Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

Just How Badly Does Money Want To Be Free?

DOES IT WANT TO BE FREE OR WHAT?Hey, remember how we saw that Wired piece on Money Wanting To Be Free coming down the pike and we were like, uh, oh boy? Hey, it is here now! And it asks: "What if people could transfer money over Twitter for next to nothing, simply by typing a username and a dollar amount?" Well, what if I could shit gold coins, and pay people simply by pulling down my pants? That is totally possible as well, if I swallowed a bunch of gold coins and then had the ability to excrete at will. Let's make this happen, people! Okay, but seriously, it's fair to agree with Wired that we are maybe, maybe, sorta on the brink of undermining the massive, unfriendly and filthy rich credit systems of the world-and that would/will be wonderful, when it starts to work.

Unfortunately, what we have as a working example now is PayPal, which has its ups and downs. And in practice? They aren't so different, in a few ways, from the big credit card vendors. Remember last year? "Starting in June, Paypal started assessing a fee of 2.9% on on purchases marked 'goods or services' to personal accounts." And while the next PayPal evolution is Twitpay, which apparently has all of 15,000 users and seems essentially, so far, to be a way to notify people that you've made a PayPal payment to them, by means of Twitter, there's definitely something in there. Also it does not seem to be taking off quite like wildfire?


But it could! Then the money will be totally in the Twitter machines… which surely will go well.

And then also there's that new thing which you plug into your iPhone to make it into… a credit card reader. Which seems like the very definition of a transitional development.

But, yes, sure! We are going to get there! We all do want to get there. There may come a time when we are not beholden to fee-gouging, money-hoarding, float-subsisting mega-banks!

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"There may come a time when we are not beholden to fee-gauging, money-hoarding, float-subsisting mega-banks!"

Yes, Choire that time will indeed come. In fact, it is currently scheduled for next Tuesday, from 11:06 am to 11:27 am, barring unforeseen technical difficulties. Enjoy your freedom while it lasts, because there are no plans to extend or repeat this temporary unbeholden-ness period in the foreseeable future.

You are welcome!

The Association of Fee-Gauging, Money-Hoarding, Float-Subsisting Mega-Banks, N.A.

brianvan (#149)

It wouldn't be a bad idea to have a non-profit Internet credit union, the type of thing that took modest percentage fees (around 1%) out of transactions through financial networks. It's exactly the sort of communist construct that computer geeks love so much, especially when it crashes 5 times a week because their granola values don't coincide with five-nines availability and forced overtime.

In short, a reliable financial network is the sort of thing that requires an anal-retentive fascist corporation to run. If it's not reliable, people won't use it. (Not with REAL MONEY)

Unfortunately, it's hard to start a grassroots anal-retentive fascist company. But we kinda need one right now, because the old-school companies are very sick and need to die before they suck the life out of the rest of us.

deepomega (#1,720)

Yeah, basically! Imagine the stability of Twitter, only the fail whale means you can't pay your rent? It's like that fucking bird is rifling through your wallet.

Mindpowered (#948)

Hmm… the banks have beat us to it, they were making "idiot loans" long before "twitpay" came on the scene.

But really, as long we insist on using paper, or pixels to value our goods and services, we're going to have to pay a premium for someone to look after them. Moreover, if we want to do more than hoard these pixels under the bed, we're going to have to pay premium for someone to allocate those blips.

Of course as long as the grasshopper generation(boomers) keeps feeding on the carcass of the greatest generation to the detriment of succeeding ones, the bloodsucking of the banks will continue. The current obsession with short term gains comes from pension funds scared shitless about their upcoming withdrawals as each cohort of boomers hits retirement. Unless all those banks go private, and every other public company can buy back their shares from all the mutual funds/pension funds we're going to be stuck with gouge/fee culture for the foreseeable future.

money never sleeps, as the douchebags say

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