Re-sharing below the latest edition of #Web3 Weekly, my regular newsletter about decentralization. This installment covers Aug. 15–21, 2021. If you’d like to get #Web3 Weekly in your inbox every Sunday, please subscribe here.
Facebook’s foray into blockchain is not going well. You can tell by its latest public-relations pivot toward a new tactic: whining.
When Facebook announced in 2019 its plans to launch a stablecoin called Libra, regulators freaked out, assuming the social giant would end up dominating global banking. (Some of us bystanders were, ahem, a bit more skeptical at the time, however.)
Facebook has since recalibrated its plan significantly, supporting development of the open-source token Diem in lieu of Libra. It’s also now planning a digital wallet dubbed Novi. But none of this has actually launched, because regulators still hate Facebook.
Meanwhile, other stablecoins like Tether and USDC have exploded in popularity. The category now regularly tops $100 billion in daily trading, according to CoinMarketCap data.
Which all apparently makes David Marcus, Facebook’s head of financial services, quite sad. In a blog post Wednesday, he said Facebook just wants a “fair shot” in the digital currency space, where it is “a challenger,” not the dominant player.
Factually, he’s 100% correct about that last part. But as a matter of principle, he still shouldn’t expect anyone to give one whit about it, especially the democratic governments and smaller companies Facebook has wantonly undermined for years.
Want fairness? There’s an old expression about something that fits the bill: turnabout.
The week’s other headlines:
- The crypto market’s global valuation topped $2 trillion for the first time since May. Much of the gain was driven by bitcoin, which posted a 7-day gain of nearly 7% aided by fresh institutional buying. The token enters the new week within reach of reclaiming two previous round-number milestones — a $50,000 price per token and a $1 trillion total market cap.
- Vitalik Buterin says DeFi should upgrade its governance. In a new blog post, Ethereum’s founder said “proof of humanity” or “proof of participation” might be better ways to run decentralized finance networks than the strict coin-based voting process that’s now common.
- Walmart is looking for a digital currencies lead. A new job posting signals that the retail giant is pondering possible moves into digital payments or other offerings, according to TheStreet’s Luke Conway.
- Coinbase has built a $4 billion cash reserve to weather a possible new “crypto winter,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
- Binance tapped its chief financial officer to be CEO of the exchange’s U.S. operations. The move follows the abrupt departure on Aug. 6 of Brian Brooks, who cited conflict among senior management over strategy.
- Hackers stole nearly $100 million in tokens from Liquid, a Japanese exchange. The exchange said it is working with authorities to recover the money, though that may prove difficult, Bitcoinist reports.
- Microsoft researchers published a new whitepaper detailing Argus, their idea for an Ethereum-based system to combat piracy of intellectual property online.
- It’s getting harder to buy Apple’s pro-privacy sales pitch, says the New York Times’ Greg Bensinger in a new column.
- Bitcoin for everyone! Mayor Jayson Stewart of Cool Valley, Mo. (population: 1,500) wants to give every resident $1,000 in bitcoin on condition they not sell it. Stewart tells Bitcoinist he envisions a trust-fund like structure to build community wealth over time in the small town. Hmmm…
That’s it for now. Thanks for spending some time with the newsletter today! A full revision history of it, including earlier drafts, is available here. If you’d like to get updates like this in your inbox every Sunday, please join our email list here.
As ever, a quick disclaimer: This newsletter is intended for journalistic purposes only, not as investment advice. For the latter, please DYOR and consult appropriate financial pros to make the most suitable choices for your needs.