Libra is facing scrutiny from European antitrust regulators; N26 launched in the U.S. market; Mark Carney suggested potentially replacing USD with crypto as the world’s reserve currency; Apple launched its credit card to U.S. consumers; Mastercard experienced a data breach affecting mostly German customers; and Tala raised $110M in Series D funding.
The U.S. Treasury Secretary said U.S. regulators are likely to issue new crypto regulations; despite misgivings about Facebook, Congress appears unlikely to block its plans to go live with Libra; the IRS is warning U.S. taxpayers to review and potential revise their tax returns to account for gains from crypto transactions; Apple’s new credit card is expected to launch in August; Robinhood raised over $300 million at a $7.6B valuation; and Facebook is readying its launch of WhatsApp Pay in India.
Fed Chair Jerome Powell joined the growing chorus of regulators raising flags about the Facebook-backed Libra cryptocurrency; German digital bank N26 launched operations in the U.S. market; payments processor Stripe suffered downtime issues that halted online sales for many businesses; British Airways and Marriott were both fined over $100 million by the U.K. ICO for data breaches, while Facebook faces a $5 billion fine from the FTC; and the EU and U.K. are looking for ways to stem the use of cryptocurrency services to launder money.
The U.S. House Financial Services Committee formally requested that Facebook halt its planned Libra rollout; the U.K. FCA proposed a ban on derivatives tied to crypto assets; IBM’s TradeLens consortium added new members; the forthcoming Libra currency is already attracting digital scammers and domain squatters hoping to make a quick profit; and the Financial Times published an opinion piece on why central banks should issue digital currencies.
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.
Facebook announced its new cryptocurrency, Libra, which brought immediate scrutiny from global lawmakers, including the U.S. Senate Banking Committee; Alipay partnered with six European mobile wallets to implement QR codes in their services; Ripple invested $50M in MoneyGram, which will use Ripple technology to conduct money transfer and settlement; two Nordic banks are trimming compliance staff in favor of AI tools; and Grab is considering applying for a Singaporean banking license.