Fintech Investment Firm, Ribbit Capital, Seeks $350M In ‘Blank Check’ Public Offering

Former Trump administration advisor, Sigal Mandelker, teams up with top profile investors in a $350 million public offering in Ribbit Capital, a SPAC firm that invests in fintech firms, including blockchain technology projects. The IPO will raise $350 million for a “blank check” company that invests in the unspecified business at the moment.

Ribbit LEAP, short for Ribbit Capital Long-Term Equity Acquisition Pool, is a unique purpose acquisition company (SPAC) looking to join the increasingly popular blank check model that allows the company to effect a merger, acquire assets, purchase stocks, or reorganize a similar business in a prospectus filed with the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission (SEC).

According to the prospectus, the SPAC has yet to define its planned businesses despite raising the multi-million IPO. Blank checks structures allow companies a vast ground for investment and business operations without any interference from shareholders, who are not allowed to vote on any decisions. The S-1 form reads:

“Our shareholders may not be afforded an opportunity to vote on our proposed initial business combination, which means we may complete our initial business combination even though a majority of our shareholders do not support such a combination.”

Ribbit LEAP is one of the first investors in the U.S’ largest crypto exchange, Coinbase, and over 75 other fintech startups, including Robinhood Markets, CreditKarma, MercadoLibre, Inc., Sea Limited, Next Insurance, and Zillow. Other top crypto companies in the Ribbit LEAP portfolio include U.K based Revolut, Xapo, and Chainalysis.

The prospectus further states that the company offered $402.5 million in class A shares at $10 per share to begin, but fees rose to approximately $52 million, bringing the total IPO to raise close to $350 million. Out of the total available shares, the SPAC has pledged a minimum of $100 million in a forward purchase commitment.

According to Reuters, the company is aiming to list the SPAC on the New York Stock Exchange in the coming days with JP Morgan, the only book-manager running the securities.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Second US Stimulus Package of $1,200 on the Way as Bitcoin Bulls Gain Momentum

A second stimulus check is on the way for American citizens, according to the White House’s economic advisor, Larry Kudlow. He confirmed this position during an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper on July 26, signaling that the Fed’s printers might soon be busy again. This news coincides with strong crypto market bulls that have since pushed Bitcoin past $10,360 as of press time.

Earlier, BEG reported that the first stimulus round might have helped Bitcoin recover from black Thursday, given that quite a large number of Americans invested in Bitcoin. Could this new stimulus round push BTC further? A lot is clearly in play, but an injection by the Fed will likely result in a BTC rally, just like other markets have started to recover.

The European Union also recently announced plans to initiate a second Euro stimulus, aiming to distribute close to 1 billion Euros. While a direct correlation has yet to be linked to Bitcoin’s price surge following the announcement last week, speculators see the move by the EU may have contributed to Bitcoin’s price movement. The leading crypto asset had been stable for quite a while, ranging between $9k and $9.3k, but this resistance has since been broken over the past week.

Bitcoin Investors Gained over 40% ROI Since April.

With most of the stimulus payment processes clearing in April, investors who got into the market at the time are now over 45% in profit.

As the March economic downturn took a heavy toll on all sectors, the price of BTC dipped to lows below $4,000, but then eventually climbed back to almost $7,000 at the beginning of April. Looking at these stats, Americans who opted to buy Bitcoin with their stimulus money can cash out with around 40% gains depending on at which point they bought into the market.

Though considered volatile, digital assets such as Bitcoin are proving to be lucrative as fundamentals make inroads to the retail space. No wonder applications like Jack Dorsey’s Cash App are fast catching up with this trend.

The platform recently moved to allows Bitcoin purchases, including an automatic feature for such executions to grow revenue through Bitcoin’s demand. It is quite noteworthy that most of Cash App’s Q1 revenue this year came from Bitcoin purchases, a trend that might replicate itself in an even bigger way should more Americans decide to spend their stimulus on Bitcoin.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

China Pushes for A Digital Currency in the East Asia Region to Dilute the Dollar’s Influence

  • China’s political advisor body, the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, were engaged in talks of a standard digital currency for the East Asian jurisdictions.
  • A basket of currencies would back the digital currency with the Yuan and Yen contributing at least 80% of the backing ratios.

News has now surfaced that Chinese officials are rallying for a standard digital currency for the East Asia countries. The digital currency is to be pegged on a basket of currencies utilized by the East Asian jurisdictions.

Talks of a universal digital currency for the three countries in the region: China, Japan, and South Korea took center stage in a recent meeting by seated members of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).

A select group of 10 members from the committee proposed the establishment of a digital currency that would be pegged on a basket of currencies including Chinese yuan, Japanese Yen, South Korean Won, and the Hong Kong dollar. This committee serves as a top political advisory body.

The ten members are a crop of influential personnel in the country comprising Mega travel company, Ctrip co-founder, and successful VC Neil Shen with an estimated $1.6 billion net worth and Hong Kong political top brass, Henry Tang amongst others. They all shared the sentiment that the endeavor is left to the private sector limiting the government’s input to merely a rubber stamping role in the project.

While it is set to be backed by the four countries, the Chinese Yen and Japanese Yuan will account for the bulk of the backing ratios with 60% and 20%, respectively. This has been deduced from careful comparisons of the economic impact of the jurisdictions involved.

This will be aligned with their vision of forming an alliance amongst the countries. They would be uniquely positioned to strike free trade agreements amongst themselves, with analysts opined that it would be in the lines of a trade zone.

Notably, the proposal comes at a time when China and the US are experiencing a strain in their relations. This has been seen as an attempt to detangle and dilute the dollar’s influence in the region. Other analysts believe that the abrupt push for digital currency has been brought forth by recent developments in Libra. They announced shelving their stablecoin ambitions and instead zero in on offering separate coins backed by independent fiat currencies.

China’s CBDC Still Underway

China’s CBDC was recently given a test run by the state-owned Agricultural Bank of China (ABC). The pilot program was rolled out in four regions accounting for the bulk of ABC’s activities: Chengdu, Suzhou, Xiong’an & Shenzhen. Its support was extended to whitelisted users leveraging IOS and android tech. There is, however, no imminent launch date for the Digital Yuan.

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Author: Lujan Odera