I will not explain what Libra is as there are thousands such explanations you can search on Google, instead here’s a few points you should know about this development:
1. This is expected, a logical step in the evolution of cryptocurrency. Everyone has been preaching “the herd is coming” for months, and when they do everyone is surprised. What surprises me is the speed of this development and the hype behind it, as usually such innovations take longer to get adoption.
2. Many are criticizing Facebook for launching a centralized coin. First off, this is NOT fully centralized, there is a consortium with many members and Facebook is simply one of those members. Facebook has also laid out a path towards further decentralization. What more can you expect? This is already a MASSIVE step forward for regulators to accept and may even be rejected by many jurisdictions. If you want cryptocurrency to be adopted, expect it to take time. Another important point is Governance, perfect example is The Ethereum DAO hack. You cannot expect such disagreements when it comes to a global crypto that is a stable store of value and used my potentially billions around the world.
3. Libra may never see the light of day due to regulation, however even if this is the case, the announcement has brought incredible PR and attention to the crypto space. I hate making predictions however I expect Libra to gain traction, but it will take time and not all countries will play ball. But remember that Libra has 27 tremendously powerful founding members that provides immense lobbying power and avoids anti-trust allegations.
4. Some are fearing Facebook having access to their data and linking it to their money should not worry as: one, this is inevitable as privacy will continue to die a slow death over the next few decades, and secondly any information shared with Calibra, the company managing Libra, will not be shared with Facebook. I am sure they will offer this option as, again, it is inevitable.
5. Anyone criticizing Facebook for leveraging Libra to make money rather than help the world is forgetting that Facebook is a FOR PROFIT entity, what do you expect! What actually surprises me is that Facebook will not be directly profiting from Libra other than being one of the many nodes on the Libra blockchain. Another advantage is of course benefiting from it’s users using Libra to increase sales and therefore increase Facebook’s ad revenue.
6. One area the West is lagging behind countries like China is mobile payments, and Libra is a way to not only catch up but also be ahead of China as it is partially decentralized with a path for further decentralization over time. I would be interested to see how China catches up to this development, I wouldn’t be surprised if Alipay launches a similar consortium and cryptocurrency however their path to decentralization will most likely be very different to Libra.
I need to further analyse the whitepaper however based on what I’ve read so far, this is a very positive development in the space, a step in the right direction, and I am excited to see how things progress from here. I also applaud Facebook for taking this step as it’s both a positive development for the space and a smart business decision by Facebook.