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.
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.