The SEC announced it will hold a public forum on DLT and digital assets; IBM is working with CULedger on a digital identity blockchain system and signed a deal with the French commercial court; PayPal now offers instantaneous money transfers to U.S. banks; the Basel Committee has warned banks about their exposure to crypto; the U.K. FCA is considering eliminating investment platform exit fees; and micro-investing startup Stash raised $65 million in new funding and rolled out new banking services in partnership with Green Dot Bank.
Wells Fargo experienced widespread online and mobile banking outages; Facebook acqui-hired key members of a British blockchain firm to advance its blockchain efforts; fintech firm Pagaya announced its AI platform will actively manage $100M in asset-backed securities; controversial crypto evangelist Brock Pierce wants to reboot infamous Japanese crypto exchange Mt. Gox; and SEC Commissioner Robert Jackson said he believes a bitcoin ETF will eventually be approved.
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.
Kik is expected to challenge the SEC over an ICO enforcement action; Coinbase rolled out crypto institutional services in Asia; Alipay was granted an EU e-money license; Bitcoin ATM startups reported growth; the EU and Japan finalized a data flow agreement; and IBM landed a $260m IT infrastructure deal with the Bank of the Philippine Islands.
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.
Bitwise filed with the SEC to create a bitcoin ETF; the EBA called on the EU to review its current regulatory stance on crypto assets and consider promulgating new rules; Google was granted an EU payments license; N26 raised $300M, giving it a $2.7B valuation; two prominent UK fintechs are setting up new EU offices ahead of Brexit; China established new anti-anonymity regulations for blockchain firms; and MUFG launched a $185M VC fund focused on fintech.