Digital currency

Facebook faces grilling from Washington

I graphic saying "coming up"
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Facebook's executives could be forgiven for thinking that this week was bad enough, what with Donald Trump attacking them on Twitter and Jay Powell pouring cold water on their cryptocurrency ambitions. But the Silicon Valley panopticon will get even more attention from Washington this week.

Driving the news: An antitrust hearing on Tuesday will feature executives from Apple, Amazon and Google as well as Facebook.

The West, dragged into the cashless society

Using Alipay on the bus
Alipay on the bus in Hangzhou. Photo: VCG/Getty

In a trend that has been coming for about a decade, the developing world is dragging the advanced economies into the age of cashless, credit card-less payments in which we will do most of our business by smartphone.

What's happening: Starting first in east Africa and spreading to China, internet-based, mobile payment systems may be on the verge of cracking the ultra-difficult U.S. and Europe markets, potentially threatening the long stranglehold of big banks and credit card companies.