The SEC found new evidence against Telegram in its ongoing investigation of the firm’s ICO; the White House released new principles to guide regulation of AI in the private sector; China’s central bank passed another hurdle on its way to issuing a ‘digital yuan’ token; Travelex was hacked, exposing customers’ personal financial data and leading to a $6M ransom; Tencent and China UnionPay are working to integrate their mobile payments systems; and HighRadius raised $125M at a valuation greater than $1B.
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.
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.
The CFPB launched a program to encourage collaboration between state and federal regulators on financial innovation; the London Stock Exchange unanimously rejected the Hong Kong Exchange’s £29.6 billion takeover bid; Switzerland’s financial regulator published new guidance on stablecoins and confirmed that the Libra Association requested an assessment of its Libra coin; Blockstack raised more than $20 million in the first SEC-approved token sale; and Stripe launched a corporate credit card for business customers.
FIN urged Congress to apply BSA standards to crypto firms; Jay Clayton affirmed his stance that crypto products are subject to existing securities laws; China’s proposed cryptocurrency is taking shape ahead of an expected go-live later this year; Stripe launched a lending product for online businesses; Uber is exploring offering loans to its drivers; the Hong Kong Stock Exchange suffered cyber attacks; and U.K. digital banks are expected to triple their customer base over the next year, but likely will remain unprofitable.
The SEC brought suit against Kik for its $100 million token offering that allegedly violated U.S. securities laws; JPMorgan is shuttering its mobile-only bank Finn one year after its nationwide rollout; Facebook plans an independent foundation to run its proposed cryptocurrency; the FSB considers the effect of decentralized financial technology on financial stability; and a survey finds half of EU businesses are unprepared for new security rules for payments.