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Has Facebook’s Libra Made People Reconsider USD As Global Reserve Currency?

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Has Facebook’s Libra Made People Reconsider USD As Global Reserve Currency
Has Facebook’s Libra Made People Reconsider USD As Global Reserve Currency?

Major global economists credit Facebook’s Libra with pushing the world to start reconsidering the United States dollar as anchor currency.

At a Jan. 23 panel at the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, officials and financial experts discussed one of the most important mechanisms in the global financing system — the U.S. dollar, which has become the world’s reserve currency.

Called “Challenging the Dominance of the Dollar,” the panel focused on factors that make the U.S. dollar the world’s dominant payment system and reserve currency, as well as the fact that countries over the globe are trying to reduce their dependency on the dollar. The panel featured a number of officials including Brazil’s Economy Minister Paulo Guedes and Gita Gopinath, chief economist at the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Hosted by Adam Tooze, director of the European Institute at Columbia University, the panel also included Portugal’s Finance Minister Mario Centeno and Zhu Ning, a professor of finance at Tsinghua University. 

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Gopinath, who is also a director at IMF’s research department, opened the panel with comments that named Facebook’s cryptocurrency initiative Libra as a major factor that made everyone in global finance reconsider the status of the dollar as anchor currency. Brazil’s Economy Minister supported the statement, adding that new technologies like blockchain are paving the way for future currency that will be digital:

“So then there is the new technology, the digital, the blockchain. […] The Libra episode is just evoking a future digital currency.”

Gopinath continued the U.S. dollar still remains attractive, pointing out that one of the most important features that make the U.S. dollar attractive is trust and stability:

“Why is it that the dollar has such dominance? It does because it is the currency that provides the best stability and safety. […] It makes complete sense to hold your value in dollars because if things go bad, it gains value.”

The fact that WEF economists now agree that Facebook’s Libra has pushed global authorities to start reconsidering their approach to the world’s reserve currency, is definitely reinforcing the status of emerging fintech technologies as well as blockchain. Meanwhile, some officials have already warned that projects like Libra can have a huge impact on the U.S. dollar. In August 2019, Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England, suggested that Libra-like digital currency could replace the U.S. dollar as the world’s reserve currency. 

Carney said that replacing the dollar with a digital currency would be a better option than allowing its reserve status to be replaced by another national currency such as China’s renminbi. Libra initially proposed to back its crypto project by several national currencies including the U.S. dollar, euro, Japanese yen, British pound and Singapore dollar, allegedly excluding the Chinese yuan from the group of reserve assets.

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Tron Community Angry Because Genesis Coins Used In Super Reps Vote

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Tron Community Angry Because Genesis Coins Used In Super Reps Vote
Tron Community Angry Because Genesis Coins Used In Super Reps Vote

The Tron (TRX) community was beside itself on Wednesday, Feb. 19 after founder Justin Sun’s address was shown to have voted in two Tron Foundation apps as a Super Representative (SR). Both Tron-Ace and Tron-Bet were voted in as Super Representatives by the Zion address, the same account which received 99 billion TRX from the coin’s genesis block. Super Representatives are responsible for overseeing block production on Tron’s blockchain. 

As such, they receive a sizable portion of the coin rewards from each block. In plain terms, this means that Tron’s community rules were bypassed, arguably to further enrich its own foundation. That’s despite Tron CEO Justin Sun’s insistence that he and his foundation have nothing to do with community voting.

The candidate addresses with 200 million and 310 million votes belong to Tron-Bet and Tron-Ace respectively. The address shown happens to be the Zion address, the same account that received 99 billion TRX following Tron’s mainnet launch in 2018. This equates to the entirety of the TRX coin supply at the time.

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The use of an address so clearly affiliated with the Tron Foundation has upset many members of the coin’s community. One Tron Society member took to Twitter on Wednesday morning to demand an explanation from founder Justin Sun:

“The vote in of the Tron-Bet and Tron-Ace was done using the ZION account. Can we get an explanation please.”

The same user later added to the statement that the Zion account “ was used to vote in SRs which Justin is ‘invested’ in even after the statement from Justin [saying neither] he nor the foundation have participated in voting.” TronWalletMe marketing and communications director Misha Lederman later noticed a third SR voted for by the Zion account. Lederman pointed out that the Poloniex SR had also benefited from Tron’s Zion account. The Poloniex exchange was purchased by Tron founder Justin Sun in November 2019.

Tron dApp developer Rovak summed up the situation for non-technical users, noting: “It is not OK to use these tokens if the elections are supposed to be 100% community driven.” Tron documentation written by Justin Sun clearly states that neither he nor the Tron Foundation engage in community voting. According to Sun, all voting is carried out by TRX holders and the community at large, as stated in a Medium post by Justin Sun from early February. Last September, it was reported that Binance had become the number one Tron SR after it launched staking for TRX users. Those funds were then used to vote Binance in as lead Super Representative. 

A Tron insider who wanted to remain anonymous noted at the time that “they have enough votes to vote in 20 SRs and basically start Binance Chain version two. The community is pretty pissed about it.” Nearly six months on and Binance remains the top Tron SR, controlling 53% of the network. In the wake of Wednesday’s revelations, Binance’s control of the Tron blockchain came up once again. Twitter user @GodOvCrypto predicted the worst for Tron in the long-term:

“I am surprised there are still community SR’s in the top 27. Give it a year and they will be way down as businesses will do what @binance did and just buy their way to the top. Only good thing will be that all TRX will be frozen.”

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Cryptocurrency And Blockchain News Update 19th February 2020

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India To Use Blockchain For Voting

India’s citizens will soon be able to cast votes from outside their city of registration thanks to a blockchain-based system. India’s Chief Election Commissioner said that the country hopes to increase voter turnout with a blockchain-based voting solution. 

China Using Blockchain To Fight Coronavirus

With the ongoing coronavirus epidemic, China has turned to blockchain technology to manage medical data, track supply of virus prevention materials and consult the public. For the first two weeks of February, China saw the launch of as many as 20 blockchain-based applications designed to help fight the coronavirus outbreak. Most of the apps are used to manage citizens’ personal data as many people are returning to work this month.

IOTA Updates Trinity Wallet

Following an apparent hack of IOTA (MIOTA) official wallet on Feb. 12, the IOTA Foundation has released a safe desktop version of the Trinity wallet. According to a Feb. 17 update post, IOTA should update their Trinity apps to securely check their balances and transactions via Trinity 1.4.1, a new version that is designed to remove the recently detected vulnerability from the wallets. The new version of the wallet doesn’t apparently represent the full solution of the recent breach because the IOTA’s dedicated network Coordinator, is still on hold

BitcoinAnd Google Scandal

A new extortion scam targeting website owners serving banner ads through Google’s AdSense program has begun circulating the Internet. The malicious scheme demands Bitcoin (BTC) in exchange for preventing an attack, which would purportedly lead to the users’ AdSense account suspension.

Binance Cloud Has Been Launched!

Binance cloud is here, According to the announcement from Binance, Binance Cloud will serve as an all-in-one infrastructure platform for customers and partners to launch digital asset exchanges based on Binance’s industry-leading technology, security, liquidity as well as custodial services. The solution also supports dashboard for managing funds, multilingual functionality, as well as a range of trading pairs and coin listings. The Binance’s new exchange-specific cloud solution will provide users with a method of setting up a crypto platform in their local markets. Binance Cloud’s features include crypto spot market and futures trading as well as local bank API integrations and peer-to-peer exchange services from fiat to crypto, the announcement notes. In the future, Binance Cloud plans to add more features like staking, over-the-counter trading services as well as token issuance with initial exchange offering platform.

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TON Devs Worldwide Working Together To Intervene In SEC Case Against Telegram

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TON Devs Worldwide Working Together To Intervene In SEC Case Against Telegram
TON Devs Worldwide Working Together To Intervene In SEC Case Against Telegram

A group of international Telegram Open Network (TON) contributors has submitted a court document criticizing United States regulators’ line of attack against the project. The group has formed a non-profit association, “The TON Community Foundation,” and collectively submitted the brief on Feb. 14 in the form of an amicus curiae.

 An amicus curiae is a brief that offers expertise or insight into a given case on behalf of an entity that is not formally a party to the case itself — i.e. an entity that is neither a plaintiff, defendant, nor legal counsel for either side. The court can decide whether or not to take the brief into account at its discretion.

In their filing, the contributors state that the foundation has been formed to represent a “professional community of active participants in the TON project in whose interest it is to see the TON blockchain mainnet launched as soon as possible.” The foundation comprises 20 teams in the TON global community, designated as “independent specialists with extensive blockchain experience who are involved in the actual work on the TON blockchain and who write its code, protocol, smart contracts, tools, and applications.” These 20 teams ostensibly represent over 2,000 computer scientists, engineers, programmers, and entrepreneurs — based in China, Russia, France, and Spain, among other countries.

Image result for TON crypto

The foundation writes that the unanimous position of the TON dev community is that the TON blockchain is fully operational, has “state-of-the-art prelaunch security” and a developed suite of services. They contend it would, in its current state, be ready for launch as a mainnet in a “matter of seconds.” The brief focuses on particular arguments that were presented by Brown University Professor Maurice Herlihy in his review of TON for the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. 

Following Telegram’s wildly successful $1.7 billion initial coin offering for TON in 2018, the SEC had launched an investigation into the project in 2019, claiming the entity had not registered with the commission for its ICO and the network’s “Gram” tokens. The Herlihy report was submitted as evidence on behalf of the SEC in late December 2019. In its brief, the foundation argues that the court should decline the SEC’s impulse to place the industry under an “innovation-suffocating regime,” it contends. It argues that other successful blockchains — such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and Tezos — would never have launched had they been subjected to Professor Herlihy’s “academic scrutiny” and his “unrealistic standards of pre-launch performance, security, and maturity.” Moreover, despite Professor Herlihy serving as the SEC’s blockchain expert, the foundation claims he has mischaracterized the TON network in his report. It notes that he uses a blockchain definition from 2010 that has since become obsolete, which fails to account for smart contract functionality as one of the technology’s core parameters. 

What makes the TON blockchain unique, the brief outlines, is that literally “everything in its network is based on interaction with smart contracts” and “all Grams will be located in smart contracts,” so that, “in a way, TON is a smart contract platform more than a cryptocurrency one.” The rest of the foundation’s arguments against Professor Herlihy’s report provide a detailed overview of the state of the network’s services, readiness for launch, protocol, code, and security audit results.

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