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‘Crypto Twitter’ anxiously awaits white paper for Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency

Is this good, or bad, for Bitcoin?

cryptocurrency, zuckerberg, bitcoin, globalcoin, facebook, asset, token, surveillance

Tomorrow, Facebook is expected to release full details of its new “cryptocurrency” project Libra  as always, Twitter has lots to say.

Few concrete facts about Facebook‘s Libra (formally known as GlobalCoin) have been made public so far. Reports indicate the likes of Mastercard, Visa, Stripe, and PayPal have already paid a $10 million fee to become validators on the network, which allows untapped access to related data.

Facebook‘s rumored goal is to attract 100 companies to join the Libra Association, which would see Zuckerberg and co. net a cool $1 billion right off the bat.

Unlike Libra, Bitcoin is a permissionless system, in which anyone with access to the computational resources required to run a full node (or a mining rig) can join. These are available for purchase for significantly less than $10 million.

We do know Libra will be a “stablecoin” pegged to a raft of international fiat currencies to reduce volatility, but the social media giant is yet to formally disclose exactly which ones (or even precisely how its value will be calculated and backed).

Facebook reportedly seeks to make Libra accessible to everyone, and will pitch it as a method of providing the 1.7 billion “unbanked” adults around the world with financial services (a number apparently sourced from a 2017 report published by the Global Findex Database).

The advent of Libra will place the social media giant within the realm of fintech. Despite it being a stablecoin, some pundits say Facebook’s sheer reach could see it have a negative impact on Bitcoin.

Other Twitter commentators hilariously believe this is all a conspiracy, and it’s really Ripple (XRP) that will power Libra, which seems an impressive exercise in optimism.

Facebook is expected to publish the Libra white paper tomorrow, and could launch a testnet version of its blockchain as early as next week, but it’s clear nobody really knows what will come next.

Published June 17, 2019 — 16:13 UTC