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Empire State crypto
New York is setting up a task force to determine how to regulate cryptocurrency and the underlying blockchain technology.

Under a recently signed New York law, the governor, senate and assembly will appoint the task force of investors, technology experts, researchers and private sector executives, with a report on how to define and manage alternative currencies and distributed ledgers due on Dec. 15, 2020.

The work includes a review of New York's BitLicense, a five-year-old state approval for cryptocurrency businesses that was one of the early attempts to regulate bitcoin.

Fueling up
Phillips 66 often adopts payment technology early, as one of the first members of the Merchant Customer Exchange, Chase Pay, and Masterpass.

In a new partnership with Honda, the gas station brand will build an in-vehicle payment service that will allow drivers to reserve and pay for gas via the in-dash entertainment system at Phillips 66, 76 and Conoco stations.

The deal also permits Honda and Phillips 66 to build use cases for the growing in-car payments market.

Big fraud jump
Reports of U.K. contactless card fraud nearly doubled last year with more than 2,700 reports totalling about $2.2 million, up from about 1,400 cases totalling about $1.2 million in 2017, according to a national Action Fraud report published in the Standard.

The crime includes pickpockets that steal cards to make as many transactions as they can before the card is shut off, and skimmers who siphon data from ATMs, the paper reports.

The amount of contactless card fraud in 2018 also represents half of all contactless card fraud in the U.K. since 2013.

Hack attack
Chancellor Angela Merkel and other German politicians are among the targets of a data leak that includes email addresses, private correspondence, work emails and photos, according to Engadget, which reports it's one of the largest breaches in German history.

Journalists and celebrities were also among the potential victims, though no sensitive information tied to Merkel is believed to be in peril.

The breach resembles a similar incident at Sony Pictures in 2014, in which celebrities and other public figures were also compromised.

From the Web
Future of payments will be in your fingertips, says Mastercard's cyber chief
The Telegraph | Sun January 6, 2018 - Ajay Bhalla is in the business of predicting the future. His mission for the last four years has been almost inconceivable: to guarantee the security of over 70 billion transactions processed every day.

Coinbase De-Platforms Gab While Square Allows Bitcoin Withdrawals
CCN | Sun January 6, 2018 - Gab, an anti-censorship social media platform, has reportedly been de-platformed by Coinbase, one of the world’s largest Bitcoin wallets and exchanges. On January 5, the Gab team said the accounts of both Gab and Andrew Torba, the CEO of Gab, were closed by Coinbase.

Why fintech needs to start counting for the unimaginable 2020
The Economic Times | Mon January 7, 2018 - Fintech in India is still young — just five years old — yet it’s a revolution which is changing consumer behaviour. In a short time, it has changed how common people look at money itself.

More from PaymentsSource
Prepaid finds a role as an employee perk
More companies are adding financial health programs to their benefits, creating a market that fits with one of the common uses consumers have found for prepaid cards.

Can AI pick a customer's top-of-wallet card?
Banks and payment companies are already comfortable using artificial intelligence to guard against fraud. The tech could soon be just as welcome in creating payment products and matching them to potential customers.

Diebold Nixdorf fills three exec positions
Following the departure last year of several top executives amid downward pressure on earnings, Diebold Nixdorf has named three people to fill its executive ranks.

Hungary’s banks test domestic instant payments
Hungary’s commercial banks have started the initial testing phase of an instant payments scheme, with plans to go live on July 1 for domestic broadscale use.

Bitcoin’s resiliency will show it’s not a bubble
Sell-offs are happening all over, bitcoin has shown strength in the past and is attracting partnerships, argues Ken Gary, vice president of corporate strategy and development at Stafford Communications.

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