Bitfinex, currently most controversial cryptocurrency exchange, announced that the New York Supreme Court Judge Joel M. Cohen granted the firms’ motion for an immediate stay on the documents demanded by the New York Attorney General. This motion was filed along with the firms’ motion to dismiss the NYAGs investigation, considering that the platform does not provide any services to the people of New York.
To add on, Bitfinex and Tether claimed that the Martin Act was not applicable to their businesses, with their main stance being that the Attorney General has failed to prove Tether as a commodity or a security. The blog post published by Bitfinex stated,“Bitfinex and Tether filed a motion to dismiss the proceeding brought by the New York Attorney General’s office on the grounds that […] (3) the Martin Act cannot be used extraterritorially to compel a foreign corporation to produce documents stored overseas.”
However, the exchange will be required to disclose documents and information that would be “relevant to the limited issue of whether there is personal jurisdiction over the companies in New York but staying the document order in all other respects.” While one of the motions was granted, the motion to dismiss the case was scheduled to 29th July 2019.
Bitfinex further stated,“We welcome Justice Cohen’s decision, which reflects that our motion raises significant legal challenges to the validity of the Attorney General’s actions. This order is another victory in the ongoing defence of our businesses against the New York Attorney General’s overreach […]”
In its Memorandum of Law document, the firms had clearly stated that the Attorney General would not succeed, emphasizing that the Martin Act does not apply to Tether as it covered “only transactions in ‘securities or commodities’.” More so, it stated that the Attorney General has so far failed to prove that Tether was either, claiming that the Howey Test does not apply to the coin as it is a stablecoin.
Facebook unveils cryptocurrency Libra; aims to create a simple global currency, financial infrastructure
Facebook, the social media giant, officially unveiled its much-anticipated cryptocurrency today with the launch of its official website and whitepaper. The cryptocurrency will be called Libra and will be built on the Libra blockchain, according to the whitepaper. Notably, Libra blockchain implements LibraBFT consensus protocol, “a variant of HotStuff Byzantine Fault Tolerant consensus protocol.”
The social media giant expects to launch the cryptocurrency in the first half of next year, while the testnet is now live and can be reviewed on GitHub.
The whitepaper stated,
“Libra is a simple global currency and financial infrastructure that empowers billions of people. Libra is made up of three parts […] 1. It is built on a secure, scalable, and reliable blockchain; 2. It is backed by a reserve of assets designed to give intrinsic value; 3. It is governed by the independent Libra Association tasked with evolving the ecosystem.”
The main organization that will be working towards the growth and development of the cryptocurrency is the Libra Association, an independent non-profit organization headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. The association consists of well-known venture capital firms, non-profit organizations, technology service providers, and financial firms. This includes Coinbase, PayPal, VISA, Stripe, eBay, Spotify, Xapo, Facebook’s Calibra, Vodafone, Union Square Ventures and Mastercard. These members would be operating and maintaining the network’s node, and manage the cryptocurrency’s reserve, Libra Reserve.
Further, the association will be making decisions pertaining to the cryptocurrency and its ecosystem via a voting mechanism. Every member of the association has the right to cast a vote on decisions on Libra, where each member would be able to cast only one vote or 1 percent of the total votes, whichever is greater.
The social media giant also addressed concerns surrounding the launch of the cryptocurrency, Privacy, on Libra’s official website. It stated,
“The Libra Association recognizes the importance of privacy on the public blockchain – but also recognizes the risks of misuse. The association itself is not involved in processing transactions and does not store any personal data of Libra users.
It further said,
“When stored on the Libra Blockchain, a transaction will be associated with metadata containing the time the transaction was committed to the blockchain and the validator node that added the transaction to the blockchain. Transactions do not contain links to a user’s real-world identity.
Winklevoss twins foresee FAANG coins in the future as Facebook’s Libra threatens Gemini’s market
As global markets collectively hold their breath awaiting the Libra whitepaper, which has the potential to change the face of finance, technology, social media, and payments world as we know it, some are masking their fear in predictions. Facebook is on the brink of finally unveiling their GlobalCoin project, as well as a list of Project Libra’s official backers, and old foes are not pleased.
Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, spearheads of the Gemini Exchange and the stablecoin project of the same name, don’t seem too pleased with the prospects of a Facebook-made coin, a company they famously sued in 2004. Further, the Menlo Park giant’s plan of channeling this “GlobalCoin” via their messaging application and backing the same by a basket of fiat currencies puts it firmly in the fold of the stablecoins. This threatens the cause of the Gemini Dollar [GUSD] as well.
With the launch of the Libra project only hours away, the twins mulled over the prospects of another premier coin arising from other top non-crypto inclined companies. Taking a cue from Zuckerberg’s Facebook, other top companies could release their own version of cryptocurrencies, predicted both Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss in a series of tweets.
Tyler posed the same as a question, hinting at the possibility of the torch being passed from Menlo Park, California to Seattle, Washington, the home of the largest e-commerce company in the world, Amazon. Tyler tweeted,
Cameron issued a tweet of his own, responding to Tyler’s question by saying,
Prediction: ever FAANG company will have its own coin within 24 months.
— Cameron Winklevoss (@winklevoss) June 17, 2019
Here, FAANG stands for the top tech companies of the industry, namely, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google.
If this does turn out to be true, we might be seeing Jeff Bezos taking a cue from Zuckerberg and following the zodiac terminology, by launching something like Amazon Leo [AML] token in the future.
It was not too long ago when the Gemini founders were hailed within the cryptocurrency space for their adoption efforts through their partnership with the payments start-up Flexa. Through this collaboration, the likes of Starbucks, Whole Foods and Nordstrom began accepting crypto, a major retail breakthrough for the industry.
Despite the news being a month old, the Winklevoss twins adoption miracle is firmly in the rear-view mirror, with Facebook’s Libra stealing the limelight.
With Libra soon to be operational, essentially as a basket-backed stablecoin platformed on the biggest messaging application in the world and, as rumors go, pushed into one of the biggest messaging, payments and remittance markets in the world, India, other stablecoins will have to be wary. Gemini, a recent entrant into the stablecoin space, will have a lot to worry about given the fact that the likes of Tether [USDT] and USD Coin [USDC] do not look likely to fall to Libra anytime soon.
Only time will tell what the exact intentions of the Libra project are. Will they mount the retail world as a digital equivalent for fiat, will remittance be their sole objective given the target markets or, with an eye towards the growing $300 billion cryptocurrency market, will they overhaul the stablecoin world altogether?
As Zodiac signs go, Gemini concludes on June 21. However, with the imminent launch of Facebook’s Libra, many predict the twins’ time has come.
South American e-commerce platform to reportedly integrate Facebook’s Libra for user payments
In their quest to release their much-awaited cryptocurrency, Facebook has been consistently active in the virtual asset ecosystem over the past few days. Facebook had recently announced the introduction of the Libra Association on June 18th, which was indicated to be the operating unit of Libra crypto.
Now, according to Cointrust.com, Facebook is collaborating with Mercado Libre, an e-commerce portal that provides services in South America and currently operates in more than 19 countries.
The report stated that an anonymous executive of Mercado Libre revealed that the virtual asset associated with Facebook would be integrated within the e-commerce platform and it would be enabled to serve as a mode of payment for the purchase of goods on its platform.
The newly established pact could have massive potential output in terms of rapid expansion of the yet-to-be released Facebook crypto, since the option to use the asset would be available to a large part of South America.
A recent report had suggested that the testnet for Facebook’s Libra coin would be released this week and there was also news that the social media giant had already gathered massive support from top financial firms and companies such as PayPal, Mastercard, Uber, and Visa.
Facebook’s crypto has been the “talk of the town” in the virtual asset space over the past couple of weeks, with many speculating whether Facebook’s crypto would be a threat to Bitcoin or not.
Mark Mahaney and Zachary Schwartzman, RBC Capital analysts, also opined on the impending launch and said that Facebook’s Libra coin would be a revolutionary event in the company’s history, claiming that the initiative would “unlock new engagement and revenue streams.”
However, the community remains convinced that the launch will hardly hinder Bitcoin’s prominence in the market. Instead, many have suggested that Facebook’s crypto will accelerate Bitcoin adoption.