A hand holding a handy, on which a stock market app is running, representing the SPAC investment type

Opinion: What the ICO Hype Can Tell Us About SPACs

Hypes are a good thing. No, think about it: They generate attention for products, activities and ideas. And where there is attention, there is scrutiny, too. The humming of the mainstream buzz makes us turn heads and observe closely where the noise is coming from. 

Matthias Gall, co-founder of trimplement
Matthias Gall, co-founder at trimplement, analyses the potential and possible drawbacks of Special Purpose Acquisition Companies.

For the hype-sensitive stock market, this has proven a boon in many cases. Wall Street is loud, and the more volume an investment trend generates, the more it will catch regulators’ interest – besides that of eager venturers. And currently, one investment trend generating much noise is that of SPACs. 

SPACs (short for Special Purpose Acquisition Companies) stood on the sidelines of the stock markets for a few decades. But in recent years, they made a comeback in the investment mainstream – mostly thanks to the web. And there, I could not help but think of another social-media-driven hype of the 2010s: ICOs. 

In fact, SPACs already show the same signs of overvaluation and ultimately disintegration that have befallen ICOs a few years back. But will SPACs go down the path of the ICO? 

In this article I will try to answer this question and a few more, like: 

  • What are SPACs? 
  • Why are they popular?
  • What are their risks and disadvantages? 
  • Is the SPAC hype comparable to the ICO hype? 

Okay then, here goes: SPACs, the specifics… 

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A picture of a Thomas Tittelbach, giving his opinion into the European Payments Initiative

finquiry #3: Thomas Tittelbach on the European Payments Initiative (EPI)

One key goal of the European Union is to establish a unified economic and financial system. Yet, in terms of payment schemes, the Union presents fairly non-uniform today. Regulatory reforms like SCT Inst and PSD2 have only laid the foundations of a profound rebuild of the European financial system. Today, the EU’s financial landscape is still characterized by national payment systems and dominated by US card schemes like Visa, Mastercard and PayPal. 

With the launch of the European Payments Initiative (EPI), this shall change. EPI – formerly also known as Pan-European Payments System Initiative – aims to establish a payment scheme and interbank network that’s applied throughout Europe.  

However, while backed by the European Central Bank the initiative is also met with scepticism. For our fintech interview series “Finquiry” we have spoken with payment and business development expert Thomas Tittelbach about the chances, risks and prospects of EPI. 

Our Guest: Thomas Tittelbach, Managing Partner at aye4fin

Our interview partner Thomas Tittelbach has been a force in the international payment industry for over 20 years. As a serial entrepreneur, he has co-founded and directed the payment companies omba and Payreto and acted as Head of Payment for Clickandbuy. Currently, he applies his extensive skills in P&L, operations, product and partner management as well as his in-depth knowledge of fintech, payment orchestration and business strategy at aye4fin as a Managing Partner. 

Thomas is also a member of the Associate Committee of the CNP Payment Forum. 

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