In comparison to the stellar performance a month ago, crypto markets are down, and so are the spirits of many cryptocurrency investors. After wiping out billions of dollars, most cryptocurrencies are yet to rise from the depressed values. Bitcoin is presently trading at $7,652.83, while ETH is valued at $166.79. But no matter how distressing your portfolio looks at the moment, it’s probably less dented compared to Facebook’s Libra. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently testified before Congress and it did not go so well.
Ethereum Co-founder Joseph Lubin and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey have joined the legion of Libra critics. Lubin criticized Zuckerberg’s testimony before the House Financial Services Committee. Jack Dorsey, also the founder of Square Inc., clarified that Twitter had no plans of joining the Libra association, and cited that Facebook was so wrong for referring to Libra as a cryptocurrency.
Twitter Won’t Be Joining The Libra Association
In an interview with BuzzFeed, Jack Dorsey stated that it was wrong of Facebook to label Libra as a cryptocurrency, and when asked about joining the consortium of companies that back Libra, he said firmly, “hell, no!” Dorsey also pointed out that Libra is “not an open internet standard” and goes against what he personally stands for.
Dorsey has been an advocate of bitcoin for some time. This unwavering love of bitcoin led many to speculate about a Twitter-based cryptocurrency especially after competitor Facebook announced plans for the Libra digital currency in June. Last month, however, the Twitter CEO said there won’t be a Twitter coin because Bitcoin is “the best bet, it has a great brand and it’s been tested a bunch”.
Let’s not forget that the Square CEO has been working on the Square CashApp which mainly provides payment services. This app which is available on both Android and iOS allows some users to buy and sell bitcoin.
Additionally, Dorsey is a proponent of the use of Bitcoin’s Lightning Network for micropayments and tipping. During the interview with BuzzFeed, Dorsey opined that payments to news networks would shift to a new micropayment model with the help of the Lightning Network:
“New model: pay with Lightning for news # micropayments”
Ethereum Co-founder Lambasts Zuckerberg’s Testimony
Ethereum co-founder and founder of ConsenSys, Joseph Lubin voiced his opinion regarding Zuckerberg’s hearing before Congress on October 23 in a 21-part tweet thread. He said Facebook’s reason for launching the Libra cryptocurrency is to gain financial supremacy and also to not be left out when new technologies like blockchain become the order of the day in the near future.
In Lubin’s words, Facebook’s track record on data privacy makes it hard to believe the company will “do anything particularly novel” to achieve its ambitious vision. He then went ahead to point out that blockchains like ethereum which has a vast number of developers stand a better chance at improving financial inclusion than Facebook has with developing Libra.
Lubin also seemed to suggest that Facebook should use projects that are already making headway instead of continuing with Libra which is yet to get off the ground:
“Mark, instead of co-opting decentralized technology and dumbing it down, why not work on contributing to something where thousands of people are already making progress?”
Will The China Threat Turn The Tables In Favor Of Facebook?
Many have suggested that Facebook’s Libra will give the United States an edge over its top rival, China. As ZyCrypto reported, China is already developing its digital renminbi. Also, Chinese president Xi Jinping recently gave his first in-depth comments about blockchain technology. Jinping opined that China needs to take advantage of blockchain technology and use it to foster core innovations. This further fuels the speculation that the US risks being left out if it nixes Libra.
While acknowledging that Libra is a “risky project”, Zuckerberg warned that China would gain the upper hand if the United States government blocked Libra:
“China is moving quickly to launch a similar idea in the coming months. Libra is going to be backed mostly by dollars and I believe that it will extend America’s financial leadership around the world as well as our democratic values and oversight […] If America doesn’t innovate, our financial leadership is not guaranteed,” he said.
Nonetheless, analyst and founding partner at Primitive Crypto Dovey Wan criticized Zuckerberg for using the China threat to woo the US government. At present, the US government is taking a conservative approach, as seen with the bitcoin ETFs. It remains to be seen whether the United States will respond to the China threat with a more pro-crypto approach and whether Facebook will stand to benefit if this happens.