re: Discussing the launch of Libra, "A new global currency" VIEW POST

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re: How can anyone not be skeptical and pessimistic about a "currency" developed and promoted by entities whose sole motivation is profit?
 

There was an interesting series on Planet Money where they allowed Ben Horowitz to make a bet with financial journalist Felix Salmon over how many people would be using Bitcoin as a currency in a few year's time, then they actually followed through and revisited the bet in a later episode.

npr.org/sections/money/2019/02/01/...

The outcome was that Horowitz lost badly. After the time had passed people still weren't actually using Bitcoin as a currency. It's purely a wealth stash for almost all users.

But the interesting thing is that they went on to discuss how Horowitz & co., by getting in early, still "won the real bet" because Bitcoin's price had skyrocketed. So despite barely creating an actual currency, those involved in its creation made out like bandits.

You see a similar story with the other ICOs. Where the makers cash in BIG TIME and everyone else is left holding the bag. Hard to think about this situation in different terms. All the early parties have a lot of incentive to pump this up and make a lot of money, regardless of longterm intent.

It's interesting to think about how this might be perceived in a pre Cambridge Analytica (among other scandals) world in terms of how much we'd want to trust those involved, but it also is hard not to think back on Facebook's Internet.org venture (and Marc Andreessen's regrettable "what's so bad about colonialism" comment on the whole ordeal).

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