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US Senate Confirms New CFTC Chair to Succeed ‘Crypto Dad’ Giancarlo – CoinDesk

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

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

Source: US Senate Confirms New CFTC Chair to Succeed ‘Crypto Dad’ Giancarlo – CoinDesk

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Only an Idiot Would Use Facebook’s Shady Cryptocurrency

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.

Facebook cryptocurrency daily users potential

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.

CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA

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.

PLAINTEXT PASSWORDS

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.

Don’t forget about the company’s Amazon snafu that exposed data from 500 million accounts either.

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!”

FACEBOOK CENSORSHIP

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.

Source: Only an Idiot Would Use Facebook’s Shady Cryptocurrency

IBM Signs 6 Banks to Issue Stablecoins and Use Stellar’s XLM Cryptocurrency

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.

Source: IBM Signs 6 Banks to Issue Stablecoins and Use Stellar’s XLM Cryptocurrency

Is There Any Cure for IOTA’s Price Losses? (IOTA Price Analysis For March 18, 2019)

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.

Source: Is There Any Cure for IOTA’s Price Losses? (IOTA Price Analysis For March 18, 2019)

Mark Zuckerberg: “Encryption is decentralizing” | Crypto Insider

 

On March 6, Mark Zuckerberg published a 3000+ word essay “A Privacy-Focused Vision for Social Networking”. In the essay, he outlines the problems faced by Facebook, the Internet and the society, as well as his vision of the future.Lately, the rumors have been swarming about Facebook adding blockchain technology and even introducing its own cryptocurrency. In relation to this series of events, it remains to be seen if Mr. Zuckerberg provides any validation for the rumors mentioned in his address.

Source: Mark Zuckerberg: “Encryption is decentralizing” | Crypto Insider

 

 

Cryptocurrency is ‘Honestly Useless’: Harvard Cryptographer

Cryptocurrency is useless to anyone other than nefarious groups or individuals trying to move money without being noticed by the government. This is apparently the cutting-edge opinion of Harvard University cryptographer and technology researcher Bruce Schneier.Citing a series of regularly discredited and debunked talking points, Schneier believes that the aims of Bitcoin according to its original whitepaper have been defeated by the reality of its deployment………………….

Source: Cryptocurrency is ‘Honestly Useless’: Harvard Cryptographer

Taiwanese Chip Manufacturing Giant Blames Revenue Losses On ‘Crypto Winter’

Taiwanese chip manufacturer United Microelectronics Corporation saw a roughly 10% decrease in revenue in the fourth quarter of 2018. Like TSMC, who provide chips to Bitmain, they prominently attribute some of their losses to the downturn in demand for cryptocurrency. Less demand amounts to less need for mining, which subsequently lessens the demand for mining hardware…..

Source: Taiwanese Chip Manufacturing Giant Blames Revenue Losses On ‘Crypto Winter’

Only 7 out of 21 Crypto Exchanges Pass South Korean Government Audit | BTCMANAGER

The South Korean Government recently conducted a security audit on 21 Cryptocurrency exchanges and according to a local news story published on January 10, 2019, only seven of them passed the audit. The audit took place between September and December 2018 and out of the 21 surveyed, Bithumb, Coinone, and Korbit, along with four others, made the grade. This means that the 14 other exchanges are still vulnerable to attack as far as the government is concerned…….

Source: Only 7 out of 21 Crypto Exchanges Pass South Korean Government Audit | BTCMANAGER

Rep Soto: Cryptocurrency Regulation Belongs to the CFTC not the SEC | BTCMANAGER

United States Congressman, Darren Soto (D-Fla) has reportedly said that the issue of crypto regulation should be left to the jurisdiction of the U.S Commodity Futures Trading Commission, rather than the almighty Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), reported Cheddar on January 10, 2019.While the SEC has been actively overseeing the U.S. cryptocurrency space, hunting down projects that go against its statutes, Representative Darren Michael Soto, an American attorney and congressman, has argued that the former should leave matters concerning cryptocurrencies to the CFTC and instead, focus solely on securities regulation.

Source: Rep Soto: Cryptocurrency Regulation Belongs to the CFTC not the SEC | BTCMANAGER

Japan May Approve Cryptocurrency ETFs After Saying No to Futures: Report

The Financial Services Agency of Japan is considering approving exchange-traded funds which track digital assets, Bloomberg reports. According to sources who confided in Bloomberg, the financial regulator is at the moment gauging sector interest in exchange-traded funds tracking cryptocurrencies. This comes less than a month since the financial watchdog put aside plans for cryptocurrency futures. Consequently, the regulator abandoned efforts to revise Japan’s securities law, a move that would have seen the listing of cryptocurrency options and futures on major financial exchanges.

Source: Japan May Approve Cryptocurrency ETFs After Saying No to Futures: Report

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