News Summary: August 2020

Fast Offshore brings you the top Fintech, Crypto and Online Gambling news in August 2020.

iGaming News

EC extends German stand-still period over concerns on iGaming laws

The European Commission announced it will extend the so-called “standstill period”  in German’s revamped gambling legislation. The reason for this is concerns raised by a number of stakeholders regarding the regulatory framework. Now, the period will come to an end in September following Malta submitting a detailed statement on the proposed rules. Concerns include overly heavy restrictions, cumbersome legal offerings, and a lack of justification for a number of matters. The framework has been described as “incoherent”. Stakeholders now have until 18 September to submit their comments. 

Online gaming sector to grow by 16% in the next five years

A new report by Global Market Insights Inc. has estimated that the online gambling sector will grow 16% between now and 2026. The Online Gambling Forecast said the market valuation of the sector will exceed $160 billion in the next five years. This is due in part to an increase in the use of smartphones, more accessible internet, and easy accessibility to online gambling platforms. It also noted that the COVID-19 pandemic had a “major role” in driving the adoption of online gambling. Some countries noted increases of as much as 67% in traffic to gambling sites. Blockchain and cryptocurrency gambling was also spiking in popularity, as are virtual reality casinos, demonstrating consumer demand for innovation.

Greece limits the spin time, maximum wager, maximum prize, and advertising of online slots

Greece is the latest country in the EU cracking down on online advertising of casino games. Any games using a random number generator will have a spin limit of three seconds imposed on them. In addition to this, they will not be able to advertise outside of their own website. These provisions are a part of secondary legislation that has been published as a part of online gambling reforms. RNG games will also have a maximum stake of EUR 2 and maximum prizes are capped at EUR 5,000.

Crypto and Blockchain News

Crypto investor announces call for funding for blank-check company

A major investor in crypto and blockchain, Ribbit Capital, has announced it is looking for $350 million in funding. This will be used to create a “blank check” company for acquisitions in the sector. The company filed a prospectus with the SEC earlier this month. The firm is a founding member of the Libra Association and has invested in Coinbase, Revolut, and Chainalysis.

Shinhan Bank launches blockchain digital ID service to clients

South Korean bank Shinhan has become the first in the world to launch its blockchain-based decentralised ID (DID) into its banking application. DID allows users to securely encrypt and store their identity on their smartphone, retrieving it when necessary. This is the first time a DID service has been commercialised in the financial sector. The new service will prevent identity fraud from fake ID cards and the blockchain is used to verify the information. It will be used for logging in and various financial transactions that require additional identification. 

Capital One files patent for crypto prediction and trading tool

One of the US’s largest financial service companies, Capital One has filed a new patent application for a system that will facilitate cryptocurrency analysis and trading. The idea is that it will predict crypto market trends and fluctuations and self-generate potential trades to be executed. The invention will use artificial intelligence, blockchain, and machine learning. Capital One said that due to the round-the-clock nature of the crypto market, it was necessary to develop a product that could produce and execute trading decisions based on certain conditions.

Fintech News

Malta invites innovative fintech companies to regulatory sandbox

The Malta Financial Services Authority has launched a Fintech Regulatory Sandbox for fintech companies to test their products and services in a regulated environment. The sandbox operates under a defined time frame and certain conditions. Objectives include fostering innovation and sustainability in the context of the financial services industry, providing legal certainty for services, and helping the MFSA enhance its own understanding of fintech solutions and products. The MFSA suggested that companies creating products with technologies including big data, biometrics, DLT, machine learning, cloud computing, AI, and smart contracts should apply.

Payment processing market growing amid demand for innovation and convenience

The payment processing market is growing due to accelerated use and adoption of smartphones. According to data from Premium Market Insights, the sector will grow by 13.1% to be worth $64.9 billion by 2025. The increased demand for ePayments, cross-border payments, and eWallets provides a good opportunity for entrepreneurs in the payments market. Consumers are looking for payment providers that offer easy onboarding, low prices, a range of different payment options, strong customer support, and an easy to use interface.

German gambling organisation call on payment providers to stop processing illegal payments

German gambling machine operating organisation ‘Deutsche Spielbannkenverband’ have asked payment providers to stop providing services to illegal gaming providers. Pointing to the Wirecard scandal and noting that Wirecard was very active in processing gambling transactions in Germany, they said it’s imperative that illegal transactions are stopped. Both PayPal and Visa have already ceased payments of this type.

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