Halt Libra? US Lawmakers Call for Hearings on Facebook’s Crypto

The head of the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee wants Facebook to stop developing its new Libra cryptocurrency network – at least temporarily. Congresswoman Maxine Waters asked Facebook to halt development of the Libra Network until hearings can be held. The move follows a letter written to her by her Republican counterpart, Representative Patrick McHenry. McHenry wrote, “We know there are many open questions as to the scope and scale of the project and how it will conform to our global financial regulatory framework,” adding: “It is incumbent upon…

IBM Announces New Multicloud Update to Blockchain

IBM has announced upgrades to its Blockchain Platform, according to a report by Ledger Insights on June 18. The new IBM Blockchain Platform will reportedly be able to run on multiple cloud networks, such as major tech corporation Microsoft’s Azure or Amazon Web Services (AWS). This is apparently the main upgrade over its previous iteration, which was available solely through IBM’s cloud. The multicloud platform will be available via Kubernetes, a container program that will reportedly allow users to scale their blockchain networks as needed. One of the main upshots…

Italy’s Banks to Use Blockchain to Boost Settlements and Improve Transparency

Italian banks will deploy blockchain technology to run reconciliations starting in March 2020, financial technology news outlet Finextra reported on June 18. The Italian Banking Association (ABI) has announced that Italy’s banks will integrate distributed ledger technology (DLT) into internal processes to boost settlements. The deployment of blockchain is also set to improve transparency in transactions between banks and efficiency of communication between counterparties. The initiative comes as part of a program managed by ABI Lab dubbed Spunta Project, a blockchain interbank solution based on blockchain consortium R3’s open-source distributed…

Brazilian BTC Exchange Faces Numerous Lawsuits From Clients Unable to Access Funds

Clientele from multiple states in Brazil have filed lawsuits against bitcoin (BTC) investments firm Bitcoin Bank Group for inaccessible crypto funds, according to a report by Cointelegraph Brasil on June 18. The lawsuits are reportedly over issues with users being unable to withdraw funds from the BBG’s associated cryptocurrency exchange, Paraná-based NegocieCoins. As of press time, the page for NegocieCoins on crypto market information website CoinMarketCap shows the following message regarding the ongoing issue: “We have received reports that user deposits and withdrawals are impeded. Please be careful with your…

Facebook’s Cryptocurrency Is a Nail in the Coffin for ‘Blockchain Not Bitcoin’

Edan Yago is the founder of CementDAO, an effort to bring together stablecoins into a unified ecosystem. The views expressed here are his own. With the announcement of Libra, cryptocurrency has entered the big leagues. Facebook’s entry into this market means every single company now has to take cryptocurrency seriously. Companies around the world are now considering their cryptocurrency strategy. This is not a repeat of the corporate circle-jerks of 2015 and 2017. Then, companies played with the idea of having a “blockchain” strategy. Blockchain was a buzzword and companies…

Global Banking Giant HSBC Launches Tokenization-Based Receivables System for India

Major global banking group HSBC has implemented tokenization technology into its receivables infrastructure for corporate clients in India, according to an announcement on June 18. The British multinational financial services company has reportedly launched its Digital Accounts Receivable Tool (HSBC DART), based on tokenization technology developed by Australian blockchain-powered Fintech company Identitii Ltd., the firm said in the announcement. According to the statement, HSBC DART was developed for HSBC’s Global Liquidity and Cash Management (GLCM) business and deploys Identitii’s approach to tokenization within HSBC’s existing infrastructure of receivables to enhance…

Facebook Has Yet to Answer US Lawmakers’ Questions About Libra Crypto

Facebook is still working on its responses to a plethora of consumer protection questions about the Libra cryptocurrency asked by a group of U.S. senators last month. The Senate Banking Committee wrote an open letter to Facebook at the beginning of May, asking the social media giant a number of questions about Libra, after word of the project leaked out in the press. The questions primarily centered around user privacy and data protection, though a few concerned the cryptocurrency network itself. After months of speculation and rumors, the company formally unveiled…

A New Bitcoin Exchange On the Colombian-Venezuelan Border Will Help Refugees

A new cryptocurrency exchange service is available on the border between Colombia and Venezuela, and its aim is to help refugees traveling across the Simon Bolivar International Bridge. Visitors are now able to use the point-of-sale service with cryptocurrencies to buy goods. The POS is located in Santander, Colombia, just across the border from Venezuela. Panda Group created the payment alternative with refugees in mind. The group, a Columbian-Venezuela joint venture, announced the implementation of the new service through their Twitter account. Ya llego a la Parada el primer @pandabtm…

New Research Targets a Big Worry for Some Blockchains: Double-Spent Transactions

A trio of researchers say they’ve discovered a way to detect and punish dishonest blockchain participants, according to a paper published at the end of May. “The (virtual) gold rush is on, and as in the Wild West of yore, the outlaws are ever present,” states the paper, entitled Polygraph: Accountable Byzantine Agreement.  The authors — Vincent Gramoli and Pierre Civit of the University of Sydney, and Seth Gilbert of the National University of Singapore — developed the Polygraph protocol, which automates accountability in blockchains to hold participants accountable for double…

French Minister of Economy to Ask for Guarantees From Facebook In Regards to Its Forthcoming Coin

French Minister of the Economy and Finance intends to “ask for guarantees” from Facebook in regards to its forthcoming digital currency Libra, media outlet Europe 1 reported on June 18. The Minister of the Economy and Finance, Bruno Le Maire told Europe 1 that Facebook’s long-awaited stablecoin Libra is an “attribute of the sovereignty of the States” and should “remain in the hands of the States and not of the private companies which answer to private interests”. Le Maire stated that he will “ask for guarantees” from the social media…