Weekly Update #10: Apple, IKEA, Libra, and Ohio
It’s been an interesting week in crypto – as usual. We have some new updates about Libra, alongside with other interesting news.
Libra Association is slowly melting
Mentioning Libra in our update became some sort of tradition. But what can we do, since new pieces of information about Facebook’s coin are constantly appearing? Recently, the social media giant has had to face a significant backlash about its cryptocurrency project. Many voices, with the American government within them, have risen against it.
Apparently, such strong doubts from the international community are becoming to take their toll. As The Wall Street Journal suggests, Viva and Mastercard are rethinking their view on the Libra project:
And that’s not over. For Visa and Mastercard, the participation in that project still remains in question. But PayPal, another figure from an impressive portfolio of Brands pointed as supporters of Libra, has withdrawn from the project. The firm announced it on Friday but didn’t specify the reason behind that decision.
And last but not least, the Federal Reserve asked some American banks about their opinion on Libra. They expressed concerns about the “shadow banking” system which Facebook’s currency might create. It seems like all odds are against Mark Zuckerberg in his voyage to global domination with the new currency.
First transaction with licensed e-money
In the meantime of bureaucratic hell, which Libra is passing through, Iceland witnessed the first commercial transaction with licensed e-money. Nordic Store, a local shop, had used Monerium’s tokenized Icelandic currency to pay for the order from IKEA. The operation, proceeded by the supply chain made by Tradeshift, may be seen as an example that regulated and nationally supported cryptocurrencies are possible.
Apple won’t create its own crypto
To close the topic of Libra: Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, made it clear that his company won’t develop its own cryptocurrency. In the interview with French magazine Les Echos, he strongly objected to the idea of a private, digital currency. He believes that “a currency should remain in the hands of the state.“
Dark web bunker
Although cryptocurrencies aren’t associated with the dark web as they used to be, some links with the shady part of the internet still remain. Fortunately, one of such connection has just been efficiently cut off. German police informed that they had managed to raid and shut down successfully a hub maintaining several dark web market servers. It was located in an old NATO bunker in the town of Traben-Trarbach.
This action resulted in shutting down some major darknet activities, like “Cannabis Road” and “Orange Chemicals” drug stores. The police believe that the entity belongs to two hackers who have already held similar “cyberbunker.” Herman Johan Xennt and Sven Kamphuis maintained it previously in Netherland.
Believe in Bakkt?
We wrote briefly about the Bakkt launch in the last Weekly Update. The start of futures selling exchange wasn’t impressive – but we decided to abstain from the full analysis of this project a little bit, to see how the situation will develop. Apparently, we are not the only ones who don’t want to judge Bakkt too quickly. Analysts at an American investment bank and financial services company Oppenheimer & Co. states that it is too soon to write off the project.
Ohio resigns from Bitcoin taxes
Maybe you remember that Ohio has introduced a possibility to pay taxes with Bitcoin about a year ago. At first, that option was addressed only to business owners. However, it was intended to be extended for everyone willing to fulfill his or her duty to the state and pay taxes in crypto.
Well, that’s not the case anymore. Ohio Treasurer Robert Sprague announced OhioCrypto.com immediate suspension. As he explained, only 10 businessmen decided to use the ability for crypto taxes, so it wasn’t very popular in Ohio. He also noted a lack of approval from the Board of Deposit, which is required to allow pay taxes with digital currencies. Apparently, it is an end of the crypto state near the Ohio River – at least for now.
And that’s all for this week. See you next week, probably with another update about Libra, as usual.
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