OPP Meeting Summary: EP Plenary – Charges on cross-border payments in the Union and currency conversion charges (debate) (13 February 2019)

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Event: Smart Contracts & Assignment of Claims (Trier, Germany, 21-22 March)

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Press release: EU cross-border payments outside Eurozone – MEPs scrap excessive fees

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Press release – Frequently asked questions: Intra-EU cross-border payments

“The two amendments proposed by the Commission in March 2018 to the Regulation on cross-border payments will reduce the cost of intra-EU payments within the entire EU and unify the single retail payments market. This will benefit in particular citizens and businesses from the non-euro area Member States by letting them have access to cheaper intra-EU euro payments. Transactions made in EU currencies other than the euro are not impacted by the revised Regulation; however, Member States are free to extend the rules to other currencies.”

Draft Agenda: European Parliament Plenary Session (11 – 14 March 2019)

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OPP Meeting Summary: Economic and Financial Affairs Council – “AOB – Current financial services legislative proposals” (12 February 2019)

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Briefing: Fintech (financial technology) and the European Union: State of play and outlook

The financial technology (fintech) sector encompasses firms that use technology-based systems either to provide financial services and products directly, or to make the financial system more efficient. Fintech is a rapidly growing sector: in the first half of 2018, investment in fintech companies in Europe alone reached US$26 billion. The fintech sector brings rewards including innovation and job creation, but also challenges, such as data and consumer protection issues, and the risk of exacerbating financial volatility or cybercrime. To tackle these multi-disciplinary challenges, policy- and lawmakers in the European Union (EU) have adopted and announced several initiatives, for instance on intra-EU payment services, data protection, crowdfunding and regulatory sandboxes. This briefing outlines current and upcoming fintech-related laws at EU level. It follows on from a March 2017 EPRS briefing that focused, inter alia, on the evolution, scope and economic prospects of fintech.

Report: How blockchain-based technology has the potential to disrupt remittances worldwide

Every year, hundreds of millions of people worldwide send or receive money through a money transfer system or by informal channels, generating some 500 billion dollars in remittances to developing countries, roughly three times the size of official global development aid. In a new report, the JRC gives an outlook into the latest trends of alternative channels for money transfer by migrants to home countries provided by companies operating on blockchain-based technologies.

Progress on financial services legislative files

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Final Draft Agenda: EP Plenary Session (11-14 February 2019)

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At A Glance: Cross-border payments and currency conversion charges

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Blog: European Data Protection Supervisor Giovanni Buttarelli: “Privacy in a Cashless World”

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UPDATED – Merger Case: M.9214 MUFG HD / AKAMAI / JV

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Opinion of the European Central Bank of 21 January 2019 on the Central Bank of Malta’s supervision of credit reference agencies Introduction and legal basis and its oversight of payment services (CON/2019/2)

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OPP Meeting Summary: Economic and Financial Affairs Council – “AOB – current proposals” (22 January 2019)

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Antitrust Case: 40049 MasterCard II

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Consultation: ECB consults on the user detailed functional specifications for the future RTGS service in the context of the T2-T2S consolidation

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BIS Working Papers: Beyond the doomsday economics of “proof-of-work” in cryptocurrencies

The paper focuses on how Bitcoin and related cryptocurrencies verify that payments are final, ie irreversible once written into the blockchain. It points to the high costs of achieving such finality via “proof-of-work”. It then weighs the outlook for cryptocurrencies based on this kind of algorithm, and looks at possible future avenues for progress.

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