• Treasury Official: Libra Must Comply with US AML/CTF Regulations

    If Facebook’s Libra project expects to operate within the United States, it will need to do in full compliance with U.S. anti-money laundering and counter-terror financing regulations, according to U.S. Under Secretary of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Sigal Mandelker. Mandelker emphasized the need for compliance while speaking with reporters in Bern, Switzerland on Tuesday, Reuters reports. She suggested that the cryptocurrency industry hasn’t done enough to ensure that their networks and products cannot be used to facilitate crime or terrorism: “Whether it’s bitcoin, Ethereum, Libra, our message is the same to all of these companies: anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism has to be built into your design from the get-go.” Mandelker was scheduled to meet with Swiss financial market regulators today to discuss issues like AML safeguards and enforcement actions. She noted that Switzerland has worked to position itself as a welcoming hub for innovations like fintech and said that countries that promote themselves as innovation hubs need to ensure that concerns about regulatory compliance are taken seriously. She also suggested that Swiss officials share her belief…

    Sep 11, 2019
  • Why are Crypto Lobbyists Worried about How Regulators are Treating Libra?

    Libra, the controversial cryptocurrency to be launched by Facebook worries lawmakers. Crypto pioneers believe that the increased regulatory scrutiny on Libra could dent Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Although Facebook is yet to launch its cryptocurrency Libra, global lawmakers including the US and other countries have already begun scrutinizing Facebook’s plans and proposed policies around the cryptocurrency. Crypto Lobbyists Fear the Possible Effects of Libra As lawmakers are renewing their efforts to “define and rein in Libra” , others in the field are worried about lawmakers’ activities stunting the growth of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Kristin Smith, who is the director of the Blockchain Association said; “What we don’t want to happen is members of Congress for the first time come in and author legislation that aims to go after Facebook and inadvertently takes out the other part of the industry,” So far Facebook’s announcement of Libra has experienced an ever-growing mountain of regulatory challenges. US President Donald Trump, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell have already expressed their skepticism about Libra among others. Besides regulators, reports…

    Aug 29, 2019
  • One Could Win $1 Million by Finding 100 ‘Critical’ Bugs in Libra

    Facebook is offering thousands of dollars as a reward for those testers who find bugs in its upcoming Libra cryptocurrency. Libra Invites Your Security and Privacy Review of its Architecture and Design Facebook envisages empowering billions of people all over the world through its single global ‘cryptocurrency’, Libra. It will be supported by a simple financial infrastructure. The social media giant plans to release the digital asset in 2020. But before its release, its engineers and developers want to ensure that the cryptocurrency will run on a secure, scalable, and reliable blockchain. Indeed, the Libra team claims to have already created such blockchain “to prioritize scalability, security, efficiency in storage and throughput, and future adaptability.” Now, Libra Core testnet is available for testing purposes. Libra Core is the software that maintains the Libra cryptocurrency. On August 22, 2019, the team announced the Bounty Program. It calls for volunteers to test the system and try to find bugs or issues. According to the announcement, “In the meantime, this project is at an early prototype stage. Please let us know what you…

    Aug 29, 2019
  • Report: Libra Members Consider Quitting Project Due to Gov’t Pressure

    At least three of Facebook’s early backers for its planned Libra stablecoin launch are considering withdrawing their support in light of the fierce regulatory pushback.

    Aug 23, 2019
  • US Lawmakers to Visit Switzerland to Discuss Crypto, Facebook’s Libra

    A delegation of the United States House of Representatives will visit Switzerland on cryptocurrency concerns, with Facebook’s not-yet-released stablecoin Libra being in the focus.

    Aug 19, 2019
  • Facebook Warns Investors That Libra Digital Currency May Never See the Light of Day

    Facebook reminded investors in its latest quarterly report that while it expects to launch its Libra digital currency in 2020, a number of factors could keep that from happening. In the risk factors section of the report, Facebook said it recognizes the significance of the pushback that’s come from lawmakers and regulators since the project was announced in June. “Libra has drawn significant scrutiny from governments and regulators in multiple jurisdictions and we expect that scrutiny to continue,” Facebook said in its filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In addition, market acceptance of such currency is subject to significant uncertainty. As such, there can be no assurance that Libra or our associated products and services will be made available in a timely manner, or at all. We do not have significant prior experience with digital currency or blockchain technology, which may adversely affect our ability to successfully develop and market these products and services. David Marcus, who is spearheading the development of Libra and the Calibra digital wallet project at Facebook, has said the currency will be “a more efficient, low-cost and secure alternative”…

    Jul 30, 2019
  • People Are More Willing to Invest in Bitcoin Than Libra

    Not long ago, Facebook had agreed to pay more than $5 billion in fines to end US lawsuits against the company’s abuse of user data, and agreed to implement new privacy protections, including setting up a privacy committee independent of the board and appointing personal privacy regulatory officer. However, according to the latest research data from CivicScience in the United States, Libra’s trust is only 2% compared to Bitcoin. Although the sample of the survey questionnaire is not large enough, it is clear that once the crisis is formed, the cost of building trust will be surprisingly high. At the same time, it also revealed that the position of Bitcoin in the cryptocurrency industry will be difficult to be shaken in the future. Recently, CivicScience’s survey of 1,799 Americans showed that people’s trust in Libra and its related Calibra wallet compared to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and their corresponding wallets showed: 1% show they trust Libra more 1% show they trust Libra more than other cryptocurrencies 19% believe that all cryptocurrencies are the same 5% show they trust BTC far more than Libra…

    Jul 29, 2019
  • Huawei CEO: Why Wait for Facebook? China Can Issue Its Own ‘Libra’

    The CEO of Chinese tech giant Huawei thinks that China can compete with Facebook for market share by issuing its own digital currency. Huawei CEO: ‘Why wait for others to issue it?’ As national news outlet Sina reported quoting a press conference in Italy on July 18, Ren Zhengfei believes China can easily create a digital currency with the same value proposition as Facebook’s Libra. “China can also issue such a currency by itself. Why wait for others to issue it? The power of a country is always stronger than an Internet company,” he said responding to a question from Italian economics journalist, Fabio Savelli. The comments follow concerns from China’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC), that Libra could pose a threat to the country’s economy in some respects.  Beijing developing its own digital currency As Cointelegraph reported, earlier this month, the PBoC’s director, Wang Xin, said that if Libra is mostly pegged to the U.S. dollar, China would be at a disadvantage. “If so, it would bring a series of economic, financial and even international political consequences,” he claimed. Beijing is reportedly in the…

    Jul 26, 2019
  • ‘However Long It Takes’: Zuckerberg Vows to Win Over Libra Regulators

    Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says the company will spend “however long it takes” to get regulators and others on board before launching the Libra cryptocurrency project. Speaking during a quarterly earnings call on Wednesday, the social media giant’s founder sought to assure investors that Facebook would act responsibly with its development of Libra, the ambitious crypto project revealed last month as a potential payments rail for unbanked individuals. Facebook worked with “prospective members” of its governing council, the Libra Association, to publish its white paper last month in order to address questions about it, he said. “We’re committed to working with policymakers to get this right.” The company initially said it aims to launch the currency in the first half of 2020, but the pushback from regulators and politicians has called that timeline into question. In response to an analyst’s question about timing, Zuckerberg said Facebook’s approach to Libra is “to try and have a very open dialogue,” and that unlike a few years ago, when the company might have just launched a new product, today Facebook tries to detail what specific “ideas and ……

    Jul 26, 2019
  • 49% of US and UK Would Not Trust Facebook’s Libra

    Not many people understand the complexities of cryptocurrency and an alarming number of people don’t trust Facebook; it seems combining the two is not a well-received idea. New research from messaging app Viber has suggested 49% of consumers in the UK and US would not trust the social media giant when it comes to cryptocurrency. Facebook might want to get a foothold in this embryonic segment of the technology industry, however if consumers have lost trust in the firm, you have to wonder whether this will kill the potential of cryptocurrency through association. There are two interesting areas concerning Facebook’s drive towards cryptocurrency. Firstly, many people will start asking what cryptocurrency actually is and what it does. And secondly, when talking about money, many will start to question whether Facebook should be considered a trusted partner with its track record. Starting with the definition of cryptocurrency, we will not pretend to be an expert on the segment and few in the general public will have a concrete grasp either. This lack of understanding creates uneasiness and a lack of trust,…

    Jul 23, 2019
  • G7 Urges Tough Libra Regulation, Agrees to Tax Digital Giants

    Digital currencies such as Facebook’s planned Libra raise serious concerns and must be regulated as tightly as possible to ensure they do not upset the world’s financial system, Group of Seven finance ministers and central bankers said on Thursday. Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire of France, which holds the rotating presidency of the G7 top world economies, told a news conference the group opposed the idea that companies could have the same privilege as nations in creating means of payment – but without the control and obligations that go with it. “We cannot accept private companies issuing their own currencies without democratic control,” Le Maire said. In a summary of the informal G7 talks in Chantilly, north of Paris, the French presidency said the ministers and governors had agreed that “stablecoins and other various new products currently being developed, including projects with global and potentially systemic footprint such as Libra, raise serious regulatory and systemic concerns”. Governments are starting to worry that big tech companies are encroaching on areas that belong to governments, such as issuing currency. Facebook’s June 18…

    Jul 19, 2019
  • Lawmakers Amp Up Pressure on Facebook to Halt Libra Cryptocurrency Development

    U.S. lawmakers repeatedly pressed Facebook’s top blockchain executive to halt development of the Libra cryptocurrency during a contentious hearing on the project Wednesday. They didn’t get far. David Marcus, the CEO of Facebook’s subsidiary Calibra, reiterated his promise that Libra would not launch until regulators’ concerns were fully addressed. But he stopped short of committing to freezing technical work on the project, much to the chagrin of House Financial Services Committee members. The committee’s chairwoman, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), had previously called for a moratorium, and it was one of the first things she brought up in the hearing, asking the Facebook executive: “Will you stop dancing around this question and commit here in this committee … to a moratorium until Congress enacts an appropriate legal framework to ensure that Libra and Calibra do what you claim it will do?” Marcus responded with roughly the same talking point he’s been using for weeks. “I agree with you that this needs to be analyzed and understood before it can be launched … and this is my commitment to you. We will take the time…

    Jul 18, 2019
  • Highlights From Facebook’s Libra Senate Hearing

    Facebook  will only build its own Calibra cryptocurrency wallet into Messenger and WhatsApp, and will refuse to embed competing wallets, the head of Calibra David Marcus told the Senate Banking Committee today. While some, like Senator Brown, blustered that “Facebook is dangerous!” others surfaced poignant questions about Libra’s risks. Calibra will be interoperable, so users can send money back and forth with other wallets, and Marcus committed to data portability so users can switch entirely to a competitor. But solely embedding Facebook’s own wallet into its leading messaging apps could give the company a sizable advantage over banks, PayPal, Coinbase or any other potential wallet developer. Other highlights from the “Examining Facebook’s Proposed Digital Currency and Data Privacy Considerations” hearing included Marcus saying: The U.S. should “absolutely” lead the world in rule-making for cryptocurrencies The Libra Association chose to be headquartered in Switzerland “not to evade any responsibilities of oversight” but since it’s where international financial groups like the Bank for International Settlements, though Calibra will be regulated by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network “Yes,” Libra will comply with…

    Jul 16, 2019
  • Libra Head Publishes Testimony for the US Senate Hearing

    The Senate Banking Chair in the US had scheduled a meeting with the executive of Facebook to question about Libra for 16th July 2019. Reportedly, Marcus David, the Head of the Libra Association, will be representing the Tech Giant’s plans. David has shared the written testimony on the government website where he diligently explains the development and the plans with Libra. Moreover, Marcus David was also the President of one of the largest payment network in the world, PayPal. In the beginning, he revisits this fact and association with Facebook to further converge on the issue. On Libra, he emphasized the utility of the payment system and its viability. He wrote, Libra is about developing a safe, secure, and low-cost way for people to move money efficiently around the world. He also added, “In fact, I expect that this will be the broadest, most extensive, and most careful pre-launch oversight by regulators and central banks in FinTech’s history.” He mentioned that Libra would work with the Governments and that “monetary policy is properly the province of central banks.” Nevertheless, the structure proposed by him mimics that…

    Jul 16, 2019
  • How 10 Countries Respond to Facebook’s Libra Cryptocurrency

    A growing number of governments have responded to Facebook’s cryptocurrency plans including China, France, India, Japan, South Korea, Russia, Singapore, Thailand, the U.K., and the U.S. Several intergovernmental organizations have also weighed in such as the European Central Bank and the Bank of International Settlements. Facebook’s Libra Project Facebook unveiled its plans last month for newly formed subsidiary Calibra which aims to provide financial services via the Libra network. “The first product Calibra will introduce is a digital wallet for Libra, a new global currency powered by blockchain technology. The wallet will be available in Messenger, Whatsapp and as a standalone app — and we expect to launch in 2020,” the social media giant announced. Calibra has been providing information to central banks worldwide regarding its Libra plans to create understanding and exchange information, according to Calibra CEO David Marcus. Regarding which countries Calibra will be available in, a Facebook spokesperson told news.Bitcoin.com on July 9 that “Calibra won’t be available in U.S.-sanctioned countries or countries that ban cryptocurrencies,” elaborating: The Libra blockchain will be global. It will be up to custodial…

    Jul 12, 2019
  • 4 US Lawmakers Join Call to Freeze Facebook’s Libra Project

    U.S. lawmakers are formally calling on Facebook to cease all development of its Libra cryptocurrency in a new letter sent to executives at the social media giant. Democrats from the U.S. House of Representatives wrote an open letter to Facebook Tuesday, calling on a moratorium to all libra development while the Financial Services Committee and affiliated subcommittees hold hearings to determine how it would operate and what protections would be implemented to protect user privacy. Representatives Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee; Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Chair of the Investor Protection, Entrepreneurship and Capital Markets Subcommittee; William Lacy Clay (D-MO), Chairman of the Housing, Community Development and Insurance Subcommittee; Al Green (D-TX), Chairman of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee; and Stephen F. Lynch (D-MA), Chairman of the Task Force on Financial Technology all signed onto the letter, which was addressed to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, COO Sheryl Sandberg and Calibra CEO David Marcus. Waters has repeatedly called on Facebook to pause development of libra, though this is the first time she has done so as part of a formal letter to the…

    Jul 3, 2019