26 votes

Facebook’s cryptocurrency to debut next week backed by Visa, Mastercard, Uber, and others

48 comments

  1. [18]
    VoidOutput
    Link
    If this succeeds and takes hold, I will be terrified. And honestly, save for Facebook getting too cocky and getting antitrusted to oblivion or a technical glitch that destroys confidence I don't...

    If this succeeds and takes hold, I will be terrified.

    And honestly, save for Facebook getting too cocky and getting antitrusted to oblivion or a technical glitch that destroys confidence I don't see why this can't succeed. They have partnerships with major players and an incredibly large established userbase.

    They can use startup tactics - ie. free money for new users, referals - and push the currency hardcore to companies. They could even integrate the wallet into the app and offer payments through NFC. Many terminals already offer that.

    Could someone convince me that this is going to fail?

    30 votes
    1. [13]
      nacho
      Link Parent
      IF cryptocurrency is a viable future (no charge-backs or refunds, avoiding criminal use, and a host of other things to solve), then that future will always be easier to realize by having a...

      IF cryptocurrency is a viable future (no charge-backs or refunds, avoiding criminal use, and a host of other things to solve), then that future will always be easier to realize by having a currency backed by major money.

      If money's corporate, fund-based, central-bank based, NGO, multi-governmental or whatever else, a currency backed by a big player will always be set to out-compete a currency where the creator or some other early entity somewhat arbitrarily has major control of its dynamics.

      And that's why today's crypto is a bubble. If blockchain really is a powerful and useful technology that can change society, the implementation of blockchain by a major player will crush whatever currencies are out today. IF cryptocurrencies are the future, the question is when today's currencies will be killed by those with economic muscle, not if.

      9 votes
      1. [12]
        45930
        Link Parent
        I'm not convinced that a coin with a pragmatic approach to the "real world", a best-in-class dev team, and a real grassroots developer base can't succeed (namely ether). That said, I sold all of...

        I'm not convinced that a coin with a pragmatic approach to the "real world", a best-in-class dev team, and a real grassroots developer base can't succeed (namely ether). That said, I sold all of my crypto while the getting was good. I don't understand what problem facebookcoin is solving, given that it's NOT decentralized. I can see how FB might use it to shirk various regulatory bodies, but I don't see why anyone else would want to use it. I have used bitcoin and ether to actually move money. There's a legit use-case that they're solving for right now, which is transferring money across borders, or to blacklisted parties without banks' knowledge or fees.

        Maybe that's not the world-changing use case that will give crypto the next big run, but it's something. Facebookcoin will just be the same as every other P2P payment app just with a different backend. Maybe it will enable tipping on instagram and FB. Maybe it will become somewhat popular and be an experiment in toppling nation-states' control over money (even though this is going to be pegged to nation-state money). In any case, it won't make other crypto's obsolete. The crypto-nerds are looking for a breakthrough in decentralized money, and this ain't it. But I don't think it will harm the progress. If anything, I see this as more harmful to central banks.

        5 votes
        1. [5]
          nacho
          Link Parent
          The three main issues that new payment systems are trying to crack are: A ubiquitous payment system so I can actually buy anything I want all over the world Quick transaction resolution Reasonable...

          The three main issues that new payment systems are trying to crack are:

          • A ubiquitous payment system so I can actually buy anything I want all over the world
          • Quick transaction resolution
          • Reasonable fees

          In the 21st century, one would assume those problems have been solved. Not so.

          It regularly takes days or even weeks for me to perform international money transfers for work.

          There are US software solutions I can download, but can't get access to download without physically sending cash money across the Atlantic because the company doesn't take Non-US credit cards due to fees (and our corporate bank doesn't do checks because of the prevalence of fraud).

          The US embassy in Norway couldn't take any payment for a period of several months because they aren't allowed to accept cash and could only accept credit cards registered to continental US addresses.

          Our company has paid payment fees of more than $2000 for a single transaction because that was by far the cheapest option.


          Crypto can solve all those issues. But that would require ubiquitous use. Like email or credit cards (in theory). Facebook or other large platforming bodies can make that happen. It simply can't happen randomly in a decentralized fashion.

          Until the three major issues with payment are solved, anything else that requires decentralization or whatever nifty features are optional accessories.

          I live in a first world country and do business with the western developed countries. I can't even imagine what payment and banking would be like living in or having to deal with a developing country.

          7 votes
          1. [2]
            Greg
            Link Parent
            Do you think that crypto would be a more likely solution than a slick app from a company like XE or Transferwise? I mentioned further down that if we're allowing it to be controlled by a central...

            Do you think that crypto would be a more likely solution than a slick app from a company like XE or Transferwise? I mentioned further down that if we're allowing it to be controlled by a central organisation, the fact there's a blockchain in there (or not) seems to me like basically an implementation detail.

            Presumably the controlling company still needs to set up a banking presence in pretty much every country (as the two I mentioned above have had to do), so that people can get money in and out - and at that point I guess I'm not really seeing that it's fundamentally any different to what we already have.

            2 votes
            1. nacho
              Link Parent
              I don't know whether a slick app is enough. There's a host of different payment systems run by various groups, like Paypal, the major credit card companies etc. However, they just haven't reached...

              I don't know whether a slick app is enough. There's a host of different payment systems run by various groups, like Paypal, the major credit card companies etc. However, they just haven't reached adoption rates to make them viable in most industries. For retail they work all right.

              I think adoption is the rate limit, not the underlying technology as long as the three above aims are reached.

              What kind of group could get adoption rates to essentially have a single clearing house for the world (or a large major one at least)? What kind of technology could the UN, or a group of charities/NGOs get behind? A single clearing house would make things like tax evasion a lot harder than today. There are loads of good things that would come of this, not just convenience.


              Basically all the biggest companies in the world have banking presences almost everywhere as it is. That's especially true for banks (naturally). That doesn't seem to be the issue for the system we have functioning so poorly. Transferring money from bank to the other party's bank/account is. It's the inter-banking system that's rough.

              You're completely right that the technology is there. Banks that have single clearing houses already accomplish all the three main aims on national or regional levels all the time. Banking in the EU is fast. I can make payment any bank in Norway from any other Norwegian bank in a matter of seconds for minimal cost to anyone with a Norwegian bank account. That's been the case for a couple decades at least.

              The difficult part is getting bank adoption so this works everywhere. The technology is there, but as any person selling something patented would say, invention and technology is meaningless unless you manage the implementation.

              3 votes
          2. [2]
            45930
            Link Parent
            You can send BTC across the atlantic today no problem. There is no established B2B money changer, but I don't see why there couldn't be. For far less than $2000 could you send someone BTC, have...

            You can send BTC across the atlantic today no problem. There is no established B2B money changer, but I don't see why there couldn't be. For far less than $2000 could you send someone BTC, have them sell to buy dollars, and then pay whoever you were trying to pay dollars to.

            People have been doing this, decentralized, for years now. I'm not an idiot; obviously this isn't something that's appealing to large corps. But I don't think relying on FB for payment processing should be that attractive to corps either. There's a world where a well-regulated wall st bank could operate an exchange of crypto to fiat, and in that world, large corps could send crypto or tokenized fiat with the same level of confidence as they wire money today. Maybe we'll never get there, but if there's so much demand like you say, then maybe we will.

            As for Facebook, companies will not want to settle in facebookcoin. At least not for a looooong time. So the underlying issue of money exchange remains. Facebook can't snap their fingers and make crypto payments ubiquitous. Maybe on their own ecosystem of apps they can. FB and instagram users can pay each other. But it doesn't extend to "real life". If I'm buying a software license for my team, I'm not doing it on facebook. I can pay you in fbcoin for the license but then you need a way to offload it into fiat, same as if I paid you in BTC.

            Facebook can tackle these things, sure. But the Winklevii are trying to do the same stuff with BTC. Coinbase is out there trying to make it happen for traditional crypto. The EU might flex on FB and prevent adoption in Europe. What I'm saying is FB hasn't solved those problems at launch. It's just another centralized token. None of them have been successful so far. Regular people are already using crypto to solve all of your problems, so when it comes to regulation and normalization for business, BTC has a track record of success after more than a decade of experimentation.

            Certainly companies need to get involved to take any kind of crypto mainstream and tackle your 3 pain points. But companies can and are trying to built off of the work of the decentralized community and add value in that way. Centralized blockchains are necessarily counter to the strengths of the technology. What FB gains in making up a currency is that they can avoid dealing with the bank-based payment system and regulations. But like I said in my first post, the average fb user doesn't seem to get anything over using venmo, square, paypal, google wallet, or anything else. Payments settle faster, but if I want to cash out, I wait the same 2-4 days. It's still subject to any kind of downtime that FB might experience because it's not decentralized. You're giving more of your data to FB, which a not-insignificant number of people are starting to get wise to. I just don't see it. And for this to become the de facto B2B international transfer tool would require such an undeniable success in the P2P space, and years of proven security.

            2 votes
            1. nacho
              Link Parent
              I'm not saying Facebook will solve the three above payment problems, nor that the solution is blockchain. But if blockchain technology becomes the solution, then there'll be a major organzation...

              I'm not saying Facebook will solve the three above payment problems, nor that the solution is blockchain. But if blockchain technology becomes the solution, then there'll be a major organzation backing that currency.

              As stated, there are issues that render existing cryptocurrencies extremely unattractive to large companies. They're dead in the water. Some of those things are features of the currencies themselves.

              If someone's in Bitcoin for the future, and not to make money "investing", they're doing something wrong. There's no reason technical solutions can't augment a centrally run ledger to solve issues of today's cryptocurrencies.


              If Facebook were to back a currency, that's a company with 55 billion in revenues in 2018. That's around the GDP of the ~80th largest country's economy. Conglomerates of organizations could reach deep into the trillions depending on constellation.

              That's a type of backing and security that can leapfrog a lot of issues by sheer force of having money to secure everything that happens in their space.

              Say the IMF or UN were to copy the dominating crypto-based currency if one gains widespread adoption. As long as the protocol's good, wouldn't we be better served with those institutions running the show as opposed to arbitrary online strangers?

        2. [6]
          papasquat
          Link Parent
          It doesn't solve any problems. Then again, I didn't really understand which problems decentralized crypto solved either, so I might not be the best person to comment on it. It's obviously a...

          I don't understand what problem facebookcoin is solving, given that it's NOT decentralized.

          It doesn't solve any problems. Then again, I didn't really understand which problems decentralized crypto solved either, so I might not be the best person to comment on it. It's obviously a massive win for Facebook if this can take off. If a corporation starts minting its own widely accepted currency, suddenly they start having an enormous amount of economic and political power. This is extremely worrying, especially because of the fact that Facebook already controls one of the biggest advertising platforms in the world and can very easily brute force just about any product into popularity.

          3 votes
          1. [3]
            45930
            Link Parent
            I'm very much with you that a corporation being in charge of it's own currency sounds like disaster. I basically didn't touch on that at all but yeah. That's a new class of organizational power...

            I'm very much with you that a corporation being in charge of it's own currency sounds like disaster. I basically didn't touch on that at all but yeah. That's a new class of organizational power that we haven't seen in centuries.

            As for decentralized money, the only really good thing so far has been online gambling. That's not to say that it can't have use elsewhere but it's easy to understand and implement. My banks and credit cards won't let me send money to a casino based in the Caribbean, but I don't need a bank or credit card if I have decentralized money.

            Same thing with international money transfers. If I want to send my kid studying abroad in Brazil $5000 for school and food and spending money, I have to pay transfer fees, exchange fees, and maybe I don't even trust that the bank in Brazil will give my kid the full amount. I can send them bitcoin though, and from there, it's one simple local exchange of BTC for reals.

            It's the kind of thing that might not click until you run into how shitty the payment system is today.

            1 vote
            1. [2]
              crdpa
              Link Parent
              How do you exchange BTC for BRL?

              How do you exchange BTC for BRL?

              1 vote
              1. 45930
                Link Parent
                I don't know if there is a good exchange but localbitcoins is always an option:...

                I don't know if there is a good exchange but localbitcoins is always an option:

                https://localbitcoins.com/instant-bitcoins/?action=sell&country_code=BR&amount=10000&currency=BRL&place_country=BR&online_provider=ALL_ONLINE&find-offers=Search

                Depending on the circumstances, maybe the scenario I came up with isn't actually solved today. It certainly works in the case that someone is in europe or china or anywhere else where there are perfectly legit crypto-fiat exchanges. The fact that you need an exchange at all is an imperfection in the system, but it's an imperfection that facebook isn't solving.

                I stand by the idea of decentralized money. In the transfer to brazil scenario, the only reason it might not work today is that most people don't accept BTC as money. That's society. But the technology that allows you to transfer ownership for yourself for essentially free is still profound. In the bank scenario, regardless of the fee, you are paying bank A to take some of the money that you've given them, convert it to a different currency through mechanism X, then send that to bank B, which you expect to then hand the money off to someone else. Bank A, mechanism X, and bank B could each just steal your money. They don't because we live in a society. And I'm not some crazy person that doesn't use or appreciate banks. I just appreciate crypto for what an incredible artifact it is, even in its current state.

          2. [2]
            VoidOutput
            Link Parent
            Well, I mean, I'm easily one of the biggest Facebook paranoids but if that were the case the Facebook Portal and the Oculus Go would be best selling products. I'd rather say that they can instead...

            can very easily brute force just about any product into popularity

            Well, I mean, I'm easily one of the biggest Facebook paranoids but if that were the case the Facebook Portal and the Oculus Go would be best selling products. I'd rather say that they can instead decide what shall not become popular by deranking competitors for instance.

            1. papasquat
              Link Parent
              Yeah, but those are both niche devices that I'm sure they never expected to take the world by storm. Still, if they really wanted to invest the money into advertising them, I'm sure they could...

              Yeah, but those are both niche devices that I'm sure they never expected to take the world by storm. Still, if they really wanted to invest the money into advertising them, I'm sure they could meet just about whatever sales numbers they wanted to.
              This is something that can potentially net them massive amounts of profit depending on fees, is widely applicable (virtually everyone buys things online or sends money to friends and family every now and again) and has lots of other tangible benefits. I wouldn't be surprised if FB leans much harder into this than their other ventures. I think the only thing preventing libra from taking off is people being creeped out by it. I feel like most people aren't creeped out at facebook as much as they probably should be though.

              2 votes
    2. fandegw
      Link Parent
      I just finished a video from the french media arret-sur-images (link for video here, but behind a paywall, uniquely in video form, and without english subtitles, so kind of lost cause...

      I just finished a video from the french media arret-sur-images (link for video here, but behind a paywall, uniquely in video form, and without english subtitles, so kind of lost cause unfortunatly).

      There was a good analogy discussed by the participants between Telegram and Facebook, both wanting to launch their currency on their platform.

      Where Telegram is deliberately shady in all its practices, from the placement of their servers, to how the money is being received through opaque funds or investers. All in the name of keeping their platform independent of one country's law.
      Facebook is very much tied to all the legislations of where they are exercing.

      Seeing such a giant actor as Facebook wanting to create their currency could represent a major economic threat to all nations wanting to keep their Monetary Independence, and the Europe is already keen on passing legislations to keep in check such giant actors.

      So the participants were saying that where Telegram could potentially find themselves not so targetable by such laws, Facebook is way less protected as it will have to work with each state.

      5 votes
    3. Amarok
      Link Parent
      I think it'll come down to their security. If this was developed by facebook coders with no experience in high security banking and finance, it'll get hacked and fucked up weekly, which could put...

      I think it'll come down to their security. If this was developed by facebook coders with no experience in high security banking and finance, it'll get hacked and fucked up weekly, which could put a stink on it (just like MtGox and other failed exchanges did to bitcoin). If they did their due diligence with financial security, and brought in experts in this field to help vet and harden their systems, this is much less likely.

      Being 'partnered' with big finance players does not automatically mean this has happened, either. The big players probably couldn't care less how your system interfaces with their own, or if yours crashes and burns, as long as it doesn't damage their networks (and it's hard for me to see how this could). There's certainly enough money involved here to pay the high six figure salaries required by folks working at this level, so unlike most startup exchanges/currencies, it's not a lack of resources. I wouldn't go so far as to assume the big players are heavy into this, either - they are just happy to let Facebook take all of the risks so they don't have to, and won't get burned if it fails.

      Frankly, I don't think they have any idea what they are doing or what kind of a nightmare world of hacking, scams, frauds, and finance regulations they are about to step into. They seem quite cavalier, so I'm kinda expecting a faceplant or three as this thing gets rolling. Facebook has hardly been a bastion of security, privacy, or code integrity, all three of which will cripple this project if they are missing from the system when it launches. I could be wrong, perhaps they are taking this seriously, but their past track record does not give me confidence.

      There's also the challenges of handling wallets, which is not trivial at all and runs counter to how most people think about money. So far, nobody has managed to crack the consumer-friendly aspect of crypto, and there's no reason to think Facebook is going to be any better at this than the hundreds who have tried before, since there's no 'right' answer or model to follow yet. How will they deal with chargebacks, I wonder?

      That's the best I can do for you. :P

      2 votes
    4. [2]
      ascii
      Link Parent
      I can't argue that FBcoin will fail, who knows, it might be a wildly successful payment system. But we can be confident that it won't displace Bitcoin, because it cannot do what Bitcoin does....

      I can't argue that FBcoin will fail, who knows, it might be a wildly successful payment system.

      But we can be confident that it won't displace Bitcoin, because it cannot do what Bitcoin does. Andreas Antonopoulos described the essence of Bitcoin as five pillars:

      Open, Borderless, Neutral, Censorship-Resistant, and Public.

      By design, FBcoin cannot have any of these qualities.

      Presumably FBcoin will support higher transaction volumes, with lower fees, and a more predictable exchange rate. Those are good things! Maybe it's an improvement on credit and debit cards, maybe it's better than PayPal and Venmo.

      But it's a cryptocurrency in name only. Its raison d'être is very different from Bitcoin's.

      2 votes
      1. vaddi
        Link Parent
        As long as it is easier for common people to use, then it has all it needs to succeed, unfortunately.

        As long as it is easier for common people to use, then it has all it needs to succeed, unfortunately.

        5 votes
  2. [5]
    jackson
    Link
    It makes absolutely no sense to me why this would succeed. None of the people tech-savvy enough to appreciate a cryptocurrency would dare touch a FB coin given their recent breaches, policy...

    It makes absolutely no sense to me why this would succeed. None of the people tech-savvy enough to appreciate a cryptocurrency would dare touch a FB coin given their recent breaches, policy violations, and general bad privacy. Though the certificate debacle and awful privacy on there might sway a technical person, I'd hope that the plain-text password issue would have led to more technical people leaving it for a better solution.

    As for the non-technical people who either aren't in the loop on this sort of thing or simply don't care, why would they use FB coin when it's easier for them to use PayPal, Venmo, Cashapp, or just their plain old credit card?

    This simply doesn't make sense to me.

    11 votes
    1. [4]
      vaddi
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Because maybe Facebook can make it easier to use their currency than every alternative you mentioned. They already have the largest userbase in the world, so all they require is a more convenient...

      As for the non-technical people who either aren't in the loop on this sort of thing or simply don't care, why would they use FB coin when it's easier for them to use PayPal, Venmo, Cashapp, or just their plain old credit card?

      Because maybe Facebook can make it easier to use their currency than every alternative you mentioned. They already have the largest userbase in the world, so all they require is a more convenient product. If they manage to get that, then it's game over. People prefer convenience over quality (read quality in this case as privacy, descentralization, etc.) all the time. Imagine being able to send money through Messenger and Whatsapp chat, what could be more convenient than that? Without having to ask for a wallet address or IBAN, because all of your friends are already in the platform.

      11 votes
      1. [3]
        onlooker
        Link Parent
        Bingo. This is just speculation, but I imagine that once the coin launches, Facebook will make sure that signing up is as easy as possible. Hell, considering how many times Facebook made changes...

        People prefer convenience over quality (read quality in this case as privacy, descentralization, etc.) all the time. Imagine being able to send money through Messenger and Whatsapp chat, what could be more convenient than that?

        Bingo. This is just speculation, but I imagine that once the coin launches, Facebook will make sure that signing up is as easy as possible. Hell, considering how many times Facebook made changes without the users' consent, the transition may even be automatic. A lot of people I know are wary of signing up to services they're not familiar with or just can't be bothered. These same people already have a Facebook account, which would make signing up for a Facebook cryptowallet ridiculously convenient for them.

        4 votes
        1. [2]
          sqew
          Link Parent
          I could totally see Facebook giving all of their users a wallet off the bat. They could easily do something where every user gets a wallet associated with their Facebook account, and they can...

          I could totally see Facebook giving all of their users a wallet off the bat. They could easily do something where every user gets a wallet associated with their Facebook account, and they can start using it immediately by selecting some simple navigation option. Send users a few notifications, throw in a bit of advertising, and I'd bet that even without nagging users they'd have millions really quickly.

          1. SourceContribute
            Link Parent
            That's funny, because BAT (Basic Attention Token) wallets are basically given to all users of the Brave web browser. Facebook could do the same and they have a much much larger market share....

            a wallet off the bat

            That's funny, because BAT (Basic Attention Token) wallets are basically given to all users of the Brave web browser. Facebook could do the same and they have a much much larger market share. They'll do what PayPal wanted to do, become a near-universal currency/payment system.

            2 votes
  3. [11]
    Cananopie
    Link
    The problem that all other cryptos need to overcome other than bitcoin is having an immutable ledger that isn't in the power of any single individual or company. With Libra coming out as a...

    The problem that all other cryptos need to overcome other than bitcoin is having an immutable ledger that isn't in the power of any single individual or company. With Libra coming out as a "stablecoin" by definition it will be controlled by one entity or another. While stablecoins have proven to be a great place to hold your crypto investment during a bear run, they ultimately offer little value beyond that. Why would I choose to use Libra instead of credit/PayPal/bank info? Their fees would have to be very low. Otherwise it's just another tether in a sea of tethers. Maybe by hoping to take a penny here or there from its 2+ billion users they'll make substantial profit

    8 votes
    1. [4]
      Greg
      Link Parent
      Above all else, this is my question. What difference does the ledger implementation provide here? All I can really think of is that it's a straightforward PR move - which is at least somewhat...

      Why would I choose to use Libra instead of credit/PayPal/bank info?

      Above all else, this is my question. What difference does the ledger implementation provide here? All I can really think of is that it's a straightforward PR move - which is at least somewhat borne out by the fact we're talking about it right now (and probably wouldn't be if they'd just announced some generic Venmo competitor).

      I guess a blockchain is probably a solid architectural choice for building a payment service, so perhaps if the engineers were using it anyway the marketing department just took the opportunity to jump on it.

      7 votes
      1. VoidOutput
        Link Parent
        Honestly, the blockchain part is only a detail for me. I read the headline as "Facebook creates their own money" which is a bigger deal than the tech stack.

        Honestly, the blockchain part is only a detail for me. I read the headline as "Facebook creates their own money" which is a bigger deal than the tech stack.

        13 votes
      2. [2]
        sqew
        Link Parent
        Part of me thinks you might be right about that. It feels like the most recent blockchain craze has almost completely died out since early 2018, so it doesn't seem to make too much sense for...

        I guess a blockchain is probably a solid architectural choice for building a payment service, so perhaps if the engineers were using it anyway the marketing department just took the opportunity to jump on it.

        Part of me thinks you might be right about that. It feels like the most recent blockchain craze has almost completely died out since early 2018, so it doesn't seem to make too much sense for Facebook to release this with blockchain only in there as a PR stunt without a decent engineering reason.

        2 votes
        1. balooga
          Link Parent
          Not sure how one would quantify the health of the "craze" but the current price of Bitcoin is the highest it's been in more than a year. There's clearly still a lot of interest in it.

          Not sure how one would quantify the health of the "craze" but the current price of Bitcoin is the highest it's been in more than a year. There's clearly still a lot of interest in it.

    2. [6]
      babypuncher
      Link Parent
      This is the real problem. I can see why sellers would prefer it, but as someone who is strictly a consumer I'm perfectly happy just using PayPal or my debit card. The market has already solved...

      Why would I choose to use Libra instead of credit/PayPal/bank info?

      This is the real problem. I can see why sellers would prefer it, but as someone who is strictly a consumer I'm perfectly happy just using PayPal or my debit card. The market has already solved most problems with digital transactions as far as consumers are concerned. There are still problems faced by people on the other end of these transactions, but consumers have little reason to care. If an online storefront stops taking cards and PayPal it's easier to just buy from another store.

      1 vote
      1. [5]
        sqew
        Link Parent
        If Facebook can make Libra the epitome of convenience, I think that there are millions of users who would switch right away. All they have to do is have slightly less friction in the buying...

        as someone who is strictly a consumer I'm perfectly happy just using PayPal or my debit card

        If Facebook can make Libra the epitome of convenience, I think that there are millions of users who would switch right away. All they have to do is have slightly less friction in the buying process than all of the other currently mainstream methods. They've got the userbase already to push Libra on, and most consumers are just interested in spending the minimum of time to get what they want, I think.

        1. [4]
          babypuncher
          Link Parent
          I'm not sure how you make a payment system with even less friction (on the consumer side) than PayPal.

          I'm not sure how you make a payment system with even less friction (on the consumer side) than PayPal.

          1 vote
          1. sqew
            Link Parent
            Neither do I, but with the weight Facebook can throw around as a technical and business giant, I wouldn't ignore their ability to find some way to do it. Getting it included as a first class,...

            Neither do I, but with the weight Facebook can throw around as a technical and business giant, I wouldn't ignore their ability to find some way to do it. Getting it included as a first class, tightly integrated payment method on plenty of sites would go a long way towards building a userbase, and I think they've probably got the pull to get that done.

          2. [2]
            emdash
            Link Parent
            Good thing you specified "on the consumer side" as a qualifier, because I was just about to launch a profanity-laden tirade about just how fucking complex dealing with PayPal is, as a developer....

            Good thing you specified "on the consumer side" as a qualifier, because I was just about to launch a profanity-laden tirade about just how fucking complex dealing with PayPal is, as a developer. This is why Stripe has been so effective at gaining adoption.

            1. babypuncher
              Link Parent
              Yeah I'm very well aware of that. My point being that consumers are the driving force behind adoption of payment systems. It's not enough for sellers to switch because consumers will always find...

              Yeah I'm very well aware of that. My point being that consumers are the driving force behind adoption of payment systems. It's not enough for sellers to switch because consumers will always find it easier to buy from someone else than it is to switch payment systems.

  4. dubteedub
    Link
    Facebook launching its own cryptocurrency is so strange to me. The way that it is discussed and how Facebook wants to incorporate it into Messenger and WhatsApp makes it seem almost like it is a...

    Facebook launching its own cryptocurrency is so strange to me. The way that it is discussed and how Facebook wants to incorporate it into Messenger and WhatsApp makes it seem almost like it is a video game microtransaction currency.

    It just feels very strange to give Facebook virtually all of your personal data, as well as your banking information, especially considering the many privacy concerns that have been raised regarding the company.

    4 votes
  5. [3]
    cos
    Link
    Ecoin is finally here, and like @VoidOutput, I am terrified.
    2 votes
    1. [2]
      Dogyote
      Link Parent
      Can you comment on this quote from your article: Because it sounds quite batty.

      Can you comment on this quote from your article:

      The United States Government has not printed it's own money since 1913. That is why we have Federal Reserve Notes, not US Dollars, that is where there is an ever growing debt to a private banking ponzy scheme already taking place. That is why the dollar has almost no value left, because a private corporation already prints the money. Is this unconstitutional, you bet...

      Because it sounds quite batty.

      5 votes
      1. cos
        Link Parent
        I agree with you; the article I linked is incredibly batty! I outright disagree with the author's central argument. I only linked it to introduce those unfamiliar with Mr. Robot to the concept of...

        I agree with you; the article I linked is incredibly batty! I outright disagree with the author's central argument. I only linked it to introduce those unfamiliar with Mr. Robot to the concept of Ecoin.

        4 votes
  6. [3]
    doug3465
    Link
    Replying to comments here that I think are missing the main point to why this will be successful: Are you forgetting that virtually the entire world uses FB products and will be able to send money...

    Replying to comments here that I think are missing the main point to why this will be successful:

    Are you forgetting that virtually the entire world uses FB products and will be able to send money through those same channels now?

    @jackson @Greg @Cananopie

    2 votes
    1. Greg
      Link Parent
      I've definitely let the news framing guide my thinking a bit - everyone is talking about the cryptocurrency side, and that's what I'm responding to. But you're quite right to say that that...

      I've definitely let the news framing guide my thinking a bit - everyone is talking about the cryptocurrency side, and that's what I'm responding to. But you're quite right to say that that probably isn't the most important part of the equation here.

      Are you forgetting that virtually the entire world uses FB products and will be able to send money through those same channels now?

      Not forgetting, but perhaps underappreciating. There are already multiple apps on my phone that can quickly and conveniently pay money to people - but I can see the appeal if I lived in a country where that wasn't standard, or regularly transferred small amounts internationally (the good existing international options tend to be uneconomical for that type of spending).

      Technical details aside, it does have the advantage of a large installed base and low friction for existing users. If the press had framed it as "international Venmo" rather than a crypto project, I likely would have reacted differently.

      4 votes
    2. Cananopie
      Link Parent
      Facebook getting involved with a way to send and receive money is big and will likely be used successfully. But what benefit is there in it being their own money rather than just exchanging money...

      Facebook getting involved with a way to send and receive money is big and will likely be used successfully.

      But what benefit is there in it being their own money rather than just exchanging money that already exists? Why not just use already standing currencies? What benefit does pegging their own currency to the US dollar actually provide? It's not really crypto in the same sense that xrp (ripple) is not really crypto because its centrally controlled.

      3 votes
  7. [2]
    AlexSage
    Link
    People trusting facebook with crypto currency baffles my mind. I see this not succeeding simply because the people that want the advantages of crypto aren't going to use one provided by a company...

    People trusting facebook with crypto currency baffles my mind. I see this not succeeding simply because the people that want the advantages of crypto aren't going to use one provided by a company that is news for privacy issues weekly.

    1 vote
    1. crdpa
      Link Parent
      It's not the people who uses crypto that they are targeting. It's regular people. They want everyone, not just some.

      It's not the people who uses crypto that they are targeting. It's regular people. They want everyone, not just some.

      3 votes
  8. [2]
    Arshan
    Link
    I have two specific fears on the technical side. First, your public key at least will be connected to your facebook account. Unless Facebook has changed completely, they aren't going to hide...

    I have two specific fears on the technical side. First, your public key at least will be connected to your facebook account. Unless Facebook has changed completely, they aren't going to hide transactions or anything. Facebook will know who you send money to and how much; they will know your bank balance and all your advertising history. It is a smart play on FBs part to get data they never could get before.

    Second, since it is apparently going to be a stablecoin, I.e. pegged to some other currency or metric, inflation will be controlled by FB. Even if it is pegged to the US dollar, which seems probable, how do you peg it? Does it directly follow the most up to date feed? What if that feed is 1ms slower than Evil Dude 6? Now, he can make free money for as long as he has any advantage?

    Crypto is hard and FB is dumb, so it will be something to watch.

    1 vote
    1. sqew
      Link Parent
      It'd be amazing to see someone with high frequency trading experience exploit a flaw like that somehow. They already live on nano/millisecond margins; I bet someone could find a way to make a...

      What if that feed is 1ms slower than Evil Dude 6? Now, he can make free money for as long as he has any advantage?

      It'd be amazing to see someone with high frequency trading experience exploit a flaw like that somehow. They already live on nano/millisecond margins; I bet someone could find a way to make a whole lot of money off of Facebook if they were so inclined.

      1 vote
  9. matpower64
    Link
    Isn't decentralization one of the advantages of cryptocurrency? It doesn't make sense to have a cryptocurrency where Facebook will meddle in. Plus there's the obvious elephant in the room, privacy.

    Isn't decentralization one of the advantages of cryptocurrency? It doesn't make sense to have a cryptocurrency where Facebook will meddle in.

    Plus there's the obvious elephant in the room, privacy.

  10. Staross
    Link
    I can't wait for the Facebook Police.

    I can't wait for the Facebook Police.

    2 votes