There is SO much dialogue around digital currencies/virtual currencies/cryptocurrencies, of which Bitcoin is front and center. Here are a few articles I’ve found particularly interesting:
1. A VC’s perspective: Why Bitcoin Matters – Marc Andreesen’s NYT Op Ed
2. What’s new in the regulatory world stateside: New York Regulators Promise Tough Bitcoin Rules – Bloomberg
3. New currency meets old hardware (Bitcoin ATMs): Bitcoin ATM coming to the U.S. -CNN
4. Bitcoin is not immune to hackers: Bitcoin Exchange Mt.Gox Apologies About Crippling Hack – Reuters
And, I saved my favorite for last:
5. Follow Bitcoin’s ups and downs with PYMTS’ Bitcoin Bubble Tracker.
This is not original content, but I wanted to commemorate the end of an active year in payments. The Atlanta Fed’s Blog Portals and Rails has a great list, so why reinvent the wheel?:
As the year draws to a close, the Portals and Rails team would like to share its own Top 10 list of major payment-related events that took place in the United States this year.
- The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau finalized Dodd-Frank 1073 money transfer rules.
- The payments industry experienced increased regulatory scrutiny of third-party processors and high-risk business customers.
- Major global ATM cash-out fraud attacks—including many U.S. ATMs—totaled $45 million.
- FTC issued a proposal to ban telemarketers from using remotely created checks and payment orders.
- Debit networks sought a compromise on an EMV interface—while there is little movement on the issuance of EMV cards.
- The newly designed $100 bill with additional security features was released.
- Several major data breaches occurred, and identity theft occurrences skyrocketed. (Perhaps you are experiencing repercussions from the recent Target breach?)
- Cyber Monday online sales were up 17 percent, with phones and tablets representing almost a third of the total.
- Virtual currencies received increased public, legislative, and regulatory awareness after the U.S. Department of Justice took action to close down virtual currency operators Liberty Reserve and Silk Road.
- U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon threw out Regulation II debit card interchange fees and routing rules.
Happy Holidays everyone!
The CFPB recently released its upcoming rule making agenda, “Fall 2013 Rulemaking Agenda” that maps out what the agency will focus on in 2014. Here’s a look at their summary:
On Mortgages: “follow-up mortgage issues, such as how to apply certain exemptions under the Dodd-Frank Act that are designed to preserve credit in “rural or underserved” areas…a proposed rule to implement Dodd-Frank Act changes to the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, which will improve the mortgage data that is available to monitor the market and assess fair lending practices.”
On Prepaid Cards: a proposed rule with respect to prepaid card products.
On other Consumer Financial Products and Services: “actively assessing the need for regulations…on debt collection, payday loans and deposit advance products, and bank overdraft programs.”
Testing consumer disclosures in connection with prepaid products and debt collection.
Ways to streamline regulations, including issuing a proposal regarding consumer notices from financial institutions explaining information sharing practices.
For more information–the CFPB’s Agency Rule List Fall 2013.