Facebook Token Runs Into Instant Political Opposition in Europe

Facebook Inc.’s ambitious plan to roll out its own cryptocurrency ran into immediate political opposition in Europe, with calls for tighter regulation of the social-media giant.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said the digital currency known as Libra shouldn’t be seen as a replacement for traditional currencies.

“It is out of question’’ that Libra “become a sovereign currency,’’ Le Maire said in an interview on Europe 1 radio. “It can’t and it must not happen.”

Read more about Facebook’s cryptocurrency plan

Le Maire called on the Group of Seven central bank governors, guardians of the global monetary system, to prepare a report on Facebook’s project for their July meeting. His concerns include privacy, money laundering and terrorism finance.

Libra was also a talking point at the European Central Bank’s annual symposium in Sintra, Portugal, where Bank of England Governor Mark Carney referenced Libra. “Anything that works in this world will become instantly systemic and will have to be subject to the highest standards off regulation,” he said.
Carney’s ‘Open Mind’

While Carney said “we need to have an open mind” about technology that can facilitate cross-border money transfers, “we will look at it very closely and in a coordinated fashion” at multilateral organizations including the G-7, the International Monetary Fund, Bank for International Settlements and Financial Stability Board.

Meanwhile, Markus Ferber, a German member of the European Parliament, said Facebook, with more than 2 billion users, could become a “shadow bank” and that regulators should be on high alert.

Facebook is developing Libra, a stablecoin designed to avoid the volatility of Bitcoin and thus be useful for commerce, in partnership with some of the biggest names in payments and technology, such as Visa Inc. and Uber Technologies Inc. The new currency, which will launch as soon as next year, is pegged to a basket of government-backed currencies and securities.

While Bitcoin, the original cryptocurrency, has attracted a lot of attention since its creation a decade ago, it’s still not widely used beyond market speculation. Facebook meanwhile, plans to build a new digital wallet that will exist in its Messenger and WhatsApp services to make it easy for people to send money to friends, family and businesses through the apps.

“This money will allow this company to assemble even more data, which only increases our determination to regulate the internet giants,” Le Maire said in parliament.

https://www.bloomberg.com/amp/news/articles/2019-06-18/france-calls-for-central-bank-review-of-facebook-cryptocurrency?__twitter_impression=true

Is GDPR an immovable block to blockchain? 

A report has claimed that GDPR could hinder innovation in blockchain within Europe. If that is right, then this could be enough to ensure that the technology stars of tomorrow, the next Amazons or Googles, won’t be European. The report did hint at the opportunity, however. Blockchain could be as transformative for business as the internet, at least nine out of ten technology professionals think that, or so found a survey by BTL Group.

Source: Is GDPR an immovable block to blockchain? – GDPR.Report

Cloud Communities: The Dawn of Global Citizenship? – Globalcit

Contents:
Cloud Communities: The Dawn of Global Citizenship?, kickoff contribution by Liav Orgad
Citizenship in Cloud Cuckoo Land?, by Rainer Bauböck
Citizenship in the Era of Blockchain-Based Virtual Nations, by Primavera De Filippi
Global Citizenship for the Stay-at-Homes, by Francesca Strumia
A World Without Law; A World Without Politics, by Robert Post
Virtual Politics, Real Guns: On Cloud Community, Violence, and Human Rights, by Michael Blake
A World Wide Web of Citizenship, by Peter J. Spiro
Citizenship Forecast: Partly Cloudy with Chances of Algorithms, by Costica Dumbrava
The Separation of Territory and State: a Digital French Revolution?, by Yussef Al Tamimi
A Brave New Dawn? Digital Cakes, Cloudy Governance and Citizenship á la carte, by Jelena Dzankic
Old Divides, New Devices: Global Citizenship for Only Half of the World, by Lea Ypi
Escapist technology in the service of neo-feudalism, by Dimitry Kochenov
Cloud communities and the materiality of the digital, by Stefania Milan
Cloud Agoras: When Blockchain Technology Meets Arendt’s Virtual Public Spaces, by Dora Kostakopoulou
Global Cryptodemocracy is Possible and Desirable, by Ehud Shapiro
The Future of Citizenship: Global and Digital. A Rejoinder, by Liav Orgad

#Blockchain4EU: Blockchain for Industrial Transformations – European Commission

The project #Blockchain4EU is a forward looking exploration of existing, emerging and potential applications based on Blockchain and other DLTs for industrial / non-financial sectors. It combined Science and Technology Studies with a transdisciplinary policy lab toolbox filled with frameworks from Foresight and Horizon Scanning, Behavioural Insights, or Participatory, Critical and Speculative Design. Amid unfolding and uncertain developments of the Blockchain space, our research signals a number of crucial opportunities and challenges around a technology that could record, secure and transfer any digitised transaction or process, and thus potentially affect large parts of current industrial landscapes. This report offers key insights for its implementation and uptake by industry, businesses and SMEs, together with science for policy strategic recommendations.

Source: #Blockchain4EU: Blockchain for Industrial Transformations – European Commission