Woe be to Facebook, big-tech cryptocurrency guinea pig

Facebook has been the guinea pig, and the test results say launching a cryptocurrency is not easy

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The transactions giant PayPal has become the first founding backer to leave Facebook's Libra cryptocurrency project. Other backers — Visa, Mastercard, and Stripe — have expressed hesitation.

Who can blame them? All over the world, there has been intense regulatory scrutiny. The U.S. House of Representatives wants Facebook's Zuckerberg to testify on the subject by January.

Facebook has been the guinea pig, and the test results say launching a cryptocurrency is not easy for a big publicly traded company, which can be fined, sanctioned and subject to anti-trust laws and investors whims.

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 last month, who said the company was “watching cryptocurrency.”

Notably, Cook said currency is the domain of governments, a sentiment apparently echoed by the U.S. Federal Reserve, whose senior official called it “inevitable” for central banks to create digital assets.

Even so, the official said the United States should not be the first — another country should be the guinea pig.

Price: possible rise ahead after tumultuous week

Bitcoin could bounce to $8,800-levels over the next few days, but only if it remains above current prices, technical analysis suggests. Bitcoin is at $8,060 (C$10,730) as of noon Sunday, Eastern Time, up about 1 per cent for the week. The tumultuous seven days saw Bitcoin fluctuate almost 10 per cent, falling to as low as $7,700.

Canada: regulator warns against WoToken, Cloud Token

A top regulator for the western province of British Columbia is warning about WoToken and Cloud Token wallets, applications that advertise automated trading to improve returns. They ‘resemble a pyramid scheme” and “appear too good to be true,” an official said.

A Bank of Canada report says Bitcoin’s mining protocol — the process that facilitates transactions and by which new units are generated — is inefficient, although its sheer scale provides a sort of security smaller coins do not have. Bitcoin mining, relatively big in Canada, has been accused of having an excessively large environmental footprint.

News: prominent Bitcoin investment firm rebukes regulator

LedgerX — which said in August it has obtained U.S. approval for Bitcoin-backed futures contracts, but then back-flipped — is accusing the regulator of bias related to the affair. That product would have been the first such mainstream investment instrument backed by actual bitcoins. LedgerX was eventually beaten to the market by the owner of the New York Stock Exchange.