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    It’s not evident from the official page, but Facebook is spearheading and running this.

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      Presumably to raise themselves above the law even more. Or maybe they just want to see all transactions their users make, because they definitely have the right to do that /s.

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      A thing I’m most concerned about with this is - Facebook’s biggest failing IMO is their seeming unwillingness or inability to consider anything beyond the first order consequences of their actions.

      The genocide in Myanmar was not an act of willful malevolence by Facebook, but it was made several orders of magnitude worse by their opening a presence there yet having virtually no staff on board who could actually speak the language to enact their usual level of moderation and damage control.

      When you look at that and other disasters and extrapolate to the world of currency, the result is… Disquieting to say the least.

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        buy serious sounding .org domain

        put up js single page

        buy some stock images of racially diverse people (aka black folks)

        sprinkle some marketing words like ‘reinvent money’, ‘transform the global economy’

        add fun facts about how many people don’t have a bank account

        knead hard and put in oven for 45 minutes at 180 degrees science.

        cryptocurrencies are known by the state of california to cause cancer. keep away from children.

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          For folks interested in the whitepaper: https://libra.org/white-paper/

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            It’s apparently using words like “decentralized” in .. non-standard ways

            https://twitter.com/peterktodd/status/1140936697317904384

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              It’s absolutely a lie. For one, you can’t just go and run your own node. You have to apply and be approved. Current list of approved entities are mainly Facebook’s Silicon Valley buddies.

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              This is a great succinct write up :) Thanks for sharing, definitely puts into words many of the thoughts I’ve been having since the whitepaper dropped.

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              Am I the only one who thinks of E-corp from Mr. Robot?

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                Thinking of Druuge from star control 2.

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                  They’re more like IBM, Samsung, Mitsubishi, etc. The multinational conglomerates that are into everything. They also had no innovation with non-technical folks on top. Total opposite of Silicon Valley.

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                    In that way yes, but there is a huge parallel that they have a huge user-base and are now pushing their own currency and they will mostly get away with it due to their size.

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                  I still remember the promise bitcoin made: “no more goobermint stealing your money to bail off the banks!!!!” .

                  Megacorps will soon be real. And to think this one got started from a bunch of teenagers trying to find out who’s single so they can smash.

                  What a great timeline this is.

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                    Are corporations not free to make their own currencies? I thought you were a libertarian

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                      Maybe he’s a European libertarian…

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                        I am. Which is why this is a great timeline.

                        I can’t wait until spacex builds a railgun on Mars.

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                          And then declares Martian independence :)

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                        Things have improved. In the past a lot of people died over whom got to fuck who.

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                        I’m mostly surprised how low on details the paper is. How are the coins distributed, how are transactions verified, how decentralised is it? I’m guessing it’s gonna be essentially facebook who signs transactions and the plebs can only hope their transactions will get it.

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                          Speculation follows (I have better things to do than to read marketing copy in the form of white papers)

                          In BTC terms, all wallets are SPV wallets.

                          The transactions will not be public, that would be a massive privacy issue as each wallet can be tied to a FB/IG/Whatsapp account.

                          Issuance will be at the discretion of the entitiy that’s tasked with keeping the ZuckBuck (Z$) stable against its basket of currencies. So it will be dictated by the forex markets.

                          The transactions will be seen only be the partners, mainly as a way to keep each other in check, and for netting - see below.

                          For the end user, it will be seamless - they send Z$ to someone else, it arrives instantly. No confirmation delays. This will be accomplished by netting between the participating partners.

                          Transactions will probably not be irreversible, because as soon as some poor tyke loses their Z$ pocket money to some Pokemon Go clone scam FB will face a massive publicity backlash.

                          Don’t expect to be able to buy pr0n, drugs, alchohol, firearms, or send money to Lashkar-e-Taiba.

                          In short, this is an attempt to be able to mint money without being burdened by banking regulations.

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                            Yeah I think you are right, still competition in this space of federated currencies is still a good thing. I would applaud anything that can compete with the domination of credit cards taking 3% of every transaction while consumers pretend ‘I don’t pay it, the retailer does’, sucking value out of the economy. If anything, this at least makes people think about what a currency is.

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                              Sure! Of course VISA is a Libra participant so value will be sucked out regardless.

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                            I’m guessing it’s gonna be essentially facebook who signs transactions

                            I don’t want to bore myself with rereading it but the consensus section basically alludes to this, although Facebook is not named

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                            This posted anywhere else by chance? I get the “You’ve reached the end of your free member preview for this month. Become a member now for $5/month…” message, and no article.

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                                The cached link above now also works (in case you have medium.com blocked)

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                                This isn’t about whether Facebook would do a good job at it. It’s about one company having control over you as an individual, and large groups as collectives. Control by way of information/data, and now control by way of having their “hands” on your money.

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                                  Definitely. The broader implications to me, at least, are that while “likes” are a powerful signal at scale, money transactions contain more signal because they’re a reflection of an tangible action you’ve taken rather than an opinion you’ve expressed. We tend to cede control of this information to governments who use the data as a barometer of health in a number of domains, but if a profit driven corporation gets their hands on those data…I cringe at the broad implications.

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                                    I’d like to point out that you don’t have to bank with facebook. Large parts of Europe still use cash on a daily basis. Not because you can’t pay digitally, but because we don’t want to.

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                                      Large parts of Europe still use cash on a daily basis. Not because you can’t pay digitally, but because we don’t want to.

                                      I’d suggest that the Western world is not really the target market for this, but rather developing countries that remain almost entirely unbanked, many of which use facebook as their main method to access the internet. This is the bit that scares me.

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                                        Smaller parts of Europe (Sweden) is almost cash-less already.

                                        But the same applies there - why should I get ZuckBucks on FB when I can just use Swish to send money to anyone with a mobile phone?

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                                            I’m not going to deny that Libra can be a success, and there’ll be lots of use cases for lots of people that I can’t imagine (but I bet FB can). My point in my comment was to offer another viewpoint about cash use in Europe. Sweden is so cashless that the authorities are legitimately worried about the effect of a long-time net outage or cyberattack on the economy.

                                            For my personal use cases Libra doesn’t offer anything new though. I use PayPal to send money overseas.

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                                      Oh great, another currency. I’m so excited. The world really needed facebux to solve its problems.

                                      At least it’s not PoW I guess.

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                                        I believe the technically correct name is “ZuckBucks”.

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                                          Why is that so good, PoW would actually make it decentralised.

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                                            Because PoW is an absolute waste of electricity engineering solution to a social problem. Have you ever wondered how much “mining” is done off coal power? Are there no ethical qualms there?

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                                              Why would it be a waste, that is just relative to the utility of what it is used for. Currently Bitcoin uses an amount of electricity infamously likened to the electricity usage of Ireland. That sounds like a lot but you have to know it is only household electricity usage (not cars/transportation/industry) and Ireland has 5 million people, which use on average about 1/4 of electricity of a typical American. So we are really talking about household usage of about 1 million Americans. For that you get a completely decentralised currency, the utility of that far outweighs that tiny amount. The power usage also does not have to increase, the amount of computing power behind mining only has to be big enough that a large player (say NSA) can not take it over. And it is powered by electricity, using the cheapest electricity possible, so there is no reason to think it uses more coal than say a Tesla. In fact it is more likely to use renewables and take some unused capacity in peak times, since that is cheaper.

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                                                You missed the part where I considered PoW a wasteful non-solution in the first place. However you want to measure up the power consumption, it is substantial. And imo, it’s for solving an imaginary problem, and really just lends to making early adopters money. You’re arguing past me here is all I’m saying. Whether the electric usage is one Ireland or three Irelands, it’s still on the scale of an entire country’s electricity, and it still puts carbon in the air, all for ludicrous magical thinking about the relationship of regulatory bodies, fiat, and exceptionally privileged and sheltered notions of “freedom”.

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                                                  Well if your position is to assume cryptocurrencies are useless, and you have a better consensus mechanism (it seems you like consensus by centralised authority) then yeah, there is not much to argue there. All I can say is that the majority of the world population does not need to be convinces that depending on currencies of your government is dangerous and alternatives are needed, we are in privileged positions where the euro / dollar has been relatively stable for now, although we’ll see how long that lasts.

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                                                    Those privileged and sheltered notions of freedom - i.e. the ability to transact digitally even if government and corporate regulators have it out for you or don’t care about whether you fit into their systems - are important, and worth some of the world’s electricity. You can get electricity by other means than burning coal, and providing for the existence of industrial civilization while moving off fossil fuel power is a problem humanity needs to solve regardless of whether or not PoW cryptocurrencies exist.

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                                                      You can get electricity by other means than burning coal

                                                      Ok, but the majority of society runs their power off fossil fuels. This is more magical thinking, when I’m talking about what currently is the state of things. PoW could be ran off clean energy! It could somehow make the world more free in some abstract magical way that anyone is yet to have really made clear and concrete to me! But meanwhile millions of lives are in the crosshairs of disasters driven by climate change, and first world libertarians have made obvious through their priorities they are more concerned about their LibertyBux than those millions of lives. It’s telling.

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                                                        Exactly - everything electricity-powered in our society runs largely off fossil fuels, and switching to renewable electricity generation sources is important for everything electricity-relatrd that anyone might want to do. Saying that something uses a lot of electricity is a fully-general argument against anything you don’t like. Maybe you don’t like video games so you say that climate change implies that it’s wrong to allocate electricity to all the video game consoles and gaming PCs and GPU chip fabs out there.

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                                                          🤯

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                                                            @kel there’s no reasoning about this with PoW proponents. Within the framework of blockchains secured by PoW the expenditure of energy is the whole point.

                                                            FWIW, there are a lot of other human endeavors with questionable value to society that expend a lot of energy - online gambling, cultivation and manufacture of illegal drugs, delivering adult entertainment online. PoW blockchains are just another expression of that, and not very large in the grand scheme of things.

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                                                              Very true.

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                                            It’s scary to me that this is happening the same week that the arctic permafrost is thawing (70 years sooner than expected). We need more regulation, not less.

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                                              Well, if they already have all your personal data, why not give ’em your money too?

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                                                The tech lead on Calibra has been posting on Reddit about it.