On The Fence: Facebook Libra

Dawid Paluch
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Since Facebook announced its coin, there has been a lot of speculation about it. Because of that, we decided to gather the most interesting opinions of experts from the industry.

We are not the alpha and the omega. We don’t know everything. Sometimes, it is wise to listen to more experienced, better-suited people from the cryptocurrency world. So, here they are.

Privacy and trust

Let’s start with the latest quote. David Marcus, the head of Libra, answered some questions from U.S. lawmakers. In the letter to the Senate Banking Committee, he addressed issues presented by lawmakers back in May. He assured them that Libra will respect data privacy. He said:

“Similar to existing and widespread cryptocurrencies such as ethereum and bitcoin, transactions that take place directly on the Libra Blockchain are ‘pseudonymous,’ meaning that the user’s identity is not publicly visible.”

Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel-prize winner, is on the other side of the fence. He was very harsh for the cryptocurrency industry, and he didn’t hold back against Libra. Stiglitz said: 

“Only a fool would trust Facebook with his or her financial well being. But maybe that’s the point: with so much personal data on some 2.4 billion monthly active users, who knows better than Facebook just how many suckers are born every minute?”

Is this even a cryptocurrency?

“I know, I know, “it’s not a cryptocurrency!!!” some will yell.  Well, yes and no. Relative to PayPal or to the US dollar, Libra is very much a cryptocurrency.  Relative to Bitcoin or ZCash or DAI, Libra is not all that crypto-y,” said Erik Voorhees, the CEO of ShapeShift. He also added is his Twitter’s thread: 

“Anything that causes normal people to consider new forms of money (apart from their default position of “my nation, my currency”) is a good thing. Libra will crack open further global discussion about what money is, and that sunshine will hurt fiat, and help all sound monies.”

Andreas Antonopoulos, Bitcoin evangelist, doesn’t have such a good opinion about it. He said that Facebook’s Libra doesn’t involve real blockchain and it will never be a fierce competitor for Bitcoin.

Regulations

Whatever Libra will be, we already know that many countries have raised concerns about it. According to CoinDesk, South Korea’s attitude is that Libra is a major threat to traditional banking.

China also has some issues with Libra. Wang Xin, a head of the research bureau at the PBoC, is afraid that Libra will be too much dollar-centric. He said: 

“There would be in essence one boss, that is the U.S. dollar and the United States. If so, it would bring a series of economic, financial and even international political consequences.”

Even the United States has some concerns. Maxine Waters, chair of the House Financial Services Committee, said:

“Given the company’s troubled past, I am requesting that Facebook agree to a moratorium on any movement forward on developing a cryptocurrency until Congress and regulators have the opportunity to examine these issues and take action.”

The United Kingdom is more open-minded. Mark Carney, Bank of England Governor, said:

“We will look at it very closely and in a coordinated fashion. So open mind, but not open door.”

John McAfee, obviously, has his own opinion. In his tweet, he stated:

So, the experts are divided about Libra. After all, there are more negative voices than positive ones. The TIE has published a report with a geographical breakdown of the crypto Twitter. It can be seen there that almost 55% of all Libra’s tweets were negative.

Of course, we still don’t know enough. Perhaps, Libra will take the cryptocurrency industry to another level. Or, maybe it will stop the fast development of digital coins. Whatever the answer may be, it is the hottest topic for discussion in the crypto world.

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