July 3, 2019 at 7:46 am #188585
Interesting to see what governmental responses are to this in terms of money laundering. There have been raids on Bureaux de Changes across the UK this week and currency exchange is reported as being a key weakness in combating money laundering.
It would seem that this service would be one which might be targeted by money launderers. Of course Facebook wouldn’t wish to profit from any of this, Facebook has such a strong ethical base to its operation, with Nick Clegg as head of global affairs, who could doubt their honesty and reliability?July 3, 2019 at 8:19 am #188586
Money laundering is always going to be a problem with any international payments system. One way of doing it is for a person to carry cash, which is how the NUM transferred some of its money to Luxemburg during the Miners Strike to stop all its funds being “sequestrated” by the UK government.
Incidentally, I see that David Smith, Sunday Times Economics Editor, writing in today’s Times says of the Libra scheme that it is “a move that may not be as revolutionary as first appears”.July 3, 2019 at 8:35 am #188587
Presumably because of its electronic format it would make a fairly obvious target for anyone trying to destabilise currencies and or effectively forge large amounts of money. Although I’m sure the good people at Facebook will assure us that the encryption system is beyond hacking, there is always a smarter geek just around the corner, or tucked away in North Korea.July 16, 2019 at 9:11 am #188824
Further evidence that what is envisaged is “jazzed-up international payments system” from a piece in today’s Times headed: “Libra ‘will not compete with currencies'” which reports what a key executive will tell a US Senate hearing later today:
“David Marcus, head of Facebook’s libra project, also will say that the social network’s digital currency is not being built to compete with sovereign currencies and will not interfere with countries’ monetary policy.”
“The system will allow users to change pounds, dollars or other currencies into libra. Users will be able to buy items online and in shops or to transfer money to friends and family on Whatsaap and Facebook Messenger without the need for a bank account.”
Of course, Facebook will need to convince national state authorities that it won’t also be used for money laundering, tax dodging, etc.July 20, 2019 at 3:58 pm #188899
This sounds interesting and possibly significant though I am still not 100% sure what blockchain actually entails in practice. Can anybody explain in really simple layperson terms what it is all about so I can wrap my head around itJuly 20, 2019 at 11:03 pm #188900
Is this author too paranoid about the future?
“…Imagine, for example, what effect Libra would have on countries with unstable or weak currencies. Would it become a mainstream substitute for the Argentinean peso or the Venezuelan bolivar? What guarantees are there that Facebook executives would not take advantage of the power Libra gives them and use it to economically and politically blackmail a weak government? Given its long track record of problematic practices – including the misuse of personal data – can Facebook be trusted with so much power? The prospect of sovereign power and political decision-making being shifted away from national capitals and to Silicon Valley is indeed real. And it is not only Facebook that is pushing in this direction…”
Or is he also offering some hope?
“…The question, ultimately, is whether our outdated national politics can take back control over corporate nations and planetary challenges such as the climate crisis, migration or artificial intelligence. It is time to recognise this common threat, unify, and take action together beyond the borders of our weakening nation-states…”July 21, 2019 at 3:30 pm #188907
I will believe that Facebook is a threat to States when Zuckerberg announces a Facebook Army and gets the permission of states to start recruiting.
If Facebook is so powerful vis-a-vis states why are they asking states for permission to set up their new international payments system?July 21, 2019 at 10:54 pm #188909
Hmmm…In the US we have a booming business of private run prison and detention camps with private guards, a huge private security industry policing public spaces, and of course one of the largest mercenary armies under Erik Prince and what was once called Blackwater who are lobbying for the control of foreign wars such as Afghanistan.
We are well on our way towards the sci-fi and right libertarian fantasy of a private States, perhaps provided with the communications network based on Facebook and perhaps paid for in Libras.
We already experienced where transnationals such as United Fruit controlled politically weak “banana republics” backed up by the USMC as described by Gen Butler in his classic book, now we have similar entities in Africa such as the DRC employing armed private security or protected by bribed proxy militias in what is called now “failed states”
We should not comfortably sit back and think the capitalist nation-state is not evolving and may not transform itself into Corpo-stans.
But right now I think the potential is a realistic possibility not a full reality.July 21, 2019 at 11:16 pm #188911
Will that be before the world comes to an end through global overheating? I don’t suppose it matters as it seems that one way or another we’re doomed (and gloomed) 🙂July 22, 2019 at 12:20 am #188912
Well, one thing is certain in life, and that is we all die, our life comes to an end. (some are fortunate that their thoughts and ideas continue on after their death)
So do social systems die also?…Or are they not subject to re-birth in a new reincarnation?
Aren’t we hoping as socialists that society evolves into a higher stage, and not degenerate to an even lower level?
But as socialists we do not dismiss the possibility…Socialism or Barbarism… if we are luckyAugust 1, 2019 at 10:44 am #189200
I had hoped, when it first came out, that bitcoin would undermine the dollar (always a good thing) and still have some hope the Chinese proposal to use a combo currency based upon the yen, dollar, Euro takes root.August 2, 2019 at 8:06 am #189220
What difference would that make to ordinary people? Undermining the dollar is neither a good thing nor a bad thing, just an irrelevant thing.August 12, 2019 at 2:28 am #189486
Undermining the dollar undermines the US go’vt, a huge agent in global suffering and support, of course, of capitalism.
How disappointing that you don’t care. I think that’s what happened the last time I connected with you. I realized you had such detachment. You forgot the whole motivation for Marx writing .August 12, 2019 at 3:09 am #189488
As there is a strong advocacy by elements of US business for reducing the value of the $, I wonder, too, of any importance of challenging its circulation.
I also wonder if you have given any consideration to the various foreign countries currencies that are pegged to the value of the $.
If what you approve of materialises, are you prmoting of the pain this would inflict upon the working class who are the ones who always bear the burdens of an economic crises. The wealthy would simply convert their $ wealth to another currency or perhaps buy gold, something a lot more trustworthy than either Bitcoin or Facebook moneyAugust 12, 2019 at 3:23 am #189489
“How disappointing that you don’t care. I think that’s what happened the last time I connected with you. I realized you had such detachment.”
It’s not a question of “detachment” but of understanding and applying the correct analysis. Capitalism will only be overthrown when the working class withdraws its support (or acquiescence) for it and establishes Socialism. “Undermining the dollar”, whatever that means exactly, is hardly going to achieve that.
“The emancipation of the working class must be the act of the working class itself” (Marx – Communist Manifesto)
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