Is new blockchain-backed payments system Libra, to be introduced by Facebook, a pure and much lower-cost payments system? Or a bank, or equivalently a money-market fund, upon which transactions can be drawn conveniently for low or no fees?

The operating costs for a bank that provides a payments facility are largely covered by the difference between the interest paid on deposits (perhaps zero) and the interest earned by the bank/payments provider making loans — of varying degrees of default risk. That is unlike a Visa that collects fees to cover its costs, and does not make loans.

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