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Facebook Libra News Today – November 25, 2019

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  • Criticism against Libra persists regardless of a successful testnet
  • R3 CEO claims Libra’s strategy is stupid and naïve
  • New Bills proposed by congress to legislate stablecoin

Facebook Libra News Today – Criticism against Libra persists from leading voices both from the public and private sectors in the crypto sphere as they share their doubts about the imminent stablecoin network. It has been a stressful week

for the Libra Association, although it was stated that its testnet has administered over 50,000 transactions across 34 projects, even though with this development front-runners from both private and public sectors continue to doubt Libra.

CEO R3 claims Libra’s strategy is stupid and naive

As criticism persists against Libra, the Libra Foundation has taken another approach to regulation which has so far drawn several comments from leaders. One outstanding comment was from David Rutter, the founder, and CEO of large Blockchain Company R3. Rutter commented at a conference held in London that Facebook’s Libra strategy was “ridiculously stupid and naïve, the way they rolled it out… Yeah, you know it was just so… It was just so in your face. There’s a lack of understanding.” 

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The Deputy Secretary of the U.S Treasury, Justin Muzinich probed an audience of banking specialists to deliberate on “if a decade from now there was a desire for a stablecoin to go from fully reserved to partially reserved, or to shift its underlying mix of reserve currencies, would that decision be made by a private governing association?” He stated his concerns about foreign actors controlling stablecoins, underlining concerns posed by the imminent stablecoin network to U.S security and financial stability. Even though in his speech, Muzinich did not mention names, his comment “a stablecoin network with an underlying mix of reserve currencies” raises concerns from regulators globally.

New Bills proposed by congress to legislate stablecoin

On Thursday, Congress called for increased regulation of Libra as a new bill was proposed by two members of congress. The bill is expected to legislate stablecoins like Facebook’s Libra as securities under the U.S law. The new bill termed the “Managed Stablecoins are Securities Act of 2019” was proposed by the House Financial Services Committee’s Lance Gooden, R-Tex, and Sylvia Garcia, D-Tex.

With this bill, if Libra is established to be a security, it would be subject to extreme inspection by the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission, (SEC). In a press statement released by Garcia, he stated that “managed stablecoins, such as the proposed Libra, are securities under existing law. This legislation simply clarifies the statute to remove any ambiguity. Bringing clarity to the regulatory structure of these digital assets protects consumers and ensures proper government oversight going forward.” 

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Libra Updates White Paper, Removes Dividends for Libra Association

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The white paper for Facebook’s proposed Libra currency has been quietly updated, according to a Dec. 10 article written by Georgetown University law professor, Chris Brummer. Aside from expected amendments reflecting the revised Libra Association members, the biggest change is the removal of dividends payable to those early investors.

Change in use of interest on reserve assets

While the initial Libra white paper published in June specified that interest on the reserve assets would be used to cover system costs, keep transaction fees low, support growth, and pay dividends to the early investors i.e. Libra Association members, mention of dividends has now been removed, so it now reads: 

Interest on the reserve assets will be used to cover the costs of the system, ensure low transaction fees, and support further growth and adoption.

Dividend removal alleviates potential conflict of interest
The problem
with awarding dividends, and potentially the reason for the change according to Brummer, is that it created a potential conflict of interest between Libra Association members, and end-users of the currency.
To encourage uptake of Libra, the reserve assets with which they are backed should be stable. However, if dividends are paid from the interest on these assets, this gives an incentive to load the reserve with higher-risk assets.
This in turn would reduce trust in and uptake of Libra, because the supposed stablecoins could lose their value.
Avoiding branding as securities
There is also the possibility that the changes are in some way addressing concerns that Libra may be classified as a security.
As Cointelegraph reported earlier this month, two lawmakers in the United States would like Libra and other managed stablecoins to be defined as securities. However, Brummer believes that this is an unlikely outcome, due to the very nature of stablecoins not increasing in value

Source: fxstreet

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Facebook Libra News Today – Top Headline for Facebook Libra December 13th, 2019

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  • Facebook’s Libra will push regulators to take a stand on the ongoing Libra criticism says R3 chief David Rutter
  • Libra set the pace as Countries contend for cryptocurrency omnipotence

Facebook’s declaration of creating its cryptocurrency termed Libra to billions of users globally will mount pressure on central bankers and regulators to take a stand. According to R3 CEO David E. Rutter, it is a good thing for bringing legality to the sector. Rutter went thus:

“If we’re going to legitimize this world which has been fraught with fraudulent ICOs that are bringing no value, and we want to tokenize real assets, securities, natural gas contracts, gold, oil, diamonds, art, there needs to be a legitimate secondary market where you as an individual or as a corporation can go and transact and know that it’s appropriately regulated.”

R3 provides Corda, a DLT, for companies to conserve a shared, absolute ledger of transactions. This allows the financial, health care, trade, and digital assets industries to share information steadily and privately. While Corda users can accept or reject new transactions before obliging the changes.

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Recently, Microsoft announced bigger incorporation with a commercial version of Corda on its Azure Blockchain Service. Commenting on this, Marc

Mercuri, the Principal Program Manager stated, “As customers were building an end to end solutions, one of the big requests was to make integrating Corda with enterprise data, systems, and Software as a Service easier.”

Rutter also discussed Thailand’s Siam Cement Group which is running on a blockchain solution established on Corda. The application known as Procure-to-Pay is aimed at simplifying procurement and payment for 2,400 suppliers by 2020.

Libra Set the Pace as Countries Contend for Cryptocurrency Omnipotence

Facebook project Libra has set the pace for national regulators. Facebook brought not just its universally recognized brand to the obscure world of cryptocurrencies but also an army of banks, payment providers and other financial institutions, which all supported its project. The subsequent criticism from regulators, which questioned if Libra could offer consumers with security and privacy and the market with financial stability, took enthusiasts by surprise. This prompted criticism has so far left a dent on Facebook and its leagues of a partner. Visa and MasterCard are among those partners who have left the project thus far.

Libra has gradually become the yardstick for governments’ outlooks to crypto assets. Even though politicians and regulators have kept up with developments going on with stablecoins, Mr. Zuckerberg’s involvement with Libra, promising affordable and swift money transfers is quite convincing.

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Nobel Prize-Winner Myron Scholes Backs Stablecoin to Rival Facebook’s Libra

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The Saga Foundation, a Swiss non-profit created last year dedicated to developing new technologies in open and decentralized software, is launching a new virtual currency called Saga (SGA). The token is connected to the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF’s) cash reserve that can initially only be owned by accredited and identified investors. The news was published by CNBC on December 10.

A CBDC in Disguise?

The Saga (SGA) token launched this Tuesday is the first cryptocurrency that seeks to emulate the management mechanisms of a central bank. The founders include a group of famed economists and financial innovators who want to create a digital currency that meets the needs of the classic financial world, without making central banks and regulators nervous.

To obtain SGA, it is necessary to undergo know your customer (KYC) practices, assuring Saga’s economy is compatible with traditional financial institutions. Moreover, unlike Libra, the value of Saga will be linked to the IMF’s Special Drawing Right (SDR), an international reserve asset that’s included in a basket dominated by the Euro and U.S. dollar.

Its monetary policy will be automatically regulated by a smart contract using a method very similar to that of fractional reserves used by banks. Saga’s smart contract adjusts the money supply to meet market demand in order to avoid market fluctuations. So, when the economy expands, the contract increases SGA supply, slowing price appreciation. Conversely, when Saga’s economy shrinks, the contract reduces the money supply. The same job a central bank does by changing interest rates.

According to Saga, its governance model would be more democratic than that of its rival Libra. In Saga, “the holders are

the sovereign of the currency” in the sense that they will have the opportunity to decide who will be part of Saga’s board of directors and steer its monetary policy. Although there is this possibility of voting, Saga will be partly managed by a central authority as according to the firm, central decision-making is inevitable to create a global digital currency.

The blockchain is therefore limited to the execution of contracts, all other governance functions must occur on-top of it.

Developed by Bankers for Bankers

The team behind Saga has raised funding from a group of investors up to the tune of $30 million. Some of the investors include Initial Capital, Mangrove Capital, and the Singulariteam Technology Group.

According to the founder and president of Saga, Ido Sadeh Man, launching the Saga tokens via an initial coin offering (ICO) would have been counterproductive to the lofty ambitions of the project. In fact, more than a truly global currency, Saga seems to be a cryptocurrency created specifically for the traditional financial sector. Having mandatory KYC, a manipulable monetary policy, and the value covered by a basket of FIAT currencies, Saga is nothing but a classic currency disguised as a cryptocurrency.

The founders themselves explicitly declare that they do not believe in decentralized governance models such as Bitcoin as they are inefficient and unpredictable. However, Saga could be a competitor to Libra, as its reputation is well regarded by traditional financial institutions. However, as reported by the CNBC, currently the SGA token will not be available for US citizens due to regulatory uncertainties.

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