Andreas M. Antonopoulos a Bitcoin promoter and educator has come out very strongly against Facebook’s Libra. He has broken Facebook’s reference of Libra as blockchain-based. The Bitcoin bull believes that Libra will never compete with Bitcoin or any other public blockchain. In his London Talk platform, Antonopoulos further criticized the token saying that its usage was tantamount to killing democracy.
He is quoted to have said:
“More than anything else, this is a surveillance coin. It is the worst kind of surveillance coin connected to the worst kind of surveillance capitalism…Remember that every time you make an easy transaction and you hear the little ding-ding sound of that, remember that’s the sound of democracy dying. That is the sound of personal privacy dying and you just made someone rich while killing all of the things that matters in free societies. “
FED Chair: Libra Is A Concern
In a similar fashion, Jerome Powell the Federal Reserve Chairman has also slammed Libra. In his Senate Banking Committee testimony on Libra, Powell said that the Facebook initiative had raised a lot of concerns. This is especially so in the areas revolving around consumer protection, money laundering, privacy and financial stability. His comments on Bitcoin however, were rather unexpected. The Federal Reserve actually described BTC as a speculative store of value and likened it to gold.
The Fed chair however did admit that due to Facebook’s extensive network, Libra could be, “essentially, immediately systemically important.” According to Eric Posner, a University of Chicago Law School Professor, if Libra succeeds, it will replicate each failure that Facebook has generated in the past.
The onslaught facing Facebook has not been unwarranted. The social media giant that started out as an information liberation platform is now one of the most distrusted businesses when it comes to the privacy of user data. It is Posner’s view that Libra could end up subjugating the financial future of its billions of users to a handful of for profit corporations.
Libra Is Not Decentralized
Facebook’s final vision for Libra is to have a financial network modeled on its social media network. The plan is to eventually merge the two into one gigantic social and financial network. In its whitepaper, Facebook pledges to take their services to the financially marginalized so that they can benefit from easy, fast and dirt-cheap transactions.
Unfortunately, through the Calibra organization, Libra’s overseer, Facebook could potentially just increase its hold over people. As many of its critics say, Libra lacks the decentralized nature of cryptocurrencies. For one it backed by fiat and these reserves are safeguarded by for-profits who are rumored to have paid fees in excess of $10 million to have a seat at the table.
To run a legal business entity of this nature, Libra Coin will need to adhere to the FinCEN’s Bank Secrecy Act (BSA). Its users should therefore expect that their transactions and personal details would have a record. Libra enthusiasts could however claim that Bitcoin’s transactions are not utterly anonymous, since a blockchain is a public ledger of transactions. The problem with Libra is that unlike BTC, it can be monopolized by its controllers.