Arizona becomes the first US state to implement a fintech sandbox to drive innovation. And in other news, the Bank of England, Singapore Fintech Association and the Fintech Association of Japan all lead individual efforts to foster fintech.

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Arizona has become the first US state to implement a regulatory sandbox for innovation efforts from emerging market segments such as fintech, blockchain and cryptocurrencies.

According to Forbes, the new program is set to launch later this year and will enable companies to test their products for up to two years, servicing up to 10,000 customers before licensing applications become a requirement.

Arizona governor Doug Ducey touts the future of fintech via the same article: “FinTech is going to fundamentally transform banking, finance & technology. We’re going to be the first in the state to embrace it.”

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich also noted that part of the driving force for the new program revolves around “slow movement in congress and a stalemate among the multiplicity of agencies involved in overseeing the fintech and blockchain industries,” according to the same article.

The Nordic fintech ecosystem benefits from The Nordic Fintech Alliance. And the main players are Helsinki Fintech Farm, Copenhagen Fintech, Oslo Fintech Hub and Finance Innovation from Bergen.

According to Finance Innovation, the collaborative ambition is to promote further information sharing and cooperation on emerging fintech trends and developments, with additional emphasis on Nordic startup companies to help them gain traction in the ecosystem.

“Collaborating with our fintech partners across the Nordics will strengthen our capabilities to create new and innovative solutions and export them to the world. It will also help us attract and retain the human capital we need in the region to build a value creation ecosystem going forward,” said Finance Innovation CEO Atle Sivertsen, via the same article.

The Singapore Fintech Association (SFA) and the Fintech Association of Japan (FAJ) partner together to promote fintech.

According to the SFA, the partnership aims to foster collaboration between the two countries to grow Singapore to a desirable destination for Japanese business and strengthen the profile for the Japanese fintech industry.

“With this partnership, we aim to bridge the gap between the two fintech communities in both Singapore and Japan,” said President of the SFA Mr Chia Hock Lai, via the same article. “We are pleased that our mutual memberships can enjoy the benefits of closer collaboration.”

Bank of England starts hub to monitor fintech innovation. Goals for the new initiative include enhancing the bank’s ongoing research on digital currency, according to Bloomberg. The hub will also congruently support the Chancellor of the Exchequer Phillip Hammond’s fintech strategy, also announced last week. As part of this strategy, according to CNBC, the Bank of England will partner with Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority to work towards automating regulatory compliance, among other initiatives.

The Bloomberg article quotes Deputy Governor Dave Ramsden regarding the new initiative: “We have set up a new Fintech Hub that will sit at the heart of the bank, to consider both how the bank understands and how it applies fintech, relevant to its mission. Given the size of the financial sector in the U.K., I can see fintech driving competition and a pick-up in productivity in the medium term.”