Found in 2 comments on Hacker News
agentultra · 2021-12-21 · Original thread
The US government responded to the 2008 financial crisis with the Dodd-Frank Act of 2008 to protect everyone against the kind of speculation that caused that financial crisis.

Much of the financial legislation that regulates banks, payment systems, and other intermediaries is created in response to fraudsters and scammers.

There are lots of "shock asorbers" that you might not be aware of. In the US payments system, a pull-based payment system, when a merchant makes a request to pull funds from your bank account, your bank is liable for the funds if they authorize the transaction. This protects the merchant from not receiving their money. The whole network is filled with debits and credits and liabilities.

In fact it already is a distributed system that mirrors the social and political structures of moving value.

Another shock absorber is that state chartered banks that handle a certain volume of transactions must first prove they have enough funds in reserve to serve their liabilities. Again to protect consumers.

It's quite a fascinating industry and if you want to learn more about it there is an excellent book to get started [0].

However don't take the US system as the ideal model. There are more modern payment networks and protocols that enable transaction settlement in near real-time that is much more convenient and common in places like the EU and Canada.


newhouseb · 2021-11-05 · Original thread
If you want to learn more about this space, I'd check out Payment Systems in the U.S. [1] which talks about a lot of the history and parties at play here.

It's also fun/interesting to look at the published interchange rates for various classes of commerce. Here's Mastercard's:


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