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Opinion: Authorities Clamping On Telegram And Libra Could Signal Negative For Bitcoin

Authorities are waking up when it comes to cryptocurrencies. In the past month alone, we saw a couple of very serious actions taken against major projects in the field. Facebook’s Libra, Block.one’s EOS, Telegram, KIK, all of them and more saw challenges in the face of lawmakers and regulators across the board. A lot of people, especially those who felt like Telegram was a scam and Libra was a “centralized Bitcoin” embraced the news with sort of positivity. Amid this legislative chaos, however, it’s undoubtedly important to take some time and think what all this means for Bitcoin, being the major cryptocurrency and the one that has so far managed to stand the test of time and markets.  A Quick Retrospect Into What Happened First things first, let’s have a look at what actually happened in the last few weeks, that needs attention so much.  Let’s start with Facebook’s Libra as it’s undoubtedly among the most heavily discussed and anticipated events in the cryptocurrency field. Last month, two of the EU’s most prominent members, France and Germany agreed to block the project on the merits that “no private entity can claim monetary power, which is inherent to the sovereignty of nations.” Shortly after that, David Marcus, head of the project, said that Libra is not actually planning to create new money. Regardless of his explanations, however, things went south from there as PayPal left the Libra Association, followed by eBay, Stripe, Visa, and MasterCard. This led many to deem the project essentially dead. We’ve yet to see how things will develop.  Going forward we saw serious actions taken by the US Securities and Exchange Commission. As Cryptopotato reported, Block.one, the publisher of EOS which managed to raise upwards of $4 billion in its ICO, was fined with $24 million for conducting an unregistered public offering.  Just a few days ago, the SEC also halted the token sale of Telegram’s TON cryptocurrency. The reasoning behind it is that it’s unregistered and fails to comply with existing regulations.  All of this happened in a time span of less than a month. Given that authorities across the globe have been traditionally inactive so far, it definitely seems like lawmakers and enforcers are starting to wake up. And it also appears that the above news was embraced positively by quite a lot of people But what does it mean for Bitcoin? This Could Spell Trouble For Bitcoin As Well Now, it’s important to note, before jumping into this, that technically it would be nearly impossible for authorities to de-facto shut Bitcoin down. Obviously, the network’s distributed nature would make this challenging at best.  However, there’s plenty that authorities could do that could impact Bitcoin very badly. The regular person who’s not aware of its decentralized nature doesn’t really care that he can obtain Bitcoin despite a hypothetical ban. For the average Joe, the authorities saying that Bitcoin is banned and that he can’t trade it is more than enough.  Now, regulators clamping on major cryptocurrency projects is definitely a signal. While some, such as the US SEC’s are reasoning their merits with “investor’s protection,” others such as France and Germany are being a lot more direct. As we mentioned, they openly said that “no private entity can claim monetary power…” Bitcoin is no private entity and it’s equity-based, meaning that anyone can own the cryptocurrency while, at the same time, it doesn’t belong to any centralized authority. The network is self-sovereign and it functions on its own. However, it does pose a threat to traditional financial systems. It eliminates the middle man, its one of its very purposes.  Should Bitcoin be adopted on a larger scale, people would transact directly, peer-to-peer, without having to rely on banks or any other authority, for that matter.  While not speaking of it, the words of the regulators do resonate and should, at the very least, make us think.  At the same time, it’s entirely possible and within the governmental reach to start focusing on large cryptocurrency organizations and exchanges, including Binance, Kraken, Huobi, Gemini, Coinbase, and whatnot. Regardless of the outcome, this would certainly cause, if not anything else, turmoil amid the retail investor. And it’s important to understand that it’s the retail investor who needs to see the merits of Bitcoin and start using it, in order for the cryptocurrency to truly lift off.  It’s also not out entirely out of the question that the governments could potentially target bitcoin developers. It’s perhaps not a coincidence that Satoshi Nakamoto, the inventor of the cryptocurrency, chose to remain anonymous. In any case, should any of these take place, even if Bitcoin is not flat out banned, it could definitely cause a massive crash in its value. There’s Also A Bright Side For Bitcoin On the other hand, however, we should also consider the fact that despite the recent clampdown, Bitcoin was seemingly left out of all of it.  It’s also worth noting that if regulators wanted to issue a flat-out ban on Bitcoin trading, they could have done it already, especially in the US and Europe. We saw that it’s possible in China.  However, trading in those regions remains widely accessible. The regulations over there are currently aimed at establishing proper KYC and AML frameworks which stem mostly from the fact that legislators hold that cryptocurrencies could be used for illicit activities.  At the same time, as much as a lot of people don’t want to admit it, Bitcoin, in its current shape and form, could hardly be fit to be used as a mainstream currency. The network on its own won’t be able to handle the influx of transactions and even though there are solutions such as the Lightning Network which attempt to handle this, it’s probably a long way from now. It’s safe to say, though, that developments such as the LN are definitely a step in the right direction towards improved scalability.  It remains questionable and hard to predict if authorities would like to go against Bitcoin, especially if it becomes fit for everyday usage. In any case, events such as the ones that we described above, especially when they come from highly-authoritative institutions, shouldn’t be disregarded as they may actually be a precursor for what’s to come.    The post Opinion: Authorities Clamping On Telegram And Libra Could Signal Negative For Bitcoin appeared first on CryptoPotato.
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US Senators Threaten CEOs: Dump Libra or Face Regulatory Wrath

Facebook’s crypto woes are deepening as more partners are jumping the Libra ship before it even sets sail. It appears that US senators are urging them to do so as letters to CEOs have been leaked online. Some say the government is stifling innovation while others agree the crypto project is just dangerous. Facebook Fear at ATH Facebook is its own worst enemy. Whether billionaire Zuckerberg envisaged the amount of flak his company would receive when he announced plans to launch his own centralized monetary system is unknown. What is known is that the Libra ship is sinking fast, and Facebook is having one big hangover this weekend. It seems that a number of US senators have been privately contacting Libra Association members urging them to dump the project like a hot rock. Letters shared online by VanEck digital asset strategist Gabor Gurbacs highlight the extent US politicians will go to in efforts to prevent Libra ever launching. This is the type of letter executives at stripe, Mastercard and visa (former Libra members) have received. Many executives may have chosen not to experiment and innovate in order to avoid regulatory pressure! Sad! America can do better! > This is the type of letter executives at @stripe, @Mastercard and @visa (former @Libra_ members) have received.> Many executives may have chosen not to experiment and innovate in order to avoid regulatory pressure!Sad!> America can do better!> Source: https://t.co/M36bkEKJU9 pic.twitter.com/kF3AXf9Xvd — Gabor Gurbacs (@gaborgurbacs) October 12, 2019 His stance is clearly on the side of innovation but he fails to acknowledge that Facebook is hardly the bastion of freedom of information and decentralization. The letter addressed to Stripe CEO Patrick Collison, came from senators Brian Schatz and Sherrod Brown. The latter has lambasted Facebook on countless occasions, earlier this year stating: Facebook has demonstrated through scandal after scandal that it doesn’t deserve our trust. It should be treated like the profit-seeking corporation it is, just like any other company, It is no surprise then that they have now resorted to sending personal letters to company bosses. The letter continued to state that the social media giant is struggling to tackle massive issues such as privacy violations, disinformation, election interference, discrimination, and fraud. None of that can really be disputed. It continued to state that Facebook is trying to act as a financial arbitrator without the regulated status of one, adding; Facebook is attempting to accomplish that objective by shifting the risks and the need to design new compliance regimes onto regulated members of the Libra Association like your companies. Leave Libra … Or Else … In a veiled threat, it added that by taking on this project the companies can expect a high level of scrutiny from regulators for all payment activities, not just Libra. The severity of the letter cannot be denied, but there was still plenty of anti-Facebook sentiment in the comments that followed with David Weisberger pointing out… If Libra had opted to create or use stable coins based on the dollar for US clients, Euro for Europeans, etc, & NOT tried to establish a private exchange rate mechanism, they would have run into much less resistance.  Better yet, they should have just accepted/promoted Bitcoin… So far PayPal, eBay, Visa, Mastercard, and Stripe have left the consortium and the likelihood of others following is high. Will Facebook ever get Libra launched? Add your comments below. Images via Shutterstock, Twitter: @gaborgurbacs The post US Senators Threaten CEOs: Dump Libra or Face Regulatory Wrath appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.
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Telegram’s Gram, Facebook’s Libra, And The Race For The Stablecoin Market

Article By Dmytro Spilka While news of Facebook’s exciting new cryptocurrency, Libra, has dominated digital finance newsfeeds this summer, and arguably more revolutionary presence has been left to operate under the radar somewhat. After accumulating $1.7 billion in investment last year and maintaining almost complete radio silence whilst news of Libra winning and losing big business suitors continued to rattle on, Telegram finally confirmed its involvement in the Telegram Open Network (TON). It was early on Tuesday 8th October that Telegram finally went public with TON in the form of terms of service (ToS) page designed for the token’s wallet app. Within the ToS, Telegram stated that it will integrate the wallet into the company’s flagship messaging app while also offering it as a standalone service. But what is TON? And can it really see off the likes of Libra and its powerful list of multinational backers? Here’s a look into why Telegram is set to shake up the crypto landscape: Why should we be excited by TON? The Telegram Open Network is set to be one of the most exciting entrants in the world of cryptocurrencies in recent years. TON not only offers cross-compatibility with Ethereum as one of its major selling points but also promises seamless compatibility with social messaging via Telegram Messenger – a popular cloud-based messaging service for handheld devices. Boasting over 200 million active users, Telegram Messenger is seen by many investors as an ideal platform to encourage wider usage of cryptocurrencies – which can be leveraged by the arrival of the company’s dedicated ‘Gram’ digital coin. The TON blockchain ecosystem coupled with the arrival of Gram has already led to early excitement among investors, with investments already showing 400% increases in returns, but the primary cause for optimism ahead of TON’s release is the exposure that the world of cryptocurrencies will receive. If Telegram can successfully implement its TON network into its messaging platform, the accessibility of cryptocurrencies will increase exponentially. However, it’s important to note that there are hurdles to overcome in terms of scalability and security. Will TON be capable of supporting widespread adoption? And is it capable of guaranteeing that all of the transactions it processes will be fully secure on a larger scale? It’s hoped that these caveats will be successfully addressed before launch – which is forecast to take place later this year. Market ramifications The timing of Telegram announcing its involvement with TON could hardly have come at a better time. The messaging giant’s dedicated cryptocurrency, Gram, is set to enter the market as a stablecoin that will come into direct competition with Facebook’s Libra. However, October started with a series of negative press for Libra. Firstly, the news of PayPal withdrawing their backing of Libra in order to commit more resources towards the company’s own priorities was a blow. But soon after came the announcement by the Bank of England that the cryptocurrency will be required to meet a stringent set of requirements before being given the green light for launching in Britain. There was even the news that one of Libra’s 28 founding members, Anchorage, has announced that it will allow investors and organizations using the Telegram Open Network to securely store their Gram with them upon the network’s launch. Telegram and Facebook’s approaches to their respective forays into the crypto landscape have been wildly different, but both organizations are united by the fact that the digital currency they’re offering is a stablecoin, as opposed to the wildly volatile currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum that are commonplace in the market. In fact, it’s hard to doubt that we’ve reached a watershed moment for the stablecoin, and 2020 will undoubtedly be a pivotal year for this particular means of alternative finance. While Telegram’s Gram offers a decentralized stablecoin, Libra can offer no such promises and stands as a more centralized cryptocurrency – like the stablecoin market leaders, Tether and USD Coin. The notion of decentralization is an important one in the world of cryptocurrencies, with investors often favoring the transparent security offered by decentralized currencies. However, it’s entirely possible that the star power of Libra could be strong enough to attract widespread usage. The arrival of both Telegram and Facebook onto the scene will no doubt have a profound effect on the crypto market, and may even herald a power shift from the volatile currencies we recognize today to the more secure and practical stablecoin.  Winning the stablecoin space race Despite some evident problems, it’s hard to doubt the power of Facebook and its Libra project. With the backing of major organizations like Lyft, Uber, and Spotify, there’s plenty of integration potential and opportunities to encourage adoption. However, thanks to Telegram’s slick operations coupled with the early launch of the ever-promising TON, we could potentially all be making stablecoin transactions through the convenience of a mobile messaging service before we know it. It’s clear that despite the scramble to leverage the widespread adoption of cryptocurrencies, it’s clear that there’s already one winner: And that’s the crypto market itself. After 2018 that was largely spend lost in the post-2017 bull run wilderness, the world of crypto finally has cause for widespread optimism. Long may it continue.  The post Telegram’s Gram, Facebook’s Libra, And The Race For The Stablecoin Market appeared first on ZyCrypto.
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