With non-financial businesses placing their bets on a crypto-powered future, goliaths such as Facebook, Nike and Microsoft are in the race to register patents and trademarks to lead the crypto-era. The social media giant, Facebook, recently made headlines for meeting the US Commodity and Futures Trading Commission [CFTC] over concretizing its crypto-stablecoin initiative, GlobalCoin. Although numerous crypto-companies have previously approached the government for mainstream acceptance, CFTC chairman Christopher Giancarlo, mentioned,“The goal (of the meeting) was to better understand Facebook’s crypto stablecoin’s potential under the CFTC’s regulatory remit.”
While Facebook’s stablecoin initiative managed to get the green light in its initial stages, the crypto-verse’s spread was crippled by tremendous resistance from key markets of the world, including India and China. In a more surprising turn of events, countries such as Venezuela have started accepting crypto to survive the fiat economic collapse.
Clearly, the world is ready and desperate for financial stability and independence (from the US) in most cases. What’s concerning for traditional financial institutions is the fact that Facebook’s GlobalCoin project, once active, would be accessible to the largest global customer base. While this would bolster the reinvention of cross-border asset transfers, Facebook would also bring new investors into the crypto-market.
The main factor for GlobalCoin’s anticipated global acceptance is its brand recognition and trust. Facebook recently amped up efforts for setting up an e-commerce presence within its app ‘Marketplace’, signaling a bigger roadmap for the crypto-future. While speculators took center stage, @Frances_Coppola tweeted,“Facebook’s proposed digital currency has nothing to do with cryptocurrency adoption and everything to do with challenging Amazon.”
Although Facebook’s stablecoin promises an increase in crypto-adoption, its widespread usage would be factored based on government acceptance. India, although leading the tech revolution, continues to restrict its banking authorities from supporting crypto, while smaller economies are being forced to adopt it. It is also important to note that the Facebook-acquired WhatsApp has over 200,000,000 users in India alone.
Despite the ban, a consistent YOY increase in India’s BTC trading volumes can be seen, signaling GlobalCoin’s tremendous potential. The new Finance Secretary, Subhash Chandra Garg, has even reportedly signaled his interest to re-discuss the status of cryptocurrency acceptance for the world’s largest democracy. As more countries adopt crypto, for better or worse, crypto is destined to redefine the existing financial structure. And, Facebook’s GlobalCoin may be at the head of this movement.
BBC Journalist Warns Crypto Traders After Losing $30K in Critical Mistake
A BBC journalist is sharing his story on how he lost $30,000 in Ethereum (ETH) in an effort to try and educate crypto newbies.
Business reporter Monty Munford says he decided to buy the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap in mid-2017.
“I chose it not for any other reason than it was second to Bitcoin by valuation and looked like it could emulate that 100,000% rise. So in the middle of 2017, I made some investments, figuring that it was a long-term plan and might even become a nest egg for a pension.”
Munford says the experience was “utterly terrifying” and after buying his Ethereum, he read about the frequency of crypto exchange hacks and decided to move his crypto to a wallet for safekeeping.
He chose MyEtherWallet and obtained the private key to his holdings – the string of letters and numbers he needed to access his crypto.
But then came the crucial mistake. Munford says he wrote the private key on a piece of paper and stored it in his Gmail drafts folder, so that he could access his crypto with ease. When the price of Ethereum shot up in late 2017, he decided to check his holdings, only to discover that all of his crypto had been moved to another address.
Munford contacted the US-based blockchain forensics company CipherBlade, and sent the results to Binance.
“The following morning I was contacted by Sussex’s cybercrime unit, my local force, and within a week they had received useful information from Binance. The unit tracked IP addresses to a telecoms company in the Netherlands, but there weren’t any personal identification details to be had – perhaps unsurprisingly.
The investigations continue, and my money remains stolen.”
Crypto thieves likely used a phishing scam to access Munford’s email or used malware to gain access to his computer, monitor his keystrokes and copy/paste his activities. Either way, Munford says he’s telling his story to let others know how careful they need to be with their private keys.
“So I’m left with my fingers burned, feeling like I wandered into a savage bazaar where criminals can pick your pocket at will. And get away with it. Please learn from my mistakes.”
What Caused the Abrupt Dissolving of Barclays’ 15 Month Relationship with Coinbase Crypto Exchange?
Latest reports confirm Barclays has ended its relationship with Coinbase, ending one of the crypto’s most fascinating partnerships, in mysterious circumstances.
The exchange replaced the household bank’s withdrawal and deposit functionalities by opening an account with a rising prodigy in U.K’s banking industry, Clearbank. While no official reports have sufficed we look at possible explanations why the two ended their relationship.
BEG reported in March 2018, a highly publicized partnership between Barclays and top crypto exchange, Coinbase, to connect the latter to the U.K. Faster Payments Scheme (FPS). This allowed U.K customers an instant platform to buy and sell cryptocurrencies on the exchange using the British Pound.
Following the dissolved partnership, U.K customers are witnessing slower transactions using the GBP. As at time of writing, neither company has commented on the matter.
Barclays low risk appetite or a mutual goodbye?
While the cause of dissolving the partnership still remains unclear, one insider familiar with the matter claims the bank’s “low risk appetite” for the crypto industry in general caused the split. He said,
“It is my understanding that Barclays’ risk appetite has contracted a little – I’m not sure exactly why or what’s been driving that, maybe there has been some activity they are not happy with.”
The CEO of a crypto company in the U.K further claims the bank does not have the stomach for any crypto company – at least at the moment. He said,
“But it’s about Barclays’ comfort level with crypto as a whole.”
A mutual goodbye…
However, different reports from Coindesk confirms that the two companies came to a mutual agreement to end the partnership citing the partnership had completed its work. This aligns with the recent developments– such as the addition of several cryptocurrencies – seen at Coinbase in the past few months.
Given the strict regulations that Barclays placed on the listing requirements of cryptos, the exchange is now adding quite a number of tokens on its platform following the split with Barclays. However, Clearbank, is not giving the exchange a freepass as it already sanctioned the removal of privacy coin, ZCash (ZEC) from the platform.
Barclays however have been showing signs of leaving the crypto sector with the bank temporarily closing the cryptocurrency trading desk in late October 2018.
IAMAI Makes Headway in Indian Crypto Ban Hearing
Looks like, the tide may turn in favour of cryptocurrency exchanges in India soon. The hearing for the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and exchanges started an hour back in the Supreme Court.
Ashim Sood, who is representing the IAMAI explained why banking support was necessary. The court asked, “Can’t you change your bank such as those which aint governed by RBI?” In answer to that, the counsel responded that only foreign banks are there and exchanges use that and there would be a problem with the outward remittance which is hit by FEMA regulation.
The counsel further added that the legality of the RBI circular was in question, since there was no study done by the institution, regarding cryptocurrencies. It further said, “Banking regulation Act prescribes the exercise of power by RBI only for the inner working of the Banks and for the interest of the depositors specifically in their capacity as depositors and not otherwise. RBI taking actions for general consumer interest is beyond legality.”
The judgement summarised by the counsel stated, “RBI cant step out of its powers as set out in Banking regulation Act. Therefore its action against private buisinesses in the form of 6th april circular is illegal.”
Sood further argued that the RBI itself had admitted that it does not have the jurisdiction to speak on the legality of Crypto as it is neither coins nor currency and RBI Act and Payment Settlements Act are not applicable on Cryptos. He added that banning or regulating something must be a legislative action and that the directive to do so, should have come under the legislature and not the RBI.
The judge countered that Section 45 J conferred power on the RBI to formulate policies, but the counsel argued that this was especially for Non Banking Financial Company (NBFC) whereas the case pertained only to banks.
The judge said that there is certain speculation involved when an exchange facilitates two people to buy and sell. The counsel for the IAMAI agreed and said it was similar to commodity trade, share market etc. People have consensus on its value. Currently, the judges are being shown how cryptocurrency regulations are being formulated in other countries such as European Union, China, France, Japan, Mexico, United States of America among others.
The counsel ended his arguments by saying that he knows there are detrimental effects to cryptocurrencies, but so does every technology. The hearing ended at this point and will resume on August 20.