German finance minister Olaf Scholz has officially joined the media fracas surrounding Facebook’s cryptocurrency efforts, according to a Reuters report.
Echoing other public officials who have struck critical tones in recent days, Scholz called upon regulators to examine the social media company’s Libra project. Scholz reportedly raised concerns about consumer protection and the potential disruption in the eurozone.
He was quoted as saying:
“The euro is and remains the only legal means of payment in the euro area.”
This point is in line with comments made by France’s finance minister, Bruno Le Maire, following Libra’s unveiling.
“It is out of question’’ that Libra be allowed to “become a sovereign currency,” he said at the time. “It can’t and it must not happen.”
The introduction of widely-accessible digital assets may interfere with states’ ability to manage their economies through monetary policy, according to Scholz. “The issuance of a currency does not belong in the hands of a private company because this is a core element of state sovereignty,” Scholz said.
In June, Markus Ferber, a member of the European Parliament, also called for regulatory scrutiny of Facebook to stop the multinational from operating as a “shadow bank.”
Scholz alluded to efforts underway by German authorities and their allies to “ensure financial stability, consumer protection and the prevention of entry-gates for money laundering and terrorist financing,” Reuters reports. As previously reported, an international regulatory task force was arranged between the Group of Seven (G7) nations.
This public address from a European authority comes as the U.S. Senate Banking Committee hears testimony regarding the Facebook’s exploration of cryptocurrencies.
BITPAY TO ACCEPT ETHEREUM PAYMENTS OUT OF ‘DESPERATION’?
BITCOIN MAXIMALISTS UNIMPRESSED WITH BITPAY
The move, potentially diversifying crypto payments, immediately found a response with WhalePanda, an influential Bitcoin Maximalist. He called the move a form of “desperation”, recalling earlier dismissal of the Ethereum network.
BitPay has received criticism for years and has faced multiple troubles in bringing BTC payments to merchants. An era of high fees caused BitPay to drop clients, as well as institute a minimum $100 payment.
More lately, the firm had to comply with anti-money-laundering requirements, requiring customer KYC for any purchase above $1,000. BitPay was also rather restrictive of BTC payments, recently rejecting a donation of $100,000. The reason was that AML rules meant the user had a lower transaction limit.
ETHEREUM FEES GROWING WITH NETWORK OVERLOAD
Currently, ETH is a coin widely accepted for payments and is rather liquid. But BitPay adds ETH just at a moment when fees on the network are growing, and transactions may lag due to overload. The Ethereum network carries several highly active games and smart contracts, including that of Tether (USDT). This load sometimes prevents regular transfers of ETH from moving fast.
The payments processor, however, believes ETH is “the next logical choice”.
“BitPay is consistently at the forefront of using cryptocurrency to solve real-world problems and offer our global customers the best options to accept and pay with multiple blockchain assets,” said Stephen Pair, CEO of BitPay in a publicity statement. “As one of the largest cryptocurrencies by market cap and one used by thousands of companies, Ethereum is the next logical choice.”
Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum, also greeted the acceptance of ETH as a payment token:
BitPay already offers payments in stablecoins, including USD Coin (USDC), Gemini Dollar (GUSD), Paxos Standard Token (PAX). The network requires account registration and also offers various forms of fintech-powered fiat payments.
The addition of ETH gave a boost to its market price. ETH extended the recent rally, almost touching the $200 level. On Tuesday, ETH traded at $198.75. ETH has shown signs of decoupling from BTC, potentially increasing its influence.
David Marcus, the Head of Facebook’s Libra, Says Libra will not be a threat to Monetary Sovereignty
David Marcus, Previous PayPal president and the Head of Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency, has taken to twitter by opposing the idea that the digital currency will make threats against monetary Authority of sovereign countries.
Nevertheless, David Marcus has turned out to disprove these worries. Further, he wrote in an expansive Twitter thread that, asserting that at its center, Libra is intended to be a ” better payment network and system running on top of existing currencies” for a worldwide audience, not an altogether new model to fulfill the world’s needs.
Instead of testing the current framework, Marcus accepts that Libra will be a tool for development. Moreover, he presented that Libra is a stablecoin getting its value from a container of fiat currencies. Besides, with the goal for Libra to stay as a specific type of payment, it depends upon the success of national fiat, as opposed to making a well organized new type of currency.
Furthermore, the advancement of the Libra has raised serious worries among regulators over how it will be directed. Prior this month, a member of the board of the ECB (European Central Bank) forewarned that the Libra virtual currency could in specific situations negatively influence the bank’s capacity to regulate the single market and the Euro.
Predominantly, governments have overlooked Bitcoin. While the cryptocurrency supporters consider it to be the future of finance and currency, with the possibility to take over fiat currencies as we are aware of them today, governments did not go with the flow. Almost certainly, they look BTC as merely a criminal’s device or a type of money for those on the margins.
One of their first remark with the idea that Libra could hypothetically be used by criminals hoping to harm is that this Facebook supported crypto resource, because of its vast presumable network at launch will be compared to new fiat currency in a global context. Succinctly put, the launch of Libra, some dread, could start to infringe on the U.S. dollar’s Authority in the U.S., the Euro’s strength in the Eurozone.
Regardless, Marcus remark comes as the world’s national bankers have assembled in Basel to talk stablecoins and the potentially harming impact they may have on the economy. Marcus concluded by expressing that the Libra Association plans to be in full agreement with regulatory oversight and is eager to work with national banks and legislators to guarantee the best possible implementation of the cash.
However, Bertrand Perez, the Director-General of the Libra Association, expressed that the stablecoin should make it to by the latter half of 2020, a little later than the mid-2020 launch date suggested to Libra’s much debatable launch in June.
ZenGo supports Tezos’ threshold signature after it open-sources TSS code
Keyless cryptocurrency wallet solution, ZenGo, was recently in the news for announcing that it will be the first wallet to support Facebook’s native cryptocurrency, Libra. ZenGo had revealed that the Libra testnet was available on its network and had launched a proof-of-concept, particularly designed for Libra.
Back in June, the keyless wallet solution had also announced the addition of a Threshold Signature Scheme [TSS] for Tezos. The latest addition would eliminate the need for using a single atomic private key, as it divides the responsibility among different parties. ZenGo has already implemented the same with the Malta-based Binance exchange’s native token, Binance Coin [BNB].
In a recent update, ZenGo has revealed that the keyless wallet solution would be open-sourcing the code in order to allow other community members to design similar TSS transactions. The firm shared the update with the community via Twitter. The tweet read,
ZenGo further revealed in a blog post that the keyless wallet solution had already added TSS support for Bitcoin, Ethereum, Binance Coin, and Zilliqa. Even though Facebook’s Libra is still in its testnet stage, ZenGo has also implemented a Threshold Signatures Scheme for the coin. As part of its expansion and experimentation with other coins, the keyless wallet solution has chosen Tezos.
Tezos had previously provided ZenGo with a grant to develop TSS for its blockchain.
The implementation of TSS in a blockchain requires it to be developer-friendly, as well as have a mature environment. According to ZenGo, Tezos meets all the requirements. Further, the Tezos blockchain uses the EdDSA algorithm and the Ed25519, similar to that of Libra and Cardano.