Key payment processors quit Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency
Telegram’s cryptocurrency, Gram, put on warning by the SEC
ACCC investigates NBN over lack of ADSL equivalent pricing
Hats off to the genius who fabricated their own integrated circuit from scratch
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Stripe, Visa, Mastercard, and Mercado Pago have withdrawn from Facebook's Libra cryptocurrency association, joining PayPal who quit last week. There's no official reason given for these payment processors to quit Libra, but you'd have to assume they're not liking the increased government scrutiny as they know the project doesn't stack up if regulated at a similar level as their current businesses. The timing is also pretty crap for Facebook, as Zuck is due to testify before the US House Financial Services Committee on October 23rd and the first official meeting of the Libra Association members is scheduled for tomorrow morning. Ah well, couldn't have happened to a nicer guy.
Speaking of cryptocurrency shysters, the SEC has told Telegram (yeah the Russian chat app) to pause the rollout of its Gram cryptocurrency. The SEC reckons that once Telegram launches Gram, people will buy and sell them in the USA - which is illegal as it's an unregistered security. In a statement, the SEC said that "Telegram seeks to obtain the benefits of a public offering without complying with the long-established disclosure responsibilities designed to protect the investing public". Apparently Telegram has pre-sold US$1.7 billion worth of Gram already. Pretty amazing considering it sounds kinda useless going by the pre-sale documentation.
The ACCC is investigating the NBN once again, this time about "the prices that NBN Co charges access seekers to use the NBN for supplying residential grade broadband services. The ACCC is considering whether regulatory intervention is necessary in respect of these access products, particularly basic speed access products". NBN pricing is a legitimate concern, but trying to make it cheaper by giving people a shittier product (12/1 is pathetic even at $40/m) probably isn't the way to go about it. Meanwhile, NBN is going to launch its own global broadband speed rankings because it's pissed off with how the industry ones keep putting Australia in the shitheap. Absolutely delusional.
Sam Zeloof built his own integrated circuit. Sam didn't just design the IC and send it off to get fabricated, no no no, he built his own, IC - from scratch. Old mate got a silicon wafer, oxidized it and used a home made lithography process to etch the gates into each layer (I think?). Here's a blog post with more details. The IC itself is a dual differential amplifier, so it's not like Sam is gonna challenge Intel any time soon, but semiconductor manufacturing is one of the most complicated manufacturing processes I'm aware of and this person did it at home. Absolutely amazing effort, hard not to be in awe really. Related, here's a video of one of the most modern semi-conductor lithography processes from ASML in the Netherlands.
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