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.
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.
The Senate Banking Committee is seeking details from Facebook about its reported stablecoin project; the Binance crypto exchange was hacked, causing a loss of about $40M; Nordea launched its IBM-built we.trade blockchain platform; Facebook is ramping up its Whatsapp-based mobile payments plans, centering its efforts in London; the HKMA approved four new virtual banking licenses; and SoFi launched two new ETFs.
A federal judge ruled that the DFS can move forward with its lawsuit against the OCC’s proposed fintech charter; the CFTC believes that more companies will apply to become clearinghouses due to growing interest in cryptocurrencies; IBM partnered with Thomson Reuters on a AI-backed regtech product; Facebook is working with large financial institutions to support its reportedly forthcoming stablecoin; and the Boston Fed produced a whitepaper on creating “supervisory nodes” on a blockchain.
The New York Fed launched a new fintech advisory group dedicated to providing Bank leaders with industry insights; Bank of America announced that its Erica virtual assistant now has six million users; IBM rolled out its World Wire real-time global payments network; Amazon partnered with Worldpay to allow the latter’s merchants to pay with Amazon Pay during checkout; Australia outlined a national strategy for blockchain development and implementation; and FIS will purchase Worldpay for $35B.
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.