After Switzerland Visit, Crypto Concerns Remain for US Regulators

According to an official statement from Representative Maxine Waters, members of the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee met with multiple regulatory agencies and lawmakers.

These included the State Secretariat for International Financial Matters, the Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner and the Financial Market Supervisory Authority.

Following a visit to Switzerland to meet with the country’s financial regulators, United States lawmakers are still concerned over Facebook’s proposed cryptocurrency project, Libra.

Meetings with multiple agencies

As announced earlier this month, the representatives aimed to clarify how various Swiss authorities would regulate Libra and learn more about the status and magnitude of the project. Despite being helpful, Waters said of the meetings:

“While I appreciate the time that the Swiss government officials took to meet with us, my concerns remain with allowing a large tech company to create a privately controlled, alternative global currency.”

During a series of Congressional hearings in mid-July, David Marcus, the vice president of messaging products at Facebook and co-creator of Libra, said that Switzerland was a good regulatory fit for the goals of the project.

However, many U.S. lawmakers were not convinced, and voiced concerns that Facebook would locate to Switzerland so as to avoid legal scrutiny in a move of regulatory arbitrage.

Further investigation and user data

Earlier this week, Waters stated that Congress would continue to investigate Libra and that further review would be a priority for the Financial Services Committee in the next legislative session.

Rep. Waters, who leads the committee, has been especially critical of Libra given Facebook’s past behavior vis-a-vis user data and privacy issues, saying that it has a “demonstrated pattern of failing to keep consumer data private on a scale similar to Equifax.”

After Facebook introduced the whitepaper for Libra earlier this year, Waters requested that Facebook halt its development while authorities investigated the project and its possible effect on the economy and U.S. monetary policy. To this end, Marcus has said that the social media giant would commit to not launch the proposed stablecoin until concerns from the Federal Reserve and other regulators were addressed.

Bitmain Chip Supplier Faces Infringement Lawsuits From Competitor

TSMC, the world’s largest independent semiconductor foundry and chip supplier for Bitmain, is facing multiple lawsuits from its competitor GlobalFoundries (GF).

Alleged patent infringement

GF, the second biggest semiconductor foundry by sales after TSMC, filed several lawsuits in the United States and Germany, accusing Taiwanese TSMC of infringing on 16 GF patents, according to an official GF statement on Aug. 26.

In the lawsuits, the California-based company seeks orders to ban TSMC from importing semiconductors produced with its technology to the United States and Germany, with GF claiming that importation of infringing Taiwanese semiconductors is unlawful.

Additionally, GF is seeking damages from TSMC based on TSMC’s unlawful use of GF’s proprietary technology in its “tens of billions of dollars of sales”, as announced by GF.

Multiple lawsuits were filed on Aug. 26 in the U.S. International Trade Commission, the U.S. Federal District Courts in Delaware and Texas, and the Regional Courts of Dusseldorf and Mannheim in Germany.

TSMC will defend its tech

TSMC published an official statement regarding the issue on Aug. 27, claiming that the company is in the process of reviewing the complaints. However, TSMC stressed that they are confident that GF’s allegations are baseless. TSMC added that the firm is “disappointed to see a foundry peer resort to meritless lawsuits instead of competing in the marketplace with technology.”

Apple, Google and Nvidia also on the list of defendants

According to a report by Chinese finance news outlet Sina, GF’s allegations included infringement of technology that covers 7 nanometer (nm), 10nm, 16nm and 28nm semiconductor processes. Citing a report by China-based tech blog DeepTech Deep Technology, Sina reports that apart from TSMC, Apple and Nvidia, as well as six chip design manufacturers and ten consumer product suppliers such as Google, ASUS and Lenovo have joined the list of defendants.

In July, Bitmain reportedly confirmed its urgent order for wafers from TSMC, claiming that it will receive 30,000 7nm wafers from the company.

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