Facebook Hires US Senator’s Former Aide to Lobby for Libra Cryptocurrency Project

Facebook has hired a former aide to the chairman of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee to lobby for its new Libra cryptocurrency project.

According to the report on Monday, the social media giant recruited Susan Zook of Mason Street Consulting, who previously assisted Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), to a team of lobbyists aiming to influence lawmakers on the Libra initiative. Zook told the publication she would work on lobbying Senate Republicans.

The news comes just weeks after the Senate Banking Committee held a hearing over Facebook’s controversial Libra cryptocurrency and raised questions about its privacy, data protection, and anti-money laundering issues. The firm’s blockchain lead David Marcus attended the hearing.

Facebook unveiled the long-anticipated Libra project in June intending to launch a cryptocurrency as a payment tool across global jurisdictions. But several financial regulators have since then raised regulatory concerns over the project’s ambition.

According to the report, Facebook has spent more than $7.5 million on lobbying efforts this year. In June, Facebook reportedly hired Edward Bowles, who was a former senior bank lobbyist from Standard Chartered focusing on group public and regulatory affairs. (Neutral)

Coinbase Considering New Token Listings

Coinbase is reviewing eight new tokens for listing on its exchange platform but without giving a clear deadline of when the review process will end. According to the statement, each asset will be evaluated “to assess factors like security, compliance, and the project’s alignment with our mission of creating an open financial system for the world.”

The eight tokens include Alogrand, Cosmos, Dash, Decred, Ontology, Waves, Matic Network, and Harmony. Two of them, Matic Network and Harmony, launched IEOs through Binance launchpad.

Meanwhile, all eight tokens are tradable on Binance, one of Coinbase’s most formidable exchange rivals. The move to expand its digital asset offering may signify that Coinbase is steering the exchange in the direction of Binance, that is, to have a more diverse listing that can drive up the trading volume on the platform. (Positive)

Bittrex Crypto Exchange Switches to ERC-20 Implementation of USDT

Cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex has completed switching Tether (USDT) from the OMNI-based implementation of the stablecoin to the ERC-20 standard on the Ethereum network.

Bittrex announced that USDT deposits and withdrawals are now open in a tweet on Aug. 5. The exchange had temporarily suspended USDT deposits and withdrawals while making the switch.

With the move, Bittrex is looking to provide its users with faster, cheaper and more inter-operable transfers of USDT. Specifically, the exchange will lower withdrawal fees to 1 USDT. The announcement further explains:

“Once the swap is complete, all USDT from Omni network addresses can no longer be sent to Bittrex, and USDT from Bittrex accounts cannot be sent to Omni network addresses.”

Bittrex also notes that it will re-enable the USDT wallet once both the exchange and the Tether team come to an agreement that the migration is satisfactory. (Neutral)