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Re: VOTE: Revised Payment Initiation / Wallet Web Payments Workshop Use Cases

From: Steven Rowat <steven_rowat@sunshine.net>
Date: Tue, 22 Jul 2014 10:07:24 -0700
Message-ID: <53CE9A4C.2010104@sunshine.net>
To: Web Payments CG <public-webpayments@w3.org>
On 7/22/14 5:50 AM, Joseph Potvin wrote:
 >> RE: Use Case: A merchant advertises different details, such as
 >> price, for an offer of sale based on potential payment processor
 >> choice.
 > I wish to ask if the "value-in-exchange benchmarking" issue I
 > presented about in Paris is intended to be incorporated in this use
 > case, or is benchmarking elsewhere and I haven't noticed?

+1

 > [conversion] has raised some integrity concerns of late:
 > 
http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/jul/21/foreign-exchange-trading-criminal-investigation-serious-fraud-office

+1

Two quotes from that link that caught my attention—

Not only the size of the problem, which is very large:

"The Serious Fraud Office has launched a criminal investigation into 
alleged rigging of the £3tn-a-day foreign exchange markets.

"The move comes after around 15 authorities around the world said they 
were investigating allegations of collusion and price manipulation in 
the largely unregulated currency market..."

But this problem is also directly related to, for instance, loss of 
value of pensions, and hence global financial instability. Again from 
that link:

"Mark Taylor, the dean of Warwick Business School who was once a 
foreign exchange trader and senior economist at the Bank of England, 
said: "The manipulation of the 'London 4pm Fix' doesn't just affect 
banks and traders, but the man in the street as well, as it is our 
pension and insurance funds that could be swindled out of millions of 
pounds by this."

For example, the Detroit bankruptcy currently hinges, it appears, on 
the drop in value of the city employee pension investments:

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/22/detroit-pension-cuts-approved-bankruptcy

"A year after filing for bankruptcy, Detroit is building momentum to 
get out, especially after workers and retirees voted in favor of major 
pension changes just a few weeks before a judge holds a crucial trial 
that could end the largest public filing in U.S. history."

On 7/22/14 5:50 AM, Joseph Potvin wrote:
 > Some see this as an "academic" issue... this is far from only
 > being academic. It seems to me central to achieving the core
 > pragmatic purposes of this CG.

+1

If the web payments WG eventually successfully secures a level playing 
field for financial exchanges online but fails to concurrently secure 
the rate-of-exchange between different units (whether fiat or 
alternative), then I don't think it's extreme to say that those whose 
mathematical ability exceeds their social conscience will merely 
migrate to that playing field.

We'll be left with a system that works fine within any one country (or 
alternative coinage), but people attempting to buy things or send 
money across different borders (physical and financial) will be 
swindled until someone fixes that section of the system.

IMO, placing choice of exchange benchmarks into public view and user 
choice will at least be a push in the right direction, even if much 
more needs to be done at the level of regulating large-scale 
investment trading.

Steven Rowat
Received on Tuesday, 22 July 2014 17:07:50 UTC

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