David Marcus of Facebook, who is leading the Libra project, responded to U.S. legislators' concerns this week in a letter, explaining that transactions on the Libra Blockchain are "pseudonymous" like Bitcoin, publicly broadcasting only the addresses, time-stamp and amounts. The Know-Your-Customer (KYC) information will be stored with wallet providers, and Marcus notes that any third-party developer is free to build their own wallet and it is up to them to determine the type of information they require from users. Also this week, U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell cautioned that project cannot go forward.
Canada has updated laws pertaining to money laundering and terrorist financing this week. Included in the changes is regulation concerning digital currency exchanges, which will now be classified as money services businesses (MSBs), and require registration with FINTRAC. Detailed records of every transaction exceeding $10,000 CAD must be reported. The government has said that these new rules should mitigate money laundering and terrorist financing "while not unduly hindering innovation". These changes come into effect June 1, 2020.
Privacy and crypto-focused browser Brave, which allows you to tip websites and YouTube channels with its native Basic Attention Token (BAT), is previewing a new feature which will enable Reddit users to tip each other for their posts and comments. Similar to Tippin.me, which is a browser extension that enables users of Twitter to tip each other Bitcoin using the lightning network, Brave's new tipping feature embeds a button next to user content, and will only be available if you use Brave. Read more on Decrypt.
For the second time this year, Bitcoin's hash rate has reached an all-time high last week. Hash rate, in the case of Bitcoin, indicates the total amount of computing power used toward securing the network. The higher rate means that there is more mining hardware online attempting to solve each Bitcoin transaction block. Higher hash rate also means that the chances of a successful 51% attack are decreased, because it is that much more unlikely that a bad actor could find enough power to compete with the honest miners.
The Litecoin Foundation announced that Litecoin has been named the official cryptocurrency of the NFL team, the Miami Dolphins. Football fans will be able to buy 50/50 raffle tickets with Litecoin and Bitcoin, and payments will also be integrated into Miami's Hard Rock Stadium and the team's online stores. Charlie Lee, the founder of Litecoin, thinks this will be a major boost for mass adoption. Read more at ZyCrypto.
Long-running file-sharing protocol BitTorrent, used by 170 million people a month, gets a blockchain tie-in this week with the release of a new program called BitTorrent Speed. By using this new client, users are rewarded in BitTorrent Token (BTT) for continuing to share their files for longer, in theory incentivizing faster download speeds for everybody. Tron acquired the company behind BitTorrent last year somewhat contentiously. Even still, this recent development introduces digital currency to a large number of internet users.
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