This week in fintech

By Hauken from Stacc

The Nordic Fintech Playbook



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This week in fintech

March 14 · Issue #96 · View online

A weekly summary of the latest news in our world of finance, design, and technology.

  • 👨‍💻 Design system functions
  • 👶 Is crypto growing up?
  • 🤦‍♂️ …or maybe not?
  • ❓How likely?

♟ The Nordic fintech playbook
The playbook for becoming a large Nordic Fintech company is apparently finding a US celebrity, giving them some shares, and using them in your campaigns. Klarna has done this with Snoop Dogg, and now Lunar is following with Will Farrel
Lunar recently signed a deal with the British fintech company Thought Machine to implement their core banking platform, Vault. They have also added a payment offering for their 15 000 business customers in Denmark, allowing them to accept and track online payments.
This week Lunar raised an additional 700 million NOK, making their series D clock in on around 2,7 billion NOK. The money will be used for new activities as well as acquisitions. It might seem like crazy much money, but then I read that a company that tries to resurrect mammoths to fight climate change just raised ~700 million NOK as well.
👨‍💻 Design system functions
We’ve all had to work with (or create) a design system. Today, most design systems work like dictionaries, composed of a finite set of definitions. But there’s a new incoming trend enabled by new abilities in the browsers that lead design systems into the age of functions: You can now define functions that says your text should not be smaller than 16px on small screens and no larger than 24px on large screens, making traditional design systems obsolete. Matthew Ström is arguing why functions are the next phase of user experience design
This aligns with my thoughts on the topic. The lines between design and code are becoming more blurred. You can choose to ignore it or start embracing that code will make you a better designer. Design isn’t just impacting the styling – it also lives in code: Stay close to the final pixels.
👶 Is crypto growing up?
14 years after the birth of Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies are showing signs of maturing: 
  • On Wednesday, US President Biden released an Executive Order on Digital Assets. The order calls for the US government to get up to speed on the fast-moving digital assets sector and to coordinate and provide regulatory clarity. It also calls for every agency to support innovation in the space and acknowledges the importance of future growth of the industry to the US economy.
  • The Bored Ape Yacht Club is launching something new, but you have to go through a KYC process to be eligible. This is interesting because web3 so far has a significant privacy angle, but this is probably a necessary evil for NFTs to become more mainstream. The Bored Ape Yacht Club is owned by Yuga Labs, which now controls three of the most valuable NFT-projects on the market.
  • The crypto exchange Bitmex is acquiring a 270-year old German Bank, Bankhaus von der Heydt, one of the oldest banks in Europe. I must admit that their tagline is excellent: “Fintech since 1754”. This is the first I’ve heard of, but probably not the last, given all the money currently pouring into crypto and the regulatory beginnings.
  • Stripe just launched a solution for crypto after ending their Bitcoin support in 2018 has launched a crypto solution, or as they say themselves: “Stripe gives crypto businesses access to today’s global financial infrastructure, without the outdated requirements of traditional payments providers.” We’ve all heard about startups pitching to be “Stripe for crypto,” but I guess it is just going to be Stripe after all? (Also they have some fun easter-eggs)
🤦‍♂️ ...or maybe not?
We’ve been through a lot of signs showing crypto is maturing, but there is also stories on the other side of the equation:
Morgan Housel
My only crypto take is that if you don't find some of it incredible you're not paying attention and if you don't find a lot of it absurd you're not paying attention.
❓How likely?
Probability and statistics are difficult to understand, and it gets even worse when you throw personalities into the mix. One person’s “pretty likely” is another’s “far from certain.” Harvard Business Review has done a study about how people interpret probabilistic words that can be useful in the coming week:
That's it for this week 👋
Remember, if you’re enjoying this content, please do tell all your (fintech) friends to hit the subscribe button! If you have some feedback you can always just hit reply!
Marius Hauken, partner Stacc X
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