Why the Congressional Hearings on Facebook's Libra Were Good for Bitcoin
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Peter Van Valkenburgh, director of research at Coin Center, explains the significance of all the governmental activity around crypto in the last week — the President’s tweets, the Treasury Secretary’s and Fed Chair’s remarks and of course the Congressional hearings about Libra. We discuss whether Facebook’s baggage could harm regulation of the space broadly, just what Libra is and who controls it (especially compared to decentralized networks like Bitcoin and Ethereum), and how that might require different regulatory approaches. We also covered how the lack of partisanship in the line of questioning could affect Libra’s prospects, the odds that the draft bill to keep tech out of finance will go through and whether the idea of a Facebook-created digital currency could spur interest in central bank digital currencies. Plus, we talk about what we thought were the most memorable moments of the Congressional hearings, and why we both felt that, amazingly, the hearings seemed to teach Congress about the merits of decentralized networks like Bitcoin and Ethereum.

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Episode links:

Coin Center: https://coincenter.org

Peter Van Valkenburgh: https://twitter.com/valkenburgh

President Donald Trump’s tweets about Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies and Libra: https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1149472282584072192?s=20

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s testimony about Libra: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/10/technology/fed-chair-facebook-cryptocurrency-libra.html

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin’s news briefing on cryptocurrencies: https://www.cnbc.com/2019/07/15/treasury-secretary-mnuchin-will-hold-a-news-conference-on-cryptocurrencies-at-2-pm-et.html

Senate hearings on Libra: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xUQpmEjgFAU

House hearings on Libra: https://www.cnet.com/news/facebook-libra-cryptocurrency-hearings-with-congress-day-2-watch-here-live/

Rep. Sean Duffy questioning David Marcus about who can transact in Libras: https://twitter.com/crypto/status/1151531255550230529

Rep. Warren Davidson bringing up a term that has not yet been heard in the halls of Congress — “sh*tcoin”: https://twitter.com/bitstein/status/1151586640307064833

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