E-Commerce Giant Shopify Joins Libra Association

The company announced the move in a blog post Friday, becoming the latest member of the Facebook-founded stablecoin developer. Shopify joins roughly a month after Vodafone pulled out of the organization to focus on its own digital payments system. This is the first new member of the organization since its formation four months ago.

Digital commerce platform Shopify has joined the Libra Association.

Shopify said in its blog post it intends to “work collectively” to build a payment network that works “everywhere.”

Libra was unveiled by Facebook last summer as a global payments project, with a stablecoin backed by a basket of fiat currencies. The Libra Association, a governing council for the project, was founded in October, decentralizing leadership of the stablecoin on paper. Facebook itself is not on the council, though its subsidiary Calibra is.

Other members include Coinbase, Xapo, Anchorage, Bison Trails, Creative Destruction Lab, Andreessen Horowitz, Thrive Capital, Ribbit Capital, Union Square Ventures, Illiad, Farfetch, Uber, Lyft, Kiva, Mercy Corps, Women’s World Banking, Spotify, PayU and Mark Zuckerberg’s Breakthrough Initiatives.

“Our mission has always been to support the entrepreneurial journey of the more than one million merchants on our platform. That means advocating for transparent fees and easy access to capital, and ensuring the security and privacy of our merchants’ customer data. We want to create an infrastructure that empowers more entrepreneurs around the world,” Shopify’s blog post said.

The blog post said a large part of the world’s existing financial infrastructure was not built to scale sufficiently for the needs of internet commerce.

In a statement, Libra Association head of policy and communications Dante Disparte said the group was “proud” to welcome its new, and now 21st member.

“As a multinational commerce platform with over one million businesses in approximately 175 countries, Shopify, Inc., brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the Libra project. Shopify joins an active group of Libra Association members committed to achieving a safe, transparent, and consumer-friendly implementation of a global payment system that breaks down financial barriers for billions of people,” he said.

ECB Says It Plans to Use More On-Chain Data to Monitor Crypto Assets

The European Central Bank (ECB) has issued a new report indicating that it plans to use more on-chain data to better monitor the crypto markets.

Titled “Understanding the crypto-asset phenomenon, its risks and measurement issues”, the report reveals that the ECB has already built a system that uses “high-quality” aggregated data available online in its efforts to analyse “the crypto-asset phenomenon” to identify and monitor how the financial technology might affect monetary policy and the risks it potentially poses to market infrastructures, payments and financial stability.

However, using available data in this way has limits to its value. The report explains that this data leaves “gaps and challenges”, such as the exposure of financial institutions to crypto-assets and payment services that use layered protocols.

It lists, among others, derivatives and investment vehicles’ exposure to digital assets, financial firms moving into custody and other services, and payments platforms using cryptos as potentially having implications for financial policy and stability.

While currently “contained and/or manageable”, such links with regulated financial firms “may develop and increase over time.”

Going into more detail on these issues of collecting accurate data, the EU banking authority says:

“Specifically, it is hard to retrieve public data on segments of the crypto-asset market that remain off the radar of public authorities; some relatively illiquid trading platforms may be affected by wash trading; and there is no consistency in the methodology and conventions used by institutionalised exchanges and commercial data providers. Moreover, new and unexpected data needs may well arise with further advancements in crypto-assets and related innovation.”

Going forward, the ECB plans to go into more granular detail for its analyses of crypto assets, and “will continue to work on indicators and data by dealing with the complexity and growing challenges encountered in analysing on-chain and layered protocol transactions.”

It will further seek new data sources for information on links between crypto assets and regulated firms.

Regarding off-chain transactions – transactions conducted off the blockchain and later aggregated back on-chain in fewer transactions – the ECB said it will work on increasing the “availability and transparency” of reported data and the methods used to provide it, “harmonising and enriching the metadata and developing best practices for indicators on crypto-assets.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.