The Libra

Cryptocurrency is not a concept I understand. Economics has always been rough for me since I took an accounting class and learned you could add up the numbers three different ways and get three different, equally valid answers. That is not math! But it’s getting hard to avoid banking terminology in today’s late-stage Convergence towards a world government. Which brings us to Facebook’s recently announced Libra cryptocurrency.

Facebook Plans Global Financial System Based on Cryptocurrency

htt ps://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/18/technology/facebook-cryptocurrency-libra.html

By Mike Isaac and Nathaniel Popper, 18 June 2019

SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook unveiled an ambitious plan on Tuesday to create an alternative financial system that relies on a cryptocurrency that the company has been secretly working on for more than a year.

The effort, announced with 27 partners as diverse as Mastercard and Uber, could face immediate skepticism from people who question the usefulness of cryptocurrencies and others who are wary of the power already accumulated by the social media company.

Visa, Mastercard and Paypal are the biggest partner-names. Facebook has tried currency games on two previous occasions–FB Credits in 2011, FB Gifts in 2012, each lasting two years. The scale of a uniform global currency is mind-boggling.

The cryptocurrency, called Libra, will also have to overcome concern that Facebook does not effectively protect the private information of its users — a fundamental task for a bank or anyone handling financial transactions.

That could also be a factor. The best indicator of the future is the past. (The second best is cynicism.)

But if the project, which Facebook hopes to begin next year with 100 partners, should come together, it would be the most far-reaching attempt by a mainstream company to jump into the world of cryptocurrencies, which is best known for speculative investments through digital tokens like Bitcoin and outside-the-law e-commerce, like buying drugs online.

That last bit is important because it’s why an anonymous cryptocurrency will never exist. Like actual cash, anonymity is a problem to be solved in the eyes of Elites and governments. “But what if someone uses Bitbuck to buy cocaine or pay a hitman?” is all the justification they’ll need to include a backdoor.

The company has sky-high hopes that Libra could become the foundation for a new financial system not controlled by today’s power brokers on Wall Street or central banks.

“It feels like it is time for a better system,” David Marcus, head of Facebook’s blockchain technology research, said in an interview. “This is something that could be a profound change for the entire world.”

That was plausible before both Visa AND Mastercard signed on as partners. Living close to Silicon Valley, what I’ve seen is that modern tech firms grow primarily by consuming other companies. The innovative portion of the Internet Revolution is pretty much exhausted… not because human ingenuity is exhausted, but because the context has changed from white nerds playing with tech for fun to banksters whipping pennies out of their imported slaves.

Mr. Marcus and other Facebook executives conducted press interviews ahead of the unveiling of their project at the historic San Francisco Mint, a nearly 150-year-old building that once housed one-third of the United States gold reserve.

Now it houses one-third of North America’s homeless population. Okay, exaggeration, but very much the image of San Fransico’s rise and fall. Per htt ps://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/SF-picks-events-company-to-put-some-life-into-the-6708770.php in 2015,

“The Old Mint, the 1874 building at Fifth and Mission that is a national historic landmark but has become an eyesore and hangout for street people, is going to make a comeback as an events space.” That last means nobody wants to/can afford to put a business there.

Marcus was president of Paypal before joining Facebook. Born in France then raised in Switzerland, and active in the online commerce market since age 23.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, has discussed his fascination with cryptocurrencies in recent years. And over the last few months, he has promised to offer users better privacy on company-owned services like Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.

But improving the privacy of users will make it harder for Facebook to show them ads tailored to their interests. A virtual financial network, if it should work, would be a way for the company to find new revenue if ad sales should drop.

The payment system would also help Facebook and other American companies compete for financial transactions in developing countries, where WeChat, developed by the Chinese company Tencent, already offers a highly profitable payments system built into its popular messaging product.

Several articles that I’ve perused highlighted FB targeting the Third World in its initial implementation of Libra. Reading between the lines, FB intends this system primarily to be an attractive alternative to unstable national currencies. The poorest people have the fewest options so they will have the least resistance to FB coercing this system upon them.

Which is how the First World spread feminism to the Third World. Anybody receiving our aid had to accept feminist indoctrination as a package deal. Make ’em choose between food and fatherhood. A case study for the interested:

https://gunnerq.com/2017/12/11/convoy-of-hope-exports-feminism-to-the-vulnerable/

Continuing with the Times article,

The project is being planned to address skeptics. The Libra digital token will be directly backed by government currencies like the dollar or euro, according to a paper describing the technology. So unlike Bitcoin, the best-known cryptocurrency, it will not fluctuate in value any more than real-world money, and it is not likely to appeal to speculators.

Still, the wider cryptocurrency community is likely to point to Libra as evidence that digital tokens could have a mainstream purpose. Last week, as some details of the Facebook project leaked, the value of Bitcoin surged.

To acquire Libra (a reference to the Roman measurement for a pound, once used to mint coins) through a new Facebook subsidiary, called Calibra, users are likely to have to show government identification like a driver’s license, which would make it unappealing for black market transactions like buying drugs.

That would be spooky enough but come on, Grey Lady. Even a churchmouse like me knows his Zodiac signs, because you newspapers decided to place the horoscopes next to the comics.

Segue:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libra_(astrology)

Libra is one of the three zodiac air signs, the others being Gemini and Aquarius. In astrology, a broad description of those who are born under these signs are calm, rational, and detached when dealing with situations. The sign of Libra is symbolized by the scales and is associated with the Roman deity Iustitia. …

The Moon was said to be in Libra when Rome was founded and this was based on the historical passage, which state “qua condita Roma”. Everything was balanced under this righteous sign. Manilius once said that Libra was the sign “in which the seasons are balanced”. Both the hours of the day and the hours of the night match each other. Thus why the Romans put so much trust in the “balanced sign”.

You would recognize a statue of Iustitia, aka Lady Justice:

blindfolded lady with sword in right hand held vertically down to floor, and a set of balance scales in her left hand held neck high

While true that the Libra was a measurement of weight (not exclusively of gold), it was named that in honor of the Goddess Libra who was the astrological origin mythology of Ancient Rome. It’s hard to believe that name was chosen for this project with no latent imperial ambitions.

Sweet dreams tonight. End segue.

Facebook is also distancing itself from direct management of Libra. The project is to be run by a nonprofit entity in Switzerland, the Libra Association, which is independent of the social network. The association will be overseen by other companies, which will have voting power over the design and release of Libra, Facebook officials said.

Of course, they aren’t doing this out of the goodness of their heart either. FB is content to be the implementer, which in the context of Libra means gatekeeper. That’s the thing about cryptocurrency: no internet access means you’re frozen out of the marketplace.

I always wondered how the Mark of the Beast could be enforced. There would, after all, be a massive demand for a black market once the biggest religion on the planet is frozen out of daily life. But even the black market’s success is based upon untraceable transactions.

While 27 companies, also including Visa, Spotify, eBay and PayPal, are on the list of partners released on Tuesday, so far they have not committed to much beyond donating money and taking part in the design of the association and the currency. Each enterprise partner will be expected to invest at least $10 million.

Considering the release is guessed to be next year, funding R&D is the only thing to be done at this stage.

Facebook’s involvement will be handled through the subsidiary, Calibra. Company officials said Calibra would not be allowed to share any of its financial customer data with other Facebook divisions, though there may be exceptions in incidents like fraudulent activity.

“Your financial data will never be used to target ads on Facebook,” said Kevin Weil, vice president of product for Calibra.

A much happier statement would be “we won’t be ABLE to use your financial data with others because we’re designing Libra for anonymity”. They… aren’t saying that.

The currency itself is being built so that any software developer in the world can build a digital wallet or other services on top of it, similar to the way that Bitcoin can be sent between people.

The structure of the new Libra currency is based on the blockchain technology made famous by Bitcoin.

The blockchain concept makes it possible to hold and move digital currencies almost instantly, usually with low transaction fees. Because blockchains are shared databases, they can function without any central operator like the central banks that have historically governed currencies. This structure will allow Libra to be overseen by many companies.

But what privacy advocates want is a structure that cannot be overseen by anybody. Even at this barely-begun stage, they are only promising that they won’t decide later to make use of the tools they’re building right now. These are not honest people.

Customers will be able to hold and spend their Libra with businesses that accept the currency, and there will be services that quickly convert Libra into traditional currencies and send the money to traditional bank accounts, according to project documents released on Tuesday.

I’m not an economist but linking your currency to the fiat currencies of the world makes your currency fiat as well, yes? FB isn’t going to back its currency with a vault of gold or other objective store of value, which is probably why the first two attempts failed.

While Libra is meant to be independent of Facebook, the social networking giant has clear plans for making money from the venture.

Initially, the Calibra subsidiary will offer little more than a wallet to hold and spend Libra. When Libra is released next year, the plan is to make the wallet available to the billions of people who have accounts with Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.

If Libra catches on, company officials said, Facebook’s Calibra could offer financial services to customers, such as lending and investing.

Unless you’re a Not-See, of course. Then they seize your wallet without even the courtesy of a dark alley and sap to the head.

To spur adoption, the Libra Association, which will manage the digital token, will help offer financial incentives to merchants and customers, like free Libra for opening a wallet, or discounts on Libra transactions for merchants who accept the currency.

“Libra has the potential to bridge the gap between traditional financial networks and new digital currency technology while reducing the costs for everyone — especially consumers,” Peter Hazlehurst, head of payments and risk at Uber, said in a statement.

Reduced costs? They just locked in the Baby Boomer vote. To heck with privacy and localized gov’t, we can start shaving our pennies!

The Libra project is certain to face scrutiny from regulators. In Washington, the Federal Trade Commission is considering levying a fine against Facebook that could run into the billions of dollars for repeated privacy violations.

Financial regulators in the United States and other countries could stop Libra before it is even released if there are concerns that the technology will enable money laundering or other types of crime that have become common with Bitcoin. On Tuesday, Representative Maxine Waters, a Democrat of California and the chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, called on the company to stop the development of the Libra until regulators could closely examine the potential risks.

There’s no way the US gov’t will allow Libra because it is direct competition against the Federal Reserve. The petrodollar would have to collapse entirely for Libra to make its move. Which explains introducing it first in smaller, unstable nations before the American Collapse. As I highlight here:

It may also raise the hackles of those who worry that Facebook has accumulated far too much power, a concern that has led to calls to break the company into separate units.

Mr. Weil and other Facebook executives have said Libra is likely to be most attractive to people in the developing world who don’t have easy access to cheap digital bank accounts and credit cards.

Or whose local currency is being hyperinflated by a failing gov’t.

“Our hope is to create more access to better, cheaper and open financial services — no matter who you are, where you live, what you do or how much you have,” according to a paper released by the Libra Association.

Facebook is not the only big tech company with a cryptocurrency project. The messaging giant Telegram raised nearly $2 billion last year to create its own cryptocurrency, which is expected in the coming months.

Thousands of start-ups are still trying to build a new world of financial services on top of existing cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin remains popular with people who are concerned about personal privacy and the power that governments and big corporations have in the financial system. That could make Bitcoin supporters skeptical of Facebook’s project.

But Facebook has a built-in advantage: its size.

“It will take years,” Mr. Weil said. “But the goal is that this is a new currency that people can trust. And it has just as many use cases as money has.”

Now isn’t the time to panic over ‘Mark of the Beast!’ and such. FB is only one of several efforts at establishing a global currency, all at development stages.

But whoever eventually wins, we Christians and cash will lose.

 

One thought on “The Libra

  1. Rome is still wreaking its havoc in the world 2000+ years later. The Empire never died, merely transformed.

    I no longer wonder why the woman and child flee into the wilderness. This is where currency has no value. Mammon has no power.

    Like

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