Happy Tuesday, Fellow Fintechers!

As we were watching the Oscars on Sunday evening, we pondered why there isn’t a fabulous internationally televised awards ceremony for fintech adapters and developers. After all, doesn’t fintech actually touch more lives throughout the planet, and in more meaningful ways, than the movie industry?

Today, we have updated fintech news from our wealthtech expert Vasyl Soloshchuk from Orion, Riskalyze, Fidelity, GeoWealth and more. We also learned that iCapital, a tech platform for alternative assets, had unprecedented 400% growth in assets served in 2019. In her piece reporting the news, FA reporter Joyce Blay details the steps the firm took to achieve that level of growth in just one year.

Blay also has another piece for us today looking at a massive deal risk-management wealthtech Riskalyze just penned with Iowa-based Farm Bureau Financial Services. Being born and raised on a farm, we love a good article combining farms and fintech.

Late last week, digital asset thought leader Bill Taylor posted a piece for us on the rumored ICE (NYSE’s parent firm) interest in acquiring eBay. Alas, the news changed just hours after it was posted, noting that ICE’s board ultimately nixed the deal, but we think they showed their hand.

In his update to the original story posted on Thursday, Taylor looks at what this acquisition gone amiss may foretell of ICE’s future plans to move into consumer retail markets. Remember, ICE is also an investor in Bakkt, the bitcoin futures firm originally founded by (now) Georgia senator Kelly Loeffler, with investments from Microsoft, Starbucks and more. This tale isn’t over yet. 

FA editor Chris Robbins has written a feature on how billionaire hedge fund manager Mike Novogratz came to fall in love with cryptocurrencies, and interestingly, it dates way back to the financial crisis of ‘07/’08 – read why.

We also take a look at a longshot plan from the SEC’s “crypto mom” Hester Pierce to allow firms to sell digital assets without facing stiff regulations. Alas, it’s unlikely to get adopted, but we still feel vindicated by having at least one voice of reason at the SEC advocating for the American crypto industry. 

And finally, we hear from Michael Kitces that more advisors –ranging from millennials to boomers— are adapting virtual-only advisory practices.  Flexibility and cost savings are just a few of the many reasons advisors are becoming more “virtual.”

Lots of great information for you today – Read up, folks, and be in the fintech (and wealthtech) know!

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