Intersection: Wall Street And Crypto This Week

As bitcoin, ethereum and other cryptocurrencies get increasing attention from investors, Wall Street and its traditional banks continue to adjust to the shift. Catch up on this week's top stories highlighting the intersection of these old guard and new school areas of finance with this recap compiled by The Fly.

FACEBOOK CRYPTO UNLIKELY TO BE ‘GAME-CHANGER’: Jefferies analyst Brent Thill said Monday he believes Facebook's (FB) Libra is unlikely to be a near-term "game-changer" for the company after he surveyed 600 U.S. social media users. Most of those surveyed said they were unlikely to use the cryptocurrency and a lack of trust in Facebook and existing mobile payment wallets were cited as impediments to adoption, the analyst said. Thill, however, remains bullish on Facebook's core advertising opportunity. He sees $10 of earnings per share in two years and keeps a Buy rating on the stock with a $230 price target. 

FACEBOOK’S LIBRA TO FACE SCRUTINY: Christopher Woolard, executive director of strategy and competition at the Financial Conduct Authority, said Libra will raise societal and governmental questions that will require close examination, Reuters’ Tom Wilson reported Tuesday. Libra’s “size and scale will pose questions for society and government more generally about what is acceptable and desirable in this space,” Woolard said. “Historically, this may have been a sector that has lived by the mantra of ‘move fast and break things,’ but the issues raised here require deep thought and detail.” Additionally on Tuesday, a group of over 30 organizations sent a letter to leaders of five congressional committees demanding a halt to the Facebook project to deal with the “profound questions” it raises, Bloomberg’s Austin Weinstein reported. “All of us believe the risks posed by Facebook’s proposal are too great to allow the plan to proceed with so many unanswered questions,” the groups said. Meanwhile, Bank of Japan Deputy Governor Masayoshi Amamiya said digital platform operators like Facebook must comply with regulations on money laundering and risk management, Reuters’ Leika Kahira reported Friday. Amamiya said operators must act responsibly as providers of safe and secure payment settlements and central banks must be vigilant to the impact moves like Facebook’s cryptocurrency could have on their country’s banking system. “As for Libra, we must bear in mind that the potential global user-base could be enormous,” he said.

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