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.
Federal authorities arrested the leaders of OneCoin on charges including money laundering and securities fraud; Congress held hearings on whether and how to create a federal privacy law; the Bank of England plans to take supervisory action against Visa for a 2018 European data center outage; Philadelphia became the first major U.S. city to ban cashless stores; Ant Financial unveiled a new banking platform; and MasterCard dropped its bid to acquire Earthport.
The DOJ filed charges for an alleged SEC hack which generated $4.1M in profits; HSBC has used distributed ledger technology to settle over $250B in FX transactions; Square has launched a debit card for businesses; SWIFT has published ‘Pay Later’ API standards for instant loans at point of sale; VC funding for cybersecurity firms topped $5B in 2018; the Canadian government has opened a consultation on open banking; and Fiserv is to acquire First Data for $22B.
The CSBS refiled suit against the OCC; the FDIC is creating an office of innovation; Coinbase was approved to be a NY qualified custodian; Apple CEO Tim Cook decried the “data-industrial complex”; Cathay Pacific and British Airways both disclosed new data breach details; and IBM is acquiring Red Hat for a reported $33B.
State groups are not pleased about the OCC’s decision to accept bank charter applications from fintech firms; IBM and Maersk are partnering on a blockchain-based global supply chain management platform; the NYDFS will begin enforcing new cybersecurity regulations next month; the U.K. FCA established a Global Financial Innovation Network; and China’s Bitmain is on track to become the first blockchain-focused company with $10B in annual revenue.
The U.S. Supreme Court backed American Express in an antitrust case; California passed a stringent new privacy law; Andreessen Horowitz launched a cryptocurrency fund; JP Morgan took its mobile-only bank, Finn, nationwide; Facebook reversed its decision to ban all cryptocurrency ads; and Ant Financial launched a cross-border remittance service.