Tag Archives: Facebook

Don’t Think We Are Living In The End Times? Think Again

If you don’t think that we are living in the last days that
Jesus Christ spoke about then you had better think again! 

How much evidence do we need in order to wake us up?!

Jesus told us that in the last days there would be many deceptions, that the hearts of many would grow cold, that lawlessness would abound, that ethnic group would fight against ethnic group, and kingdom against kingdom, that there would be famines, pestilence, and earthquakes in various places, that all these are as birth pangs, that they shall all increase with frequency and intensity.

Well my friends we are in the heat of all of these things happening right now at the same time, and that is what makes each and everyone of them signs of the end times, that they are all happening together at the same time and increasing in both frequency and intensity, as the nation of Israel once again stands as a nation.

Think about what is happening now:

Deception.  There has never been a time in human history (other than the days of Noah) that deception has been so great and rampant in the world.  We are being deceived by the people that we should be trusting, in people that have control over our lives, over our health, over our well being, that list includes politicians, doctors, scientists, and even leaders in the church!

The hearts of many growing cold.  The hearts of many are growing cold, as people refuse to believe in God or the power of God.  They instead turn to fables and fairy tales, to false gods, and to their own opinions instead of the word of God.  People are turning against each other at astounding rates, becoming unloving, unforgiving, and hateful against one another, at a rate I have never before seen in my lifetime.

Lawlessness.  If you haven’t seen the lawlessness abounding in our lifetime then you must be dead, or braindead at best, or perhaps blind or deaf.  The lawlessness has increased at such drastic levels that it seems as though the world is headed into complete and utter chaos and disaster!  And to top it all off, the government is defending this lawlessness which is lawlessness in and of itself.  Then there is a call to defund the police!  This will only bring about more and more lawlessness.

Confusion and Chaos.  People in the world today are confused about almost everything, they aren’t sure just what to believe anymore, and they are believing things which just aren’t true or are ungodly and unholy.  This confusion brings about chaos, as people strive for things which bring about more lies and destruction.  They support things which God tells us are abominations to Him, things which only lead to disaster and destruction, and government leaders are adding fuel to the fire by pushing lies and propaganda for a New World Order.

Blindness.  Most people in this world are blind to what is really happening, they cannot see what is really happening nor do they really seem to care.  

2 Corinthians 4:4

“whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.”

Natural Disasters and Fear of the Unknown.  Over the course of the past several months we have witnessed many very large earthquakes throughout the world, some of which have killed many people and left in their wake much destruction.  We have also seen destructive hurricanes, wildfires, and floods, all destructive, all killing and destroying whatever lies in their path.  We have seen the increase of pestilence and famines, and the fear of these things coming upon us.  And we have seen fear of the unknown and what may come increasing causing people to do things that they normally wouldn’t do, and following along with whatever they being told, no questions asked!  

Bizarre and Unusual Events.  We see things in this world which are happening that none of us thought would ever happen.  We see things happening which are very bizarre and unusual, things that used to be seen as good are now seen as evil, and things which were evil are now seen as good!

Government against it’s own people.  We see Joe Biden fleeing from Afghanistan while leaving behind thousands of Americans to fend for themselves, while at the same time he is welcoming thousands of illegal aliens to walk right into this country!  He is forcing millions of Americans to either take an unsafe so-called vaccine or face loosing their livelihood, while at the same time allowing illegal aliens to flood the nation without even being tested for Covid-19!  He is treating illegal aliens better than he is treating Americans themselves!!!  While many Americans are being thrust into poverty thousands of illegal aliens are being thrust into wealth, given an income, food stamps, healthcare, and education!  Our nation is being divided, a very significant portion of our nation is being demonized by our very own government, being labeled as terrorists and insurrectionists, as second class citizens!

Evil is increasing exponentially.  The evil in this world is increasing at exponential rates, Christians are being persecuted at increasingly exponential rates, lawlessness is increasing at exponential rates, deception is increasing at exponential rates, sin is increasing at exponential rates.  Tell me something isn’t amiss!

Something seems wrong with the world.  Yes, things are amiss, but we were told by Jesus Christ Himself that things in this world would be this way before His return.  These are signs my friends, signs of the return of Jesus Christ to this world, at His second coming.  Yet, if we are that close to His second coming then how much closer are we to the rapture of the church?!  That much close my friends, that much closer, in fact at least 7 years closer!!!

The things happening in this world are not by chance, no, they were foretold to happen by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!  These things will happen, and when they do we are to look up for our redemption draws near.

Who in their right mind would have ever thought that they would see the things that are happening in the world today?  Who?  I sure didn’t!  I knew that things were going to get bad before the rapture of the church, but I didn’t expect to see them happening.  All of these things are setting the stage for the coming One World Government under the dictatorial and tyrannical rule of the Antichrist.  Doesn’t the world look as though it is getting ready for it?  It most certainly does to me.

And not only are all of the things that I mentioned above happening, but we are one step closer to a digital currency, to the Mark of the Beast!  People are also being brainwashed and conditioned to accept the Mark, to accept what they are told by a one world ruler, to do it in order to survive, in order to have peace and security!  How many people do you know that just willingly accept what the government and MSM tell them?  Willingly accept that the coronavirus vaccine is both safe and effective?  How many do it without doing any research on their own and without any questions whatsoever?!  It’s warfare my friends, psychological warfare, spiritual warfare!

Threaten people with fear and they will comply.  Threaten to take away their livelihood, their healthcare, their ability to buy or sell, threaten their peace and security.  Fear, it’s a controlling force, and the Elite know this and use it to the best of their ability, Satan knows this and also uses it to the best of his ability!  But Jesus told us not to fear, but to trust wholly in Him!

Matthew 10:28

“And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”

Isaiah 41:10

“Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”

Philippians 4:6-7

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

2 Timothy 1:7

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

Isaiah 43:1

“But now, this is what the Lord says…Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.”

Psalm 118:6

“The Lord is on my side;
I will not fear.
What can man do to me?”

Fear not as you see the day approaching, and know that God is with you and on your side, as long as you place your faith and trust in Jesus Christ!  Look around you and see the signs for they are all around us, Jesus is coming soon!

Accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, before it’s too late!!!

God bless my friends!  Maranatha!


Markethive is a concept and vision

Markethive is a concept and a vision.

It isn’t designed to compete with or replace Facebook or LinkedIn. But when compared to Facebook’s culture Markethive’s support, security and privacy are superior. Unlike Facebook, Markethive put’s her members first by sharing the benefits of and revenues of Markethive’s growth and success with our members.

But Markethive is not just a social network. Our social network system is foundational to our system but that is where we part ways with the traditional social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, etc.

Markethive delivers an Inbound Marketing platform equal to or superior to Marketo and Hubspot. Do you know who they are and the tools they offer? They are email autoresponders, blogging platforms, landing pages, social Media broadcasting, Tracking analytics, SEO, back linking automation, messaging, ecommerce, and seo. The benefits of these systems is to “attract”, “convert”. “close” and “delight”. Building a large loyal long term customer base.

Inbound Marketing platforms charge high prices for these services. Even platforms that only offer vertical service like email charge high prices. For example with just email platforms with 5,000 subscribers:

  1. Aweber: $48/mo
  2. Mail Chimp: $10/mo
  3. iContacte: $118/mo
  4. Getresponse: $45/mo

Full service Inbound Marketing Platforms:

  1. Marketo: $3,195/mo
  2. Pardot: $4,000/mo
  3. Hubspot:  $3,200/mo
  4. Eloqua: $4,000/mo


Marketo sold to Adobe for $4.75 billion. That is how valuable our Inbound Marketing platform is. Along with commerce platforms called groups that are far more than just groups. They are integrated to the Markethive capture pages as the Markethive landing pages within the community of your Markethive, all part of the overall nurturing aspects of the system. They are designed to facilitate commerce in selling goods or services too.

Paid to learn is also made available to all members to have a clear path to learning the navigations of the system and the applications of applying Inbound Marketing to your goals. All of this, paid to learn, $3.500 per months’ worth of Inbound Marketing platform, 500 coins dropped on every new member, at the current rate of .13 ($65). Does this even compare to Facebook? Do we even waste our energy even discussing that old archaic backwards BOOMER social system?

Markethive is a digital media site, offering unique current articles into the Internet with a wide range of interests, as wide as our memberships. Markethive’s reach extends out to our social networks, our 3rd party news sites, our subscribers WordPress sites, gives Markethive customers, members and visitors unparalleled reach beyond the scope and imagination of any other platform.

This reach, content and growth of our subscribers, our content is the fuel that is driving our engines exponentially. As of this writing, our traffic has exceeded 65 million monthly impressions and over 435,000 unique daily visits. Each day this is increasing. Our social network followers total count is over 50,000 at this time and also growing exponentially.

Why? Engines

We need engines to drive our money machines. Money machines assigned to our members that have upgraded to our loyalty programs. One such money machine is called the BIX (Banner Impressions Exchange) an innovation where Marketihve’s impressions, a result of our traffic (engines), are assigned to a limited group in the (500 max Entrepreneur One loyalty program). This limited “franchise like” offer gives the member 1/500th share of the traffic to sell at market price; any or all of their impressions each month. For example as the numbers exist today, based on similar site impression prices (.01 per) $10/m with 75,000,000 monthly impressions divided by 500 gives you a monthly revenue of $1500 per month. When impressions can only be purchased from the 500 Entrepreneur Ones with an ever increasing members base these number will only improve. No one has ever done this before. We are first. We are giving our members our impressions to build a cottage business. This is only the beginning. We plan on rolling out many more money machines in the near future. Money Machines like:

  1. Press Releases
  2. Sponsored articles
  3. News Feed Boosts
  4. Video Ads
  5. Blogcasting
  6. Conference room advertising
  7. Pop Ups
  8. Article Email Notifications

The more we grow, the more we grow.

As we grow, revenues grow. Revenue pays you on your ILPs and funds more engineers and marketing for Markethive.  When you make more money, you have more resources to invest in further services, advertise and build your financial stability. Making you sound.

When we make money we build more services and promote Markethive in more places as we expand our territories. This increases our traffic we route to rotators to give the loyalty programs more signups, earning you more coins.

The entire system will eventually run exclusively on Markethive coins, producing a greater demand for the coin than there is supply. Services  in high demand from every company and entrepreneurs like Display Advertising, Press releases, Video ads, gamified product rewards, News Feed push, etc. Cointelegraph sells a press release to their from page for a few days for $10,000 just because of their traffic (Alexa Rank@ 2,172 which equals about 350 million impressions which would be about $4,200 per month for each Entrepreneur One upgrade member’s banner impressions alone.

Like I started out in the article, we are not even in the same orbit as Facebook, but way beyond anything they do. And no, we are not selling Markethive to them or anyone. I built Markethive for you and it is staying that way.

Now do you understand why Binance bought coinmarketcap.com for $400 million?  Why Adobe bought Marketo for $4.75 billion?

What are you waiting for?

Now a word from our founder

Attend our Sunday meetings, every Sunday at 10 am Mountain. See the link below


Our meetings will take place in out Google Meets until we have our conference room ready.


Thomas Prendergast


Some of Facebook’s Libra Members Look to Distance Themselves from Project

Some of Facebook’s Libra Members Look to Distance Themselves from Project

U.S. lawmakers have been skeptical about Facebook and the libra coin

and some of the Libra Association look to distance themselves from the project.Ever since its announcement in mid-June 2019, the libra coin has been dealing with pressure from the public and U.S. regulators. Facebook, the social media giant, has been prone to hacking risks that have led to the breach of information security.U.S. lawmakers have been skeptical about Facebook and the libra coin. Today, it seems like the pressure is no longer bearable, and some of the libra association members are opting out.

The Center of the problem

It all started in July 2nd when MaineWaters, a U.S. congress woman wrote to Libra Association requiring the team to cease any development on Libra coin. According to the letter, the Libra Association was supposed to pause any development until the financial service committee, and other associate subcommittees discuss the possible risks of libra coin on the global financial system. According to the reports reaching us, the libra association is under tension as some of its key members are opting out. A report released by the financial times on August 23rd, 2019 indicates that three firms, which were crucial shareholders, have resolved to back out due to pressure from regulators and the potential threat to the economy.

The Libra Association is comprised of 28 members, including Facebook and telecommunication giants such as visa and master card.  Each of the members was supposed to invest an amount not less than $ 10 million. Suddenly, the association is falling apart, two of the members backing out attributed it to regulatory pressure while the third linked the fall out to the public support of the project which could draw unnecessary attention of the overseers. “It’s going to be difficult for partners who want to comply with regulators policies to be out there declaring their support for the proposed digital coin,” said one of the members.

The fall out has not gone well with Facebook, and one of the members backing libra was quoted saying that, “Facebook is tired of being the only people putting their neck out.” Most cryptocurrency exchanges like Binance exchange have been experiencing challenges. We all remember of the recent cyber attack on Binance exchange that cost the company approximately 7,000 Bitcoins in a single transaction. The credibility and reliability of both the developers and exchange platforms are current issues affecting blockchain. These might be some of the reasons why the regulators are so keen on scrutinizing the system to determine its reliability to avoid some of the occurrences that have had paining cost on investors.

Just two days ago, reports circulating online indicated that the European Commission, which is the E.U.’s executive body was in a move to launch investigations on Libra coin. The reports we have received indicate that the libra project is being investigated of possible anti-competitive behavior. Moreover, six members of the Financial Service Committee in the American House of Representatives went to Switzerland to discuss cryptocurrency projects. It is evident that Libra has been peck in the eyes of the regulators; this could be attributed to the poor handling of data storage and misuse of consumer information by the social media giant. So, how is the public expected to trust such a company with questionable ethics?

Final take

Regulatory summons has not prevented the backing members from pursuing their interests. While the sauce is too hot for some members, some potential investors are willing to chow it hot. A cryptocurrency exchange based in Taiwan has expressed its interest to join libra with the hope of dominating the Asian-pacific region. Some crypto experts have indicated that libra has the potential of dominating the crypto market if the inherent issues are addressed on time. Others have it that the only threat facing libra is privacy issues associated with Facebook and digital identity. The cryptocurrency market is quite young, and new issues are emerging every day. Let’s wait and see how these issues will be managed to stabilize the dwindling cryptocurrency boat.

Article Produced By
Tanvir Zafar

Tanvir Zafar is a Cryptocurrency enthusiast by day, stand-up comedian by night. Having 4 years of experience in writing about Cryptocurrency, Big Data and Blockchain+AI related content. You can also find him featured on investing.com, e27.co, hackernoon.com and many other big Crypto publications



Japan’s leading online brokerage applies to join Facebook’s Libra Association

Japan’s leading online brokerage applies to join Facebook’s Libra Association


At the FYE March 2020 Q1 results briefing held on July 26, Oki Matsumoto,

CEO of Monex Group, Japan’s leading online brokerage, which owns Coincheck, Japan’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, announced that it had applied to join the Libra Association, an association set up for the cryptocurrency Libra, to be issued by Facebook.

Monex Group has become the first Japanese company to do so. Strict conditions are set to join the Libra Association, including a market size of USD1 billion (approximately JPY110 billion) or more or a customer cash flow of USD500 million (approximately JPY55 billion) or more. A decision on the feasibility of joining the Libra Association is expected to be made by the end of September following the initial review, which will be completed by the end of August. In Monex Group’s financial results, the Crypto Asset Segment entered the black in line with the surge of Bitcoin.

The Company announced: “Cost reductions are being promoted while strengthening internal controls and cyber security. Coincheck has become profitable for the first time since joining our group, driven by rapid account growth, the offering of a new cryptocurrency, and favorable market activity throughout the quarter. Segment profit is JPY0.14 billion (approximately USD1.29 million).” It also reported that there have been some positive developments. Monex’s subsidiary Coincheck fully resumed services in FYE March 2020 Q1 (April-June), after they had been suspended due to a massive theft of cryptocurrencies last year. In addition, the price of Monacoin increased temporarily after the listing of Monacoin, Japan’s homegrown cryptocurrency, in June this year.

Article Produced By



Libra Accused of Stealing Structural Design from Another Coin

Libra Accused of Stealing Structural Design from Another Coin


A Fellow at MIT claims that Facebook’s Libra currency is based on his ideas.

 Did Libra Take Its Structure from Another Coin?

The Royal Society’s Open Science publication released a whitepaper in 2018. It was written by several members of MIT, one of which was Fellow Alex Lipton. In the paper, Lipton describes an “asset-backed, supra-national digital token.” This correlates with the goals and ideals of Libra, which will allegedly be backed by several forms of fiat and “short-term debt.” The cryptocurrency discussed in the whitepaper, known as Trade Coin, is also designed for streamlining cross-border and domestic payments, and providing financial means for underbanked populations. Lipton says these ideas were taken directly from his paper, explaining:

 Without being particularly obnoxious, I can tell you that the actual structure of Libra is pretty much lifted verbatim from the paper which Sandy Pentland and Thomas Hardjono and I published last year… The Libra people cannot really say that they have not read that, or if they have not read that, they probably shouldn’t be doing what they are doing in the first place.

Libra has been hit with mountains of controversy since it first arrived. Members of the American Congress, for example, have commented that there are too many unanswered questions as of late regarding the project’s main goals, and that Facebook is not to be trusted with people’s financial information following the Cambridge Analytica scandal. They have ultimately asked David Marcus – the head of Facebook’s blockchain division – and his team to hold off on developing Libra further until they can be assured that the cryptocurrency is safe. Marcus has said he will comply with the request.

This is also not the first time Libra has been accused of ripping off another person’s work. The cryptocurrency project is alleged to have taken its logo from Current, a banking firm in northern California that says the company ultimately stole its logo by using the same San Francisco-based design firm. Current’s logo involves a blue, purple and pink-tinted circle surrounding three wavy, purple lines. Libra has virtually the same logo with different coloring.

This Is Becoming a Pattern…

And, of course, there’s the original case involving Facebook itself, which was purportedly conceived originally by the Winklevoss Twins, the founders of New York’s Gemini Exchange. Both Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss allege they originally came up with the concept for Facebook back when they were students at Harvard. Fellow classmate Mark Zuckerberg – who later became the head executive for Facebook – was simply hired to perform coding duties for the platform, as detailed in the Oscar-winning film “The Social Network.” However, Zuckerberg ultimately brought the platform to existence through his own vision and efforts, leaving the Winklevoss Twins out of its development. This emerged in a massive lawsuit that the Twins and Zuckerberg settled out of court.



Facebook should forget Libra, launch stablecoin on Bitcoin SV

Facebook should forget Libra, launch stablecoin on Bitcoin SV

I think Facebook is realizing the obvious,
its Libra stablecoin project is never going to properly get off the ground.

Several countries have already come forward to say that they will completely ban the digital currency, while others are pushing for a complete and thorough investigation, coupled with regulatory approval, before allowing the project to see the light of days. The social media giant has stated that it is willing to wait as long as it takes regulators to determine the viability of the project, but there is a much simpler, much more accessible alternative: give up the standalone crypto and launch a fully-backed stablecoin on the Bitcoin SV (BSV) blockchain.

Facebook could also go a different route and just let BSV become its currency. With the lowest fees of any crypto and the proven capability of being able to handle a large number of transactions simultaneously, thanks to the Quasar upgrade, Mark Zuckerberg can stop beating his head against the wall and offer a cryptocurrency that meets his Libra goals — a worldwide payment solution that is available to everyone, even those who have no access to banks.

The U.S. government is trying to prevent large tech companies from entering the financial space. A bill has been drafted by the House of Representatives that is aptly called the “Keep Big Tech Out Of Finance Act” bill. It states, in part, “A large platform utility may not establish, maintain, or operate a digital asset that is intended to be widely used as medium of exchange, unit of account, store of value, or any other similar function, as defined by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.” This would preclude the participation in a financial system by companies like Google, Facebook and virtually any large tech entity.

The Tokenized Protocol on BSV is a great way for businesses to tokenize assets and offer those assets to customers. This would be a solution that could be easily integrated and easily implemented by Facebook, saving the company from the hassles it currently faces through global regulatory scrutiny. According to Tokenized founder and CEO James Belding, “That simple truth is that organizations must comply with the laws and regulations of the jurisdiction they reside in. Building the technology around a sensible assessment of these solution requirements allows for a token system that is much more expressive, performant, secure and lower cost than competing solutions.”

BSV understands something that other major crypto projects don’t. Bitcoin wasn’t created to be above the law, nor is it meant to allow users to circumvent the law. On the contrary, it was designed to work within regulated financial frameworks while giving consumers easier access to currency solutions. This is what Libra has professed itself to be and, given that BSV is already a regulation-friendly digital currency, it is fitting that Facebook turn to the real Bitcoin in order to fulfill its goals.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as SegWitCoin BTC coins. Altcoins, which value privacy, anonymity, and distance from government intervention, are referenced as dark coins. Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (BSV) is today the only Bitcoin project that follows the original Satoshi Nakamoto whitepaper, and that follows the original Satoshi protocol and design. BSV is the only public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin and will massively scale to become the world’s new money and enterprise blockchain.

Article Produced By
Erik Gibbs



Senate hostile towards Libra, Facebook suggests regulators must act or risk losing US dollar dominance to Bitcoin

Senate hostile towards Libra, Facebook suggests regulators must act or risk losing US dollar dominance to Bitcoin


The focus of the hearing between Facebook’s David Marcus and the Senate on the Libra cryptocurrency was trust

—or the lack thereof. Marcus, the head of Calibra, strongly suggested that if the U.S. doesn’t act quickly, Bitcoin could jeopardize the dollar’s dominance. Meanwhile, the Senate Committee was hostile towards the social media giant because of its history of ethical and regulatory violations. David Marcus, the head of Calibra, testified before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs this morning to clarify issues around Libra, the cryptocurrency Facebook revealed last month.

Libra is Facebook’s proposed stablecoin backed by a basket of low-yield assets. Calibra, a subsidiary of Facebook, is one of many wallet applications that will allegedly exist on the Libra network. The application, similar to Venmo or PayPal, will utilize the cryptocurrency to settle payments while offering consumers fraud protections and will serve as  the point of control for conducting know-your-customer and anti-money laundering checks on users. According to the Libra whitepaper and testimony from Marcus, Libra will eventually be lead by a non-profit association of over one hundred member companies based out of Geneva, Switzerland. Some current members include Mastercard, Visa, Coinbase, and Uber.

Facebook attempts to placate regulators

“We will take the time to get this right. We expect the review of Libra to be the most extensive ever. We are fully committed to working with regulators here and around the world. And let me be clear and unambiguous. Facebook will not offer the Libra digital currency until we have fully addressed regulators concerned and have received appropriate approvals,” said Marcus in his opening testimony.

The Facebook executive’s appearance before the Senate Committee comes after Libra attracted national scrutiny from several divisions of the United States government. The Federal Reserve Chairman, Jerome Powell, said Libra cannot go forward until Facebook addresses concerns around privacy, money laundering, and financial stability. The Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin stated Facebook has a “lot of work to do” before convincing him to allow Libra to proceed. Even President Donald Trump tweeted “if Facebook wants to become a bank,” then they must be “subject to all banking regulations.”

“We strongly agree with both of them,” said Marcus, referring to the statements from Powell and Mnuchin. That said, and even though Marcus is careful in claiming that Libra will not proceed until it is approved by regulators, he makes a clear call to action. He suggests that if policymakers do not act quickly, Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency could threaten

the dominance of the dollar:

“I believe that if America doesn’t lead innovation in the digital currency and payments area, others will. If the country fails to act, we could soon see a [crypto]currency controlled by others whose values are dramatically different from ours.”

Senators respond with contempt

Yet, even with Marcus’s cautious remarks towards Libra’s approval, Senators from the Committee still responded with contempt because of the social media giant’s repeated ethical, privacy, and

regulatory violations.

“Facebook is dangerous. Facebook might not intend to be dangerous, but surely, they don’t respect the power of the technology they’re playing with,” said Sherrod Brown, an Ohio Democrat. “Like a toddler who has gotten its hands on a book of matches. Facebook has burned down the house over and over and has called every arson a learning experience.”

For the entirety of the hearing Marcus was under fire for the myriad of scandals connected to Facebook. Backlash from incidents such as Russian election meddling, to Cambridge Analytica, to the platform’s role in the genocide of Rohingya Muslims dominated the hearing. Making matters worse, this week the FTC approved a $5 billion fine on

Facebook for mishandling users’ data.

“I don’t trust Facebook, and it’s because of the repeated violations of user privacy and repeated deceit, and I am not alone,” stressed Arizona Republican Martha McSally. “The core issue here is trust.”

Nevertheless, Marcus iterated time and time again that the Libra multi-member association model, which currently includes over two dozen members, limits Facebook’s ability to influence the payment network. “Facebook is just one vote among many,” he told the Committee. The Senators were not convinced. Facebook’s market power, vast resources, 2.4 billion person user base, and founding role in Libra would make it trivial for the company to assume de facto control over the supposedly decentralized payment system. Libra is far from a lost cause, however. Many in the Committee were optimistic about the potential of blockchain and cryptocurrency. Although the senators were cautious about Libra, they were still willing to work with Facebook should the company be willing to

seriously address their concerns.

“To announce in advance that we have to strangle this baby in the crib is widely premature,” stated Pat Toomey, a Pennsylvania Republican.

Senators bullish on blockchain, skeptical of Bitcoin

Unlike other hearings, those on the Committee appeared relatively knowledgeable about the potential of distributed ledger technology.

As Senator Toomey continued:

“It’s widely premature to come to the conclusion that we have to act now to prevent what could be a very constructive innovation in financial services. I think there are tremendous potential benefits of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. It’s clear they could help us lower payment transaction costs, facilitate access to capital, provide pseudo-anonymity, and provide levels of security that other forms of currency have not.”

Senator Thom Tillis, a Florida Republican, added to the positive sentiment towards crypto, saying the United States should take a leading role in

setting cryptocurrency regulation:

“The United States can either follow some other jurisdiction in pursuing this or we can lead it. In the same way we have the gold standard for the banking system in the United States, we have the opportunity to set an international standard that will ultimately provide greater consumer protections for a lot of the other upstart equivalents.”

However, there is still enormous uncertainty around the securities classifications, tax treatment, and legal status of crypto in the United States—allowing places such as Malta and Switzerland to take the lead (at least for now) in blockchain regulation.

Stances towards Bitcoin were mixed.

“What’s different [between Libra] from things like Bitcoin, is the uncertainty around Bitcoin, the uncertainty in its value, the wild fluctuations, mean, in my view, that it’s not going to be put into widespread use,” said Chris Van Hollen, a Maryland Democrat.

Could the dollar lose its grip over the global economy?

Having the U.S. dollar as the world’s reserve currency gives the United States leverage over foreign economies by imposing “extremely effective” sanctions, said Arkansas Republican Tom Cotton. The United States government can “blacklist” countries and people from accessing the global financial system by leveraging the dominance of the dollar. Current targets of this financial exclusion include Iran, North Korea and Cuba, crippling these economies. In response to a question from New York Democrat Bob Memendez about blacklisting nation-states and bad actors, Marcus reminded him that the United States is at risk of

losing the leverage of the dollar (to BTC).

“I really want to stress the fact that if we don’t lead, others will. And, as a result the transactions that you highlighted and listed, will happen on a network where we [the U.S.] will have no jurisdiction and no reach and no ability to exert any control for national security purposes.”

For Libra, the wallet providers and other “on and off ramps” would be responsible for conducting KYC and AML compliance. Those using Calibra would be required to reveal their identity and provide photo identification separate from Facebook’s social media platform. The Libra association will also register with money transmission regulator FinCEN, said Marcus.

Still, the Committee was unconvinced these measures would be sufficient.

“Traditional cryptocurrencies are not the first choice of drug cartels, terrorists, and human traffickers, because cryptocurrencies are not easy to use,” argued Senator Kyrsten Sinema.“But Libra is not a cryptocurrency. It’s a digital currency that promises anonymity and ease of use, which raises concerns about its potential exploitation for illicit purposes. I have concern that drug cartels and traffickers may use Libra to finance operations along our southern border,” concluded the Arizona Democrat.

Nevada Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto added to Sinema’s concerns.

“This is a new day and age. When it comes to cash and carrying around a briefcase full of cash transnational criminals and terrorist activities don’t do that anymore. What you are creating right is an opportunity for them to continue engaging in money laundering and criminal activity.”

Marcus added, “we will respect the travel rule and perform the right checks, including OFAC checks. This is definitely true for the Calibra wallet.”

Act fast or be made obsolete

The final theme Calibra head David Marcus focused on was the United State’s precarious relationship with the dollar

and its payments infrastructure.

“Every time the chairman of the Federal Reserve has come before this committee, I asked them why the United States government is so far behind our European partners and many others in real time payments. The fact that we don’t have a system in this country that can clear real time payments is, today, costing millions of Americans billions of dollars,” said Van Hollen. “They should accelerate their efforts and get it done. I personally don’t think we should hand that over to the consortium of the biggest banks in the country.”

Marcus agreed with  this sentiment, asserting that if the U.S. doesn’t act, its position could be displaced by Bitcoin or another nation-state-backed cryptocurrency—

such as the one China is exploring on.

“If we don’t lead in this space others will. In the same way we will end up having two internets and two different infrastructures, we will have two different financial systems and two different financial networks.”

Although the Facebook executive does not mention Bitcoin by name during his testimony, the theme of “falling behind” was mentioned in more than four instances during the hearing. Several, like the one above,

had strong allusions to Bitcoin.

“One will be out of reach of the sanctions that are so effective at enforcing our foreign policy and preserving our national security. This is why I believe Libra is an alternative that consumers will have the ability to use with wallets that will de facto enforce the functions that are led by our national security apparatus and Treasury,” finished Marcus.

In other words, Marcus is reminding the Senate that if the U.S. government wishes to retain control over the money supply, and the global economy, that a solution like Libra is necessary.

As said in another instance:

“If we stay put we’re going to be in a situation where in 10-15 years where we’re going to really have half the world operate, on, by the way, a blockchain based technology [Bitcoin] that will be out of reach from our national security apparatus.”

Still, the Senate Committee was more concerned about the trustworthiness of Facebook over the threat that Bitcoin, or any other payment network, poses to the U.S. financial system. These concerns mean that Facebook is “definitely not moving fast” when it comes to Libra, as said by Marcus. It seems that the risk to the U.S. financial system outweighed by Facebook’s infamy, for the time being.

As Senator Brown effectively summarized:

“Why with all of your problems should we trust [Facebook] with something as important as a worldwide currency and the damage that can come from it.”

Article Produced By
Mitchell Moos

Mitchell Moos

Mitchell is a software enthusiast and entrepreneur. In addition to writing, he runs a non-profit that teaches people about the blockchain. In his spare time he loves playing chess or hiking.



Is Europe closing in on an antitrust fix for surveillance technologists?

Is Europe closing in on an antitrust fix for surveillance technologists?


The German Federal Cartel Office’s decision to order Facebook

to change how it processes users’ personal data this week is a sign the antitrust tide could at last be turning against platform power. One European Commission source we spoke to, who was commenting in a personal capacity, described it as “clearly pioneering” and “a big deal”, even without Facebook being fined a dime.

The FCO’s decision instead bans the social network from linking user data across different platforms it owns, unless it gains people’s consent (nor can it make use of its services contingent on such consent). Facebook is also prohibited from gathering and linking data on users from third party websites, such as via its tracking pixels and social plugins. The order is not yet in force, and Facebook is appealing, but should it come into force the social network faces being de facto shrunk by having its platforms siloed at the data level.

To comply with the order Facebook would have to ask users to freely consent to being data-mined — which the company does not do at present. Yes, Facebook could still manipulate the outcome it wants from users but doing so would open it to further challenge under EU data protection law, as its current approach to consent is already being challenged. The EU’s updated privacy framework, GDPR, requires consent to be specific, informed and freely given. That standard supports challenges to Facebook’s (still fixed) entry ‘price’ to its social services. To play you still have to agree to hand over your personal data so it can sell your attention to advertisers. But legal experts contend that’s neither privacy by design nor default.

The only ‘alternative’ Facebook offers is to tell users they can delete their account. Not that doing so would stop the company from tracking you around the rest of the mainstream web anyway. Facebook’s tracking infrastructure is also embedded across the wider Internet so it profiles non-users too. EU data protection regulators are still investigating a very large number of consent-related GDPR complaints.

But the German FCO, which said it liaised with privacy authorities during its investigation of Facebook’s data-gathering, has dubbed this type of behavior “exploitative abuse”, having also deemed the social service to hold a monopoly position in the German market. So there are now two lines of legal attack — antitrust and privacy law — threatening Facebook (and indeed other adtech companies’) surveillance-based business model across Europe. A year ago the German antitrust authority also announced a probe of the online advertising sector, responding to concerns about a lack of transparency in the market. Its work here is by no means done.

Data limits

The lack of a big flashy fine attached to the German FCO’s order against Facebook makes this week’s story less of a major headline than recent European Commission antitrust fines handed to Google — such as the record-breaking $5BN penalty issued last summer for anticompetitive behaviour linked to the Android mobile platform. But the decision is arguably just as, if not more, significant, because of the structural remedies being ordered upon Facebook. These remedies have been likened to an internal break-up of the company — with enforced internal separation of its multiple platform products at the data level.

This of course runs counter to (ad) platform giants’ preferred trajectory, which has long been to tear modesty walls down; pool user data from multiple internal (and indeed external sources), in defiance of the notion of informed consent; and mine all that personal (and sensitive) stuff to build identity-linked profiles to train algorithms that predict (and, some contend, manipulate) individual behavior. Because if you can predict what a person is going to do you can choose which advert to serve to increase the chance they’ll click. (Or as Mark Zuckerberg puts it: ‘Senator, we run ads.’)

This means that a regulatory intervention that interferes with an ad tech giant’s ability to pool and process personal data starts to look really interesting. Because a Facebook that can’t join data dots across its sprawling social empire — or indeed across the mainstream web — wouldn’t be such a massive giant in terms of data insights. And nor, therefore, surveillance oversight. Each of its platforms would be forced to be a more discrete (and, well, discreet) kind of business. Competing against data-siloed platforms with a common owner — instead of a single interlinked mega-surveillance-network — also starts to sound almost possible. It suggests a playing field that’s reset, if not entirely levelled.

(Whereas, in the case of Android, the European Commission did not order any specific remedies — allowing Google to come up with ‘fixes’ itself; and so to shape the most self-serving ‘fix’ it can think of.) Meanwhile, just look at where Facebook is now aiming to get to: A technical unification of the backend of its different social products. Such a merger would collapse even more walls and fully enmesh platforms that started life as entirely separate products before were folded into Facebook’s empire (also, let’s not forget, via surveillance-informed acquisitions).

Facebook’s plan to unify its products on a single backend platform looks very much like an attempt to throw up technical barriers to antitrust hammers. It’s at least harder to imagine breaking up a company if its multiple, separate products are merged onto one unified backend which functions to cross and combine data streams. Set against Facebook’s sudden desire to technically unify its full-flush of dominant social networks (Facebook Messenger; Instagram; WhatsApp) is a rising drum-beat of calls for competition-based scrutiny of tech giants. This has been building for years, as the market power — and even democracy-denting potential — of surveillance capitalism’s data giants has telescoped into view.

Calls to break up tech giants no longer carry a suggestive punch. Regulators are routinely asked whether it’s time. As the European Commission’s competition chief, Margrethe Vestager, was when she handed down Google’s latest massive antitrust fine last summer. Her response then was that she wasn’t sure breaking Google up is the right answer — preferring to try remedies that might allow competitors to have a go, while also emphasizing the importance of legislating to ensure “transparency and fairness in the business to platform relationship”.

But it’s interesting that the idea of breaking up tech giants now plays so well as political theatre, suggesting that wildly successful consumer technology companies — which have long dined out on shiny convenience-based marketing claims, made ever so saccharine sweet via the lure of ‘free’ services — have lost a big chunk of their populist pull, dogged as they have been by so many scandals.

From terrorist content and hate speech, to election interference, child exploitation, bullying, abuse. There’s also the matter of how they arrange their tax affairs. The public perception of tech giants has matured as the ‘costs’ of their ‘free’ services have scaled into view. The upstarts have also become the establishment. People see not a new generation of ‘cuddly capitalists’ but another bunch of multinationals; highly polished but remote money-making machines that take rather more than they give back to the societies they feed off.

Google’s trick of naming each Android iteration after a different sweet treat makes for an interesting parallel to the (also now shifting) public perceptions around sugar, following closer attention to health concerns. What does its sickly sweetness mask? And after the sugar tax, we now have politicians calling for a social media levy.

Just this week the deputy leader of the main opposition party in the UK called for setting up a standalone Internet regulatory with the power to break up tech monopolies. Talking about breaking up well-oiled, wealth-concentration machines is being seen as a populist vote winner. And companies that political leaders used to flatter and seek out for PR opportunities find themselves treated as political punchbags; Called to attend awkward grilling by hard-grafting committees, or taken to vicious task verbally at the highest profile public podia. (Though some non-democratic heads of state are still keen to press tech giant flesh.)

In Europe, Facebook’s repeat snubs of the UK parliament’s requests last year for Zuckerberg to face policymakers’ questions certainly did not go unnoticed. Zuckerberg’s empty chair at the DCMS committee has become both a symbol of the company’s failure to accept wider societal responsibility for its products, and an indication of market failure; the CEO so powerful he doesn’t feel answerable to anyone; neither his most vulnerable users nor their elected representatives. Hence UK politicians on both sides of the aisle making political capital by talking about cutting tech giants down to size. The political fallout from the Cambridge Analytica scandal looks far from done.

Quite how a UK regulator could successfully swing a regulatory hammer to break up a global Internet giant such as Facebook which is headquartered in the U.S. is another matter. But policymakers have already crossed the rubicon of public opinion and are relishing talking up having a go. That represents a sea-change vs the neoliberal consensus that allowed competition regulators to sit on their hands for more than a decade as technology upstarts quietly hoovered up people’s data and bagged rivals, and basically went about transforming themselves from highly scalable startups into market-distorting giants with Internet-scale data-nets to snag users and buy or block competing ideas.

The political spirit looks willing to go there, and now the mechanism for breaking platforms’ distorting hold on markets may also be shaping up. The traditional antitrust remedy of breaking a company along its business lines still looks unwieldy when faced with the blistering pace of digital technology. The problem is delivering such a fix fast enough that the business hasn’t already reconfigured to route around the reset. Commission antitrust decisions on the tech beat have stepped up impressively in pace on Vestager’s watch. Yet it still feels like watching paper pushers wading through treacle to try and catch a sprinter. (And Europe hasn’t gone so far as trying to impose a platform break up.)  But the German FCO decision against Facebook hints at an alternative way forward for regulating the dominance of digital monopolies: Structural remedies that focus on controlling access to data which can be relatively swiftly configured and applied.

Vestager, whose term as EC competition chief may be coming to its end this year (even if other Commission roles remain in potential and tantalizing contention), has championed this idea herself. In an interview on BBC Radio 4’s Today program in December she poured cold water on the stock question about breaking tech giants up — saying instead the Commission could look at how larger firms got access to data and resources as a means of limiting their power. Which is exactly what the German FCO has done in its order to Facebook. 

At the same time, Europe’s updated data protection framework has gained the most attention for the size of the financial penalties that can be issued for major compliance breaches. But the regulation also gives data watchdogs the power to limit or ban processing. And that power could similarly be used to reshape a rights-eroding business model or snuff out such business entirely. The merging of privacy and antitrust concerns is really just a reflection of the complexity of the challenge regulators now face trying to rein in digital monopolies. But they’re tooling up to meet that challenge.

Speaking in an interview with TechCrunch last fall, Europe’s data protection supervisor, Giovanni Buttarelli, told us the bloc’s privacy regulators are moving towards more joint working with antitrust agencies to respond to platform power. “Europe would like to speak with one voice, not only within data protection but by approaching this issue of digital dividend, monopolies in a better way — not per sectors,” he said. “But first joint enforcement and better co-operation is key.” The German FCO’s decision represents tangible evidence of the kind of regulatory co-operation that could — finally — crack down on tech giants.

Blogging in support of the decision this week, Buttarelli asserted: “It is not necessary for competition authorities to enforce other areas of law; rather they need simply to identity where the most powerful undertakings are setting a bad example and damaging the interests of consumers.  Data protection authorities are able to assist in this assessment.” He also had a prediction of his own for surveillance technologists, warning: “This case is the tip of the iceberg — all companies in the digital information ecosystem that rely on tracking, profiling and targeting should be on notice.” So perhaps, at long last, the regulators have figured out how to move fast and break things.

Article Produced By
Natasha Lomas


Natasha is a senior reporter for TechCrunch, joining September 2012, based in Europe. She joined TC after a stint reviewing smartphones for CNET UK and, prior to that, more than five years covering business technology for silicon.com (now folded into TechRepublic), where she focused on mobile and wireless, telecoms & networking, and IT skills issues. She has also freelanced for organisations including The Guardian and the BBC. Natasha holds a First Class degree in English from Cambridge University, and an MA in journalism from Goldsmiths College, University of London.




Facebook is still trying to figure out what teens are interested in

Facebook is still trying to figure out what teens are interested in

Facebook is restructuring its “youth team,” shutting down its new teen meme app LOL, and doubling down on Messenger Kids.


Facebook is still trying to figure out what kind of apps

young people want to use. Meme apps? Not so much. Messaging apps for elementary school kids? Yes, apparently so. At least, that’s what we’ve deduced from Facebook’s decision to restructure its “youth team,” the organization of more than 100 employees specifically tasked with building products and features for young people.

The team was alerted late last week that multiple projects — including a meme app called LOL aimed at high school kids — will be shuttered, and many members of Facebook’s youth team will instead start working on Messenger Kids, according to two sources. Messenger Kids is Facebook’s year-old messaging app for children who are under 13 and therefore too young to sign up for Facebook’s regular service. LOL never got much traction. Facebook described it a few weeks back as a “small scale test,” and TechCrunch reported that it only had around 100 beta users. Also going away: An early version of a high school communities feature that would let teens find and connect with classmates, a nod to Facebook’s earliest days when it was a directory for colleges and universities.

The company’s “youth team,” though, is not going away, according to a Facebook spokesperson. The plan is to cut down on a number of smaller projects that the group is testing and instead focus on stuff that Facebook believes is more successful. Messenger Kids, despite all kinds of privacy concerns from outside organizations, appears to fall into that category. “The youth team has restructured in order to match top business priorities, including increasing our investment in Messenger Kids,” a Facebook spokesperson confirmed in a statement sent to Recode.

It’s always interesting to understand how Facebook is targeting teens — a valuable demographic with advertisers and a group generally lauded for identifying “the next big thing.” (Facebook, you’ll remember, started with college students. So did Snapchat.) Many believe that Facebook has lost touch with teens — data shows that teenage users are leaving Facebook for other services — which is why the company has more than 100 employees focused on building products exclusively for that demographic.

Facebook even made headlines last week for paying some users, including teenagers, as much as $20 per month to use an app that collected data on how they used their smartphone. Facebook called it “market research.” That data collection actually violated an agreement Facebook had with Apple and led to a chaotic day at Facebook’s Menlo Park headquarters after Apple blocked the special Facebook apps that are used by internal employees. The apps were restored less than 48 hours later. A Facebook spokesperson says the youth team restructuring is “unrelated” to the company’s “market research” project. Asked if the research app was a youth team project, the same spokesperson said, “No.”

Facebook’s youth team was created back in early 2016 and has seen a number of projects come and go since then. A Snapchat-style competitor called LifeStage, which was limited to teens, was a youth team project until it was pulled from the App Store in August 2017. Last July, Facebook also shut down TBH, another app for teens that let users anonymously answer questions about themselves and their friends. Facebook will continue to build other teen-focused products besides Messenger Kids, though it hasn’t yet shared those plans publicly. Other than Instagram, which it acquired, and Stories, which it copied from Snapchat, Facebook hasn’t had a breakout hit with teens since, well, Facebook.

Article Produced By
Kurt Wagner
Senior Editor, Social Media

Kurt Wagner has been a business and tech journalist since 2012 and was previously reporting for Mashable. He also covered general tech and Silicon Valley news in his first job as a tech reporter with Fortune magazine, based in San Francisco.
Originally from the Seattle area, Kurt graduated from Santa Clara University with a B.S. in communication and political science. He served as Editor-in-Chief of The Santa Clara, the university newspaper, for two years.



Apple is punishing Facebook big-time for breaking its rules

Apple is punishing Facebook big-time for breaking its rules

Apple moved fast and broke Facebook.


Facebook is in crisis.

Stop us if you’ve heard that one before. That’s been the general state of the company for almost two years now, ever since it became clear that so-called fake news and Russian election meddling on the social network may have influenced the result of the 2016 presidential election. In that time, Facebook has dealt with unflattering press, security breaches, congressional testimonies, and government investigations. Each week seems to add a new chapter to the madness. This week was no different, but it also brought on a new enemy: Apple. And Apple, it turns out, may be as dangerous as anything else Facebook is up against right now.

The quick backstory: Facebook is part of one of Apple’s special enterprise developer programs that allows companies to publish apps specifically for their own employees; these apps don’t go through the public App Store. Facebook uses that program to share beta versions of its own apps with employees so it can test new features or new code. It also uses the program to create apps for in-house purposes, like Facebook’s shuttle bus schedules or lunch menus.

On Tuesday, TechCrunch reported that Facebook has been abusing its role in Apple’s enterprise program by using it to distribute an app to non-employees. The app, which Facebook says was for “market research,” was used to gather personal data about the phone habits of the users who downloaded it. (Facebook paid these people to download the app, TechCrunch says.) An app like that would have violated Apple’s App Store guidelines, but Apple doesn’t review apps that are part of the developer program. It looks as though Facebook took advantage of the program to distribute the app without Apple’s knowledge.

Apple was upset. On Wednesday, the company announced that it was forcing Facebook to stop distributing the research app, calling it a “clear breach of their agreement with Apple.” But that wasn’t all: Apple also appears to have stopped Facebook from distributing all apps associated with its enterprise developer program, according to a source. This means the special versions of Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp that Facebook employees use aren’t working on iPhones. It also means that other internal Facebook apps aren’t working in iOS, including Facebook’s Slack competitor, Workplace.

Essentially, Apple forced Facebook employees to download the public version of all of these apps, given that most of the company’s employees use iPhones. A Facebook spokesperson confirmed that its internal apps have been impacted by Apple’s decision to revoke its publishing abilities and that it is working with Apple to resolve the issue. It’s hard to overstate how big an issue this could be for Facebook. Not only does it completely disrupt all kinds of productivity, but if Facebook’s product teams can’t ship internal beta versions of its apps, it could seriously hinder Facebook’s product development. Don’t forget: This is a company that spent its first decade preaching the mantra, “Move fast, break things.”

Apple has shown that it isn’t just capable of stopping Facebook from moving fast — it might be capable of stopping Facebook altogether, at least temporarily. It’s unclear how long Apple will restrict Facebook from pushing updates, but it’s not the kind of enemy Facebook needs right now. The two companies have developed a bit of a rivalry. Apple CEO Tim Cook said last year that Facebook’s privacy issues could have been solved with “self-regulation,” but Facebook missed its chance. When asked what he would do in Facebook’s shoes, Cook replied pointedly, “I wouldn’t be in this situation.”

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg later called the criticism “extremely glib.”

Facebook seems to have picked up in 2019 right where it left off in 2018. This Apple drama comes less than two weeks after a report in the Washington Post said that the Federal Trade Commission, which is investigating Facebook, is considering slapping Facebook with a “record-setting” fine for privacy violations.

Article Produced By
Kurt Wagner
Senior Editor, Social Media

Kurt Wagner has been a business and tech journalist since 2012 and was previously reporting for Mashable. He also covered general tech and Silicon Valley news in his first job as a tech reporter with Fortune magazine, based in San Francisco.
Originally from the Seattle area, Kurt graduated from Santa Clara University with a B.S. in communication and political science. He served as Editor-in-Chief of The Santa Clara, the university newspaper, for two years.