Bitwise filed with the SEC to create a bitcoin ETF; the EBA called on the EU to review its current regulatory stance on crypto assets and consider promulgating new rules; Google was granted an EU payments license; N26 raised $300M, giving it a $2.7B valuation; two prominent UK fintechs are setting up new EU offices ahead of Brexit; China established new anti-anonymity regulations for blockchain firms; and MUFG launched a $185M VC fund focused on fintech.
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.
U.S. regulators are encouraging banks to explore innovative compliance tools; the SEC fined CoinAlpha Investors failures related to an unregistered securities sale; Abu Dhabi’s financial regulator found blockchain “radically simplified” the traditional KYC process; Signature Bank won NYDFS approval to offer blockchain-based RTP; and Monzo raised £20M in new funding through crowdfunding.
The SEC settled with DJ Khaled and Floyd Mayweather for improperly promoting ICOs; CLS launched its blockchain-based CLSNet payments netting service; the ECB launched its TIPS platform; Marriott disclosed a data breach affecting up to 500 million customers; Monzo wants to raise £20M through crowdfunding; and SEC Chair Jay Clayton commented on the possibility of an approved crypto ETF.
The WSJ profiled the increasing use of “alternative data” to track people and their financial choices; the world marked the ten-year anniversary of the invention of bitcoin; the NAC revealed a scam involving California ATMs; Monzo achieved unicorn status after raising an additional £85M; Coinbase raised $300M in new funding and is now valued at $8B; and Quartz commemorated the tenth anniversary of the invention of bitcoin with an investigation into its mysterious creator, Satoshi Nakamoto.
Consumer groups voiced opposition to the CFPB’s proposed sandbox; North Dakota issued cease and desist orders against three firms offering ICOs; PwC and Cred are developing a new stablecoin; PayPal and Walmart announced a new partnership; Gary Cohn joined Spring Labs as an advisor; and losses related to crypto hacks in 2018 are approaching $1 billion.