Showing posts with label facebook. Show all posts
Showing posts with label facebook. Show all posts

Why The Winklevoss Twins Say Facebook Won't Exist 10 Years From Now....

Winklevoss twins facebook comment

Here in Silicon Valley, by the time Facebook began making headlines, most already knew the name 'Winklevoss'. Facebook was starting to explode, MySpace was clearly dying out, and when the topic came up somebody would often ask 'Do you think Zuckerberg stole Facebook?'.  But as far who he may have stole it from 'Some twins he went to school with, named Winklevoss or something' is about all people knew.

It was the movie "The Social Network" most learned the name, and the story - where unfortunately they were portrayed so unlikeable, the audience rooted for Zuckerberg to win when they sued him claiming they were the rightful owners of Facebook.

There was no 'winner' - Zuckerberg settled out of court, but the Winklevoss twins sure seem to be winning big today.

With the legal battle behind them, they were ready to take their place in Silicon Valley, until startups began refusing their money...

Facebook was still considered a start-up, but the hottest one at the time, and these were the guys who just finished trying to sue them.  While nobody really knew who was right, that was enough for companies to decide to keep their distance.

So, they used that Facebook settlement money to invest in Bitcoin, which at the time was selling for $8 and had a community with an 'everyone is welcome' attitude. Their first venture beyond owning BTC was helping to fund BitInstant, launched at a time when the Silk Road was probably the reason most people were making their first bitcoin purchase. By no fault of their own, they found themselves shut down when the government claimed their site was being used by drug dealers laundering money.

The CEO, Charlie Shrem spent a year in jail, since their role as investors kept them distanced from the liability that comes with running day to day operations, they managed to remain free.

That's where the motivation to launch Gemini came from - and that's why it's the most regulated and government approved exchange out there...

In 2015 they became the first crypto exchange with the same license major banks hold, granted by the New York State Department of Financial Services - which holds enough weight this allowed them to open their doors to accept funds from all 50 states.

Since then Facebook and Crypto grew bigger than anyone could have imagined - and the Winklevoss twins and Zuckerberg can accurately be referred to as 'billionaires' because of it.

But who will the future favor? The Winkelvoss twins believe Facebook won't be around for the next decade...

“The idea of a centralized social network is just not going to exist five or 10 years in the future. There’s a membrane or a chasm between the old world and this new crypto-native universe. And we’re the conduit helping people transcend the offline into the online.” Tyler Winkevoss tells Forbes.

They're also helping to fund the tech to make it possible, becoming seed investors in Protocol Labs, which is focused on creating a decentralized internet that works independent of today's centralized server structure. 

Many in the crypto world will know the company from Filecoin, and later this year one of their workshops happens to be on building a decentralized social network, like Facebook.

The big shift is coming...

Frankly, Facebook seems to become more 'uncool' every day, if it didn't already earn that title when everyone's parents and grandparents joined. Zuckerberg has his own ventures into the crypto world in motion, but Facebook needs a facelift, and I doubt throwing some blockchain based features on top of it is the key to becoming cutting-edge again.

If successful, the Winklevoss twins won't be the next Zuckerbergs, no one will. That's the appeal - and they say playing the role of 'gatekeepers' in a decentralized world was never one of the goals. 

But in one sense, decentralization is like social media 10 years ago - we know it's going to be huge, but don't yet know exactly how it will fit into everyday life.

What dApp will be first to draw in hundreds of millions of users? I have no idea, but I'd bet my wallet it'll happen - and there's something exciting about that. On the other hand, I'm not sure if traditional social media has anything exciting on the horizon. 

Author: Ross Davis 
E-Mail: Twitter:@RossFM
San Francisco Newsroom / Breaking Crypto News

Facebook's 'Libra' Cryptocurrency Scared Chinese Government Into Developing Similar - Now Libra Is Stalled, And China Keeps Moving...

The process of understanding digital currencies began in China all the way back in 2014, when the Chinese Central Bank conducted basic, preliminary 'studies' - just so they would know what they were dealing with.

But lately, China has made it clear they're done learning.  The student may soon become the teacher.  That is, China is on a path to lead the world as the first country with true digital national currency.

While Venesuala's Petro is technically issued by the government, that nation's political issues stopped the Petro from being a functional  currency used in the global market. Because the nations rejecting it would still be rejecting it whether it was a cryptocurrency or not, so we can't consider the Petro an example of how a national cryptocurrency would function.

One of my sources, an analyst within a well known firm in the blockchain space has had the Chinese government as a client for awhile now, but only lately have they stepped things up, he explained: "Actions accelerated last October when they wanted to know every possible outcome of replacing the renminbi with a cryptocurrency.  Their goal being to reduce the costs inherent to issuance of paper money." 

He continued, touching on their general sentiment currently "They seem convinced of the advantages of crypto, and still debating potential disadvantages.  We're one of a few outlets providing a neutral 3rd party opinion.' 

Looking in to what was happening publicly around this time in October, we saw the approval of a new law for the use of cryptography, and President Xi Jinping offered statements in favor of considering some blockchains central technologies for "important and innovative advances".

Why the sudden acceleration? China's Fear Of Facebook.

Everyone I spoke to that I consider an expert on China said the same thing - they looked at Facebook's plans for Libra, and went into panic mode. 

Facebook and China have consistently clashed - they're very aware that Facebook is outside of their sphere of control.

"To them, the plans for Libra could have been presented by a US Government official and it would have been received the same - that's how they view Facebook. An American company, that tried to bring their platform to China but still wanted to follow US rules - not conform to China's" a contact who works inside a Hong Kong based crypto exchange told me.

There's a disaster coming if things don't change...

While Libra may have lit the fire that put China into overdrive, Facebook's fire here has been snuffed out by the US Government.

I'm no fan of Facebook, but I also never viewed Libra as a threat to other cryptocurrencies, if anything, it would serve as an easy first step into the cryptocurrency world, where people could get their feet wet.  Libra users would soon wander deeper into the waters, having gotten over the initial fear of using cypto for the first time.

American politicians actions against Libra may end with a global coin that isn't bound to USD, but the Yuen instead.

The clips I've seen of elderly US politicians who clearly lack any basic knowledge of how cryptocurrencies work, grandstanding and flexing their authority to Zuckerberg on TV seem dead set on hauling Libra.

Meaning China could end up first to market with a big global cryptocurreny, while the US is at a complete stand-still.

Like it or not, the combination of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, and the ability to aggressively push the users of these apps to try Libra, is a shortcut to 'mass adoption' no one else can mimic.

I get not liking Facebook, but I don't get stopping them just to allow China to do it instead.

Author: Adam Lee 
Asia News Desk

Silicon Valley Blows, As Crypto Valley Grows...

When a government makes an effort to stay current on tech, they become capable of regulating things the right way - making sure they do not interfere with innovation, and targeting only bad actors, with precision.

Switzerland is proving that making this extra effort comes with rewards, as they continue to attract highly desirable companies to their country.

There's been no ICO scams, or pump and dumps, among the 800+ cryptocurrency/blockchain based companies that call Crypto Valley home.  In fact, this community of legitimate companies would likely participate in exposing and removing anyone that risks tarnishing the area's reputation.

It's the exact opposite of what we're seeing happen here in Silicon Valley (our headquarters). 

The US is using laws written before the invention of the internet to regulate the new, emerging tech sector of cryptocurrency and blockchain.

Add politicians that are way too comfortable stepping in front of a microphone, having done minimal research, and spewing inaccurate, overblown fears based in ignorance. It's enough to scare even the most legitimate companies away, worried they'll get shut down simply out of lawmaker's confusion.
The end result - billions in revenue, and thousands of jobs lost by the USA - while Switzerland shows no signs of slowing down.

For a recent example, look to Silicon Valley giant Facebook - they won't be expanding their campus here, because Crypto Valley has been named the location for their "Libra Foundation" Headquarters.

Commentary from GCP Editor In Chief: Ross Davis
Video courtesy of: CNN Switzerland. 

Amazon is Up To Something, and It Involves Cryptocurrency - Could Facebook's Libra Have a Rival in The Works?

Sources inside an Amazon research department, not related to the online retail business they're best known for, but within the AWS (Amazon Web Services) branch of the company says - they've spent the last couple weeks focused on gathering data related the cryptocurrencies.

Speaking to the Crypto Press Association, the source shares:

"I want to be clear, i'm not making or implying any product or feature is coming because that would be jumping to conclusions I don't have.  Equally, I can't rule that out either." they continued "With that said, this is the type of data the leadership here requests before deciding *if* we'll be launching something new."

Asking for what types of data we're talking about here "I think 'a general overview' would be the right term to use.  Basically, the current most used cryptocurrencies, reasons people choose one over another, any additional advantages and disadvantages, and the technical specs - transactions per second, security, anonymity, total tokens circulating now, total still to be mined, etc."

This source is someone I worked with on a project here in Silicon Valley years ago, before they were with Amazon, and before I owned any cryptocurrency - so I felt comfortable enough to pester them to speculate what this is all about.

It took awhile, but they gave in.   As long as I promised to put this disclaimer in bold - this is nothing more than a guess, they said:

"When the Facebook Libra thing was what everyone was talking about, there was a sentiment around here that Amazon would be infinitely more qualified to take the lead on a project like that, compared to Facebook. We don't have their track record for privacy violations, and in my opinion that alone means a lot of people will never touch it. But mainly, if the purpose is to improve how transactions are done, well, literally no one does more transactions than us.  We alone could accomplish what Facebook needs dozens retail partners for."

I think this sentence was a great summary of the point "Think about it - if Amazon is on board you're talking about almost every product out there now available to be purchased with the cryptocurrency."

In closing, I was given a reminder "Remember, like any office building full of millennial tech professionals there's no shortage of people who own cryptocurrency inside of Amazon.   Remember, we registered years ago and it still forwards people to the regular homepage.  Don't think we're just discovering the crypto world now." 

Could it happen?!

Facebook recently warned investors that 'Libra may never see the light of day' - could Amazon rise up as a better qualified choice to execute something similar?

Or if Libra happens, will Amazon be competing?

Tell us what you think, Tweet us @GlobalCryptoDev

Author: Ross Davis
E-Mail: Twitter:@RossFM

San Francisco News Desk

US Crypto Traders - 
Claim Your $25 BTC...

Comparing US Treasury Secretary's Concerns Over Crypto, with Reality - And The Results are Disturbing...

Well, I sure feel silly.

I confess - I was thinking like a conspiracy theorist when I learned the final details around Libra, the upcoming cryptocurrency led by Facebook and backed by dozens of other major corporations.

Libra's entire model is so dependent on the US Dollar, that together with their plans to be used world wide - I thought "Surely this was planned WITH the US Government" or at least while consulting with them.

But I couldn't have been more wrong, as we learned this week that isn't the case, when US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin instead came out and expressed huge concern over the whole thing.

The fact is, and i'll explain why - this could only strengthen the USD if it succeeds, and have no effect on it if fails.  Hardly cause for huge concern.

So is the word 'cryptocurrency' really just so confusing, that it can create reactions like this?

Let's compare these fears, with the simple truth.

If you're catching up, here's the basics:

Libra is a 'stable coin' so it will always be worth exactly $1, every 1 Libra = $1 USD.  So unlike Bitcoin, Ethereum and others - this won't be a coin you find people investing in for profit.  It's only use is transnational.

They will then hold USD reserves to back up each Libra coin in circulation.

Now let's look at the two categories the Treasury Department's concerns fall under.

1) Integrity of the US Dollar...

A Libra token represents literally nothing more than a US Dollar, no different from one in your bank.

This is the main reason i'm stunned by Secretary Mnuchin's reaction. 

One huge reason for the strength of the US Dollar, is that it is the global standard currency for buying oil.  There's a reason the US uses every trick in the book, and writes a few of their own to keep it this way.

On that note, the USD has likely already gotten a boost from being the dominate crypto-to-fiat pairing on exchanges with an international user base, it's commonly the only fiat currency someone can 'cash out' to, regardless of where they're located.

Now imagine if Libra is successfully adopted around the world. USD is suddenly involved in a lot of transactions it wouldn't have been in before.

For example, perhaps some retailers here in the UK begin accepting Libra.  At the same time, it begins to catch on with the public.

Like me, while in your home country you probably use your nation's currency. So here, 99% of my transactions are done using the Pound (£) along with those in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Now throw a USD backed coin like Libra into the mix.

Suddenly transactions that would have never involved the US Dollar, are completely dependent on it. Every purchase I make here, Libra will need to hold an equal amount in USD there.

2) Illegal Usage...
The other concerns expressed are the usual "Libra could be misused by money launderers and terrorist financiers” babble we've all heard before, typically about Bitcoin.

There is no honest way to disagree with the following point:  Cryptocurrencies are infinitely more traceable than fiat currency.

Another plus: funds can be tracked outside of US borders even when they enter a hostile nation.  This is thanks to a public ledger, there is no cooperation needed.

But paper cash is completely untraceable.

Even digitally - you can buy a pre-paid Visa or Mastercard with paper cash, giving someone totally anonymous electronic transfers.

This means the truth is, cryptocurrencies do not offer a single, real advantage for criminals that they cannot find elsewhere. 

In closing....

While I can't say i'm thrilled Facebook is making it's entry into the sector, I can say between them, and the other companies involved in Libra, they have the lobbying power to basically force members of the US Government to get educated on the topic.

Because hearing leaders standing in front of microphones, saying things so inaccurate they should be embarrassed to say them, is getting old.

Author: Mark Pippen
London News Desk

Switzerland, A Top Location for Blockchain/Crypto Companies, Has a Big, New Player Coming To Town - Facebook's Libra Association...

Switzerland is already a popular location to set up and launch a company in the blockchain/crypto sector, and is considered one of the more forward-thinking governments when it comes to understanding the tech and welcoming the industry.

So it's no surprise Facebook and the Libra Association chose Geneva Switzerland as their headquarters.

But can they expect a warm welcome from the dozens of companies, and crypto-professionals already there?

Video Courtesy of CNN Money Switzerland.

University First to Offer Class Entirey Focused on Facebook's 'Libra' Cryptocurrency...

The University of Geneva is teaching Facebook’s new currency Libra in its blockchain programming course starting in September. Jean-Marc Seigneur from UNIGE says talks are already underway with Libra regarding collaboration on education: “The most advanced parts of Libra blockchain, the technical parts, might be taught by developers of Calibra, for example.”

Video Courtesy Of CNN Switzerland

Source: Facebook's Crypto Wallet WILL Feature Other Cryptocurrencies...

Facebook Calibra
As we said in the report we published the day Facebook officially announced everything - we've been covering Facebook's entry into cryptocurrency before they even knew they were getting into it... that's explained better here.

Honestly, after that announcement it was being talked about at every turn -  and I needed a break from the Libra buzz and everyone sharing their predictions, doomsday warnings, whatever.

But I feel a little less overloaded with Libra hype this week, so having caught my breath I thought now would be a good time to check in with some of our sources closer to the project. 

With most of the details now being public I wasn't expecting much other than to say hi.  However, I got some unexpected interesting information instead.

My source (who asked to remain unnamed) isn't part of the Libra project, but does hold a management position in a department Libra and Calibra will be heavily integrated into. For that reason, his team is 'kept in the loop' .

First he pointed out to me "Everyone has been focusing entirely on the Libra coin, they passed over the other big part of the announcement - the wallet, aka Calibra" - he's right, i'm guilty.

The only details we had so far was that this would first appear inside of WhatsApp in 2020, it will send and store the Libra coin. But to be fair, they didn't say that's all it would do.

According to this source, one feature still being kept under wraps - "Support for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies".

Asking for as many details as possible, he explained "When it comes to the core group making the decisions, I think the cryptocurrency community is underestimating them a bit.  Seriously, the Libra team members I've met so far aren't a bunch of crypto newbies.

I'll put it this way, so far of the few i've met, if they weren't working in crypto or blockchain before coming to facebook, they've at least owned and traded crypto long enough to get it.  

So to me this wasn't really a surprise. I can't imagine many people who are into cryptocurrency (casually or professionally) developing a cryptocurrency wallet without Bitcoin support. 

The Libra team knows this. There's no demand for a 1 coin wallet, that would just lead to people looking for a 3rd party wallet with Libra support."

But the most interesting part of this - his theory on how it could be implemented...

"I think this may be where we see Coinbase's partnership in the project come in to play.  With Coinbase facilitating the trade, any BTC held in the Calibra wallet could be instantly swapped for Libra and sent as a payment

Instant Bitcoin payments via Libra - think about it, if the BTC is in the Calibra wallet there's no need for us to wait for transactions to confirm on Bitcoin's blockchain. The wallet would confirm the user owns the necessary amount of Bitcoin, so we could swap out any BTC with Libra, and if the actual transaction behind that takes 30 minutes, who cares? We know it's coming, and the payment is done."

It's clear a lot is in the works, and I would like to emphasize - anything can change.

This source has been 100% accurate in the past so i'm fully convinced this is the current plan of the Libra team members he's talked to. But any feature on the table now, but not officially announced publicly, could still go.

I will say, stepping back and looking at the big picture - the big players in the smartphone industry keep inching towards cryptocurrency wallets becoming a standard feature. 

Unlike Google, Apple, and Samsung - Facebook can't simply decide their wallet will be included on millions of phones, their wallet needs to be good enough that people choose to install it.

A lot can happen between now and 2020 - and we'll keep you updated.

Author: Ross Davis
E-Mail: Twitter:@RossFM

San Francisco News Desk

Facebook Has a Cryptocurrency, And It Doesn't Matter...

Everything is going to be just fine...

Over the last 24hrs, I've seen way too many people making way too much out of this.  We need to talk.

Here at the Gloabl Crypto Press Association, we've been on top of this story from day one.

Actually... before day one, seriously.

Being based in Silicon Valley, just among our own staff there's people who worked for/with Facebook in various capacities. In my case, I was born and raised here, and if you're from my generation you're going to have friends from high school or college who ended up at Facebook.

That creates an atmosphere where if Facebook (or Zuckerberg specifically) mentions blockchain or cryptocurrency, somebody is going to bring it up to someone here.

For us, it started with Zuckerberg's sister entering the cryptocurrency industry last year - now you have to wonder if perhaps this is who first planted the idea in Mark's mind.

Then, Mark Zuckerberg mentioned blockchain himself. This was at the peak of Facebook being under fire for privacy issues, I admit we didn't take it seriously and thought he was just using the buzzword.

The big story then came in April of this year, we published "Facebook's Secret Plan For Crypto" and actually pretty much had the whole story then, saying to expect a stable coin with lots of corporate partners.

With a couple insignificant updates since then, I think we remained fair, and when appropriate, critical of Facebook's plans as we learned more and reported on it.

Now, finally, after all those articles where we had to use phrases like 'according to sources...' and 'there's a rumor that...' Facebook made it official with a post from Zuckerberg.

While those deeper in the crypto world have been following the story for awhile, there was still a fairly intense reaction today in every online crypto community I checked - Twitter, Reddit, Telegram and Discord, and of course Facebook itself - a good number of angry people convinced this is going to ruin crypto for all of us.

So let's address some of the main concerns we've seen so far.

Adoption VS Usage...

Yes, Facebook's coin is likely going to kick off and almost immediately see heavy usage.

This is because Facebook, with it's partners will be inserting themselves into transactions, presenting the option to them - this is not adoption.

In tech 'adoption' means people looking for a solution feel they have discovered the best one. But Facebook is going to be saying "use our coin" to people who were never asking 'which cryptocurrency should I use?'

They'll provide some incentives to do so, so people will.  This is still just usage, not adoption - and with usage there's no loyalty.

The effect that will have...

With Facebook providing incentives for people to use Libra, people will take that big first step of making their first ever transaction using cryptocurrency.

Once they do, human nature kicks in.  Suddenly people who have heard about Bitcoin, or other cryptocurrencies, see them as a lot less intimidating.

Unfortunately for Facebook... they're Facebook...

I believe they can convince someone to try cryptocurrency, I don't think they can convince someone to trust them.

"This is great, I should find an alternative that isn't from Facebook" is going to be a common response.  There's just no way around it.

Regardless of what Facebook promises, people have concerns in the back of their mind any time Facebook is involved.

Many who try and like Libra will go looking for a Facebook-free alternative.

There won't be a cult following for this coin...

Look at the communities behind the top coins.  Each have people who hate it, like it, love it, and LIVE FOR IT.   Sometimes they even go to war with each other.

I don't see Libra having anything except people who hate it, and like it.

Let's be honest, the excitement of owning a stablecoin is greatly limited...

The excitement that comes with price volatility is what sucked us in and got us hooked, and typically a cult following is made up of people who love a coin that made them a nice profit.

During days of heavy market activity, up or down, how often do you check prices?  All of this is gone with a stablecoin.

The retailers...

This one is huge, because with the help of the credit card companies involved in to Libra, they will be recruiting lots of retailers to accept their first cryptocurrency.

Retailers that may have been 20 years away from accepting cryptocurrency will hear that Visa and Mastercard are involved, and it's a way to bring in revenue - and that's all they need to say 'yes' at a time they would say no to someone offering them a way to accept Bitcoin or other top coins.

Now, the retailer is in a very different position, because 'you should add Bitcoin to the types of cryptocurreny you accept' is a totally different pitch, and now a much smaller step for them to take.

So, relax...

There's countless ways Facebook's cryptocurrency can serve as a pathway, leading people and businesses in to the general cryptocurrency market and economy. While at the same time, limited in the influence it has over what we've built so far.

In other words, I think this is a one way street - and it's sending people in our direction.

Author: Ross Davis
E-Mail: Twitter:@RossFM

San Francisco News Desk

Facebook's Cryptocurrency Could Quickly Become More Popular Than Bitcoin, Analyst Claims...

Global Crypto Press Association Editors Note:  After watching the video above, I would like to you to consider a few things.  Mainly - does this even matter?

We've remained fair, and when appropriate, critical of Facebook's plans as we've learned more, and so far it doesn't seem as exciting as some in the media have made it out to be, or has threatening as some in the crypto world have made it out to be. 

This isn't criticism, but simple fact - the word 'adoption' is being used very loosely here. What we will see is more along the lines of Facebook 'inserting itself' into transactions, rather than 'adoption' which in tech typically implies people looking for a solution, and deciding upon the best one. 

Another important factor that people are passing over with too little consideration - this is a stablecoin, automatically making it a very different animal than Bitcoin. The excitement that comes with trading and price volatility is what sucked us all into our current crypto-obsessions, all this is gone when it comes to Facebook's coin.

Even if successful, it could be a coin with millions of users and no 'community' tied to it. While millions use it, I've never seen a message board where thousands of PayPal fans get together, at least for anything beyond user to user tech support.  I would expect the same if Facebook's cryptocurrency  is successful. 

That's because using it won't be any more exciting than selecting Visa, Mastercard, or Paypal at checkout, it's just another option for straightforward payment. 

For these reasons, I think framing Facebook's coin as a rival to Bitcoin is a faulty concept at it's core.

Facebook's coin will do nothing beyond proving that cryptocurrency works as an easy and secure payment method.

With that new confidence in the tech, success of Facebook's coin could actually spark a lot of people's curiosity in cryptocurrency, and end up sending waves of people c over to the cryptocurrency world we know.

-Ross Davis, Editor In Chef
Share your thoughts @GlobalCryptoDev

Facebook's Cryptocurrency Has Some Saying Big Tech Is Acting Like Government - Is This A Giant Leap Towards REAL Technocracy?

Facebook's coin may be the biggest step so far towards a real, functioning technocracy. That is, where a tech company begins to assume roles previously reserved for governments - both issuing a currency, and deciding the rules participants in of the marketplace will need to follow.  Are we looking at a privately owned treasury, with a private police force overseeing the market? 

 Some say - no good could come of this in the long run.

Others say these fears are overblown, at the end of the day, Facebook is bound to US law like anyone else. Besides - governments have done such a bad job managing fiat currencies, could this really be any worse?

 Video courtesy of ColdFusion

Facebook's Cryptocurrency Keeps Sounding Worse And Worse, As Insider Leaks New Partners - Visa and Mastercard....

More details have just emerged regarding Facebook's cryptocurrency project, perhaps giving us the most insight so far on the direction they're aiming to take the project.

An insider, speaking to The Wall Street Journal has just leaked some new information on the project, including it's name internally at Facebook, "Project Libra".

We already knew they we're 'going big' with this one - approximately 3 weeks ago we learned about the massive fundraising efforts going on behind the scenes - that's when we first heard the project's $1 billion dollar price tag, and that Facebook would be seeking outside investment to raise it. 

The reporter who published that story also dove into Facebook's current job listings and discovered 22 new roles within the company's blockchain department now accepting applications, bringing the total number of department staff from 40 to 62.

If the WSJ's unnamed source is to be believed, we now know some specifics on where that $1 billion will come from -  Visa, Mastercard, and a company you may not know by name, but processes many of the payments for both, First Data Corp.

Let's try to look on the bright side:

I know, it's starting to feel like an alliance of the worst corporations coming together to launch EvilCoin - but, this also may potentially serve as a gateway cryptocurrency.

Because Facebook's plan actually reaches far beyond Facebook - they've also been approaching major online retailers and hope to make their cryptocurrency an accepted form of payment at a wide variety of businesses.  Rumor is, they're pitching them with a pro-crypro argument I've heard since owning my first Bitcoins - all the money they could save on processing fees.

Now imagine - once a retailer has been coaxed into accepting this cyptocurrency, and sees the cumulative effects of saving the 2%-3% typically lost to credit card companies for processing, why would they stop here?

They'll soon learn there's billion held by potential customers in other cryptocurrencies that offer them that exact same incentive.

It's also going to be a lot harder for anyone to make generalized statements against cryptocurrency's legitimacy, with a Visa and Mastercard in their wallet, and the Facebook app on their phone.  Can you really be anti-crypto when everything in your pocket says you're wrong?

It may not be the path to mass adoption we dreamed of, but it's potentially a path nonetheless.

Facebook declined to comment on these latest rumors.

Author: Justin Derbek
New York News Desk

YouTube & Facebook could lose it all - first warning shot comes as #1 YouTuber moves to 'blockchain powered' platform...

No one has created higher demand for YouTube and Facebook alternatives, than YouTube and Facebook.

To understand the mess these companies find themselves in today, you need to understand some of the choices they've made along the way.

One of the strangest was their need for approval from dying old media.  But the dying old media is out for blood as TV, radio, and print, now get less viewers, listeners, and readers than YouTubers, Podcasters, and bloggers.

Now the #1 YouTuber is testing the waters outside of the tech giant's waters - and the timing matters.

I'm personally not a PewDiePie fan, only because there's always something i'd rather watch more, I guess it's just not my taste. He makes silly videos, but still, has reason to fear he could get booted off of YouTube any day.  As explained by Forbes:

"PewDiePie's partnership with DLive comes after a petition to ban PewDiePie from YouTube, accusing his channel of being "one of the largest platforms for white supremacist content"

He doesn't. I'm Hispanic, if he did I would say so. He's said some dumb stuff, but not knowing where to draw the line is not what they accuse him of. What the old media is really outraged about is his popularity - specifically, compared to theirs.

I should know, i'm from that world. After majoring in Mass Communications, I was an on-air host and producer at a #1 rated radio station in one of the top 5 US markets for several years.

Thankfully, I got out in time, before the layoffs and pay-cuts began. Always being obsessed with tech and living in Silicon Valley, I was the first among my friends to stop using my car radio completely, and get in the habit of immediately plugging in my iPod upon entering the vehicle.  I knew 'mass adoption' of this was coming soon.

It wouldn't be long until the iPhone came out, and everyone I knew (who was in their early 20's like me) was done with radio.

TV and print went through similar transformations, bringing us to where things stand today. 

I'm not saying traditional broadcast media is dead or even going to die, but to survive they lowered budgets, let some people go, and telling people they'll be getting paid less because they're losing audience to Podcasters and YouTubers has left that industry with a lot of bruised egos, and resentment for online personalities.


Members of the traditional media aren't delusional enough to believe they will get people to tune into FM radio instead of Spotify again, they know they won't get people to cancel their Netflix account and start watching shows when they're actually airing.

I believe purely out spite, they're using the last bits of influence they have to trash as much of the new media as possible.

Think of how many times you've heard something on Netflix is "controversial" or "offensive" but you watch it and cannot fathom what that journalist was thinking.

Independent digital media figures like PewDiePie and Joe Rogan faced the same as old media went straight for the throat, labeling them "white supremacists".  The attack itself shows just how out of touch they are, in their world if someone gets that label put on them, it's over.

All it did was result in the media losing more of the little trust they had left.

But here's where things get strange - the tech companies themselves still seem hungry for approval from the old media that secretly hates them.


Companies like Google, Facebook, and Apple have benefited the most from these changes in people's viewing habits, yet that hunger for approval often surfaced by allowing the old media to dictate how they will operate.

Disclaimer - I'm no fan of Alex Jones. I don't hate him either, to be honest I don't know much about the guy. If it helps - ignore that he's the example being used here.

He was kicked off in 2018 for a rule he broke in 2013.

Put aside whatever feelings you have about the guy and let that sink in. The old media got together with the plan to get him take offline, and decided old video clips about the Sandy Hook school shooting were the best material they had against him.

Today they talk about him 'being kicked off for his comments about Sandy Hook' like there isn't a 6 year gap there. It's odd.

Because once you focus on that 6 year gap between what he said, and being kicked off for it - what happened is immediately obvious.

Does anyone believe that news networks getting less viewers than Jones, had a genuine sudden concern over 2013 statements he made? I promise you, that wasn't it.

Now include in other scandals like Elsagate, and the newest one showing pedophiles having a total open community on YouTube.  YouTube knew about, and ignored these issues when it was only YouTubers bringing it up.

But as soon as the mainstream media turned them into 'official' news stories, we saw YouTube spring into action.

Once again, the old mainstream media flexed their power over today's digital platforms, showing their power spans from getting YouTube to act when they never should have, or getting YouTube to finally act when they should have long before.


CNN's prime-time often won't break 1 million viewers.

YouTube's top 100 channels all have 19 million subscribers or more, topping it is PewDiePie with 94 million. 

Yet the CNN could probably get PewDiePie kicked off if they really decided to, they don't even have to wait for him to screw up - just dig something up.

So imagine being in the shoes of a popular digital creator and relying on these platforms, you've had the old media write articles misquoting you, or taking your jokes seriously to label you racist or sexist - you must have some concern that one day it, one of these articles could end with your content being deleted.

So far, creators are responding with the middle finger.

Joe Rogan, and Logan Paul have now had Alex Jones on as a guest - sending a message to YouTube that old TV and print media may decide who YouTube should allow to have a channel, but they decide who will be allowed on theirs.

It's just begun, and it couldn't be off to a worse start for the tech giants.

YouTube's #1 channel announced they'll be live streaming on a new, decentralized platform that raised $20 million promoting themselves as "YouTube on the blockchain".

An article in Forbes about PewDiePie's big move had grasp on the situation, saying:

"PewDiePie, one of the world's biggest internet stars and long-time holder of the most subscribed YouTube channel, has signed an exclusive deal with blockchain streaming platform DLive, edging PewDiePie closer to bitcoin and cryptocurrencies as his fractious relationship with mainstream services and the media continues."

There's going to be more "YouTube on the blockchain" sites coming, and there's several projects aiming to replace Facebook as well such as, and promising to secure personal data, instead of one scandal after another involving it being misused.

Leading platforms have positioned themselves as rulers over their users, creating an 'us VS them' mentality - which you immediately hear when you listen to a YouTuber talk about YouTube.

The last thing a company wants is demand for a site that has the same features, and different owners - that's when their fate is set.  All of Silicon Valley needs to remember that the authority they've been given can be taken away.

Ask yourselves 'Decentralized platforms offer a solution to what problem?' and make sure the answer isn't YOU.

Author: Ross Davis
E-Mail: Twitter:@RossFM
San Francisco News Desk

Facebook's SECRET plan for crypto? They say they're building a stablecoin - but a $1 BILLION budget and 60+ person team says there's more...

Facebook's cryptocurrency

So far, the reports from Bloomberg and The New York Times, which have been the sources for this story say that Facebook's end goal is a stablecoin (a token always worth $1 each) for use in the WhatsApp messenger - nothing beyond this has been suggested.

WhatsApp is a great use-case for a stablecoin, with 1.5 billion active users per month around the world, you can imagine the number of potential transactions all of these users would generate.

Today we learned a bit more, according to Nathaniel Popper, the NY Times reporter who wrote the original story - we hear that Facebook is out to raise $1 billion from venture capitalists to fund their cryptocurrency project.

"Update on Facebook's cryptocurrency: Sources tell me that Facebook is now looking to get VC firms to invest in the Facebook cryptocurrency project we reported on earlier this year. I hear they are targeting big sums -- as much as $1b." he said in a tweet.

Here's what we know so far:

Facebook hired former PayPal President David Marcus in 2014, first as head of their Messenger app, now running a whole new department under the title of "Director of Engineering, Blockchain.”

Facebook's blockchain department has 40+ employees already.

There are 22 job listings right now as Facebook is hiring even more people for their blockchain department.

Facebook is seeking $1 billion from VCs to fund their cryptocurrency project.

Adding a stablecoin to WhatsApp is not a project that takes 60+ people in a whole new department or a billion dollar budget. Regardless, Facebook doesn't need investors to cover a $1 billion expense.

There's definitely something more here - but what?

What everyone is in agreement on is that money is not Facebook's reason for turning to outside investors. Popper, the NYT reporter's theory is:

"Given that one of the big allures of blockchain projects is the decentralization, getting outside investors could help Facebook present the project as more decentralized and less controlled by Facebook."

But that falls short of explaining things. Everything from the budget to the number of employees tells us that there's more in the works than just adding a blockchain-backed 'send money' feature to a messaging app.

I can't imagine people seeing Facebook's coin as 'more decentralized' upon hearing it was 'created by Facebook and venture capital firms' instead of just Facebook.

That will be decided when we get a look at the blockchain, and nothing else.  If it's actually decentralized, it will be treated as such.  If it isn't, hearing that several institutions are behind it wouldn't stop people from calling it centralized.

However, Popper is right that Facebook doesn't need to turn to outside investors when they need a billion dollars.  For perspective, Facebook paid $19 billion when they acquired WhatsApp.

My best guess - Facebook plans on acquiring companies in the cryptocurrency space.

It's the only thing I could think of where all of this makes sense. They're putting together a group of investors - because this is just the first billion of many.

They're making sure they have the ability to offer cryptocurrency companies billions in buyouts and have quick access to the funding needed to do it, all without risking profits from their main social networking business.

As someone in the Silicon Valley tech world, this lines up perfectly with the general sentiment I hear from people here.  More often than not, you'll get an answer like "It has some huge potential, but it's hard to say what will happen in the future" if you ask someone's opinion on the future of cryptocurrency.

A plan to enter the cryptocurrency space, still able to use their successful tactic of buying companies instead of building products from scratch - while at the same time, spreading the risk by bringing in investors.

This is exactly what I would expect from a company that sees cryptocurrency's potential, so entering the space seems like a smart move - but at the same time, they're not convinced enough to do it all with their own money.

Have another theory? We'd love to hear it - tweet us @GlobalCryptoDev!

Author: Ross Davis
E-Mail: Twitter:@RossFM
San Francisco News Desk

Mark Zuckerberg's weird, nonsensical idea to use blockchain to fix Facebook's public relations nightmare...

Over and over Facebook finds themselves continually under attack for everything from claims their platform enabled election interference in the US and other countries, to admissions from former staff that they've conducted creepy experiments on users to see if they could manipulate a user's emotional state.

But the issue that keeps coming back in various forms - privacy.

From the amount of data outside developers were able to access, which came to light in the Cambridge Analytica scandal, to learning that they keep deleted video sand  'scan' images sent privately through messenger.  You get the idea - Facebook has creeped a lot of people out.

This may surprise you, but in most of these scandals, I don't put much blame on Facebook. If the first step was allowing an app access and clicking "ok" to a notification that the app will have access to your personal info, you can't complain when that's exactly what they do.  The same goes for anything a user uploads - you don't get to act shocked Facebook has the data that you uploaded to Facebook.

Also strange - the idea that Facebook is the worst violator. What they actually do is pretty much 'standard' here in Silicon Valley - but for whatever reason, Facebook has been singled out.

We probably all know someone delusional enough to think they've taken control of their privacy by leaving Facebook... but their e-mail address is still Google GMail.  This perfectly sums up Facebook's current situation.

Zuckerberg's confusing proposition...

Just 16 hours before publishing this article Mark Zuckerberg debuted a new video series he's hosting himself, a "series of discussions on the future of technology and society".  In this first episode he speaks with guest Harvard Law Professor Jonathan Zittrain on a variety of topics, decentralized services being one of them.  Mark states:

“A use of blockchain that I’ve been thinking about … though I haven’t figured out a way to make this work out, is around authentication and… granting access to your information to different services”  He continued “So, replacing the notion of what we have with Facebook Connect with something that is truly distributed.”

Facebook Connect is when you see that 'sign on with Facebook' option on sites which allow you to bypass the usual a signup method.

Here's the problem:

Imagine I have built an app that gives the option to connect to your Facebook account - in fact, it requires it (as some do).  For this, it asks for permission to view your friends list, your e-mail address, the pages you 'like', your location, and your posts - a pretty common request for apps using Facebook Connect.

Here's a screenshot from the Facebook developer area, showing all the data someone can request access to:

So now I'm receiving enough information on you where I know the music you listen to and shows you watch (from the fan pages you liked), where you live, and what's on your mind (remember, I can read your posts).

If this process was executed using blockchain technology as Zuckerberg is considering, on the distributed ledger could see exactly what information was shared and where it went when you installed my app.

Now imagine I put all the information I've gathered from everyone into a database, and sold it.

That's the problem - once your personal data has been delivered to me via blockchain, I don't need the blockchain anymore, your data is mine.

Blockchain is necessary to guarantee a cryptocurrency transaction is valid every time it changes hands. It's why we can't just create Bitcoin for ourselves by storing it offline and duplicating the storage device.

But I can sell copies of your personal data to 10 different companies, nobody cares if there are multiple copies. It's not like once the first person used it, it would stop working for the other 9.

It's all about perception...

As I said in the beginning, Facebook as a public perception problem - I even said it's unfair to act like Facebook is doing anything worse than the other tech giants.

So I think the idea is this: the public feels Facebook is especially untrustworthy with their data, even though that's not true.  Let's make them feel like we've taken big steps to secure their data, even though that's not true.

While putting "users in control of their data using blockchain technology" wouldn't make any real difference, if they could spin the concept properly people may feel that it does, and that's all that really matters.


There's only one real option - Facebook starts gathering less data, and greatly restricts data developers can access.

They took one small step in that direction, it just took a media firestorm. The loophole that gave Cambridge Analytica access to so much information has been closed. Until then, an app could access the data of the person who approved it, and their friends. Cambridge Analytica got terminated for reselling the data, and now all developers can only access the data of the individual who approved it.

It briefly came up in this same discussion, Zuckerberg touched on it saying "...people chose to give their data which was affiliated with Cambridge University and that person sold that information to Cambridge Analytica, which was a violation of our policies."

Everyone agreed that level of access was excessive, but to restrict developers access even more is asking for a revolt. Developers around the world implement Facebook into their products for this data, and a good chunk of Facebook's value comes from this.

Currently Facebook has the luxury of there being no real competition.I know you're thinking "what? there's countless competing social networking platforms!". Yeah but think back to the death of MySpace, if a friend disappeared there, you just knew they officially moved to Facebook.   There's no 1 place everyone quitting Facebook is popping back up on.

If there was, you can be sure Facebook would be right there with an offer they can't refuse - just as they did when Instagram started cutting into people's time on Facebook.

So if Facebook decides to "use blockchain" understand that all they're really doing is using the word "blockchain" - and hoping they can absorb some of the trust people associate with it.
Author: Ross Davis
E-Mail: Twitter:@RossFM

San Francisco News Desk

Facebook reverses their ban on cryptocurrency ads...

Back in January of this year, Facebook announced their ban of all advertisements related to cryptocurrency.   The ban was strict, and covered all aspects of the cryptocurrency world.  If it was in any way related to cryptocurrency - it wasn't allowed.

Today however, they announced they're letting the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry back on to their advertising platform, but with some new guidelines, saying:

"...starting June 26, we’ll be updating our policy to allow ads that promote cryptocurrency and related content from pre-approved advertisers. But we’ll continue to prohibit ads that promote binary options and initial coin offerings.

Advertisers wanting to run ads for cryptocurrency products and services must submit an application to help us assess their eligibility — including any licenses they have obtained, whether they are traded on a public stock exchange, and other relevant public background on their business."

Their full announcement can be read here.
Author: Adam Lee 
Asia News Desk

Rumor patrol: Is Facebook really launching their own cryptocurrency?

Having seen the buzz around this pop up in several cryptocurrency groups/channels i'm part of this week, I decided to dig in and see what is just hype and speculation, and what's actually true.

This story really started at the beginning of this year - with Mark Zuckerberg simply stating in Janurary that he wanted to 'study decentralizing technologies like encryption and cryptocurrency'.

Until this week that was all we knew - then on Tuesday Facebook officially announced their plans to create a team dedicated to Blockchain technology.  The team is headed by none other than David Marcus, who is not only director of Facebook Messenger, but sits on the board of Coinbase.

So we know this for sure: a blockchain team has been created at Facebook - but we do not know it's purpose, yet.

It's important to remember - blockchain technology can be used to keep records of any kind of transaction or data - those of us in the cryptocurrency world just happen to use that tech to facilitate and store records of the transfer of virtual currencies.

Bridget van Kralingen, IBM’s senior vice president of global Industries, platforms and blockchain spoke to Fortune Magazine this week with a theory that Facebook could use blockchain tech to combat criticism of how they handle user data, saying:

"What they are grappling with is securing data, and making sure that if people want privacy or trackability of their data they can actually secure that—whether it’s on the ad side or the personal side. So I think it’s a technology that fits very well with some of the business model challenges that they’re actually facing, and I think they’re very right to take this very seriously.”

While it's just a theory, i'm leaning in this direction as well.

So why are people saying "Wow I heard Facebook is coming out with Facebook Coin!"? 

It started with this article on which claims they have anonymous sources within Facebook telling them “They are very serious" about starting a cryptocurrency.  Then, other sites felt this was enough to go off, and wrote their own articles speculating on an official Facebook coin.

Sure, maybe their secret insider actually exists - but as a resident of Silicon Valley myself, I have more friends working at Facebook than I can count (largely because it's quite a revolving door over there) - so, from my sources - one of them absolutely in a position to know - they have heard nothing about a Facebook coin coming.

Either way - I applaud Facebook for at least taking these first few steps to see how Blockchain could improve the service for everyone. It's exciting - but let's separate the facts from the speculation - whatever they're up to is still in it's very early phase.

There's a real a chance Facebook doesn't even know how Facebook is going to use Blockchain yet.

Author: Ross Davis
E-Mail: Twitter:@RossFM
San Francisco News Desk

Why is this former Facebook investor, and PayPal co-founder buying massive amounts of Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is on the rise today, and the reason many are pointing to is an interesting one.

Peter Thiel is an American entrepreneur, venture capitalist, author, one of the early investors in Facebook, as well as a PayPal co-founder - and he's spending big on Bitcoin.

Today, the Wall Street Journal published a report stating Theil has "amassed hundreds of millions of dollars" worth of Bitcoin, citing unnamed inside sources.

This is important for two reasons - first, many investors just follow Theil's lead.  In other words, when it's reported that he has invested, that's all they need to hear to do it too.

Secondly, it shows a shifting of priorities for a Silicon Valley venture capitalist to be putting money into anything but a start up - many thought cryptocurrencies weren't really on their radar until now.

The report brought a spike up today in Bitcoin's valye by over 13% -  even triggering mandatory halts in the trading of Bitcoin futures by CBOE.

Peter Thiel earlier this year warned that people were "Underestimating" Bitcoin.  Looks like he put his money where his mouth is.

Author: Ross Davis
San Francisco News Desk