By Joshua McMorrow-Hernandez, News Editor
Economists and consumers alike are buzzing about Libra, a cryptocurrency recently developed by Facebook that the social media giant’s leaders say will “transform the global economy.” Facebook will share control of Libra with credit card companies, venture capital firms, and other organizations, and will enable users to exchange the cryptocurrency via Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. Long range, Facebook hopes Libra will be accepted as a payment medium much like its widely acclaimed blockchain counterpart Bitcoin.
But while electronic cash is catching on in an era of digital retail and online banking, what does the emergence of Libra, slated for launch in the first months of 2020, mean for the larger world of cryptocurrency? While Facebook is already building a subsidiary firm known as Calibra to help build services around the Libra digital wallet, many are concerned — including regulators — about the potential ramifications of Facebook’s gestures in the world of crypto money. After all, Facebook is still dealing with blowbacks concerning user privacy issues, not to mention various sociopolitical controversies.
“Libra is an attempt by social media to co-opt and corrupt the concept of cryptocurrencies,” says COINage Cryptocurrency Editor James Passin. “This attempt, in itself, is highly stimulative and inflationary. If this attempt is even moderately successful, it will curse a portion of the world’s population to de facto slavery. As a stable coin subject to censorship and repression, Libra has no upside, but material non-economic downside.”