Oh, Libra… Has it occurred to you yet that perhaps venturing into the crypto space wasn’t the greatest idea? And that maybe creating an entirely new cryptocurrency as a means of garnering Facebook’s trust back wasn’t the best response to the Cambridge Analytica scandal?
Libra Pushes Through the Mud
Despite several companies exiting the Libra Association, despite several delays, regulatory problems and anger from the U.S. Congress and international governing bodies, Libra has taken the time to let its “fans” know that it will be moving forward as planned.
The Libra Association was going to start out with 28 members. It fell to 27 over a week ago when PayPal, one of the project’s biggest supporters, decided to hit the road and pursue other paths. This really didn’t look good considering David Marcus, the head of Facebook’s blockchain department and the leading developer behind Libra, used to be a PayPal executive.
From there, several defections took place. At press time, as many as six companies have cut their ties to the Libra Association, including Mastercard, Visa and Uber citing worries regarding regulation and the company’s tough relationship with U.S. lawmakers.
Libra, however, is either being very stubborn, or has a lot of resolve. Today, the company signed 21 charter members at its latest inauguration meeting in Geneva, Switzerland. Despite everything that’s happened, it appears there are a few companies out there willing to stay loyal, and Libra is doing all it can to hang onto them.
At this stage, though, it’s easy to assume that perhaps its not so much loyalty that’s keeping these firms together, but rather the potential for profit. Many of the remaining members of the Libra Association are capital venture funds that are intrigued by the notion of making money with new technology. While Facebook itself has been around for roughly 16 years, Libra is still relatively new. Nobody has developed a centralized global cryptocurrency like this before, so it’s possible many of these companies that stay are thinking about all the money there is to be had.
Will People Even Use It?
The only issue is there will be no funds unless people agree to utilize Libra, and at this stage, that notion is looking a little far-fetched. It seems Facebook is having a very hard time repairing its reputation following the Cambridge scandal in 2018, and surveys suggests that trust in Libra is very weak, with less than three percent of Facebook users saying they would consider using it.
That would be a real shame if the company puts all this work, time, and above all, money into something that winds up on the cutting room floor. If the company were to lose enough, it’s likely Facebook would have a very hard time recovering financially.