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Steve Forbes Tells Zuckerberg: Use Gold to Back Libra, Call It the ‘Mark’

Steve Forbes claimed that gold backing is the basic condition for Libra to become “one of history’s truly seminal creations.”

Steve Forbes, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of Forbes Media, published on June 25 an open letter to Mark Zuckerberg, advising to back Facebook’s cryptocurrency Libra with gold.

In the letter, Forbes strongly encouraged Facebook’s crypto initiative, emphasizing Libra’s potential to become one of the greatest inventions in the world, which eventually “could replace the U.S. dollar as the global currency.”

At the same time, to become “one of history’s truly seminal creations,” Libra has to be backed by gold as a basic condition, Forbes argued in the letter, opposing it to the current Facebook’s plan to back the coin by a basket of currencies.

The major American publishing exec explained that yellow metal would fit this function best in Libra’s mission to provide a “truly stable cryptocurrency.” Forbes wrote:

“For a variety of reasons gold holds its intrinsic value better than anything else. It’s like a measuring rod. It no more restricts the money supply than the 12 inches in a foot restricts the size of a building you might wish to construct. All it means is that the Libra will have what no other currency has today: a fixed value.”

According to Forbes, Libra’s “fixture” will the actual thing that will make it the “most desirable medium of exchange around the globe,” since it can be used in day-to-day transactions, as well as in long-term investing.

In his message, Forbes has also warned Zuckerberg that Libra’s consultants will most likely be criticizing the gold-backing idea, still arguing that it would “actually be an advantage” as it will keep away “well-capitalized imitators.”

Concluding his letter, Forbes eventually urged Zuckerberg to consider changing Libra’s name to the “Mark,” referencing the bad luck history of the “Libra” term. Specifically, he reminded that the “Libra” was used to refer to a measure of the weight from the destroyed Roman Empire. On the other hand, the Mark of the German Empire, which was abandoned for the euro 20 years ago and now is “up for grabs,” notes Forbes. 

Meanwhile, in a recent conversation with Harvard Professor Cass Sunstein, Zuckerberg stressed the collaborative nature of Libra, saying that the association behind the project will “hopefully” grow up to 100 founding partners from the current 27 companies, including Visa and Uber.

According to a report by The New Yorker, major American banking institutions including Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Fidelity have denied to join Libra association so far.

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Crypto Really Is Going Mainstream: Forbes Unveils “Blockchain Babies” List

Corps Going Ham For Blockchain

Bitcoin (BTC) may be in the middle of a harrowing downturn, but blockchain still seems to be all the rage. According to a recent report/list from Forbes, some of the world’s largest corporations, including an array of prominent technology firms, have forayed into this space, quietly throwing human capital and money at this innovation to find something that sticks. Crypto may be in “winter,” but as Forbes journalist, Michael del Castillo, remarked, “business applications using the technology underlying Bitcoin (blockchain) is in early spring.”

According to the list, fittingly titled “Blockchain’s Billion Dollar Babies,” some of Earth’s largest firms are clamoring for blockchain. Here’s a brief overview:

The Depository Trust & Clearing Corp (DTCC), for instance, a record keeping monolith that stores and manages the data of 90 million transactions each day, will be migrating some of its offerings to a digital ledger called AxCore. The data to be moved to AxCore purportedly pertains to $10 trillion worth of credit derivatives — over 50 times the current valuation of all cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin included.

World-renowned banks, too, are joining the fray. Forbes’ Michael del Castillo claims that Allianz, Citigroup, JP Morgan, and Fidelity are all playing with this technology, especially with enterprise versions of Ethereum and other corporate-friendly ledgers. Fidelity, for instance, recently launched its Bitcoin custodian for a select group of institutional clients, giving such investors more reasons to purchase BTC. Fintech firms are also expressing their love for blockchain. Just look to Ant Financial, Alibaba’s PayPal-esque service, and Mastercard, who are trying to utilize this technology to their advantage.

And, of course, Silicon Valley giants have begun to try their hand at blockchain. It is too early to tell whether they have succeeded or not, but Google, HTC, Foxconn, PayPal, and Overstock all have ventured into this space.

Outside of finance and tech, blockchain has garnered traction too. Nestle, Maersk (through IBM), Bumble Bee Foods, and CVS Health are among the “Blockchain Babies” to have used this advancement for something other than finance, retail goods.

Crypto Adoption Around The Corner

This is all well and good, but, most of the initiative aforementioned are centered around corporations and institutions’ back offices. However, it seems that retail adoption of this newfangled technology, especially digital assets themselves, are right around the corner. And this adoption may be sparked from plays from social media giants, first and foremost.

Just recently, Kakao, a South Korean social media and technology heavyweight with a clientele of millions, was reported to be soon exposing its 44 million users to Bitcoin through an integrated “crypto wallet,” and blockchain platform. In a similar strain of news, Facebook is rumored to launch its own “basket coin” (stablecoin-esque model) for its millions of users in the coming months, all while Russian social platform VK has already launched its own digital asset.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

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Forbes Releases List of Billion Dollar Companies Using Blockchain

Finance publication Forbes has released a list of 50 $1 billion firms that are implementing blockchain technology.

Financial news outlet Forbes has released a list of “Blockchain’s Billion Dollar Babies,” or companies implementing blockchain technology that have minimum revenues or valuations of $1 billion, on April 16.

The list includes companies in the cryptocurrency and blockchain development spaces, in addition to traditional financial firms like banks and clearing houses, food companies, supply chain management firms and others.

Most of the companies listed are household names like Amazon, Walmart, Facebook, ING, Mastercard, Microsoft and Nestle.

Cryptocurrency-related companies featured on the list include United States-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, European mining and hardware firm Bitfury, and blockchain-based financial services network and XRP token creator Ripple.

In addition to noting major firms that are dabbling or full-on adopting blockchain technology, the list also includes which blockchain protocols are being adopted and by whom. Various Hyperledger protocols, blockchain consortium R3’s Corda protocol and the Ethereum network are prominently featured at a number of firms across various industries.

Forbes notes the potential for blockchain technology to simplify various business process per the example of Depository Trust & Clearing Corp (DTCC), which keeps records of 90 million transactions a day, or most of the world’s $48 trillion dollars in securities.

Per Forbes, the firm will begin switching its 50,000 accounts to a blockchain-based system, which will help eliminate duplicate procedures and reconciliations that are still prone to happen on traditional electronic clearing networks.

In mid-March, DTCC published a white paper outlining guiding principles for the post-trade processing of tokenized securities. The paper notes the unique characteristics of the nascent market for tokenized securities and proposes that global policy standards for traditional markets are often applicable, and useful for stakeholders to identify the legal responsibilities pertaining to security token platforms.

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Forbes Analyst Expects Bitcoin (BTC) At $2,500, Awaits (Another) Awful Crash

Forbes Analyst Touts $2,500 Bitcoin Price Target

Clem Chambers, a markets analyst publishing to Forbes, recently released an article to the outlet’s contributor network, explaining why Bitcoin (BTC) could head lower in due time. Chambers, the CEO of ADVFN and a well-known financial industry journalist, first drew attention to how markets, Bitcoin included, normally react in, during, and after a “crash.”

The reporter, who hasn’t been afraid to comment on crypto historically, explained that market collapses happen in “stages,” as seen by BTC’s drawdown in 2018, which saw the asset fall to key levels at ~$10,000, $6,200, and, most recently, $3,500 for weeks at a time.

Elaborating on why his remark is relevant, Chambers noted that once a market, like crypto, stabilizes or range trades, it is only a matter of time before assets breakout, and “produce a sizeable move.” While Chambers’ comments may make it sound like he aims to be a soothsayer, he added that this isn’t a new phenomenon, nor is it rocket silence.

Applying this theory back to the only-decade-old crypto market, the ADVFN chief noted that these movements are only accentuated and compounded in crypto, as in his eyes, blockchain-based assets exist in a “very immature market” filled with certain shortcomings that may play out negatively from a price action standpoint.

More specifically, he explained that the Bitcoin price will likely “break south” for its next leg, explaining that $2,500 is a viable price point in his eyes, a reportedly key long-term support level in the eyes of some analysts.

For instance, Stephen Innes, Oanda’s head trader of the Pacific-Asia region, recently told Bloomberg that he expects for BTC to collapse to $2,500 by January 2019, due to a diverse set of bearish catalysts, namely the Bitcoin Cash hard fork, regulation, and potential crypto-related hacks. (Note: speaking with NewsBTC, he recently confirmed this sentiment, stating that regulation could weigh down on cryptocurrency market in the near future.)

Chambers, touching on his rationale behind this bearish catalyst, drew attention to the resurgence in crypto volatility, adding that this is an evident sign of “uncertainty,” which may only accentuate that this industry is undergoing a change of guard, so to speak.

At the time of writing, this market’s foremost asset, BTC, has found itself up 1.5% in the past 24 hours, situated at $3,490 a pop.

Crypto Bottom May Not Be In

Chambers’ analysis only confirms the growing sentiment that the cryptocurrency market hasn’t reached a long-term bottom. As reported by Ethereum World News previously, Naeem Aslam, a crypto-friendly contributor to Forbes and the chief market analyst at ThinkMarkets, recently told CoinTelegraph that he expects for BTC to find a floor, adding that sell-side sentiment indicates that a bottom is “close enough.”

Aslam isn’t alone in touting such sentiment, with Michael Bucella, a Goldman Sachs executive turned BlockTower Capital partner, also exclaimed that Bitcoin’s “distress cycle” has nearly run its course.

Although Chambers, the aforementioned Forbes contributor, painted a dismal picture for Bitcoin’s short-term, the reporter, like his industry pundit peers, made it clear that the next “plunge” would likely put BTC at its bonafide bottom. Case in point, the trader explained that if crypto’s collapse continues, the next leg will likely mark the end of Bitcoin’s near-year-long bout of capitulation. In summation, the financial markets savant wrote:

This means we can wait and see. The end of this crash will look awful, the ends of crashes always do. That is yet to come but the next leg could be here.

Title Image Courtesy of Chinh Le Duc Via Unsplash

The post Forbes Analyst Expects Bitcoin (BTC) At $2,500, Awaits (Another) Awful Crash appeared first on Ethereum World News.

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BlockShow Americas 2018 Goes Live With ‘Wall Street vs Crypto’ Panel Discussion

The BlockShow Americas 2018 conference kicked off Monday, Aug. 20 in Las Vegas. The first panel discussion involved a heated debate between proponents of two opposite views of how — and if — blockchain should be regulated and adopted by institutions around the globe.

BlockShow is a series of fintech and crypto events, usually held in Singapore and Europe; the previous BlockShow took place in Berlin in the spring of this year.

The opening panel, titled “Wall Street vs Crypto,” brought together a number of industry experts to discuss the future potential of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC), and the importance of regulatory involvement in the crypto sphere. Panelists debated the role of governments and financial institutions in paving the way for a “tsunami of innovation” enabled by blockchain.

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Moderated by TechCrunch’s editor-at-large Mike Butcher, the panel was comprised of five experts from the finance and crypto industries, including leading IT analyst and Forbes contributor Jason Bloomberg, CEO of Celsius Network Alex Mashinsky, and CEO of Regulated Transactions at Titan DX exchange Rich Gupta.

Addressing the main question of when the two industries — crypto and Wall Street — are going to “merge,” Gupta claimed that the “mergence is happening right before us,” and that the underlying technology of crypto is being adopted by a number of companies. Specifically, Gupta mentioned the important role of blockchain deployment in backend development and settlement processes.

Speaking from a different point of view, Jason Bloomberg argued that one of the most important reasons for Wall Street to stay away from crypto for now is the “time bomb” that is the “permissionless” nature of cryptocurrency, making it an “arm of organized crime.”

Mashinsky challenged Bloomberg’s claim by saying that the “[U.S.] dollar is the number one [currency for] criminal activity.” Bloomberg retorted by calling the argument the “most common fallacy” adding that it is incorrect to believe that the volume of crimes conducted with fiat currencies makes cryptocurrency’s susceptibility to criminal activity acceptable.

Bloomberg added that the cryptocurrency and blockchain industries need to be heavily regulated, and that the only cryptocurrencies that will survive long-term are those of “permissioned nature,” meaning that they are not decentralized and are instead controlled by a single entity.

Another issue brought up during the panel was how the U.S. regulates investment in the crypto space. According to Mashinsky, the financial requirements for becoming an accredited investor — either an annual income of $200,000 or a net worth of $1 million — precludes retail investors from turning a profit by investing in stocks directly, making crypto an accessible alternative for the public.

Titan DX’s Rich Gupta argued that the crypto industry needs similar regulations to protect the potential investors.

Stay tuned to Cointelegraph for more news from BlockShow Americas 2018, a cryptocurrency and blockchain themed conference that has brought together more than 1,500 speakers and attendees from all over the world.

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Owner of NYSE Launching New Bitcoin (BTC) Market is a Double Edged Sword, says Wallstreet Veteran

The metaphor of something being a double edged sword means that something has the potential for being favorable and also unfavorable. Picture the blade which is sharp on both ends. It is a threat to both the opponent and an inexperienced user. This concept can be applied to the recent news of the owner of the NYSE (Intercontinental Exchange) launching a new Bitcoin (BTC) market through its new company of Bakkt.

Caitlin Long, who is a 22 year Veteran at Wallstreet and has been active in Bitcoin since 2012, thinks that the Bakkt company can have some significant benefits to the crypto ecosystem as well as harming it. She stated the following on Forbes magazine after the ICE announcement on August 3rd:

This is a major step in the mainstreaming of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. But it’s also a double-edged sword, because it’s likely the beginning of Wall Street creating financial claims to bitcoin out of thin air (and not backed by actual bitcoins), which could offset some of Bitcoin’s algorithmically-enforced scarcity. Perhaps that’s why bitcoin’s price declined slightly after today’s announcement by ICE.

According to Ms. Long, the positives of Bakkt include the following:

  • attracting institutional investors to cryptocurrencies
  • solve the custody problem that has kept many institutional investors in the sidelines all along. Now there is a qualified custodian which the SEC requires for investment advisers that manage $150 Million or more
  • help regulators become more comfortable with the sector once they see ICE involved
  • it will attract corporate issuers to raise capital using the Bakkt ecosystem. Cryptocurrencies offer issuers the prospect of covenant-free and preference-free capital at low cost

The negatives of the Bakkt launch according to Ms. Long in her commentary to Forbes can be summarized as follows:

Wall Street’s only shot at controlling cryptocurrencies is to financialize them via leverage—by creating more financial claims to the coins than there are underlying coins and thereby influencing the underlying coin prices via derivatives markets.

Financial institutions [will begin] to create claims against cryptocurrencies that are not fully backed by the underlying coins (which could take the form of margin loans, coin lending / rehypothecation, coin-settled futures contracts, or ETFs that don’t 100% track the underlying coins at any given moment). None of these are happening in the market yet, though.

She continued to explain that:

Bitcoin has algorithmically-enforced scarcity, and that’s a big part of what gives it value. If Wall Street begins to create claims to bitcoin out of thin air, unbacked by actual bitcoin, then Wall Street will succeed in offsetting that scarcity to some degree.

The same pattern happened in commodities markets, such as gold and silver. It also happened in credit derivatives, which, before the 2008 financial crisis, had grown to 10x the size of the underlying corporate bond market and had become the proverbial “tail that wagged the dog” by driving the price of the underlying corporate bonds.

The same institutional investors that the crypto-community have been asking for, might end up being the ruin of the industry as was seen during the 2008 Wallstreat Financial Crisis. But luckily for Bitcoin and according to Ms. Long:

There’s reason to be optimistic, thanks to HODLers, because bitcoin is an equity-based asset that can only be financialized if holders bring their coins into the financial system.

Bitcoin already has trust and transparency precisely because no centralized institution controls it.

Thankfully, for existing bitcoin investors, HODLers are likely to make that difficult by storing most bitcoins outside of the financial system and making it the epitome of “hard to borrow.

[Photo source,]


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Bitcoin ‘Dies’ for the 300th Time, Trading At $7,300

Bitcoin (BTC) has recently “died” for the 300th time, according to 99Bitcoins Bitcoin obituary list. The cryptocurrency faced its “most recent death” in the latest “obituary” provided by Forbes.

Bitcoin celebrates its 300th death anniversary following an article from Forbes published May 30. The article claims that Bitcoin’s “Achilles Heel” is the huge amount of electricity required by crypto mining operations.

According to Forbes, Bitcoin miners underestimate the risks associated with energy consumption on the global scale. The report also stresses such issues as power theft and the cost of mining equipment that is becoming more and more expensive:

“Predictably, Bitcoin miners downplay both their energy usage and the threat it poses to ordinary people, ordinary businesses and the planet that they occupy.”

At the time of the latest “death” recorded by 99Bitcoins, BTC was trading at $7,312. In December, when Bitcoin died it’s 200th death, the BTC price hit the $11,000 mark. According to 99Bitcoins stats, the major cryptocurrency “died” 62 times this year.

This year, various pundits and public figures proffered their own suggestions as to why Bitcoin is doomed to fail, including the notorious Warren Buffet statement that Bitcoin is “probably rat poison squared,”  and Bank of England Governor Mark Carney’s claim  that BTC has “failed” as a currency.

While Bitcoin has recently faced its 300th death and dropped in value by around 20 percent last month, several prominent figures in the tech and business worlds have made bullish statements on its future. Recently, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak said that “only Bitcoin is pure digital gold,” reiterating the statement of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey that in a decade BTC will be the “single currency” of the world and the Internet.

According to Cointelegraph’s price index, BTC is trading at $7,407 at press time, having gained around 4 percent over the past week.

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Forbes' ‘Fintech 50 For 2018’ List Includes 11 Blockchain & Crypto Companies

In Forbes’ third edition of the “Fintech 50”, a list of the top 50 financial technology companies globally of 2018, released on Feb. 13, eleven of the companies listed use Blockchain technology or are connected to the cryptocurrency industry.

The founders of three of the companies, The Bitfury Group, Coinbase, and Ripple that made the Fintech 50 also made Forbes’ list of the “Richest People in Cryptocurrency” released last week.

Forbes’ site has a separate article breaking down the influence of Blockchain and crypto companies that made the Fintech 50 list.

Forbes writes that perhaps unseen behind the nonstop news coverage of crypto price volatility, the Blockchain companies listed in the Fintech 50 are “building infrastructure—to support both public cryptocurrency markets and initiatives that could transform how current financial transactions are executed and recorded.”

Of the nine companies that Forbes lists as “The Future of Blockchain And Cryptocurrency”, five have made the Fintech 50 list for the first time this year. Each of the nine companies are profiled with a small blurb about their activities, their cofounders, their funding, and who they are a “threat to.”

For example, the company Blockchain is described as the “world’s most popular cryptocurrency wallet” that is a threat to Coinbase and Xapo, while Chain, which offers office Blockchain technology and ledger balance software, is described as a threat to “inefficient legacy record keeping in finance.”

Veem and Robinhood, which made the Fintech 50 list, but which Forbes does not mention on its Blockchain and crypto side list, are also associated with the crypto world.

Veem is a sending and receiving payment system for businesses that uses Blockchain technology, and Robinhood is a stock trading app that recently announced the launch of zero-fee crypto trading of Bitcoin and Ethereum (ETH) for its users this month.

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Forbes Publishes ‘First-Ever’ Richest People In Cryptocurrency List

Forbes, known for its “World’s Billionaires List”, published a list of the richest people in cryptocurrency for the first time, Tuesday Feb. 6.

The goal of publishing such a list, according to Forbes Editor Randall Lane, is to

“[provide] a snapshot of a pivotal moment, part of the transparency needed to pull crypto away from its provenance as the favorite currency of drug dealers and into the adolescence of a legitimate asset class.”

While compiling a list of the world’s traditional billionaires is a relatively straightforward task, calculating the exact amount of wealth of the world’s richest crypto tycoons is more difficult.

Cryptocurrencies are by definition a decentralized, encrypted payment system that began outside of the traditional global financial system. The “newly minted crypto rich,” as described by Forbes staff writer Jeff Kauflin, “live in a strange milieu that blends paranoid secrecy with ostentatious display.”

The Forbes “Richest People in Cryptocurrency” list is broken up into five categories: “idealists, builders, opportunists, infrastructure players and establishment investors.” In order to make the Forbes list, one must have accrued over $350 million.

Instead of static numbers, the net worths of the people on the list are listed in ranges, calculated based on the “estimated holdings of cryptocurrencies (a few provided proof), post-tax profits from trading crypto-assets and stakes in crypto-related businesses.”

Forbes acknowledges that they could have left some people off the list and that their estimates may be “wide of the mark.”

The list contains 19 people. One can click on each member of the list on Forbes’s website in order to see a short bio and an estimated crypto net worth.

Other data was published along with the list, like the average age of crypto’s richest compared to the age of Forbes 400 wealthiest Americans (42 vs. 67), and the average daily price volatility in January 2018 for Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and Ripple (XRP) compared to Apple, Proctor & Gamble, and gold.

When creating the list, Lane spoke with Joe Lubin, the founder of Consensys, about other crypto tycoons’ potential concerns about releasing such data. Lubin, who Lane referred to as the “statesman of cryptocurrency”, said that he and his peers weren’t looking for public attention. Lubin also questioned how Forbes could arrive at any accurate numbers, and brought up the issues of potentially targeting these people for theft. However, Lane adds that Lubin and his “crypto elite” peers did recognize the list’s importance.

Kauflin writes that Forbes,

“firmly believe we made the world a better place by shining a light on the invisible rich. Just as crypto has evolved from the days of the Silk Road drug site and the Mt. Gox digital hijacking, fortunes of this magnitude should never be allowed to lurk in the shadows.”

CryptoWeekly, a cryptocurrency newsletter, released a comparable list of the top 100 most influential people in the crypto community. Their list is factored not by net worth, but by the research and technological contributions a person has made in the world of crypto.

Among those who were left out of Forbes’ richest in crypto rankings, but included in the CryptoWeekly influential list, are important crypto players like Litecoin founder Charlie Lee, Bitcoin investor Roger Ver, and crypto pioneer Nick Szabo, among others.

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Chinese ICO Ban May End After Oct. 18 with Communist Congress Elections

The 19th Communist party leadership elections are scheduled to take place in China on Oct. 18 this year. New elections spell change for most governments, and this is certainly true in China. The elections are not democratic, but are internal elections to the chief seats of government within the Communist Party.

This election is an ‘odd year’ (the last one was in 2012), meaning that it will likely contribute substantial changes to the governance of China. Most notably, the election will include the retiring of five of the seven current members of the Politburo, the main governing body of the Chinese government.

While Xi Jinping will likely retain his seat as General Secretary, the overall makeup of the government may well change dramatically. These changes could reflect a change in monetary policy, not unlike the change that happened in 2011 when the 17th convention sought to ban VIEs (variable interest entities allowing Chinese companies to trade on US markets). The ban was quickly overturned after the 18th election was complete.

ICO ban will end?

There’s no guarantee that a new government will reverse the ICO and exchange ban that has plagued crypto markets in recent weeks. Nevertheless, there may well be political motives to the ban that will make it unnecessary after the elections are complete, according to Forbes.

While it’s true that a decentralized currency could create havoc in the heavily centralized Chinese economic platform, the current size of the Bitcoin economy is so minuscule that any threat is perceived rather than real. Therefore, the ban may be more of a jockeying for seats and positions by current convention hopefuls, rather than a genuine financially motivated decision.

If this is the case, the ban will be purposeless post-election, and may well be ended. However, ICOs and exchanges may have already fled the country to other safer environments, so the damage may be too great to reverse.