Coinbase Launches Open Source Ethereum Wallet to Promote Financial Inclusion

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Bitcoin and Ethereum wallet company Coinbase has been doing some spring cleaning lately. Earlier this week, the company launched a developer preview of its new tool, Token.

Coinbase describes Token as a combination of a private, secure messaging app, a mobile browser for Ethereum apps, and an Ethereum wallet. The system was created to work like a global, open protocol version of China’s WeChat, India’s PayTM, and Kenya’s mPESA— all apps that drive large volumes of digital payments.

Because the app is made for small value payments, Coinbase opted to build Token for Ethereum, which has lower transaction fees than Bitcoin. In order to let users know who they can trust when it comes to money transfers, Token created a reputation system that allows users to build their trust profile each time they transact with others.


The impetus behind the new launch is to promote financial inclusion across the globe. In the blog post announcing Token, Coinbase wrote, “We believe that everyone in the world should have access to financial services, and with smartphones becoming ubiquitous, digital currency can make that happen.” The company has long term goals to “provide financial services to the 2 billion people in the developing world who have a cell phone, but don’t have access to a bank account; make it dramatically easier for people to build and use Ethereum applications; and shift digital currency from being just a speculative investment to being a payment network for useful goods and services.”

Founded in 2012, Coinbase serves as a digital currency wallet and offers tools to help merchants accept digital currencies at physical and digital points-of-sale. At FinovateSpring 2014, the company debuted Instant Exchange, a tool to help merchants avoid currency volatility when accepting digital currencies. Last month, Coinbase was granted approval to extend ether trades in New York and began offering margin trading to allow users to trade up to 3X leveraged orders on Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin order books.

Finovate Alumni News


  • Coinbase Launches Open Source Ethereum Wallet to Promote Financial Inclusion.

Around the web

  • Expensify partners with TravelPerk to make business travel easier.
  • Bento for Business welcomes Lou Friedmann as Chief Revenue Officer.
  • Featurespace’s ARIC platform to power fraud prevention for GoHenry.
  • BBVA and Ripple complete blockchain cross-border money transfer pilot.
  •  Larky to power location-based perks platform for Sharetec’s CU clients.
  • Icon Solutions enhances Instant Payments Framework (IPF) to connect to The Clearing House for US Real-Time Payments.
  • Walletron helps Transactis grow its electronic billing and payments service, BillerIQ.
  • NICE Actimize unveils new, cloud-based, fraud analytics optimization technology, ActimizeWatch.
  • Global financial services firm chooses Mobile Verify and Mobile Fill from Mitek.
  • IBS Sales League recognizes Temenos as “number one best-selling digital and channels solution” worldwide.
  • Algomi teams up with OpenFin to deploy software updates faster.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Mastercard’s Biometric Payment Card: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

cardgifPayments giant Mastercard announced today it is undergoing trials for a new payment card. A first in the industry, the company has embedded a fingerprint scanner inside a Chip and PIN payment card– think of it as Apple Pay for your bank card. Once users insert their card into a chip reader, they set their finger on the embedded sensor, and the card sends the authentication to the bank, which approves the payment.

The good

  • Scanning their fingerprint eliminates the need for a user to enter (and remember) their PIN
  • Bystanders can’t steal your fingerprint as easily as they can peek at your PIN
  • The card defaults to a PIN or signature in the event the user’s finger is too sweaty or greasy to read
  • Users can add up to two fingerprints
  • Merchants can use their existing EMV card readers; no software upgrades are required

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The bad

  • Mobile biometric readers have proven to be spoofable
  • The fingerprint scanner will not work on magstripe-only readers
  • The card does not currently support contactless payment functionality popular in Europe

The ugly

  • In order to use the fingerprint sensor on the card consumers have to register their fingerprint by visiting a brick-and-mortar bank branch or enrollment center.
  • There is no information on what the card will cost, but it’s not going to be cheap. Whether the financial institution chooses to pay for the new card or if they decide to charge consumers for it (more likely), someone will need to foot the bill.

This new concept card has undergone trials in South Africa and will be tested in Europe and Asia Pacific in the next few months. A full rollout is expected later this year. Absa Bank, a subsidiary of Barclays Africa, was the pilot behind the South Africa trials. There’s no word yet on which bank partnerships Mastercard has in place for the full rollout.

This is not the company’s first foray into biometrics. In October 2016 Mastercard launched Selfie Pay, an app that enables users to authenticate by taking a photo of their face. Mastercard last demoed at FinovateFall 2014 and showed off its Developer Zone at FinDEVr San Francisco 2014.

FinovateSpring Sneak Peek: Tyro


FS2017-Logo(rev)V1A look at the companies demoing live at FinovateSpring on April 26 & 27 in San Jose. Pick up your tickets today and save your spot.

Tyro integrates payments, banking, and lending into one simple and transparent product as the only fintech in Australia with an unrestricted banking license.


  • Ultra convenience through seamless integration of accounting, banking, and payments
  • Accelerate business growth with Smart Growth Funding
  • Only Australian fintech with an unrestricted banking license

Why it’s great
Fully-integrated and seamless solution that brings together payments, deposits, and lending into one mobile solution.


Christopher Logan, Head of Software Engineering – Lending, Mobile, Web, and Data



Tyro_CaitrionaKelly_2Caitriona Kelly, Delivery Lead

FinovateSpring Sneak Peek: Eltropy


FS2017-Logo(rev)V1A look at the companies demoing live at FinovateSpring on April 26 & 27 in San Jose. Pick up your tickets today and save your spot.

Eltropy’s client engagement platform increases share of wallet, new client acquisition, and productivity of client-facing teams at banks, wealth, insurance, and financial services firms.


  • Easily curate, share, track, and analyze content
  • Use “text messaging” to communicate with clients the way they want to
  • Meet compliance with automated Salesforce updates and archival of text messages

Why it’s great
Embrace the “text messaging” revolution to build deeper, trusted relationships with prospects and clients.


Ashish Garg, CEO
Garg founded Eltropy with the vision of simplifying the buying experience. A great buyer experience translates into rapid revenue growth by reducing sales cycle times and increasing lead conversion.


Eltropy_TroyPittock_2Troy Pittock, VP Sales
Pittock leverages his background in financial services, solar, and sales leadership to help customers increase sales and reduce costs by creating a phenomenal customer buying experience.

Last Chance for FinovateFall Presale Tickets!

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FinovateFall 2017 will be returning to the Hilton Midtown from September 11 through 14, and tomorrow is the last chance to register for a Presale Ticket to save $800. This is the lowest-priced ticket we’ll offer — make sure you register now to lock in the savings!

FinovateFall 2016 was our largest event yet, with more than 1600 attendees on hand to view live demos (no slides allowed!) of exciting fintech innovations. We’re expanding the show this year to offer even more great content.

In addition to the two days of demos, we’re adding another day and a half full of practical advice from your peers and industry gurus alike. These discussions will provide more context around the demos you’ll see on stage and help you incorporate the latest fintech innovations into your product road map. For more information on our expansion, take a look at the agenda or the informational brochure.

Presale Tickets are still on sale for $1,595 through the end of this week. Not only is this the lowest ticket price we offer, but tickets are fully refundable until July 28, so there’s no risk in locking down the price now. Register today!

FinovateSpring Sneak Peek: cyberProductivity


FS2017-Logo(rev)V1A look at the companies demoing live at FinovateSpring on April 26 & 27 in San Jose. Pick up your tickets today and save your spot.

FinAutomate, the automated accounting platform from cyberProductivity, helps SMBs manage cash in real-time, and boosts sales of factoring, loans and payments. The bank branded solution is delivered within the banking internet platform.


  • Features real-time booking, automated alerting, and task planning
  • Creates new sales scenario for banks thanks to real-time accounting data
  • Attracts new clients to boost sales of factoring and loans

Why it’s great
Make your SMB clients happy and loyal by extending the banking experience with a bank branded automated accounting platform. Help SMBs to manage cash and be the first to offer factoring and loans when needed.


Rafal Strzelecki, President of the Board, CEO
Strzelecki is a serial entrepreneur with a recent exit from BPO company. He has ten years experience in AI, accounting, robots, and is a bank branded cloud accounting expert, a CEMBA, and an automation engineer. He was a MIT FinTech Future Commerce Finalist.


cyberProductivity_TomGorski_2Tom Gorski, Head of SME Business at mBank
Gorski heads 500k+ SMB division at mBank. He was BCG Manager for nine years, based in Chicago, Warsaw, and Kuala-Lumpur, and has an EMBA from Columbia Business School. mBank won the Best Bank for SMEs (Forbes) and EFMA-Accenture Silver Medal in 2016.


cyberProductivity_RobertKaliszuk_2Robert Kaliszuk, CIO
Kaliszuk is an experienced IT manager with a track record in complex project management and innovative technology implementation.

FinovateSpring Sneak Peek: AFS


FS2017-Logo(rev)V1A look at the companies demoing live at FinovateSpring on April 26 & 27 in San Jose. Pick up your tickets today and save your spot.

AFS is the only provider that has an agile, out-of-the-box, commercial lending solution geared for growth – AFSVision – that is mobile and digital, operating in real-time.


  • Mobile enabled for the on-the-go
  • Real-time to speed up customer interaction
  • Cloud-based to be agile, compete, and grow

Why it’s great
AFSVision, an agile, commercial lending solution that operates in real-time. It shrinks turn times to strengthen existing relationships, providing more time to win new deals.


Chris Maciel, Director
Maciel has a 25-year proven track record of matching clients to the innovative financial and technology solutions needed to help grow business and drive revenue.


AFS_MarkDeese_2Mark Deese, Global Product Manager
Deese collaborates with technology innovators to provide strategic product initiatives that help a wide array of clients benefit from AFSVision’s robust capabilities.



John Dubil, Managing Director Application Development
AFS_JohnDubil_2Dubil leverages 25+ years of developing and successfully delivering innovative, complex lending solutions for the financial industry to help clients achieve their growth and business goals.

FinovateSpring Sneak Peek: FUCO & Solution


FS2017-Logo(rev)V1A look at the companies demoing live at FinovateSpring on April 26 & 27 in San Jose. Pick up your tickets today and save your spot.

FUCO & SOLUTION specializes in assisting financial institutions in customer communication and account management with innovative, interactive robo-statements.


  • Advisory: Suggest right-for-you financial products interactively
  • Transactional: Complete online application and transaction in one place
  • Social empowered: Circle-economy engagement

Why it’s great
Statements are the best, most direct ,and most trustworthy channel for banks to communicate with clients.


Alex Lin, Chairman and CEO
With 15+ years professional services/solutions experience in information and financial fields, Lin successfully helps major banks to move into fintech era to elevate user services for the next generation.

FinovateSpring Sneak Peek: Tavant Technologies


FS2017-Logo(rev)V1Tavant VELOX is a digital product suite offering a fluid omni-channel experience and high velocity execution: from home delivery to loan funding.


  • Reduces loan origination costs by 40%
  • Routes loan efficiently through path of least resistance
  • Eliminates paper with digital loan file

Why it’s great
Tavant VELOX enables hyperconnected lending, turning every element digital.


Abhinav Asthana, Director of Products
Asthana heads product innovation and strategy for Tavant’s consumer lending product suite, VELOX. Previously, he ran product strategy and headed the innovation roadmap for a leading LOS (NetOxygen).


Tavant_MohammadRashid_2Mohammad Rashid, Vice President, Consumer Lending
Rashid heads consumer lending and capital markets at Tavant Technologies. He provides strategy and thought leadership to enable growth and comes with more than 25 years of expertise in the lending space.