Viewpoint: For Facebook’s Cryptocurrency, the Well May Already Be Poisoned
In June, Facebook made waves when it confirmed it was planning to launch its own cryptocurrency in 2020. Called Libra, the system will be connected to Facebook’s massive user base, granting it the immediate potential of rivaling such established systems as Google Pay and PayPal. Indeed, Libra hopes to become the world’s most widely adopted digital currency — sparking the kind of economic revolution that cryptocurrency has long promised, but has so far largely failed to deliver. Unlike other digital coins, however, Libra’s main barrier to success won’t be its technology, but its image.
The privacy concerns associated with Facebook, along with the general skepticism associated with notoriously volatile cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, are hardly relevant to Libra’s platform and functionality. But that won’t erase regulators’ prejudices. Libra’s ability to enamor and educate already highly skeptical and generally misinformed legislators around the world — and in particular, in the West — will mean the difference between joining the ranks of global currencies or sharing the same fate of other high-profile cryptocurrency busts that have come before it.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.