EncryptoTel weekly digest (29.01.20)

Libra continues losing allies, the financial illiteracy of the world famous economist and new demands from investment bank

Vodafone Becomes Eighth Company to Leave Libra

Facebook continues to lose allies. This time, the telecom giant Vodafone has left the Libra association, which is responsible for the development and promotion of the Libra cryptocurrency. The company emphasized that the decision is not related to regulatory frictions. “The Vodafone Group has decided to withdraw from the Libra Association,” said a Vodafone spokesman. — From the very beginning we said that Vodafone’s desire is to make a real contribution to the process of expanding financial accessibility among the population. We remain fully committed to this goal and believe that we can make the most of our efforts by focusing on M-Pesa”.

Just to remind, in June 2019 Facebook announced their plans to develop and launch their own digital currency with value tied to fiat currencies. Stablecoin Libra is designed to be used as a global means of payment and will be supported by a basket of sovereign currencies, including the US dollar, euro, British pound and others. The goal of the project is “to build a financial ecosystem that will help empower billions of people.” The project was immediately criticized by world regulators and government officials who saw it as a threat to the monetary sovereignty of their countries. Payment giants Mastercard and Visa left the Libra project in October 2019, citing regulatory uncertainty. They were followed by PayPal and eBay.

A well-known cryptocurrency critic spoke about the loss of access to his Bitcoin wallet

On January 19, economist Peter Schiff stated that he had lost access to his Bitcoin wallet and that his password no longer works. Schiff is known for his skepticism about cryptocurrencies.

“I just lost all my bitcoins that belonged to me. Something has broken in my wallet and my password no longer works. So now my bitcoins are not only useless, they also have no market value. I knew that owning bitcoin is a bad idea, but I did not understand how bad it is, ”Peter Schiff tweeted.

Schiff said that the wallet was set up for him by the CEO of the cryptocurrency platform Eric Voorhees. “Even he thinks I can’t do anything. But you can try if you have any ideas. ”

Voorhees later confirmed that he really helped Schiff get a Bitcoin wallet in 2018. According to Voorhees, Schiff had never dealt with cryptocurrencies before, and he forgot his password and did not write down the seed phrase.

“Financial sovereignty is not for everyone,” he concluded.

Goldman Sachs investment bank refuses to work with startups without a proper level of diversity

Goldman Sachs will not organize IPOs for start-ups in Europe and the USA, in the leadership of which there are only white heterosexual men. This was stated by investment bank CEO David Solomon at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

“Starting July 1 in the US and Europe, we’re not going to take a company public unless there’s at least one diverse board candidate, with a focus on women. And by 2021, we plan to raise the bar to two.”

He added that over the past four years, the effectiveness of public offerings of American companies that have at least one woman on the board of directors, is “significantly better” than at companies with no women on the directors board at all.

Goldman Sachs has 11 members on its board of directors, four of which are women.

Statistics: Russia is significantly inferior to Europe in the share of IT-specialists among the working population

The share of IT personnel among the economically active population of Russia is 2.4%, or 1.8 million people, according to the Association of Computer and Information Technology. This is significantly lower than similar indicators in European countries. For comparison: the share of IT professionals among the economically active population on average in Europe is 3.9%, in Finland — 7%, in the UK — 5%, in Norway — 4.5%, in the Czech Republic, France, Germany — 4% , in Poland — 3%.

The total current need for such specialists in Russia is estimated at 222 thousand people a year, and by 2024 it will grow to 290–300 thousand people a year. The largest deficit is observed in the Russian regions: about 20% of the workforce is concentrated in Moscow.

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