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Cryptocurrency influencers react to Facebook’s Libra, boon or risk for Bitcoin?

Cryptocurrency influencers react to Facebook’s Libra, boon or risk for Bitcoin?

Some of the most prominent figures in the crypto community took to Twitter to share their thoughts on Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency. While some claim that Libra lacks the necessary features to compete with Bitcoin in the race to become the world’s currency, others argue that it could destroy most altcoins and stablecoins in the market.

Facebook’s Libra

Facebook’s highly anticipated cryptocurrency was finally unveiled.

“[It] is a new global cryptocurrency, built on an open-source blockchain called the Libra Blockchain featuring its own proof-of-stake protocol,” said the whitepaper.

The term “global cryptocurrency” comes from the fact that it nodes will be distributed across the globe and it is not pegged to a single fiat currency, according to the documents. Instead, it will be backed by different real-world assets denominated in the American dollar, British pound, Japanese yen, and the euro and other low-risk securities.

The Libra Association, a Switzerland-based non-profit, will release the Libra blockchain in 2020 with a group of 28 founding members that will be in charge of validating transactions in the network. The list of network validators include Visa, Mastercard, Paypal, Uber, Lyft, eBay, and others, that have invested around $10 million to be part of the board and operate a node.

Facebook also launched a new subsidiary called Calibra, which is a digital wallet designed to “provide financial services that will enable people to access and participate in the Libra network.” With Facebook’s gigantic user base and its ability to leverage WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram, Calibra will instantaneously compete with the world’s most popular existing wallets and exchanges, such as Coinbase, RobinHood, CashApp, and others.

Even though this is a massive play for Facebook for entering the financial services industry, the cryptocurrency community expressed a mixture of concern, distrust, and excitement. Many took to Twitter to express their sentiment about the recent move by the social network giant.

Crypto Twitter’s reaction

Anthony Sassano, the co-founder of EthHub, points out that in order to sign up for Calibra, a government-issued ID is required to “comply with laws and prevent fraud.”

According to @AkadoSand, this KYC procedure poses a major security risk for its users since the first time a transaction is made from an account, any future transactions will be linked to it as well as any other sensitive information.

With a user base of two billion people, Changpeng Zhao, the founder and CEO of Binance, believes that Facebook will not only have access to its users names, IDs, addresses, phone numbers, family members, friends, real-time and historic location, but with the introduction of Calibra, it will now gain access to their financial data.

Such a vast amount of information under a central authority could lead to a “disaster in slow motion,” as Tamas Blummer, a Bitcoin Core developer, indicates. The VP at CoinTerra suggests that technical features of Libra, such as “account model, generic language, [and] on-chain scaling,” makes it more of an Ethereum competitor than Bitcoin.

Along the same lines, Pavol Rusnak, CTO at SatoshiLabs, and Ran Neu-Ner, CEO of Onchain Capital,  asserted that Facebook’s new cryptocurrency could have the potential to replace altcoins and stablecoins, but it will fail against Bitcoin.

The fact that Libra is not decentralized or censorship resistant, while its legal and tax status remains unclear— as Larry Cermak, research director at The Block Crypto pointed out—reduces its chances of becoming “the Bitcoin killer.”

To Peter Todd, a Bitcoin Core developer, Libra is indeed just an “unscalable centralized database,” but to Saifaden Ammous, author of The Bitcoin Standard, it is actually the only cryptocurrency other than Bitcoin that has the potential to succeed.

Libra is still one year away from being launched and its impact on the cryptocurrency market remains to be seen. As Facebook advertises its new project to its 2 billion customers, more people will be exposed to the terms “cryptocurrency” and “blockchain,” which could bring more attention into the market. The overall sentiment across the crypto community can be summed up in one tweet by Alistair Milne, CIO at Atlanta Digital Currency Fund.

Filed Under: , Libra, People of Blockchain, Stablecoins, Technology
Ali Martinez

After Ali began forex trading in 2012 In 2014, he came across Bitcoin’s whitepaper and was so fascinated by the idea of a decentralized, borderless, and censorship-resistant currency that he started buying Bitcoin. By 2015, he started traveling to spread the word about Bitcoin.

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