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.
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 WSJ profiled the increasing use of “alternative data” to track people and their financial choices; the world marked the ten-year anniversary of the invention of bitcoin; the NAC revealed a scam involving California ATMs; Monzo achieved unicorn status after raising an additional £85M; Coinbase raised $300M in new funding and is now valued at $8B; and Quartz commemorated the tenth anniversary of the invention of bitcoin with an investigation into its mysterious creator, Satoshi Nakamoto.
The New York AG reported three crypto exchanges to the NYDFS; U.K. banks were hit with widespread outages; PNC joined Ripple Net; California prepared the first U.S. IoT security legislation; the U.K. parliament published a report calling for crypto regulation; and Fannie Mae’s GC joined Coinbase.
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.
What’s The Big Idea with the the CFPB and CFTC’s new sandbox? Also: a small blockchain startup in the Cayman Islands is raising $4B through token sales; Amex is using blockchain to support a rewards program; Visa’s European network had an outage; and Chime pulled in $70M in new funding.