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.
Twenty-two state AGs challenged the CFPB’s proposed fintech sandbox; the Senate Banking Committee is set to examine financial data collection; JPMorgan Chase introduced its own dollar-backed cryptocurrency; President Trump signed an EO setting aside federal funds for AI projects; IBM won a $700M five-year technology deal with Banco Santander; Ant confirmed its acquisition of WorldFirst; and U.K. challenger bank Starling raised £75M in Series C funding.
The House passed a bill establishing a fintech task force; the SEC rejected the Winklevoss application to list a crypto ETF on the BATS BZX exchange; Google banned cryptocurrency mining apps from its app store; the U.K. FCA tightened crowdfunding rules; the NYT looked at Figure and what it says about #MeToo in Silicon Valley; and Flywire raised $100M.
The Conference of State Bank Supervisors filed suit against the OCC over the agency’s proposal to issue special-purpose banking licenses to fintech firms; Recode reports on Apple’s rumored launch of an iPhone-to-iPhone digital money-transfer service to rival Paypal’s Venmo; Stock trading app Robinhood raised $110 million, valuing the firm at over $1 billion; the WSJ writes on the rise of financial mapmaking and advanced network analytics that provides financial firms and regulators new tools to spot crises; and House Financial Services Vice Chairman Patrick McHenry opines on the CFPB’s Project Catalyst.