Advocates of privacy coins and currency decentralization have joined the rejection of Facebook Libra
As part of a widespread rejection of Mark Zuckerberg’s stablecoin Libra, supporters of decentralized digital currencies, as well as privacy advocates, join a long list of organisations and politicians, claiming that a digital currency run by the Facebook CEO totally lacks trust.
Libra Is Running Out Of Fans
Over the last 6 months, Libra, which is Mark Zuckerberg’s attempt to revolutionize the global financial system with a digital currency, has been rejected by corporate leaders, central banks and politicians in the Western World.
The Libra association, which is the consortium of corporate businesses supporting the project, has shrunk since October -- with Mastercard, Visa and eBay withdrawing from the project.
Mastercard cited their expectation that the association will fail to live up to regulatory recommendations as the primary reason for its exit.
To make matters worse for Zuckerberg, the US senate -- which were already a pain point for Facebook during the Cambridge Analytica scandal -- have been intolerant to Libra:
"Instead of cleaning up your house you are launching into a new business model” is what Republican Senator said to the millennial CEO of Facebook, airing concerns which crossed the American political divide that Facebook will misuse public financial data to sell ads.
More recently, strong opinions about Libra are being aired by the general public as well as members of the cryptocurrency and blockchain community.
‘Why Libra Won’t Work’: What Many In The Crypto Community Think
Some advocates of ultra-private coins such as Monero as well as die-hard fans of the principles entrenched in Satoshi Nakamoto’s initial whitepaper claim that the idea of a Facebook coin, or a government-backed coin is too far removed from the raison d'etre of cryptocurrency.
The co-founder of AgoraDesk.com and localmonero -- two businesses that work by providing a forum where private cryptocurrency buyers and sellers post their bids and offers in a peer-to-peer manner, argued that:
“Libra won’t work. A corporate-backed currency completely goes against the USP of cryptocurrency. The hint is in the fact it’s supposed to be ‘crypto’.
A government ledger used to track individual activity in a totalitarian manner, or a Facebook coin where delegates control the ledger and use the data to support their private interests is wrong.
The people who got Bitcoin to $10,000 and the people who understand the community, the culture and how the blockchain works won’t tolerate it. This is why Libra won’t work.”
General Opinion: ‘Facebook Lacks Trust’.
A recent 13 country poll by the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions forum revealed that the trend towards rejecting Libra isn’t only a corporate trend or a community fad.
In fact, the poll finds that the idea of a digital currency owned by the largest social media company in the world lacked trust in wider society
The results found that a global majority would not be confident in digital money issued by the biggest search engines and social media companies.
Responding to the OMFI results, privacy advocate Nathan Williams, who is CEO of Minespider -- a company that uses blockchain to ethically track supply chains, also passionately remarked:
“People need to be able to trust the companies that handle their money and payments. Facebook is the most prominent company in a seemingly unending stream of corporate scandals involving the mishandling of people's data, so it's no surprise that people wouldn't trust them to be a bank too."
Nathan Williams also commented that the aim of privacy of monetary exchange is “to protect individuals from large criminal organizations, overreaching government surveillance and rogue states. It is to protect individuals from a bigger threat.”, although he did recognise the legitimate risk of privacy coins enabling money laundering but contended that this problem is not solved by a Facebook coin.
The Future Of Centralized Digital Currency
Despite these strong opinions about the birth of privately owned digital currencies like Libra, there is still some belief in the potential for centralized alternatives to currencies like Bitcoin and Monero.
Perhaps surprisingly, 51% of pollers favoured a digital currency distributed and monitored by the central bank.
The deputy chairman of the research forum, Philip Middleton says: this should instigate the public sector to invest “far more” in communication about how institutions can morally wield digital currency in order to allay public fears about centralized digital currencies.
However, many have remained completely sceptical about the adoption of digital currencies by banks, governments and private entities such as Facebook.