Facebook Libra Cryptocurrency Unveiled; Yet Another Ban for U.S. Crypto Investors

The top daily news from the cryptocurrency and blockchain space:

  • Social media giant Facebook introduces Libra cryptocurrency, Libra Blockchain, and Calibra.
  • Multiple regulators voice concern over Libra and Libra Blockchain.
  • Bancor bans U.S. users from its web application.

At the time of writing, bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) are trading at $9,169.6 (+0.1%) and $267.7 (-0.3%), respectively. As for the MVIS CryptoCompare Digital Assets 10 Index, it is currently tracking at 4,283.8 (+1.8%).

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Facebook Libra Cryptocurrency, Calibra Unveiled

Facebook announced its plans to roll out a new price-stable cryptocurrency called Libra. Libra is governed by a Geneva-based not-for-profit entity known as Libra Association. While Libra will start out running atop a public-permissioned blockchain, it will, over time, transition to a public-permissionless blockchain.

The Libra Blockchain was described as follows: "a decentralized, programmable database designed to support a low-volatility cryptocurrency that will have the ability to serve as an efficient medium of exchange for billions of people around the world."

French, U.S. Regulators Decry Facebook Libra Cryptocurrency

Just hours after Facebook’s announcements relating to Calibra and Libra, French finance minister Bruno Le Maire called for the Group of Seven (G7) central bank governors to review Facebook’s Libra token, alleging it cannot and “must not happen.”

Soon after this, Patrick McHenry (R-NC), the senior Republican on the U.S. House Financial Services Committee, penned a letter to Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) requesting a hearing on Facebook’s new cryptocurrency project. Waters later voiced her agreement; requesting Facebook agree to a moratorium on the development of Libra.

Also voicing their discontent with the yet-to-be-launched blockchain initiative by Libra was U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), the Ranking Member of the Senate Banking Committee, who tweeted his opinion that the U.S. government “cannot allow Facebook to run a risky new cryptocurrency out of a Swiss bank account without oversight.”

U.S. Users Banned from Bancor Web App

Bancor – a decentralized liquidity network that provides users with a simple, low-cost way to buy and sell cryptoassets directly through their wallets – announced that “beginning July 8, 2019 (09:00 AM EST) US citizens, domicilaries or users from US IPs (Internet Protocol addresses) will no longer be able to use Bancor’s web application, bancor.network, to convert tokens.” All other functionalities will remain available, Bancor confirmed.

Addressing what led Bancor to enforce this restriction on U.S.-based users, the company said that the “decision has been made in light of increased regulatory uncertainty” in the U.S. The move is largely similar to that of Binance's, which recently banned IP addresses from the U.S. – along with twenty-eight other countries – from accessing Binance.org, the primary gateway to Binance DEX.