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.
The SEC brought suit against Kik for its $100 million token offering that allegedly violated U.S. securities laws; JPMorgan is shuttering its mobile-only bank Finn one year after its nationwide rollout; Facebook plans an independent foundation to run its proposed cryptocurrency; the FSB considers the effect of decentralized financial technology on financial stability; and a survey finds half of EU businesses are unprepared for new security rules for payments.
Kik is crowdfunding money to officially challenge the SEC’s ruling that its Kin token is subject to securities rules; IBM and Maersk expanded their successful blockchain-based TradeLens shipping consortium; Facebook’s GlobalCoin is reportedly set to launch in early 2020; the German Bundesbank was critical of blockchain following a test of its ability to facilitate securities transactions; TransferWise raised nearly $300M in new funding, giving it a $3.5B valuation; and Plaid expanded services to the U.K.
Manny Alvarez was appointed Commissioner of the California Department of Business Oversight; lawmakers introduced a proposed bill to regulate companies’ use of AI tools; Coinbase launched a debit card in the U.K. tied to users’ cryptocurrency accounts; WeLab became the fourth company to acquire an online-only banking license in Hong Kong; U.K. challenger bank Monzo raised $100M in Series F funding; and N26 faced regulatory scrutiny from German regulators over its handling of customer complaints.