Facebook calls it Libra
Facebook recently proposed a
digital currency that would —
Make it as easy to send money around the world
as it is to send a photo
and —
Libra is promising stability.
Because would be backed by a basket
of major currencies,
users would be protected from inflation
in any one country.
Seems reasonable to me,
but government officials were not happy.
They summoned Mark Zuckerberg to Washington
I actually don’t know if Libra’s gonna work,
but I believe that it’s important to try new things.
With politicians threatening all kinds of regulation,
Libra backers got scared.
High profile backers have recently dropped out of Libra…
Visa, MasterCard, Stripe, and eBay
all quitting the association
Why are politicians so opposed?
Because they’re threatened by it.
Because this is going to be competition
for the US dollar.
Tech reporter Naomi Brockwell
Government doesn’t like this competition.
but even if Libra is crushed, says Brockwell,
other digital currencies like Bitcoin can’t be stopped.
You want to send money to Russia to
a family member, it’s going to be censored.
You want to send money to a relief effort in Venezuela,
it’s going to be censored.
You want to use Bitcoin for that,
your money will get through.
That’s an incredibly powerful tool that gives people back
the freedom to spend their money where
they want to spend it.
Bitcoins are generated
all over the internet by anybody.
It is the first currency we’ve ever seen
that is decentralized.
They can’t shut it down.
Exactly. That’s why it’s still around,
because they haven’t been able to have these hearings.
They haven’t been able to call on the CEO
of Bitcoin and say,
“You’d better cease and desist.”
There is no server to unplug.
There is no company to shut down,
no CEO to throw in jail, so it persists.
That’s really exciting
Digital currencies “live” on
thousands of individuals’ computers,
so no government can stop them
by pressuring any one company.
Bitcoin, a virtual currency
When Bitcoin started it was worth virtually nothing.
But then it caught on.
We’ve seen Bitcoin gain 40%
Two years ago, the price of one Bitcoin
reached almost $20,000,
then it crashed to $3,000.
Today the price is about $9,000.
That volatility deters many people from
using Bitcoin as money,
but for those of us who don’t trust governments
It is the only suitable money for free people
Still, there are plenty of skeptics.
I think it’s more of a gigantic
classic pump and dump scheme.
Investor Peter Schiff.
There’s nothing to give Bitcoin value
It does have value.
It’s a way to send a transaction around the world
where nobody can interfere with it.
Well, first of all
a lot of people are going to be interfering.
There’s a lot of regulation
that’s now going to come down hard on using
Bitcoin on anybody who transacts in it.
But government can’t stop it.
They can’t even stop the obviously illegal stuff
on the dark web.
Well, but they could stop it in the normal market.
They can get banks and financial institutions
and make it very difficult.
Schiff also says Bitcoin isn’t that useful…
Most people don’t actually buy things with Bitcoin.
People are buying things with Bitcoin now.
I buy things on Overstock.com.
Other people are looking to escape
China’s currency controls.
It’s useful.
I just don’t think it’s going to work.
Gold is always valuable
If you don’t own gold yet, you should buy it
It’s not that Schiff trusts that politicians
will keep the dollar stable.
He thinks people should buy gold.
Gold has worked for thousands of years.
Bitcoin’s only been around for 10.
Gold has actual value.
There’s a huge industry that needs gold.
Jewelry, you have it in consumer electronics
and aerospace and medicine
I bought gold.
I’ve bought gold coins,
but then I’ve got to store them somewhere,
put them in a safe deposit box.
They’re a pain in the neck.
You’re exaggerating how much of a pain it is.
I mean first of all, gold doesn’t take up a lot of room.
You can store millions of dollars worth of gold,
which is more than most people
are going to buy, in a shoebox.
My Bitcoin investment’s done a lot better
than my gold investment.
Well, if you got in early,
I mean you could say that about a lot of bubbles
until they pop.
So I’m a fool because I bought Bitcoin?
No. You’re a fool because you’re not selling your Bitcoin.
I don’t presume to know which way prices will move.
But I do know it’s good to have alternatives to these.
The value of these is only backed
by politicians promises—
and I sure won’t trust those.
And even if these things do remain valuable…
I don’t trust that politicians won’t someday tell me,
you’re not allowed to use your dollars
for things we don’t like.
The U.S. government has put increasing pressure
on companies to stop working with Wikileaks.
The government decided that they didn’t want
Wikileaks to receive donations
Funding to the website
is becoming increasingly difficult.
We’ve seen a monopoly on the money supply
for a very long time
and finally consumers have a choice.
You can send Bitcoin peer-to-peer
to someone over the other side of the world
almost instantly at very low cost
and it can’t be censored.
That’s incredibly powerful.