With all the hype surrounding Libra, Facebook’s new cryptocurrency, it’s hard to know what to believe. This week, hosts Drew Taylor and Brent Bates had Joerg Molt of the Satoshi School back on the show. The crypto crusader threw cold water on the Facebook venture, citing a letter from Congress that asks the social media giant to postpone launching Libra.
Another familiar face on the show was Jonathan Keim, communications director of CryptoCurrencyWire, who beamed in from Monaco and later from Barcelona as he followed HODL RALLY across Europe. For news like this and updates of developments in the crypto space, keep tuning in to the Wild West Crypto Show, now on TV in 45 cities across the nation.
Over the past week, the news from the crypto world has been both good and bad. First, some undoubted good news was the announcement (http://ccw.fm/1vnfH) that “CME’s bitcoin futures product is continuing to show signs of increased popularity, with June setting a new record for open interest amid a surge of new account sign-ups.” Bitcoin futures, launched in December 2017 by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), seem to have really taken off. The exchange reports that it has affected trades in bitcoin futures in close to 3,000 client accounts since the product began trading.
The not so good news is that Congress has asked Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) to pause implementation of its Libra cryptocurrency until lawmakers have had more time to investigate the implications. There is concern that Libra is neither fish nor fowl. Is it truly a cryptocurrency, or simply a security?
Although Facebook has christened Libra ‘a stable global cryptocurrency’, the digital currency appears to be anything but. For starters, an essential characteristic of bitcoin was its operation without a central authority. However, Facebook would undoubtedly be right in the center of the Libra network. Second, the ‘stable’ in the definition indicates that Libra, according to the white paper, will be backed (http://ccw.fm/KO3qQ) by “a basket of bank deposits and short-term government securities.” A financial instrument backed by securities is, itself, a security, as is the case with mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). This leaves regulators to ask: what makes Libra different?
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