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Facebook puts Messenger chief Marcus in charge of blockchain
David Marcus is leaving his post at Facebook Messenger to run a group charged with developing use cases for blockchain at the social network.

Recode reports the move is part of a larger executive shakeup that comes amid backlash from the U.S. presidential election and ties to the Cambridge Analytica scandal. No high-profile executives appear to be leaving Facebook, but instead will reorganize under distinct subject units. Marcus' blockchain group will be under a unit called "new products and infra." There are also units for apps and business operations.

There's not a lot of detail about what the blockchain group will work on. Facebook in the past has expressed an interest in finding uses for cryptocurrency.

Facebook hired Marcus, the former president of PayPal, in 2014 to run Messenger. Messenger has since become the tip of the spear for many of Facebook's moves into shopping technology, adding contextual commerce and customer support for other payment brands such as PayPal.

Image: Bloomberg News

New York's crypto investigation continues
New York state is still investigating more than a dozen cryptocurrency exchanges after the resignation of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman following allegations of improper behavior, reports Coindesk.

The AG's office has asked the exchanges for information on business models, operations, funding, trading rules and other relationships.

The investigation is part of the Virtual Market Integrity Initiative, a program Schneiderman said was part of an effort to increase transparency and accountability in the cryptocurrency market.

Security without borders
The Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures, a global standards board for payments, clearing and other payment processing tasks, has formed a single strategy to secure wholesale payments.

The CPMI, which includes members from central banks, is particularly interested in securing endpoints as an attempt to prevent the rapid spreading of fraud to other institutions in a largely digital cross-border payment environment.

The strategy will be implemented and monitored over the next two years, with each country having some input in implementation to allow flexibility.

St. Louis Fed pushes expanded government virtual currency
The St. Louis Federal Reserve contends expanding an existing form of government-backed virtual currency may be the answer to faster transactions that remove more cash from the system.

Researchers at the St. Louis Fed are arguing for a policy that would extend the limited-access virtual accounts at central banks to more stakeholders, freeing up the ability to more quickly move funds.

The St. Louis Fed researchers contend this model would offer many of the same benefits as cash, namely a reduction of counterparty risk, with more speed and control, rather than the decentralized nature of newer cryptocurrencies, which the St. Louis Fed researchers contend is riskier.

Peer-to-near
As it migrates away from prepaid accounts to a broader set of financial services, U.K. payments company Monzo is adding new payments technology.

Following up on its 2016 launch of mobile phone P2P, Monzo has just launched a Bluetooth-powered proximity payments feature. The feature supports P2P payments by locating people nearby who also have Monzo's "Nearby Friends" app open at the same time. A couple of taps on the app executes the payment.

Monzo is using Google Nearby, an API that allows messages to be sent between devices that are within a specified range.

From the Web

Google Pay gets support for mobile boarding passes and event tickets
Digital Trends | Tue May 8, 2018 - Mobile boarding passes and event tickets are coming to Google Pay, the web giant announced on Tuesday. Put simply, this means you can just show the ticket on your smartphone when you arrive at the gate or venue, rather than giving yourself a full-body pat-down as you desperately try to recall which pocket you you put the paper ticket in. If you haven’t lost it, that is.

Brazil’s tech startups begin to expand globally
TechCrunch | Tue May 8, 2018 - Startups in Brazil, Latin America’s largest entrepreneurial ecosystem, are no longer solely focused on Brazil as their only frontier to conquer. Based on conversations with founders and in tracking the news, dozens of startups born in Brazil have realized they can compete on a global scale and expand their companies quickly by exporting their business models to other regional markets around the world, including Canada, Colombia, Europe, Japan, Mexico, the U.K. and the U.S.

First Data makes another bet on restaurant software
CNBC | Tue May 8, 2018 - Troves of customer data can be extracted from point-of-sale terminals and can guide restaurants in tracking what you have previously ordered, how much you have spent, or how long you dined at the table. Start-up Salido builds and sells POS hardware and software. It has fielded interest from First Data, although the talks were previously unreported.

More from PaymentsSource

Bank-run blockchain debuts, stripping paper from cross-border trade
The banks contend distributed ledger technology (DLT) makes it easier to coordinate trade finance deals. And the use of smart contracts can help parties comply with contractual obligations such as staged payments.

Decentralizing payments can 'balance' centralized economies
Blockchain's decentralized model can help avoid the "insiders-only" tendencies of centralized markets while distributing risk, contends Donika Kraeva, strategic communications manager at Dentacoin.

The risks worth taking: Lessons from the most influential women in payments
Opportunities are expanding for women in the payments industry, Being willing to take risks and occasionally fail can help build a successful career.

Square ties its restaurant plays together in a software combo
The restaurant technology is a category-specific move that mirrors a broader strategy at Square, which has spent hundreds of millions of dollars in the past few months to round out its merchant services products.