All kinds of regulators were weighing in on Libra, with the House Financial Services Committee writing a letter that seemed to grasp the import of the proposed cryptocurrency. It called on Mark Zuckerberg, Sheryl Sandberg and David Marcus to halt development on Libra and Calibra, noting the products could “lend themselves to an entirely new global financial system that is based out of Switzerland and intended to rival US monetary policy and the dollar.”
(I wasn’t sure if the signers were mocking the cryptocurrency industry, but their use of quote marks in this phrase made me chuckle: “While Facebook has published a ‘white paper’ on these projects …”)
The Chinese Communst Party had a similarly negative view, while central banks seem spurred to act and David Marcus of Calibra decided to respond to criticism. Michael Casey and I discuss Libra on this week’s Unconfirmed.
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This Week’s Crypto News…
Regulators Weigh In and Calibra’s David Marcus Responds to Critics
- The House Financial Services Committee sent a letter requesting that Facebook and Calibra halt development on Libra, and calling for “robust oversight” of the project.
- Marcus took to Facebook to respond to frequent criticisms of Libra, answering questions such as whether Facebook can be trusted with financial services.
- Dovey Wan’s Twitter translation of an opinion piece that ran in the People’s Daily, an official newspaper of the central committee of the Chinese Communist Party, which calls out Facebook for its data protection issues. As she wryly notes, “FINE, we all know average Chinese ppl have ironclad level privacy protection.”
- The Bank for International Settlements, “the central bankers’ bank,” voices support for central bank digital currencies, in an interview with the Financial Times.
Crypto Derivatives Bring on More Fears About an Already Volatile Asset
WSJ: Take the already volatile Bitcoin, package it in a complex financial instrument, and what do you get? A lot of concern, and a lot of “blow-ups.”
More Fake Trading Tricks
One exchange simply mimicked Binance’s trading activity, delaying it by a few seconds. A new report by Alameda Research adds to Bitwise’s research on faking crypto trades, reports Forbes.
Creator of the WithdrawDAO Contract Signals for Edgeware Lockdrop
Nick Johnson, the deployer of the Withdraw DAO contract used by participants in the DAO to get their ether back on Ethereum, signaled using the funds still remaining in that contract to obtain free Edgeware tokens, causing a stir. He tweeted that he did so to prove the point that deployers should not have special rights. “I wanted to make that argument using the loudest bullhorn I had,” he said.
Fulfilling FATF Requirements Using Encryption and Blockchains
The Financial Action Task Force recommendations that exchanges send information on the sender and beneficiary in trades could be filled by an encrypted ledger, in a solution in the works by CipherTrace and Shyft. (Disclosure: CipherTrace is a current and previous sponsor of both Unchained and Unconfirmed.)
Catherine Coley Named Binance US CEO
Coley was previously head of XRP Institutional Liquidity at Ripple, and had stints at Morgan Stanley in Hong Kong and London, plus Silicon Valley Bank.
Ethereum/ConsenSys Courting Saudi Investment
In response to criticism to this CoinDesk piece, the head of special projects at the Ethereum Foundation — Ethereum being the blockchain of unicorns and rainbows — tweeted, “If Satan himself invested 1T into Ethereum, I’d give it 👍👍.”
Chuck E. Cheese Calls Bitcoin Fake Currency
“Our fake currency is worth $10,000, Mr. Cheese,” was the politest of responses.