Just as Facebook and the Libra Association are cashing in on the accolades of the unveiling of Libra digital currency, there are concerns and push backs from various quarters.
Earlier today, Facebook unveiled its cryptocurrency project called Libra. Powered by a permissioned node called the Libra Blockchain, Facebook said the digital currency will be backed by real fiat currencies and government securities and it will be governed by a decentralised body called the Libra Association- an elite group of tech giants, payment companies and research organisation there are series of opposition.
However, despite Facebook’s effort to make a case for the safety, openness and independence of the Libra project, there are concerns from major bigwigs in the political economy circles.
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire was quoted in an interview on Europe 1 radio saying “This instrument for transactions will allow Facebook to collect millions and millions of data, which strengthens my conviction that there is a need to regulate the digital giants.”
To make good his protest against the project, Le Maire said he has informed central banks of G7 countries to submit a report on the Libra project by July.
Another criticism came from familiar quarters. U.S. Senator Mark Warner, a Virginia Democrat was quoted by Reuters to have said that the new coin should put “regulators on high alert.”
The man running product development at the Libra Initiative in Geneva, Kevin Weil, said he is very optimistic that Facebook could rally round regulators to believe in the project and addressed various concerns.
“It gives us a basis to go and have productive conversations with regulators around the world,” he told Reuters. “We’re eager to do that,” he said.
There very genuine reasons for anyone to be concerned about privacy and data security as far as Facebook is concerned. From the Cambridge Analytica scandal to allegations of the supposed influence of Russian trolls meddling in America election using Facebook as a launchpad, leaves a sour taste in everyone’s mouth.
However, Facebook’s Libra digital currency is not very similar to for example Bitcoin, the world’s popular cryptocurrency. It is a decentralised token that will be governed by regulated companies, it is therefore very easy for regulators to get a hold of the situation no matter or complex it appears.