back to article From Libra to leave-ya: eBay, Visa, Stripe, PayPal, others flee Facebook's crypto-coin

The Facebook-backed Libra crypto-currency project was dealt a crushing blow Friday when eBay, Stripe, and others yanked their support. The two corporations confirmed within the past hour or so they will withdraw from the Libra Association, joining PayPal, which pulled out earlier this week. Mastercard, Visa, and Latin America …

  1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

    I don't know what their "partners" expected

    Facebook apparently hadn't even engaged with financial regulators, anywhere.

    The "test" software they released was missing most of its features. The only thing difficult to believe about this debacle is that they've been working on it for as long as they claim.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: I don't know what their "partners" expected

      the only thing _I_ would expect from any crypto-currency is:

      a) exchange fees being collected by those who REALLY make money off of it

      b) instability and continuous price changes for items that would otherwise be stable pricewise

      c) no backing with anything even partially solid, like gold, or national security, or exchange rates into other currencies

      d) someone somewhere benefiting at everyone ELSE's expense

      We'd be better of standardizing on one or two currencies, like dollars and euros. Oh, isn't that kinda what's happening ALREADY? *WHY* must we have "change for the sake of change" with this "new, shiny" currency?

      Bitcoin is totally FSCKd, in my opinion, and I won't touch it with a 10 foot pole. Nor will MOST people from what I've seen. So then WHY must we accept FAECE-BITCH-BUCKS ???

      Dollars. Euros. UK Pounds. Good enough for me. I see those exchange rates advertised at the bank, and they're reasonably stable. THAT unlike your average crypto-currency...

      icon, because, Faece-Bitch-Bucks are a *FAILURE*

      1. phuzz Silver badge

        Re: I don't know what their "partners" expected

        "So then WHY must we accept FAECE-BITCH-BUCKS ???"

        No one said you must Bob, in the same way that it's not mandatory to have a facebook account.

        Instead, just sit back with some popcorn, and wait for the inevitable failure.

  2. JohnFen Silver badge

    Good

    Let's hope that this is the beginning of the end of this nonsense. The last thing society needs is for Facebook to expand their already overbearing desire to spy on all the things.

    1. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

      Re: Good

      And my sincere hope is that it stay dead.

      1. Andre Carneiro

        Re: Good

        Now if only it could take the rest of Facebook with it...

  3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    WTF?

    "a global payment system that breaks down financial barriers for billions of people."

    Doesn't paypal and others already do that? Not to mention just paying online directly. Yeah, there may be some currency charges but in most cases that's rarely a financial barrier.

    I've not quite figured out yet why we need *any* cryptocurrencies. Apart for most of them being get rich quick pyramid schemes for the creators/early adopters, they seem to be solutions looking for problems.

    1. Benson's Cycle

      Re: WTF?

      How do you pay your friendly drug supplier in Colombia or Afghanistan untraceably? How do you extract ransom money from a council? Won't anybody think of the career criminals?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: WTF?

        You can either barter in illicit goods (say two cartels in different industries exchange in their specialties), or use money laundering to remove as many traces from the money as you can. Cash helps facilitate this; maybe one reason countries are getting less and less keen about having to much floating around if it weren't such a necessary vehicle for everyday commerce.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

          1. Insert sadsack pun here

            Re: WTF?

            The limited supply ("scarcity") of gold is what sustains its value.

            1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

              Re: WTF?

              Most of the current price of gold is sustained by speculation.

              Which is of course where it differs from "cryptocurrencies", whose price is almost 100% speculation. Gold at least has practical and legal uses.

              1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

                Re: WTF?

                Gold at least has practical and legal uses

                Indeed. Gold taps spring to mind :-)

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: WTF?

                  Gold taps are not feasible because the metal is too weak.

                  I was told once by an upmarket bathroom supplier that a certain ME ruler had specified gold taps for his latest bathrooms. They tried to explain the problems to his agent...nope, had to be 22ct solid gold or nothing.

                  They also suspected said ruler would have taps analysed and if found not to be the full halal it would be handchopping time, so they declined the contract.

          2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: WTF?

            "The stuff can even be converted to gold cyanide or chloride, shipped as an innocuous looking white powder, and electrolysed back again."

            The density might give the game away.

          3. Mayday Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: Innocuous

            "shipped as an innocuous looking white powder"

            Most "white powders" that are "shipped" are thoroughly investigated on discovery by virtue of the fact that they are indeed white powders.

          4. bombastic bob Silver badge
            Meh

            Re: WTF?

            /me reads your post, thinks "snorting gold chloride"

            I think it's a YELLOW powder, by the way... and gold sulfides are BLACK, as I recall.

            And there's nothing illegal about mailing gold to people. I've purchased jewelry online.

            1. Chronos Silver badge
              Stop

              Re: WTF?

              And there's nothing illegal about mailing gold to people. I've purchased jewelry online.

              Except for the small detail that if it goes "missing," the UPU members all say you have exactly zero comeback. Missing includes games of parcel football, sticky fingers and outright failure to deliver. Sending precious metals through a postal system is about as secure as leaving it on the street.

              Also, I now have a mental picture of Mr Shouty walking around like a 7 stone adenoidal Mr T replete with sovereign rings, capped teeth and many bling chains and I cannot unsee that which my mind's eye hast beheld. Please pass the mind bleach.

            2. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

              Re: WTF?

              And there's nothing illegal about mailing gold to people.
              There might be limits on value though, depending on where you are.

      2. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: WTF?

        I've sometimes wondered how, in this day and age, we dont just make it illegal to transfer money to places where money can be laundered, hence killing off a vast amount of crime in a moment. And then I remember "London".

        1. macjules Silver badge

          Re: WTF?

          "London" as in "Dear comrade estate agent, I have 6 million pounds in cash in these suitcases, would you get me a house please? Here is a copy of my fake passport and my bodyguards' latest electricity bill."

          1. katrinab Silver badge

            Re: WTF?

            More likely €6m. Around 60% of all Euros worldwide, and 40% of all US Dollars, are spent in the UK. Euros are usually the largest currency in the world with US$ a close second, but it can flip over depending on exchange rates.

            1. bombastic bob Silver badge
              Meh

              Re: WTF?

              yeah I think setting up a legitimate looking "shell corporation" with a bank account in the Caiman Islands is the usual way money gets laundered. Or something very similar.

              those familiar with corporations know that you have to make your tax filings and other filings every year. cali-fornicate-you charges a min tax of $800/year and you have to file federal forms and send $35 to the Cali-fornicate-you secretary of state along with a declaration of corporate officer names and addresses so that they know who to contact regarding corporate legal schtuff. All that has to be set up along with the paperwork when you form the corporation. So yeah there are some checks and balances involved but it's still possible, with some creative lawyering, to scam the system.

          2. JimboSmith Silver badge

            Re: WTF?

            I thought the estate agencies accepting suitcases of cash was a shaggy dog story. Then a friend who is an estate agent confirmed that their agency had had somebody once asking if they could do just that. They said "No thank you!"

            1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

              Re: WTF?

              estate agencies accepting suitcases of cash was a shaggy dog story

              Indeed not. Likewise car dealerships allowing you to pay for a shiny new Bentley with a big suitcase of cash. It's not explicitly illegal to do so but then the dealership/estate agent has to prove the source of the cash to the anti-money-laundering chaps.

              In short, too much hassle. Computer says no. Do not pass go, do not collect $SHINY property/car.

            2. macjules Silver badge

              Re: WTF?

              Obviously not called by the name of trunk and several very large measures of weight then. I know someone at one agency who claims that she had to spend hours in the '90s counting the euros.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: WTF?

          you're surely not suggesting that our (consecutive) governments, waging their endless war on terror and drugs and children (and prattling about it), turn a blind eye to billions of GBP pouring into the country and turning legit in the classic money-laundering schemes?!

          1. Hans 1 Silver badge
            Paris Hilton

            Re: WTF?

            They are, unlinke the French ... who seize what they can to fill up the state's coffers...

            Icon: Paris, coz this is what they seized there:

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgUwOzjSRYE

          2. macjules Silver badge

            Re: WTF?

            Q: "Look, are you insinuating something?"

            A: "Oh...no...no... Yes"

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: in Colombia or Afghanistan untraceably?

        there are long an well-established ways to do that. I imagine hawaladars would have a good chuckle if FB tried to offer them "help" in running their business.

      4. katrinab Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Re: WTF?

        "How do you pay your friendly drug supplier in Colombia or Afghanistan untraceably?"

        You set up a Scottish Limited Partnership (not the same thing as an LLP), open a bank account in the Partnership's name, and pay the money from that account.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: WTF?

      "Doesn't paypal and others already do that?"

      As far as I know, YES. But to have PayPal you need some kind of bank account. I wouldn't be surprised if FAECEBOOK wants to be "the bank" which would give them BANKING access to YOUR money.

      Banks always make money off of your money. In exchange they offer free services. What they have been PREVENTED from doing in the USA is monetizing your banking history and SELLING IT to 3rd parties, without your EXPLICIT permission to do so. So, credit card companies can't sell your purchasing history.

      But if FAECE-BITCH got ahold of this info, they'd have WAY too much of your personal data, because it would INCLUDE your shoping history with whatever banking "services" they manage...

      And if *THEY* get *THEIR* way, then when their AI algorithms get done with you, you'll be on even THICKER puppet strings than you could POSSIBLY imagine, and would CONSTANTLY be tempted to go back to them and eat whatever they feed you. Don't doubt me. It's THEIR GOAL!!!

  4. Adrian 4 Silver badge

    "I've not quite figured out yet why we need *any* cryptocurrencies."

    Because we think we're being screwed by the existing financial providers and regulators and would like to get out from under the heel of governments that use regulation as a method of monitoring and control.

    However, it's difficult to think of anybody less suitable than Facebook to run an alternative. The Mafia, maybe ? No scrub that/ The mafia's violent reputation makes them scary but they seem archaic, limited and trustworthy compared with Zuckerberg. More scam rackets than global control.

    1. ThatOne Silver badge
      Devil

      > Because we think we're being screwed by the existing financial providers and regulators and would like to

      ...find new financial providers to be screwed by.

    2. Filippo

      The power of financial providers and regulators is intrinsic in the job they do. Replace them with someone else, that someone else will be monitoring and controlling you. The problem cannot be solved by finding someone who doesn't do monitoring and have them provide financial services, because the moment they do financial services, they'll start monitoring. It's not a technical problem and it can't be solved by technical means.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        So what do you propose instead. You seem to be basically saying it's an intractable problem owing to human nature. Basically, something like this intrinsically places power over people: power which WILL inevitably be abused.

        1. DavCrav Silver badge

          "So what do you propose instead."

          I'm proposing you suck it up. There are only two methods of exchanging goods:

          1) Barter.

          2) An externally managed and regulated medium of exchange.

          You can try something like gold, but that's hugely deflationary, and will be incredibly bad as a medium of exchange. That's why everyone moved off it once economies started to grow substantially.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            What about (3) Wage, as in payment for services rendered?

            1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              "What about (3) Wage, as in payment for services rendered?"

              Payment in what? Surely that was the point. If you don't want to be paid for services in goods you need a medium of exchange, i.e. money, that you can trust and if you are to trust it it needs some form of regulation.

          2. jason 7 Silver badge

            There are some that would argue against the moving away from gold to just unregulated wealth through debt.

            1. Tom 7 Silver badge

              Like gold ever stopped that happening anyway.

          3. ThatOne Silver badge

            > There are only two methods of exchanging goods

            I don't agree, it's always barter ("I'll give you something, if you give me something"), the only difference is the goods exchanged.

            Paying in sheep doesn't work very well in most cases, sheep require too big a wallet and are too big a unit for small transactions (a cup of coffee or a bus ticket).

            So people decided to use something with an intrinsic value as some sort of proxy, or abstraction layer, and invented money. Precious metals were perfect for this, they are easily divisible and have an universal intrinsic value which made that you felt comfortable exchanging your ware for them: The amount of precious metal you got in exchange was indeed worth just as much as your wares.

            But then came the clever ones, and said "Never mind getting anything for your valuables, just trust us". And because people are stupid trusting, it worked. That started around the World Wars, with the end of the gold-convertibility of currency: Before that, your dollar was worth real solid gold, and its value was thus stable, the paper bank note being a proxy for something real; Now your dollar is only worth the trust you put into the US government (or the trust the US government can bully out of you)...

            Of course governments like this new system, it allows them to print as much money as they want, any time they want, and of course ordinary people don't like it since it means their meager savings are as many cookie jars governments can loot at will. But it's all in the name of progress, isn't it.

            And to get back on topic, here come the big corporations and say "Hey! We want to print money too! Trust us, we're big and powerful." Except that in Facebook's case nobody trusted it. Not only wasn't it trustworthy enough, there also was no real incentive for the already established actors to scratch Facebook's back.

            1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              the paper bank note being an alleged proxy for something real

              FTFY

              As soon as people started offering notes as proxies their value depended on belief that there was something real to back them. That might have been true but not necessarily so. It helps if there is some form of regulation but there is a limited capacity for regulators to make good any defaults which is why we've seen complex conjuring tricks financial management for the last decade or so.

              Coinage is also a form of regulation. By providing allegedly fixed amounts it sets out to ensure that you have the amount of precious metal you thought you had without having to weigh it out at every transaction. It's no coincidence that coins bore a symbol of the state where they were issued because the state was the regulator. Of course because the state had a vested interest in the coins being circulated there was always a temptation to try to profit in the short-term by taking advantage of its regulatory function to debase the coinage. There was also the temptation for private enterprise to help itself by coin clipping but the state had ways of dealing with competition like that.

          4. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

            There are only two methods of exchanging goods:

            1) Barter.

            2) An externally managed and regulated medium of exchange.

            There are some historical examples of "bottom-up" unregulated currencies. Apparently there is, or was, one in Somalia for a time, with old banknotes that had been issued by the now-defunct government redenominated and used as tokens in some of the urban markets. They had exchange value but only by consensus - there was no external authority guaranteeing them. Another example are some of the exchange mediums used by small non-industrialized societies, typically shells or stones or the like.

            But those fail at larger scales because they depend on social pressures (reputation, social mores and sanctioning) to enforce value. Among strangers, which brings us back to your two options. Even distributed cryptocurrencies are regulated by the systems that implement verification and settlement.

        2. Wellyboot Silver badge

          It's the power of competition, with thousands of financial institutions across the planet any one that gets a reputation for abusing their position or breaking rules will see the client base step over to another provider or be forced to shutdown.

          Does anyone think FB wants to work in that environment, or would they eliminate the competition (and partners) by doing all this for free (or even at a loss) via ad flinging.

          VISA/Mastercard know that their advantage lies in their global acceptance, if they help FB to become a global financial system providing the currency what do they do when virtual FaceCard appears (ignoring all the various national financial rules).

          It's in nobody but FBs interest for this currency to happen and the overnight news of the others jumping ship seems to confirm this.

          1. James Anderson Silver badge

            Well the US gov has a history of accumulating vast debts in overvalued dollars and paying them off in under valued dollars. Manipulating the currency to benefit the US government. No wonder they are hacked of at the PRC for getting wise to the scam.

            But still the USD is the most used currency in the world, makes you wonder.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              I suspect that will end in not too many years from now, not only because Trump & cohorts have emptied all the reserves into their own pockets but also because the fundamentals under the rein of the dollar are being attacked as we speak, not always deliberately.

              Key to USD control of world finance (and so of its own overrated value) is that it is the currency in which energy is traded, thus also prompting other governments to keep dollar holdings and so be tied to the health of the dollar - it's been an elegant and long running scam, a sort of long distance blackmail. There are now serious contenders on the horizon for that status, and the US problem is that those are not only beyond their control but also that the machinations of their current administration have put the country on a path away from where it could at least compete. Ironically, part of the US controls were vested in the UK whose EU membership gave it license to meddle with the EUR despite not being part of the currency group - Brexit thus ends that UK value for the US.

              The discomfort with US control over other economies has been rising for decades, especially after a number of recessions which always seem to start in the US (it appears to be a default feature of Republican presidencies). Trump made this discomfort so high that it started efforts to disconnect, and some of that is already coming home to roost.

              I would really NOT want to hold any assets rated in dollars when this becomes evident, and given that there is already a drain of foreign investment in the US I suspect I'm not the only one who sees this one coming. Even the Chinese are calmly and quietly reducing the amount of US debt they're holding, which suggests they deem the risk of loss higher than the risk of losing currency control - their little demonstration by leaving the CNY float for a day when Trump declared them a currency manipulator (pot, kettle, but I digress) clearly proved that they already have all the control they need externally.

              1. Benson's Cycle

                A straightforward factual post which anyone who reads the economics press will agree with gets downvoted.

                There's an awful lot of people who think downvoting things they don't want to hear will make them go away, rather than engaging with them.

                1. werdsmith Silver badge

                  I have over 4000 downvotes on my account and I’m proud of every one of them. Each downvote is a bullseye scored.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re : Downvotes

                    Only 4000? Amateur.

                    Try 14500 although I'm sure people like Bombastic Bob will have far, far more.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: Re : Downvotes

                      I'm desperate to hit the 10k down, but you guys aren't helping. Bloody b*stards, the lot of you.

                      :)

                      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                        Re: Re : Downvotes

                        There, have one to help you along.

                      2. Psmo Bronze badge

                        Re: Re : Downvotes

                        Whee I'm helping!

                        1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

                          Re: Re : Downvotes

                          Whee I'm helping

                          Now clean the floor.

                          1. Psmo Bronze badge

                            Re: Re : Downvotes

                            Only if you tidy all your toys, and - oh, heh, is that a cryptocoin ?

                    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
                      Pirate

                      Re: Re : Downvotes

                      "people like Bombastic Bob will have far, far more."

                      downvoted 27,375 times last I checked (a minute ago). I've been around long enough to accumulate it, though I actually have more UP votes than DOWN votes. Surprise!!!

                      the howler monkeys love me, yeah. Always flinging poo, and making LOTS of noise to appear bigger than they really are.

                      /me points out that a discussion is boring when everyone agrees. so accumulating upvotes without very many downvotes means you're probably VERY boring...

                  2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                    "Each downvote is a bullseye scored."

                    This exaclty!

                  3. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
                    Holmes

                    No, sometimes a downvote is just a sign that you're an incoherent idiot.

                    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

                      just a sign that you're an incoherent idiot

                      You put it considerably more politely than I would have done.

                    2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

                      I must confess that I have, on occasion, downvoted coherent idiots.

                  4. RyokuMas Silver badge
                    Coat

                    Hate to burst your bubble...

                    "Each downvote is a bullseye scored."

                    Speaking purely for myself, when I downvote, it tends to be because the comment-poster in question is either being outrageously stupid, or acting like a five-year-old having a tantrum and screaming "I am right and anyone who doesn't agree is a poop-throwing monkey".

                    If the post I disagree with is reasonable, then I actually quite enjoy engaging in the debate, even if I end up agreeing to disagree on the post in question.

                    Of course, there are then those (very few, thankfully) who have gone so far down the stupid and/or childish-tantrum road that even downvoting is not worth the effort - although I have no compunctions in reporting posts I feel are in not in the spirit of the comment guidelines, especially when the aforementioned description of people who do not agree with the poster is continually trotted out (points 2 & 4)...

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Slight amendment to the post:

                Key to USD control of world finance (and so of its own overrated value) is that it is the currency in which fossile energy is traded

                That ought to give you enough of a hint in which direction to look.

                1. Warm Braw Silver badge

                  fossile energy

                  I'm not sure jazz hands will ever be a major source of power beyond the narrow confines of the theatre district.

                2. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge
                  Coat

                  Umm what's a fossile? Some sort of nuclear-powered T-Rex?

                  (Yeah yeah I know you meant fossil. I'm going. Pass me my coat please.)

            2. katrinab Silver badge

              "But still the USD is the most used currency in the world, makes you wonder."

              Depending on exchange rates, Euro is now slightly ahead. However US$ are much more widely used outside the country of issue.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          I propose to kill off 99.9*% people living on this planet. But, leave just one banker, one lawyer, and one politician and watch what happens ;)

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Heavens no, they could breed.

      2. Adrian 4 Silver badge

        @FIlippo

        Thank you, that's a good argument. Two further points though :

        I was addressing the question regarding why an alternative banks is appealing. This is the motivation : we don't want to be screwed and have lost the trust we once had in various financial organisations as we perceive them to have moved from offering a service to holding us to ransom. There isn't necessarily a good alternative available but we wish there were, so we are attracted by schemes that claim to offer that. Marketing people also know this.

        I agree that monitoring to ensure safe transactions is mostly inevitable. But it could, as it once did, go no further. There isn't any need for it to feed into advertising or governmental control. Bitcoin (whatever the failings - I'm talking about appeal here, not practicality) promised this by using maths to do the policing rather than corruptable organisations.

        Ultimately, that will probably be the requirement : Governments or corporations holding the security and maths verifying the transactions. Because no organisation holds sufficient trust any more (Facebook is only the worst option, the others aren't a lot better) and will not again - it is often said that trust, once lost, is harder to regain.

        But we're not there yet in capability (see argument elsewhere about power consumption, and the known security problems of exchanges), and those organisations will fight hard to keep control of the transactions. So we're still due a very long period of the existing state whereby we use competing organisations to keep the others 'honest' (fvsvo 'honest').

      3. azz 1

        I'm glad someone on here see's the truth through the smoke. There is no problem to solve, just angry hand wringing because technologists want some of the banker's pie, but they have no idea what's in the pie, nor any ideas on how it's made, but that want it anyway because it 'looks' delicious.

    3. katrinab Silver badge

      That's like saying "the person who cleans my kitchen (me), doesn't do a very good job of it. Lets stop cleaning the kitchen, then it won't be such a mess."

  5. Imhotep

    But today I'm a reformed character

    Considering that any currency requires trust in the issuer: is it a good idea to work with a business that lies to its customers, business partners and the government, misappropriates the property of others and flouts the law?

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: But today I'm a reformed character

      No, but considering that pretty much everything requires at least a little trust, I don't think we should limit ourselves to financial things to put on the don't-let-facebook-be-part-of-it list.

    2. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: But today I'm a reformed character

      So the dollar has no value then?

      1. Wellyboot Silver badge

        Re: But today I'm a reformed character

        The dollar has value because it is trusted to be reasonably stable and once issued dollars are 'out there' for anyone to use, the Iraq economy post 2003 ran almost exclusively on printed dollars flown in by the billion.

        Opinions as to the capability/motives of the current personalities heading (always temporarily) the different US institutions that provide policy, policy execution, oversight & restraint doesn't overly affect the dollar value because the system is seen to work.

        Trusting the US Gov. to keep it that way is far easier than trusting one individual with majority sharholding (Zuk) in one company to do the same.

        1. Benson's Cycle

          Re: But today I'm a reformed character

          This is true, but there seems to be a long term shift (must avoid cliché "tectonic") caused by the end of the Soviet Union and the rise of China, and US sanctions.

          Sanctions hit the trustworthiness of the dollar, and as the US deploys them more and more as an instrument of control, more and more countries are pissed off. This was the logic behind free trade in the British Empire; once you start restricting trade you start to demolish the reasons for belonging to the empire. Not for nothing was Bismarck's primary weapon in uniting Germany the threat of being left out of the customs union.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: But today I'm a reformed character

            "This is true, but there seems to be a long term shift (must avoid cliché "tectonic") caused by the end of the Soviet Union and the rise of China, and US sanctions."

            But with trust in China on the decline (after a number of "Hey, wait a minute"s from various lesser nations) and with few other countries having sufficient capital to have the same level of reach, most are agreeing that the US dollar will remain the international currency of choice for the forseeable future, in that should the US suddenly collapse, international trade as a whole will likely fragment and be severely handicapped for some time afterward.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: But today I'm a reformed character

              most are agreeing that the US dollar will remain the international currency of choice for the forseeable future, in that should the US suddenly collapse, international trade as a whole will likely fragment and be severely handicapped for some time afterward.

              That depends on how/when the changeover happens. Worse case scenario is indeed a sudden, event triggered change, which would have pretty seismic effects before it all settles, but a more gradual shift is already underway. Trump merely accelerated it by destroying the trust in the US and its ability to deliver stability.

              The bonds market has been showing this for a while, this is not actually *news* for those who watch the bigger picture.

      2. Inkey
        Holmes

        Re: But today I'm a reformed character

        The notes that are printed by the treasury cost about 7 cents or about 6 pence to make...subtract that and the "usery" that the central banks charge for essentially loaning the money to a government who issue's the paper money and you have what the treasury/government make on actual currency.

        However this is less than 10% of "money" the rest is virtual and is worth more or less what people want to believe its worth.... And are alluded to as financial instruments... As an example there is now. More "money" in derivatives than all the currency ever made, minted, printed or bartered for what there's a record for.

        The reason the dollar is "believed" to have "value" is because energy can only be bought and sold in $ as mentioned above... The problem is that this distorts the value of the $ and devalues all other currencies.... The danger is that a systemic failure of US economy will knock through other markets...

        ie the last "credit crunch" which by a large factor the was because of IGI was unable to cover what they had underwritinen in toxic credit default swaps.

        I'm not sure how you perceive value but if you use it as a measure of what you can buy in a store ie purchasing power then the value is about 52 cents as the rest will be taken up in interest, duties, tax and fluctuations in the fx markets

        1. doublelayer Silver badge

          Re: But today I'm a reformed character

          I don't think you have the right handle on monetary policy there. Let's take this point by point:

          "The notes that are printed by the treasury cost about 7 cents or about 6 pence to make...subtract that and the "usery" that the central banks charge for essentially loaning the money to a government who issue's the paper money and you have what the treasury/government make on actual currency."

          That would only be the case if the treasury simply ordered notes printed up and started spending them. But they don't do that. The supply of physical currency is strictly controlled by various instruments of the government. Not that they couldn't start doing that, but the U.S. government, the one under discussion, doesn't and hasn't. If they did, then trust would indeed be lost, inflation in dollar-denominated markets would spike, and people would start using other currencies for international trade.

          "However this is less than 10% of "money" the rest is virtual and is worth more or less what people want to believe its worth.... And are alluded to as financial instruments..."

          No, it's worth what people as a whole have decided it's worth. If I decide my investments are worth ten times what they are actually worth, I won't get any more money. People disagree on the actual worth of the things, but that's why we sell things we think are worth less than other people think they're worth.

          "As an example there is now. More "money" in derivatives than all the currency ever made, minted, printed or bartered for what there's a record for."

          That's true. But many of those securities are in some way tied to things that aren't money. For example, stock in a company technically is backed by the assets of that company, including things that aren't money, like code written by the company or the physical items owned by that company.

          "The reason the dollar is "believed" to have "value" is because energy can only be bought and sold in $ as mentioned above... The problem is that this distorts the value of the $ and devalues all other currencies...."

          Energy can be bought and sold in any currency you like. The prices are usually stated in dollars because that's convenient, but dollars are not universally used. In fact, there are certain parts of energy markets where the money used is euros, because the participating governments or companies find that more convenient.

          "The danger is that a systemic failure of US economy will knock through other markets...

          ie the last "credit crunch" which by a large factor the was because of IGI was unable to cover what they had underwritinen in toxic credit default swaps."

          That's very true. But that can happen no matter what country was involved. If China's economy collapses, we'll feel it here. And although many American financial companies dramatically worsened the severity of the 2008-2009 financial crisis, companies in other countries also contributed.

          "I'm not sure how you perceive value but if you use it as a measure of what you can buy in a store ie purchasing power then the value is about 52 cents as the rest will be taken up in interest, duties, tax and fluctuations in the fx markets"

          Yes, we usually decide that value is ultimately purchasing power. And your number doesn't make sense. When you purchase something, the tax and tariffs are part of the price you pay, which they tell you. So although your money goes both to the store and the government, the value is still one dollar. Not to mention that, even if you do decide to determine the value of a dollar based on the amount of the dollar that goes to the seller, the value will be very different depending on where you're spending it and what you spend it on. If you spend it in the United States on an item where the state has no sales tax (E.G. food) and which hasn't been imported or has no tariff, then you pay much less than if you spend it in a country which uses another currency (you pay for the eventual exchange into the local currency), which has a higher sales tax, and which has paid a tariff on the item. This is the reason we don't decide the worth of a dollar by who gets each part of it; we decide based on the price of the item and how many dollars need to be paid to obtain the item.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: But today I'm a reformed character

            "However this is less than 10% of "money" the rest is virtual and is worth more or less what people want to believe its worth.... And are alluded to as financial instruments..."

            No, it's worth what people as a whole have decided it's worth. If I decide my investments are worth ten times what they are actually worth, I won't get any more money. People disagree on the actual worth of the things, but that's why we sell things we think are worth less than other people think they're worth.

            I took "people" to mean "people as a whole". I think you and the OP are saying the same thing here. And governments also have their own ideas as to what they want people to believe (or decide) it's worth. To go back to your earlier point: That would only be the case if the treasury simply ordered notes printed up and started spending them. But they don't do that. No, they don't quite do that because of the inflationary effect so we get tricks such as "quantitative easing" played instead.

        2. Insert sadsack pun here

          Re: But today I'm a reformed character

          "energy can only be bought and sold in $ as mentioned above... "

          This is simply untrue.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: But today I'm a reformed character

            Correct. That's what the US would like to happen, though, and it is quite prepared to go to great lengths to retain the majority of energy sales in USD.

            They didn't bomb Saddam's Iraq back into the Stone Age because of WMD, that was only the excuse. Saddam started selling oil in EUR, and the US could not afford that idea to take root in the Middle East so they took down the guy they installed themselves (a fact they tend to casually gloss over).

            1. Imhotep

              Re: But today I'm a reformed character

              What you're saying makes no sense. You don't think Iraq's neighbors had been selling oil to Europe for decades? Who do you think first built up Saudi Arabia's oil production?

              As for the bombing: that was due to intelligence failures and another in a series of miscalculations by Saddam Hussein.

              People seem to forget that Iraq:

              Had used poison gas on civilians in their war with Iran. At the run up to the second Iraq war, they then refused access to sites by UN inspectors, leading people to believe they were still trying to produce the stuff.

              Had a program to develop the bomb, and those facilities were destroyed by Israel. Again, they later refused to comply with UN inspectors.

              Reasonable people had grounds to believe that their WMD programs had not been abandoned, based on Iraq's actions in the past and at the time. If Iraq had complied with the UN inspections, there would have been no second war.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: But today I'm a reformed character

              And um, Libya, which IIRC all the EU was pretty much on board for destroying. In fact, "chomping at the bit" comes to mind, or was it "frothing at the mouth" - to get that low sulfur diesel without having to use real money to pay for it.

              Not every evil is from the US.

              1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

                Re: But today I'm a reformed character

                Not every evil is from the US

                "The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil".

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: But today I'm a reformed character

                  .. which brings us squarely back to the US.

            3. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

              Re: But today I'm a reformed character

              They didn't bomb Saddam's Iraq back into the Stone Age because of WMD, that was only the excuse

              That - and that Shrub (and to an extent Blair) wanted to create "peace and safety" in the Middle East in order to force the fulfillment of a Biblical prophecy.

              Which proves how shallow their theology was.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: But today I'm a reformed character

                No, Blair was after something else.

                Someone did a magnificent job exposing that via a TV production for the BBC which hinted at it, but not in a way that would allow anyone to stop it going public. As disclosures go, this was a textbook example of how to do it right.

                If you can manage, get hold of the Worricker trilogy starring a brilliant Bill Nighy. It has 3 parts: "Page Eight", "Turks and Caicos" (which is where you'll get the hint) and "Salting the battlefield".

                Trust me, you'll enjoy it. It's classic BBC: extremely well produced, quality actors and acting, and with an actually tangible story line. It must have pissed off Blair no end, which sort of doubled my enjoyment (sorry, I'm petty like that :) ).

  6. MachDiamond Silver badge

    The cost in kW

    I wish I had kept a link, but there was an article some time ago that roughed out how much electrical power it takes to process a virtual currency transaction. It was huge. Not only did transactions take a lot of power, for even a small percentage of worldwide trading take place with VC, companies would need to be cranking out specialized computers at a furious rate to keep pace. While it takes energy to bang out a physical coin, it keeps on being a coin for decades with no further energy input.

    I have little respect for bankers but part of the problem is the lack of financial education taught in schools. There is also the tendency of many people to not learn how to do simple maths. If you withdrawal a twenty from the ATM and pay five in fees, what is the percentage you are paying to access your money? Everybody should be horrified at the result, but that example is pretty common. If you add all of the small "convenience" fees you might pay it's not too much of a stretch to find 10% or more of your net income after taxes being hoovered up.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: The cost in kW

      It's not so much as as people have more important things to worry about and are too busy to care. Plus there's the lack of viable alternatives. Anything else out there is geared by default to discourage holding (aka hoarding) money.

      1. the Jim bloke Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: The cost in kW

        The banks - which are the primary vehicles for saving money - get more of THEIR money by selling debt to people (and calling it credit), Therefore from the banks point of view, people saving money is bad, people going into debt is good.

        Nobody seems to have asked if this is sustainable, or good for anybody beyond the banks - actually many politicians seem to think everyone in debt with no savings is good for the economy, but a politicians perception of debt may not match the general publics.

    2. RM Mynez-Arefzlash

      Re: The cost in kW

      The original "Proof of Work" used to validate the likes of Bitcoin is indeed very power hungry, however consensus mechanisms like Proof of Stake do not have this concern and are likely to become the norm.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: The cost in kW

        Except Proof of Stake will require some kind of commitment (inherent in Proof of Work) to reduce the likelihood of freeloaders.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The cost in kW

      In a Facebook-controlled currency, there is no need for bitcoin-like proof-of-work. All transactions are seen and notarised by Facebook. Facebook FTW!

      1. katrinab Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: The cost in kW

        And how is that any different to Barclays seeing and notarising all my transactions, as at present?

        1. doublelayer Silver badge

          Re: The cost in kW

          "And how is that any different to Barclays seeing and notarising all my transactions, as at present?"

          I can't believe you're really asking that, but let's do a few comparisons:

          Banks/money in government-issued and controlled currency: Strict regulations on what they're allowed to do with money. Not perfect regulations, and not always obeyed.

          Facebook/money Facebook makes: Almost no regulations save for data protection (data protection regulations offer valid in EU countries and U.K. only). Facebook has a terrible record obeying even that.

          Banks: They are not permitted to sell personal transaction history to anyone.

          Facebook: They not only are allowed and are definitely going to sell transaction data to someone, but they already know the people they're selling it to and have customers eagerly waiting for it.

          Banks: In most places, value is insured against a bank collapse.

          Facebook: Hahahahahahahaha.

          Banks: Multiple available. Should it turn out your bank has not been sufficiently protective, you can choose a different flavor of not that great, but at least competition exists and is enforced.

          Facebook: Hahahahahahahaha.

          Banks: Should you want to prevent them from knowing what transactions you do, you have the option to make a large withdrawal in physical cash and then spend the cash (offer only functions on some transactions, notably smaller ones).

          Facebook: If you think getting a different currency out of their system without a lot of paperwork and paying quite a lot in fees is going to happen, you might not have read their documentation.

          Banks: They are owned by many different people, and those people are interested in the profit of the company. So they aren't super happy to incur massive fines or lose all their customers and will change policies to try to prevent that.

          Facebook: They are controlled by one person and he is already a billionaire. He doesn't need any more money and he will do whatever he pleases.

          Government-issued currency: Supported by the government of the country. As history shows us, this is no guarantee that it will definitely retain its value, but it is somewhat likely to do so if the country is run democratically and has a large-enough economy.

          Facebook: They can pretty much decide at any time to reduce the value of their currency and have fun trying to stop them.

          Government-issued currency: The government of your country of residence has the ability to ensure this currency can be used to pay people; sellers can increase prices but must accept payment.

          Facebook: Should Facebook stab sellers in the back with high fees, sellers would be completely in their rights to stop accepting it abruptly. This makes Facebook's currency less reliable.

          Nobody is saying banks are great. We can all get together later and compete to complain the loudest about banks, and we have plenty about which to complain. But that doesn't stop Facebook from being worse.

    4. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: The cost in kW

      The numbers are:

      The entire electricity consumption of Ireland, for the equivalent of everyone in Ireland making two transactions per month. People in Ireland typically make 17 transactions per month, so if they switched to Bitcoin, they would have to increase electricity production to about ten times the current level.

      If one person paid for a TfL bus fare by Bitcoin, the transaction would use enough electricity to take that bus to Leeds.

      If everyone on a Northern Line train paid for their fare by Bitcoin, all their transactions would use enough electricity to take that train to Napoli in Italy,

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The cost in kW

        If one person paid for a TfL bus fare by Bitcoin, the transaction would use enough electricity to take that bus to Leeds.

        If everyone on a Northern Line train paid for their fare by Bitcoin, all their transactions would use enough electricity to take that train to Napoli in Italy,

        That's a very good way of illustrating the folly of crypto currencies, thanks.

        I also wonder just how much of global warming was caused by all the power used for crypto coin mining..

      2. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: The cost in kW

        It would help if you included the starting points or FROMs in your examples. To Leeds FROM WHERE?

        1. katrinab Silver badge
          Paris Hilton

          Re: The cost in kW

          From London. It is a TfL bus.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: The cost in kW

            TfL is Transport for London. It used to be London Transport. As name inflation goes it's not too bad.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The cost in kW

        The number of transactions processed is not related to the mining difficulty and thus the amount of electricity consumed by the network.

      4. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: The cost in kW

        If one person paid for a TfL bus fare by Bitcoin, the transaction would use enough electricity to take that bus to Leeds

        Surely - the amount of power used to derive a bitcoin is a function of when the coin solution was found? Early coins were quick and easy to make, current ones not so much. And (by design) it's only ever going to get harder to derive a coin so the energy cost is only ever going to go up.

        Which is why the early bitcoin miners have such a huge stack - the early coins were not hard to compute and (even with the fairly primitive methods used) lots of coins were minted quickly.

        1. katrinab Silver badge

          Re: The cost in kW

          It is a function of the number of people trying to mine coins, which in turn is related to the value of the coin. So, price goes up, electricity consumption goes up.

          If you wanted to mount a 51% attack on the network, you would need the electricity supply of a medium-sized country at your disposal in order to carry it out. That's not possible, so that's what makes Bitcoin secure. The vast amounts of power used is a necessary feature of Bitcoin's proof of work algorithm, and unlike, previous IT inventions, it won't improve with improved hardware.

    5. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

      Re: The cost in kW

      "If you withdrawal a twenty from the ATM and pay five in fees"

      F**k me... rather than educate people on maths, the lesson should really be about how to rapidly change banks if that's what is being charged.

  7. don't you hate it when you lose your account Bronze badge

    social impact organizations?

    Sounds impressive but what are they talking about?

    1. the Jim bloke Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: social impact organizations?

      Social Impact Organization .. its like Mike Tyson was a Facial Impact Individual...

    2. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: social impact organizations?

      Organisations where rich people attend expensive fundraising dinners and congratulate themselves on how generous they are with other people's money.

      1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

        Re: social impact organizations?

        Cynical, and oh so correct..

  8. revenant Silver badge

    "... system that breaks down financial barriers for billions of people."

    I must admit I'm finding it hard to see how this initiative would break down financial barriers.

    The greatest barrier most people face is having the money to use in the first place - are Facebook proposing to return some of their ill-gotten gains to the masses?

    1. Wellyboot Silver badge

      Re: "... system that breaks down financial barriers for billions of people."

      Money meh.

      Return the privacy, stop the profiling, charge $1 a month

    2. Adrian 4 Silver badge

      Re: "... system that breaks down financial barriers for billions of people."

      Read the background to the song 'Sixteen tons'.

      The financial barriers corporations such as Facebook would like to break down are those we erected to try to protect ourselves from debt slavery. They're not barriers restricting the users : they're barriers protecting them.

      So yes, they are proposing to return some of that money to users. Temporarily, in order to build up debt.

    3. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: "... system that breaks down financial barriers for billions of people."

      AKA "breaks down the barrier that FB has in extracting money directly from people rather than having to go through the tedious process of having to sell their data to all and sundry".

      They are still going to do that too of course - it's just they'll be able to extract even more blood from the fleshy meatbags of mostly water..

  9. mark l 2 Silver badge

    Obviously the reason Facebook wants to launch a crypto-coin is so they know what your spending your money on, and will be able display even more targeted ads based on your spending habits. That data would not be shared between Ebay, VISA, Paypal etc so they have no incentives to support it.

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      I have a feeling there is a lot more to your comment than you realise.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's almost as if

    Facebook was regarded as toxic

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    eBay, Visa, Stripe, PayPal, others flee Facebook

    interesting what went behind the scene, and whether this collaps is a result of "friendly" pressure from governments...

    1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: eBay, Visa, Stripe, PayPal, others flee Facebook

      All a government has to do is point out that cryptocurrencies are not legal tender, thus not backed by whatever faith and credit people have in the governments issuing their currencies. By not being legal tender, a merchant can refuse payment of any cryptocurrency and demand payment in the local currency.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: eBay, Visa, Stripe, PayPal, others flee Facebook

        A cryptocurrency can gain enough momentum that it can stand on its own without any one government's faith and credit, becoming an independent instrument of trade. That's something that governments (especially the US, source of the remaining reserve currency of choice) would significantly fear. It's just that no one currency has gotten over the top at this point in time.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: eBay, Visa, Stripe, PayPal, others flee Facebook

          LOL ffs get back in your echo chamber

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: eBay, Visa, Stripe, PayPal, others flee Facebook

            I never left it. You stepped INTO it. The operative phrase these days seems to be, "I reject your reality and substitute my own."

      2. Insert sadsack pun here

        Re: eBay, Visa, Stripe, PayPal, others flee Facebook

        You're mixing up three different concepts (legal tender to discharge a debt, fiat currency, and the right to demand payment in a specified form).

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: eBay, Visa, Stripe, PayPal, others flee Facebook

      funny, how the downvoter instinctively assumed I support FB, when, in fact, I was simply speculating about what went behind the scenes. And something must have, because the universal u-turn is quite... spectacular. And when big money's involved, serious decisions are not taken, or abandoned, lightly :)

    3. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: eBay, Visa, Stripe, PayPal, others flee Facebook

      collaps is a result of "friendly" pressure from governments.

      At least one of the organisations was in reciept of a letter from some senators hinting strongly that participation on Libra would result in said company having a lot more regulatory oversight..

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    FB needs a currency

    in order for the Facebook supranational conglomerate to work. This will be a setback but at the moment, only a minor one.

    FB will soon be bigger than 50% of the world's countries. Then they'll start telling Gubbermints everywhere to fall into line.

    Don't believe me?

    Just ask yourself where does FB go from where it is now? It needs to become bigger than countries.

    All kneel for the Emperor Zuck - Ruler of the world.

    1. Wellyboot Silver badge

      Re: FB needs a currency

      >>> where does FB go from where it is now?<<<

      Let's make a list of where we'd like it to go, I'll start with > "To hell in a hand cart"

      1. the Jim bloke Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: FB needs a currency

        ..immersed up to their waist in a septic tank... upside down.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: FB needs a currency

          And if they just come back and reply, "Meh, I've been to worse."?

  13. Palpy

    Good reasons for virtual currencies.

    I like being able to shop globally. I dislike rampant consumerism, but for the quite particular things which I decide that I will buy, local availability is often non-existent. Therefore, I need something other than cash or check -- something which allows digital transactions.

    A credit card, paid off every month, works fine as an online proxy for cash. Except that people who work hard and diligently at crime would like to be able to ransack the value of my credit card. So there's an evolutionary arms race between users of virtual money and thieves pursuing same. (OK, all money is "virtual" in the sense that it is a stand-in for goods and services of value. That's already been brilliantly covered by several commentards.)

    Alternate currencies, more explicitly digital, might attempt to address the issue of security -- security both from criminals and from quasi-criminals like banks and advertising agencies*. But so far, I don't see anything that is in a practical sense much more secure than the sensible (careful, cagey) use of a bank card. Bitcoin is in a theoretical sense more secure, and especially more private, but given the ability of dodgy apps and malware to ransack digital wallets, the cryptos can be at least as vulnerable to theft as bank card identity.

    I'd welcome a well-planned, cleverly and securely implemented digital currency backed by a genuinely disinterested organization -- an org similar to the Free Software Foundation, for instance.

    But.

    Accepting a digital currency managed by Facebook would be like sending your doped-up teenager to a drug detox center managed by El Mencho. It would be the worst possible idea.

    ------------

    *Personally, I think the internet advertising industry is built on bubbles and candy floss. Really. Huge amounts of money are spent and huge troves of personal data are collected in order to sell toothpaste and soft drinks? Someday someone will notice that online ads yield a spectacularly low return on investment. Or maybe that's just me -- I block online ads, I don't watch TV or listen to commercial radio (so no audio-visual ads there), and about the only ads I see are printed in the magazines or papers I read. And these are easily ignored. Therefore my user case may lead me to overestimate the uselessness of advertising. *shrug*

    1. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Good reasons for virtual currencies.

      "Someday someone will notice that online ads yield a spectacularly low return on investment."

      Not really. Online ads are extremely cheap. It also allows advertisers to run many different campaigns at once targeted all over the place. Something they couldn't do with print/TV/Billboards.

      Why is Coke so huge? You see the logo everywhere. What's the return from a banner on the side of a sports field? Directly, almost nothing. In aggregate, it's massive. The logo is everywhere so when you think of a soft drink, you will often think Coke (or Pepsi), but not RC Cola or the store brand. The tactic is to use every means possible to keep the name (and logo) in front of people to reinforce the association. Those cheap and easy postings help to support the more traditional print/radio/TV ads with slogans and jingles.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Good reasons for virtual currencies.

        "Online ads are extremely cheap."

        They're an extremely cheap way of pissing off existing and potential customers. Don't believe me? Ask yourself why so many people run ad-blockers. Perhaps you run an ad-blocker; if so ask yourself why.

        "It also allows advertisers to run many different campaigns at once targeted all over the place."

        Are those the campaigns that try to sell you what you just bought?

        Repeat after me: the only thing the advertising industry sells is advertising to advertisers.

    2. katrinab Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Good reasons for virtual currencies.

      "Except that people who work hard and diligently at crime would like to be able to ransack the value of my credit card. "

      The USP of Bitcoin is that you *can't* do a chargeback in the event of fraud. How does that solve this problem?

      1. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: Good reasons for virtual currencies.

        Well, the theory is that it's harder to commit fraud with a crypto wallet than it is with a credit card. With a credit card, they need a relatively short number which will authorize any transaction whatsoever. With a wallet, each transaction needs a separate signing with a private key, so you can't just steal part of the data traffic from a previous transaction and start making new ones. That's the theory.

        In practice, we all know how that ended. If you have a great way of keeping the private key private and secure and not known by anyone and easy to get to but also not easy for you to lose, then you're great. Otherwise, you can still lose your money and now you don't have a way of getting it back.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Good reasons for virtual currencies.

      "Personally, I think the internet advertising industry is built on bubbles and candy floss."

      It appears you are spot-on in assumptions:

      https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/almost-50-percent-of-company-network-traffic-comes-from-bots-report-says/

  14. quartzz

    Paypal correctly refunded me £500 this year after fraud. I wouldn't trust FB to do that.

    1. Psmo Bronze badge
      Thumb Up

      Cue a new market in "I lost £1000 of Libra and all I got was this &gt;icon&lt;"

  15. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge
    WTF?

    VISA

    "Visa’s continued interest in Libra stems from our belief that well-regulated blockchain-based networks could extend the value of secure digital payments to a greater number of people and places, particularly in emerging and developing markets.”

    I wonder how they figure any of that is necessary or even true?

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: VISA

      "I wonder how they figure any of that is necessary or even true?"

      It's just a polite way of saying they're getting out.

  16. FuzzyWuzzys
    Facepalm

    We all knew how this would turn out.

    FB can't be trusted with a few names, addresses and some mindless tosh about people's daily lives and they expected some of the world's top online financial service companies to support FB's own currency?! Yeah, tell you what as an encore we'll put one of North Korea's top officials in charge of Amnesty International!!!

  17. Trollslayer Silver badge

    Good

    No accountability, tax avoidance, money laundering and more.

    What could possibly go wrong?

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