Libra Coin — Currency of Corporations not People! – Hacker Noon
Facebook as founding member of Libra Association released the Libra Coin white paper. The not-for-profit association consists of large organizations, from payments industry to technology industry, and marketplaces, from Telecom to Academics, NGOs and Venture Capital firms — 27 co-founding corporations like MasterCard, PayPal, VISA, Stripe, Spotify, eBay, Uber, Lyft, Vodafone, CoinBase, Xapo, Thrive Capital, USV and Women World Banking, just to name a few, join hands together for financial inclusion of billions of people, mission to launch and control Libra Coin over so-called Libra Blockchain.
According to official website of Libra Association, The mission is:
“A simple global currency and financial infrastructure that empowers billions of people.”
So, What Is Libra?
As per official details: “Libra is built on a secure, scalable, and reliable Blockchain. Libra is backed by a reserve of assets that help keep its value stable. Libra is governed by the independent Libra Association, tasked with evolving the ecosystem.”
Can We Call Libra Coin a Cryptocurrency?
Let us find out the answers of basic questions about Libra Coin.
Is it open? No
Is it public? No
Is it borderless? No
Is it decentralized? No
Is it censorship-resistant? No
The five questions answered by Andreas via his tweet!
Interestingly, Libra Coin now looks more like a fiat currency not cryptocurrency.
Why Libra Coin Is Not Cryptocurrency?
As per the information given on Libra White paper, assets run on open source Blockchain called Libra Blockchain and are used via relation to a reserve asset.
“Libra is fully backed by a reserve of real assets. A basket of bank deposits and short-term government securities will be held in the Libra Reserve for every Libra that is created, building trust in its intrinsic value. The Libra Reserve will be administered with the objective of preserving the value of Libra over time.”
Libra Coin is a stable coin backed by basket of currencies and securities. If we see, Libra White Paper clearly stated that Libra is a centralized currency but posing it as a cryptocurrency, in the world of cryptocurrencies and market of dominating Bitcoin, decentralization is the cornerstone of Blockchain technology, which is totally absent in Libra Coin. The type of Blockchain is permissioned, only association members are able to join the network, to add nodes, validate transaction, mint and destroy Libra Coin. This is very unacceptable in the cryptocurrency industry that a few people or organizations control the financial future of billions of people. This is not the vision of Satoshi Nakamoto.
If you study Libra White Paper, you will find that Libra adopted too much concepts and technicality from Bitcoin, Ethereum and other Open Blockchains. However, the current governance model’s implementation and minting scheme giving perception of Banks and not Bitcoin. Libra Blockchain is centralized, backed by basket of currencies, consensus mechanism is very limited to Libra association only. Users can claim refunds, it means Libra Blockchain is not supporting hashing algorithms, which generally cryptocurrencies are depends on, like Bitcoin Blockchain based on SHA256, transactions are totally irreversible. Therefore, Libra Coin is not a Bitcoin killer.
Check Some Facts:
No single entity controls Bitcoin but Libra Coin is controlled by Libra Association — centralization.
Libra Coin is just a digital asset backed by fiat currencies, like USD, EUR, GBP etc, is it a cryptocurrency? — question of value.
Bitcoin is limited only 21 Million, Libra is unlimited, the future supply and control of minting lies within Libra Association — inflation.
Libra Coin will initially run on a permissioned Blockchain, miners much seek approval before launching a node. Currently, it is mandatory to have 1 billion dollar market cap of an organization to join the association. Bitcoin is permission-less, public Blockchain, anyone can join the network and start mining — different types of Blockchain, expensive membership.
Whenever a Libra Association mints Libra Coin, they have to store equivalent assets in fiat currencies and securities in a bank account, similarly when someone liquidate Libra Coin, Libra Association supposed to pass order of selling into Libra ledger, it requires strict monitoring and auditing, at Libra Association, only authorize resellers of Libra Association are able to create selling orders. This is not a function and a vision of cryptocurrency like Bitcoins, Ethers etc. Small institutions and micro-finance bodies will have no choice but to work under the control of authorized resellers. Founding members will someday act as a Visa or Central Bank of today.
Users buy and spend Libra coin using pseudonym but again Libra theoretical adopted anonymity factor of Bitcoin but implementation is totally against Bitcoin. When you look at the founding members, the concept of authorized resellers, the regulated Calibra (upcoming wallet of Libra Coin by Facebook), apps like Whatsapp and Messenger, nothing will be anonymous, everything related to KYC of users already available to association and its founding members.
Libra will face governance structure issues on the side of regulatory aspects from many countries and technical-implementation, giving ton of challenges in the dominating world of cryptocurrencies. What happen if Libra changes its minting rule overnight and not backed by fiat currencies or securities? Is it a concept of shadow bank? Is Libra a currency of corporations? Easy to become Bitcoin killer?
Considering the current model of the Libra Association, there is a chance for Libra coin to become dominating and allow business-to-customer transactions but limited to only those countries have high inflation rates. It may see that Libra becomes a quasi-sovereign currency in Venezuela, Argentina, Turkey and or South Africa controlled by private companies those do not care about monetary policies. Keep in notice, the given structure of Libra, give us the knowledge that it’s a currency of corporations, however central banks, issue currencies and setup monetary policies are members of International Monetary Funds, and they have very different goals compared to corporations.
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told Europe 1 that Libra cannot “become a sovereign currency”. — https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-06-18/france-calls-for-central-bank-review-of-facebook-cryptocurrency
By understanding all the facts, it is justified to conclude that there will be no harm to Bitcoin and Libra is not Bitcoin killer. The game is set now, but Facebook and Libra Association not going to own the phenomenal market as the corporate world is not sleeping, there will be thousands of stable coins are coming, as if Starbucks and AT&T will also issue money with no time. Amazingly, the fact of the business is making money by mastering the art of doing business.
Money is a product now.
Which money will be yours?
Dollar is the currency of state. Libra is the currency of corporations.
And Bitcoin is the currency of people.