Libra: Bank of Japan Puts Strict Question on Facebook’s Libra Coin

Definitely, Facebook’s announcement of launching Libra is a quite serious concern. After the US’s congressional committee, Bank of Japan is raising a skeptical eyebrow on Libra coin.
Bank of Japan on Libra Coin
The latest report states that the Deputy Governor of Bank of Japan, Masayoshi Amamiya said that the digital currency operator has to comply with regulations on money laundering and risk management. Amamiya told that the operator should comply with policies responsibly and act as a provider of safe and secure payment settlements. He said that;
“As for Libra, we must bear in mind that the potential global user-base could be enormous,”
Beside adding criticizing comment on Libra, he mentioned that Bank of Japan is introducing a digital currency.
More on the point of digital currencies, he said that negative interest on virtual currencies would urge people to come back to cash again. Continuing that he said, no Govt would actually opt to replace cash into digital currency.
“To overcome the nominal zero lower bounds, central banks would need to eliminate cash…Eliminating cash would make settlement infrastructure inconvenient for the public, so no central bank would do this.”

If central banks issue digital currencies and apply negative rates on them, households and companies will hold cash instead to avoid being charged for holding digital currencies, #BOJ Deputy Gov. #Amamiya told a #ReutersNewsmaker forum.https://t.co/AHLCqctIq3 @Reuters
— William Mallard (@BillyMallard) July 5, 2019

Bank of Japan isn’t the only bank raising the voice on Facebook’s entry into the financial system – there’re many global regulators and financial leaders who think Facebook has to align with high standard regulatory policies.
So far, Japan is known for a broader approach to crypto industry – the infrastructure, crypto exchanges, and bitcoin-accepting merchants. However, the latest remark by Amamiya seems quite disturbing. Amamiya outlines that;
“If central bank digital currencies replace private deposits, that could erode commercial banks’ credit channels and have a negative impact on the economy”
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Source: CoinGape

Facebook Officially Responds to US Congressional Committee’s Letter to Halt Libra Development

Libra Coin has been emerged as one of the hottest topics in the crypto industry – not just with positive remarks but definitely, the launch announcement faced a lot of criticisms. Besides every new criticizing remark, Facebook isn’t stepping back from what it committed to bringing to the 1.7 billion unbanked users.
Calibra CEO Responds US Congressional Committee’s Letter
As a response to a recent letter sent by official Congressional committee to halt the development of Libra coin, Facebook wrote a personal note, detailing what it means to them and how they view community & regulator’s view on Libra Coin. On July 3rd, David Marcus, CEO of Calibra Wallet published a note, entitling ‘Libra, 2 weeks in”. In a detail note, Mr.Marcus explained, decentralization queries revolve around Libra, claiming that Libra is definitely not as open as Bitcoin, the mission behind Libra Association, why billions of people cannot access to current financial services and henceforth the emergence of Libra and eventually pinpointing at their plans to engage with regulators and lawmakers.
Facebook will not control the network, the currency, or the reserve backing it. Facebook will only be one among over a hundred members of the Libra Association by launch. We will not have any special rights or privileges.
Ready To Talk with Law Makers
Whenever regulator’s note comes in, Facebook often found of adding a positive note “we’re looking forward to discussing’, in fact, it had initially mentioned in its whitepaper – we believe in collaboration with regulators & experts across a variety of industries. In addition, with ongoing criticism by global regulators, including US Congressional committee – Facebook openly responded that they’re ready to talk with the policymakers.
We’re talking about something new, at scale in a very regulated industry, and if this is not done right, it could definitely present systemic risks no one wants, Marcus writes.
Believing that, Marcus states that they’re looking forward to having collaboration with central banks, regulators, lawmakers to ensure that Libra resolves the issues existed in the existing financial system “notably around money laundering, terrorist financing, and more”, the note reads.
Looking at Facebook’s letter, it is noticed that the team is not in a plan to halt Libra development – rather they’re looking forward to continuing to engage with the various communities and stakeholders. Conclusively it added;
In that spirit, I look forward to testifying in Congress in front of both the Senate Banking and House Financial Services Committees in the weeks to come.
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Source: CoinGape

Libra v/s Congress – US Law Makers Officially Issued Letters to Halt Libra Development

US Congressional Committee is officially seeking Facebook to stop the development of Libra cryptocurrency along with digital wallet Calibra – until lawmakers investigate the possible risk it may bring across the global financial system.
Letter Requesting Moratorium on Libra
Facebook’s Libra has received a lot of criticism so far and one of which includes US’s congressional committee. An official letter has been written to Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg,  Chief Operating Officier Sheryl Sandberg, and the chief executive officer of Calibra, David Marcus. The letter is representing law maker’s concern to Facebook and asking for freezing up the development of Libra Coin and Calibra.

The letter was sent by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) – the chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) – Chair of the Investor Protection, Entrepreneurship & Capital Markets Subcommittee, Al Green (D-TX) – Chairman of the Oversight & Investigations Subcommittee – and – Stephen F.Lynch (D-MA) – Chairman of the Task Force on Financial Technology.
Rep. Maxine Waters had earlier spoke openly on the same regard. But at this point in time, the letter is also signed by all these leaders.

But Why?
The letter reads that;
“If products and services like these are left improperly regulated and without sufficient oversight, they could pose systemic risks that endanger the U.S. and global financial stability,” Congress Chairwoman writes. “These vulnerabilities could be exploited and obscured by bad actors, as other cryptocurrencies, exchanges, and wallets have been in the past.”
Though, it’s not the first time when policymakers showed their concern over Libra – the case is quite different in the case of Switzerland. While the US is requesting Facebook to halt Libra development, Switzerland’s regulators are eagerly welcoming Facebook to discuss the potential benefits Libra can bring, in fact, they’re in talks with Facebook to set up shop for Libra Association in Geneva, Switzerland.
Water’s letter isn’t the only one trending as a criticism to Libra today – indeed, Senate Banking Chair Mike Crapo (R-ID) scheduled a hearing with the chief executive of Calibra, David Marcus for 16th July 2019. In the meantime, Water’s committee will also schedule a hearing on the Libra project.
Until today, we’ve seen Facebook responding to lawmakers positively – as such, very recently, it had responded to UK lawyer on the concern of “Big Tax Problem” Facebook’s Libra can create, Facebook’s spokesperson said, we look forward to working with policymakers to discuss and clarify the application of existing tax laws for crypto asset’.
Facebook’s Response to Letter
Similarly, on US’s congress woman’s letter, Facebook responded to media’s query on Tuesday and stated;
“We look forward to working with lawmakers as this process moves forward, including answering their questions at the upcoming House Financial Services Committee hearing,
It has become the major concern for lawmakers because Facebook holds billions of users and the key vision behind Libra is to empower these billions with the financial facility. At the same time, the independent body to govern Libra, the Libra association is in the hands of few private players including Vodafone, Visa, PayPal, Uber, Spotify, Facebook, MasterCard and intending to reach 100 more by next year – which is again raising the eyebrows of market leaders like Facebook’s co-founder Chris Huges who is citing the issue of power on private players.
Concerning Facebook’s influence over the world’s population, the letter adds;
“They kept selling Libra as a means of providing banking services to 1.7 billion unbanked people around the world. When challenged on how they were going to do that and asked directly whether they’d figure out how exactly a digital currency would be an answer for people who can’t access credit currently, they said, ‘The short answer is no.’ The phrase ‘the miracle of blockchain’ was used at one point.”

The letter further writes;
“Because Facebook is already in the hands of over a quarter of the world’s population, it is imperative that Facebook and its partners immediately cease implementation plans until regulators and Congress have an opportunity to examine these risks and take action,”
Image source – Shutterstock 
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Source: CoinGape

Sunday Blast! Bitcoin Price Surges Past $9300 Levels to Make a New High for 2019

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Sunday Blast! Bitcoin Price Surges Past $9300 Levels to Make a New High for 2019
Bitcoin achieved a new milestone on Sunday with its price smashing past $9000 levels. Other metrics suggest a strong buildup of the Bitcoin technicals and fundamentals.
Sunday Blast! Bitcoin Price Surges Past $9300 Levels to Make a New High for 2019

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Source: CoinSpeaker

Facebook Cryptocurrency Project ‘Libra Networks’ Opens Office in Switzerland

Facebook has been highly secretive about its recent endeavor with cryptocurrency and blockchain. A more transparent approach could raise speculations in the market. Moreover, the regulations around cryptocurrency and payments have been unclear as well. Recently, the U.S. Senate Banking Committee sent an open letter to Founder Mark Zuckerberg, demanding the details about its cryptocurrency project: Libra.
Furthermore, according to the press release by Reuters, the chief executives of Facebook’s subsidiaries WhatsApp, Instagram and Messengers have been under regulatory scrutiny over privacy issues.
Reportedly, Facebook has registered the of ‘Libra Networks’ in Geneva, Switzerland. Facebook is the stakeholder of the company which aims to provide financial and technology services and develop related hardware and software, according to Reuters findings. The registration was made on 2nd May 2019 in Geneva. According to the fillings,
“investing, payments, financing, identity management, analytics, big data, blockchain and other technologies.”
Facebook has acquired trademark rights to Libra reportedly and is recruiting dozens of financial firms and online merchants.
Facebook has also been on a hiring spree for its new blockchain team that has more than 40 members from the FinTech industry. It also took a lenient stance on the advertising of cryptocurrency and blockchain projects on its giant social media platform.
Do you think that the move from the US to Europe was due to regulatory pressures? Please share your views with us. 
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Source: CoinGape