Trump blasts Bitcoin and Facebook’s Libra, says they should face banking regulations

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A man makes a purchase from a Pennsylvania Lottery machine, left, next to a Bitcoin ATM machine in a Sheetz convenience store in Pittsburgh, on July 9, 2019. Sheetz, a Pennsylvania-based convenience store chain, is putting Bitcoin ATMs in six shops around the state and one in North Carolina, giving customers the ability to buy and sell the cryptocurrency with US dollars. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
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A 3-D printed Facebook logo is seen on representations of the Bitcoin virtual currency in this illustration picture. (REUTERS/File Photo)
Updated 12 July 2019

Trump blasts Bitcoin and Facebook’s Libra, says they should face banking regulations

  • Facebook said last month it would launch its global cryptocurrency in 2020
  • Bitcoin, the best-known digital coin, was created in 2008 as an alternative to currencies controlled by governments and banks

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump on Thursday criticized Bitcoin, Facebook’s proposed Libra digital coin and other cryptocurrencies and demanded that companies seek a banking charter and make themselves subject to US and global regulations if they wanted to “become a bank.”
“I am not a fan of Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies, which are not money, and whose value is highly volatile and based on thin air,” Trump wrote on Twitter.
“If Facebook and other companies want to become a bank, they must seek a new Banking Charter and become subject to all Banking Regulations, just like other Banks, both National and International,” he added.
Facebook said last month it would launch its global cryptocurrency in 2020. Facebook and 28 partners, including Mastercard Inc, PayPal Holdings Inc. and Uber Technologies Inc, would form the Libra Association to govern the new coin. No banks are currently part of the group.
JPMorgan Chase & Co, the largest US bank by assets, plans to launch its own digital coins.
Trump’s comments come one day after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told lawmakers that Facebook’s plan to build a digital currency called Libra could not move forward unless it addressed concerns over privacy, money laundering, consumer protection and financial stability.
Powell said the Fed had established a working group to follow the project and was coordinating with other countries’ central banks, several of which have also expressed concern about Facebook’s digital currency project.
The US Financial Stability Oversight Council, a panel of regulators that identifies risks to the financial system, is also expected to conduct a review.
Facebook, the White House and the Treasury Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment. A spokeswoman for the Federal Reserve declined to comment.
Bitcoin, the best-known digital coin, was created in 2008 as an alternative to currencies controlled by governments and banks, but crypto trading and digital currencies remain largely unsupervised. The market has also faced allegations of money laundering and terrorist financing.
Trump’s series of tweets on cryptocurrency also come on the heels of an event at the White House where the president criticized large technology companies that he said treated conservative voices unfairly.
The Internet Association, a trade group representing major tech firms like Facebook, Twitter and Google, said: “Internet companies are not biased against any political ideology, and conservative voices in particular have used social media to great effect.”


Saudi Aramco appoints Mark Weinberger to Board of Directors

Updated 05 April 2020

Saudi Aramco appoints Mark Weinberger to Board of Directors

  • Weinberger, who replaces Andrew Gould, also serves as a director on the boards of Johnson & Johnson and Metlife
  • Weinberger was an active member of the US government, having worked across different administrations

DUBAI: Oil giant Saudi Aramco has appointed the former chairman of global firm EY (previously known as Ernst & Young) Mark Weinberger as an independent member to its board of directors, the company said in a statement.

Weinberger, who replaces Andrew Gould, also serves as a director on the boards of Johnson & Johnson and Metlife.

He is a member of several boards of trustees, including the United States Council for International Business (USCIB).

“I am honored to be joining the board of Aramco at this important time in the company’s history and world events,” Weinberger said.

Weinberger was an active member of the US government, having worked across different administrations – from George W. Bush to Donald Trump.