Winners and Losers: Facebook Libra goes full on Bond villain while the UK porn block goes limp

The weekend is finally here, and boy do we need it. Over the last seven days we’ve had more tech announcements hit the news desk than we can count.

These include everything from Google formally announcing it has no plans to make a new tablet to Intel taking a swipe at AMD for “cherry picking” benchmarks.

But for us here at Trusted Reviews there have been two clear winners and losers in the tech world this week: Facebook for successfully going full-on Bond villain with its new Libra cryptocurrency and the UK government for once again epically failing to understand the internet with its latest porn block strategy.

facebook libra calibra app

Winner: Facebook Libra

Facebook has been having a hard time of it recently, with pretty much every government and person getting increasingly chagrined about what it’s doing with people’s data and ongoing inability to tackle fake news. This is why pretty much any product release, like it’s slightly creepy Portal smart display, has been at best met with suspicion and at worst outright hostility.

But this week it had a surprisingly successful launch. Specifically, the company managed to successfully take the next step in Zuckerburg’s ongoing strategy to become the world’s supreme leader, launching a new Facebook Libra cryptocurrency.

The currency works a little differently to other big name cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin in that it works alongside, not outside of, the traditional Fiat currency model. The full details of it haven’t been revealed, but the idea is that you’ll be able to bank, shop and pretty much run your entire financial life through Facebook’s new Calibra wallet.

The announcement didn’t exactly lead to a wave of thumbs ups on Facebook’s announcement page, in fact public opinion is pretty negative. But what makes it a winner is that, despite all the questions around privacy, Facebook’s managed to score some pretty big partners for Libra.

These include: Mastercard, PayPal, PayU, Stripe, Visa, Booking Holdings, eBay, Farfetch, Lyft, MercadoPago, Spotify, Uber, Iliad, Vodafone, Anchorage, Bison Trails, Coinbase, Xapo Holdings Limited, Andreessen Horowitz, Breakthrough Initiatives, Ribbit Capital, Thrive Capital, Union Square Ventures, Creative Destruction Lab, Kiva, Mercy Corps, and Women’s World Banking.

With this many big names behind it, Libra is undeniably a big win for Facebook, for now.

Porn Block

Loser: The UK government porn block

The UK government isn’t the poster child for functioning, common sense, or effective rule at the moment. But this week it well and truly had a fail with its ongoing bid to instigate the UK porn block.

After weeks of debate about how the government could effectively implement a nationwide porn block – pretty much all you’d have to do to avoid it is to get a VPN – plus huge, unanswered questions about the privacy and security around it, the government once again delayed rolling it out.

Specifically Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Secretary Jeremy Wright confirmed the country would delay the block by another six months in a statement to Parliament. This is because the UK government reportedly failed to notify the European Commission about its guidance for the age verification system – not doing so undermines the legal basis for the system.

Related: Best VPN

Considering the fact that the block was originally scheduled to go into effect April 2018 and has suffered numerous setbacks already this is a serious embarrassment for the UK government – and a further sign it doesn’t know what it’s doing with the porn block.

Winners and Losers is a new weekly column by Trusted Reviews. In it the Trusted Reviews break down the biggest winners and losers in the technology industry. If you’re after a more general breakdown of the tech scene’s happening check out our The Week in Geek column. For something more mobile focus we deep dive into the latest rumours around incoming handset in our Fast Charge column. Want your say? Then email our editor in the email address below for a chance to be feature in our weekly letters column.

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