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Facebook Defends Libra Cryptocurrency in Sometimes Hostile Senate Hearing

Ahead of the launch of its new global cryptocurrency, Facebook (FBGet Report) sent its crypto chief David Marcus to the Senate Tuesday to face questioning from the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

The mixed reaction Marcus received among senators was mostly divided along party lines, with some of the toughest questioning coming from Democratic Senators still skeptical of the company in the wake of the Russian election hacking scandal that Democrats blame for their candidate’s loss in the 2016 presidential election.

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Senator Mark Warren (D-VA) stated that “Facebook has a history of buying or copying competing technologies,” before demanding that Marcus assure the panel that competing digital wallets wouldn’t be hindered on WhatsApp and Messenger, two of Facebook’s most popular products.

Marcus went back and forth with Warner before assuring Warner that users would be able to send and receive non-Libra digital currencies on Facebook’s networks. But Marcus would not commit to embedding those competing currencies on its platforms.

Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) baldly stated that “Facebook is dangerous,” saying that the company has continued to misuse customer data while continually referring to each instance as a “learning experience.”

Brown concluded his remarks by saying that “it takes a breathtaking amount of arrogance to look at that record” and believe that the next move for the company should be to create a digital currency.

Republican Senators were more forgiving for the most part, with Committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-ID) applauding the company’s efforts to provide financial services for the under-banked.

“I want to make clear that we are only at the beginning of this journey,” Marcus said. “We expect the review of Libra to be one of the most extensive ever. Facebook will not offer the Libra currency until we have addressed the concerns and receive appropriate approvals.”

Marcus also stated the Calibra network will have the “highest standards” when it comes to privacy and that the social and financial data will be completely separated.

Users will have to provide an authentic government ID so sign up for Calibra and will not be able to register by simply using their existing Facebook profiles.

Marcus stressed Calibra’s independence from Facebook, stating that the company has taken the lead in developing the technology but that it would give up the lead once the digital currency is launched.

“We will not control Libra and will be one of over 100 participants that will govern over the currency,” Marcus said. ” We will have to gain people’s trust if we want people to use our network over the hundreds of competing companies.”

Facebook shares were up 0.18% to $204.27 on Tuesday early afternoon and are up more than 55% this year.

Facebook is a holding in Jim Cramer’s Action Alerts PLUS Charitable Trust Portfolio. Want to be alerted before Cramer buys or sells FB? Learn more now.

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Source: Facebook Defends Libra Cryptocurrency in Sometimes-Hostile Senate Hearing

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ICO-Funded Decentralized Crypto Exchange Caught Plagiarizing Whitepaper

Some on Bitcointalk have concluded that decentralized crypto exchange Localcoin is a scam because they’ve conclusively found that their whitepaper was plagiarized. This hasn’t stopped projects in the past. In a post last month, user ICOEthics raised the alarm and published his findings.

EVERYONE POINTS THE FINGER AT EACH OTHER

A Localcoin representative responded that the company had outsourced their whitepaper. The intent was to explain the derivation of the plagiarism, but it opened a new can of worms. The contractor says that the original whitepaper materials were furnished to them by Localcoin – meaning that Localcoin did the plagiarism.

In a follow-up post, the Localcoin representative posted screenshots of his latest conversation with the apparent author of the whitepaper.

An allegation emerges that Localcoin owes some marketers around $15-17,000.

CCN attempted to contact the apparent whitepaper author, Dexter, but while he read our request for comment, he chose not to respond.

Localcoin's apparent whitepaper author didn't feel like commenting.

Localcoin’s apparent whitepaper author didn’t feel like commenting. Source: Telegram

The questions raised throughout the thread go much deeper than simple plagiarism though. We have to wonder why this project is worth anything if the majority of it is outsourced. Localcoin is an apparent fork of Bitshares and a reboot of a previous attempt at Localcoin.

We’re going to leave out judgement on who was plagiarizing who, or what the real story is here. We reach the same conclusion as one poster on the topic:

“So, we do point the finger to the plagiarized whitepaper owners. We opened this thread so you can discuss and provide evidence to your public and investors and try to convince them that it is not “your fault” and you are “not responsible” for that plagiarized whitepaper. If you wrote or someone else wrote the whitepaper for you, in the end, your company/project is the only one responsible for everything.”

REAL DECENTRALIZED EXCHANGES ARE NEEDED MORE THAN EVER

What’s really at issue with the Localcoin fiasco is the desperate need for reliable decentralized exchanges, and the fact that it is apparently not going to be one. There is some speculation, based on the following screen capture, that the entire project may actually be just one guy.

It's possible that the project is just one person who outsourced everything.

Is Localcoin really operated by just one guy, Fluke Hawkins, who outsourced everything? Source: Bitcointalk

The Binance hack demonstrates more than ever that decentralized exchanges are a necessary evolution, even if some very smart people feel that it won’t be enough. Decentralized exchanges at least take the stupid out of it. For hacks of similar size to happen, numerous participants will have to be doing it wrong.

But decentralized exchanges will need to be easy. They will need to be secure at the user level, and operated on secure devices.

The Localcoin solution might almost be there. It offers much more than just trading. Here’s what the application looks like:

The ambitious project could have changed the way people trade. If only it could be trusted.

The ambitious project could have changed the way people trade. If only it could be trusted. Source: Localcoin App

YOU COULD HAVE BEEN A LEGEND, BUT YOU BECAME A FAILURE

Unfortunately, as you can see, the order books are largely empty. Interest in the project has declined and increasingly, chatter around it falls strictly into two categories: discussion about the nature of the promoters, and the promoters themselves.

The Localcoin token plays some kind of role in token launches on the Localcoin platform.

A bad seed doesn’t grow good fruit. If you can’t trust that the code, the ideas expressed in the whitepaper, and so on, are original, is there anything about the project you can trust?

The timing couldn’t be worse for an upstart decentralized exchange. The industry desperately wants a serious competitor to the centralized monsters.

Source: ICO-Funded Decentralized Crypto Exchange Caught Plagiarizing Whitepaper

JPMorgan Chase Launches Its Own Cryptocurrency: ‘JPM Coin’

JPMorgan Chase, the largest U.S. bank (and the world’s sixth largest), has created its own cryptocurrency, a stablecoin called “JPM Coin.” According to CNBC, J.P. Morgan “moves more than $6 trillion around the world every day for corporations in its massive wholesale payments business,” and in a few months, it will start trials for use of this new cryptocurrency for instant settlement of payments between its clients. The report says that J.P. Morgan is for a future blockchain-powered world, but before that happens………..

Source: CryptoGlobe

Argentina and Paraguay Settle Export Deal in Bitcoin in Landmark Event

Paraguay has reportedly recently paid for an Argentinian shipment worth little over $7,000 in bitcoin, the flagship cryptocurrency, in an apparent first for both countries. The deal was made as part of new program incentivizing small shipments. According to Cointelegraph en Español, Argentina sold Paraguay pesticides and fumigation products, and paid for the products in BTC, which was then converted to Argentina’s fiat currency, the peso, to pay the agricultural chemicals’ exporter.

Source: https://www.cryptoglobe.com/latest/2019/02/argentina-and-paraguay-settle-export-deal-in-bitcoin-in-landmark-event/

SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce Offers Some Hope on Bitcoin ETF Approval

United States Securities and Exchange Commissioner Hester Peirce, popularly known in the crypto community as “CryptoMom,” has offered hopeful remarks on the prospects of a Bitcoin ETF. Pierce made her latest statement on the ETF at a speech at the University of Missouri School of Law. Her remarks follow that of fellow commissioner Robert Jackson Jr., who said in an interview with Roll Call that a Bitcoin ETF would happen “eventually…………..

Source: SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce Offers Some Hope on Bitcoin ETF Approval

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