Trump’s Advisor Says Crypto Should be Regulated Like Other Electronic Financial Transactions

U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, also one of the Donald Trump’s advisors, has said that cryptocurrencies and Facebook’s upcoming cryptocurrency Libra, should be regulated in the same manner as all other electronic financial transactions.

Pompeo shared his thoughts saying,  “The same set of requirements that apply to things flowing through SWIFT or flowing through our financial institutions ought to apply to those transactions as well.”

Furtheron, Pompeo hopes that the world does not move in the direction of anonymous cryptocurrency transactions, as it would “decrease the security for the world.”

“The risk with anonymous transactions is one that we all know well. We know this from 9/11 and terror activity that took place in the 15 years preceding that, where we didn’t have good tracking; we didn’t have the capacity to understand money flows and who was moving money,” Pompeo said, adding:

“We need to preserve a financial system, a global financial system, that protects that.” (Neutral)

Austrian Telecommunications Giant to Accept Cryptocurrency for Payment

One of the largest mobile providers in Austria is planning to accept cryptocurrency for payment at certain store locations.

Founded in 1881, A1,  which services some 5.1 million of the current 6.2 million Austrian mobile phone users and 2.1 million fixed lines across Austria, is testing cryptocurrency payments at store locations across Austria. According to a report by Austrian tech news site Futurezone – dash, ethereum, litecoin, stellar and XRP will be available for payment.

The pilot program will also host payments for Alipay and WeChat Pay by the end of August. As of now, Futurezone listed seven initial locations accepting cryptocurrency payments across Austria.

“Cash is a discontinued model,” said the head of A1’s business marketing Markus Schreiber. “With our pilot operation in the A1 shops, we will test demand and acceptance of digital currency in Austria.”

According to sources, A1 is partnering with banking solutions Salamantex, Ingenico and Concardis for the project. Like other popular cryptocurrency payment solutions, price fluctuations are absorbed through the banking solutions architecture.

Besides, A1 told Futurezone that the payment option is not only for local Austrians but increasingly geared toward tourists. (Positive)

The European Commission Concerned About Libra

Antitrust regulators at the European Commission, the executive branch of the European Union, have sent out a questionnaire to determine whether Facebook’s proposed stablecoin Libra is an anti-competitive project.

According to the report, the commission sent out a questionnaire earlier in August in an attempt to figure out whether rival entities would be able to compete with the Libra Association and its product on a fair basis. Officials reportedly believe Libra may hinder competition via its exchange of information and use of consumer data.

Moreover, regulators have reportedly begun investigating how Libra might be used in Facebook’s WhatsApp and Messenger applications. 

The report noted that the commission’s antitrust branch is not the only branch of the institution looking into Libra. A spokesperson for the commission’s financial services department said that this branch is “monitoring market developments in the area of crypto assets and payment services, including Libra and its development.” (Neutral)

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