6.21.18 Your morning briefing
The information you need to start your day, from PaymentsSource and around the Web:
Developer contest narrow's tech's gender inequity
Fintech suffers from unequal gender representation among management teams, though some positive signs came out of this year's Visa Everywhere Initiative, which seeks out new payment startups.
Of the 518 startups that applied this year, 71% had a woman on the leadership team. And of the nine startups that reached the semifinals, seven are female-led and three of the four finalists are female-led.
The initiative dates to 2015, with startups raising more than $2 billion in that time through participation in the program.
PayPal halts payments for school shooting game
A video game that plays off of school shootings has at least temporarily stopped sales after PayPal refused to process payments.
The New York Times reports the game, called "Active Shooter," lets players choose between being an active shooter at a school or the responding law enforcement officials. Players can choose guns, grenades, knives, or other weapons; and the "death toll" is shown on screen.
PayPal told the newspaper the game was in violation of its acceptable use policy, which prohibits content that promotes violence.
Musician Akon plans to launch a new cryptocurrency as part of his plans to build an entire city in Senegal.
Called Akoin, the coin will be available for sale in about two weeks and will be the main currency for Akon Crypto City, a 2,000 acre plot of land that the government of Senegal gave to Akon, who was born in the country, reports the New York Post-affiliated Page Six.
ID building blocks
Security is among the early use cases for blockchain, a concept that will get a major test as a group of Spanish financial institutions make blockchain the center of a federated identity project.
Abanca, Bankia, Caixabank, Caixa Ontinyent, Ibercaja, Kutzabank, Liberbank, Unicaja Bank, Cecabank and Grant Thornton have launched a project to share data and verify identities among members to authenticate payments and other transactions to support anti-money laundering, reports Finextra.
The tech site also reports Ted Lyra, another bank-led data sharing hub, has rebranded as Alastria and is attracting telecoms and utilities to a national identity and authentication hub.
From the Web
Bitcoin is 'not for me' but it's too 'arrogant' to say it won't have a future, Goldman Sachs CEO says
CNBC | Wed June 20, 2018 - Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein does not own bitcoin, but he did not rule out Tuesday the cryptocurrency having a future. During a talk at the The Economic Club of New York, the banker struck an optimistic tone on bitcoin.
Blockchain Continues To Advance Into The Payment Environment
Forbes | Wed June 20, 2018 - While the debate continues over the use of cryptocurrency like Bitcoin as a legitimate way to make payments, blockchain steadily advances into the world of payments behind the scenes to change the transaction environment. Blockchain now has many more advancements that are seeing it penetrate the payment scene and potentially make it a much more accepted payment technology.
Singapore to cut use of cash, aiming to become cheque-free by 2025: Ong Ye Kung
The Straits Times | Wed June 20, 2018 - Singaporeans are adopting online payments with such gusto that the Government hopes that the country will be cheque-free by 2025. The latest step will allow business owners and the Government to receive payments instantaneously, without having to disclose details such as bank account numbers.
More from PaymentsSource
When crypto exchanges act like banks, regulators may treat them as such
Exchanges aren’t very transparent about their methods, but that in fact most handle such internal transactions exactly how regular banks have worked for centuries.
U.K.'s Revolut teams with Russia's Qiwi ahead of U.S. launch
U.K.-based fintech Revolut has entered the Russian payments market through a partnership with Russian payments firm Qiwi, and announced plans to apply for a U.S. banking license.
PayPal spending billions on M&A to squeeze Stripe, Square
PayPal is spending billions on M&A to throttle the heightened competition it faces from the likes of Square and Stripe.
Data: How mobile is shaking up prepaid
Mobile and digital technology are expanding use cases for reloadable prepaid cards beyond their heritage as a tool primarily for the unbanked consumers. Furthermore, mobile commerce is driving broader acceptance of digital versions of both prepaid and retail gift cards.