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Putting its coin to work
The cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase is valued at about $1.6 billion with $1 billion in revenue in 2017, enough for it to launch its own VC fund.

Called Coinbase Ventures, it plans to invest in early stage companies in the financial space.These include companies it says may be competitive, as well as startups tied to people who used to work for Coinbase. It will not invest in security tokens at this point.

"People who have worked at Coinbase are encouraged to think entrepreneurially," said Emilie Choi, head of corporate and business development and business opportunity at Coinbase, in the company's announcement.

Coinbase front desk
Bloomberg News

Delta and Sears cards exposed
A breach at online support company [24]7 has impacted hundreds of thousands of customers at Sears and Delta, according to The Verge, which reports a substantial reporting gap for the incident.

Delta and Sears this week reported the breach, noting the online service company suffered the malware attack from September 27 to October 12, but did not report it to Sears and Delta until March.

[24]7 said it is sure its platform is secure and is working with clients to determine if information was accessed, according to The Verge.

First paper money, then virtual currency
India's government made news a couple of years ago when it removed most of the country's paper from circulation on very short notice. It's now placing major pressure on cryptocurrency by banning regulated banks and financial institutions from working with cryptocurrency exchanges.

India's Financial Express reports the banks have three months to get out of the business.

Similar to a ban on exchanges in China, India's move has led to fears that all cryptocurrencies will be banned in India, though that's not clear at this point.

Lots of locks
Since its launch last fall, Amazon has been adding to its Amazon Key service, which uses advanced technology to allow couriers into customers' homes when they're away.

Amazon this week added five new smart locks from Kwikset and Yale, reports The Verge, bringing the total of supported locks to eight.

The models have a mix of touchpads and keyways, similar to the original locks, though with added options, according to The Verge.

Zimbabwe gets digital
Zimbabwe is changing almost everything about its national payment system, after the country's government hired Finteq to add automated clearing.

Finteq will incrementally roll out a batch processing system for debit and credit card payments, and will eventually extend into real-time credit transactions.

Rules of conduct
Third party risk has long been a concern for payment service providers, and a U.K. group is responding to a new regime in which third parties will take on an even greater role.

The Payment System Operator trade group has updated its code of conduct for indirect access providers, in light of how standards such as PSD2 and GDPR will change the way financial institutions and third parties interact in a more open data sharing environment.

The group, which includes Lloyds, RBS, HSBC, Barclays and ClearBank, monitors compliance and provides guidance for data security and integrity for payments and other financial transactions.

From the Web

RPT-In Africa, scant data protection leaves internet users exposed
Reuters | Thu April 5, 2018 - In Kenya, which has a large and fast growing population of internet users, there are no specific laws or regulations to protect the privacy of those individuals. Kenya is not alone in Africa, which as a region has clocked the world’s fastest growth in internet use over the past decade.

Sri Lankan rupee gains on exporter dollar conversions, remittances
Reuters | Thu April 5, 2018 -The Sri Lankan rupee ended stronger on Thursday on exporter dollar conversions and inward remittances, as Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe surviving a no-confidence motion boosted sentiment, dealers said. Sri Lanka’s central bank unexpectedly cut its key lending rate by 25 basis points on Wednesday, as policy makers sought to revitalise an economy growing at its weakest pace in 16 years and facing heightened political uncertainty.

Bitcoin Payments In Asia Hold Strong As Cryptocurrency Prices Continue To Plummet
Forbes | Thu April 5, 2018 - Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple continue to make headlines for their worst first-quarter price performances in history. Conversely, BitPay - the largest global blockchain payment provider - just closed $40 Million in its extended Series B funding round.

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