Facebook Official Responds to Maxine Waters on Cryptocurrency Project 1041

Facebook Libra

David Marcus, the head of Facebook’s new cryptocurrency project, Libra, assured Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) that the company is “taking the time to do this right” after a group of Democratic lawmakers, including Waters, called for Facebook to halt its plans.

In a letter to Waters and other top members of the House Financial Services Committee, Marcus defended Libra’s mission and vowed to answer policymakers’ “important questions,” according to a copy of the letter obtained by The Hill on Tuesday ahead of planned hearings on the issue.

“I want to give you my personal assurance that we are committed to taking the time to do this right,” Marcus wrote.

The letter, dated July 3, is addressed to the group of Democratic lawmakers who last week called for a moratorium on Facebook’s Libra project. The House Financial Services Committee members, including Democratic Reps. Carolyn Maloney (N.Y.), Wm. Lacy Clay (Mo.), Al Green (Texas) and Stephen Lynch (Mass.) as well as Waters, panned Facebook’s history of privacy scandals and the potential for its new cryptocurrency to attract hackers.

Their letter called for Facebook to “cease implementation plans until regulators and Congress have an opportunity to examine these issues and take action,” saying a failure to do so “risks a new Swiss-based financial system that is too big to fail.”

In response to the group of critics, Marcus wrote, “We understand that big ideas take time, that policymakers and others are raising important questions, and that we can’t do this alone.”

“We want, and need, governments, central banks, regulators, non-profits, and other stakeholders at the table and value all of the feedback we have received,” he wrote.

Capitol Hill has responded to Facebook’s new cryptocurrency project with widespread skepticism and sharp pushback as lawmakers have said they are wary of the embattled company with billions of users launching its own currency.

A coalition of consumer groups quickly backed the calls for a moratorium, claiming the U.S. regulatory system is not prepared to take on such an expansive cryptocurrency project.

Waters, the chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, has offered some of the most scathing feedback.

“With the announcement that it plans to create a cryptocurrency, Facebook is continuing its unchecked expansion and extending its reach into the lives of its users,” Waters said in the statement, hitting Facebook over its alleged violation of consumer protection laws and ongoing data privacy controversies.

In the letter, Marcus noted that the Libra Association — the Switzerland-based nonprofit that will operate the cryptocurrency — released its plans early in order to field questions and concerns from policymakers. Facebook says it will only be one member of the Libra Association, meaning the company will not retain singular control over the digital currency.

Libra is backed by dozens of powerful businesses, including Mastercard and Uber, and is slated to launch next year. Libra has branded itself as an effort to aid the “unbanked,” the estimated 1.7 billion people who do not have access to traditional banking.

Previous ArticleNext Article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

China Stablecoin and Trading Appetite Dwarfs Global Demand 6811

China

On-chain data shows Tether movements hitting a new all-time-high for 2Q19 with one month left on the calendar for the period. What is most striking, however, is the volume coming in and out of Chinese exchanges dwarfs western and global trading venues and accounts for more than half of the total transaction value of known parties.

Data provided to Diar by blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis highlights the magnitude of Chinese Tether demand with over $16Bn received by exchanges based in that market in 2018. This year the number has already surpassed an outstanding $10Bn, setting the stage for the biggest year yet.

2019 to date flows into exchanges catering primarily for Chinese traders beat the $7Bn of all the transactional value for 2017.

Tether on-chain movements stateside account for a tiny 3% of known volumes at $450Mn, more than $10Bn less than flows sent and received by Chinese exchanges.

And the demand is on the rise. In the 2018 bear market, Chinese exchanges accounted for 39% of all known on-chain transaction value for Tether. This year to date, the red dragon is responsible for a whopping 60%.

Global exchanges like Binance and Bitfinex have a share equivalent to half that at 31%, dropping from the 47% share seen for both 2017 and 2018.

US-based exchanges saw their share of the stablecoin demand/trading drop from 44% in 2017 to less than 10% in 2018.

This isn’t a matter of cashing out. The stablecoin movements on-chain are just shy of netting out between sent and received funds, indicating a cyclical nature and trading desire across all exchanges. The on/off nature is likely due to custody reasons from potential exchange hack concerns (see chart 3).

This similar character in the net balance of sent and received funds globally and across all regions suggests legitimate flows. There is no disparity or alternative behavior in the movement of Tethers sent to Chinese exchanges versus the transactions sent to regulated US-based trading venues.

On-chain movements out of China are telling and in stark contrast to what the industry now perceives as nothing more than fake volume following an extensive report by Bitwise, an asset management firm that filed for a Bitcoin Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Bitwise, which looked into 83 exchanges, found a mere 10 to be compliant across its own tests. And there are clear examples of dubious trading volumes that resemble simple algorithms filling up order books that fall far from reputable exchange trading trends.

On-Chain transactional volume in 2019 has gone up in unison with reported trading volumes.

While it may not be comparing apples to apples, it’s not comparing apples to oranges either. Massive amounts of funds are being moved into exchanges in China for no other purpose than trading. Even a single trade of Tethers moved onto Chinese exchanges would equal daily volumes equivalent to $215Mn for the month of April (the period Bitwise analyzed), which is three times as much as Coinbase and on par with Binance (see chart 5). This does not even take into account funds sitting on the exchanges.

The similarities in percentages of reported trading volume versus Tethers moved on and off exchanges is certainly not proof-of-innocence (POI) nor vindicating of potential wash trading and fake volumes.

But in consideration of the billions in Tethers moved on-chain in China that towers over US and world market transactional value, the estimate by Bitwise of 95% of cryptocurrency trading volume being fake is also likely to be far off the mark, possibly by magnitudes.

EOS is now available on Coinbase 7128

EOS

Starting today, Coinbase supports EOS (EOS) at Coinbase.com and in the Coinbase Android and iOS apps. Coinbase customers can now buy, sell, convert, send, receive, or store EOS.

EOS will be available for customers in most jurisdictions, but will not initially be available for residents of the United Kingdom or the state of New York. Additional jurisdictions may be added at a later date.

EOS (EOS)

EOS is a cryptocurrency designed to support large-scale decentralized applications. There are no fees to send or receive EOS. Instead, the protocol requires EOS to use resources like RAM, CPU, and network bandwidth. It also rewards the entities that run the network periodically with new EOS, effectively substituting inflation for transaction fees.

One of the most common requests we hear from customers is to be able to buy and sell more cryptocurrencies on Coinbase. In September, we announced a new process for listing assets, designed in part to accelerate the addition of more cryptocurrencies. We are also investing in new tools to help people understand and explore cryptocurrencies. We launched informational asset pages (see EOS here), as well as a new section of the Coinbase website to answer common questions about crypto.

You can sign up for a Coinbase account here to buy, sell, convert, send, receive, or store EOS today.

TrustED and Binance Launch Service, First ICO Offering With Binance Chain 7388

Binance Chain

What is likely the biggest cryptocurrency event worldwide, Consensus 2019, has just concluded. The exhibition included several keynotes from high profile speakers, breakout sessions, and thousands of noteworthy guests, including BitForex’s head of Business Development, Jason Luo. Main topics for discussion at the event included Cryptocurrency regulations, blockchain for the public sector, sanctions, and much more. Several networking events were scheduled, allowing industry professionals to make new connections, and share ideas & opportunities.

Although Consensus may be the largest event of its kind, there are other contrasting conferences in which cryptocurrency has a place. Benefiting from a more diverse audience of professionals, K.E.Y Platform in South Korea sees hundreds of attendants from both economic and political sectors come together to discuss “New Markets” — including future development trends, artificial intelligence, trade wars, Brexit, as well as blockchain. An excellent opportunity to help bring cryptocurrency and the surrounding movement into mainstream acceptance.

As the only representative of the Blockchain industry present in what remains one of the most important and sizeable cryptocurrency markets of the world, BitForex CEO Garrett Jin took to the stage to share his thoughts, visions, and future predictions for the development of the cryptocurrency industry, and the role of crypto exchanges in modern finance both in South Korea and beyond.

His panel was dedicated to the role of cryptocurrency exchanges, not just as a place to exchange tokens, but as a full-scale solution for digital currency deployment, and how this could play a pivotal role in the near future when considered as a new market for South Korea. Also present at this event was Lee Nak-yeon, current Prime Minister of South Korea, emphasizing the degree of seriousness with which the conference was held.

It is through events such as these that cryptocurrency gains both mainstream acceptance and momentum — by raising awareness in high-level professional environments, as well as on the consumer level and with the all-important userbase.

Following the event, BitForex has expanded its operations team in Korea, as the cryptocurrency market there is among the 5 biggest globally. Registered users from Korea on BitForex currently approaches one million, and the exchange aims to double that number in 2019 as it continues growing its already significant Korean presence. This will allow BitForex to continue bringing unparalleled service to its Korean users, and in neighboring regions — bringing cryptocurrency further into the mainstream market.

Price Analysis: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Binance Coin 8687

Analysts believe that the rally in Bitcoin might witness a short-term blip but is likely to resume its up-move and reach $9,659 by year’s end. The reason for the rise can be attributed to various positive developments in the crypto field and also to the ongoing trade war between the top two economies of the world, China and the United States. Digital Currency Group founder Barry Silbert believes that Bitcoin is acting like a safe haven, as it has done in the past during Brexit and Grexit.

The current recovery from the lows was backed by strong institutional flows, as indicated by the record volumes on the Bitcoin derivatives exchanges. Along with the different cryptocurrencies, stablecoins are also being sought by traders. According to crypto research firm Diar, the market capitalization of stablecoins has topped $4 billion. Even with all the controversy surrounding it, Tether continues to be the leader with trading volumes in 2019 already exceeding that of the entirety of 2018.

Early backers of EOS are likely to make huge returns on their initial investments if they sell out in the buyback offer announced by Block.one. The seed round in 2017 had valued the company at $40 million, while the buyback offer values the company at $2.3 billion.

BTC/USD

Bitcoin (BTC) continues to be in an uptrend. Both the moving averages are sloping up and the RSI is in positive territory. This suggests that the bulls are in command. However, after a sharp rally, a minor correction or a consolidation is to be expected.

BTC/USD

The bulls are finding it difficult to breakout of the overhead resistance at $8,496.53, but on the downside, the bulls are buying the dips to the 20-day EMA. Until either level is crossed, the BTC/USD pair is likely to remain range bound for the next few days.

Contrary to our assumption, if the pair breaks out and closes (UTC time frame) above the overhead resistance, a rally to $10,000 will be in the cards. However, we do not expect this level to be crossed in a hurry.

On the downside, a break below the 20-day EMA and $6,933.90 support zone can plunge the pair to $5,900. This is an important level to watch on the downside because if it breaks, the trend will turn in favor of the bears. We will wait for a new buy setup to form before recommending a trade in it.

ETH/USD

Ethereum (ETH) has been trading in a tight range of $220–$270 for the past five days. The trend remains bullish as both the moving averages are sloping up and the RSI is close to the overbought zone.

ETH/USD

If the ETH/USD pair breaks out of $270, it can move up to $290.92. Above this level, a rally to the next resistance zone of $300–$322 is probable. The 20-day EMA will act as a strong support on the downside, below which, a dip to the 50-day SMA is likely. The bears have not been able to close (UTC time frame) below the 50-day SMA since breaking above it on February 17. Hence, a dip below this support will indicate weakness.

XRP/USD

The bulls are struggling to sustain Ripple (XRP) above $0.40. This shows profit booking at higher levels. A failure to break out of $0.45 will indicate a loss of momentum. A break below the 20-day EMA can result in a fall to $0.33108. If this support also gives way, the digital currency can slide to $0.27795.

XRP/USD

Conversely, if the XRP/USD pair rebounds off the 20-day EMA, it can rise to $0.45 and if this level is crossed, a new uptrend is likely. The level to watch on the upside is $0.60 with minor resistances at $0.50 and $0.55.

The 20-day EMA is trending up and the RSI is in the positive territory, which suggests that the bulls have a minor advantage. Therefore, traders can hold their long positions with the stops at $0.2750.

BCH/USD

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) turned down from close to $450 for the third time on May 21. The zone between $450 and the resistance line of the channel is likely to act as a stiff resistance. If the bulls scale this resistance zone, a rally to $600 is probable.

BCH/USD

On the other hand, if the bears sink the BCH/USD pair below the 20-day EMA, it can drop to the support line of the channel. A breakdown of the channel will signal weakness. Currently, bulls have the upper hand as both the moving averages are sloping up and the RSI is in the positive zone.

EOS/USD

EOS has made an inside day candlestick pattern for the past two days. This shows indecision between the bulls and the bears. If the bulls reassert their supremacy, a rally to $6.8299 is probable. A breakout of this level can push the price to $9.00.

EOS/USD

Conversely, if the bears sink the EOS/USD pair below $5.78, a drop to the 50-day SMA is likely. If this level also fails to support the pair, it can drop to the critical level of $4.4930. We expect this level to hold. If that happens, the cryptocurrency will remain stuck inside the large range of $4.4930–$6.8299 for the next few days.

LTC/USD

Litecoin (LTC) has been trading close to the breakout level of $91 for the past two days. The small trading range of the past two days shows indecision. If the price bounces off $84.3439, it will again try to move up to $107. Above this level, the next target is $158.91

LTC/USD

On the other hand, if the LTC/USD pair fails to break out of the overhead resistance, it might remain range bound for a few days. The pair will turn negative if the $84.3439–$74.6054 support zone breaks down. Therefore, the stops on the long positions can be kept at $70.

Currently, with both the moving averages trending up and the RSI above 50, the advantage is with the bulls. However, the developing negative divergence on the RSI is a red flag.

BNB/USD

Though Binance Coin (BNB) did not breakout of the resistance line on May 21, it has not given up much ground. Both the moving averages are sloping up and the RSI is in the overbought zone. This shows that the bulls are firmly in the driver’s seat.

BNB/USD

A breakout of the resistance line can propel the BNB/USD pair to $40.2919564. But if the pair reverses direction from the current levels, it can dip to the 20-day EMA, which should provide support. Below this, the next strong support is at the 50-day SMA. A breakdown of this support will signal a deeper correction.

XLM/USD

Stellar (XLM) has turned down from the overhead resistance of $0.147620. It can now fall to the 20-day EMA, which is likely to offer some support. If the digital currency bounces off the 20-day EMA, it will attempt to ascend the overhead resistance once again.

XLM/USD

On the other hand, if the bears sink the XLM/USD pair below the moving averages, it can drop to $0.088542. The 50-day SMA is flat and the 20-day EMA is also flattening out. This points to a consolidation in the next few days.

The trend will turn bullish on a break out and close (UTC time frame) above $0.14861760. The next target to watch on the upside is $0.22466773. We will wait for the price to sustain above $0.14861760 before recommending a trade in it.

ADA/USD

Cardano (ADA) is trying to hold above the moving averages for the past five days. However, failure to rebound from the strong support shows a lack of demand at higher levels. If the bears break below the moving averages, the digital currency will weaken and can decline to the next support at $0.057898.

ADA/USD

Conversely, if the ADA/USD pair bounces off the moving averages, the bulls will again try to break out of the overhead resistance at $0.094256. If successful, it will complete the rounding bottom pattern that has a target objective of $0.161275. Hence, we retain the buy recommendation given in an earlier analysis.

TRX/USD

Tron (TRX) has been consistently rising above $0.02815521 for the past three days but is struggling to hold on to higher levels. The price is stuck at the breakout level. If the bulls succeed in sustaining the digital currency above $0.02815521, it can move up to the next target objective of $0.040. If this level is crossed, the next level to watch on the upside is $0.050. Therefore, traders can keep the stop loss on the long positions at $0.0209.

TRX/USD

Contrary to our expectation, if the TRX/USD pair breaks down of the moving averages, it will lose momentum and can drop to the support at $0.02094452. In such a case, the pair might remain range bound for a few days. The 20-day EMA is marginally sloping up and the RSI is just above 50, which suggests that the bulls have a slight advantage.

Market data is provided by the HitBTC exchange. Charts for analysis are provided by TradingView.

Outstanding Stablecoins, Spot Trading Volumes Hit Record 8661

Stablecoins have hit an all-time high with over $4Bn tokens representing the Greenback now on the blockchain. While Tether dominance remains, new stablecoins that came to market recently have made leapfrogs of progress. And trading volumes have already in less than 5 months beat that of last year’s record with 2019 set to dwarf the now infamous bear market in comparison.


This year to date has seen trading volumes with Tether pairs already exceeding a whopping $1.3 Trillion – $200Mn more than all of last year (see chart 3). Despite the transparency concerns of a now diversified reserve, the dominating market stablecoin has not budged traders from using it as it remains to have the most liquidity and options across cryptocurrency exchanges (Diar, 30 April).

While there is a leering concern of wash trading on unregulated and under-regulated exchanges, current volumes at this magnitude could also indicate a growing difficulty in market manipulation, should it be the case.

|| SLOW AND STEADY WINS A BULL MARKET RACE

Last year’s stablecoin newcomers have not been slouches either. Circle/Coinbase backed USDC has seen its outstanding tokenized version of the US Dollar grow by 41% since the start of the year – north of $100Mn. And trading volumes have finally managed to pick up some speed clocking in a whopping 435% increase (see table, chart 1).

|| GROWING IN TANDEM

TrustToken’s USD, one of the few stablecoin options on the market at the start of last year has seen growth, albeit, smaller than USDC. Still, TUSD has recorded $3.8Bn in trading volume for May, a little over $200Mn than their closest rival. Notably, though, is that TUSD has a higher velocity marking it a favorite by traders as the stablecoin has 30% less in outstanding reserves than Centre’s USDC.

|| BLOCKCHAIN BILLIONS

Major stablecoins now stand north of $4Bn, with more fiat options coming to market, primarily offerings from TrustToken. The company has announced a plethora of new fiat-pegged tokens, but have so far garnered little interest as trading pairs and a forex market does not exist as of yet.

|| BLOCKCHAIN UNUTILIZED

Though numbers impressive, the use case of stablecoins have found little appeal outside of sitting on centralized exchanges. USDC has indeed seen an impressive 540% increase in active addresses on-chain versus the start of the year. And TrustUSD is not very far behind on this metric either. But the absolute maximum addresses using the blockchain have been a mere 5500 at peak on a single day for the two majors outside of Tether.

|| NEW AVENUE PUSH

Last week saw Coinbase make its largest market push yet opening up crypto-to-crypto trading, including USDC, to another 50 countries bringing up the tally to an impressive 103 from 32 just a year ago (Diar, 11 February).

The popular exchange has now invested and built out its own vision of an ‘Open Financial System’ through various avenues from a non-custodial wallet, to supporting major Decentralized Finance (DeFi) companies that have garnered much attention as of late.

And while the experiment still continues as to the long-term stability of these various decentralized applications, the infrastructure is slowly coming together. However, with a focus remaining on distressed economies, the growth and use-case is likely to remain small without developed nations also adopting into the concept.

IOTA Partners With luxury Fashion Brand to Use DLT for Supply Chain 9761

IOTA, the German blockchain foundation, is launching a DLT solution to enable a more sustainable and ethically-sourced fashion industry alongside global manufacturing company Avery Dennison, they shared with The Block. The platform will be trialled by luxury label ALYX to allow its customers full insights into the supply chain. Customers will be able to track the journey of the purchased item, from creation to the point of sale, with an app which reads items’ QR codes. IOTA’s DLT will record the garment’s origins, production date, and raw materials, allowing users to authenticate the product and check its sustainability credentials.

“Brands and consumers can know that the information they are being shown about the garment’s creation process is 100% accurate and can be trusted implicitly. This is a watershed moment for improving brand transparency and trust,” said Debbie Shakespeare, senior director of sustainability and compliance at Avery Dennison. Shakespeare added that by adding a blockchain layer, consumers would have “uncompromisable data.” While the companies have run a series of internal pilots, the partnership is one of the first public proofs-of-concept of the platform