The Federal Reserve plans to launch a real-time payments system within the next five years; Robinhood received approval from the U.K. FCA to operate as a broker in the country; Walmart is seeking a patent for a digital currency that customers could use within the retailer’s ecosystem; Apple updated its website ahead of the launch of Apple Card; Swedish payments firm Klarna raised $460M, making it the most valuable European fintech; and the FT discusses India’s importance as a battleground for digital payments market share between American and Chinese competitors.
The Fed is considering adding a bitcoin crash to stress test scenarios; British banks published outage details; Facebook is testing its own cryptocurrency; the European Commission weighs a regulatory push for the TIPS payment system; and JP Morgan is testing a new ethereum-based platform that could mitigate privacy concerns.
The U.S. House heard testimony on fintech and regulation; Zelle is adding 100,000 new customers per day; Lightning Network could mean much more efficient crypto transactions; S. Korea is not banning crypto exchanges; and Alibaba is taking a 33% stake in Ant. Also: what’s the Big Idea with the SEC and CFTC stepping up crypto scrutiny?
The SEC is on “high alert” for ICOs; the CFTC sued My Big Coin for an alleged Ponzi scheme; Coincheck was hacked for over $500M; Coinbase brought in over $1B in 2017; and blockchain was buzzy at Davos this year.
SoFi has withdrawn its ILC application and the ICBA wants a moratorium on all ILC applications; a DLT PoC shows its potential for global financial services; Hyatt announced it experienced a data breach that exposed customer payment info; China’s government shows its heavy-handedness (again…); and Russia will begin issuing “CryptoRubles” on a blockchain.
Digital currency and ICO regulation continues to dominate the news: The SEC set up a new unit dedicated to it and brought charges for ICO-related fraud; Overstock has a new SEC-compliant exchange platform in the works; Japanese banks are making a national digital currency; and South Korea banned ICOs.