The real risk of Facebook’s Libra coin is crooked developers

Everyone’s worried about Mark Zuckerberg controlling the next currency, but I’m more concerned about a crypto Cambridge Analytica. Today Facebook announced Libra, its forthcoming stablecoin designed to let you shop and send money overseas with almost zero transaction fees. Immediately, critics started harping about the dangers of centralizing control of tomorrow’s money in the hands […]

How Facebook’s Libra is similar in concept and motivation to Kik’s Kin cryptocurrency

Facebook unveiled its Libra cryptocurrency initiative today, which is part of an alternative financial system (including new subsidiary and wallet Calibra) it aims to build alongside industry and academic partners including Mastercard, PayPal, Visa, Uber, Andreessen Horowitz and Creative Destruction Lab. Facebook’s plans for Libra sound ambitious, risky and novel — but a predecessor exists […]

Helium launches $51M-funded ‘LongFi’ IoT alternative to cellular

With 200X the range of Wi-Fi at 1/1000th of the cost of a cellular modem, Helium’s “LongFi” wireless network debuts today. Its transmitters can help track stolen scooters, find missing dogs via IoT collars and collect data from infrastructure sensors. The catch is that Helium’s tiny, extremely low-power, low-data transmission chips rely on connecting to […]

Facebook plans June 18th cryptocurrency debut. Here’s what we know

Facebook is finally ready to reveal details about its cryptocurrency codenamed Libra. It’s currently scheduled for a June 18th release of a white paper explaining its cryptocurrency’s basics, according to a source who says multiple investors briefed on the project by Facebook were told that date. Meanwhile, the company’s Head of Financial Services & Payment […]

These startups are locating in SF and Africa to win in global fintech

To become a global fintech player, locate your company in San Francisco and Africa. That’s the approach of payments company Flutterwave, digital lending startup Mines, and mobile-money venture Chipper Cash—Africa-founded ventures that maintain headquarters in San Francisco and operations in Africa to tap the best of both worlds in VC, developers, clients, and the frontier […]

Facebook stops blocking some blockchain ads

Facebook still won’t let you advertise for ICOs or binaries, and ads for cryptocurrencies and exchanges need prior approval. But a year after banning all blockchain-related ads, it’s reopening to ones for “blockchain technology, industry news, education or events related to cryptocurrency” without the need for pre-approval. The change could be a boon to an […]

Grainchain, a blockchain-based platform for commodity sales, launches in Mexico

In the two years since GrainChain launched its distributed ledger-based transaction platform for bulk dry goods, the company has brokered thousands of contracts on everything from corn, sorghum, wheat and soybeans to even sand from its headquarters in McAllen, Texas. Now the company is expanding its services to Mexico, partnering with the government of Tamaulipas […]

How a blockchain startup with 1M users is working to break your Google habit

The antitrust argument that says big tech needs breaking up to stop platforms abusing competition and consumers in a two-faced role as seller and (manipulative) marketplace may only just be getting going on a mainstream political stage — but startups have been at the coal face of the fight against crushing platform power for years. […]

Pinterest employee #1 launches blockchain art market MakersPlace

Pinterest is a great place to find digital art but a terrible place to sell it. The fact that anything online is infinitely copyable makes it tough for artists to establish a sense of scarcity necessary for their work to be perceived as valuable. Yash Nelapati saw this struggle up close as Pinterest’s first employee. […]

Proof of Capital is a new $50M blockchain fund that’s backed by HTC

It’s often said that the dramatic fall of crypto prices last year ushered in a new era for technology-focused startups in the blockchain space, and the same argument can be made for the venture capitalists who fund them. Proof of Capital is the latest fund to emerge after it officially announced a maiden $50 million […]