technology

Libra’s regulatory hurdles appear taller after House hearing
Still to be decided: How the cryptocurrency would be regulated

Libra, known as a stablecoin, would be backed by a basket of dollars, euros and other traditional currencies called the Libra Reserve. (iStock)

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg provided only a few additional details about the company’s proposed cryptocurrency to a House Financial Services Committee on Oct. 23 that generally didn’t like what it heard. 

Zuckerberg said Facebook wouldn’t proceed with the proposed Libra until it had satisfied regulators’ concerns. That pledge and the harsh criticism from lawmakers on both sides the aisle appears to narrow, if not eliminate, the company’s path to approval, at least for a project as sweepingly ambitious as Libra is.

Transportation and data service providers battle for bandwidth
FCC chairman says it’s time to take ’fresh look’ at how frequencies are used

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has talked about taking a “fresh look” at using radio frequencies for transportation safety purposes, but he hasn't put the change on the agency’s agenda yet. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Two big industries are fighting over radio frequencies that each could use to provide game-changing services.

On one side is the transportation industry, including auto and truck makers and their suppliers. The frequencies would allow smart vehicles of the near future to talk to each other to use roadways more efficiently and avoid collisions.

Fintech Beat and FRT team up to cover all things fintech in DC
Fintech Beat, Ep. 27

An attendee at Fintech Week 2019 asks a question during a panel. (Photo by CQ Roll Call)

America can’t afford to sit out the artificial intelligence race
Federal government must lead with purpose, smart policy and appropriate investment

Whether society and government enable or inhibit the artificial intelligence race, and the extent to which they do so, will be a critical question of the next decade, Chambliss, Samp and Phillips write. (iStock)

OPINION — Artificial intelligence is everywhere. If you shop online or occasionally speak to a voice assistant in the morning, you are already embracing the changes this technology has created. Many people are familiar with the advances of autonomous vehicles or facial recognition technology, and some may be curious, or even anxious, about how they will affect safety or privacy.

Make no mistake, AI is a transformative technology that is influencing our daily lives and will touch every sector of the global economy. Whether society and government enable or inhibit the AI race, and the extent to which they do so, will be a critical question of the next decade. Regardless of the answer, the technology will forge ahead. To sit out this race, add hurdles or not take it seriously, would not be a wise decision.

Curbing disinformation: How much should social media companies do?
Both parties want tech firms to do more, but are at odds over type of actions required

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg defended his company’s ad policies, telling lawmakers last week that people should be allowed to see for themselves what politicians are saying so they can make their own judgments. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Facebook’s efforts to limit online disinformation while simultaneously allowing politicians to lie in paid advertisements ahead of the 2020 election is forcing a debate over the responsibility of technology companies to crack down on domestic and foreign disinformation, and the consequences if they don’t.

Over the weekend, the company removed a political group’s advertisement that falsely claimed South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham supported the Green New Deal. The move stands in contrast to an earlier decision to allow President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign to run an advertisement that claimed, without evidence, that former Vice President Joe Biden threatened to withhold $1 billion from Ukraine unless its government fired a prosecutor investigating Biden’s son Hunter.

Cryptocurrencies complicate effort to stop opioid dealers
Law enforcement ramping up efforts to trace, halt use of digital currencies in illegal drug trade

House Republican leaders hold photos of people from their district affected by the opioid epidemic during a news conference at the Capitol Visitor Center on Wednesday June 13, 2018. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The fight against the opioid crisis is facing a growing problem: Criminals are getting better at hiding the cryptocurrency transactions they use to buy drugs online.

The opioid crisis, which claims more than 100 lives a day, has been fueled partly by cryptoassets, but law enforcement is ramping up efforts to trace and halt their use in the illegal trade.

Brad Garlinghouse speaks to Fintech Beat about all things crypto
Fintech Beat, Ep. 25

Brad Garlinghouse (left), CEO of Ripple, sits with Chris Brummer, co-founder of Fintech Beat, at last week's Fintech Week. (Photo by CQ Roll Call)

 

Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple, sits down with Fintech Beat's Chris Brummer about the state of his company, XRP, Facebook's Libra, Cryptocurrency, and the vast universe of the regulatory unknown.

White House ‘does not seek confrontation with China,’ Pence says
‘There’s no deal with China,’ GOP Sen. Rick Scott says, breaking with Trump on trade pact

Vice President Mike Pence walks through Statuary Hall on his way to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's office in the Capitol in January. On Thursday, he laid out the Trump administration's China trade deal and its policy toward its top economic and military rival. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday credited President Donald Trump with altering U.S.-China relations “forever,” saying the decades during which “we rebuilt China … are over.”

“Past administrations have come and gone; all were aware of these abuses. None were willing to upset the established Washington interests who not only permitted these abuses, but profited from them,” Pence said during what his office billed as a major policy speech. “The political establishment was not only silent in the face of China’s economic aggression and human rights abuses, but enabled them.”

Huawei lobbying cash lands on Trump donor with Ukraine clients
Chinese tech giant increased lobbying expenditures 2,000 percent in the third quarter

K Street Northwest is seen as the center of the lobbying world in Washington. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Huawei Technologies USA Inc. upped its lobbying expenditures by more than 2,000 percent between this year’s second and third quarters, with most of the increase going to pay a Trump donor with recent Ukrainian clients.

The U.S. operation of the giant Chinese technology company disclosed nearly $1.8 million in federal lobbying expenses between July 1 and Sept. 30, recent lobbying disclosures show.

Zuckerberg threatened with Facebook breakup
At hearing, lawmakers press founder and CEO over Libra cryptocurrency plan

Mark Zuckerberg arrives to testify at House Financial Services hearing on its cryptocurrency proposal. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)