DONALD Trump blasted Facebook’s plan to launch a new cryptocurrency after attacking tech giants at a social media summit.
The US President took to Twitter to dismiss Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as “highly volatile and based on thin air”.
Trump blasted Facebook’s plan to launch a new cryptocurrency after attacking tech giants at a social media summit[/caption]
Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg is diving into the murky world of crypto cash[/caption]
He added that Facebook’s virtual currency will have “little standing or dependability”.
Trump declared that if Facebook and other tech companies want to become a bank, they must adhere to the necessary regulations.
“I am not a fan of Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies, which are not money, and whose value is highly volatile and based on thin air,” Trump tweeted.
“Unregulated Crypto Assets can facilitate unlawful behaviour, including drug trade and other illegal activity.
“Similarly, Facebook Libra’s “virtual currency” will have little standing or dependability.
“If Facebook and other companies want to become a bank, they must seek a new Banking Charter and become subject to all Banking Regulations, just like other Banks.
“We have only one real currency in the USA, and it is stronger than ever, both dependable and reliable.
“It is by far the most dominant currency anywhere in the World, and it will always stay that way. It is called the United States Dollar!”
Facebook has unveiled an ambitious plan to launch its own digital currency, called Libra, within the next six to 12 months.
But critics have branded the move a dangerous power grab that marks Facebook’s “most invasive” form of surveillance yet.
Trump’s attack came after he led a social media summit of like-minded critics of big tech on Thursday night.
“Big tech must not censor the voices of the American people,” he told the crowd in the White House East Room.
He announced he is directing his administration to explore “all regulatory and legislative solutions to protect free speech and the free-speech rights of all Americans.”
And Trump said he’s inviting executives from major social media platforms to join him at the White House over the next month or so.
Earlier Thursday, Trump sent a stream of Twitter messages lashing out at social media companies and the press, familiar targets that resonate with his conservative base.
“A big subject today at the White House Social Media Summit will be the tremendous dishonesty, bias, discrimination and suppression practiced by certain companies,” he said.
“We will not let them get away with it much longer.”
The meeting represented an escalation of Trump’s battle with companies like Facebook, Google and even his preferred outlet, Twitter, where he has an estimated 61 million followers.
The president has claimed that the companies are “against me” and even suggested US regulators should sue them on grounds of anti-conservative bias.
Trump has accused Twitter, without evidence, of making it “very hard for people to join me” and “very much harder for me to get out the message.”
The firms already are under closer scrutiny than ever by regulators and in Congress following a stream of scandals, including Facebook’s lapses opening the personal data of millions of users to Trump’s 2016 campaign.
Facebook’s cryptocurrency plans, which is set to be launched with partners including PayPal, Uber, Spotify, Visa and Mastercard, is likely to increase regulators’ interest in the company.
Facebook is currently under federal investigation over its privacy practices and along with other technology giants also faces a new antitrust probe in Congress.
So far, Facebook has enlisted 28 firms who each had to invest a minimum of £8million to be a founding member of the Libra Association, an independent not-for-profit membership organisation.
It wants to attract 100 businesses in time for launch, which it is aiming for the first half of 2020.
The social network is hoping that its collaborative approach can ease volatility concerns of existing blockchains and cryptocurrencies.
What is a cryptocurrency?
Bitcoin got you baffled? Here's what you really need to know
- A cryptocurrency is a virtual currency
- Examples include Bitcoin and the new Facebook-led coin “Libra”
- It’s traded between people without the help of a bank
- Every transaction is recorded in a public ledger, or ‘blockchain’
- Crypto cash is created by mining
- Mining involves solving difficult maths problems using computer processors
- Coins can be traded anonymously, which makes them a popular way of funding illegal activities
- A single Bitcoin is worth over £7,000 today, but the value fluctuates wildly
Facebook will operate its own digital wallet for people to spend Libra, known as the Calibra Wallet, which will be available in WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and as a standalone app.
Users will be able to send money to each other initially, at low to no cost, the social network said.
Eventually, it intends to open the Calibra Wallet up to additional services, so that people can pay bills, buy goods by scanning a code or accessing public transport.
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Account information from Calibra will not be shared with Facebook to improve things like ad targeting, except for “limited cases”, the network said.
In these “limited cases”, data may be shared “to keep people safe, comply with the law, and provide basic functionality to the people who use Calibra”, the social network added.
Libra is open source, meaning anyone will be able to launch their own digital wallet and include the currency.
Currently, Bitcoin is the world’s most popular cryptocurrency[/caption]