1.3.19 Your morning briefing

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The information you need to start your day, from PaymentsSource and around the Web:

Out of the penalty box
The Reserve Bank of India has allowed Paytm Payments Bank to resume onboarding customers after a six month halt due government concerns about Paytm's Know Your Customer anti-money laundering procedures.

Paytm hopes to onboard up to one million new customers by the end of 2019, reports the Times of India.

While Paytm has been adding new financial services to its core digital payments gateway since India's demonetization in 2016, Paytm also often finds itself in political disputes over data storage and the role of payment companies outside of India.
Bond market
Venture capitalist Mary Meeker will call her new $1.25 billion venture capital fund Bond, which will focus on Series A funding along with specialized expertise for early stage funds, reports TechCrunch.

The branding follows a spinoff of Bond from Kleiner Perkins, one of Silicon Valley's oldest firms, and would make it one of the largest women-owned firms in technology investment.

Meeker, who sits on Square's board of directors, produces an internet trends report that tracks issues such as the growth of e-commerce, mobile payments, and the overall adoption of connected devices.

New name
The Network Branded Prepaid Card Association, which advocates for prepaid products, mobile wallets and P2P technology, has rebranded itself as the Innovative Payments Association to reflect the growth of internet of things, mobile and other new payment technology.

The IPA has been working on is rebranding for about a year as the government works on new prepaid account regulations.

"As the market rapidly evolves, our organization seeks to represent these new dynamics as the voice in Washington, D.C., and around the country for the prepaid, fintech and emerging payments community," said Brian Tate, president and CEO of the IPA, in a release.

Saying no to cash
Bitcoin payment processor OpenNode has turned down a $1.5 million investment offer from technology investor Roger Ver.

CCN.com reports OpenNode will spend all of its resources on bitcoin and its payment products, believing that's more open than Bitcoin Cash. Ver's offer was contingent on OpenNode supporting Bitcoin Cash.

OpenNode supports Lightning Network, which confirms bitcoin transactions away from the main blockchain, according to CCN.

From the Web

‘Boring’ Blockchain Could Become Mainstream in 2019: MIT
CCN | Thu January 3, 2018 - Blockchain — which has been hailed as a game-changing technology that could revolutionize whole industries — will be so commonplace in 2019 that it’ll become “boring,” according to the MIT Technology Review. “In 2017, blockchain technology was a revolution that was supposed to disrupt the global financial system,” the Technology Review claimed. “In 2018, it was a disappointment. In 2019, it will start to become mundane.”

Cryptocurrency Creditors Making a Killing Despite Bear Market
CCN | Thu January 3, 2018 - Cryptocurrency creditors have been able to find profits from selling to two types of borrowers: die-hard crypto believers— who expect the market to rebound strongly and institutional investors—who need to get digital assets for short selling. In the last three months, we have witnessed a litany of blockchain companies forced to shut down operations and in some cases, layoff team members to stay afloat.

Iran Warns Citizens Against Using Telegram’s Cryptocurrency, Gram
CCN | Thu January 3, 2018 - The Iranian government has continued its adversarial actions against Telegram by criminalizing the use of Gram, the native token of the encrypted messaging app’s new blockchain. Iran’s Secretary of Criminal Content Definition Task Force, Javad Javidnia, has issued a warning saying that any support offered to the coin would constitute a breach of national security as it could potentially disrupt the country’s economy.

More from PaymentsSource

Government shutdown casts a spotlight on payroll pain points
As the federal budget dispute shoves an increasing number of government workers to the sidelines, there’s a window to provide payments relief that’s superior to options such as payday lending and bartering.

5 security threats to watch in 2019
As consumers grow more attached to mobile devices for e-commerce and payments, fraudsters are intensifying their focus on handsets with new phishing, vishing to SIM-swap tricks.

Can T-Mobile connect customers with mobile money accounts?
A partnership between the mobile carrier and BankMobile could help stripped-down banking and deposit transfer services find a footing among U.S. customers.

Vegan-targeted prepaid card launches in Europe
London-based Vegannection has launched a prepaid card for vegans that’s accepted only at merchants that pass its standards test.

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