The CFTC tapped Heath Tarbert as incoming chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), replacing current chairman and “Crypto Dad” J. Christopher Giancarlo. The announcement was made yesterday during a Senate confirmation hearing.
The CFTC is tasked with regulating derivatives, digital assets, and over-the-counter trades. The regulatory authority has taken a light-handed approach towards the cryptocurrency industry under outgoing chair Giancarlo.
“During my time of service, it has been a priority to transform the CFTC into a 21st Century regulator for today’s digital markets. With Dr. Tarbert’s confirmation, I know the agency is in safe hands to continue this transition,” said Giancarlo in a statement regarding the succession.
Prior to this designation, Tarbert served a short stint as Acting Under Secretary for International Affairs, beginning April 16, 2019. Before that Tarbert served as Assistant Secretary for International Markets for two years, to which he was confirmed by a vote of 87-8, showing a high degree of bipartisan support.
Politico previously reported Tarbert would likely succeed Giancarlo as chief derivatives regulator.
Tarbert is a member of the Financial Stability Board, the international body established after the financial crisis to monitor global markets, and serves on its steering committee, according to his Treasury Department biography.
Giancarlo has committed to stay on as chairman until July 15, 2019, as Tarbert completes his current Treasury obligations.
J. Christopher Giancarlo image via CoinDesk archives
In its neverending conquest to take over the world, Facebook is building a network of online merchants and financial institutions to support its secretive new cryptocurrency. The Wall Street Journal reports that Mark Zuckerberg’s war machine is looking for $1 billion to fund the secretive stablecoin project, Project Libra, and is talking with heavyweights like Visa and Mastercard to get that cash.
FACEBOOK WANTS $1 BILLION TO FUND PROJECT LIBRA
The company started Project Libra over a year ago as a simple way to transfer money between WhatsApp users. But in true Facebook fashion, it’s grown far beyond that original scope.
The project has expanded to include e-commerce payments on Facebook and other websites as well as rewards for viewing ads, shopping online, and interacting with content.
The upcoming Facebook cryptocurrency would reach the platform’s nearly 1.6 billion daily active users. | Source: Wall Street Journal
Facebook’s 2.38 billion monthly active users mean that, at launch, Project Libra would almost immediately compete with rivals Apple Pay (383M) and PayPal (267M). However, there are several reasons why you, and everyone else, should avoid Facebook’s upcoming cryptocurrency at all costs.
WHO TRUSTS FACEBOOK ANYMORE?
Let’s take a walk down memory lane to remember the times that Facebook proved it should be nowhere near your money.
There’s no better place to start than Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal – the mac daddy of screw-ups. In 2014, the social media company sold the personal data of 87 million users to Cambridge Analytica without the users’ consent. Doing so was in direct violation of the company’s privacy policies.
Adding your financial data to the massive pile of personal information that Facebook already has on you is asking for trouble.
If Facebook’s data breaches weren’t enough to scare you, let’s examine how the company handles passwords. Hint: Not well.
In March, Facebook revealed that it had been storing hundreds of millions of account passwords in a readable, plaintext format since 2012. Although there was no evidence that outside parties had access to the passwords, employees could grab them with ease.
By trusting any amount of money to a company that can’t even secure passwords, you’re effectively placing a sign on your back that says, “Please come and rob me!”
The beauty of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency assets is that they’re censorship-resistant. No single party can freeze your bitcoin wallet or block a transaction. Facebook can, and will, block your financial account whenever it pleases. The company’s already begun showing this overreach of power with its recent account bans.
This week, Facebook announced the bans of several individuals including Alex Jones, Louis Farrakhan, and Milo Yiannopoulos. Representatives from the company explainedthat those they banned violated the platform’s policy on hate speech and promoting violence.
While that reasoning may hold, it sets a dangerous precedent for future action. Where do you draw the line on censorship? The banning demonstrates that Facebook has the power to freeze your crypto assets if it doesn’t share your particular views and can block transactions to causes it may not support.
FACEBOOK CRYPTO SHOULD BE DEAD ON ARRIVAL
Facebook’s cryptocurrency comes with all of the downsides of the company behind it and none of the benefits of an actual cryptocurrency. Anyone hyping it up as a step toward mass adoption simply doesn’t understand what makes crypto great.
If you’re looking for a currency with poor security and oppressive censorship, give your money to Facebook. If not, stay far, far away.
Steven Buchko has been in the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry for over two years. Previously the Executive Editor at CoinCentral, he is now a contributing writer for CCN. Steven is also a co-founder of Coin Clear, a mobile app that turns your daily spending habits into cryptocurrency investments.
Announced Monday, six international banks have signed letters of intent to issue stablecoins, or tokens backed by fiat currency, on World Wire, an IBM payment network that uses the Stellar public blockchain. The network promises to let regulated institutions move value across borders — remittances or foreign exchange — more quickly and cheaply than the legacy correspondent banking system. So far three of the banks have been identified — Philippines-based RCBC, Brazil’s Banco Bradesco, and Bank Busan of South Korea — the rest, which are soon to be named, will offer digital versions of euros and Indonesian rupiah, “pending regulatory approvals and other reviews,” IBM said. The network went live Monday, although while the banks await their regulators’ blessings, the one stablecoin running on World Wire at the moment is a previously announced U.S. dollar-backed token created by Stronghold, a startup based in San Francisco.
On March 16, 2019, the price of IOTA (IOTA) reached a high of nearly $0.32. It has been on a gradual downtrend since. Here is the price outlook for the period of Mar 16 through Mar 18:
Our analysis of IOTA on Mar 13 predicted that price would increase and result in a breakout above resistance. Our prediction was validated the following day. According to today’s analysis, we predict that IOTA will likely continue trading within a downward facing channel. This means gradual losses for the foreseeable future. Highs within the channel may still be experienced; however, they are expected to grow successively lower over time. In the case of a breakout or breakdown, we assess that a breakout is more likely—which means the possibility of a reversal and rapid price increases.