Premier League Football Team Will Brand Bitcoin Logo On Jersey
Watford FC, a Premier League football team will brand the Bitcoin logo on the sleeves of players’ jerseys, as part of a brand partnership with sports betting site Sportsbet.io. According to the team, “the logo is part of a wider campaign to improve awareness around Bitcoin and educate the public on the benefits of using cryptocurrencies.”
Head of Marketing at Sportsbet.io, Justin Le Brocque said: “The crypto community have been hugely supportive of us since we began, so putting the Bitcoin logo on the sleeve felt like a fun way to give something back while also showing them our support.” (Positive)
„(…) In These Conditions, We Cannot Authorize the Development of Libra on European Soil”, Said France’s Minister of The Economy and Finance
France’s Minister of the Economy and Finance, Bruno Le Maire, claimed that the country will halt the development of Facebook’s planned Libra stablecoin in Europe because it threatens the “monetary sovereignty” of governments.
“I want to be absolutely clear: in these conditions, we cannot authorize the development of Libra on European soil,” said Le Maire on Thursday.
Le Maire made the comments at the opening of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Global Blockchain Policy Forum 2019 in Paris. In June, Le Maire said that Libra “can’t and…must not happen” and that “it is out of question’’ for the proposed stablecoin to “become a sovereign currency.”
On the other hand, Dante Disparte, Head of Policy and Communications for the Libra Association, told: “In the nearly three months since the intent to launch the Libra project was announced, we have become the world’s most scrutinized fintech effort. We welcome this scrutiny and have deliberately designed a long launch runway to have these conversations, educate stakeholders and incorporate their feedback in our design.”
Disparte also added that “the comments today from France’s economy and finance minister further underscore the importance of our ongoing work with regulatory bodies and leadership around the world.”
While France likely cannot completely block the development of Libra, as the Libra Association is headquartered in Switzerland, it could block apps supporting Libra. The French government could also prevent merchants from accepting the proposed stablecoin in France, thereby making it impractical to use.
The news is yet another setback that Facebook has suffered since announcing the Libra project only three months ago, in mid-June. Regulators and politicians from around the world have stepped in to express their concerns and objections. (Neutral)
Mastercard and R3 are Teaming Up to Develop a Blockchain-Powered Cross-Border Payments System
The goal is to achieve faster global payments and improve the underlying infrastructure.
In a press release, Mastercard said the two firms have signed a deal to develop and pilot the payments solution. The collaboration plan brings together Mastercard’s payment systems assets, brand, and distribution with R3’s blockchain expertise.
The partnering firms want to tackle industry issues such as costly payments processing, liquidity management, and a row of standardization and connectivity issues between banks and domestic clearing systems.
R3 CEO David E. Rutter said:
“All institutions – large or small – rely on the ability to send and receive payments, but all too often the technology they rely upon is cumbersome and expensive. Cross-border payments can be a particular pain point.”
This is part of Mastercard’s plan to strengthen its cross border payments network, expanding on its recent acquisition of global payments company Transfast earlier this year, according to the press release.
The collaboration with R3 is part of the payment giant’s strategy, which focuses on improving worldwide connectivity in the account-to-account interactions.
Furthermore, Executive Vice President of New Payments Platforms at Mastercard Peter Klein stated:
“Our goal is to deliver global payment infrastructure choice and connectivity as demonstrated through our recent strategic acquisitions and partnerships, including our relationship with R3. It confirms our commitment to innovation, both home-grown and through partnerships and acquisitions, to support advances and innovation in the increasingly complex global payment infrastructure space.”
Cross-border payments is a hot topic in the industry right now. Cryptocurrencies and ledger solutions have emerged as better alternatives to the old legacy infrastructure. As one of the leading payment providers, Mastercard is looking to maintain its edge by embracing the new technology.
Mastercard has been on the lookout in the cryptocurrency space for some time. While its venture with Facebook’s Libra might fail to take off, Mastercard has been reportedly assembling a blockchain development team.
On the other hand, R3 has had a stellar year so far with various partnerships and initiatives announced. R3’s Corda Enterprise will be tested across different industries, from capital markets to supply chain management, and used by leading institutions, including financial institutions, central banks, and trade associations.
As David Rutter states:
“Corda was designed specifically for enterprise use cases such as this, and we look forward supporting Mastercard in bringing blockchain-enabled payments businesses across the globe.” (Positive)