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Home » Daily Briefing » Daily briefing - 28 June 2019

Daily briefing - 28 June 2019

Following the news of Facebook's entry into the world of digital assets and digital tokens, we observed that the Libra Association — which will run the Libra token network — looks like a US chamber of commerce with a few Europeans thrown in. It's worth waiting for Michael Kimani's take on Libra, and he doesn't disappoint in 5 Reasons why Facebook's Libra is bad for Africa. "That is because, for many emerging 'mobile first' consumers from East Africa the internet is indistinguishable from Facebook and the internet does not exist outside of Facebook. I find it hard to reconcile a group of American corporations, far removed from the realities of Africans, machinating a grand plan on how to save the unbanked women of Africa. Especially when you consider their recent history of data privacy breaches (Facebook) and worker exploitation (Uber). Let's be honest. What is really happening here is the American empire is using Facebook and the Libracoin association as a proxy for controlling Africa as we transition into the digital economy and digital currencies," he writes. "Russia, China, Iran and the European Union wised up to America's control by pushing for their sovereign currencies as an alternative for the settlement of global trade. The introduction of the Chinese Yuan, European Union's Euro, Russian rouble and to some extent Bitcoin, are rebalancing power in the digital economy. So what about us? What about Africa? Do we form an association to govern ourselves? With our own currency? Our own networks? Backed by the resources of our own continent? Or a basket of commodities?" Read the full piece here on Michael Kimani's site.

Barely a week out of the box, we're now hearing that Calibra — the wallet that will hold Libra Coin and presumably other tokens — may quickly move into the world of credit which is the easiest way to make an offering stand out, especially when that credit is instantly offered at the point of sale. All of this, remember, can take place on a mobile phone. "In an interview with business and technology analyst Ben Thompson, quoted by CNBC, the VP of product for Calibra, Kevin Weil, says that if the wallet is a success, Facebook could move into other areas. 'If we are successful at providing a wallet that allows people to store money securely and send to anyone anywhere in the world, then over time we think there will be an opportunity to provide more financial services for people -- you can imagine things like credit,' says Weil."

Antony Jenkins was pushed out of Barclays back in 2015 when he was seen as too fond of retail customers and unappreciative of his investment banking colleagues. Jenkins went off and started a business called 10x which builds core banking systems. Now it appears that Jenkins will be vindicated with global giant JPMorgan reportedly set to make a big investment. "Earlier this year, Nationwide, Britain's biggest building society, bought a £15m stake in 10x as part of a £32m fundraising which included participation from existing investors Oliver Wyman, the consulting firm, and the Chinese insurer Ping An," reports Sky News. "However, JP Morgan's investment will take Mr Jenkins's venture to another level altogether given its enormous heft and international presence. Like other global banks, JP Morgan has been wrestling with the impact of technology on its business, making a series of strategic investments in fintech ventures which have long-term potential to disrupt existing market dynamics."

Jaja today announces that it will acquire the cards portfolio of Bank of Ireland UK. "Under the partnership, Jaja — as part of a consortium of funds affiliated with Centerbridge Partners LP and KKR — will acquire the existing Bank of Ireland UK, Post Office and the AA credit card accounts for an initial cash consideration of c. £530m. Jaja will also become the consumer credit card issuer for Bank of Ireland UK and its strategic long term partner the AA."

 

Daily briefing will return on Tuesday 2 July.

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