Quite a lot happened on the global tech scene this week. Leading the pack is the persecution of Facebook’s Libra. The innovation by Facebook is shaking quite a lot of tables and leaders around the world are responding accordingly.
I have listed a couple of important stories you may have missed alongside. Let us get to the stories:
Donald Trump does not Believe in Cryptocurrencies…
Yesterday, President of the United States Donald Trump launched a stinging attack on cryptocurrencies in general. This includes Facebook’s proposed Libra coin.
Mr Trump’s reasons are that cryptocurrencies are unregulated, highly volatile and may be used to facilitate unlawful behaviour. This is not a new concern, people. What is new is that Donald Trump said so and the words trended across all platforms. What is new is DJT took a direct swipe at Libra.
I will spare you details of the debate that followed the rant. What is important is that the President warned that the social media network might be subject to full banking regulation if it is to launch the project.
If Facebook and other companies want to become a bank, they must seek a new Banking Charter and become subject to all Banking Regulations, just like other Banks, both National and International.
Donald Trump, President of the United States.
Mr Trump is not alone in this line of thought. France also appears to be opposed to Facebook’s plans. According to the Financial Times, an official of the French finance minister, Bruno Le Maire was quoted to have said:
We will not allow private enterprises to give themselves the attributes of state sovereignty . . . the means of monetary sovereignty.
FT reports that officials say a currency such as Libra issued by a company with hundreds of millions of customers would carry unacceptable systemic risks. They say they are also concerned about money laundering and the financing of terrorism.
Just so you know, China was once on this path. Recall that last year, the Chinese authorities planned to shut down domestic exchanges, “after a period of scrutiny”. The Republic has never legally accepted the virtual currency, but it didn’t interfere with the domestic exchanges.
Twitter was down for an hour!
For about an hour yesterday (2:50 pm to 3:45 pm Eastern Time), the Twitter website (desktop and mobile sites) were down. Users saw a “Something is technically wrong” error while trying to access the site.
Twitter was restored after about an hour but took a few minutes to regain full functionality. A visit to the Twitter Status site shows that Twitter identified the error by 7:56 PM UTC, 58 minutes after the error occurred, according to its records (6:58 PM UTC).
The cause of the downtime is still unknown.
It has really been a bad month for the internet as a number of major internet outages that affected major platforms across the globe occurred within this period. Examples are Discord, Snap, Vimeo, Gmail and Nest.
OPay Raised $50m Dollars
Mobile payments startup, Opay announced a $50 million funding raise this week. The round was led by a number of investors which include Sequoia China, IDG Capital and Source Code Capital. Opera also joined in the round.
According to Techcrunch, OPay will use the capital (which wasn’t given a stage designation) primarily to grow its digital finance business in Nigeria — Africa’s most populous nation and largest economy.
OPay is also planning to use the funds to boost its parent company, Opera’s growing commercial network in Nigeria, which includes motorcycle ride-hail app ORide and OFood delivery service.
The $50 million investment in OPay is more than just another big round in Africa. It has significance for the continent’s tech ecosystem on multiple levels.
We have Seen the Last of Volkswagen Beetle!
“The last Volkswagen Beetle rolled off an assembly line into eternity in Puebla, Mexico, this week,” Quartz reports.
Volkswagen has announced that the last of the most recent generation of Volkswagen Beetles have come off the production line and will be put on display at the Volkswagen museum in Puebla, near the plant that produced it.
Just a bit of history…
The good old Beetle was born in Germany in 1938. At that time, it was simply named “Type-1”. The design had 25 horsepower and the rear-mounted engine was only capable of a top speed of about 100 km/h (62 mph).
Nazi leader Adolf Hitler first formulated the concept for the Beetle as a “people’s car” – in German, Volkswagen – a simple, cheap mass-produced mode of transportation for the nation.
Ferdinand Porsche gave birth to the Beetle’s iconic shape and simple reliability.
Later, 20,000 pieces were ordered by the British army for a unified Germany in 1946. By 1951 the car was back in 29 countries with different nicknames Ladybug (coccinelle) in France, Bug in America where it was the favourite of hippies.
It is has been through a lot of redesigns (1979, 1997 and 2011). Now, we will miss the beetle…
Long live the beetle! See you next week!
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