Another one bites the dust in Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency consortium

Vodafone’s avoidance of the United States signals the world’s biggest economy might — or at least, there is the perception of that — fall behind in the next big thing.

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Facebook’s Libra has had its first defector of 2020. The British telecommunications firm Vodafone has pulled out of the consortium that is to govern the proposed cryptocurrency.

The total membership has dropped to 20, raising further doubt that the digital currency will get off the ground this year as planned.

Vodafone plans to devote resources previously meant for Libra to M-Pesa, its own digital payments platform, already established in African nations, Afghanistan, India, and Romania.

For context, excerpts from past newsletters:

All over the world, there has been intense regulatory scrutiny.

Facebook has been the guinea pig, and the test results say launching a cryptocurrency is not easy for a big publicly traded company.

Other tech companies are learning. Apple’s Tim Cook said that the company is not intending to launch its own cryptocurrency, snuffing notions raised by a senior executive [previously], who said the company was “watching cryptocurrency.”

Vodafone’s avoidance of the United States signals the world’s biggest economy might — or at least, there is the perception of that — fall behind in the next big thing.

The telco’s move also marks the beginning of what will likely be a challenging, no-good year for Facebook.

Price: potential drop ahead after exhaustion of sellers in market

Bitcoin could be in for a drop to $8,000-levels if it breaks significantly below the current price, and needs to go above $8,800 to re-enter its past ascending trend, technical analysis suggests. Bitcoin is at $8,345 (C$10,966) as of noon Sunday, Eastern Time, down almost 2 per cent for the week. The slump happened amid observers’ warnings of decreased market activity during the Chinese New Year season.

News: central banks around the world pursue digital currency

A group of central financial institutions are exploring the idea of a digital currency including the Bank of England and Bank of Canada. Japanese lawmakers are also working on a similar proposal, with one saying the need to do so arises from China’s dogged pursuit of the matter. For context, an excerpt from a past newsletter, in which the same rationale arises for the United States:

The U.S. Federal Reserve is now taking the concept of an official dollar stablecoin cryptocurrency seriously, as China pursues that path, threatening to dominate the sector with a potential first-mover advantage.

China is all about exploiting voids left by the United States, wherever it sees them

Canada: Montreal teen charged in alleged $50-million cryptocurrency scam

An 18-year-old from Montreal is facing four criminal charges connected to an alleged $50-million SIM-swapping scam targeting cryptocurrency holders.

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