Libra Is an 'Inevitable' and 'Constructive' Project, Says French Billionaire

French billionaire Xavier Niel, founder of the Iliad telecoms group, has said Facebook’s Libra is an “inevitable” and “constructive” project in a column in French financial newspaper Les Echos.

According to Niel, Facebook’s proposed cryptocurrency is a “reliable” project that is going to help offer financial services to various users outside of the current financial system. He wrote (translated):

Libra is a reliable project, constructive, demanding and consistent with the interests of our country. It is not the currency of Facebook but the currency of actors who gathered around a great idea, with a democratic governance, a real co-construction and a European dimension.

Niel, whose telecoms group is one of the members within the Libra Association, added that the cryptocurrency is “inevitable” and will exist whether regulators try to stop it or not. Per his words “fearing it will not prevent it from happening.”

The billionaire added regulators should, as such, anticipate the market’s progress to keep society from finding itself “dependent and weakened.” He called on France to be at the “heart of this revolution.”

His words seem to be a direct reply to France’s Minister of the Economy and Finance, Bruno Le Maire, who claimed the country was going to block the development of Libra in Europe as it threatened governments’ “monetary sovereignty.”

The social media giant’s upcoming cryptocurrency Libra has been criticized by various regulators throughout the world. Germany earlier this year joined Le Maire in opposing the launch of the currency in Europe, and later passed a new blockchain strategy to block it from circulating in the country.

One of  the founding members of the Libra Association, PayPal, ended up withdrawing from it because of the regulatory pressure. In a statement the company said it was going to focus on “advancing our existing mission and business priorities.”

Feautred image by Gerd Altmann via Pixabay.

Tether Gold (XAU₮): A New Tokenized Gold Product Built on Ethereum and TRON

Siamak Masnavi

On Thursday (January 23), Tether launched a new product called Tether Gold (XAUt), which is a crypto token -- available as an ERC-20 token on the Ethereum blockchain and as a TRC20 token on the TRON blockchain -- representing "ownership of one troy fine ounce of physical gold on a specific gold bar" held in a Swiss vault. 

Paolo Ardoino, CTO at Tether, had this to say:

There is growing demand for digital exposure to physical gold, making the launch of Tether Gold a timely innovation in the crypto ecosystem. Tether Gold provides the combined benefits of both physical and digital assets, removing the drawbacks of holding gold in more traditional ways, such as high storage costs and restricted access.

The XAUt token "can be transferred to any on-chain address from the purchasers' Tether wallet where it is issued after purchase." A particular gold bar(s) "will be associated with each on-chain address where Tether Gold is held."

The allocated gold is "identifiable with a unique serial number, purity and weight" and XAUt token holders are able to verify "the details of the gold bars associated with their address" via the Tether Gold product page on the Tether website. 

Tether Good Lookup.png

Tether Gold is a cryptoasset issued/sold by TG Commodities Limited (a UK company incorporated in December 1998). Each XAUt token represents "one troy fine ounce of gold on a London Good Delivery gold bar" and may be "fractionalized up to six decimal places (i.e. in increments as small as 0.000001 troy fine ounce)." 

Here are a few more important things you should know about Tether Gold:

  • You need a verified account with TG Commodities Limited if you want to buy XAUt directly from its issuer. The minimum purchase amount is 50 XAUt (worth approximately $78,250 as of 23 January 2020). The purchase price must be paid in USD.
  • XAUt tokens can be traded on supported exchanges (such as Bitfinex) "in fractions as small as the exchanges permit.", but you do need to pay 
  • There are no custody fees, but you do need to pay "a one-time 25 basis point fee at the time you purchase an XAUt from TG Commodities Limited and certain additional fees on redemption." 
  • To redeem Tether Gold tokens, you need a verified account with TG Commodities Limited. You must have at least "one full bar of gold worth of tokens" in order to use the redemption service. The physical gold can be delivered to either somewhere in Switzerland or the XAUt token holder can ask TG Commodities Limited to sell their physical gold and receive USD from the proceeds of the sale. 

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