Emerging Impact of Covid19 and Libra's Fatal Weakness

Off The Blocks, Vol 116, June 2, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic is creating a lot of turbulence worldwide. These are challenging times for businesses and the key to survival is adaptability and agility. We are working with our partners, clients, and portfolio companies, creating strong ecosystems for their mutual growth. Simultaneously, we are trying to resolve some of the most complicated and challenging issues to create a trusted environment for people to go back to work and get the economy back on its feet. You can read about our efforts in a 4 part series here.

The Global Impact of Covid in Pictures

Excerpts from a story that first appeared on Bloomberg on 05/27

In early 2020 a deadly microscopic predator sent humans into hiding and slammed the brakes on global commerce. Economic destruction like this hasn’t been seen since the Great Depression. Here we illustrate the new coronavirus’s effects on basic metrics such as gross domestic product and unemployment, the collapse in demand for fuel, the rapid adoption of telehealth, and the surge in liquor purchases. This is a new economy built on fear.


The virus recession is expected to outstrip even the most pessimistic of early forecasts. With strict lockdowns in place across many major economies and a growing recognition that it will be a long path back to normality, Bloomberg Economics has revised its estimate for global contraction in 2020 to -4%, from earlier forecasts of -0.2% in March and growth of 3.3% at the start of the year.

Unemployment Rises Around the World

The International Monetary Fund forecasts a surge in the annual unemployment rates of developed economies, including the U.S. Meanwhile, Germany and Japan are expected to fare better.

Women Will Suffer From the Gender Divide in Labor

Among workers in the informal economy, women hold a disproportionately large share of jobs in the fields most at risk of being affected by the pandemic, according to the International Labor Organization. Worldwide, 53% of women in the informal economy are in sectors deemed to be at risk of high to medium-high impact from the pandemic, compared with 44% of their male counterparts.

Varying Value of Care

Nurses face peril everywhere but are compensated differently around the world.

Earth Catches a Break

With oil use down, global emissions are forecast to fall (but rally with the recovery).

… Read More on Bloomberg

The Final Word | How a Fatal Weakness Forced Libra to Capitulate

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Libra was originally advertised as a revolutionary new payments system. By creating a totally new international currency, it would break down national payment barriers and enable the world’s unbanked to participate in the cashless economy, both locally and internationally. But the second edition of its white paper, released in April 2020, falls far short of this ambition. Instead of bypassing national currencies, it now embraces them. And the international currency, while not absent, has been downgraded to simply a basket of national currencies. Libra seems to have lost its soul. 

The price of getting a payments license from FINMA is abandoning any intention of becoming permissionless. The white paper claims permissionless aspects, like giving  members the ability to compete for the right to run nodes and validate transactions. But this isn’t remotely similar to a permissionless network, such as Bitcoin. Association membership is decided by the Association.

… Read More on Coindesk

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