This has been an exciting week for Blockchain, most importantly for cryptocurrency. There have been several developments in the field, including:
UNICEF starts accepting Bitcoin and Ether as donations: The UN is now on a crunch in terms of funds, as it's General Secretary Antonio Guterres has warned. In this situation, UNICEF announced on Wednesday that it now accepts donation in cryptocurrencies Bitcoin and Ether.
This will save the organisation the overseas transfers cost. It will also make it easy for the organisation to show donors how their donations are spent.
UNICEF has stated on its webpage that it will maintain a chain of custody for such currency. It also stated that in the case of all such donations, the recipient will receive a larger share of the donation compared to cash.
However, since the valuation of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin is volatile, such donations may only be used for short-term programs. One of the first contributors to the UNICEF Cryptocurrency Fund will be the Ethereum Foundation.
While the UN accepting cryptocurrency does give it legitimacy, it remains to be seen whether Bitcoin hoarders will actually donate some part of their tranche to UNICEF.
US Senators warn Mastercard and Visa against backing Facebook's Libra Cryptocurrency: Mastercard and Visa, which are part of Facebook's Libra Association have been warned by US Senators Brian Schatz (Democrat – Hawaii) and Sherrod Brown (Democrat – Ohio) who have sent out a letter to the CEOs of Mastercard, Visa and Stripe warning them against the risks of associating themselves with the project. If they continue to do so, the letter states that the companies would face increased oversight from financial regulators.
"Facebook appears to want the benefits of engaging in financial activities without the responsibility of being regulated as a financial services company. If you take this on, you can expect a high level of scrutiny from regulators not only on Libra-related activities but on all payment activities," the letter stated.
The letter has surfaced after PayPal withdrew from the Libra Association.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is set to appear before the House Financial Services on Wednesday, October 23, post the first official meeting of the association in Geneva on Monday, October 14.
On its part, Facebook has committed to not launching the cryptocurrency until all regulatory concerns are addressed.
Blockchain-based music service runs into copyright issues: Blockchain-based music service Audius has raised many red flags in terms of copyright issues, according to The Verge, as it holds many unlicensed versions of tracks by artists such as Ariana Grande and Iggy Azalea.
It competes directly with SoundCloud, but while SoundCloud has removed tracks infringing copyrights, nothing similar has happened for Audius. With the lack of regulation in Blockchain, many users of this service can profit from an artist's work without crediting or paying the artist.
Rather than taking the responsibility for copyright infringement, Audius has instead created an open-source project. This means labels will have to run after individual users for copyright infringement, which is an easy task. There is also no content ID system in place to detect infringement.
It remains to be seen how it pans out.