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German Finance Minister: Facebook Shouldn’t Be Allowed to Compete with the Euro

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.



Unregulated Cryptocurrency Bookmakers Are A Threat, Says Hong Kong Jockey Club Executive

The unregulated cryptocurrency bookmarkers are becoming a significant threat in the gambling world, said Hong Kong Jockey Club executive, Tom Chignell. He warns that such markets provide more room for race-fixing, and authorities should monitor and act accordingly.

Unregulated Cryptocurrency Bookmakers Pose A Threat

Hong Kong Jockey Club is one of the oldest racing establishments in the country. Its executive manager of racing integrity and betting analysis, Tom Chignell, recently spoke about the current state of the industry. More specifically, he outlined illegal betting supposedly taking place on some unregulated cryptocurrency bookmakers:“We’re looking at a new emerging but vastly expanding cryptocurrency market, with some website specializing on horse racing globally, not just in Hong Kong. They are actually offering fixed-odds betting across the globe.

They are not obliged to report suspicious betting and corruption to racing authorities. They are an emerging threat which we are closely monitoring.”

He also added that match-fixers prefer avoiding regulated establishments and search for other options.

Additionally, he believes that “trainers stopping horses from winning and betting on them to lose on the illegal market” is the most significant integrity threat in the industry.

Authorities Need To Step Up

Chignell noted that those unregulated markets require little-to-none verification processes. Therefore they open the door for illegal activities. He also said that such bookmakers do not have to report on any “suspicious betting, cheating, jockeys betting, breaches of the rules of racing.”You Might Also Like:

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In Chignell’s opinion, the situation can improve only when local and global authorities raise their standards and requirements:“The most essential [step] is to have a robust integrity function that must include bet monitoring and betting analysis, an active intelligence function … and having the ability to investigate and disrupt where appropriate.

With the active intelligence function, it’s got to have those confidential reporting channels, so those interested in keeping racing clean have the opportunity to report on corruption and suspicious activity.”

Douglas Robinson, another executive from Jockey Club, believes that local regulators might not be sufficient enough in this manner. While addressing the complex issue yesterday, he urged governments to take serious action, as well.

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Sweden’s Central Bank To Begin Testing National Cryptocurrency

The Swedish Central Bank will establish a test group for its potential digital currency – the e-krona. It will run for a year and should confirm if there’s an actual need case for launching a digital krona.

Testing The E-Krona

Recently reported by local news, the Riksbank is ready to launch a group to examine the potential e-krona. The participants will play out different scenarios to determine if the digital currency’s performance is sufficient and reliable. A statement from the bank outlines the various requirements that the e-krona needs to address before launching:

“The aim of the project is to show how an e-krona could be used by the general public. A digital krona should be simple, user-friendly as well as fulfill critical requirements for security and performance.”

The project will run on the blockchain technology in “an isolated test environment.” The participants will store the e-krona in a digital wallet. They will use a mobile app to make payments, deposits, and withdrawals. Additionally, users will also make payments via cards and smartwatches.

The bank will run the test group for a year – until February 2021.

The Swedish central bank will also collaborate with other countries to discuss potential cases for issuing their cryptocurrency. To do so, the Riksbank will enter a dedicated group with the banks of Britain, the Eurozone, Japan, and Switzerland.You Might Also Like:

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E-Krona – Complement For Cash

The report also outlines the real purpose of the potential digital krona. It informs that the Swedish population has stopped using cash as the primary source of payment transactions. More specifically, the percentage of people paying with cash has dropped from 40 to 13 between 2010 and 2018.

Despite that, though, the Riksbank doesn’t plan to replace cash entirely if it launches the digital krona. Instead, the central bank said that it would be used as a complement. It will continue to issue banknotes and coins, as long as there’s a demand in the country.

Deutsche bank recently also touched upon the topic of cash necessity in today’s society. It concluded that some banks, debit, and credit card providers, and governments are attempting to eliminate cash from daily usage. However, their document ultimately refuted the option of “the end of cash.

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Top Cryptocurrency Analysts Say $100,000 Bitcoin Predictions Way Off Base – Here’s Where They Think BTC Will Land

Two leading cryptocurrency analysts say they believe Bitcoin is in a new bull market cycle, but predictions that BTC is poised to soar to $100,000 are far too bullish.

In a recent episode of Trading Bitcoin, Tone Vays and the pseudonymous trader Filbfilb debate the current state of the crypto market and where it may head in the months to come.

Vays says BTC needs to close above $10,450 to signal that a bigger move to the upside is in store. Bitcoin came extremely close to that number on Wednesday, reaching $10,444 before plummeting to its current price of $9,568, according to CoinMarketCap.

Filbfilb’s says his target for opening a long position is significantly higher. He’s looking to see if and when BTC can cross $11,500.

As for how high Bitcoin may climb in the next long-term market cycle, both analysts say they expect a new bull market top to hit well below a litany of predictions calling for a parabolic rise to $100k.

Says Filbfilb,

“I think we’re going to struggle to get past $60k. I think $60k is going to be a really, really troublesome level to get across. I’ll certainly be looking to book in some serious profits at that point.

I think you said it right in Fiji. I think you said the return you get off of these long-term positions versus the risk of you getting it wrong is a terrible trade. So trying to go higher than $60k I think would be a little bit foolish at this point. But certainly around $50k, $60k would be sensible.”

Vays says he’s looking for BTC to top out at a slightly lower price of around $45,000.

Although the traders say hype around Bitcoin’s halving is fueling price action in early 2020, they say rising trading volumes and an increasing number of outstanding derivative contracts are key metrics to watch in order to gauge real long-term interest in the space.

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