In this week’s top Europe, Middle East and Africa news, 2nd Gen Ethereum will be delayed until at least 2023; and South African auction house Strauss & Co. has partnered with five of the country’s wineries to offer non-expendable tokens of fine wines to the highest bidder.
In addition, Five AI, the British automated driving company, has been acquired by the technological multinational Bosch; Nexo has launched a cryptocurrency Mastercard in some European markets; and Swedish software-as-a-service company Material Exchange has raised €25 million ($27 million) in a Series A funding round.
Ethereum nears a more environmentally friendly version 2.0, but next-gen scalability is still delayed
No. 2 blockchain Ethereum took a big step towards its greener future this week with the release of a “shadow” version of the upcoming Ethereum 2.0.
But that was tempered by news of further delays that will see the most important part of the second generation of the smart contract blockchain, scalability, delayed until at least 2023.
South African Strauss & Co. to host NFT auction for fine wines
Strauss & Co., South Africa’s auction house, has partnered with five of the country’s wineries to offer fine wine non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to the highest bidders.
The sale, which runs from April 18-25, will feature vintages from the past, present and future. Each NFT has up to 50 vintages, with collections from 66 to 288 bottles.
Bosch acquires UK autonomous driving company Five AI
UK automated driving company Five AI has been acquired by multinational technology company Bosch, which said Five chose it over other takeover bidders because the companies “share a common vision of automated driving and safe automated driving systems.” “.
The acquisition agreement was signed earlier this month and both firms have agreed not to disclose financial details. However, the deal is still subject to approval by antitrust authorities.
Nexo, Mastercard, DiPocket launch cards backed by crypto line of credit
Nexo, a Swiss platform that offers instant crypto-backed loans, has launched a cryptocurrency Mastercard in some European markets.
Nexo Card has partnered with Mastercard and DiPocket, a London-based e-wallet, providing customers with access to cryptocurrency-based liquidity at more than 92 million e-commerce sites worldwide. The card allows users to spend without selling their digital assets.
Sustainability-Focused Startup Material Exchange Notches Series A
Material Exchange, a Swedish software-as-a-service (SaaS) company that helps brands like H&M and Ugg source more sustainable materials, has raised €25 million ($27 million) in a Series A funding round.
The startup connects fabric suppliers with buyers and has raised more than $35 million since 2017. The new capital infusion will go towards helping Material Exchange reach new markets and fuel the growth of its product range. .
DATA OF NEW PAYMENTS: STUDY ON THE INNOVATION OF THE FUTURE OF BUSINESS ACCOUNTS PAYABLE – APRIL 2022
About: While more than half of SMBs believe an all-in-one payment platform can save them time and improve cash flow visibility, 56% believe the solution could be difficult to integrate with existing AP and AR systems . The Future of Business Accounts Payable Innovation Report, a collaboration of PYMNTS and Plastiq, surveyed 500 SMBs with revenues between $500,000 and $100 million to explore how all-in-one solutions can exceed expectations of SMEs and help prepare their businesses for the future.