchange platforms. It has a Peer-to Peer payment app that enables Ziglu customers to instantly send or receive any currency from any contact within the challenger’s community. Significantly, the founders of this enterprise come from Starling Bank, one of the strongest British challenger banks.

Bitcoin Suisse is a Swiss-based financial services and technology services provider that offers trading, brokerage, storage, staking, collateralized lending, and crypto financial solutions. Payments supplier, Worldline recently entered into a partnership with Bitcoin Suisse in a bid to provide crypto payment services to Swiss merchants and consumers.

Meanwhile in the UK, Revolut confirmed last week that it had raised another $800m from big investors including the Softbank Vision Fund, taking its valuation to $33bn. It came just weeks after Wise, the forex transfer business listed on the London Stock Exchange for £9bn.

There is, the Guardian reports, a high level of private investor interest in fintechs. “I’m very positive that we will see additional and similar success stories in the UK coming down the track,” said Janine Hirt, chief executive of the UK’s fintech lobby group Innovate Finance. She added, “British fintech firms continue to attract huge amount of international investment, second only to the US,” largely because most business is done in English, it has access to top tier universities, a diverse talent pool and has strong support from regulators and government.

Brexit may be a deterrent for European talent wishing to work in British fintechs, but the sector is working hard to push the government to secure greater access to international markets for UK fintech firms – particularly a post-Brexit EU – in a way that will make it easier for them to go global. That seems likely to happen given the UK and Europe’s glowing future outlook for fintechs.

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