Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

There's a very high probability that you have a prepaid debit card in your wallet. If you do, it's probably perfectly safe.

Yes, but: Some Americans, however, work in a quasi-legal industries like sex work or cannabis, and they can find it difficult to sign up for normal bank accounts or prepaid debit cards.

  • The result is that they can end up holding their money in foreign banks that have no FDIC protection.

Driving the news: An NBC News investigation, part of the FinCEN files obtained by BuzzFeed News, shows how debit-card company Payoneer steered its sex-worker clients to a Belizean bank that ultimately went bust.

The bottom line: Prepaid debit cards are cash-like instruments that have obvious attraction to money launderers. As such, they're a dangerous and under-regulated part of the financial system. If your money isn't in a U.S. bank, there's a good chance it isn't safe.

  • The crypto equivalent of prepaid debit cards is the stablecoin, purportedly backed by currency deposits at a foreign bank. That's even more dangerous.

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Oct 23, 2020 - Economy & Business

Turkish lira's crash shows the value of central bank confidence

Expand chart
Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

The value of the Turkish lira against the dollar fell more than 2% immediately following the central bank's decision not to adjust its benchmark one-week repo rate, sending the currency plummeting to its lowest level on record.

Why it matters: Turkey is becoming a cautionary tale of what can happen when a central bank loses its independence and credibility and is effectively controlled by the president.

Pre-bunking rises ahead of the 2020 election

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Tech platforms are no longer satisfied with debunking falsehoods — now they're starting to invest in efforts that preemptively show users accurate information to help them counter falsehoods later on.

Why it matters: Experts argue that pre-bunking can be a more effective strategy for combative misinformation than fact-checking. It's also a less polarizing way to address misinformation than trying to apply judgements to posts after they've been shared.

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
1 hour ago - Sports

Locker Room wants to reinvent how fans talk sports

Courtesy: Betty Labs

Locker Room, a social audio app where fans can talk sports and spontaneously join live conversations, launches Tuesday on the App Store.

The state of play: The company behind Locker Room, Betty Labs, has raised $9.3 million in seed funding led by Google Ventures with participation from Lightspeed Venture Partners, Axios has learned.

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