- Facebook’s Libra Suffers as Paypal Pulls Out
Paypal Inc has officially pulled out of Facebook’s cryptocurrency project, Libra, amid rising regulatory scrutiny and opposition.
Paypal was one of the companies that invested at least $10 million in the project when it was unveiled earlier this year, however, none of them anticipated the level of opposition and scrutiny that trailed the announcement.
Regulators across the world are worried about trusting Facebook with financial details of their citizens following its failure to protect users’ data in the past and its reluctant to even report the stolen data.
The 29 companies that initially signed up for the project are now sceptical, and with Paypal out, others may start pulling out to limit regulatory scrutiny and negative impact on their overall branding.
A move that could hurt the entire project as Facebook would lose more bargaining power and its ability to convince regulators that the project is a collective effort and not a move to monopolise global financial service.
In a statement released by Paypal, the company decided to focus on advancing its existing mission and business priorities.
“PayPal has made the decision to forgo further participation in the Libra Association at this time and to continue to focus on advancing our existing mission and business priorities as we strive to democratize access to financial services for underserved populations,” PayPal said in an emailed statement to TechCrunch. “We remain supportive of Libra’s aspirations and look forward to continued dialogue on ways to work together in the future. Facebook has been a longstanding and valued strategic partner to PayPal, and we will continue to partner with and support Facebook in various capacities.”
Earlier this week, WSJ reported that Mastercard, Visa and other companies may also pull out ahead of the scheduled meeting to elect the first board of directors for the project this month in Geneva.
Facebook, however, responded to the Paypal announcement: “It requires a certain boldness and fortitude to take on an endeavor as ambitious as Libra – a generational opportunity to get things right and improve financial inclusion,” said a spokesperson. “The journey will be long and challenging. The type of change that will reconfigure the financial system to be tilted towards people, not the institutions serving them, will be hard. Commitment to that mission is more important to us than anything else. We’re better off knowing about this lack of commitment now, rather than later.”
The only CEO who has spoken regarding the project, Al Kelly, Visa, said: “It’s important to understand the facts here and not any of us get out ahead of ourselves,” Kelly said in the company’s most recent earnings call. “So we have signed a nonbinding letter of intent to join Libra. We’re one of – I think it’s 27 companies that have expressed that interest. So no one has yet officially joined. We’re in discussions and our ultimate decision to join will be determined by a number of factors, including obviously the ability of the association to satisfy all the requisite regulatory requirements… It’s really, really early days and there’s just a tremendous amount to be finalized. But obviously, given that we’ve expressed interest, we actually believe we could be additive and helpful in the association.”
Central American Bank for Economic Integration Supports El Salvador’s Bitcoin Law
The Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI), which has 15 member countries, will help El Salvador implement bitcoin as legal tender.
The CABEI president has expressed his support. “We’re very optimistic,” he said.
The head of the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) expressed his support for El Salvador’s bitcoin law Monday. CABEI Executive President Dante Mossi said that the bank will give El Salvador technical assistance to implement bitcoin as legal tender.
Last week, El Salvador became the first country in the world to pass a law making cryptocurrency legal tender.
The CABEI has 15 member countries: Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Dominican Republic, Belize, Mexico, Republic of China (Taiwan), Argentina, Colombia, Spain, Cuba, and Korea. The bank’s objective is to “promote the economic integration and the balanced economic and social development of the Central American region,” its website details.
Mossi said his organization will work with El Salvador’s finance ministry and central bank to select a team to work on the implementation, Reuters reported.
Mossi believes that the move to make bitcoin legal tender would offer many benefits to people in El Salvador. For example, it would lower the cost of remittances for relatives of Salvadorans living abroad, he explained.
The CABEI executive president also called on El Salvador’s government to develop a regulatory framework for bitcoin in order to prevent “bad actors” from taking advantage of the system’s anonymity, the publication conveyed.
Following El Salvador’s move to make bitcoin legal tender, lawmakers in a number of Latin American countries have expressed their interest in bitcoin.
The countries include Paraguay, Argentina, Panama, Brazil, and Mexico. Moreover, Tonga and Tanzania have also reportedly expressed interest in bitcoin.
SEC Leaves Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Off 2021 Regulatory Agenda
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has released its regulatory agenda which does not mention bitcoin or cryptocurrency regulation.
The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs released the Biden administration’s Spring 2021 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions last week.
It details “the actions administrative agencies plan to issue in the near and long term,” which provides “important public notice and transparency about proposed regulatory and deregulatory actions within the Executive Branch,” the accompanying announcement explains.
Included in the agenda is the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)’s “annual regulatory agenda,” the agency independently announced, clarifying:
“The report, which includes contributions related to the Securities and Exchange Commission, lists short- and long-term regulatory actions that administrative agencies plan to take.”
Some of the items the SEC will consider include disclosures relating to climate risk, corporate board diversity, and beneficial ownership and swaps. The SEC will also focus on rules relating to SPACs and short sale disclosure reform. The full list can be found here.
SEC Chairman Gary Gensler commented: “To meet our mission of protecting investors, maintaining fair, orderly, and efficient markets, and facilitating capital formation, the SEC has a lot of regulatory work ahead of us.
“I look forward to collaborating with my fellow commissioners and the dedicated staff to propose and finalize rules that will strengthen our markets, increase transparency, and safeguard investors.”
While bitcoin and cryptocurrency are not on the SEC’s regulatory agenda this year, Gensler has been talking about the need to protect investors and regulate cryptocurrency exchanges.
Last month, the chairman urged Congress to pass cryptocurrency legislation to protect investors, adding that cryptocurrency exchanges needed more regulation. In addition, the SEC cautioned investors about funds trading in bitcoin futures last week.
So far, the agency has brought 75 crypto-related enforcement actions. Meanwhile, a growing number of companies are seeking approval to trade bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
Venture Capitalist Tim Draper Reaffirms His $250K Bitcoin Price Prediction by 2022
American venture capital investor, Tim Draper, said that he thinks bitcoin could reach $250K by 2022, and during an interview with CNBC’s Jade Scipioni this week, Draper reiterated his six-digit bitcoin price forecast made in April 2018.
Tim Draper, the venture capitalist who has his hands in a myriad of blockchain and crypto companies, discussed his bitcoin (BTC) price prediction with CNBC this week.
Draper is well known in the crypto community as he has founded a number of firms that work within the industry. He has also founded organizations like Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ), Draper University, Draper Venture Network, Draper Associates, and Draper Goren Holm.
Draper is famous for purchasing thousands of bitcoin (BTC) in July 2014 from the U.S. Marshals Service auction that sold BTC stemming from the Silk Road marketplace. Back then, Draper predicted that BTC would reach $10K per coin and this prediction came to fruition. This made people begin to think of Draper as an oracle, and he was pressed for a new prediction when BTC came close to the $20K zone in 2017.
After many reporters asked Draper his next bitcoin price forecast, he finally answered on Friday the 13th, April 2018. “Serious winds (of change) at our block(chain) party last night,” Draper explained to his followers on Twitter. “I predict $250K by 2022,” Draper added. Since then, as far as predictions are concerned, Draper stepped out of the limelight and many other investors have given their own bitcoin price predictions over the last three years.
Now that BTC has tapped a new all-time-high above $64K per unit, Draper is once again standing behind his $250K prediction. While speaking with CNBC’s Jade Scipioni on the broadcast “CNBC Make It,” Draper said:
“I think I’m going to be right on this one. I’m either going to be really right or really wrong [but] I’m pretty sure that it’s going in that direction.”
Draper Speaks About Dogecoin and Elon Musk’s Critique of Bitcoin’s Energy Use
Draper then explained that he thinks merchants will flock to support BTC within the next few years. “Give it about a year and a half and retailers will all be on Open node, so everybody will accept bitcoin,” Draper stressed. “Then beyond that, I think [bitcoin] continues up because there are only 21 million of them,” the venture capitalist added.
The executive also touched upon dogecoin (DOGE) during his interview and explained that there has to be something that makes the public like the dog token.
“There must be something to dogecoin because it makes us all smile but no engineers are working on it,” Draper said. “Doge devs to improve system transaction efficiency. Potentially promising. I tend to focus on the ones where people are dedicating their lives to improving the currency.”
Draper told CNBC he thinks bitcoin will be the center of financial activity worldwide for a long time and described BTC as one of the world’s tech giants. “[Bitcoin] is sort of like Microsoft [in] the software world or Amazon in the e-commerce world,” Draper remarked.
Furthermore, before Draper made his prediction the venture capitalist spoke about Elon Musk and Tesla’s critique of Bitcoin’s energy use. He commended Musk for what he had previously accomplished but in terms of understanding bitcoin’s energy consumption, Draper thinks he’s wrong.
“Elon, first of all, is one of the most brilliant men in the world…maybe the most brilliant, [but] he got this one wrong,” Draper said.
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