The U.S. Treasury Secretary said U.S. regulators are likely to issue new crypto regulations; despite misgivings about Facebook, Congress appears unlikely to block its plans to go live with Libra; the IRS is warning U.S. taxpayers to review and potential revise their tax returns to account for gains from crypto transactions; Apple’s new credit card is expected to launch in August; Robinhood raised over $300 million at a $7.6B valuation; and Facebook is readying its launch of WhatsApp Pay in India.
U.S. lawmakers voiced their concerns regarding Facebook’s Libra rollout; Australian digital bank 86 400 was granted a banking license; The FCA announced its partnership with the Alan Turing Institute to explore the use of AI in the financial sector; N26 raised an additional $170M; and Jamie Dimon said he does not expect Libra to have a short-term impact on JP Morgan.
The U.S. House Financial Services Committee formally requested that Facebook halt its planned Libra rollout; the U.K. FCA proposed a ban on derivatives tied to crypto assets; IBM’s TradeLens consortium added new members; the forthcoming Libra currency is already attracting digital scammers and domain squatters hoping to make a quick profit; and the Financial Times published an opinion piece on why central banks should issue digital currencies.
We look at the recent news and reactions to the Libra cryptocurrency in our “Big Idea”; the CFTC established its LabCFTC Accelerator to further support its fintech R&D efforts; Congress investigated the use of algorithms in lending decisions; TransferWise announced it will launch in the U.S. market; Monzo raised £113M to support its U.S. expansion; and JPMorgan is rumored to be launching a digital banking operation.
Facebook announced its new cryptocurrency, Libra, which brought immediate scrutiny from global lawmakers, including the U.S. Senate Banking Committee; Alipay partnered with six European mobile wallets to implement QR codes in their services; Ripple invested $50M in MoneyGram, which will use Ripple technology to conduct money transfer and settlement; two Nordic banks are trimming compliance staff in favor of AI tools; and Grab is considering applying for a Singaporean banking license.
The Senate Banking Committee is seeking details from Facebook about its reported stablecoin project; the Binance crypto exchange was hacked, causing a loss of about $40M; Nordea launched its IBM-built we.trade blockchain platform; Facebook is ramping up its Whatsapp-based mobile payments plans, centering its efforts in London; the HKMA approved four new virtual banking licenses; and SoFi launched two new ETFs.