Leading Off Google will begin offering checking accounts to users through a partnership with Citi and a Stanford University credit union; Facebook announced its new Facebook Pay P2P payments service; FinCEN Director Kenneth Blanco discussed the applicability of the “travel rule” to crypto firms; the Fed highlighted the risks posed by stablecoins in its November…
The SEC delivered a no-action letter to Paxos concerning its blockchain-based stock settlement platform; Uber launched a new division aimed at developing new financial products for its drivers; Telegram is moving forward with its crypto wallet, despite a pending SEC lawsuit; David Marcus talked up Libra at Money20/20; Bakkt is getting into consumer products with a partnership with Starbucks; and former Deputy Comptroller Jo Ann Barefoot launched a new venture aimed at modernizing financial regulation.
A federal judge ruled in favor of the NYDFS in its ongoing suit to prevent the OCC’s “fintech charter”; Mark Zuckerberg testified before Congress about Libra; Apple Pay is now the most popular U.S. mobile payments app; Kabbage expanded its product mix to include payments; Revolut launched in Singapore; and the Economist considers whether negative press and regulatory scrutiny have doomed the Libra project.
Mark Zuckerberg will testify before Congress on Libra and Facebook’s cryptocurrency plans, while several more large companies dropped out of the project; CFTC Chairman Tarbert said the ether cryptocurrency should be treated as a commodity; the SEC halted Telegram’s $1.7B token offering; Robinhood rolled out interest-bearing accounts; BIS and the Swiss National Bank are exploring the potential for a central bank digital currency in Switzerland; and UNICEF established a fund for donations made in cryptocurrencies.
E-Trade followed Charles Schwab and TD Ameritrade in dropping its transaction commission fees; PayPal has withdrawn from the Libra Association amid regulatory and legal concerns, and others may follow; the FSB is scrutinizing the concentration of bank services in three major cloud providers; PayPal became the first non-Chinese company to gain a Chinese payments license; and a Wells Fargo study concluded that new technologies will replace 200,000 bank jobs in the next decade.
Libra faced a new round of criticism at the G-7 summit, while maintaining that it will go live in 2020; Wells Fargo partnered with Plaid to allow customer financial data; Deutsche Bank signed on to the JPMorgan-backed IIN; Wells Fargo plans to pilot a stablecoin; and Stripe raised $250M at a $35B valuation.