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More heat for Libra

Facebook's Libra cryptocurrency project has drawn an almost constant barrage of criticism from politicians and trade groups around the world.

A new salvo comes from privacy commissioners in the Americas, Europe, Africa and Australasia, who have issued a joint statement criticizing Libra's privacy, which the group calls "fuzzy," reports TechCrunch, adding the commissioners are concerned about a lack of detail from Facebook.

Calibra's "customer commitment" lays out when Facebook will share data in circumstances related to fraud prevention, safety and compliance. Facebook has warned it may not be able to launch Libra, given the amount of regulatory pressure.

Bulking up

Paytm is trying to raise its profile with small businesses by enabling bulk payments for merchants, with support for sending funds over different accounts.

The company's gateway includes an API that integrated with a merchant's existing payment system with options for bank transfers, India's UPI and digital wallets.

The target market is B2C and B2B payments for supply chains, payroll and other customers and partners as Paytm has set a goal of processing $1 billion in disbursements during 2019 and 2020.

The real deal

Mastercard is demoing blockchain collaborations designed to prevent counterfeit clothing in the fashion industry.

The card brand is partnering with Provenance, which develops digital tracing, to build a record of a product's path from design to the store. Mastercard will work with designers, Fred Segal Sunset and MADE, reports Coindesk.

Mastercard is also expanding its use of blockchain in other areas, including recruiting executives for a possible cryptocurrency wallet development.

Keeping clean

Singapore's regulators are introducing what it's calling "cyber hygiene" rules to govern the expanding fintech and payment technology firms that have flooded singapore in the past few years.

The rules, which go into effect in August 2020, mandate multi-factor authentication, firewalls and strong passwords, reports the Straits Times, adding about 1,600 firms will fall under the new guidance.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore is also considering granting banking licenses to fintechs and payment companies, which would greatly expand the number of digital banks in Singapore.

From the Web

Bitcoin and Ether Lender BlockFi Raises $18.3 Million Series A
CoinDesk | Tue August 6, 2019 - Crypto lending startup BlockFi received $18.3 million in a Series A funding round led by Valar Ventures. Valar, which was founded in part by PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, was joined by Winklevoss Capital, Galaxy Digital, ConsenSys, Akuna Capital, Susquehanna, CMT Digital, Morgan Creek, Avon Ventures and PJC.

Bitcoin's Use In Online Payments Faces A Serious Regulatory Hurdle
Forbes | Tue August 6, 2019 – Bitcoin payments use case is now making a comeback thanks to the development of the Lightning Network, which is a secondary protocol layer that enables cheaper, instant transfers for Bitcoin users. While the Lightning Network is improving the Bitcoin payments experience from a technical perspective, a serious regulatory hurdle remains for the cryptocurrency in terms of how it is taxed.

Security breach exposes personal information of more than 50,000 past and present Naperville-area students
Chicago Tribune | Tue August 6, 2019 - The personal information of nearly 53,000 students and 3,100 educators in Naperville District 203 and Indian Prairie District 204 was exposed following a data breach at a company that handles the districts’ K-8 academic assessments.

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Why Nets deal is a bargain for Mastercard at $3 billion
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The man leading Facebook's crypto charge
In his role as the head of Calibra, the digital wallet operation Facebook launched to support Libra, David Marcus has been pushed into the center of attention. And while he seems fine with it — having recently sat through more than four hours of questioning by U.S. lawmakers who vented their concerns about Libra — Marcus has also been very selective about when he steps into the limelight.

NAB partners with Visa and Quest to pilot B2B contactless payments
In a bid to help small businesses whose transaction volumes don’t warrant acquiring a dedicated POS terminal, National Australia Bank (NAB) is partnering with Visa and Quest Payment Systems to pilot a tap-on-phone solution that provides secure contactless card acceptance using the business owner’s smartphone.

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