Matthew BeedhamEditor, SHIFT by TNW
Matthew is the editor of SHIFT. He likes electric cars, and other things with wheels, wings, or hulls. Matthew is the editor of SHIFT. He likes electric cars, and other things with wheels, wings, or hulls.
Facebook has begun assembling a who’s who of big tech companies to back its soon to be unveiled cryptocurrency, GlobalCoin.
The likes of Mastercard, Visa, Uber, and PayPal are all backing the social media giant’s upcoming digital coin due to be unveiled later this month, and officially rolled out next year, reports The Wall St Journal. The Big F has already signed up more than a dozen companies.
Each of these firms will invest a reported $10 million to help support GlobalCoin, and to be part of the coin’s governing consortium called the Libra Association.
Fintech firm Stripe, Booking.com, and Argentinian ecommerce site MercadoLibre have also signed up to support the project, however, their involvement is unclear. Previous reports about GlobalCoin have said it will be accepted by merchants all over the world, in this case, these partners might be a hint at things to come.
Facebook will officially publish the GlobalCoin white paper next week, it has asked partnering companies to cosign the paper.
The news follows on from recent reports that Facebook would be assembling a consortium of companies that would be responsible for the collective running and governance of GlobalCoin. For the $10 million fee, each company will run a network node to verify transactions, and will sit as part of the Libra Association.
Here’s the thing, Facebook is aware that users probably won’t be interested in a digital coin entirely governed by one entity. After all, cryptocurrency is all about decentralization. Right?
Indeed, Facebook is trying to address these concerns by auctioning off the right to be part of the network to other tech companies. But imagine if the Bitcoin blockchain was only viewable to those running network nodes. All of a sudden, the network isn’t public and transparent; those that run nodes have exclusive access to transaction data. So much for decentralization!
What’s more, even though other companies will run and govern the coin, as its developers, Facebook will be able to ultimately control the coin’s implementation.
This is speculation for now – hopefully the social media giant’s white paper will clarify if this will be the case.
But even so, every time more details about Facebook’s cryptocurrency are announced, it just sounds even worse.
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