Facebook’s Libra asks other founding members to speak up and show support

… and will publicly support the project, including Coinbase, Xapo, Anchorage, Bison Trails, Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), and Union Square Ventures.

An executive of Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency has asked the project’s other members to show their support amid the increasing regulatory scrutiny in the U.S. and Europe.

It’s time for us to speak up individually and collectively and build some momentum coming into the end of 2019,” Bertrand Perez, Libra Association’s Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer, told Bloomberg Law.

He further added that if the 28 founding members have indeed devoted their selves to the Libra project’s financial inclusion goals, then “please say so publicly the next time you are asked.”

Recent media reports have noted how the other founding members, including Visa, Paypal, and Uber, have kept mum in their commitment to Libra.

As previously reported, at least three of the founding members are allegedly considering ending their association with Libra. Two of them are reportedly mulling to sever ties because of heightened regulatory pressure on the project. Another member voiced concern that supporting the project publicly could draw attention from authorities on their business.

However, while other members are planning to retreat, CoinDesk found that there are those that have no intention of leaving and will publicly support the project, including Coinbase, Xapo, Anchorage, Bison Trails, Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), and Union Square Ventures.

In addition, the news outlet noted that despite regulatory issues, many also want to join the Libra Association. In fact, Winklevoss twin brothers said they are willing to set aside their legal dispute with archrival Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg to form a partnership with Libra. The Gemini founders even revealed they have been in talks about joining Libra’s governing body.

It is no secret that since its announcement in June, Libra has been the subject of scrutiny among lawmakers and regulators worldwide. But Facebook is planning to please them by complying with regulatory requirements.

As previously reported, Facebook is on a hiring spree for a new team that will work on “compliance,” which will ensure that the company’s activities abide by current laws and regulations. At least 47 job openings have been opened for Facebook’s blockchain, more than half of which is for Calibra alone. Jobs ranged from “Head of Compliance” to “Head of Fraud.”

TokenPost | [email protected]

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Find a Bug in Facebook’s Libra Crypto Software and Get Paid $10000

Prior to the release of the Libra mainnet, the testnet, which is still in the early prototype stage, is currently using a digital currency that possesses no …

Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency project is offering up to $10,000 to security researchers to find security flaws in its testnet. | Source: Shutterstock

Facebook’s cryptocurrency project is offering security researchers from anywhere in the world thousands of dollars to find bugs in its Libra cryptocurrency testnet.

The Libra Association, which is in charge of the cryptocurrencyproject, will pay up to $10,000 for any critical vulnerabilities that will bediscovered. These critical vulnerabilities include cryptographic implementationflaws which allow for the bypassing of signature validation.

Additionally, virtual machine flaws which allow thealteration of the execution of smart contracts written in Libra’s own Movelanguage are classified as critical vulnerabilities.

Building a scalable, reliable and secure @Libra_ Blockchain is our priority. We need your help to identify bugs and flaws in the platform. Rewards of up to $10K. Start now: https://t.co/Mrv6ymTzoS

— Libra Dev (@LibraDev) August 27, 2019

Libra Vulnerabilities Pay

Security researchers who discover vulnerabilities whose severity is categorized as high will receive $5,000. The discovery of medium-level flaws will earn security researchers $1,500. The bug bounty for low-level flaws is $500. Libra Association estimates that it will reward the bounties in 14 business days after receiving a report and carrying out an investigation.

LibraLibra
Libra Bug Bounty | Source: HackerOne

Libra testnet’s beenput to the test before

This is not the first time the Libra Association is invitingsecurity researchers to poke holes into its cryptocurrency’s testnet with aview of testing its robustness.

After announcing the cryptocurrency in June, the Libra Association invited 50 security researchers possessing expertise in blockchain technology to scrutinize the platform. This is what has allowed the project to get to a level where the bug hunting can be broadened.

Prior to the release of the Libra mainnet, the testnet, which is still in the early prototype stage, is currently using a digital currency that possesses no real-world value.

Pleas by U.S. Congress fall on deaf ears

Despite the pushback that Facebook has received over its cryptocurrency plans from all across the world, this is just the latest sign that the social media giant has elected to plunge ahead against all odds. When the co-creator of Libra appeared before the U.S. Congress last month, he indicated that the cryptocurrency would not be launched until after regulatory concerns had been addressed.

3/3

And we will not launch until we’ve fully addressed regulator concerns. We also recognize that for the Calibra wallet trust is essential. I’m looking forward to speaking with the @FSCDems tomorrow.

— David Marcus (@davidmarcus) July 16, 2019

He, however, made no promises to halt the development of the cryptocurrency despite a plea by the U.S. Congress to do so.

Crypto Advertisement Still Unwelcome, How Is the Industry Coping?

Paid crypto ads disappeared from social networks in the country. …. to the emergence of the Virtual Currency Girls — a Japanese pop group that …

The United Kingdom’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) recently resolved a complaint regarding advertising of Bitcoin (BTC) from the BitMEXcrypto derivatives exchange. According to the ASA, the website showed Bitcoin graphs with misleading price dynamics since January 2019. The ASA received four complaints, each accusing the platform of being misleading about Bitcoin investment profitability. The court satisfied the complaints.

However, this was not the first time that a state took a tough attitude toward advertisement of cryptocurrencies. Here is an overview of how cryptocurrencies are advertised — or not — in the world right now.

Ban, no freedom

The first case arose in January 2018 in the United States, when the social network Facebookbanned the placement of any cryptocurrencies, binary options and initial coin offerings (ICOs) ads on the platform. The corresponding rules were provided by the new advertising policy of Facebook.

Rob Leathern, the product management director for Facebook, said that the measure was designed to “improve the integrity and security of ads, and to make it harder for scammers to profit from a presence on Facebook.” In this regard, the representatives of the platform have developed a new policy prohibiting the advertising of financial products and services, which are often associated with misleading or deceptive advertising practices.

Related: Dutch Billionaire Yet Another Victim of Deceptive Crypto Ads, Sues Facebook

Google also made the move soon after. In March 2018, Google’s parent company, Alphabet, announced in a blog that it will be changing its advertising policy. According to the Google platform, as of June 2018, it would be forbidden to place announcements about binary options, cryptocurrencies as well as related services — in particular, about ICOs.

Such changes, as it was specified in the blog, will be part of the broader measures taken by the company to counter the sale of the new type of high-risk financial products. Thus, cryptocurrency advertising was simply blocked.

Twitter also introduced a blanket ban in March 2018, banning everything crypto-related. The social network, however, made an exception for public companies with listings on large stock exchanges in Japan.

Also, it turned out that after the ban by Facebook, China began to introduce restrictions on the advertising of cryptocurrencies. Paid crypto ads disappeared from social networks in the country. A popular Chinese microblogging service, Weibo, and search engine Baidu introduced a ban on cryptocurrencies advertising. The service stated that cryptocurrencies are vulnerable to unfair advertising, as well as the creation of nontransparent financial pyramids and schemes.

Hodlers strike back

The fight against the restrictions began almost immediately. Crypto firms and enthusiasts from Russia, China and South Korea decided not to stand on the sidelines, and in March 2018, the cryptocurrency and blockchain associations of Russia, China and South Korea announced that they intend to file a group action against IT corporations that prohibit the advertising of cryptocurrency projects. The lawsuit was filed against Facebook, Google, Twitter and the Russian search engine Yandex.

The Eurasian Blockchain Association (EBA) has been created to file a lawsuit together with industry associations from Korea and China. The agreement on its creation was signed by the Russian Association of Cryptoindustry and Blockchain, the Korea Venture Business Association and the Chinese Association of Crypto Investors (LBTC).

Later, in April 2018, cryptocurrency and blockchain organizations in Switzerland, Kazakhstan and Armenia also joined the three aforementioned countries in filing a joint lawsuit against major IT companies.

More recently, in August of 2019, JPB Liberty, an Australian litigation finance company filed a $500 billion global lawsuit against Facebook, Google and Twitter over the cryptocurrency advertisement ban. Anyone affected in 2018 can register as a passive participant and join the lawsuit.

The CEO of JPB Liberty, Andrew Hamilton, believes that big IT companies should be liable for losses in the hundreds of billions of dollars. The company has already sent official letters to Facebook, Google and Twitter, notifying them of this claim for damages. The $500 billion JPB Liberty seeks in compensation comes from a combination of $350 billion in losses of investors and more than $150 billion in losses to exchanges in revenue.

Facebook the parent companies of the Australian affiliates of Facebook, Google and Twitter are participating in legal action. According to a statement to Cointelegraph from Hamilton, JPB Liberty intends to obtain justice in this case on behalf of all who participate:

“We are seeking and obtaining funding from a range of sources both within the Crypto Industry and outside it. We are in serious discussions with large institutional litigation funders and have a law firm and Senior Counsel lined up.”

A change in course?

Six months after the initial ban was introduced, big IT companies changed their minds a little. In October 2018, Google allowed crypto advertisement once more. According to an official statement, cryptocurrency advertising became available for purchase in Japan and the U.S. However, only officially registered American and Japanese crypto exchanges are privileged to use the Google AdWords platform.

In May 2019, Facebook updated its advertising policy, adding an item allowing users to advertise blockchain technologies and educational courses on cryptocurrencies without special permission, as was stated in the blog of the social network.

Related: Internet Authority: History of Centralized Companies Being Hostile Toward Crypto

In order to advertise cryptocurrencies, users still have to get special permission from Facebook moderators. Also, the social network has retained a ban on advertising ICOs and binary options. According to the statement provided to Cointelegraph by a Facebook spokesperson, the company took time to work on the policy:

“In 2018, we made clear this policy was broad — along with our hope to refine it while working to better detect deceptive and misleading advertising practices. After a thorough review, the policy was narrowed to no longer require prior approval to run ads related to blockchain technology, industry news, education, and events related to cryptocurrency. This update makes good on our commitment, and keeps critical safeguards in place to reduce bad ads (i.e. that promote ICOs and binary options) and enforce against misleading or scam ads.”

In general, this shifting behavior of Google and Facebook is not surprising, taking into account the fact that the leaders and main investors of these social networks are favorable to cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. For example, Twitter CEO Jack Darcy has repeatedly said that he believes in a future in which Bitcoin will turn into a full-fledged internet currency.

However, in a statement to Cointelegraph, JPB Liberty’s Hamilton outlined a belief that companies like Facebook have their own reasons to ease the ban, which are not related to the protection of their users from scams or misleading information:

“In my view Facebook’s own cryptocurrency plans, now known as Libra, were the reason for the Ad Bans in the first place. Facebook was threatened by the rapid development of cryptocurrency/blockchain based competitors offering a better consumer proposition. They chose to engage in an illegal anti-competitive attack on those competitors while they developed their own ‘cryptocurrency.’ They have only eased it enough that Libra is not itself banned but still block ads from the majority of the cryptocurrency industry.”

Alternatively, as it was rumored before the Libra was announced, Facebook could set up a system whereby users viewing advertisement posts and videos could earn stablecoins for their actions. However, no information has since come out to suggest that Libra would be used in this way.

The announcement from June 2019 by the founder and CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, who said that Libra’s mission is to create a simple global financial infrastructure that empowers billions of people around the world, may suggest that such a product could still be developed.

Life under the ban

Despite the extensive ban, which was in fact lifted in some countries, the crypto exchanges and ICO projects can still find ways to avoid roadblocks. In doing so, they end up turning to a completely different set of tools to promote their products.

For example, crypto advertising is not banned on content platforms such as Telegram, Medium or Steemit. Anyone can maintain a blog, collaborate with authors and use internal website advertising.

The most progressive crypto community is Japan, with its quickly developing cryptocurrency market, which contributed to the emergence of the Virtual Currency Girls — a Japanese pop group that popularizes cryptocurrency through songs and dances. Each of the singers symbolizes a famous cryptocurrency. Also, according to The Japan Times, local cryptocurrency exchange BitFlyer first released a TV commercial in April 2017.

The cryptocurrency community painfully embraced the ban on advertising their businesses because the online advertising market today is the most popular and profitable, but at the same time, crypto enthusiasts have shown that they can fight for their businesses not only with the help of courts but also through others ways to post information — even the most unconventional.

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Regulatory Heat of Facebook’s Crypto Coin Hasn’t Broken The Spirits Of Libra Association Members

To start off with, Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) and Union Square Ventures, two VC firms involved in blockchain investing confirmed their commitment to …

When organizations were joining Libra, they knew that the project is not going to be easy, especially considering the regulatory loopholes that the organization was going to have to overcome.

Things got a bit dire recently and there were a few three of the firms expressed concerns over being seen to be linked to the project. People close to Coinbase also say that there is friction between the two organizations too.

Libra Association was boasting of having accrued 28 members which included heavyweights from the financial sector like Mastercard and Visa alongside tech giants like Spotify and Uber as well as Facebook’s subsidiary, Calibra. However, just a few weeks back the projet sparked an anti-trust investigation by EU officials.

The company is planning to get abut 100 members on board with a minimum contribution of $10 million. One founding partner came out and said:

“Some of those conversations [about regulation] should have taken place before the launch, to understand how regulators would think about this, so there wasn’t so much pushback.”

However, the frustration was seen to be both ways as Facebook themselves expected the member of Libra Association for not voicing their support. Now, they are coming in front. To start off with, Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) and Union Square Ventures, two VC firms involved in blockchain investing confirmed their commitment to the project.

Speaking to Coindesk, a spokesperson of Anchorage said:

“The team believes in the mission of Libra and is proud to be a Founding Member of the Libra Association. They are confident that the Association and its members will work through regulatory concerns and look forward to continued conversations with policymakers.”

In other Libra news, the Bug Boounty Program on Libra is now open to the public. The expansion of the program would promote values critical to the Libra Association like openness, transparency, and global access, and ensure minimal issues on the launch date in 2020.

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Telegram to introduce its own cryptocurrency in October, report says

… on the digital coin in 2017 and raised a reported $1.7 billion from investors last year in what was planned to be an initial coin offering, or ICO.
The Telegram logo. The encrypted messaging service said it patched a problem flagged by security researchers, but said it wasn't likely to have affected any users.

Telegram is reportedly coming out with its own cryptocurrency.

Telegram

Encrypted messaging service Telegram will offer its own cryptocurrency in the fall, according to a report from The New York Times on Wednesday. The company reportedly wants its digital coin to function as a new online currency that will let people transfer money around the wold, similar to Facebook’s newly unveiled Libra cryptocurrency.

Telegram’s digital currency, called the Gram, will reportedly be released by the end of October. The messaging service plans to have digital wallets available for its millions of global users, according to the Times.

Telegram didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Unlike Facebook and its partners on Libra, Telegram’s work on the Gram has been largely under the radar. The company reportedly started working on the digital coin in 2017 and raised a reported $1.7 billion from investors last year in what was planned to be an initial coin offering, or ICO.

The Gram will reportedly be decentralized, similar to bitcoin, and won’t be controlled by Telegram, which could help it escape some government regulation. Facebook and its partners have faced intensifying regulatory scrutiny of Libra since it was announced in June.

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