Facebook Continues Headhunting for New Blockchain Department Members; Speculation of its Plans

Facebook Continues Headhunting for New Blockchain Department Members; Speculation of its Plans

Facebook has 13 blockchain-job openings on its Careers webpage. Among the positions waiting to be occupied are Product Manager, Researchers, and Engineers; there are notions surrounding the company’s blockchain ambition but nothing has been confirmed by the company

Social media heavyweight, Facebook, is persisting in the search for talents to help its objective of building blockchain solutions. The company already has a manpower of 32 tackling its blockchain initiative. As of 17 February 2019, a total of 13 job postings are still open for interested and qualified individuals.

Launch and Stablecoin Speculation

The plans of the company remain unconfirmed. Thus everything is based on speculation.

Bitcoin Exchange Guide

Aside from managers and engineers, the company is looking for a Brand Strategy and Insights Manager. The role is open for the ‘experienced brand leader’ capable of research, communication, and people management to oversee ‘research initiatives that inform marketing and product. The responsibilities of the role include leveraging research for the brand’s development. Bitcoin Exchange Guide writes that this may ‘suggest that the company is pending launch date.’

Facebook is also headhunting to fill up its Marketplace Payments for blockchain. From this information, the crypto news outlet hypothesizes that the company might be ‘interested in creating a new stablecoin’ for remittances, particularly for the 200 mln WhatsApp users in India.

Last September and December 2018, the social media company posted blockchain job openings; some of which are now filled and some are still open.

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Facebook’s Libra is Forcing Congress To Address Crypto Revolution

Facebook’s announcement of Libra, its soon-to-be launched digital currency, is bringing significant attention to the growing crypto revolution, none more so that in the halls of the United States Congress. Although there is plenty of debate to be had over whether or not Libra is a true cryptocurrency, there is no doubt that its creation is a wake-up call to America’s leaders that have thus far chosen to pay little attention to the development of blockchain assets. Now, with the world’s largest social media company about to enter the space, the emergence of electronic alternatives to the U.S. Dollar can no longer be ignored. This week both the House Financial Services Committee and the Senate Banking Committee  held hearings examining the Libra project. David Marcus, Libra’s chief developer, testified at each. Marcus was, to put it mildly, speaking before a hostile crowd. House committee chair Maxine Waters (D-CA) is already on record as opposing the digital currency. Her office recently proposed a bill, tentatively titled the “Keep Big Tech Out of Finance Act,” that would effectively bar Facebook and other large technology companies from creating cryptocurrencies. There is equally open disdain for Libra in the Senate.  Facebook has made clear its intention to work with federal regulators, and ensure that Libra follows all relevant laws. Nevertheless, its move into the financial sector has signaled its intent to take on the most powerful tool at the government’s disposal: the ability to control the nation’s money. Also, Libra’s development is a sign that Silicon Valley is coming after the banking industry, which is by-far the most powerful interest group in Washington.  Bitcoin and other decentralized cryptocurrencies have, of course, represented the same threat to the status quo for ten years, but until now members of Congress have been able to treat traditional blockchain assets as little more than a benign nuisance. No-doubt most members of Congress are familiar with Bitcoin, but it is safe to assume that very few can explain how it works, or yet fully grasp its revolutionary potential. Facebook, on the other hand, is an entirely different matter. The social media juggernaut is far too powerful, and wealthy, to be ignored, and its ability to disrupt is obvious. Waters and other members of Congress will soon realize that Libra is only the tip of the digital currency iceberg. Their hostility toward it is certainly understandable, yet at least Libra is the product of a U.S.-based company that is willing and able to follow the established financial rules of the road. This fact is far from the case regarding truly decentralized blockchain assets such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Monero. Simply put, the threat of these platforms to the U.S. government’s hegemony over how money is created and used is vastly greater than Facebook’s centrally managed stablecoin.  Facebook’s bold move is proof positive that cryptocurrency is no longer a fringe element of the global economy. Realizing this fact may be a very hard truth for America’s lawmakers to accept, but they now have no choice. To understand the true extent of the revolution underway, perhaps these men and women should learn more about IBM’s adoption of Stellar for Blockchain World Wire, or Walmart’s partnership with VeChain. The House Committee currently examining Libra has five members from Texas. They may be interested to know that Austin, their state’s capital, is now working with the Iota Foundation.  Even if it receives regulatory approval, Libra is far from guaranteed to succeed as a digital currency. Nevertheless, win or lose, Facebook’s foray into the crypto space has served to shine a spotlight on an issue that most of the U.S. Congress would like to overlook. Moving forward a much greater interest in cryptocurrencies, and the technology behind them, will soon be taking place on Capitol Hill. Featured Image via BigStock.

Is Stronghold Just Another Stablecoin?

Last summer, Stronghold went live with its Stellar-based stablecoin. Like most stablecoins, Stronghold USD is backed by real assets and tied to the value of the U.S. Dollar. However, unlike its competitors, Stronghold isn’t targeted at the general public. Instead, it’s aimed at businesses and financial institutions. In fact, Stronghold has dramatically reduced its support for general users. In April, it barred retail investors from its exchange. Stronghold USD may still be circulating on other exchanges in small quantities, but market aggregators like CoinMarketCap now list Stronghold USD as “inactive” for retail investors. In any case, the project is now turning its efforts toward larger clients. To attract businesses and financial institutions, it’s focusing on regulatory compliance features. But many other blockchain platforms offer the same thing, so it’s worth taking a look at precisely what Stronghold has to offer. An On-Ramp/Off-Ramp For Stellar Stronghold’s key feature is its “on-ramp” and “off-ramp” to the Stellar blockchain. Essentially, Stronghold acts as an “anchor” and holds funds on behalf of its clients. From there, it issues credits that circulate on the Stellar blockchain. Later, the recipient can convert those credits back to regular funds. This approach allows Stronghold to offer settlement solutions that are faster, cheaper, and more transparent than traditional alternatives. Basically, Stronghold’s use of blockchain technology means that a company doesn’t have to accept cryptocurrency in order to reap the benefits of blockchain. Stronghold also provides regulatory features, such as KYC compliance tools, fund revocation, and account freezing. This is all quite valuable for Stronghold’s clients – many companies, especially those providing financial services, must maintain control over their customers’ funds in order to operate legally. Although Stronghold has been integrated with Stellar from the start, it has joined forces with other projects as well. This May, Stronghold began to operate as an on-ramp/off-ramp for Interledger—a rival settlement protocol that is closely associated with Ripple. A Stablecoin For IBM World Wire Stronghold has also been working closely with IBM since the beginning. When Stronghold USD first went live last year, IBM began searching for use cases for the stablecoin. That culminated in March 2019, when IBM launched World Wire – a Stellar-based settlement system that supports stablecoins, including Stronghold USD. As the name might suggest, World Wire focuses on foreign exchange and cross-border payments to a greater degree than Stronghold itself. To this end, Stronghold has created a special variant of Stronghold USD, which complies with the U.S. Treasury’s OFAC guidelines concerning international money laundering and trading. IBM World Wire isn’t solely paired with Stronghold – it also supports bank-issued stablecoins and Stellar lumens (XLM). Still, the bigger picture should not be overlooked: Stronghold, Stellar, and IBM are all very closely associated with one another, and they are working on projects that are highly interrelated. A Testnet For Libra Developers Shifting gears entirely, Stronghold also offers a number of developer tools. Itrecently introduced new dev tools for Facebook’s Libra blockchain, allowing app developers to begin building and testing Libra apps. Stronghold’s Libra testnet will allow developers to create regulatory compliance applications (such as KYC/AML tools), and Stronghold will also allow devs to issue custom assets. Libra partially serves the same class of clients that Stronghold does, so naturally regulatory compliance is a vital part of both projects. Stronghold isn’t officially involved with Libra. Right now, it’s merely capitalizing on the long wait to Libra, as it charges a subscription fee for testnet access. Stronghold could become more involved with Libra in the future, but that’s more possibility than reality. The Bigger Picture A few things are apparent from the company’s efforts so far. First, Stronghold isn’t just a stablecoin: it’s a stablecoin with extensive services for regulatory compliance. Other stablecoins, including TrueUSD and CircleUSD have KYC checks during their redemption process, but Stronghold takes this further in that its stablecoin facilitates constant control of funds. This focus on regulatory compliance sets Stronghold apart from many other stablecoins, but it doesn’t set it apart from other settlement platforms, which are all very interested in regulatory compliance and enforcement. Perhaps these similarities partly explain why Stronghold and its potential rivals are so eager to cooperate with each other. This means that Stronghold is highly centralized: almost every aspect facilitates regulatory enforcement. Decentralization maximalists might not be happy with Stronghold and its partners, but at the same time, many people believe that wider crypto adoption is very important – and Stronghold is a highly visible part of that trend. The post Is Stronghold Just Another Stablecoin? appeared first on Crypto Briefing.

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