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.
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 New York AG’s office is investigating the parent company of the Bitfinex exchange for allegedly committing fraud valued at $850M; Robinhood applied for a national bank charter from the OCC; Revolut is facing investigations into its ties to Russia, and may lose its EU banking license; T-Mobile expanded its app-based checking account nationwide; SoftBank invested $1B in EU fintech Wirecard; and the American Banker profiled Mike Cagney’s new lending firm, Figure.
The CFPB proposed a “product sandbox” and certain safe harbors for fintechs; Revolut received an EU banking license; Robinhood faced scrutiny over its plan to offer SIPC-insured checking and savings accounts; Bitwala established Germany’s first “crypto bank”; Facebook could be facing over $1B in fines for recent data breaches; and Plaid raised $250M in new funding.
The SEC reached settlements with two firms that conducted unregistered ICOs; Bitcoin Cash split over concerns around proposed network changes; the NYDFS granted a new BitLicense to the New York Digital Investment Group; France intends to introduce new ICO rules early next year; Revolut hopes to raise $500 million to bankroll its expansion into the U.S. market; the head of the IMF encouraged central banks to consider adopting cryptocurrencies; and the Economist explores the impact of quantum computing on encryption and data security.
The CFPB has a new head of its Office of Innovation and is developing a regulatory sandbox; Coinbase received SEC and FINRA approval to offer tokenized securities on its platform; challenger bank Revolut reported suspected money laundering on its platform to U.K. authorities; Columbia University and IBM partnered on a new blockchain research center; and PayPal led a $50M investment round in merchant payments firm PPRO.