W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-webpayments@w3.org > October 2013

Re: The path forward for Web Payments

From: Joseph Potvin <jpotvin@opman.ca>
Date: Sun, 27 Oct 2013 13:17:29 -0400
Message-ID: <CAKcXiSo3F0m7G7P50zqf4bACtqvxPDSh9bWhKX3Ptt+oa_ifYA@mail.gmail.com>
To: David Nicol <davidnicol@gmail.com>
Cc: Web Payments CG <public-webpayments@w3.org>
RE: "I've discovered that McDonald's Gift Certificates, which are the same
dimension as US FRNs but on slick paper, can be used for purchasing things
at businesses other than McDonalds."

Yes, well a vendor could also choose to index their prices to the "Big Mac

This gets you Purchasing Power Parity based on a "basket of goods"
consisting of:

Two all-beef patties
Special sauce
Sesame seed bun
Units of labour
Units of energy
Proportion of commercial building costs
...and a few other odds & ends.

Ah, but of course, beware:

Joseph Potvin

On Sun, Oct 27, 2013 at 12:33 PM, David Nicol <davidnicol@gmail.com> wrote:

> Well said!
> On Sun, Oct 27, 2013 at 7:54 AM, Joseph Potvin <jpotvin@opman.ca> wrote:
>> All I'm recommending is to ensure that vendors are free to choose whether
>> their prices shall be indexed to the speculative forex market, or to
>> something else, and to provide an API for those choices.
>> For a vendor and a purchaser to have autonomy over their transaction(s),
>> among other things they need to be free to (a) choose their transaction
>> currency(ies), and (b) negotiate their price(s). In multi-currency
>> contracts, the parties must see prices in two or more currencies. They may
>> well agree to externalize inter-currency valuation to an external third
>> party, or instead they can choose to "be the currency market" for the
>> purposes of that transaction. (Have you ever autonomously negotiated
>> inter-currency valuation on a streetcorner or at a hotel front desk in a
>> country with controlled official exchange rates?  The derogatory term is
>> "the black market" for currency. The respectful term is "the free market"
>> for currency.)
> I've discovered that McDonald's Gift Certificates, which are the same
> dimension as US FRNs but on slick paper, can be used for purchasing things
> at businesses other than McDonalds. I wouldn't want to try to buy anything
> real substantial with them, but for a relaxing cup of cafe con leche at the
> corner not-a-starbucks, no problem.
> By handling the whole inter-currency valuation matter this way too, as
>> just one of the variable price indexing options, we can keep everything
>> within the realm of contract law, and steer clear of international trade
>> law which you get into when dealing directly with "exchange rates". Trying
>> to come up with some autonomous exchange rate system for both legal tender
>> and non-legal-tender fungibles -- beware: that's a very prickly place to
>> be. My strong recommendation: keep the whole thing under contracts law. Let
>> vendors control prices for their products and services.
> Recommended: The standard will refrain from promoting any particular
> exchange or listing service, except for purposes of providing examples in
> definitions and explanations.
> Recommended: The standard will include descriptions of features for
> requesting pricing in other currencies within "price request" modules.
> Implementation of these features will be optional and conformant
> implementations need not include them. Conformant implementations that do
> include equivalent features MUST support the described messages and
> responses.

Joseph Potvin
Operations Manager | Gestionnaire des opérations
The Opman Company | La compagnie Opman
Mobile: 819-593-5983
LinkedIn (Google short URL): http://goo.gl/Ssp56
Received on Sunday, 27 October 2013 17:18:16 UTC

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