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Zuckerberg to face criticism over cryptocurrency, other issues
Democrats and Republicans will interrogate the Facebook CEO on Wednesday over a number of issues

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is expected to face bipartisan criticism Wednesday when he appears before the House Financial Services Committee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A conciliatory-sounding Mark Zuckerberg will face questions Wednesday about Facebook’s world-altering ambitions from congressional critics of both parties.

Democrats and Republicans are expected to interrogate the Facebook CEO over the plan to launch Libra, a cryptocurrency pegged to a basket of global currencies and managed by a consortium of multinational corporations, as well as the company’s role in the spread of political propaganda, alleged violations of housing legislation, dominance of online advertising, monetization of users’ data and censoring of right-wing media.

New York City eyes regulation of facial recognition technology
Bills under consideration would require businesses, landlords to disclose use of technology

A photo of the New York Police Department’s security center in Manhattan, which uses facial recognition technology (Getty Images)

NEW YORK — Legislation that would begin to regulate the use of facial recognition technology in the country’s most populous city could soon be made into law.

While cities around the country move to ban facial recognition and other types of biometric surveillance outright, the City Council here is taking a piecemeal approach, considering bills that would require businesses and landlords to disclose their use of the technology.

Duo seeks to bridge information divide in fintech industry
Group calls for using data to achieve better credit access

Kelly Thompson Cochran, deputy director of FinRegLab, left, and Melissa Koide, CEO of FinRegLab. The startup research group is credited with drawing attention to fintech's ability to improve Americans' lives. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

When a diverse coalition, including big banks and a civil rights group, this summer called for speedier deployment of cash-flow data to widen Americans’ access to credit, it was a little-known startup research organization that brought them together.

FinRegLab is a new Washington research group led by two women with deep ties to the financial technology industry as well as to Capitol Hill. They are credited with drawing attention to fintech’s ability to improve Americans’ lives. 

Blockchain technology may help streamline the flow of $550 billion dollars this year
Fintech Beat, Ep. 24

Remittances are poised to grow to $550 billion this year, making them the single biggest source of external funding for recipient economies, according to the World Economic Forum. More money is pumped into developing countries this way than by direct investment. But it's often costly and inefficient. Fintech, specifically blockchain technology, may be able to help.

DeFazio: Uber, Lyft need to ‘clean up their acts’
DeFazio said ride-hailing companies must change if they want partnerships with agencies using federal dollars

Chairman Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., left, and ranking member Rep. Sam Graves, R-Mo., conduct a House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hearing in February 2019. DeFazio said the committee is still struggling on how to regulate ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

If ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft hope to ever partner with agencies that use federal dollars, “they are going to have to clean up their acts,” the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee said Wednesday.

Noting reports of explosive growth of those companies as well as low-paid and unvetted drivers, the panel’s subcommittee on highways and transit is wrestling with how best to regulate a burgeoning industry that has recently advocated for federal dollars as it grapples with massive losses.

Fintech Beat explores how Uber is much more than a ride sharing company
Uber meets Fintech, Ep. 23

A man waits for a ride-hailing service at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

What is Uber? It's not just a ride share company and definitely more than a technology company. Increasingly, it's a fintech company, too. We speak to the CEO of Uber Payments LLC and Uber's associate counsel to explore the company's identity. 

Fintech Beat examines Block.one's settlement with the SEC
Fintech Beat, Ep. 22

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission at the SEC in Washington. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Uncertainty is the bane of the crypto industry, with limited predictability about the scope of securities laws. That's because there is little agreement on when a cryptocurrency is considered a security. Block.one found out the hard way. Fintech Beat explores what the company's settlement with the SEC means.

Fintech Beat explores the difference between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ money
Fintech Beat, Ep. 21

Fight over utility poles for 5G brewing in upstate New York
The case represents an increasingly common public-private struggle in the race to 5G

Verizon filed a lawsuit against the city of Rochester, N.Y., last month over its fees for deploying 5G cells on utility poles. (Getty Images)

A legal battle brewing in upstate New York over the use of municipal utility poles could have nationwide repercussions as private telecom companies seeking to build fifth-generation wireless networks contend with city governments that say they aren’t being fairly compensated.

A lawsuit filed by Verizon against the city of Rochester last month marks the latest in a string of cases pitting telecom giants against cities that want more autonomy over fees charged for the deployment of small cells on poles controlled by local governments.

Investors mull blockchain to improve corporate elections, shareholder votes
Move could help boost participation and limit miscounts

The ability to track blockchain ownership in real time could make it ideal for corporation elections. (Jack Taylor/Getty Images file photo)

Blockchain, a technology most closely associated with cryptocurrency, is being explored as the solution to better corporate board elections and shareholder votes, which have been plagued by cases of low participation and high-profile miscounts.

The decentralized, distributed ledger technology gained prominence as the backbone of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin because it allows tracking ownership as the tokens change hands. It also provides access and enables verification of pseudonymous information by multiple users in real time. Once entered in the ledger, encrypted “blocks” of information can’t be changed or falsified because the entire network can view the ledger. 

Fintech Beat sits down with the one of the IRS's top crypto cops
Fintech Beat, Ep. 20

The Internal Revenue Service building is pictured in Washington (Photo by Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Fed’s proposal for faster payments raises question of fraud
‘FedNow’ won’t be available for four years, but how will it handle unauthorized payments?

The Federal Reserve expects to launch a real-time payment service in four years. Fintech experts are already questioning how it will handle fraud. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Federal Reserve’s announcement last month that it would compete with private industry to launch a 24-hour-a-day real-time payment service has fintech experts raising an alarm: How will it handle fraud, which they say is inevitable with any financial system.

The Fed’s real-time gross settlement service, to be known as “FedNow,” is not scheduled to be available for at least four more years. Yet some financial services attorneys are already pondering who should bear the loss if it processes unauthorized payments.

Fintech Beat explores the ABC's of fintech investing
Fintech Beat, Ep. 19

Stock market data growth chart graph investment finance analysis fintech financial district

Fintech Beat explores a new way of investing in real estate
Fintech Beat, Ep. 18

A for sale sign advertising a row house on Constitution Avenue, NE, is pictured on Monday, August 26, 2019, in Washington D.C. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Venezuelans use cryptocurrency to bypass corruption, inflation
Some charities turn to digital assets to circumvent government’s chokehold on ecomony

Nurses protest the lack of medicines and medical supplies in Venezuelan hospitals at a demonstration in Caracas last month. Some Venezuelans are turning to cryptocurrency to circumvent the government’s chokehold on the economy. (Federico Parra/AFP/Getty Images file photos)

Faced with hyperinflation and borders closed to humanitarian aid, Venezuelans are turning to cryptocurrency as a workaround of government control of money. Aid providers say digital currencies are becoming an important route to bypassing corruption or repressive regimes.

Digital currencies have no shortage of critics, who point to their use in scams, theft and money laundering. U.S. lawmakers blasted Facebook’s plans for a cryptocurrency, and regulators routinely warn of wild volatility.