Facebook recently announced that they will be creating their very own digital currency built on blockchain technology – Libra. It did not come as a surprise, to be honest. After all, the technology behind Bitcoin is being adopted by more and more companies around the globe.
What did, however, surprise us, was the fact that, within Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement, not once did we see the words “Bitcoin” or “cryptocurrency”. Here is the post:
As such, we have started to think that Facebook Libra may pose several threats to the Bitcoin network.
We decided, therefore, to reach out to all the experts we know and ask for their opinion on this matter. Here is what they had to say:
1. Crypto Crow
I personally don’t believe Libra will ever actually launch. At least not in the scope it’s being sold to the regulators and the public currently. In the meantime, it’s media coverage is helping to put cryptocurrencies in front of people not otherwise looking into the space, which is good.
I think the idea of potentially bringing a few billion more people into the cryptocurrency space through Facebook sounds like an amazing prospect for those of us already in the space, however, I simply dont see the US government allowing it to come to fruition. They are taking a year to approve new Broker-Dealer licenses right now, have yet to approve any major ETF’s, etc. If Facebook manages to get anything actually done, it’s going to be a slow crawl. Mix all of this with the fact that very few people trust Facebook. The government’s primary concerns right now are being able to tax crypto and know where money is being sent to and from. There is no better AML/KYC vehicle for the government than Facebook. So, personally, I think if they are to ever allow Facebook to launch this Global Coin, it will be under a relationship privately negotiated to ensure the government has access to everything everyone is doing. You know, to make sure terrorists aren’t doing bad things.
Crypto Crow is a Youtuber and founder of CrowsNestEx.com, a US Based Regulated Crypto Exchange, CrowTrader.com, an algorithmic trading bot and CrowMining.com, a Bitcoin Mining Co-Location Service. Prior to Youtube, Crow was an Independent Business Development Consultant for Mortgage Companies and small to medium-sized businesses.
2. Ofir Beigel
Personally I think Libra can only do good for Bitcoin. If it catches on it gives cryptocurrencies a huge stamp of approval. This, in turn, makes Bitcoin an accepted alternative to the government regulated Libra. However, if Libra doesn’t catch on, or doesn’t even launch – cryptocurrencies still get a huge spotlight, showing they are here to stay and that it’s serious business that even companies like Facebook are looking in to.
The one threat I can think about if Libra see the light of day is that governments may take this opportunity to create “legal” and “illegal” cryptocurrencies. I.E. declaring regulated cryptos like Libra something that’s good for the public and is accepted by the government, while outlawing any cryptocurrency that doesn’t abide to required regulation. This type of situation may push Bitcoin’s public image back to the days where it was considered “dangerous, illegal and only used by criminals”. However, since in the past few years the public is waking up to see how governments are manipulating public perception and the money supply I think the first outcome I’ve mentioned, where Bitcoin is considered as an acceptable alternative to the regulated Libra, is much more likely to happen.
Ofir Beigel is the owner of 99Bitcoins.com, one of the largest information portals about Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies and the curator of Bitcoin Obituaries.
3. Randall Crypto Love
Libra poses no threat to Bitcoin. It will rather help spread mass adoption of cryptocurrencies with Facebook’s 1.9 billion monthly active users. When people using Libra then find out about Bitcoin, the truly limited supply crypto, their greed will make them want to own Bitcoin instead of Libra (just like people went crazy for limited supply toys like Tickle Me Elmo and Beanie Babies of years past). Therefore, Libra is actually good for Bitcoin.
Randall Crypto Love is a former NASA Programmer and emergency veterinarian turned cryptocurrency YouTuber.
4. Raul Dantas
Libra won’t pose a threat to bitcoin, rather it will propel Bitcoin towards greater heights as most people will become knowledgable on Cryptocurrencies and would definitely go for the Decentralized King Coin.
Raul Dantas is an expert fintech journalist at leading crypto news media, ZyCrypto.com.
5. Andrew Crossland
I see the threat of Libra on Bitcoin as minimal. Bitcoin is a store of value and a decentralized asset whereas Libra is designed to be a stable medium of exchange. As a big advocate of Bitcoin and removing power away from central structures, the thought of Libra doesn’t fill me with much enthusiasm. Yes, it may bring some focus to the wider crypto industry yet the thought of Facebook, with is 2.2 billion worldwide users, wielding such transactional power, is slightly jarring. I’ll be watching how the story unfolds with interest.
Andrew Crossland is the founder of the crypto blog Cryptocoindude.com. His blog brings high-impact, actionable posts on all things cryptocurrency and the wider technology of blockchain.
6. Jay Shaligram
Libra is supposed to be a stable coin able to facilitate financial transactions on Facebook and all partner networks. By condition, its price should neither gain nor lose value, thus making it only a basic utility token without any predicted profits. BTC, on the other hand, is full of value, and its volatile nature makes it worth investing fiat into it.
Jay has multiple years of experience in the crypto space and is the founder of Coindatalog, a cryptocurrency blog.
Collecting and monetizing data is Facebook’s business model. At its core, Libra will be a vehicle for the collection and redistribution of personal data. In the Libra whitepaper, Facebook explains their intention to set the standard for global digital identities using Libra. This poses a huge threat to bitcoin because if Libra does become the global standard for digital identities, then the general public will misappropriate aspects of Libra onto bitcoin.
The word “bitcoin” already has some negative connotation due to mainstream media highlighting its use for nefarious activity and correlating it with images of hackers.
When Facebook encounters another data breach and is caught violating its users’ privacy again, Libra’s corrupt reputation will besmirch bitcoin as well.
Fundamental differences between Libra and bitcoin, like bitcoin’s decentralized nature versus Libra being solely and centrally controlled by Facebook, will be lost on the general public. In essence, Libra is an abuse of blockchain technology and the bastardization of bitcoin.
If Libra becomes the leading global digital identity and standard-setter for this technology, the threats it poses on bitcoin will become the least of our worries.
Crypto Casey is a US-based cryptocurrency expert who creates informational and how-to videos about cryptocurrency and blockchain. Whether you are interested in learning about how bitcoin works or looking to buy altcoins as an investment, subscribe to her YouTube channel to learn more about this exciting, new tech.
Libra may be headed towards a regulatory conflict with governments of the world. That’s great because they might make big updates to those, now, ancient regulatory frameworks. They might clear the path for Bitcoin as native digital money. The risk is that Facebook crafts the new regulation on its behalf.
If they launch Libra and are not shut down by governments all over the world, they could acquire a very powerful network effect – that of one of the biggest governments in the world. It’s not obvious to me that there are many differences between Facebook plus its own fiat currency and any other government, aside from the fact that Libra would be an internet thing.
That could shape the future of the crypto industry in many ways, including taking away some of the thunder of ‘smart contracts’ and so on, whatever is left of that these days. That being said, I think Bitcoin, as a mathematically provably scarce asset, remains unique and libra will more or less become another fiat shitcoin to compete with the rest of them.
Juan has been a researcher, journalist, and educator in the Bitcoin & Blockchain industry since 2014. He has been published in major publications, such as BitcoinMagazine, Cointelegraph, New.btc.com, and Bitcoin.com. Today he focuses on fast-tracking new crypto adopters through the learning curve, teaching them industry standards of digital security, privacy, and investment at ByoVault.com.
9. Helvijs Smoteks
Throughout the years, Bitcoin has been seen as two separate and inter-related things:
- A non-tangible, digital asset that acts as a store of value
- A viable currency with the potential of becoming a single, global currency
As far as (1) is concerned, Libra does not pose any threat to Bitcoin, since the latest is still the only decentralized cryptocurrency with the potential of outperforming the marketcap of gold in the next few years. Sure, Libra could overtake Bitcoin in marketcap for obvious reasons, but only Bitcoin has a fixed marketcap of 21.000.000 coins that cannot be altered in any way. As such, Bitcoin is and always will be, the strongest digital asset in the world of cryptocurrencies.
However, it may be worth thinking of the following scenario: If Libra is crowned successful and Facebook does receive a huge market share of the crypto market, and Libra ends up becoming a trading pair to Bitcoin, we may see Facebook acquiring a large part of the total marketcap of Bitcoin which will act as a double-edged knife. Firstly, Bitcoin’s scarcity and valuation will naturally increase. Secondly, however, Facebook may acquire such large amounts of Bitcoin that they could practically manipulate the market price.
This is simply my thought process, but one should keep it in mind when thinking about the future of the cryptocurrency world.
For (2), Libra does give a better impression of a worldwide currency that could easily be regulated and used worldwide. Some say the world is not ready for it and there is an active effort underway to cancel the project. In my opinion, however, the world will “adapt or die”. Facebook’s Libra, if it ends up becoming a reality, will become a stable cryptocurrency that all Facebook users will be using. In this case, Facebook does challenge Bitcoin as a viable currency that can be adopted worldwide and will likely outperform the “king” in daily trading volume.
Helvijs is a Digital Marketing Expert and has helped multiple Blockchain companies reach their full potential in unfavorable market conditions. He is also the owner of Market Me Good, an inbound marketing agency based in Latvia.
10. Liudas Butkus
I don’t think Bitcoin is in competition with Libra. What Libra is planning is another stable coin. We already have those, but the likes of Tether have a very shady reputation so, a stable coin like Libra with the backing of big corporations would definitely have a market, but this isn’t the same market that Bitcoin is in.
Bitcoin is in the market for storing value, in the market for being borderless, in the market for being decentralized and censorship-resistant. Libra only could compete with being a store of value, for people who have weak government currencies, but without the other properties, it won’t be an attractive option.
The KYC procedures on every end of Libra, the government oversight, censorship, and mediocre decentralization sounds like a very weak competitor for Bitcoin.
In my opinion, Bitcoin has a lot to gain from Libra as it would bring people into the cryptocurrency markets, a lot of people would learn that such a thing exists and once they do they would quickly find out about Bitcoin.
I’m not saying that Libra is a bad project. I personally would find some use cases for it myself. A stable coin that you can trust is a good selling point, but from hearing how the conversation is going about Libra it wouldn’t surprise me that it’s not going to launch at all.
Liudas is a crypto vlogger sharing his findings of cryptocurrencies in his YouTube channel.
11. Sam Wouters
I’m personally not interested in Libra and I don’t believe it poses any threat to Bitcoin. Regardless of how much adoption Libra gets, Bitcoin will continue to do its thing, as it has fundamentally different properties that Libra can never achieve. It only poses a thread if you see Bitcoin as just another payment system.
Sam Wouters is a Blockchain speaker and trainer that helps people learn and understand more about the technology behind Bitcoin.
Libra is dangerous because it puts not only everyoneš spending habits and payment data in the hands of what is arguably one of the evilest and corrupt corporations in the world (Facebook), but it also gives Facebook, which has been proven again and again to not only be hostile to its customers but to be downright corrupt, the power to freeze, reverse, and confiscate any money or transactions on their Libra network.
Bitcoin, on the other hand, has no central authority that can sell/monitor users’ spending habits, no central database with required user KYC, and no central authority that can freeze assets or reverse transactions.
Bitcoin is entirely uncensorable.
Socal is a former soldier turned cryptocurrency trader. Through his trades and advice, he has managed to build a large following on Twitter.
13. Tm3k @_tm3k
The Libra subject is touchy and I do not like the project, however, it does not pose a threat to Bitcoin as it is inferior. Here are my thoughts:
I am not religious, but the Libra reminds me of the “mark of the beast”.
MARK (in this case MARK Zuckerberg) of the beast (in the case Facebook) is used as a data collection machine for big governments.
LIBRA, means SCALE in Latin, as in a scale to balance objects. A snake also has SCALES.
The LIBRA logo resembles a snake wrapped around a tree.
These are just my personal observations. All in all, I believe that Libra poses no threat to Bitcoin as it is a centralized attempt at controlling the financial transactions of the people, with the goal of “datamining” them.
Tm3k is an influential crypto-personality on Twitter, where he talks about cryptocurrency, conspiracy theories, and spirituality.
14. Juan Pablo Mejía
Libra poses little to no threat to Bitcoin and it actually represents a bigger threat to the traditional banking system. In my view, Libra will replace some of the main functions of commercial banks and fintech companies focused on payments and small transfers of money between individuals.
As opposed to Bitcoin, I don’t see Libra being used as a means of storing wealth because by design it will lose value over time in line with the depreciation of the currencies held in its basket of assets. As long as central banks continue to print money, fiat currencies will continue to lose purchasing power and so will Libra.
Libra will actually help onboarding and making people more familiar with cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin. As people realize that Libra is nothing like Bitcoin because it is not open, borderless, public, neutral, censorship-resistant and non-confiscatable, they will understand the real value of Bitcoin and it will just get stronger and more useful.
Juan Pablo has more than 10 years of experience in finance, entrepreneurship, and the blockchain industry, teaching about Bitcoin in universities, conferences, and through his YouTube channel. He is currently the Madrid Chapter Leader of the Government Blockchain Association.
15. George Gor
I don’t see any threat from Libra. FaceCoin should improve the reputation of all digital currencies on the market, including Bitcoin. But Libra can not compete with Bitcoin, because it’s digital, but it’s not a Blockchain-based currency.
George Gor has been in management of Blockchain projects since March 2014 and is currently the CEO of CoinIdol, a cryptocurrency news outlet.
16. Eric Benz
Libra poses a threat to the legacy financial institutions rather than to Bitcoin itself. Since Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency with a volatile nature, its price grows in value along with the increased global interest. Libra, on the other hand, plans to have a fixed price thus it cannot be considered as a source of investment. The launch of Libra will positively influence further cryptocurrency adoption on a global scale and Bitcoin will be one of the main benefactors of this increased awareness.
Eric is the CEO of Changelly, a non-custodial, instant cryptocurrency exchange. He been in the Blockchain space since 2012 and is involved in a number of blockchain and fintech businesses both as an investor, board director, and founder.
17. Alexandr Goldobin
The Libra cryptocurrency has several advantages over Bitcoin and has the potential to become truly global.
Firstly, Libra is a stable coin, a cryptocurrency that is tied to stocks of fiat (real) national currencies or goods, including the financial resources of Facebook. Such powerful provision of the coin will significantly reduce the market volatility of this cryptocurrency. Bitcoin does not have such capabilities. As a result, Libra will be of minimal interest to speculators, and maximum – to users, which will make Libra a truly massive means of payment and an asset for savings.
Secondly, Libra, using Facebook, can potentially count on the involvement of millions of users using WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram messengers. Bitcoin loses significantly in this regard, as it does not have a mass platform for a wide range of users.
Thirdly, Libra, as a stable global currency, can lead to currency substitution of the local currency in many states that have their own currency lacking constant stability. Citizens of such countries will seek to exchange local currency for a more stable global currency as a means of saving. Bitcoin can never become a truly global currency.
In the fourth, as a consequence of the third paragraph, the Libra can become a single “super-sovereign” global currency. Based on the interests of ensuring the stability of the international monetary system, this option is the most preferable solution. This option is better than the option in which the currency of one sovereign state becomes the main global currency since there will be no political influence on the currency. Bitcoin, in this case, is not a competitor.
As a result, Libra not only poses a threat to Bitcoin, but can also become its gravedigger.
Alexandr is the co-founder and CFO of blockchain-based business EcoStartFund OU and has been an advisor for the Olympic Winter Games’ construction program in 2014.
What does the public think?
We asked around in forums and Social media groups to find out what seasoned crypto investors think about Libra as well. Here is what they had to say.
18. Jacoby N.
In the past, many hardcore bitcoiners thought Libra would help BTC get attention (although I personally disagreed). Well, it might give it attention, but my belief is that people will use Libra over BTC. However, since Libra’s release got halted by Congress this is a conversation we can continue in the future.
19. Charles B. E.
Libra is no threat. It doesn’t even exist, and it never existed before. It was just an idea to begin with. Everyone just acted like it was already taking over the world. I think any normal person would just use CASH or debit cards since its already a payment option on the FB platform.
We already have stable coins in the digital space, some of which are not very trustworthy, but FB isn’t either, lol. The only convenient way to use it would be for merchant discounts or quick money transfers through this platform. Anything else would be so heavily regulated it wouldn’t be worth FB trying.
Look at the way BTC is being handled from country to country with laws and regulations. The only reason its come this far is that nobody knows who to blame.
20. Brady P.
I don’t see a threat to Bitcoin. To traditional finance maybe, yes, Libra could have huge impact on transaction on a global scale, but at a cost of your personal privacy. While the impact will be large if it happens, Bitcoin is still where you should keep your focus! Decentralization is key!
21. Luke T.
I think it would be a great move for crypto. Firstly, it will help to raise awareness and give the crypto space validity (even though Mark doesn’t mention it directly). Secondly, it will be a much simpler way to buy bitcoin & other cryptocurrencies.
22. Daniel F.
Libra is bad news for crypto. Facebook has a really negative public image now, with the recent news on data leaks, Cambridge analytica, censorship of conservatives and privacy breaches. Now, congress wants to shut down libra, bringing crypto back into the spotlight due to the inherent connection between the two.
I think facebook should stay out of politics and currency and focus on being a neutral public service. BTC is more reliable and legit.
23. Dusty S.
Other than bringing the concept of digital currency to the mainstream discussion (which isn’t nothing by the way) I don’t think Libra and Bitcoin have much, if anything, to do with each other.
People who believe in the idea of a decentralized, borderless currency aren’t gonna be flocking to give Facebook a say in their finances.
24. Paul D.
Libra is a digital coin that’ll be pegged to a basket of major currencies (like the USD and EUR).
As such, it could pose a legitimate threat to the U.S. dollar. Think about it…
Facebook has a global user base of nearly 2.7 billion people. Libra’s adoption would be almost immediate if it launched today. It would become the world’s most widely used currency overnight.
And imagine if Facebook negotiates with advertisers to give Libra users 5-10% discounts on all their products and services. How would governments or central banks compete with that?
They can’t – which is why they want to stop Facebook from making Libra a reality.
So, you now have a good idea of what the experts and the informed public think about Libra. From here on, conducting your own research will help you stay alert of any changes that may occur in the soon-to-come future.
What threats do you think Libra poses on Bitcoin? Let us know in the comments below!