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China Appears Very Interested In Facebook’s New Cryptocurrency

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China came in first place for the highest number of Google searches for Facebook’s new cryptocurrency plan, Libra, since the company published its white paper on June 18.

The country reached Google’s maximum value of search interest at a query popularity rate of 100 for Libra over the last month, according to Thursday data from Google Trends.

The cryptosystem, which is expected to launch by next year, will allow Facebook users to send money to their contacts — even those who live in different countries — in just seconds through a regulated subsidiary called Calibra.

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The search results come one day after Libra chief David Marcus attended a four-hour congressional hearing in Washington, D.C., Wednesday to answer questions about the cryptocurrency system’s risks.

Marcus said during the hearing that Facebook must attempt to lead the world in blockchain technology because if it fails to do so, systems from foreign countries like China that are “out of reach of our national security apparatus” will come first.

As he wrote in his prepared remarks before the House Financial Services Committee, “I believe that if America does not lead innovation in the digital currency and payments area, others will. If we fail to act, we could soon see a digital currency controlled by others whose values are dramatically different.”

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg echoed this stance in a 2018 interview with The Recode, saying, “I think that the alternative [to U.S. tech giants], frankly, is going to be the Chinese companies. … There are plenty of other companies out that are willing and able to take the place of the work that we’re doing.”

Libra‘s website defines its technology as “a simple global currency and financial infrastructure that empowers billions of people,” which, when it makes its debut on Facebook, will be backed by federal currencies so its value will not fluctuate any more than the money used today.

Countries with the next four highest number of searches were St. Helena at No. 2, Singapore at No. 3, Hong Kong at No. 4 and Luxembourg at No. 5. The United States came in at No. 34 with a query popularity rate of 16. Russia came in last at No. 71.

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About Audrey Conklin

One comment

  1. Actually, he is right; China’s WeChat and Alipay have been laying the groundwork themselves for years as China has transitioned from a cash-based society to an almost entirely cashless society in just a very short period of time.

    The world is moving towards something like this, and it is better to have Facebook do this and be subject to our regulation than have China lead the way, because, if you think Facebook is corrupt, you haven’t seen anything yet; China is infinitely more corrupt.

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