Capital Controls and Fiat Fatigue


Dec 04, 2023


Cindy Grazer


Dec 04, 2023


Cindy Grazer


After the expiration of COVID precautions in China, wealthy Chinese citizens have been moving billions of dollars out of the country. With the freedom to travel internationally, they are now investing in overseas assets like apartments, stocks, and insurance policies. Some are even resorting to creative methods to bypass China's strict controls on money transfers abroad, such as smuggling gold bars and packing foreign cash in their suitcases. Like high-waisted jeans or vintage jackets, maybe gold is back in style.

As China's economy faces challenges, Chinese individuals are turning to gold as a store of value. This trend is not limited to China; in economically unstable regions like parts of Latin America, people are reevaluating their local fiat currencies. In Argentina, many workers now receive their wages in USDT, a US dollar-denominated stablecoin, to combat the staggering inflation rate of over 143% per year. The shift away from local currencies is gaining momentum, especially with the election of Argentina's new president, Javier Milei, who plans to implement radical monetary policy reforms. These include shutting down the central bank, adopting the US dollar as the national currency, and embracing decentralized finance, a stark departure from the country's current financial strategy. New currency, who’s this?

This global trend of reevaluating local currencies presents opportunities for emerging fintech and cryptocurrency applications. PayPal introduced its US dollar-backed stablecoin, $PYUSD. Other major players like Visa and Mastercard also recently entered the stablecoin space: Visa launched support for USDC stablecoin payments on the Solana blockchain, and Mastercard launched a stablecoin digital wallet integration with start-up Stables. The future of fintech may see stablecoins becoming a standard feature in the industry as countries and individuals seek alternatives to their local currencies. So, in the good words of the theme tune to Michael Caine’s 1969 epic, The Italian Job… Get a Bloomin' Move on, as that’s gotta be easier than shifting around tons of gold!

newsletter image - 12/4/2023

Portfolio News

Octane Takes Prequal Flex to the Next Level with Custom, Downloadable Marketing Kits - Octane announced a groundbreaking new enhancement to its digital soft pull tool, Prequal Flex, with the launch of personalized marketing kits that powersports dealers can use to drive consumer applications. Read more

MoneyLion, Bubba Wallace, Tyler Reddick and 23XI Racing Partner in Thanksgiving Food Donation Giveaway - Recipient organizations included Cooperative Christian Ministry, the Boys & Girls Club in Concord, NC, and the KIPP Academy School and Renaissance West Community Initiative in Charlotte, NC, where Bubba Wallace made a special in-person appearance to help hand out meals. Read more

Former Schroders exec joins Antler - Industry veteran Graeme Mather has joined Antler, the early-stage venture capital investor, as a global partner. In his new role, he will help the venture capitalist deepen ties with large asset managers in the Asia Pacific and look at boosting super fund investment. Read more

Capital Controls and Fiat Fatigue

Gold bars and Tokyo apartments: how money is flowing out of China - Chinese families are sending money overseas, a sign of worry about the country’s economic and political future. But a cheaper currency is also helping exports. Read more

Argentina's new president could 'supercharge' nation's use of crypto - President-elect Javier Milei has ambitious plans to reform monetary policy and potentially close the Argentine Central Bank. Read more

South Korea to launch digital currency pilot with 100k residents next year - The Bank of Korea rolled out details on its pilot program for its retail central bank digital currency (CBDC), stating that 100k selected Korean citizens will join the trial in the fourth quarter of next year. Read more

Industry News

Apple pulls plug on Goldman credit card partnership - Apple is pulling the plug on its credit-card partnership with Goldman Sachs, the final nail in the coffin of the Wall Street bank’s bid to expand into consumer lending. Read more

How AI will change investment and research - The FT discusses the evolving role of AI in investment research. It highlights risks of overreliance on AI, parallels with past financial tools, and the need for new skills in AI interpretation. Read more

Italian watchdog orders Intesa to halt customers’ transfer to digital-only bank - Italy’s competition watchdog has ordered Intesa Sanpaolo, the country’s largest bank, to stop migrating customers to its new online service Isybank after receiving more than 5,000 complaints from account holders that were shifted without their consent. Read more

Billionaires amass more through inheritance than wealth creation, says UBS - New members of the global super-rich gained more of their assets through inheritance than through wealth creation this year — the first time that this has been recorded by Swiss bank UBS in its nine years of surveying global billionaires. Read more

Online sales and BNPL transactions hit record highs on Cyber Monday - Online shoppers spent a record $12.4b on Cyber Monday, a 9.6% increase from the previous year, according to Adobe Digital Insights. Read more

Exploding carbon-credit market helps Brazil regrow rainforest - Carbon trading is making large-scale projects that cultivate native vegetation economically viable. Global carbon markets are worth more than $1b today. Morgan Stanley says the market will likely grow to $250b by 2050. Read more

Robinhood trading app launches in UK - The boss of Robinhood hailed efforts by the UK government to encourage more people to invest as the trading app unveiled its long-awaited launch in Britain. The app will initially offer trading in US stocks, although Robinhood aims to broaden its product offering in the UK to include trading in London-listed shares and Isas. Read more

Solana hits all-time high in DEX volume - Solana continues to outperform the broader crypto markets, with its network token, SOL, gaining 147%% since the start of October. The network also hosted record monthly volume of $5.1B on decentralized exchanges. Read more

Webull leaps into Mexico with acquisition of stock trading app Flink - Popular stock trading app Webull has acquired Mexican investment platform Flink, giving it an entry into the Mexico market. Read more

Swiss city of Lugano embraces crypto with Polygon integration - MyLugano, the payments app of the Swiss city of Lugano, has integrated support for Polygon as part of the municipality’s broader mission to embrace crypto. Lugano citizens will be able to pay taxes, parking tickets, and public services using crypto in future. Read more

Yieldstreet to acquire real estate investment platform Cadre - Alternative investment platform Yieldstreet announced that it has agreed to acquire Cadre, an online real-estate investment platform. Read more

Tokenised securities: blockchain offers more than lower cost and faster speed - The big prize for financiers is the tokenization of financial securities and funds. At the core of the idea is standardization. Read more

Select Financings

Acctual - New York based crypto expense management company raised $3.9m in Seed funding led by Third Prime and IDEO. Read more

Alpheya - Abu Dhabi based wealth management technology company raised $300m in new funding led by BNY Mellon and Lunate. Read more

Aptus.AI - Italy based financial regulatory and compliance company raised €3m in new funding led by Programma 103. Read more

Birdseye - Toronto based e-commerce pricing and marketing company raised $3m in Seed funding led by Drive Capital. Read more

Candex - New York based vendor management and payments processing company raised $45m in Series B funding led by Goldman Sachs. Read more

CapitalOS - Israel based spend management infrastructure company raised $9m in Seed funding led by Group 11. Read more

CheckRewards - Dubai based cashback services company raised $1.2m in new funding led by Mitgo Group. Read more

Coinchange - Canada based digital asset platform raised $10m in new funding from investors including G1.VC and Spirit Blockchain. Read more

Conduiit - New York based accounting solutions company raised $1m in pre Seed funding led by Fiat Ventures and Aperture Venture Capital. Read more

Construex - Ecuador based digital construction marketplace and procurement company raised $4.6m in Seed funding led by Zacua Ventures and Fifth Wall. Read more

DoorFeed - London based property technology and investing platform raised €7m in Seed funding led by Motive Partners. Read more

Enfuce - Finland based card issuing company raised €8.5m in new funding led by Vitruvian Partners. Read more

Flow48 - UAE based working capital financing company raised $25m in Seed funding from investors including Speedinvest and Daphni. Read more

iPeakoin - Singapore based traditional finance and crypto focused neobank raised $10m in Series A funding led by ZhenFund. Read more

Lassie - Stockholm based pet insurance company raised $25m in Series B funding led by Balderton. Read more

Mozaic - Nashville based payments splitting for creators company raised $20m in Series A funding led by Volition Capital. Read more

MYX - Asia based crypto derivatives protocol company raised $5m in Seed funding led by HongShan. Read more

Ocean - US based decentralized Bitcoin mining pool raised $6.2m in Seed funding led by Jack Dorsey. Read more

PayGround - Arizona based healthcare payments company raised $19.7m in Series A funding led by SixThirty. Read more

Paysend - London based international money transfer company raised $65m in new funding led by Mastercard and One Peak Partners. Read more

PhiCommerce - India based omnichannel payment solution company raised $10m in Series A funding led by Beenext. Read more

Scapia - India based travel credit card company raised $23m in Series A funding led by Elevation Capital and 3State Ventures. Read more

Valid8 - Colorado based AI-powered forensic accounting company raised $8.5m in Series A funding led by Silverton Partners. Read more

Waltio - Paris based crypto tax assistant company raised €1.8m in new funding led by Clément Coeurdeuil and Crédit Agricole. Read more

WeeFin - Paris based ESG strategy management company raised €7m in Series A funding led by IRIS and Ring Capital. Read more

Wind - Singapore based smart contract wallet company raised $3.8m in pre Seed funding led by Global Founders Capital and Spartan Group. Read more

Wormhole - Cayman Islands based cross-blockchain messaging protocol raised $225m in new funding led by Jump Trading and Brevan Howard. Read more


FinTech Collective Newsletter

Curated News with Context

Delivered every Monday, the weekly newsletter, produced by our team, provides a tightly edited rundown of global fintech news, along with a bit of our original analysis.