A federal judge ruled in favor of the NYDFS in its ongoing suit to prevent the OCC’s “fintech charter”; Mark Zuckerberg testified before Congress about Libra; Apple Pay is now the most popular U.S. mobile payments app; Kabbage expanded its product mix to include payments; Revolut launched in Singapore; and the Economist considers whether negative press and regulatory scrutiny have doomed the Libra project.
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.
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.