Stablecoin regs on U.K. horizon; Bitcoin groups protest Fincen

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Britcoin

Shortly after the OCC allowed U.S. banks to settle stablecoin transactions, U.K. regulators are asking for public input on how to expand regulations to accommodate growth in cryptocurrency and stablecoins.

The government is trying to balance the innovation, competition and improved access that blockchains can provide with economic stability. There's also a search to define use cases for cryptocurrencies and distributed ledgers in general.

The moves in the U.K. and U.S. come as fintechs increasingly use blockchains to introduce new financial services quickly; and banks such as JPMorgan Chase develop uses for cryptocurrency. Diem, the Facebook-affiliated stablecoin project formerly known as Libra, is also getting closer to launch and has been under regulatory scrutiny for the past two years.

Pushback

Bitcoin advocacy groups are railing against a proposal from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (Fincen) that would tighten data rules for cryptocurrency.

More than 65,000 complaints have been filed with Fincen, including from groups such as Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Coin Center, reports TechCrunch. The groups are protesting the relatively short comment period straddling the holidays, and the proposed requirement for exchanges to store transactions greater than $3,000 or aggregated transactions of more than $10,000 in a 24 hour span, reports TechCrunch.

Square CEO Jack Dorsey has also protested Fincen's proposal, contending the rules could force crypto business out of the U.S.

On the bus

Mobile technology is expanding quickly to transit systems across the U.S., with Lancaster, Pa. being the latest city to adopt contactless ticketing and payments.

The Red Rose Transit Authority has added contactless readers to buses which will support boarding via a smartphone or contactless card, reports Intelligent Transport. Tickets can be purchased on the app.

Transit ridership has fallen during the pandemic, but transit authorities have accelerated technology adoption in anticipation of a rebound along with a permanent demand for contactless payments.

Token booth

Digital payment platform PlasmaPay has added nearly three dozen tokens to its dashboard, a move designed to widen access to distributed finance, or DeFi.

Kava, Dai, Curve, Band Protocol, Monero and Algorand are among the tokens added to PlasmaPay, which relies on a distributed ledger and open development rather than a centralized technology firm to provide payments, investments and other financial services. By adding more tokens, PlasmaPay can provide more ways to access its network.

The economic downturn that has accompanied the pandemic has accelerated DeFi usage, which can cut the expense of transactions by removing intermediaries to manage processing.

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