Since announcing its Project Libra cryptocurrency plans, Facebook has experienced a growing amount of resistance from policymakers around the globe. Recent data from messaging app Viber indicates that consumers may not be too excited about the prospect of a Facebook digital currency either, with 49% of respondents in the United States and UK reporting a lack of trust in the company’s planned cryptocurrency.
The United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission has been investigating the BitMEX cryptocurrency exchange for several months, Bloomberg reported Friday. According to the media outlet’s unnamed sources, the regulatory agency has been trying to determine whether the exchange violated rules that prevent Americans from trading on its platform:
U.S Representative Patrick McHenry (R-NC) told his fellow lawmakers this week that innovations like cryptocurrency are why the United States has such a vibrant economy. McHenry’s remarks came during a hearing on July 17, in which the Congressman referred to the innovative technology as an “unstoppable force.”
Japanese officials reportedly want to develop an international payment system for digital currencies that would be similar to the global SWIFT network currently used by the world’s financial institutions, Reuters reported on Thursday.
French regulators are getting closer to approving the first group of cryptocurrency companies in accordance with new rules slated to go into effect in late July, Reuters reported on Tuesday. Those new rules will provide regulatory approval for digital asset companies that voluntarily comply with the country’s standards for consumer protections, capital requirements, and payment of French taxes.
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.
Cuban officials announced this week that they are studying cryptocurrency’s potential for boosting the communist nation’s economy, Reuters reports. That economy has been under increasing pressure, due to recent tightening of the U.S. trade embargo, reduced exports, and declining aid from Cuba’s socialist ally, Venezuela.
U.S. lawmakers continued to express concern about Facebook’s planned cryptocurrency payment system this week, officially asking Facebook to agree to an immediate moratorium on all Project Libra development In a letter to Facebook executives, House Financial Services Committee Democrats cited concerns about oversight, consumer protections, and security, as well as the potential risk to financial stability.
The major South Korean City of Busan is considering the development of its own local cryptocurrency, according to a report from the country’s ETnews. The local government reportedly plans to partner with BNK Busan Bank for the project, and hope it will help revitalize the area’s economy by making Busan a leader in South Korea’s blockchain efforts.
The government of Abu Dhabi has warned residents to avoid a new Bitcoin trading scam that promises to make them rich in as little as seven days. According to a report from The National, the scheme falsely claims support from Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, the UAE’s Crown Prince:
Major banking firm Goldman Sachs could eventually launch its own digital token, tech media outlet TNW reported this week. The article cited recent comments from the bank’s CEO, David Solomon, confirming that the firm has been researching the tokenization concept and recognizes its potential benefits.