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Facebook executive David Marcus faced questioning from Senate lawmakers on Tuesday, during a Banking Committee hearing on the company’s Project Libra cryptocurrency. The hearing highlighted the skepticism many public officials have expressed about the company, its trustworthiness, and the potential risk Libra could pose to the world’s financial system.
Reuters: House Dems Circulate Draft Bill That Would Prevent Tech Giants from Issuing Cryptocurrencies
Even as Facebook officials testify before Congress this week, House Democrats have apparently been circulating a draft legislative proposal that would bar big technology firms from creating their own digital currencies or offering financial services without a bank license. Reuters reportedly reviewed a copy of the bill and notes that it proposes a $1 million per day fine for companies that violate the prohibitions.
A group of seven South Korean companies are partnering in an effort to create a blockchain-based mobile identification system, the Korea Times reports. According to the Times’ industry sources, the plan is to launch the new mobile ID next year.
The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee approved the Blockchain Promotion Act this week. If it becomes law, the Act would direct the U.S. Department of Commerce to create a working group to establish a consensus definition for the technology and make recommendations to study its potential for improving government efficiency.
While some cryptocurrency fans may have been dismayed to see U.S. President Donald Trump criticize Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies yesterday, leading advocates like Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong and Fundstrat’s Tom Lee appear to disagree. Both men highlighted the benefits of having one of the world’s most high-profile personalities talking about the technology.
In a Tuesday interview with CNBC, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss predicted that Facebook won’t be the only technology giant to launch a cryptocurrency project. In fact, they believe that a number of major tech firms will be involved with their own cryptocurrencies soon. According to Tyler:
On Tuesday, Congressman Tom Emmer reintroduced cryptocurrency legislation that would provide safe harbor protection for taxpayers with digital assets, until the Internal Revenue Service provides more clarity on reporting gains and losses from digital currency forks.
Russia’s State Duma may be unable to pass the “On Digital Financial Assets” (DFA) cryptocurrency legislation until its autumn session, Russian media outlet TASS reported today. According to State Duma Committee on Financial Markets head Anatoly Aksakov, lawmakers have yet to reach agreement on the central question of how Russian law will treat cryptocurrencies.
Since Facebook publicly announced its planned Project Libra digital currency payment system, policymakers around the world have scrambled to address new concerns about the technology’s potential impact. As the South China Morning Post reported today, Chinese officials are also concerned – and may respond by creating their own digital currency.
European Central Bank Executive Board member Benoit Coeure is urging quick action from regulators, as giant tech companies move forward with cryptocurrency projects that could impact the existing financial system. On Sunday, Coeure suggested that innovations like Facebook’s Project Libra only serve to highlight deficiencies in the current regulatory environment.