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.