Alex Karasulu: Libra Better Than PayPal?
In a recent interview, he seeks to answer questions regarding Libra and clear up some of the “myths and legends” that surround it. For example, he comments that Libra will not necessarily be a cryptocurrency in the way bitcoin, Ethereum or Litecoin is, but rather it will be a payment system much like PayPal. In Karasulu’s words, it will be a “better version of PayPal.” Clearly he’s one of Libra’ biggest fans.
In the interview, he states:
Libra, the blockchain, is a permissioned blockchain, which means that only authorized validators are allowed on the network. Each of the 100 corporate members in the Libra Foundation act as transaction validators. It’s a cartel from the beginning and that may present issues with both organizations outside of the Foundation and won’t fly well with diehard bitcoin fans and crypto-anarchist types.
To an extent, this just sounds like fancy wording for the fact that Libra will be a centralized platform. It’s not in the hands of the people using it, but rather controlled by an association of approximately 27 organizations ranging from Uber to Visa.
Interesting that Karasulu would describe Libra as a better PayPal, however, considering PayPal was one of the coin’s biggest supporters and was originally slated to be part of the Libra Association. News recently emerged that the company was parting ways with Libra and was potentially moving on to other projects.
If Libra is, in fact, better like Karasulu says, is it possible that PayPal felt a little intimidated and didn’t want to contribute to a platform that could potentially outdo it in size and scale?
As it stands, Libra can be influenced by “central bankers,” according to Karasulu. This is likely to get in the way of crypto enthusiasts’ feelings towards the platform. He also comments that it lacks “ethos,” stating:
It’s empty and soulless to most cryptocurrency enthusiasts but they’re sure to see tractions because billions of users exist on Facebook and the platforms of the 100 members that will use it to transact… Most users won’t notice the difference between a ‘real’ liberating cryptocurrency versus Libra and will enter the crypto verse for the first time through it.
It Will Be New to Lots of People
Wayne Chen – CEO of Interlapse Technologies – seems to believe that Libra will have an “overwhelming” effect on Facebook’s users given that most of the two billion individuals with accounts are not involved in digital payments or crypto. Thus, this is likely to be a massive learning experience for them. He says:
Regardless of the technical and derivative differences, the stability of Libra will have compounding effects to major cryptocurrencies simply from an industry-wide association.