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Community Champion

FaceBook Cryptocurrency - The Ultimate Surveillance Tool?

When FakeBook accounted their new custom cryptocurrency, Libra, I yawned; cryptocurrency is currently the big techno deal, far overrated and miserably evaluated. However, I missed an important aspect of the totally untrustworthy managing a cryptocurrency. The Sun put the right interpretation on the new FB product in their article

BANG FOR YOUR ZUCK? Facebook unveils ‘its most invasive and dangerous form of surveillance yet’ with...   Sun Reporter, 18 Jun 2019, 10:31Updated: 18 Jun 2019, 15:51

 

Think about it. If FB is running the servers and cryptographic implementation, then we can count on that Master of the Universe company tracking purchases, values ,and locations of every FB account foolish enujogh to use their currency.

 

I guess I will just continue my impersonation of Chicken Little wrt FB.

 

 

 

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8 Replies
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Community Champion

Re: FaceBook Cryptocurrency - The Ultimate Surveillance Tool?

Yeah, I think you've got something there.  Besides, with most current cryptocurrency implementations, don't you get to "unmask" all the transactions if you own the whole blockchain?  And who is going to own the whole Libra blockchain?

 

Then there is the spin on this.  Facebook is "doing good" with Libra, because almost two billion people don't have bank account, and with Libra, they can!  (Only, if they don't have bank accounts now, how on earth are they going to put money into Libra, or get it out?)

 

And, given that estimates for Bitcoin operation (let alone mining) approximates the power and carbon footprint of a medium-sized country, what is going to happen to global warming with Facebook pushing Libra to all of it's mindless zombie hordes?

 

OK, Libra is going to be a "stablecoin," and therefore mining isn't an issue, but how extensively has it been tested before you release it for trial by every hacker in the world?  OK, yes, the major credit cards are on board (is SET coming back?), but is it really ready for prime time?


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Newcomer I

Re: FaceBook Cryptocurrency - The Ultimate Surveillance Tool?

While I agree with your evaluation of Facebook, I think you discount the importance of permissionless cryptocurrency.  I won't be utilizing Libra or Facebook personally, but bringing a global currency to the unbanked is going to be a huge boon for the entire crypto space.  Especially once Facebook starts cutting people's accounts off for wrong think... users will trade Libra for a cryptocurrency that can't be censored.

 

Let's all take a minute to remember the early days of Facebook, and the chat log that was leaked:

 

Zuck: Yeah so if you ever need info about anyone at Harvard
Zuck: Just ask
Zuck: I have over 4,000 emails, pictures, addresses, SNS
[Redacted Friend's Name]: What? How'd you manage that one?
Zuck: People just submitted it.
Zuck: I don't know why.
Zuck: They "trust me"
Zuck: Dumb fu*ks [redaction mine]

Highlighted
Newcomer I

Re: FaceBook Cryptocurrency - The Ultimate Surveillance Tool?


@rslade wrote:

Yeah, I think you've got something there.  Besides, with most current cryptocurrency implementations, don't you get to "unmask" all the transactions if you own the whole blockchain?  And who is going to own the whole Libra blockchain?


It looks like you might want to do a little more research on cryptocurrencies, if you are truly interested.  The statement "if you own the whole blockchain" reveals that you don't really understand what has been invented.  The blockchain in most implementations is a decentralized distributed public ledger, that is, anyone can see any transaction ever created.  It is open on purpose, it's the main feature.  There are exceptions with privacy chains such as Zcash.  And there are second layer protocols being developed for non-privacy chains to implement privacy functions, but by default, the ledger is public.

 

As for Libra, however, the whitepaper reveals that Facebook and companies that pay $10 million dollars to run a chain node will be the "owners."  Eventually the plan is to take Libra permissionless, but by default Libra is antithetical to what cryptocurrencies represent.  Plus, as pointed out above, who really trusts Facebook to protect their privacy?

 


@rslade wrote:

Then there is the spin on this.  Facebook is "doing good" with Libra, because almost two billion people don't have bank account, and with Libra, they can!  (Only, if they don't have bank accounts now, how on earth are they going to put money into Libra, or get it out?)


Facebook is hoping that users will utilize their smartphone as their bank account.  Libra is a stablecoin, therefore Facebook is hoping that they will not only be paid for the labor in Libra but that people will also transact solely in Libra.  No need to transfer to a traditional bank account (this is old thinking).

 


@rslade wrote:

And, given that estimates for Bitcoin operation (let alone mining) approximates the power and carbon footprint of a medium-sized country, what is going to happen to global warming with Facebook pushing Libra to all of it's mindless zombie hordes?


Lol, worried about Bitcoin global warming, meanwhile China and India are polluting more than ever.  I'm sorry that's just hilarious.  "We probably only have 12 years left on Earth due to the global warming climate change!11!"  There are studies out that have determined that an upwards of 70% of the electricity that powers Bitcoin is from renewable energy sources.

 


@rslade wrote:

OK, Libra is going to be a "stablecoin," and therefore mining isn't an issue, but how extensively has it been tested before you release it for trial by every hacker in the world?  OK, yes, the major credit cards are on board (is SET coming back?), but is it really ready for prime time?


It has been tested extensively, considering they are literally just ripping off all of the open source work from the past decade of Bitcoin and Ethereum development.  It will be ready for prime time for sure, but that doesn't mean I'd trust Facebook enough to use it.

 

 

 

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Community Champion

Re: FaceBook Cryptocurrency - The Ultimate Surveillance Tool?

While the idea of using blockchain with FB is interesting in it of itself, I can see several issues.

 

1. Banking regulatory huddles - All developed counties and most developing countries have quite stringent banking regulations for bank-less transactions.

 

2. Existing p2p payment system, especially the micro-payment system, via cellular network are far more convenient and instant in less-developed regions (e.g. Africa ) and have already taken roots. In those regions, Internet is far less available compared to cellular network. 

 

Of course FB is a heavy weight, but it remains to see how they proceed to move into crypto arena.


____________________________________
Chuxing Chen, Ph.D., CISSP, PMP
Highlighted
Newcomer I

Re: FaceBook Cryptocurrency - The Ultimate Surveillance Tool?

Good points.

 

Honestly anyone foolish enough to use anything LifeLog... err I mean Facebook related is asking for it.

Highlighted
Community Champion

Re: FaceBook Cryptocurrency - The Ultimate Surveillance Tool?

It is only a matter of time before AMZ also creates its own "coin". 

Highlighted
Community Champion

Re: FaceBook Cryptocurrency - The Ultimate Surveillance Tool?

> netwalker (Viewer) posted a new reply in Industry News on 06-19-2019 09:05 AM in

> While I agree with your evaluation of Facebook, I think you discount the
> importance of permissionless cryptocurrency.

While I appreciate your point (and sarcasm :-), I note that at least half of
Facebook users (probably many more) who started out on the platform don't
realize that they are on the Internet.[1] I assume the same will hold true for any
"unbanked" who start using Libra ...


[1] - I can't believe the trouble I have explaining to people that you need net
connectivity to use Whatsapp, but cell coverage to use text/SMS.[2]

[2] - Even the kid who moved to a place where they've put wifi throughout the
new house, but don't have cell coverage at that location ...

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Community Champion

Re: FaceBook Cryptocurrency - The Ultimate Surveillance Tool?

While lots of questions on implementation details remain, one of the most complete overviews of Libra I've found is from the Guardian.


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