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Home » Daily Briefing » Daily briefing - 24 May 2019

Daily briefing - 24 May 2019

On Fridays, Lafferty News often takes a look at the world of digital assets, where there's a new coin arriving weekly. It will come as zero surprise to Lafferty News followers that Facebook is launching its own cryptocurrency. The original cryptocurrency bitcoin is at heart a messaging protocol which delivers value along with the message, secured by cryptography. Mark Zuckerberg — named by a Lafferty News associate as the world's greatest hustler and salesman — has built up the world's greatest private messaging network, and is looking to link together Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger to create an interoperable network across the three services. News is filtering out this morning that Facebook will indeed launch its own cryptocurrency, and has been talking to partners under non-disclosure agreements. Despite the fact that Facebook has now become synonymous with creepy, democracy-undermining behaviour known as surveillance capitalism, the digital advertising giant now wants to move your money around. Who's in?

After considering 1984Coin, BraveNewWorldCoin and NewWorldOrderCoin, Facebook appears to have settled on GlobalCoin as its in-house cryptocurrency. In a flood of news this morning, it turns out that Mark Zuckerberg and his team has been talking to everyone from Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, to his "sworn enemies" the Winklevoss twins, who of course made an early bet on bitcoin with the proceeds from their settlement with Mark Zuckerberg. There's also mention that Facebook has been talking to Western Union, which did not respond to a request for comment by time of going to press. Would Western Union be providing a cash off-ramp? Possibly.

Talk about disintermediation: anyone remember the days when travelling somewhere meant visiting the travel office and sitting across from an agent who had mysterious access to things like flight information? Those days are long gone, as the internet and electronic payments put most travel agents out of work by turning us all into part-time travel agents. Still, airline payments executives spend much of their time fuming about card costs so it's little surprise that Wipro has come up with a solution: Travacoin. "Information technology, consulting and business process services company Wipro has developed a blockchain-based payment solution for digital payment solution specialist Travacoin to allow airlines to refund and compensate passengers using digital currency," writes BuyingBusinessTravel.com. "Passengers will be notified of delays or cancellations and refunded using the digital currency, which can then be used to purchase new airline tickets, book hotels or use other airport and travel-related services."

Theresa May announced her resignation this morning after three calamitous years at the helm, bookended between the Bullingdon Boys Club who feel Britain is theirs to run. David Cameron's wrong-headed Brexit referendum saw Theresa May into office. Boris Johnson will now take the baton from May and take Britain to the no-deal Brexit that's been on the cards ever since the UK public voted to leave the EU.

Are UK banks trying to break Open Banking? Not deliberately, of course, but downtime at banks where systems are not working means that Open Banking users looking to draw in information from across their various services cannot always get a full picture. That's because bank systems are often down: Open Banking surveys are one way to see all the broken bits not functioning. "By analysing outages for every Bank operating in the UK available on Open Banking Implementation Entitiy's AIP Downtime monitoring tool, it is clear that most have got worse," writes PaymentCardsandMobile.com. "The average availability over Q1 2019 was 83% — down from an average of 95% in Q4 2018. HSBC appears to have the worst access time, dropping from 98% availability in Q4 2018 down to 20% in Q1 2019 due to a series of long-running intermittent outages. This equates to the service being unavailable for 1,700 of the 2,000 hours in a business quarter. Meanwhile, Nationwide saw the greatest improvement, raising availability from 78% to 96% over the same period. Allied Irish Bank came out on top with 99% availability in Q1 2019."

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