• ECB Revives Plans for a Rival Coin to Libra & Bitcoin

    It seems Facebook’s woes are starting to mount as the European Central Bank (ECB) revives plans to create its own digital currency in direct competition to Libra and bitcoin.Yet another Libra challenger steps up to the plate. This time, it isn’t China’s incipient central bank digital currency (CBDC) but instead a newly proposed CBDC from the ECB. According to Reuters, speaking at a news conference after a meeting of EU finance ministers in Helsinki, ECB board member Benoit Coeure noted that Libra was a “wake-up call.”“We also need to step up our thinking on a central bank digital currency.”Eurocoin vs. LibraThis “wake up call” has allegedly resuscitated the ECB’s long-term efforts to create a digital currency. An official at the ECB gave an idea of some characteristics of the proposed project. Allegedly, the CBDC will be a digital form of cash that could be deposited directly at the ECB, negating the need for bank accounts or intermediaries.Unfortunately, things turned even sourer for Libra. Bruno Le Maire and Olaf Scholz, respective finance ministers for France and Germany, threw their weight behind…

    Sep 18, 2019
  • Central Banks to Meet With Libra Founders in Switzerland on Monday

    Officials from the European Central Bank (ECB) and 25 global central banks will meet with Libra to assess the financial stability risks of the project.

    Sep 15, 2019
  • 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 that Libra’s efforts to…

    Sep 11, 2019
  • Libra Stablecoin Tied to Major Currencies, Maybe Not Yuan

    Social media giant Facebook, which is currently trying to get regulatory approval for its Libra stablecoin project, reportedly shared details regarding the project’s proposed backing reserves.According to a report by Bloomberg on Sept. 9, Facebook told United States senators about the backing reserves for the stablecoin — a type of cryptocurrency valued by a reserve currency, commodity or algorithm.Libra is backed by major national currenciesLibra will reportedly be backed by several national currencies. These include the U.S. dollar, euro, Japanese yen, British pound and Singapore dollar. However, the Chinese yuan may be excluded from the group of reserve assets, according to Bloomberg.Facebook reportedly produced the list of its backing assets as a result of an inquiry by Virginia Democratic Senator Mark Warner. The senator stated that China has been encouraging other governments to include its currency in their foreign currency reserve holdings.In its turn, Facebook purportedly responded by saying that any final determination regarding the backing currencies is the purview of the Libra Association — a consortium of various companies and interested parties that will oversee the Libra’s eventual development….

    Sep 10, 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 LibraAs 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 mentioned that the Libra is witnessing…

    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 DesignFacebook 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 think. We are especially interested in your…

    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” payment tool for people…

    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 more1% show they trust Libra more than other cryptocurrencies19% believe that all cryptocurrencies are the same5% show they trust BTC far more than Libra35% show they trust Libra “far less…

    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 currencyAs 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 process of developing a digital currency of its…

    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 … values we think an…

    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, while the fact…

    Jul 23, 2019
  • Libra’s Biggest Problem

    Among the barrage of commentary accompanying the Libra circus on Capitol Hill last week was a single short tweet from lawyer Marco Santori that summed up the core problem confronting Facebook’s cryptocurrency project – and, for that matter, any corporate-led effort of its kind.To understand why Facebook and its 27 Libra partners are in this dilemma, let’s go back to bitcoin’s roots – to the core problem Satoshi Nakamoto sought to solve. It’s right there in the sub-headline of the famous white paper: “electronic cash.”Satoshi was following a Cypherpunk dream. He/she or they wanted to bring privacy to digital payments, to translate the offline experience of cash transactions into the online realm. The idea: that a user needn’t prove their identity to execute a transaction with anyone else on the Internet – just as there’s no need for me to show a document proving that I’m Michael Casey every time I hand over some dollar notes to someone.This matters not because everyone using cash or bitcoin is a money launderer evading law enforcement, but because identification poses a real barrier to commerce. If…

    Jul 23, 2019
  • Facebook Libra Risks to Financial Stability Demand ‘Highest’ Regulatory Standards, Says G7

    The G7 group of nations has warned that cryptocurrencies such as Facebook’s Libra are a threat to global financial stability.A task force set up by the G7 to examine the issues said that rules of the “highest” standards are needed to minimize the use of digital currencies in money laundering and funding terrorism, Reuters reportsThursday.Following a meeting of finance chiefs from the G7 in Chantilly, France, this week, the group also said it would address tax issues raised by the digital economy, as per a draft summary of the meeting obtained by Reuters.As expected, Facbook’s Libra and its perceived risks to the monetary control of regulators was high on the agenda at the meeting, although some benefits were also observed.Benoit Coeure, European Central Bank (ECB) board member and head of the G7 task force, told the G7:“A global stablecoin for retail purposes could provide for faster and cheaper remittances, spur competition for payments and thus lower costs, and support greater financial inclusion.”Yet, he went on to say that such cryptocurrencies raise “serious risks” to policy priorities, such as anti-money laundering, financing of terrorism, consumer and…

    Jul 19, 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 announcement of…

    Jul 19, 2019

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