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Facebook Finally Launches Digital Currency Wallet Novi but Senators Want to Close This Project

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Amid the Facebook Novi launch, some federal legislators want the social media giant to discontinue the project.

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB) has launched the pilot phase of its digital currency wallet Novi in the US and Guatemala using stablecoin Paxos. Facebook finally launches Novi and is going with Paxos’ USDP after its own native crypto Diem failed to secure regulatory approval. Furthermore, the social media giant heralded the pilot launch in a blog post on Tuesday.

Novi’s pilot launch is more than two years after it was first announced. The wallet will facilitate fast, secure, and free fund transfers between users via mobile smartphone apps. However, all users must register with government-issued identification.

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For now, Paxos’ stablecoin will serve as Novi’s transactional currency, while powerhouse exchange Coinbase will provide custodial services. According to David Marcus, head of Facebook’s Novi wallet, this pilot phase will, “test core feature functions, and operational capabilities in customer care and compliance.” Furthermore, it will test the viability of stablecoins as a valid and sustainable form of payment.

Facebook Launches Novi to the Disapproval of US Congress

Amid the Facebook Novi launch, some federal legislators are calling for the social media giant to discontinue the project. Senate Democrats addressed a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Tuesday questioning the company’s credibility with crypto. In their own words, Facebook “cannot be trusted to manage cryptocurrency”. The senators base this conviction on the social media company’s past inadequacies in handling cyber risks and keeping consumers protected. Signed by Senators Brian Schatz, Sherrod Brown, Elizabeth Warren, and others, the letter read:

“Facebook is once again pursuing digital currency plans on an aggressive timeline and has already launched a pilot for a payments infrastructure network, even though these plans are incompatible with the actual financial regulatory landscape — not only for Diem specifically, but also for stablecoins in general.”

Part of the Congress letter to Facebook further states:

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“We urge you to immediately discontinue your Novi pilot and to commit that you will not bring Diem to market.”

Facebook responded to the Senators’ query through a spokesperson for Novi, suggesting that the company would address the issues raised therein.

Facebook Has a Long-Running History with Federal Lawmakers over Its Operational Practices

In recent times, Zuckerberg and Facebook have locked horns more frequently with Congress. Back in 2019, Congress summoned the Facebook CEO to provide testimony on the Diem project (then called Libra). Zuckerberg’s summoning was the culmination of weeks of tussling, between Facebook and the federal lawmakers, who were skeptical of the project. In addition, the Zuckerberg hearing came just a year after Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal. This may have been another reason federal legislators were agitated against the company.

Another recent red flag raised against Facebook was earlier this month from whistleblower Frances Haugen. Haugen appeared before the Senate Commerce Committee to testify on the threat Facebook posed to users. Some of these include the usage of Facebook itself and other affiliated services, such as photo and video-sharing behemoth Instagram.

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Elon Musk’s Brother Claims Web3 Could Unlock $100 Billion Per Year for This Segment

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Restauranteur, chef and entrepreneur Kimbal Musk indicates yet another unusual use case for decentralized industry.

Innovator and visionary, baord member of Tesla Inc. and SpaceX, Kimbal Musk is certain that Web3’s ethos and practices can be of great use in philanthropy.

“$100,000,000,000 per year just in America”

Kimbal Musk has taken to Twitter to share that the implementation of Web3 in philanthropy could unlock twelve-digit funds for the philanthropy segment.

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This jaw-dropping sum can be added to the volume of money in this sphere just in the United States, let alone in other countries. Bringing decentralized instruments to charity can significantly advance its resource-efficiency.

Namely, Web3 tools are going to eliminate the unnecessary elements of bureaucracy from this trending sphere.

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Mr. Musk’s Twitter audience agreed with his statement, while some commentators added that Web3 instruments could eliminate corruption—not only bureaucracy—from philanthropy.

Crypto and charity: long road ahead

In 2021, numerous charity initiatives somehow utilize Web3 instruments. Typically, major charity foundations add mainstream cryptocurrencies as payment tools.

As covered by U.Today previously, DeFi project Munch created a purpose-made platform for The Giving Block charity conglomerate that features 200 non-profits.

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Also, many NFT products are conducting charity giveaways. Namely, Binance and Tron-backed APENFT co-hosted the Charity Mystery Box event to support environmental charities One Tree Planted and Koala Clancy Foundation.

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Anthony Scaramucci: Cryptocurrency Markets Had Their Black Friday On November 26

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Anthony Scaramucci believes that the fundamentals behind the cryptocurrency industry are enough to be bullish during panic episodes.

Today was an ugly day for the cryptocurrency world. In fact, it was a bad day for the financial markets in general. The U.S. stock indexes fell 2% on average, the FTSE lost 3.64%, the DAX was down 4.15%, oil futures tumbled more than 10%, and cryptocurrencies lost more than $200 billion in capitalization.

All because of fears of a new strain of COVID-19 that had speculators and analysts brainstorming scenarios of a possible new lockdown. Recently, scientists discovered the B.1.1.529 variant of the coronavirus. It has a high number of mutations that could make it immune to the antidotes developed to date.

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Stock Markets in Nov. 26, 2021. Source: CNN
Stock Markets in Nov. 26, 2021. Source: CNN

Anthony Scaramucci is Bullish on Bearish Times

However, while some are rushing to sell their assets in fear, others take advantage of the situation to fill their pockets. Anthony Scaramuci, Trump’s former Comms director during his tenure in the White House, is one of them.

In a recent interview for CNBC, the Founder of SkyBridge Capital explained that this panic episode (the biggest since the 2020 crash) is nothing but a Black Friday and that people should take advantage of it to inject money into strategic investments as government monetary policies do not give much reason to be optimistic.

“If the Fed is not tapering, this is a buying opportunity. It’s Black Friday, and things are on sale.”

Discussing the cryptocurrency market, Scaramucci called for calm. He explained that the fears that led to the fall do not affect the fundamentals and that while there is a market overreaction, in the big picture, cryptocurrencies have enough reason to emerge stronger from this economic episode.

“If you believe in the long-term fundamentals as we do, this is the time to be buying. I just think this is a risk-off situation right now. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies being volatile, that’s taking people out of the game. That’s also washing out some of the leverage, which I think sets up a pretty nice first quarter.”

Cryptocurrencies Are Doing Just Fine All Things Considered

Scaramucci is not the only bullish person in this sea of tears. Ricardo Salinas Pliego – the third richest man in Mexico – recommended his Twitter followers to buy Bitcoin as a hedge against the consequences of irresponsible U.S. policies.

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Good old USA is looking more and more like any other irresponsible third world country….wow…look at the scale of fake money creation.
Buy #Bitcoin right now. https://t.co/xzv0xk2TQq pic.twitter.com/JMslqlagLE

— Ricardo Salinas Pliego (@RicardoBSalinas) November 24, 2021

Salinas Pliego defends the thesis that Bitcoin is the equivalent of digital gold and acts as a store of value. Scaramucci, for his part, does not share this view.

“I don’t think it’s a hedge against inflation at this moment in time. I think (it could be in the) long term, if you got to a billion wallets, and Bitcoin is in a stable trading zone … This is sort of Amazon in the year 2000, so this comes with some volatility.”

Volatile or not, Scaramucci still believes that cryptocurrency markets have reacted in a healthy way to what could be bloodshed —considering previous crises.

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Economic analyst Alex Krueger agrees with this position, highlighting that cryptocurrency traders fared better than traditional investors on this Black Friday.

Crypto tanked due to extreme risk off sentiment triggered by the new covid variant. It would have crashed in the same way had prices been much lower. Not a matter of euphoria. Crypto assets performed well relative to other asset classes such the crude oil complex and small caps.

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Central Bank of Brazil selects 7 projects for sandbox and includes JP Morgan currency exchange solution

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The Central Bank of Brazil announced on Thursday (25) which projects were selected for the first cycle of Sandbox BC, a program of the entity that aims to encourage innovation. In this first phase, the BC team focused on projects dealing with solutions for the foreign exchange market, such as JP Morgan, which is focused on immediate transactions between currencies.

According to the organization, in this phase, seven projects were selected, among the 52 enrolled, and that will now be able to count on BC’s help to get off the ground. Approved projects will receive specific authorization from the regulatory agency and will have their development monitored by the Strategic Management Committee of Sandbox BC (Cesb).

For César Frade, who coordinates the Committee’s advisory, if the response to these solutions is positive, the organization must create ways to embrace them.

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“The purpose is to evaluate new experiences, innovative business models. The BC will analyze whether these proposals that were presented to us make sense, can be put into effect”, said Frade in the statement.

Payment solution using Itaucard’s PIX and Mercadopago’s service network are also on the list of the Sandbox BC program. See below in alphabetical order which companies had their projects selected and a brief description of each one

OTC Scholarship

Platform for issuance and secondary trading of private fixed income securities.

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himov

Loan with property guarantee, with payment on maturity and without periodic amortizations, in conjunction with the taking out of specific insurance to reduce relevant risks.

inco

Development of a secondary market for Bank Credit Bills — CCBs.

Itaucard

Carrying out payment transactions with credit granting, revolving or in installments, using PIX functionalities.

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Iupi

Platform capable of moving amounts between two or more accounts, by transferring amounts to ‘temporary or settlement’ accounts, on demand, to carry out an operation under previously signed conditions.

JP Morgan

Technological solution for the execution of multi-currency payment instructions, for exclusive use between institutions authorized by the BC to operate in the foreign exchange market for the purpose of immediate exchange of reserves.

paid market

Implementation of a network of physical points that offers the service of contribution of resources in kind.

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