U.S. Lawmakers Want Facebook to Halt Libra Plans; Hayes, Roubini, Do Battle in Taipei

The top daily news from the cryptocurrency and blockchain space:

  • Arthur Hayes, Nouriel Roubini, exchange verbal blows in the ‘Tangle in Taipei’ debate.
  • Facebook receives letter from U.S. lawmakers calling for a moratorium on Libra’s development.
  • $822 million invested in blockchain startups for 1H19, finds Outlier Ventures.

At the time of writing, bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) are trading at $11,439.7 (+16.9%) and $297.7 (+7.9%), respectively. As for the MVIS CryptoCompare Digital Assets 10 Index, it is currently tracking at 4,568.4 (+3.7%).

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‘Tangle in Taipei’: Hayes, Roubini, Exchange Verbal Blows

The highly anticipated ‘Tangle in Taipei’ debate between “the entrepreneur” Arthur Hayes and “the academic” Nouriel Roubini took place on Tuesday morning (UTC+8) at day two of Asia Blockchain Summit.

Hayes, the chief executive of leading cryptoasset derivatives trading platform BitMEX, and Roubini, a well-known economist and crypto skeptic, each put forward their predictable arguments in favor of and against, respectively, the need for cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.

U.S. Lawmakers Call on Facebook to Halt Libra Cryptocurrency Plans

Five members of U.S. Congress sent an open letter to the founder and chief operating officer of Facebook – Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg, respectively – as well as David Marcus, the chief executive of Facebook subsidiary Calibra, calling for a moratorium on any development on its proposed Libra cryptocurrency and digital wallet, Calibra.

“It appears that these products may lend themselves to an entirely new global financial system that is based out of Switzerland and intended to rival U.S. monetary policy and the dollar,” the lawmakers – including chair of the House Financial Services Committee, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) – wrote on Tuesday.

The letter to Facebook’s executives comes ahead of July 16 and 17, days in which the social media giant will testify before each of the Senate and House, respectively, in Congressional hearings based on its recently announced Libra and Calibra projects.

$822 Million Invested in Blockchain Startups for 1H19

According to a research report out of London-headquartered venture firm Outlier Ventures, blockchain startups raised $822 million in the first half of 2019. Whilst this cumulative dollar amount was down from the preceding half, the amount raised through seed-stage venture deals jumped.

Blockchain startups that raised seed round in the first half of 2019 “capture[d] more than half of all venture capital raises, indicating that entrepreneurial zeal in the industry has not declined in spite of the bear market,” noted Outlier Ventures on page five of its seventeen-page report titled ‘The State of Blockchains’.

Other areas of focus in Outlier Ventures’ bi-annual report included network-specific metrics, Bitcoin’s Lightning Network, stablecoins, Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency, and more.