Facebook’s Libra is getting some criticism from an unlikely source: Ripple’s Marcus Treacher.
Treacher: Libra’s Got to Open Up a Bit
Treacher is the company’s senior vice president of customer success. According to an interview he did with CNBC his primary complain is that Libra will be a “closed system” or a “walled garden” as he calls it.
This basically means that Libra will be largely controlled by a team of executives. The power will not be in the hands of the people who use it, but in those who have developed it. In other words, Libra will be centralized.
This is interesting coming from Treacher considering he works for a crypto venture that many enthusiasts, users and analysts alike refer to as centralized itself. At press time, many of Ripple’s XRP units (upwards of 50 percent or more) are still in the hands of Ripple executives, meaning that they are not available to the public. Those at the top remain in charge of the cryptocurrency and serve as the primary owners.
This goes against the main notion of cryptocurrency considering that it is designed to give the general public access to better financial tools and control over their money. This rule applies to bitcoin, Ethereum and several other digital assets, but Ripple is left out of the “decentralized circle.”
Treacher still rushed to defend Ripple’s present business model, claiming:
It’s a network, but it has no perimeter. It connects with all of the players that want to use the technology.
In the end, Treacher is confident this system will get in Libra’s way, and as we can see, problems are already stirring the pot. Very few people, for example, trust Libra’s parent company following the Cambridge Analytica scandal that made headlines in early 2018. Even more disturbing is the idea that less than three percent of social media users say they would willingly use the digital coin.
Lastly, the U.S. Congress has been particularly harsh towards Libra, grilling lead developer David Marcus and questioning whether the company could really keep people’s financial data safe.
Bakkt Didn’t Do Anything; Why Will Libra?
This isn’t to say, however, that Treacher isn’t confident in Libra’s potential. He comments that it could still be a “good thing” given that a “Silicon Angle giant” is moving into the crypto space. He believes that the company could potentially do a lot to legitimize digital currency once and for all, though in many ways, this is also questionable.
It was argued by several analysts and industry experts that the new ICE platform Bakkt, designed to bring institutional players closer to crypto, would ultimately legitimize the space. At press time, however, it’s being blamed for bitcoin’s sudden price crash in that it failed to garner any serious attention after “opening for business.”