Thirty-seven community groups called on the FDIC to reject Square’s ILC application; Apple and Goldman Sachs announced their plans to jointly release an iPhone-based credit card; Mizuho clinched support of AliPay and UnionPay for the rollout of its new digital currency platform; Mastercard is working with a domestic partner on a JV to enter the Chinese payments market; the government of Seoul, South Korea set up a $1B investment fund for fintech and blockchain startups; and SoFi is expanding its business lines to include investment services and new types of loans.
Twenty-two state AGs challenged the CFPB’s proposed fintech sandbox; the Senate Banking Committee is set to examine financial data collection; JPMorgan Chase introduced its own dollar-backed cryptocurrency; President Trump signed an EO setting aside federal funds for AI projects; IBM won a $700M five-year technology deal with Banco Santander; Ant confirmed its acquisition of WorldFirst; and U.K. challenger bank Starling raised £75M in Series C funding.
Wells Fargo experienced widespread online and mobile banking outages; Facebook acqui-hired key members of a British blockchain firm to advance its blockchain efforts; fintech firm Pagaya announced its AI platform will actively manage $100M in asset-backed securities; controversial crypto evangelist Brock Pierce wants to reboot infamous Japanese crypto exchange Mt. Gox; and SEC Commissioner Robert Jackson said he believes a bitcoin ETF will eventually be approved.
The SEC is seeking support from private firms on understanding blockchain; a group of global regulators has launched a global regulator sandbox for cross-border fintech products and services; money transfer service WorldFirst is spinning off its U.S. operations ahead of its acquisition by Ant Financial; IBM completed a pilot test of its blockchain-based trade shipment platform; Stripe raised an additional $100M, reaching a $22.5B valuation; and Lithuania made strides in 2018 as a destination for fintech firms seeking a variety of EU operating licenses.