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EMEA Daily: Regulator Could Order Meta to Stop EU-US Data Transfers; Russian Finance Ministry Proposes Crypto Rules – pymnts.com

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In today’s top Europe, Middle East and Africa news, Meta is facing an order to suspend data transfers to the United States by the European Union, while Russia’s Ministry of Finance has released a cryptocurrency draft law.
Plus, B2B commerce startup Marketforce raised $40 million in a Series A funding, the U.K.’s financial watchdog is examining crypto platform Bitpanda’s plan to purchase Trustology, and nearly six dozen CEOs are calling for increased regulation of the FinTech sector in the United Kingdom.
Regulator Could Order Meta to Stop EU-US Data Transfers
Meta Platforms Inc. is facing an order to suspend data transfers to the United States by the European Union (EU) agency responsible for protecting personal information.
The Dublin-based Data Protection Commission’s (DPC) ruling could cause Facebook’s parent company to retaliate by removing its websites from Europe.
Russian Finance Ministry Proposes Crypto Rules
One month after Russian President Vladimir Putin urged regulators to reach a compromise on regulating cryptocurrency, the Ministry of Finance has submitted a draft law, the government announced.
Under the proposed regulation, digital currencies are only available as an investment vehicle and cannot be used as payment, according to the release. Still, the guidelines are expected to be a step forward for the booming but unregulated industry.
African B2B Commerce Platform MarketForce Raises $40M in Series A
Business-to-business (B2B) commerce startup Marketforce raised $40 million in a Series A funding round to help the company grow its staff and the platform for retail distribution of consumer goods and digital financial services in Africa.
The capital will be used to offer buy now, pay later (BNPL) to help merchants access fast-moving-consumer goods (FMCGs) on credit, as well as expand further into existing markets.
FCA Warns Bitpanda Over Trustology Deal
The U.K.’s financial watchdog said it has its eyes on crypto platform Bitpanda’s plan to purchase the British company Trustology and can quash the deal if it uncovers concerns.
The Financial Conduct Authority, which gave Bitpanda a license under its anti-money laundering rules last year, said it can rescind the company’s registration if it seems warranted.
London Stock Exchange Group Closes $325M Deal for TORA
The London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) closed a $325 million all-cash acquisition deal for TORA, a single platform for execution, order and portfolio management system (EMS, OMS and PMS).
TORA will become part of LSEG’s Data & Analytics unit’s Trading & Banking Solutions business. LSEG and TORA said they will create an innovative financial infrastructure that works across the investment lifecycle as an open ecosystem.
HSBC Under Fire for Bankers’ Alleged Misuse of WhatsApp
London banking giant HSBC is being investigated by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) for bankers’ alleged use of non-HSBC approved messaging platforms for business communications, according to its annual report published alongside earnings Tuesday (Feb. 22).
The probe by CFTC is likely part of a broader investigation by U.S. regulators, HSBC CEO Noel Quinn told Bloomberg.
Open Letter From FinTech CEOs Calls for More Regs
Nearly six dozen CEOs are calling for increased regulation of the FinTech sector in the United Kingdom, Altfi reported.
In a letter, executives of the country’s major FinTech firms have called on regulators and the U.K. government to accelerate reforms aimed at better financial regulation.
Investment Platform Primary Bid Lands $190M in Series C
British investment platform PrimaryBid is seeking expansion in Europe and the U.S. following the close of a $190 million Series C funding round.
The company said the funding follows growth last year with a number of public companies, initial public offering candidates and the U.K.’s capital markets ecosystem adopting PrimaryBid’s platform.
London FinTech Startup Weavr Nets $40M Funding Round
Embedded finance startup Weavr raised $40 million in a Series A funding round led by Tiger Global, with participation from Mubadala Capital, Latitude Fund, QED Investors, Anthemis and Seedcamp.
The London startup is aiming to disrupt the banking-as-a-service (BaaS) model by extending financial services to any online business. The BaaS model comes with a high price tag due to compliance, technical aspects and implementation, the company said.
UK Departs, Slightly, From EU Competition Rules With New Exemptions
After leaving the European Union last year, the U.K. was no longer bound by EU rules, except in a few cases where the U.K. retained some EU rules for some time. But the U.K. government said it is determined to use its renewed powers to rule on competition law matters, and one of the first actions is to issue a new “block exemption” to competition law.
Under EU law, certain agreements between producers, distributions and retailers are exempted from competition law because it is deemed that the benefits of these agreements clearly outweigh their anticompetitive effects. The U.K. retained these EU rules, but they expire in May, and government will take this opportunity to redesign them.
Klarna Launches Rewards, Pay Now in UK
Klarna is introducing its rewards program and Pay Now option to customers in the U.K. as part of an upcoming expansion plan to nine new markets: Australia, Ireland, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Poland, Canada and New Zealand.
The initiative gives Klarna users points each time they opt for Pay Now, the immediate payment option, or make a payment on time using Pay Later or Pay in 3, according to a press release.
Intense Competition From Big Techs Keeps Nordic Payment Firms On Their Toes
Like many businesses operating mobile wallets, Norway-based mobile payments firm Vipps has seen bumper usage since the onset of the pandemic.
The company said its clients have seen their businesses expand as they’ve found new ways to sell their products and services. In addition, Vipps said that with the resurgence of QR codes in the hospitality sector and the expansion of digital payments, the the payments industry in the Nordic region has witnessed rapid growth in the last few years.
Ecobank Says Africa’s Payment, FinTech Future is Bright
In Africa’s changing payments ecosystem, innovation is the norm. In two decades, major transformations have taken place across the continent, from the rise of telco-led mobile money, to the growth of automation across the industry, said the head of consumer payments at Ecobank.
Blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies are booming in emerging markets such as Nigeria. And a surge in venture capital investment in Africa is also enabling startups to capture payment opportunities and improve user experience and reduce friction.
Parliament Blasts Regulators Over Failure to Oversee Financial Services
Members of Parliament took aim at the United Kingdom’s financial regulatory bodies Monday (Feb. 21), alleging they have failed to combat fraud and accused them of being too cozy with financial institutions, Investment Week reported.
At a hearing before the Treasury Committee, staff from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Bank of England got a scolding. Angela Eagle, a Labor member of Parliament, said that while the FCA has said it plans to improve its fight against financial crime and fraud, it’s been a failure.
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NEW PYMNTS DATA: ACCOUNT OPENING AND LOAN SERVICING IN THE DIGITAL ENVIRONMENT

About: Forty-two percent of U.S. consumers are more likely to open accounts with FIs that make it easy to auto-share their banking details during sign-up. The PYMNTS study Account Opening And Loan Servicing In The Digital Environment, surveyed 2,300 consumers to examine how FIs can leverage open banking to engage customers and create a better account opening experience.
The restaurant subscription, an often overlooked customer engagement tool, gained popularity during the early days of the health crisis and now serves…
Fifty-nine percent of consumers have opened new financial accounts in the past year, according to Account Opening And Loan Servicing In The…
Krispy Kreme is going dark. The Charlotte, North Carolina-based doughnut chain with more than 10,000 locations in over 30 countries, is turning…
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The September Curse: Why Bitcoin Price May Touch $10,000 – NewsBTC

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September has been a historically bearish month for bitcoin and the rest of the crypto market by extension. Back in 2021, bitcoin’s deviation from expected market trends had sparked hope that it would break the September curse, but alas, it followed it to a T. This is why with the new month already ushered in, there are expectations that the price of BTC will continue to dive and likely reach lower trends as it enters the worst of the bear market.
One of those who have referred to the September curse in their analysis of the price of bitcoin is Scott Redler, the Chief Strategist at T3 Trading Group. Redler posted a bitcoin chart outlining the movement of the digital asset since last year, marking important technical points that had triggered a downtrend in its price.
An important level that has been mapped out by BTC lately is the $17,600. This represents the new local low after the cryptocurrency had set a new record and plunged below its previous cycle peak. Now, $17,600 has become the level for bulls to hold to avoid further decline.
Redler’s chart shows that if the digital asset fails to hold above this level, then the next support lies around $13,500. But even more interesting is the fact that below $13,500, the next possible point is at the dreaded $10,200. 
Bitcoin price chart from TradingView.com
The strategist explains that the month will determine where the price of BTC ends up following this. However, if bulls are able to hold above this level, which ends up serving as a bounce point, then BTC’s next major level lies just above $25,000.
Bitcoin is an asset that has always followed historical trends closely. Even when it had broken out of set trends back in 2021, it still kept close to others. One of those was the infamous “September Curse.” For anyone who doesn’t understand what this is, the term was coined because bitcoin’s price has always recorded a decline during this month.
Last year was no different in this regard despite the fact that the crypto market is deep in the throes of a bull market. Bitcoin had started the month of September 2021 at around $53,000 but had lost more than $10,000 of its value by the time the month drew to an end. This was in spite of remarkable adoption, such as El Salvador officially accepting the cryptocurrency as a digital asset and Cardano finally debuting smart contract capability.
Given this, it is possible that bitcoin will stick to this trend. The digital asset is already showing signs of decline, starting the month above $20,000 and already falling below this important technical level. If BTC went the way it did in 2021, the price will likely drop to around $16,000, which would account for about 20%, in line with previous downtrends. 
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Trader Who Nailed 2022 Bitcoin Collapse Predicts Big Correction for XRP, Updates Outlook on Two Low-Cap Alt… – The Daily Hodl

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The crypto analyst who accurately predicted Bitcoin’s (BTC) crash this year says XRP is likely due for an over 50% decline.
The psuedonymous analyst known in the industry as Capo tells his 541,600 Twitter followers that open-source digital currency XRP remains in a downtrend despite its recent rally.
According to a chart shared by Capo, XRP appears poised to plunge to its high timeframe support at $0.20.
“XRP.”
At time of writing, XRP is changing hands for $0.447, an over 5% decrease on the day. The sixth-largest crypto asset by market cap has risen nearly 40% from its 30-day low of $0.32 but remains more than 86% down from its all-time high of $3.40.
Another altcoin on the trader’s radar is Stellar Lumens (XLM), a crypto asset designed to act as a bridge between two fiat currencies when sending money abroad. According to Capo, XLM gearing up for a quick rally to his target of $0.16 before resuming its downtrend.
“Long on XLM.”
At time of writing, XLM is valued at $0.118, flat on the day.
The analyst is also keeping a close watch on Reserve Rights Token (RSR), cryptocurrency designed to facilitate the stability of the asset-backed stablecoin known as the Reserve Token (RSV). According to Capo, RSR still offers more upside potential despite its over 90% rally in just two weeks.
“Support to resistance flip of the previous key level. Next target is $0.012, but main target remains $0.017. I haven’t taken profits yet, just trailing the stop in profits.” 
At time of writing, RSR is swapping hands for $0.0099, a 4.95% increase on the day.
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Bitcoin slips lower, and South Korea issues arrest warrant for Terra's Do Kwon – CNBC

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Bitcoin slips lower, and South Korea issues arrest warrant for Terra’s Do Kwon  CNBC
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