Facebook's Libra 🔗

There was a lot of concern from regulators when Facebook announced Libra but it looks like they’re pushing ahead -

I’m pretty skeptical about blockchain generally, as we’ve billions poured into ICOs but very little in terms of blockchain powered solutions reaching scale. If anyone can do it then Facebook, with their massive audience, should be a good bet, right?

While I’m on the subject, there was a lot of debate about Libra at a Finimize event that I went to last night. They’re claiming that they’re building a service for the unbanked but obviously the ‘banked’ generally have more money to spend so I suspect they might just be claiming that in order to satisfy the regulators. It looks like the Alphaville team’s skeptical too.

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French finance minister Bruno Le Maire said on Thursday that France refuses to support the development of Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency in Europe because it puts the monetary sovereignty of states “in danger,” could result in systemic risks, and undermines the fight against financing terrorism.

Those are some pretty significant concerns.

France says it will not support Libra’s development in Europe - FT

I am highly sceptical to say at least about Libra. A digital currency that sits parallel to currencies issued by governments, but is not held back by the same constraints and potentially tax implications is a worry in one right.

It then being governed by a consortium of American private companies, led by Facebook, seems a rather nightmarish scenario to me. FB can’t even govern their own platform, nor protect the data that sits on it, let alone act as a neutral enforcer of currency.

I don’t trust them with my data, let alone with my money. That is not to say that the concept of Libra is wrong per se, I do believe a global digital currency has enormous merit, but for heavens sake let it be governed by a neutral body like the IMF or UN.

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I totally agree, it’ll be very interesting to see Christine Lagarde’s influence on this, when she becomes head of the European Central Bank because she’s made some favourable comments about governments issuing digital currencies in the past -

“The advantage is clear. Your payment would be immediate, safe, cheap and potentially semi-anonymous… And central banks would retain a sure footing in payments.”

Ms Lagarde said central banks in Canada, China, Sweden and Uruguay were all “seriously considering” digital currency proposals.

She added that while the case for digital currency “is not universal” it should be investigated “seriously, carefully and creatively”.

There we go, against Libra but open to a public digital currency -

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Despite the alarm from several countries, Facebook’s pushing ahead -

Undeterred, Facebook to press on with Libra launch next year (exec) - Yahoo Finance

but to be fair, this was said to a Swiss newspaper and the Swiss regulator has said that they’re willing to consider allowing Libra so perhaps they mean that they’ll start there and see how it goes.