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.
Rakuten is applying for an ILC charter in Utah; Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro was accused of using cryptocurrency to evade international financial sanctions; the U.K. FCA published guidance on crypto assets; Capital One disclosed that a data breach exposed the personal information of 100 million customers; and the London Stock Exchange is acquiring Refinitiv for $27B; and LabCFTC Director Gorfine is leaving the agency.
We look at the recent news and reactions to the Libra cryptocurrency in our “Big Idea”; the CFTC established its LabCFTC Accelerator to further support its fintech R&D efforts; Congress investigated the use of algorithms in lending decisions; TransferWise announced it will launch in the U.S. market; Monzo raised £113M to support its U.S. expansion; and JPMorgan is rumored to be launching a digital banking operation.
A federal judge ruled that the DFS can move forward with its lawsuit against the OCC’s proposed fintech charter; the CFTC believes that more companies will apply to become clearinghouses due to growing interest in cryptocurrencies; IBM partnered with Thomson Reuters on a AI-backed regtech product; Facebook is working with large financial institutions to support its reportedly forthcoming stablecoin; and the Boston Fed produced a whitepaper on creating “supervisory nodes” on a blockchain.
The CFPB proposed a “product sandbox” and certain safe harbors for fintechs; Revolut received an EU banking license; Robinhood faced scrutiny over its plan to offer SIPC-insured checking and savings accounts; Bitwala established Germany’s first “crypto bank”; Facebook could be facing over $1B in fines for recent data breaches; and Plaid raised $250M in new funding.
What’s The Big Idea with Circle, Coinbase, and Revolut all making moves to expand their capabilities? Also: The CFTC subpoenaed several crypto exchanges; Ant raised $14B in the largest fundraising round in history; Google published its AI “code of ethics”; Facebook took another privacy hit; and the CFSI unveiled its 2018 FinLab cohort.