New technologies are often met with skepticism from the general public, and cryptocurrency has been no exception by far. Despite the added concerns crypto faces from the sheer thought of storing monetary assets solely on electronics, decentralized coins are shielded from one key area of consumer distrust: corporate integrity.
On June 18th, Facebook subsidiary Calibra debuted its own cryptocurrency, Libra. While functioning as a crypto asset would – with the ability to send and receive assets between both users and businesses – Libra’s centralization combined with Facebook’s questionable user privacy reputation has certainly influenced a recent survey by CivicScience on public opinion of Libra, Facebook, and crypto in general.
According to the survey of 1,799 Americans, 40% replied they’d trust it less than Bitcoin and existing altcoins, with 19% trusting it equally, 39% unsure, and a whopping 2% trusting Libra more than other cryptocurrencies.
The same skepticism is echoed in a survey question on how much respondents trusted Facebook with personal information, where 77% replied “Not at all”, with 21% and 2% replying “A little” and “A lot”, respectively.
While this data is certainly not conclusive on public reasoning behind mistrust of digital assets, the sharp contrast between trust of Libra and Bitcoin certainly reflects on a public skepticism of large corporations, especially Facebook and its recent privacy concerns.
The more that technological and financial corporations abuse the trust of consumers by misusing data and using oligopolistic powers to their own advantage, the more that those disgruntled with the current state of affairs will turn to the financial liberty offered by decentralized cryptocurrencies.
While Libra’s success may seem superficially bound to the future of Bitcoin, the relationship between centralized and decentralized may turn out as an inverse function; although Facebook’s tyrannical rule over consumers and their data may indeed benefit their annual report, it may well set the decentralized future in stone. Cryptocurrency is growing more and more inevitable each day, but in the end, the true war will be between the corporate power behind Libra, and the liberating decentralization of Bitcoin and Ethereum.
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