Morning Brief 9.22.20: Stripe settles IPO fraud case in Massachusetts

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Settlement

Stripe will pay Massachusetts $120,000 to settle its role in the PlexCoin ICO, during which PlexCoin used Stripe's technology to cheat thousands of investors out of millions of dollars in 2017.

PlexCoin pitched itself as "the next worldwide cryptocurrency," reports Coindesk. Instead the firm committed a range of fraudulent acts, including hiding the role of parties involved in securities fraud. Stripe terminated its contract with PlexCoin but lacked adequate risk monitoring and fraud prevention tactics, the Massachusetts Attorney General's office argued.

Stripe has since upgraded its anti-fraud systems and agreed to assist the AG's office. The office will not pursue separate civil action against Stripe as part of the settlement.

Massachusetts State house
Massachusetts State house in Boston

Token flyer

PayPal has added support for bitFlyer Europe, enabling users to execute cryptocurrency transactions directly from PayPal accounts.

bitFlyer Europe is a subsidiary of one of Japan's largest cryptocurrency exchanges, and the integration is designed to make crypto-to-traditional currency transactions more efficient, reports BitcoinExchange.

bitFlyer Europe allows wire card transfers, but clearance can take up to three days. Adding PayPal allows for near real-time transactions. There is potential for expansion, as bitFlyer is one of the few cryptocurrency exchanges regulated in Japan, Europe and the U.S.

Paying the bills

Integrated payments and processing technology firm Paya has agreed to acquire The Payment Group, which supports digital payments for more than 600 utility and government clients.

Paya plans to use the acquisition to strengthen its services to local governments that use Paya's rails for court transactions and other government fees. Paya's TPG acquisition is expected to close in October, around the same time Paya's merger with Fintech Acquisition Corp, a special purpose company designed to enable Paya's Nasdaq listing. Upon the closure of the FAC deal, Paya will trade on the Nasdaq exchange under the PAYA ticker.

Paya in 2018 rebranded from Sage as it redirected its business to ISOs, ERP companies and payment facilitators.

Less contact

India's SBI Card has made a deal with Google to support SBI cards on the Google Pay platform, which will extend card users access to contactless transactions.

SBI, which is one of India's largest issuers, will offer NFC, QR code and online payments via card accounts, according to Northeast Now, a local publication in India.

Google Pay is widely accepted in India, and handles about 66% of the transactions on India's United Payments Interface.

From the web

Europe’s Point Nine outs new ~€100M fund to back early-stage SaaS and digital marketplaces
TECHCRUNCH | Tuesday, September 22, 2020
Point Nine, the pan-European early-stage VC focused on SaaS and digital marketplaces, has raised its fifth fund, totalling just short of €100 million (in fact, “P9 V” is a €99,999,999 fund — get it?).

Chinese tech giant Tencent's WeChat app sees downloads surge before U.S. ban
REUTERS | Tuesday, September 22, 2020
Chinese tech giant Tencent's WeChat messaging app has seen a surge in downloads in the United States since Friday after Washington confirmed it would push ahead with a planned ban of the app, data showed on Tuesday.

'The Dark Overlord' hacking group member sentenced to five years in prison
ENGADGET | Tuesday, September 22, 2020
A US district judge has sentenced a UK National to five years in federal prison for participating in the cybercrime activities of hacking collective group “The Dark Overlord.”

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