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February 2016

Libra Labeled a ‘Monetary Threat’ By Senior US Bank Executives



Libra, the underfire planned cryptocurrency from Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), has been described as a monetary threat by senior US bank executives in a meeting with the Federal Reserve.

 Senior Bank Execs Opposed to Libra

Libra has been heavily scrutinized by regulatory bodies and financial institutions across the globe since it was first announced back in June and has been dealt a further blow following a meeting of the Federal Advisory Council this month. Members of the council include M&T Bank CEO Rene Jones, KeyCorp’s Beth Mooney, and Brian Moynihan, CEO of Bank of America.

“Facebook is potentially creating a digital monetary ecosystem outside of sanctioned financial markets — or a ‘shadow banking’ system […] As consumers adopt Libra, more deposits could migrate onto the platform, effectively reducing liquidity, and that disintermediation may further expand into loan and investment services,” banks said, according to the minutes of the council meeting obtained by Bloomberg.

Further Scrutiny from Lawmakers

These concerns were reiterated by two US lawmakers, Rep. French Hill (R-Ark.) and Rep. Bill Foster (D-Ill.), in a letter to the Fed’s chairman Jerome Powell. “The Facebook/Libra proposal, if implemented, could remove important aspects of financial governance outside of U.S. jurisdiction,” wrote Hill. The same letter also discussed the development of a digital dollar and enquired as to what legal, regulatory, or national security issues might prevent the Fed from developing a digital currency.

>> BitPay to Include Support for XRP This Year: What to Expect

Major Backer Reconsidering Position

The Federal Advisory Council’s apprehension towards Libra is just one of a series of regulatory concerns leveled at the Facebook-led project, which has thrown into doubt whether the coin will ever actually be launched. Yesterday reports emerged that Visa (NYSE:V) and Mastercard (NYSE:MA) were reconsidering their backing of Libra. Visa’s CEO Alfred Kelly stated that although the company had signed a letter of intent with the Libra Association, the company was not a member of anything and would not sign up until the association produced proof of compliance.

Last week, Mark Zuckerberg refused to confirm whether Libra would be launched as planned in 2020, creating further doubt as to whether the coin will ever see the light of day.

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Telegram Investors Stick With TON Plans Despite SEC Injuction



Telegram investors have turned down the offer of a refund on their investment in the TON ICO despite an injunction by the SEC delaying the launch of the network.

Telegram, which is an important part of the crypto ecosystem due to its encrypted communication abilities, has been embroiled in a dispute with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, which argues that its planned blockchain, Telegram Open Network (TON), is a security, meaning the ICO was actually illegal. The commission issued an injunction last week preventing the company from launching TON as planned this month.

As a result of the injunction, investors in two separate ICOs have been offered the chance to receive 77% of their initial investment back, but have instead decided to back Telegram’s blockchain plans and have accepted an extension on the launch of TON until April 30, 2020.

“We are happy to share with you that we have successfully obtained the consent of a significant majority of investors in both the Pre-Sale and Stage A to extend the deadline for the Network Launch to 30 April 2020. We would like to thank everyone for your support. This extension allows us to proceed with the necessary regulatory work described in our last e-mail,” according to an email sent from Telegram to one group of investors.

>> Coinbase Earned About $2 Billion in Trading Fees Since 2012

Telegram began raising capital to fund its blockchain project from two separate offerings, which took place between January and March of last year. The company reportedly raised $1.7 billion USD from the sale of 2.9 million Grams. One billion of these tokens went to a group of 39 US investors, meaning approximately $424 million of Telegram’s capital came from the US, which falls under the jurisdiction of the SEC.

A court hearing was due to take place today on the question of whether Grams constitute a security, but that has now been pushed back until February 19, 2020.

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Grayscale Investments to Make Biggest Transfer in Crypto History



According to Forbes, Bitcoin and cryptocurrency asset manager Grayscale Investments is about to make the biggest transfer in cryptocurrency history.

The asset manager is planning on moving billions of dollars worth of holdings today, and the destination is US crypto wallet and trading platform Coinbase. Should the transfer go off without a hitch, it will mark the largest single-day transfer of cryptocurrency assets ever.

Grayscale Transfers Billions in Cryptocurrency

New York-based Grayscale has announced that Coinbase Custody will serve as custodian on the $3 billion-worth of underlying assets. The entire transfer will take fewer than 12 hours to complete and comprises of Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and Ripple (XRP), among other major tokens.

The company claims to be the world’s largest Bitcoin and digital currency asset manager. Custodian Coinbase Custody, operates as a standalone, “independently-capitalized business to Coinbase.” It is now tasked with overseeing the transfer.

Also included in the transfer is “Grayscale’s publicly quoted cryptocurrency trusts and its Grayscale Digital Large Cap Fund, which provides exposure to Bitcoin and crypto through a market-cap-weighted portfolio.”

The transfer comes at a volatile time for cryptocurrencies everywhere. Bitcoin’s resurgence to over $10k per coin has spurred on a bullish sentiment regarding the future of digital assets. Also, the pending arrival of Facebook’s (NASDAQ:FB) new Libra coin has spurred regulators into action.

Cryptocurrency is Growing

In a report issued by Grayscale, the company found that 36% of US investors would consider buying Bitcoin. This equals roughly 21 million investors, signaling a sizeable market for the coin.

>> Crypto Derivative Platform FTX Introduces Alternative to Short Alts

The company reported recently:

“Investors are constantly looking for new ways to diversify their portfolios as traditional assets and markets have begun to move more closely in sync with one another.”

Earlier in July, the asset manager reported that it had $2.7 billion worth of assets under management. This represents an all-time high for the company and is also three-times more than reported in the previous quarter.

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Ripple Partnership | Santander Group Expands the Usage of One Pay FX



Over the course of the past couple of years, Ripple has forged a range of partnerships with major banks and financial institutions with one single aim. The main aim of forging these partnerships has been to make the cryptocurrency XRP the digital asset of choice for some of the leading financial institutions.

The Spanish banking giant Santander (NYSE:SAN) had been one of the first major banks to sign up with Ripple back in the day and currently uses the xCurrent software to facilitate payments through the One Pay FX service. Until yesterday, the service could only be used to send money to the United States from either Spain or the United Kingdom.

Key Boost

However, Santander announced that is it now in the process of building a corridor that will allow customers in South America to send money by way of the One Pay FX app to the United States for free. Although it is true that it is a major development for Ripple, it does not do anything for the cryptocurrency XRP. Santander is not going to use the cryptocurrency in order to facilitate the process. At this point in time, the bank has introduced the service in its main markets, and it has been revealed that One Pay FX has managed to garner a lot of interest among customers.

>> Secondary Market for Telegram Tokens Sees 400% Return for Investors

The Chief Executive Officer of One Pay FX spoke about the service and stated, “Customers who were not doing international transfers are now using the service, customers who were using international transfer are now doing it more, and customers who had gone to use Fintech competition have come back because of the One Pay offering.”

Although it is true that it does nothing for XRP, it needs to be pointed out that there remains a possibility of Santander using the XRapid service at some point in the future and if that happens, then XRP will come into play.

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