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

Re: Tradehill Bitcoin exchange shut down for 2nd time in 2 years

From: Joseph Potvin <jpotvin@opman.ca>
Date: Mon, 9 Sep 2013 21:23:01 -0400
Message-ID: <CAKcXiSoWa=-8qM6DXeKmG_8nHqk-FVTMT=Wvnpd4H3eehG1e5Q@mail.gmail.com>
To: Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>
Cc: Web Payments CG <public-webpayments@w3.org>
RE: "the financial system incumbents" vs "people in 'incumbent' institutions"

Of course. I was speaking about the corporate (public and private
sector) financial entities as such.  FWIW I wouldn't be surprised by
the many people in such entities that want BTC to succeed. However
even amongst this network of individuals I reckon there exist
legitimate differences of opinion about what BTC "should" grow up to
be, and anyways, what "succeed" is supposed to mean.

Ever since 2007 when it became undeniable that the status quo had
devolved into a set of destructive feedback loops, and monetary policy
became little more than survivalist "hacking in the large"
there ain't nobody who "wants the status quo". But that's a separate
matter from whether incumbent corporate entities would willingly cede
particular decision-making authorities to the BTC governance structure

What I should have added to my earlier message is that I also expect
arithmetic will not permit the financial system incumbents to continue
to be the sorts of entities that they've envisioned. They are
changing. For example, certainly today a lot of them are running their
core mission critical systems on free/libre software, which was
awfully hard for their execs and managers to imagine even a decade
ago. Is BTC another free/libre solution that the big corporates might
potentially join big-time? If they did, would that cause elation or
disillusionment in the current BTC community?

In sum:

What's Next = http://punch.photoshelter.com/image/I0000TP40N6SPG6k   +

Joseph Potvin

On Mon, Sep 9, 2013 at 7:56 PM, Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com> wrote:
> On 09/08/2013 09:56 PM, Joseph Potvin wrote:
>> That's why the
>> financial system incumbents will not let bitcoin be the sort of
>> bitcoin that its community envisions, because that would require that
>> the incumbents cede part of their field to bitcoin geeks, who would
>> thereby get to make the de facto laws. The incumbents are not going to
>> let that happen.
> I think you may be surprised by the number of people in "incumbent"
> institutions that are very interested in Bitcoin and want to see it
> succeed. These people are not very forthcoming with their opinions in
> public, but their personal desire to see the worlds financial system
> improve the condition of millions of individuals around the world
> exceeds their desire to keep things status quo.
> That is not to say that there is some truth to what you say. I wouldn't
> state it as strongly as you seem to above. I'm sure you didn't mean it
> to sound as strongly as you do above (based on what you wrote that follows).
>> My recommendation is
>> to anticipate and discuss such civil code matters early on, so that
>> deep business architectural bugs don't get built into the application
>> layer.
> Absolutely. That is vital.
>> It seems to me that nothing in a W3C Web Payments standard or
>> reference implementation awaits resolution of any virtual currency
>> issues at all. The requirement is simply that the standard and
>> reference implementation "must not exclude" currencies issued from
>> other than central bank sources.
> Yes, correct.
> To be clear, my concern was that the danger we run with technologies we
> create here is that regulations could make it such that only a very
> small fraction of very large multinational organizations could use it.
> For example, certain implementations of PaySwarm (at the moment) are
> only implementable by Federal Credit Unions, large banks, and large
> multinational organizations.
> That isn't a problem if we all love those organizations, trust them with
> our financial infrastructure, and know that they will do their best to
> establish a level playing field and push financial innovation on the
> Internet. Historically, that has not been the case. We want the
> technologies we create here to be implementable and useful to as many
> people as possible.
> You can setup your own web server, install open source software, and run
> a website with minimal effort and cost today. Can we create the
> equivalent for our financial network? Can we create software standards
> here that put people in charge of some significant portion of the
> software that manages their financial resources? Can we make the concept
> of a personal bank and payment processor a reality on the Web? I think
> we certainly can from a technical standpoint. It's the regulatory aspect
> that is going to be the problem.
> That doesn't mean we don't create the technical solution. It just means
> we have to be aware of the limitations of that solution based on the
> current regulatory environment in states and countries.
> -- manu
> --
> Manu Sporny (skype: msporny, twitter: manusporny, G+: +Manu Sporny)
> Founder/CEO - Digital Bazaar, Inc.
> blog: Meritora - Web payments commercial launch
> http://blog.meritora.com/launch/

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 Tuesday, 10 September 2013 01:23:49 UTC

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