Today’s show is all about the Libra crypto currency and eco system announced by Facebook this week. The White Paper on this is, truly, a chilling document.
If you want more information or you want to help fund JPB Liberty’s law suit you can read more here and if you want to directly contribute to the funding, please get in touch with me, Telegram is a good way. If you want to contribute now and especially if you’re on Steem, take a look at the project’s Fundition page.
The deeper problem is the overwhelming concentration of technical, financial and moral power in the hands of people who lack the training, experience, wisdom, trustworthiness, humility and incentives to exercise that power responsibly.
Put simply Facebook and Google are individually and jointly too powerful to be run by those accidentally chosen to be running them. Arguably there isn’t a method of governance known to man which could safely control such power.
There are now a number of very credible reports that Facebook is gearing up to launch its own crypto currency for people to use within Facebook’s walled garden. You’ll be able to “buy” into Facebook’s own currency then send and receive crypto money with friends and, I’m sure, buy goods and services from hungry vendors.
A Wall Street Journal report says Facebook is recruiting dozens of financial firms and online merchants to help launch a cryptocurrency-based payments system with each staking up to US$1B. If the company can convince five partners to join them that would make Facebook’s coin one of the five most valuable coins by market capitalisation instantly based on current valuations.
Facebook has a team of about 50 boffins working on the project which is housed in a secured wing at Facebook HQ according to reports.
All the while, Facebook will take a cut of all transactions: 1% 2% or more. We don’t know their fee structure: they’ll be competing with the entire global credit card and payment processing industry and cracking the legs out from under giants like PayPal and their younger competitors. They’ll enter the field with gigantic scale. And I and many other wrong thinking people are ideologically banned from this field of commerce before it even exists.
But what’s really interesting is only one year ago, Facebook declared almost any business considering using the same technology that underlies their crypto-currency (the “blockchain”) is likely to be a scam business and too dangerous to be allowed to advertise on Facebook. Google imposed an identical ban at roughly the same time.
Here’s the effect those advertising bans had on a crypto based social media site and crypto currency called Steem which is a decentralised Facebook replacement and therefore a direct competitor.
Across all the entire blockchain and crypto industries the damages run to hundreds of billion of dollars!
Just so you understand the difference though, I can send and receive Steem to anyone for FREE. No FEES. Facebook will be charging fees somewhere for sure. That’s a feature of crypto currencies but it’s the one Facebook will exploit to make money from you. They’ve already had years selling your private information and your posts, now they want real cash from you.
Facebook is too dangerous to exist: it is the culmination of a century of dreams by totalitarian dictator musing on how to better spy on and control their populations. That so many willingly submit their most private thoughts to this monster in return for its “features” is a shame of our civilisation.
It seems everyone I know is currently trying to sue one or all of the big tech giants. From my understanding most of the action is in the US and most of it makes a lot of noise but is unlikely to succeed. Almost all previous attempts to sue for viewpoint discrimination or arbitrary banning have not succeeded up to now.
So let me introduce a case that I actually do believe in. It’s a bit left field but that’s why I like it.
About a year ago all the tech giants took the somewhat extraordinary step of banning almost an entire industry from using their advertising services. As Google and Facebook (with Twitter desperately trying to keep up) are just vast advertising companies. Within weeks of each other all changed their terms and services (which you have no legal way to argue over) to exclude an entire industry from the most important advertising market on the planet.
Both Facebook and Google induce you to pump your information into their servers by offering you a “free” service. Once they have your data and your attention they then sell your data and your attention to the highest bidder: companies that want to advertise to you. You are their product and they sell you and your attention to become amongst the most profitable businesses in the world.
They claimed their ban on an entire industry built around a single technology most usually known as “blockchain” was because there were some scammers using this technology. It is as if they looked at some scam emails from Nigeria and decided, together, lets just take Nigeria off the internet. That would be good for everyone.
Now it turns out both Google and Facebook have reported teams looking at using blockchain technology themselves, this decentralised blockchain technology could well be a competitive way to win market share from these tech giants. Squashing an industry that might generate competitors is not allowed in certain parts of the world, especially when two companies (Google and Facebook) together control way more than 50% of the advertising spend in many countries (it’s as high as 80% in some places).
Andrew Hamilton (who I’ve known personally from his work with various pro-Israel groups like Shurat Ha’Din) is an expat Australian, now resident in Israel but with extensive legal experience in Australian competition law. He has done the work to figure out which laws these companies have broken, formed a company JPB Liberty and put a law suit together. He’s paid for independent legal advice to review his case and that’s been positive. He’s now moved into raising enough money to start the case which includes buying insurance against losing and paying the other sides costs.
BitCoin and the blockchain will replace the tech Goaliaths
Facebook and Google are very rich companies but they’ve broken Australian law and the potential scale of the damages are so big I won’t even type them. Within weeks of the advertising ban they both brought in the entire crypto currency industry suffered a monumental, public collapse in value. The crypto currency industry is one particular use of the blockchain technologies that Facebook Google discriminated against.
There are two ways to get involved, one is totally free and can even be completely anonymous:
Anyone worldwide who was adversely affected by the Crypto Ad Ban announcements on 30 January (Facebook) & 14 March 2018 (Google) and Google’s implementation of the ban in June 2018 including:
Persons holding cryptocurrency on or after 29 January 2018
Mt Gox Creditors
Owners of Crypto Industry businesses including
Crypto Wallet Providers
Crypto Projects (pre and post ICO)
Joining as a class member is no-win-no-fee. You don’t pay to join or pay any of the legal costs, if there’s a win you collect a share.
The other way is to join as a funder of the legal costs. For this you will receive a share in 25% of the damages of people who’ve signed up for the Class Action. This is a comparatively high risk, high reward investment: I’m not giving investment advice here, but it is also an ideological way to wage lawfare against these tech giants.
One of the most interesting parts of this is that should there be a win or a settlement, the intention is to pay out via crypto currencies. That would have a doubly good effect because it would pump money into these alternative currencies driving value up for those in the market already and to replace some of the losses suffered when the advertising ban was first instituted!
I hadn’t quite realised the extent to which legacy social media like Twitter forbids references to Crypto based businesses. I tried to share a Steem Ninja sign up link on Twitter yesterday and noticed this morning that clicking on it gives this result.
I spent more than 30 minutes yesterday talking to the two people behind the company that runs Steem Ninja which provides a simple way to get onto the blockchain based Steem social media and blogging site for the payment of a small fee. Steem can be joined for free but that can take a few days. They’re real people running a real business. There’s no scam here that I can see, you give them something of value they give you something of value.
If you pay $2.50 you can get on immediately and you’ll have some crypto credit to get you started. It’s not a scam, it’s an alternative to the free to use social media that makes its money by selling YOUR work and information and YOUR attention to others while they show you adverts to pay for the “free” service. Remember, if you’re not paying for something, you are the product that is being sold!
I get a small bonus if someone signs up from the link. Either way, for Twitter to brand this business as potentially fraudulent when it is a direct competitor to its business model is exactly the kind of sneaky behaviour we now expect from these legacy social media sites.
If you do sign up to Steem, please be absolutely sure to note down the rather over complicated list of passwords and encryption keys that pop up just after you chose a user name and before you pay. Do not lose these. Steem is decentralised: that means nobody fully controls it and there simply is no reset system to get an account back if you lose your password.
I tell you a little bit about the early days of the EDL and how it grew by word of mouth amongst groups of football club supporters. This was mostly offline and in real life in pubs and clubs across the UK.