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Google The Almighty Buck Technology

Schmidt: Google Once Considered Issuing Currency 189

Posted by Soulskill
from the not-willing-to-nationalize-the-us-government-yet dept.
itwbennett writes "In his keynote speech at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt said the company once 'had various proposals to have [its] own currency [it was] going to call Google Bucks.' The idea was to implement a 'peer-to-peer money' system, but it was squelched by legal issues."
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Schmidt: Google Once Considered Issuing Currency

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    "Give me controll of a nation's money supply and i care who not sets its laws...."
    -Mayer Amschel Rothschild

    Given Google's veracity for hegemony, this type of news does not surprise me.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @01:22AM (#39194119)

      Actual quote: "Give me control of a nation's money supply, and I care not who makes its laws."

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Google: "Don't be evil"
        Money = root of all evil
        Google Bucks =? Divide by zero

      • I don't think Rothschild spoke that quote in english, so I think we may have some room for translator interpation.

    • by Fluffeh (1273756) on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @01:24AM (#39194141)

      One would argue that they might not do a better job compared to the leaders that we currently vote in.

      Here's one for you. Opt in citizenship to a nationless, territory free country. I wonder how many might not try to be a part of such a thing. I often wondered what would happen if a group started buying up adjoining land and reserved it for new members, and spread out and out as more members joined. Set up a civilised statute early on and let people come in as they wanted to.

      It would be like colonising an already colonised land through market transactions and finance. I also think it would scare the bejesus out of the governments.

      • by Entropius (188861)

        I would sign up for this in a heartbeat.

      • by sg_oneill (159032) on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @01:40AM (#39194215)

        Here's one for you. Opt in citizenship to a nationless, territory free country.

        Awesome, two sets of laws to follow instead of one! Why just the other day I was thinking "Shit , you know what I dont have enough of in my life? Laws!"

      • by Luckyo (1726890)

        It would simply die to lack of recognition. It doesn't work if no one recognises you as a country, and no one would.

        Sure, you could set extra rules, laws and power structure. But these would only exist on top of what is already in existence in the location of your choice. These mechanisms already exist in many countries, ranging from religious enclaves in Israel and Amish settlements in USA to anarchists of Freetown of Christiania. There are also lesser cases of this, like agreeing to arbitrage by certain c

        • by EdZ (755139)

          There are also lesser cases of this, like agreeing to arbitrage by certain courts (for example sharia courts in UK)

          Only if you fall into the insane alternate universe inhabited by the Daily Fail or similar nonsense-rags.

          • They do exist - without official recognition but if both sides agree to use one they can be as legally enforceable as a contract.
      • You think laws are bad enough in lagging behind technology? This would take it to a whole new level. I can see it now.

        "By joining this territory free country you have rejected your citizenship in every physical country. The international laws do not recognize virtual countries. We are going to keep you in this cell for a while..."

      • by crutchy (1949900)
        so when you lose your job, do you sign up to their corporate welfare office?

        if i were a shareholder of such corporation, I would think it were a good idea

        corporations have no ethics. we would all wind up being slaves to corporate gluttony
        • corporations have no ethics. we would all wind up being slaves to corporate gluttony

          Hasn't that happened already?

      • by dimeglio (456244)

        Good luck getting other countries to recognize your virtual nation.

    • by Corbets (169101) on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @03:00AM (#39194591) Homepage

      Given Google's veracity for hegemony, this type of news does not surprise me.

      I'm guessing you meant voracity - but their habitual truthfulness in leadership may also be unsurprising, I don't know.

    • "Give me controll of a nation's money supply and i care who not sets its laws...."

      When I read that quote, I think, "So, a banker thinks he's the most important person in the country. Who would have guessed that a banker would have an overinflated ego?"

      Seriously, the one making laws has so many ways to rip control from the one controlling the money, that only a serious lack of creativity could make you believe that the banker was more powerful. To take one example from US history, the lawmakers could confiscate everyone's gold.

      • by w_dragon (1802458) on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @09:34AM (#39196355)
        Really it's the people who control the police, courts, and military. If all of the above can be bribed then yes, the bankers will run the country. If they can't then the lawmakers run the country. If they are all made up of citizens who don't feel they are above their own laws then the citizens run the country. Generally it's some mix, different countries have different balances of power based on who is capable of being above the law.
    • by CRCulver (715279)

      "Give me controll of a nation's money supply and i care who not sets its laws...."

      That is a spurious quotation [wikiquote.org]. There's no evidence Rothschild ever said such a thing. And considering that a great many instances of that quotation on the web are from white supremacist websites, by perpetuating it you don't make yourself look too good (though perhaps that's why you're an AC).

    • Google was not looking to control the nation's money supply. Just it's own money point system. Online games like WoW and 2nd life do this. I think MS tried to do this also.

      The nation's money supply is managed by people much more evil than Google.

    • by Xeranar (2029624)

      To be fair it was not as sinister as it implies. It is the thinking that central banking has more affect on economics than legislature action. It isn't as if they could overrule the government on murder or control something in a deeper way. Also this is why in almost every modern western country the government has control of the money supply and sets policy from there...Including the US. We just simply choose to use a more autonomous system to avoid it being directly affected by short-term politics.

  • by imamac (1083405) on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @01:19AM (#39194099)
    Please no more bit coin stories...oh...my bad.
    • Because Bitcoin is completely irrelevant to news for nerds. Oh, wait, no it isn't.

    • by Ihmhi (1206036)

      No please, keep them coming. Then maybe Google will buy Bitcoin, rebrand it as "Money+", and it will be gone within a year.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @01:23AM (#39194121)
    back in 2004 at an exchange rate of about 85 USD per share. The dollar hasn't fared so well against it since then.
  • I'm waiting for the Google national flag and anthem.
    • by plover (150551) * on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @02:36AM (#39194481) Homepage Journal

      I'm not sure, but I imagine their anthem will go something like this:

      [chant and response]
      "What are we going to do today, Sergey?"
      "Same thing we do every day, Eric. Try to take over the world!"

      [music]
      They're Pinky and the Brain.
      Yes, Pinky and the Brain!
      One is a genius,
      The other is insane!
      They're laboratory mice.
      Their genes have been spliced!
      They're dinky, they're Pinky and the Brain, Brain, Brain, Brain,
      Brain, Brain, Brain, Brain,
      Brain.

      Before each night is done
      Their plan will be unfurled.
      By the dawning of the sun
      They'll take over the world.

      They're Pinky and The Brain.
      Yes, Pinky and The Brain
      Their twilight campaign
      Is easy to explain.

      To prove their mousy worth,
      They'll overthrow the Earth.
      They're dinky, they're Pinky and The Brain, Brain, Brain, Brain
      Brain, Brain, Brain, Brain

      Narf!

      • by Jappus (1177563) on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @08:35AM (#39195963)

        A very subtle and easy alteration is all that is needed to make that joke fit that much better:

        [chant and response]
        "What are we going to do today, Sergey?"
        "Same thing we do every day, Larry. Try to take over the world!"

        [music]
        They're Page-y and the Brin.
        Yes, Page-y and the Brin!
        One is a genius,
        The other is insane!
        They're laboratory mice.
        Their genes have been spliced!
        They're dinky, they're Page-y and the Brin, Brin, Brin, Brin,
        Brin, Brin, Brin, Brin,
        Brin.

        Before each night is done
        Their plan will be unfurled.
        By the dawning of the sun
        They'll take over the world.

        They're Page-y and The Brin.
        Yes, Page-y and The Brin
        Their twilight campaign
        Is easy to explain.

        To prove their mousy worth,
        They'll overthrow the Earth.
        They're dinky, they're Page-y and The Brin, Brin, Brin, Brin
        Brin, Brin, Brin, Brin

        Narf!

        • by tigre (178245)

          A few seggestions:

          Try to take over the world

          Try to index the world's information

          They're Page-y and the Brin.

          Larry and the Brin?

          They're dinky, they're Page-y and the Brin, Brin, Brin, Brin,

          They're cagey, they're Page-y...
          They're scary, they're Larry...

          They'll take over the world

          They'll catalog the world

          They'll overthrow the earth

          They'll monetize the earth

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @01:28AM (#39194163)

    Social Networking is missing a major concept right now. Everyone has something they want to sell. Why not let every social networking user setup a "web store" in their profile to sell things to other users. Think Facebook + Paypal + EBay. Some people will sell services, while others will sell crafts, home made things, or even used items. I know my local club, which has a Facebook group page, would love to sell T-Shirts and buttons to fans of ours. This seems like a missed opportunity. If Google want to get involved with commerce then all they need to do is set it up in Google+.

    Don't get me started on my other Google rant. Google+ should have been named "Google Me". Would have been a lot more cool.

    • by Splab (574204)

      Because craigslist already fills this niche, and somewhat better...

      I don't want to buy my friends used stuff - and I wouldn't sell it to them, if I have something I'm not using and my friend can use it it's his for free.

      If I want to buy something used I go to the local equivalent of craigslist.

  • Google Bitcoins? What?

    • by gox (1595435)

      Schmidt actually brought up Bitcoin himself. Full quote: [theverge.com]

      6:36 pm Q: If it comes to real democracy, payment has to be peer-to-peer. Would you like to know about my technology called FairCash?

      6:37 pm A: Are you familiar with BitCoin? There are some issues with peer-to-peer money. In most cases it's illegal, besides that it's a great idea. We had our own proposal called Google Bucks, but we didn't want to get into these issues. Most of these systems will have reguatory
      issues.

  • ...from Emperor Norton [wikipedia.org]?

  • by Osgeld (1900440)

    I once had the idea to bit bang digital audio out of a scsi port, pipe it over CB and decode it 8 miles away on a Packard Bell. Crazy ideas that failed to be is what keeps things rolling in the world... but since its google a basic idea that has failed many times gets a front page story based on 4 sentences

    those damn geniuses, maybe next they will introduce the world to "social networking"!

  • by GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @02:04AM (#39194345)
    I wonder what the conversion rate of a 50 dollar bill is into Gooney.

    Ah, Gooney sounds kinda lame, I'd have went for street rep instead and called it G-Money.
  • by mykos (1627575) on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @02:05AM (#39194349)
    Right now, we get nothing in return for getting all our private data rummaged through by the government.

    At least google gives us useful free stuff.
  • a direct democracy with mandatory voting.
  • by crf00 (1048098) on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @03:10AM (#39194623) Homepage
    When I saw the phrase "peer to peer money's system" I immediately think of the Ripple Monetary System [ripple-project.org]. Please also check out the new Ripple website, Villages.cc [villages.cc], created by Ripple's founder Ryan Fugger last year.

    I am not sure whether Google was trying to do the same thing, but it would be a total waste if they gave up on the exact same idea. If there is one thing that Google should do with it's power, it would be P2P money. The entire economic system is in total mess now, and the whole world is in deep need right now for a better economic system, yet why is the financial regulation trying to stop all innovations happening?

    The US government is seriously killing all financial innovations by labeling everything alternative to the USD as "money laundering". Remember how Liberty dollar and other gold currencies ended up? How about the countless payment startups that has been killed under the name "money laundering" during the dotcom boom? The Hawala System [wikipedia.org] is very useful even today and it has a very similar concept to Ripple, but it's whole advantages are completely denied by US in the name of money laundering, again. I bet that the FBI would even declare Bitcoin as illegal when it generates enough threat.

    I have only been staying in Stockholm for a month, but currently it gives me the feeling that Sweden and some other Europe countries have much more financial freedom than in US. If I were to create a startup based on alternative currencies ideas similar to Google's P2P money or Ripple, then Stockholm would be a much better place than Silicon Valley, all due to the absurd US anti-money laundering regulation.
    • by greg1104 (461138)

      I also tried to build a currency based on Ripple [ghettowine.com] once, but I couldn't remember where I'd hidden it all at when the hangover wore off.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by u38cg (607297)
      Well, what's your alternative? Money laundering prevention is one of the simplest and most effective crime fighting tools around, as annoying as it may be.
    • by Kjella (173770) on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @10:06AM (#39196657) Homepage

      I have only been staying in Stockholm for a month, but currently it gives me the feeling that Sweden and some other Europe countries have much more financial freedom than in US. If I were to create a startup based on alternative currencies ideas similar to Google's P2P money or Ripple, then Stockholm would be a much better place than Silicon Valley, all due to the absurd US anti-money laundering regulation.

      Oh, I wouldn't bet on it. I'm in Norway, not Sweden but both fairly socialist countries that depend heavily on income taxes and sales taxes. Strictly speaking you can use cash most everywhere, but it's getting more and more biased against it. The last item they've been pushing is electronic tickets for local buses, because they don't want neither bus drivers nor ticket machines getting robbed. You get heavy price incentives to use electronic cards or to pay over your cell phone - there's no such thing as an anonymous cell phone here by the way, that was outlawed quite a few years ago so it's all traceable back to me and there's no such thing as an anonymous debit cards either, they're all registered to your unique id. If I pay any person or company over 10k NOK - about $1800 - in cash during a year, I can be charged as co-conspirator in their tax fraud if they cheat on their taxes for doing nothing other than paying in cash.

      Another example is the employee cafeteria, there are several I know of that no longer take cash, either taking just plastic directly or through their own cards you can only charge with plastic. Even if you're a homeless crack addict you don't get food coupons anymore, you get an electronic card only valid in the grocery store - but not for beer. Honestly if it wasn't for a generation of elderly who insist on using cash I'm pretty sure we'd have pushed through a cashless society, because while we're not so heavy on the organized crime and terrorism propaganda, there's plenty of the tax fraud, black economy, anti-robbery propaganda with a good smear of if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear.

    • The US government is seriously killing all financial innovations by labeling everything alternative to the USD as "money laundering".

      Nope. Community currencies [wikipedia.org] are as alive and well as they've ever been.

      Remember how Liberty dollar and other gold currencies ended up?

      The backers of the Liberty Dollar broke the law by revaluing their currency to something other than the US dollar. That the authorities took a dim view of breaking the law should neither be a surprise or be seen as evidence of some dark

  • Restraint? Corporations never use that! Zynga probably has a patent on Zynga bucks or something.

    Anywhoo, I'm sure we'd all be happy citizens of Googlandia! They'd know what each and every one of us likes and they'd probably be happy to give it to us. Being unhappy would probably be illegal. Unhappy citizens would be rounded up by Unhappiness Death Squads and sent off to be reeducated. Or at least heavily medicated. A lovely dystopian utopia to spend your years!

  • Google can always distribute Canadian Tire money. All Canuks have big wads of the stuff.
  • Why legal issues? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by kbg (241421) on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @07:10AM (#39195515)
    Why would that have legal issues? Doesn't Microsoft have it's own currency called "Microsoft Points"? There doesn't seem to be any problems using that currency?
    • by kbg (241421)
      Also most airline companies have their own currencies also, they are called "Frequent flyer points".
    • Because there are many laws in many nations one what can be called currency. You can't just start a new currency and expect it to interact with the current financial system. There are a sh*t load of other laws and regulations, especially if you are engaging in deposit taking or credit lending. You need the appropriate approvals and must conduct your self like other financial institutions do.

      Microsoft can get away with points because it's only a one way exchange. You buy MS points to get stuff on the X-B

      • by kbg (241421)

        You can not convert MS points back into cash.

        I beg to differ [ebay.com]

        Microsoft Points is just like any other currency. Microsoft can create money from nothing by just "printing" points. There is an exchange rate for the points to other currencies. I really don't see the difference.

        • You can not convert it back to cash, only for products in a MS store. You can not convert those points into Euro's, or Austrailian dollars on any currency exchange. Your local grocery store is not legally obliged to accept your MS points to pay for purchases as stipulated by government laws determining what legal tender is. Central banks do not recognize nor accept MS points as capital. The bank teller will laugh in your face if you try and deposit MS points.

          Face it, it is not a currency and any one who

  • I don't play any of those games. But, as I understand it, WoW, and 2nd life, have their own sort of money. In fact, some people make their living from that stuff.

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