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Showing posts from June, 2019

Payments will be Facebook's regulatory waterloo

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This post was also published in Entrepreneur.Facebook has had quite a run operating in the completely unregulated, wild world of social media, finally ending with a mea culpa that it needs government regulation in order to manage the massive social and democratic disorder it has created. With its new Libra cryptocurrency, Facebook wants to disrupt the most highly regulated industry on the planet: the payments and transborder payments markets.
In recent years, startups have made a habit of taking on regulators in order to grow, with Uber and Lyft as the posterchildren. Playing cat and mouse with much-hated, local regulators like the Taxi and Limousine Commissions of various cities and countries proved easy fodder in many jurisdictions and Uber and Lyft are now multibillion dollar public companies. 
However, once startups aggressively step into highly regulated industries like insurance or healthcare, regulators come down on them hard. The once high-flying Zenefits was kneecapped by vari…