Observers Pour Cold Water on The Ability of Facebook Libra to Bank The Unbanked
Facebook’s Libra cannot drive financial inclusion. This is according to Andreas Antonopoulos the author of Mastering Bitcoin. Mr. Antonopoulos made the remarks during an interview with BLOCK TV NEWS. Part of the interview centered on the stablecoin’s ability to bank the unbanked as alluded to in the project’s whitepaper.
No Stranger To Controversy
The Libra project has courted controversy since Facebook announced its intended launch in June 2019. Consequently, the developers have had to reschedule the launch to an unnamed date later. The delay has fanned uncertainty concerning the project.
There’s a divided opinion regarding Libra’s viability as crypto. Whereas some doubt that it has the right attributes for launch, others have expressed their confidence in it.
Ueli Maurer, of the Swiss Federal Council, is among those approaching the project with pessimism. He considers Libra as currently envisioned to be a failure. To him, the project needs an overhaul before seeking approval.
Ripple’s CEO Brad Garlinghouse, has chimed into the conversation by asserting that Libra wouldn’t launch before 2023.
Begging Bitcoin’s Attractiveness?
Antonopoulos posits that Libra offers something different as it denotes the arrival of corporate cryptocurrency in the space. That said, he maintains that Libra seems to lack the attractiveness of Bitcoin or other open blockchains.
He went on to catalogue the criteria for evaluating Libra and similar. These, include:
“Is the system open? Is it open to access, to participate? Is it borderless? Is it neutral to source-destination purposes and amounts? Is it censorship resistance? Is it immutable? Is it publicly verifiable?”
According to him, Libra fails the test on these. He, however, cast doubt on the possibility of Libra falling under an individual’s control. The project’s centralization he opines would compel it to abide by the laid down regulations preventing such a possibility. Inadvertently, this sticking to regulation will negate the commitment to banking the unbanked.
Libra Destined to Fail?
Mr Antonopoulos insists that banking the unbanked is unfeasible within the existing regulatory framework. The same regulations he added are the reason for under banking. Were Libra to define its success based on attaining banking the unbanked, then it’s destined to fail he concluded.
The author submits that the stablecoin allows Facebook and its shareholders to reap the benefits of great success. Nevertheless, it will pose a global threat as it facilitates the surveillance of many people’s financial lives.
He argues that based on its whitepaper, the coin cannot launch in its current form and not in all countries.