Madelina Feliks

Facebook’s Libra Cryptocurrency Faces More Withdrawal of Support for the Project

As U.S. legislators and regulators continue to scrutinize Facebook’s planned launch of its Libra cryptocurrency, six (6) other financial backers of the project have announced withdrawal of their support.

Wary of becoming involved in a financial project that has yet to present proof that it is capable of meeting and complying with regulatory requirements, major credit card companies Visa and Mastercard, decided not to pursue plans of becoming founding members of the Libra Association.

Other companies that withdrew pledge of financial support and membership from the Libra Association, include eBay, Stripe, Booking Holdings and Mercado Pago. This recent development came after PayPal formally announced the company’s withdrawal a week ago.

As a result, the Libra cryptocurrency will only have Netherlands-based PayU on board as payments processor. However, it is purported the PayU is not accessible in the U.S. and Canada, as well as in some areas in the Middle East and Africa.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says that it is necessary for the Libra cryptocurrency to meet financial regulatory standards, which up to now is not up to par.

Moreover, Secretary Mnuchin warned that if Facebook’s Libra launches while not meeting the anti-money laundering standards and the standards set by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, the Treasury Department would take enforcement actions against Facebook and its proposed governing body, the Libra Association.

Remaining Libra Associates Still Optimistic about the Libra Cryptocurrency Project

Despite the mounting pressure to comply with financial regulatory requirements, and the rising number of partners withdrawing as Libra Associates, the remaining partners held an inaugural meeting in Geneva, Switzerland yesterday (October 14, 2019).

Reuters reported that the remaining 21 members, out of the original 28 previously named as Libra Associates, reaffirmed their support for the cryptocurrency undertaking. The group formed and voted on the 5-member board, whilst agreeing to an interim articles of association, developed in accordance with Swiss Laws.

Making up the 5-member board are Facebook Executive David Marcus, and representatives of PayU, Andreessen Horowitz, Xapo Holdings Limited and non-profit organization Kiva Microfunds.

Posted by Madelina Feliks in Cryptocurrency

Equity Release : An Option Available to Seniors in Boosting Financial Security and in Managing Effects of an Imminent Recession

As fears of economic recession are slowly creeping in across the U.S. and the UK, making preparations to boost one’s financial security will prove to be a wise move. Leaders arriving at solutions for different political issues, such as the ongoing U.S. trade wars and the No-Brexit deal in the UK, seem far from happening.

Inasmuch as forecasts of global economic conditions present dim and cloudy possibilities, making preparations for the future can help ease the impact of a recession especially among seniors. After all, most senior citizens live off on pensions upon retirement. If ever economic recession transpires, the value of those pensions might not suffice to meet their basic needs.

Consider the Benefit of Cashing Out on a Property by way of Equity Release

If you are aged 55 or above, a sensible proactive move is to take out the potential wealth afforded by your real property by way of equity release. That way you can bolster your financial security as a senior citizen, whether or not recession happens. There is no harm in taking advantage of an equity release as soon as you become eligible, since you do not have to worry about repaying the principal and interest during your lifetime.

To help you decide, find out how much cash you can take out by getting hold of an online equity release calculator. Moreover, explore the different methods and the terms offered by lenders before agreeing to an equity release transaction.

What is an Equity Release

An equity release furnishes a no-worry type of getting hold of money using your real estate as collateral. Although similar to a mortgage, money taken out by equity release and the related interests, become due only upon your death or once you move in to a nursing home.

This denotes that the property you collateralised will be used as a means of settling the financial obligation contracted via an equity release arrangement. However, there is a likely possibility that the value of the estate you will leave behind as legacy, will be lower. That being the case, do not fall prey to enticements about investing your equity money on shady schemes, or on risky investments like cryptocurrency.

Why Investing In Cryptocurrency is Risky

Investing your money in cryptocurrency, presents great risks. First off, the blockchain platform supporting cryptocurrency transactions is still a young technology, which so far, has not developed into a sturdy infrastructure. Introduced about ten years ago, cryptocurrency operations have been hit with a number of unsolved cases of fraud and cyber theft.

More importantly, the cryptocurrency market operates on a volatile environment that is reliant on technology not supported by government regulations. Since there are no clear and specific rules governing cryptocurrency exchanges, there is always the risk of losing money. This is especially true if unscrupulous individuals manipulate exchanges in order to create a bubble economy; or introduce new applications that can circumvent guardrails securing the blockchain platform.

Even if touted as a safer alternative to carrying cash around, or for shielding your financial activities from prying eyes, only a few establishments accept cryptocurrency as mode of payment. As senior citizens, money acquired from equity release is best used for keeping your life as comfortable as possible from golden, to sunset and eventually, to twilight years

Posted by Madelina Feliks in Cryptocurrency, Finance

Facebook and Its Libra Cryptocurrency Project Suffer from Trust Issues

Facebook’s Libra project is about combining online shopping and making other online financial transactions right on the Facebook platform, whilst using only a single digital currency as acceptable mode of payment. Facebook would call its own kind of cryptocurrency as Libra.

The mechanics looks appealing as it will make Facebook a one-stop-shop environment where people can communicate, meet, shop and transact at the same time. However, there is just one important problem that Facebook will find difficult to hurdle: lack of trust among Facebook users.

The general perception is that the social media site lacks the capability and diligence to prevent the certain forces in the Internet from gaining access to FB-Libra user’s financial information and activities if ever.

Why Many Consider the Facebook Libra Project as Untrustworthy

When Facebook revealed its “Project Libra” sometime in June, it instantly projected a picture in which people living ordinary lives will finally have a chance to dip its hands into the growing world of cryptocurrency. The project looked appealing because it made the process of dealing with cryptocurrency so convenient and at the same time not so complicated.

Yet that is exactly the problem, Project Libra seems all too easy, which if handled by a social media site like Facebook is too risky. After all, not a few million users have had the experience of getting their FB accounts hacked, or the security of their personal information breached.

Technology websites like Tech Republic can present a decade-long list of privacy information breach that the Facebook platform allowed to transpire through the years.

The worst and the most recent was the one carried out by a political consulting and strategic communications company called Cambridge Analytica. The firm was able to gather personally identifiable information from 87 million users who were enticed to take a personality quiz called “This is Your Life.”

The U.S. Congress, through the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs held a hearing in which FB Messenger Exec David Marcus and supposed head of the Libra project launch, was grilled on all sides. The hearing ended with Committee Chairman, Senator Maxine Waters, requesting the social media company not to go ahead with the Libra launch until such time that proper legislation governing cryptocurrency operations are in place.

Recent Poll Shows Only 2% of People Surveyed Trust Facebook’s Project Libra

A recent survey conducted by US-based CivicScience involving 1,799 American adults showed that 77% do not trust Facebook with their personal information, while only 2% put a lot of trust on Facebook.

The survey also revealed that when it comes to trusting Facebook’s Libra Project, at least 40% of those who responded say they had less trust in Libra over whatever trust they have for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.

Posted by Madelina Feliks