Mihai Alisie, an Ethereum co-founder, isn’t the biggest fan of Facebook’s Project Libra. His claim is a sentiment that many who work in the blockchain industry share: Libra is missing the entire point by having a central authority.
That’s not to say that he doesn’t think the project will work. Rather, it’s that Facebook’s cryptocurrency may be a bit too powerful.
A core tenet of blockchain technology is that no one party is in control. It’s just like how nobody owns the internet. That, and if Libra is the asset to bring blockchain usage to the mainstream, it will stand in the way of everything developers have accomplished with the technology thus far. Alisie had some choice words on the matter, as Bloomberg reports.
We’re Still Missing Key Information Regarding Libra
“This has implications on so many areas, from the economic to the political to the technological to surveillance and data privacy,” says Alisie. “[Facebook] is a very well-oiled machine of surveillance. It is actively manipulating the behavior of people on a global scale.”
Alisie isn’t the only one showing concern about Facebook’s Libra, either. Recently, President Donald Trump shared some thoughts on the asset in a long rant about cryptocurrencies in general. “Facebook Libra’s ‘virtual currency’ will have little standing or dependability,” he said in a tweet. The United States government isquestioning the project as well.
However, we know that David Marcus, head of the Libra project, is testifying in front of Congress next week. There, we should be getting more answers regarding Facebook’s end goal. It’s common knowledge that the asset won’t necessarily be decentralized — at least at first. Instead, the social media giant is partnering with companies like PayPal and Visa to act as verifying nodes. In fact, by the time it goes live next year, Libra should have 100 companies onboard the project. But that’s only the start.
Not Now, Later
Dante Disparte, the head of policy and communications at Libra, says that in five years the project will be “totally permissionless and totally decentralized. This project will help drive mass adoption of cryptocurrency more so than anything to date,” he concluded.
That part right there is what worries Alisie even more. Facebook doesn’t want regulators to step in until after they’ve gotten everything together. So not when the asset launches next year, but when it hits its ‘prime,’ so to speak.
The Ethereum co-founder finds this fishy. This is meant “to mislead the regulators who have learned in the last few years that blockchain is not something that can easily be regulated,” he says. Alisie believes Libra should be treated as a developer right now, not five years after it’s had time to do what it wants.
He then makes his defining point:
“People should be aware this is a danger very similar to net neutrality. Is it smart to have this infrastructure layer owned by a company? This is not an upgrade, this is a downgrade for what blockchain means.”
What do you think of Project Libra? Are you onboard or would you rather stick with more traditional cryptocurrencies? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!