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Zuckerberg to Testify Before Congress Regarding Libra Stablecoin

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will appear before the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee on 23 October to explain the firm’s ambitious plans for creating the Libra stablecoin project.

The official announcement of the congressional hearing was released on 9 October by Congresswoman Maxine Waters, revealing that Zuckerberg will attend the hearing titled ‘An Examination of Facebook and Its Impact on the Financial Services and Housing Sectors’.

Waters and others sent the request for an immediate moratorium on the implementation of proposed cryptocurrency Libra along with the digital wallet Calibra in July.

The announcement also referred to the draft bill titled ‘Keep Big Tech Out of Finance Act’, drafted primarily to keep large tech firms away from financial institutions in the US. The announcement added:

“The draft legislation prohibits large platform utilities, like Facebook, from becoming chartered, licensed, or registered as a U.S. financial institution (e.g., taxpayer-backed banks, investment funds, and stock exchanges) or otherwise becoming affiliated with such financial institutions.”

In July 2019, Calibra CEO David Marcus argued on the potential advantages of Libra before the House Financial Services Committee and the Senate Banking Committee. And in late September, he also published a critique of the existing payment systems such as SWIFT and RT1.

On 26 September, Zuckerberg reassured everyone that his firm is taking a cautious approach to Libra than some of its previous projects.

 

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US House Committee Wants Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to Testify on Libra

The US House Committee on Financial Services is pressurizing Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook Inc. to appear before the committee and answer its questions related to the new Libra stablecoin project started by the social media corporation.

Ever since the coin project was launched by Facebook, it has attracted varying levels of criticism from government circles both within the US and outside. Most of the countries have stated that they will ban the stablecoin project altogether due to fears of Facebook operating as a shadow bank.

The project was announced earlier in June this year and is being developed by a non-profit company based in Switzerland. Many other partners have been announced and despite the governments of the world attempting to clamp down on the project, it is still being pursued and progressed by the CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Now after last year’s hearing in front of US Congress related to massive data hacks in the social media’s database, Mark Zuckerberg may soon be expected infront of Congress to answer some tough questions posed by it. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chair of the House Financial Services Committee, one of the most vocal critics of the company is leading the calls for Zuckerberg’s hearing.

The nature of the questions, to be posed by lawmakers is not known but will possibly be related to the mechanism of the new project and how it can possibly undermine the banking system of the world.

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Tyler Winklevoss Talks Up Bitcoin but Could Libra and Gemini Make a Match?

Munich Researchers Call for Higher Renewables Impact on Bitcoin Mining Copy

Gemini big gun Tyler Winklevoss claims that Bitcoin is fast en route to its next level of USD 15,000 after it hits USD 10,000.

With Bitcoin currently valued at USD 9,713 at time of writing, it looks like the first of these major levels is fast approaching. The other half of the Winklevoss entrepreneurial duo also sees the hallmark digital currency surpassing its all-time high, commenting, “If Bitcoin breaks 10k, you can bet it’s going to break 15k.”

Others agree with the Gemini boss that Bitcoin is still undervalued on the market with Fundstrat Global Advisors senior analyst Tom Lee unsurprisingly bigging up the number one coin, claiming that USD 40,00o by 2020 was not an unrealistic proposition, due to a renewed round of FOMO activity by investors.

Winklevoss didn’t go quite that far but commented, “It’s a cheap asset until it disrupts gold, however, the 2nd time breaking 10k will make it feel more ‘real’ to many people.” He made no mention of the impact that Facebook’s proposed entry to the market may be having on Bitcoin’s current surge, but elsewhere analysts are taking the view that crypto could ride on Facebook’s Libra publicity, at least for a while.

Facebook has been in talks with Winklevoss Twins, according to the Financial Times, which is interesting in itself given that they have been well-known rivals of Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg and were even involved in a lawsuit against him accusing him of stealing their idea for Facebook itself. Another interesting thought for astronomy lovers if Facebook and Gemini make a match:

“Gemini and Libra are a strange couple, both of them intellectual, floating high above the ground, but different in so many ways. They need to accept each other’s nature completely and be open to each other’s differences if they want to be happy together.”

 

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Jack Dorsey: Bitcoin “Is for the World and for the People of the World.”

Jack Dorsey_ Bitcoin “Is For the World and for the People of the World.”

If Twitter’s Jack Dorsey is reluctant to condone a Facebook cryptocurrency, he hasn’t actively spoken out against it. But according to him, cryptocurrency’s greatest asset, Bitcoin, belongs to everyone.

The co-founder and CEO of Twitter, and founder and CEO of mobile payments company Square, has in fact stuck to his call for “a currency for the internet” which is not controlled by any one entity. Bitcoin is still that currency of the internet according to Dorsey:

“I haven’t seen any other currency that would challenge it across the dimensions that I think are really important. First, I think it has an amazing brand. The other thing that I think makes it probably the strongest candidate is that the principles behind it are very pure. The creation of it was very pure, and focused on a public good, rather than any other particular agenda.”

Dorsey claims that Bitcoin is the world’s only chance to remove financial global barriers and hopes that in future, all private companies will see the value of Bitcoin as a stateless currency which is there for all. His words hint that he feels that Facebook’s proposed cryptocurrency won’t be that vehicle when he calls for a cryptocurrency-for-the-net which is not controlled by one organization, or as he recently commented:

“There is not going to be any one party or institution that makes this happen, and there’s not going to be any one party or institution that can stop it from happening.”

As for Jack Dorsey’s personal relationship with Zuckerburg, of course, he once dined with the Facebook titan. He recounts the event, “Mark Zuckerberg killed a goat with a laser gun and knife, then served us the cold, still raw meat,” and jokes, “revenge is a dish best served cold.”

That comment is best left to future interpretation.

 

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Can Facebook’s Latest Project Re-Invigorate the Crypto Space?

Can Facebook's Latest Project Re-Invigorate the Crypto Space_

With Facebook about to enter the cryptocurrency arena, the industry is awash with opinions about how exactly the arrival of the much-discussed coin will impact on all aspects of the digital currency market, and whether these impacts will be negative, positive or a mixture of both.

Facebook’s original vision, created by a small group of enthusiastic students, was pretty profound. They created FaceMash in July 2003 which was to morph into Facebook under the supervision of Harvard students Mark Zuckerberg and roommate Eduardo Save a year later. They put their plan for social media networking into a few words:

“Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together. People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what’s going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them.”

Before examining whether Facebook will impact the likes of Bitcoin and its now numerous altcoin alternatives, it may be worth considering just how much impact it has had on populations around the globe, long before it decided launches into its next major reincarnation as a cryptocurrency player.

Across the globe, Facebook now has over 2.38 billion monthly active users as of 31 March 2019. Some 1.56 billion people on average log onto Facebook daily. As of 2014 On average, the Like and Share Buttons are viewed across almost 10 million websites daily. In Europe alone, over 307 million people are on Facebook, and worldwide every 60 seconds on Facebook 510,000 comments are posted, 293,000 statuses are updated, and 136,000 photos are uploaded.

These statistics are outstanding, and it is worth looking at who these users are in terms of a crypto demographic which has proven that millennials have made cryptocurrency their home when it comes to how they arrange their financial lives. The prime target audience for Facebook is Age 25 to 34, representing 29.7% of users; a demographic which also matches that of the majority of today’s crypto users. 50% of 18-24 year-olds, another prime cryptocurrency audience, log on to Facebook when they wake up each morning. One final statistic; Facebook claims that 2.7 billion people use Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, or Messenger each month and more than 2.1 billion people use at least one of the Facebook family of services every day on average.

With an estimated 1.6 billion people logging on to Facebook each day and almost twice that amount using Facebook services each month, this creates a market which Bitcoin could only dream of. The impact on Bitcoin could be profound, and in a highly positive way, as billions of users within the 18-34-year-old user group now begin to become aware of a new mode of payment; cryptocurrency. Amongst this huge demographic will be those who may have had little prior knowledge of cryptocurrency or its workings, or simply not trusted it. Facebook’s entry into the market will change that perspective, that lack of knowledge and hesitance in using crypto will change.

That is to say that the potential for millions to simply discover Bitcoin “accidentally” or now take interest due to becoming familiar with Globalcoin through their daily FB log-ins becomes a huge prospect. Altcoins can expect to gain exposure too as more eyes shift towards the crypto market, potentially boosting mass adoption of cryptocurrencies across the board.

This is highly unlikely to happen overnight, but more of a drip feed as Facebook users gradually gain confidence in using a stablecoin and begin to take an interest in the market, and particularly the potential of Bitcoin. Facebook can, therefore, become a route to the cryptocurrency market for billions, and potentially in doing so become Bitcoin’s greatest ally.

 

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Facebook’s GlobalCoin Hires British Banking Lobbyist

Facebook's GlobalCoin Hires British Banking Lobbyist

Facebook’s crypto GlobalCoin looks set to benefit from banking expertise as it has now hired a senior bank lobbyist from the UK in the shape of Standard Chartered’s Europe head of corporate and public affairs, Edward Bowles.

The news broke on Financial Times (FT) that Bowles will join in September to be Facebook’s director of public policy in London. This is only a week away from the much-awaited release of the detailed plans for GlobalCoin, which is scheduled to operate in 2020. Neither employers nor Bowles himself had responded to FT for comment.

Bitcoin News reported last month that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had held meetings with Bank of England governor Mark Carney to discuss the crypto project and assess the risks of the new payments network and digital currency.

Although there has been little formal disclosure from Facebook, it is widely believed that the crypto project would most likely resemble an iteration of a crypto stablecoin, allowing users to send each other money and to make payments across the suite of applications under its ownership, including Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.

FT does note of the concern from regulators on whether the social media giant would be able to comply with strict anti money laundering (AML) and KYC regulations that are imposed on financial institutions — since this is what GlobalCoin would be. The worry is particularly because Facebook’s recent scandals over user data are still fresh in the memory

European Commission director-general for financial stability, Olivier Guersent, had in fact claimed to be unaware of any discussions between Facebook and EU regulators and commented:

“Facebook has a right like anyone else to launch itself on the market. But the issue is really the connection with the rest of their activities and the collection of data. That’s the angle through which we could tackle it.”

 

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Facebook Reveals Radical GlobalCoin Plans to Defeat Bitcoin

Facebook Reveals Radical GlobalCoin Plans to Defeat Bitcoin

Social media mammoth Facebook has set out daring plans to launch its new cryptocurrency, GlobalCoin, and has apparently detailed its strategy to beat Bitcoin as the world’s most popular and most used cryptocurrency, according to Forbes.

It has been reported that Facebook will not directly manage this latest rival to Bitcoin. Instead, “an independent foundation” will be the one controlling GlobalCoin, a move likely to deflect centralization concerns and improve their compliance with financial regulators.

Bitcoin News has written about Facebook’s busy work in discussing and negotiating with financial and tech institutions over the past months. Its founder, Mark Zuckerberg, had been in a meeting with Bank of England governor Mark Carney in April to talk about the risks and opportunities of launching such a crypto. They later even met with Coinbase and others, trigerring all kinds of speculation about possible partners. Then, it was planned to launch GlobalCoin in 2020 but things have seemed to been sped up.

All this news came on the back of Facebook recently registering a new financial tech firm, Libra Networks LLC, in Geneva, which will offer financial services such as payments, identity management, financing, big data, data analysis, and blockchain.

The cryptocurrency is said to appear much like Bitcoin, but is linked to a Facebook project codenamed Libra and is thought to be focused at developing countries, where national currencies are less stable and its people will use the crypto as a “borderless currency”.

It is also accepted that GlobalCoin will be a so-called stablecoin pegged to the US dollar, and is widely expected to a payment option, integrated into Facebook’s popular messaging app WhatsApp and Messenger, as well as on photo-sharing app Instagram.

 

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Facebook Targets 2020 for “GlobalCoin” After Bank of England Meet

Facebook Targets 2020 for

A BBC business report has just released fresh details on near-finished plans by social media giant Facebook to launch its own cryptocurrency next year; the coin has been dubbed internally as GlobalCoin.

According to the report, Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg had held meeting with Bank of England governor Mark Carney last month to talk about the opportunities and risks associated with launching such a currency. The company also met with the US Treasury to seek advice on regulatory and operational issues, alongside discussions with money transfer institutions such as Western Union in a bid to find solutions for transferring money for people without bank accounts.

More details have been promised this summer, but GlobalCoin testing has been scheduled for the end of 2019 and digital payment systems will be installed for around 12 countries by early 2020.

Dubbed Project Libra, the plans for Facebook’s digital currency, nicknamed Facebook Coin, first surfaced late last year. Much speculation had surrounded its use and extent, but it is now understood that GlobalCoin will work together with banks to help people transfer dollars and other international currencies into a digital network for further use. Some co-founders are expected to launch the new association based in Switzerland in the coming weeks.

Venture capitalist Tim Draper is thought to be in discussions with Facebook to consider possible investments into the crypto project.

 

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Big Guns Speak Out in Favor of Bitcoin Investment Now

Big Guns Speak Out in Favor of Bitcoin Investment Now

Big guns in the industry, The Winklevoss Twins and Fundstradt’s Tom Lee have spoken out this week on Bitcoin’s “digital gold” potential, a topic they have all pushed before, and agree that now is the time to not sit on the fence when it comes to investing in Bitcoin.

Bitcoin entrepreneurs and Gemini founders Tyler and Cameron were renowned in sporting circles as a rowing pair who competed for the US in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. To those not familiar with crypto’s big guns, they are perhaps better known for suing Mark Zuckerberg in 2014 for supposedly stealing their Uconnect social networking concept which went on to become Facebook. The case netted them USD 65 million.

Cameron Winklevoss has reiterated his belief that currently, cryptocurrency is creating the foundations of a new financial system by adding some more spice to the argument this week, suggesting that:

 Some people think it’s crazy to invest in crypto. Maybe. But definitely not as crazy as sitting on the sidelines when the future of money is literally being built before your eyes. 

After a disturbing pullback to ~$6,200, #Bitcoin back >$8,000 further cementing positive trend intact.

As we said a few weeks ago, Consensus 2019 @coindesk was to prove whether crypto winter is over…

…confirmed pic.twitter.com/M8ni4g2YvX

— Thomas Lee (@fundstrat) May 19, 2019

Fundstrat Global Advisors’ head analyst, Tom Lee has also added his views speaking on ‘CNBC’s Markets Now’ saying that there is plenty to be optimistic about when it comes to Bitcoin’s current movement. Last month he predicted historic highs by 2020 for Bitcoin. Crypto Winter is officially over, according to Lee’s tweet on the weekend.

However, it should be noted that not all of Lee’s many predictions come good, particularly those made last year claiming that New York’s Consensus would boost the market. Last year’s event wasn’t his finest hour, predicting that it would boost Bitcoin to USD 25K by the end of 2018. In his defense he argued:

Bitcoin doesn’t have to go up every day to move from USD 8,000 to USD 25,000. The ten best days account for all the return of bitcoin in a year. If you didn’t own bitcoin for ten days each year, you lost 25 percent each year.”

 

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US Senate Banking Committee Requests Clarification on Facebook Cryptocurrency

US Senate Banking Committee Requests Clarification on Facebook Cryptocurrency

The CEO of social media giant Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg was sent an open letter from the United States Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban affairs, containing inquiries on the impact of Facebook’s new cryptocurrency relative to user’s privacy and data protection.

Per the letter, the Senate Banking Committee recently had its first hearing on Privacy Rights and Data Collection in a Digital Economy, following a feedback initiative conducted early this year on user’s information collected by financial parties, in order to assess the possible legislative infrastructure to trail as the digital asset industry grows.

Facebook came on to the committee’s radar while it sought out financial firms and online merchants to help launch its cryptocurrency. Moreover, according to the letter experts had expressed their concerns about Facebook’s privacy policy and practice, hence, the committee raised some questions of their own to determine whether or not the best privacy methodologies are being used.

The main questions revolved around how Facebook’s new cryptocurrency will work, and the status of Facebook’s consultations with financial regulators to ascertain the legal and regulatory implications of such a digital currency. Other questions involved Facebook’s privacy practices including data collection methodology, the use of collected data – especially as related to third-party systems, and the security of the data obtained from users.

No response to the questions sent to Facebook has been made public since the letter was sent on 9 May. However, considering that several privacy-related allegations that put the company in the spotlight for the most of 2018, which rippled into several data and privacy policy checks, Facebook’s handling of the situation will impact its crypto pet project.

It appears the social media giant may also be facing other daunting situations involving privacy matters elsewhere; which go on to intensify the importance of this letter. Moreover, speculations about the Facebook cryptocurrency to act as a stablecoin may attract even greater attention from regulatory bodies, given the recent scandal of major stablecoin Tether.

Facebook’s cryptocurrency codenamed ‘Project Libra’ has been in the works for a while now since the rumors surfaced last year, with the initial plan suggesting it would be a social cryptocurrency associated with its acquired social app WhatsApp. Recently, its recruitment activities have made frequent headlines, with the intention to loop-in financial institutions and online merchants to help push for the adoption of its cryptocurrency when launched.

Insights about the cryptocurrency being developed by Facebook are still vague and several parties close to the in-house project aren’t willing to share details about its developments due to binding non-disclosure. But one thing is certain, the Senate Banking Committee’s inquiry isn’t casual at all.

 

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