David Marcus, the former PayPal exec who now heads Facebook’s blockchain division, is busy defending Libra from all the doubters.
Hey, Why All the Hate on Libra?
Libra is a new cryptocurrency that Facebook is developing. Users will be able to utilize Libra for purchases through Facebook’s WhatsApp program, as well as through merchants’ websites that offer Facebook login options. The currency is designed to offer faster payment and transaction speeds and give people more financial freedom.
Unfortunately, these claims have failed to convince everyone. At press time, several lawmakers see Facebook as public enemy number one given its growing list of scandals and potential ties to Cambridge Analytica. The company was caught selling users’ private data to third parties for advertising purposes last year, and as a result, there are simply too many questions regarding how Facebook plans to keep people’s financial data secure.
Several members of Congress have asked Facebook to put a hold on its cryptocurrency plans until more information can be dissected.
Marcus acknowledges why people would be nervous about the social media platform’s financial ambitions and seeks to provide answers for everyone in a blog entry he posted early Wednesday morning. In the post, he writes that users will not have to worry about a lack of privacy, as Facebook will not have the control critics allege:
Facebook will not control the network, the currency, or the reserve backing it. Facebook will only be one among over a hundred members of the Libra Association by launch. We will not have any special rights or privileges.
That may be so, but one thing that concerns many readers and crypto enthusiasts as of late is the idea that Libra’s control will be handed over to a small group of non-profit organizations and credit card companies. This falls in line with a centralized enterprise, and many cryptocurrencies have grown in popularity thanks to their decentralized ideals.
In the blog post, Marcus admits that Libra will not be fully decentralized at first, though he says the company has good reasons for making it so. He writes:
It’s important to start with trusted entities that can operate in a regulated environment and with the operational expertise required to ensure the integrity of the network in its foundational stage.
Marcus: You’ll All Be Better Off
Marcus is insisting that those who are “poorly served” by today’s ailing banking system will be better served by Facebook’s Libra. He explains:
With Libra, anyone with a $40 smartphone and connectivity will have the ability to securely safeguard their assets, access the world economy, transact at a much lower cost and over time, access a whole range of financial services. We firmly believe that if Libra is successful, it can be a non-linear step change for billions of people who need it the most.