In this week’s cryptocurrency round-up, Facebook explores other use cases for blockchain, Malta wants to make history through education certification, India has a four-week deadline to come up with cryptocurrency regulation, Warren Buffett is still not a Bitcoin fan, the FBI wants to hear from Bitconnect victims, and John Mcafee believes that one Bitcoin will be worth $1 million before 2021.
Facebook Looking Into Blockchain For Authorization
While there are all all sorts of companies that are exploring blockchain to see how they can prepare for the future in their respective sectors - many cryptocurrency enthusiasts and proponents are waiting to see companies that many individuals use in their everyday lives utilize the technology. One of those companies is obviously Facebook. For those that are unaware, a significant amount of the world’s population uses the social media platform, as it boasts over 2 billion monthly active users.
The company has taken quite a hit with regards to its reputation, however, thanks to the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which made international headlines. Specifically, a political consulting firm by the name of Cambridge Analytica harvested the data of millions of Facebook users in an attempt to influence the U.S. presidential election. Facebook’s CEO and founder, Mark Zuckerberg, had to appear before Congress, and was grilled for hours regarding the company’s dedication to privacy. As if this wasn't enough bad publicity, the company also suffered a data breach in September 2018 that compromised the information of around 50 million users, as well.
There have been rumors swirling that Facebook wants to develop its own stablecoin to enter the global remittance market, and the company has been quietly hiring blockchain engineers. It is believed that the stablecoin would be pegged to the U.S. dollar and would be utilized specifically for Whatsapp, which is also one of the world’s most popular applications, and has a considerable presence in India, an integral country for the remittance sector.
Either way, Zuckerberg apparently is interested in another way to utilize blockchain: to authenticate users. The idea would be that users would have their information on a decentralized system for added convenience for log-in purposes. Zuckerberg added that while this would give users more control over their data, there were drawbacks with respect to “abuse”. However, considering that Zuckerberg stated that he was thinking about blockchain over a year ago, and the company recently acquired blockchain startup Chainspace - that Facebook often gives clues before major moves, and this might mean that Facebook will look seriously into using blockchain for log-ins. Of course, time will tell.
India Has 4 Weeks
Many cryptocurrency enthusiasts have been saddened by the fact that two of the biggest and most powerful superpowers in Asia, China and India, have not embraced cryptocurrency the way that other neighbors have. For example, Singapore, Japan, and Korea, all appear to be more interested in cryptocurrency markets than the other two. This is disconcerting, considering the fact that China and India are not only superpowers, but two of the most populous countries in the world, which means that there could potentially be a massive cryptocurrency investor market.
Many have criticized the country, including Tim Draper, one of the world’s most famous venture capitalists and a Bitcoin enthusiast, who actually suggested that the Bitcoin should replace the rupee, and was not pleased about how India was reacting to the cryptocurrency space. The legendary investor has even gone so far as stating that he would tell the prime minister Narendra Modi to his face that it was a “huge mistake”. For those that might be unaware, Draper has been advocating for Bitcoin for years now, and even correctly predicted that Bitcoin would hit $10,000 by 2018.
India has been harsh on cryptocurrency. One story that made international headlines was when Unocoin founders were arrested over a cryptocurrency ATM that wasn’t even operational at the time. Some suggested that the issue wasn’t even about cryptocurrency, but the fact that the word “ATM” was used.
Either way, it appears as though the Indian government will finally make a decision regarding cryptocurrency. There has been a tremendous amount of conflicting opinions and perspectives regarding the space, with some suggesting that cracking down on cryptocurrency would stifle innovation and others warning that allowing cryptocurrency would lead to massive fraud all across the country. In a recent bust, gang members were arrested in a crypto scam that orchestrated a scheme worth millions ($13 million USD) across various states in India.
Either way, the Supreme Court is now giving the Union of India four weeks to come up with concrete cryptocurrency regulations.
Malta Plans To Make History
If there is one country that has been vocal about cryptocurrency, it is Malta, as it has clearly made it known that it wants to be recognized as “Blockchain Island”. Even Changpeng Zhao, the CEO of Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by daily volume, has publicly praised how open to blockchain and crypto the country is. Notably, the prime minister of Malta, Joseph Muscat, spoke at the United Nations General Assembly about how crypto is “the future of money”.
Malta will be making history, as it plans on becoming the first country to store all of its educational certificates on the blockchain. This will be achieved through a partnership between the Malta government and The Learning Machine.
Buffett Back At It
There are few individuals in the world whose opinion matter more in the world of finance than Warren Buffett, who many consider to be the most successful investor alive. For those who are unaware, Buffett is one of the richest people in the world, with a net worth of upwards of $80 billion, and is the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, a multinational conglomerate holding company with investments in some of the most influential companies in America (and the world), including Apple, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Coca-Cola, and others. He is often called the “Oracle of Omaha” for his insight, and there are individuals who pay millions simply for the chance to eat with Buffett every year. Unfortunately for cryptocurrency enthusiasts everywhere, Buffett has not been a fan of Bitcoin.
He has previously called Bitcoin “rat poison”, but apparently is now calling it a “delusion” that “attracts charlatans”. He told CNBC that it has “no unique value”. He seemed to acknowledge the potential of blockchain.
It should be noted that Buffett is one of the world’s richest individuals and also has substantial stakes in companies that are invested in the world of traditional finance. While some believe that Buffett is purposely attacking Bitcoin because he is threatened by its potential to overtake fiat currency, others believe that he simply doesn’t fully understand it. Either way, his stance on Bitcoin is quite clear.
FBI and Bitconnect
One of the most embarrassing scandals in the cryptocurrency world is Bitconnect, which was released in 2016. The idea was that users can lend Bitcoin for interest, and Bitconnect seemed to guarantee a return on investment. Many cryptocurrency influencers and Youtubers began endorsing the project, only for it to be revealed that it was an elaborate Ponzi scheme. The Bitconnect coin was one of the top 10 coins by market capitalization at one point, before plunging in value in early 2018. The coin (BCC) was once valued at over $400, and is currently valued at less than a dollar (as of press time).
The cryptocurrency community called out certain individuals such as Trevon James for endorsing the project, and it appears as though the saga isn’t over. Specifically, the Federal Bureau of Investigation wants to hear from victims of the scheme, asking them to fill out a questionnaire.
Mcafee Says A Million Coming
There are certainly quirky individuals in cryptocurrency, but all seem to pale in comparison to John Mcafee, the cybersecurity pioneer that was once a suspect in a Belize murder. Mcafee believes that one Bitcoin will soon be worth $1 million. While there are many individuals that believe Bitcoin will eventually be worth this amount - Mcafee seems to believe that it will happen quicker than some might believe. Specifically, he gave a hard date for Bitcoin to be worth $1 million - and that date is apparently December 31, 2020.
That means that Mcafee believes that Bitcoin will be worth $1 million in each within the span of the next three years, which is remarkable, considering that the price of Bitcoin is currently sitting at under $4000 (as of press time). Mcafee has recently fled the country, as he believes that U.S. authorities seek to charge him with felonies relating to tax fraud. This is not surprising, considering Mcafee has been open about not paying taxes for 8 years now. He still plans on running for the president of the United States from his boat (the location of which is currently unknown), hoping to promote cryptocurrency during the campaign, as well.