Libra exec promises Facebook’s plan isn’t to replace existing currencies

The Libra Association really wants us to know that Facebook cryptocurrency is not being created to replace existing currencies.

Manager Director Bertrand Perez, speaking at a blockchain conference hosted at the United Nation headquarters in Geneva today, said : “We are not in the area of implementing any monetary policy with the (Libra) Reserve.”

Additionally, Perez went on to say that the digital currency could help achieve many UN sustainable development goals, including eradicating poverty and improving gender equality – Libra would also benefit the tech giant’s bottom line.

Perez’s remarks come just one day after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg spoke about his willingness to cooperate with regulators, which could cause serious delays to Libra‘s launch, currently scheduled for 2020 .

It seems nobody actually knows what Libra is going to be

Since announcing its intentions to launch Libra, Facebook has faced increased scrutiny from regulators and governments as well as criticism from those who (rightly) argue the digital currency is not a cryptocurrency .

To date, much of what we know about Libra is based around speculating on remarks such as those made by Perez today. This makes it hardly surprising that project leads are eager to lessen regulators’ concerns.

Many regulators and governments are concerned about the potential implications such a project could have on society and the global financial ecosystem, with some of Facebook‘s partners reportedly backtracking as a result.

For example, Y ves Mersch, Luxemborgian lawyer and European Central Bank executive board member, says Libra could potentially impair the ECB‘s ability to provide liquidity to banks in the continent. It could even, he claims, undermine the Euro altogether.

It’s difficult to predict whether Libra will launch on time, or if at all, but one thing’s for certain: those in power won’t stop arguing about it until it sees the light of day.

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South Korea launches task force to fight 800% increase in cryptocurrency crimes

South Korea is preparing to come down hard on cyber-criminals with the launch of a new “task force” specifically aimed at fighting cryptocurrency fraud and fintech-related crimes.

The launch comes in specific response to the 800-percent increase in cryptocurrency crimes the country has seen over the last few years, local news outlets reports .

In 2016, there were just 53 reported cases of such crimes, but in 2017 this figure rose to 453, and it exploded to 4,591 cases in 2018.

Professional investigators and prosecuting bodies from around the country came together earlier this week in Seocho-dong, Seoul to mark the launch of the task force.

According to the report, the task force will be able to track accounts suspected of harboring illicit funds, although it has not stated how it plans to do this. Naturally, as it’s a matter of public security, it’s likely to be a closely guarded secret.

The task force will also be empowered to share information with other relevant government bodies which will have the power to freeze accounts, recover lost funds, and pursue class action lawsuits on behalf of victims.

Specialist crime fighting units of this nature are sure to become common place over coming years as cryptocurrency becomes more widespread.

But we should be mindful of how much cryptocurrency-related crime is actually going on. Japan has been at the forefront of cryptocurrency regulation; indeed, it launched a platform for reporting crypto-crimes back in December 2017.

Over the following year, the number of reported crimes sky-rocketed. That’s not to say the number of cases shot up, but that the new platform made it a lot easier for people to report suspicious cryptocurrency offerings.

Stepping back and viewing the bigger picture, cryptocurrency related crimes in Japan still only make up for 1.6 percent of all reported financial crimes.

It’s nearly impossible to know if this is still the case when it comes to the value of money involved in these crimes. But when it comes to the pure number of cases, cryptocurrency crime is still a small facet of all financial crime.

Let’s hope task forces like this, keep it that way.

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3 countries host over 50% of the world’s Bitcoin nodes

Ever wondered which country is running the most nodes on the Bitcoin network? Well here’s your answer.

Research from cryptocurrency and blockchain analytics firm DataLight shows just how geographically distributed the Bitcoin network is.

As of February 24, 2019, nearly three-quarters of all Bitcoin nodes were located in just 10 countries, the research shows.

The US leads the pack with over 2,625 nodes, followed by Germany and France with 2016 and 698 respectively. Incredibly, these three countries are responsible for over 50 percent of all operational Bitcoin nodes.

This might come as a surprise to some as earlier research from 2018 showed that China has the power to potentially derail Bitcoin and illicitly influence its network.

However, the important distinction here is that China has this power as a result of mining pools , and mining nodes. While China only hosts 411 nodes, many nodes outside of the country are part of Chinese-owned mining pools.

Perhaps most interestingly though, is Singapore and the Netherlands’ presence on this list. Both relatively small countries, they represent the greatest density of Bitcoin nodes per capita. With 17,700 and 32,000 citizens per node respectively. For context, the US has over 120,000 people per node.

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Hunter Jones

Hunter Jones

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