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 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 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.
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.
Senator Warren sent a letter to several U.S. regulators seeking information on whether algorithmic lending produces discriminatory outcomes; Monzo is planning an “imminent” U.S. launch; Facebook landed commitments from large banks and tech companies in support of its new cryptocurrency; the Bank of England found widespread weaknesses in stress tests of U.K. challenger banks; Circle announced it is discontinuing its payment app; and Revolut launched in Australia.