TFU | April 23-29

Leading Off

The Gemini crypto exchange will work with Nasdaq on compliance and fraud monitoring; a payments industry group released a draft framework for the U.S. Faster Payments Council; the WSJ explored how cryptocurrencies are increasingly being used for criminal activities; Barclays and PayPal partnered to better integrate their services; and Revolut raised $250M, giving it a $1.7B valuation.

In the News

Gemini teams up with Nasdaq for crypto compliance.  The bitcoin exchange will use Nasdaq’s SMARTS surveillance system to monitor markets for “abusive trading practices” and “improve its defenses against market manipulation.” Gemini co-founder Cameron Winklevoss said, “we’re doing this because we believe in the importance of creating a rules-based marketplace.”

Credit Karma expands fraud monitoring to dark web.  The credit scoring and reporting firm is expanding its identity monitoring tool’s search capabilities to include the dark web, the part of the Internet not indexed by search engines. The tool will scan the dark web and alert affected users about hits for their personal data to help them take mitigating actions.

Nasdaq CEO open to crypto business.  Nasdaq CEO Adena Friedman told CNBC that the exchange would “consider becoming a crypto exchange over time,” noting that she is bullish on the future of digital assets but agrees with the need for regulation in the space. “Do we want to provide a regulated market for this? Certainly Nasdaq would consider it,” Friedman said.

GFFT releases faster payments council draft governance.  The 27-member Governance Framework Formation Team (GFFT) issued a draft framework for the U.S. Faster Payments Council to “drive interoperability . . . openness and inclusiveness, flexibility and fairness and transparency” in the U.S. payments system.

Crypto crime soars while law enforcement plays catch-up.  The Wall Street Journal explores how hackers, narcotic traffickers, and others are increasingly using cryptocurrencies to conduct illicit activities. Blockchain Intelligence Group, a crypto-analysis firm, estimates that criminal activity now accounts for 20% of the transactions among the five major cryptocurrencies.

Amazon rolls out car delivery, raises privacy concerns.  The e-commerce giant will begin offering package delivery to Prime users’ parked cars, using its Key service to obtain vehicle information on the day of delivery. “Amazon has a voracious appetite for [personal data], and this is one more example,” said Jeffrey Chester of the nonprofit Center for Digital Democracy.

Digit moves to tackle credit card debt.  The firm behind the popular automated savings app launched Digit Pay, a new service aimed at helping users reduce their credit card debt. Digit Pay links to a user’s checking account and uses software to monitor income and spending to predict cash flow, before automatically setting aside cash in a Digit account to pay off credit cards.

Barclays and PayPal partner on cross-platform offerings.  The British bank and the global payments service will work together to “allow Barclays customers in the United States and Britain to use their PayPal accounts on the bank’s . . . platforms” while also allowing them to connect Barclays products to their PayPal accounts.

Revolut lands $250M, hits $1.7B valuation.  The London-based digital banking firm raised $250 million in Series C funding, led by Hong Kong’s DST Global and existing investors. The round gives the three-year-old firm a valuation of $1.7 billion. Revolut plans to use the funds to support its expansion into new markets, including the U.S., Hong Kong, and Australia.

Andreessen Horowitz moves to launch crypto fund.  The venture capital firm, also known as A16z, reportedly is preparing to launch a separate fund for crypto investments, posting job announcements related to a “separately managed fund focusing on crypto assets.” The firm previously has invested in a variety of cryptocurrencies and crypto platforms.

Cloud revenue may keep tech giants from moving into banking.  The Wall Street Journal discusses how tech firms like Google and Amazon may be resisting moves into financial services to preserve relationships with the banks that increasingly rely on their cloud service offerings. Banks are forecast to spend $12 billion on cloud services by 2021, up from $4 billion in 2017.

 

 

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