Feb. 25, 2022

174: Money Talks #48 | SoFi So Far | Circle and Stablecoins | Crypto Ads | Apple Pay and Stripe

174: Money Talks #48 | SoFi So Far | Circle and Stablecoins | Crypto Ads | Apple Pay and Stripe

Eoin Fitzgerald and Pete Townsend riff on what started out as a student lending platform in SoFi now becoming a full-service digital finance player, Circle’s new SPAC deal in the context of stablecoins, advertising and naming rights in crypto and a long-term view on what Apple could be up to with Stripe.


This episode of MoneyNeverSleeps is sponsored by Philip Lee, one of Ireland’s fastest-growing corporate law firms and expert advisors at the heart of the Dublin and London start-up, fintech and crypto communities.


SoFi Pays $1.1B For Banking Software Firm Technisys (Pymnts.com, 22-Feb-22)

Eoin’s personal view into the SoFi evolution: 

“One of the last things I proposed at Future Finance before I left and went to Deutsche Bank was to expand their online account - where customers check their balance and make their payment - and start offering more functionality since we had the customer’s attention.

“Obviously, SoFi has taken this to the extreme.  They’ve built up a very well-known and well-funded student loan platform and it gives them the opportunity to become that bank for those customers.

“They're able to bring out mobile banking, apps, deposit accounts, checking, and savings, now through last year’s Golden Pacific Bancorp acquisition as well. All of a sudden, SoFi has every kind of banking offer available to their current customers who are all students that will continue to grow with them as a customer.”

Stablecoin Provider Circle Hits $9B Valuation After New SPAC Deal (Decrypt, 17-Feb-22)

Eoin’s early-stage view on stablecoins like USDC:

“I can understand the model where it would make sense to convert some other virtual currency into a stablecoin like USDC to get closer to something real and tangible, and it doesn't seem like that far of a leap for people or investors or new businesses to understand.”

Pete challenging Eoin’s reference to “real and tangible”:

“Do you know what ‘fiat’ actually means, as in ‘fiat currency’? ‘Fiat’ means that it only has value because somebody says it has value.  So, you’re getting into prickly territory by saying that it makes sense to move to something that has some ‘tangible real-world value’.

“Now, of course, most of the world - because there are only 100 to 200 million crypto users on this planet out of the 8 billion people on the planet - will listen to you and agree with your sentiment on tangible real-world value. There will be some crypto natives though that would hear that and say ‘what is really tangible in this world anymore?’

“To most people, fiat currency represents tangible, real-world value, but to a lot of crypto natives, fiat currency is not tangible real-world value anymore and they might be more comfortable holding Bitcoin or Ethereum.

“But, to your point, if we’re going to move from 200 million to a billion users of crypto, we need some more options for people.  If they're going to invest through an algorithmic trading strategy in the top 10 crypto coins, for example, and they want to take some profits and go risk-off, you’ve got to give them something better than just USDC to put their money into.  It’s the same with Axie Infinity right now or Fortnite later on, whenever that’s opened up to allow users to accrue their Fortnite points as tokens in a web3 wallet.”

Sporting Crypto - Super Bowl Crypto Takeover (Sporting Crypto, Pet Berisha, 14-Feb-22)

From Apple Pay To Apple Paid (Forbes, 10-Feb-22)


Interesting web3 music project we mentioned: Token||Traxx

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Pete TownsendProfile Photo

Pete Townsend


Web3 & fintech investor, MD @Techstars Web3, founder of Norio Ventures, mentor, non-executive director, podcaster and bad guitar player.

Eoin FitzgeraldProfile Photo

Eoin Fitzgerald


Fintech investor, podcaster, wannabe VC