The SEC delivered a no-action letter to Paxos concerning its blockchain-based stock settlement platform; Uber launched a new division aimed at developing new financial products for its drivers; Telegram is moving forward with its crypto wallet, despite a pending SEC lawsuit; David Marcus talked up Libra at Money20/20; Bakkt is getting into consumer products with a partnership with Starbucks; and former Deputy Comptroller Jo Ann Barefoot launched a new venture aimed at modernizing financial regulation.
A federal judge ruled in favor of the NYDFS in its ongoing suit to prevent the OCC’s “fintech charter”; Mark Zuckerberg testified before Congress about Libra; Apple Pay is now the most popular U.S. mobile payments app; Kabbage expanded its product mix to include payments; Revolut launched in Singapore; and the Economist considers whether negative press and regulatory scrutiny have doomed the Libra project.
Global regulators, including FATF and the FSB, weighed in on the risks posed by stablecoins; the U.S. government is reportedly considering creating its own cryptocurrency; EU regulators are looking into potential antitrust violations by Apple Pay; the FT brought new evidence of fraudulent accounting practices at Wirecard; Venmo will launch its first credit card; Revolut is looking to raise $1.5B in debt and equity; and digital bank Chime experienced a service disruption affecting millions.
Mark Zuckerberg will testify before Congress on Libra and Facebook’s cryptocurrency plans, while several more large companies dropped out of the project; CFTC Chairman Tarbert said the ether cryptocurrency should be treated as a commodity; the SEC halted Telegram’s $1.7B token offering; Robinhood rolled out interest-bearing accounts; BIS and the Swiss National Bank are exploring the potential for a central bank digital currency in Switzerland; and UNICEF established a fund for donations made in cryptocurrencies.
E-Trade followed Charles Schwab and TD Ameritrade in dropping its transaction commission fees; PayPal has withdrawn from the Libra Association amid regulatory and legal concerns, and others may follow; the FSB is scrutinizing the concentration of bank services in three major cloud providers; PayPal became the first non-Chinese company to gain a Chinese payments license; and a Wells Fargo study concluded that new technologies will replace 200,000 bank jobs in the next decade.