Martin Wolf has an aggressive thumbs-down on Facebook's Libra payments system. Basically, it is "fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me". Facebook's claim that it is built on 'blockchain technology' seems simply wrong, and a grift—a second-order grift given that 'blockchain technology' is already a grift. Plus "Facebook has been grossly irresponsible over its impact on our democracies. It cannot obviously be trusted with our payments systems.... Beware". The fact that Facebook's past behavior has created such a strong anti-Facebook presumption in somebody as reasonable and fair as Matin is, I think, a powerful thing to note:

Martin Wolf: Facebook Enters Dangerous Waters With Libra Cryptocurrency: "Facebook has been grossly irresponsible over its impact on our democracies. It cannot obviously be trusted with our payments systems. Facebook has an answer: it has just one vote in the Libra Association.... But Facebook seems likely to dominate Libra’s technical development. That will surely give it predominant influence.... Quite apart from doubts about the sponsor, a new global payment system must be evaluated for its technical stability, impact on monetary and financial stability (not least in developing countries) and openness to fraudsters, criminals and terrorists. Big questions also arise about concentrations of power, should the venture succeed.... I cannot judge the technical stability of the proposed system. The claim that it is based on 'blockchain' technology seems rather questionable.... There is indeed potential for greatly improved payment systems. But the emergence of a payment system on a network of Facebook’s scale would raise some huge questions.... This would be true even if the lead sponsor were not Facebook. But it is. So beware...


#noted

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