The Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance’s CCAF.io platform hosts suite of fintech digital tools to inform evidence-based decision-making for firms, investors, regulators and policymakers globally.
The Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF) at Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge today publicly launched the CCAF.io, which for the first time creates a single platform for its suite of digital tools that provide interactive fintech market data and visualisations to inform evidence-based decision-making by firms, investors, regulators, and policymakers globally.
The new integrated digital platform hosts the Cambridge FinTech Ecosystem Atlas, a tool to identify, track and analyse fintech entities and their activities over time and geographies, and the Cambridge Alternative Finance Benchmarks, which features the latest global market data and insights based on CCAF’s longitudinal research on digital lending and digital capital raising.
It also creates a new home for the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index (CBECI), which explores the scale and implications of the Bitcoin network’s electricity consumption, while providing an interactive map to track the geographic distribution of the network’s total hashrate over time.
The platform and its digital tools have been made possible thanks to foundational funding from the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office as part of the Cambridge Alternative Finance Collaboration Network (CAFCN), and support from Invesco and the Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI).
The Cambridge FinTech Ecosystem Atlas has been developed to identify, classify, and visualise entities that operate (or used to operate) in the fintech space according to a working taxonomy that comprises 14 individual market segments and 118 activities. At present, this publicly available repository holds up-to-date information on over 2,800 entities. Based on an active collaboration with users and industry partners, this dataset will be further expanded through data sharing and peer-review.
The Cambridge Alternative Finance Benchmarks are powered by longitudinal datasets collected through a series of national, regional, and global alternative finance benchmarking studies that have been conducted by the CCAF over the last seven years, with a particular focus on digital lending and digital capital raising. It allows users to navigate time-series data to understand the development of various crowdfunding and marketplace lending activities around the world. It will also enable users to undertake analysis and comparisons between regional activities and various business models. Data within the Benchmarks tool can be analysed and visualised by country, region, country income group and year (2011-2020).
Already established as a leading reference tool for assessing the total electricity footprint of the Bitcoin network, the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index (CBECI) is regularly cited by international and national media, as well as academics and market participants. It enables users to view current and historical power demand from the Bitcoin network, visualise the total electricity footprint since inception, and analyse the evolution of the geographical distribution of global hashrate with detailed monthly data.
“By bringing together these digital tools under one roof at CCAF.io, we hope to create a digital knowledge platform that will provide essential data, visualisations, and analytics to shed a light on global fintech market development and inform evidence-based decision-making,” says Bryan Zhang, the Executive Director of CCAF. “As the fintech ecosystem continues to grow rapidly, we intend to create more impactful and scalable digital tools to help both public and private sector stakeholders better navigate the changing landscape of digital transformation.”
“The UK Government through the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office is pleased to partner with CCAF to support their expert work on financial innovation and enabling regulatory environments. We welcome the launch of CCAF.io as a single platform for accessing CCAF’s digital tools,” says Sian Parkinson, Inclusive Digital Finance Lead, UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.
“Evidence shows that development of fintech markets around the world has been highly uneven, and hampered by the lack of empirical data, timely information and actionable insights to inform regulation and business decision-making, especially in developing economies. Tools hosted on this platform, can facilitate fintech market development and effect evidence-based regulatory changes globally, resulting in better outcomes for financial inclusion, economic growth, and ultimately poverty reduction.”
“Big ideas coming from fintech ecosystems can be abstract and disconnected from the day-to-day realities of running a business, especially in the Digital Asset space. In this context, our collaboration with CCAF is supporting how we are willing to leverage Innovation ecosystems to position Invesco in the future of finance,” says Nicolas Steiner, Director of Strategy & Innovation for EMEA and APAC. “By providing market signals from regulatory frameworks and fintech ecosystems embracing regulatory changes, the CCAF suite of tools will be supporting how TradFi can plan a future in a world where uncertainty is growing.”
“This consolidated database on fintech related topics should prove to be a great benefit to researchers in the area,” says Peter J. Morgan, Senior Consulting Economist and Vice Chair of Research, ADBI. “As the fintech sectors grows, we look forward to the continued development of this database platform.”
“We have taken a systematic approach to the building and development of our suite of digital tools,” says Anton Dek, Digital Tools Lead at CCAF. “The Atlas tool tracks the fintech actors across time and space, Benchmarks is about analysing fintech activities conducted by those actors and reflect market growth and development, and CBECI is our first step venturing into developing analytical dashboards for digital assets related activities.”