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.
The SEC issued new guidance on digital assets, and also issued a no-action letter regarding digital token use; BNY Mellon and BlackRock partnered on a data sharing agreement; the FSB published a directory of global crypto-asset regulators; Affirm raised $300M in Series F funding; and JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon highlighted developments in AI, fintech, and China in his annual letter to shareholders.
The SEC announced it will hold a public forum on DLT and digital assets; IBM is working with CULedger on a digital identity blockchain system and signed a deal with the French commercial court; PayPal now offers instantaneous money transfers to U.S. banks; the Basel Committee has warned banks about their exposure to crypto; the U.K. FCA is considering eliminating investment platform exit fees; and micro-investing startup Stash raised $65 million in new funding and rolled out new banking services in partnership with Green Dot Bank.
Thirty-seven community groups called on the FDIC to reject Square’s ILC application; Apple and Goldman Sachs announced their plans to jointly release an iPhone-based credit card; Mizuho clinched support of AliPay and UnionPay for the rollout of its new digital currency platform; Mastercard is working with a domestic partner on a JV to enter the Chinese payments market; the government of Seoul, South Korea set up a $1B investment fund for fintech and blockchain startups; and SoFi is expanding its business lines to include investment services and new types of loans.
Twenty-two state AGs challenged the CFPB’s proposed fintech sandbox; the Senate Banking Committee is set to examine financial data collection; JPMorgan Chase introduced its own dollar-backed cryptocurrency; President Trump signed an EO setting aside federal funds for AI projects; IBM won a $700M five-year technology deal with Banco Santander; Ant confirmed its acquisition of WorldFirst; and U.K. challenger bank Starling raised £75M in Series C funding.
The SEC is seeking support from private firms on understanding blockchain; a group of global regulators has launched a global regulator sandbox for cross-border fintech products and services; money transfer service WorldFirst is spinning off its U.S. operations ahead of its acquisition by Ant Financial; IBM completed a pilot test of its blockchain-based trade shipment platform; Stripe raised an additional $100M, reaching a $22.5B valuation; and Lithuania made strides in 2018 as a destination for fintech firms seeking a variety of EU operating licenses.