News Daily Byte: Friday, December 21, 2018

Daily Byte: Friday, December 21, 2018


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December 21, 2018 5:58 PM

Facebook reportedly pursuing stablecoin, pro-crypto Congressmen seek to change securities laws, and Chinese financial news organizations take on plagiarism.

Bloomberg: Facebook Developing Cryptocurrency for WhatsApp

In recent months, the crypto community has watched with bated breath as Facebook revved up its crypto strategy – first with the hiring of blockchain engineers and developers and then feeding the speculation that the social media giant may be developing a cryptocurrency.

As it turned out, the rumors surrounding Facebook were not just hype, at least according to the anonymous sources cited in a report by Bloomberg. Facebook, they say, is working on a stablecoin. The coin is currently only in the strategy plan, with Facebook working on a plan for custody assets – the real-world assets that will be held as collateral to back the cryptocurrency.

In May, David Marcus, formerly of PayPal, became the head of Facebook’s blockchain initiative. Facebook will reportedly focus on the remittance market in India, where users can send payments in the cryptocurrency using messaging app WhatsApp, owned by Facebook.

“Like many other companies, Facebook is exploring ways to leverage the power of blockchain technology,” a company spokesman said in a statement, per Bloomberg. “This new small team is exploring many different applications. We don’t have anything further to share.”

US Lawmakers to Consider Changing Securities Rules to Exclude Crypto

If two representatives have their way, Congress will vote to remove cryptocurrency from the US definition of a security.

The “Token Taxonomy Act” – introduced by Representatives Warren Davidson (R-OH) and Darren Soto (D-FL) – would amend the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 to define “digital tokens” and “[clarify] that securities laws do not apply to companies that use blockchain once they reach their goal of becoming a functional network.”

The SEC currently uses the Howey Test to determine if coins should be treated as securities. While Davidson and Soto want to change that, the bill is more a signal of intent from the representatives, both of whom have recently introduced other crypto legislation: If not taken up today, the last day Congress is likely still in session, it will have to be reintroduced next year.

Chinese Media Alliance to Use Blockchain for Copyright Protection

Chinese state-owned news outlet International Finance News is reporting that a media copyright protection alliance has been established using blockchain. The Beijing-based group – the China Financial Media Copyright Protection Alliance – will include more than 30 financial media outlets, such as China Business News and Beijing Business Daily.

The alliance will use blockchain to “to provide original authentication and copyright protection for original works.” The technology would embed a “DNA” identifier in alliance members’ articles, and the platform will be able to trace copied articles to the original, regardless of where they are published online.

This effectively creates a check against online plagiarism, providing both a detection system and an evidence-gathering device for the publishing firms.

Have a Merry Christmas. We will be back Wednesday with your Daily Byte.

Frederick Reese is a politics and cryptocurrency reporter based in New York. He is also a former teacher, an early adopter of bitcoin and Litecoin, and an enthusiast of all things geeky and nerdy.

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