David Marcus, head of Calibra, might not be the same household name that Mark Zuckerberg is. Unlike the founder of Facebook, he doesn’t have movies and books based on his life. But when it comes to Libra, Facebook’s new digital currency, you better get used to hearing from Marcus.
Marcus posted an article to Facebook on July 3 titled “Libra, 2 weeks in.” In it, he took much the same line that Zuckerberg’s been taking, reassuring the world that the new currency won’t be monopolized by the social media site. He wrote:
“Facebook will not control the network, the currency, or the reserve backing it. Facebook will only be one among over a hundred members of the Libra Association by launch. We will not have any special rights or privileges.”
He goes on to also address several questions which have come up regarding Libra. He insists that it will be an open, decentralized blockchain, but disputes the exact definitions of what “open” or “decentralized” are.
He also insists the Libra association will collaborate with regulators and lawmakers to stay on the right side of the law. That should be comforting to those who have called out Facebook, like Congresswoman Maxine Waters, who fear the company has not shown they can be totally trusted with user data, never mind money.
The main sticking point though is if Facebook, and by extension Calibra, can be trusted to handle a large chunk of the world’s money. Marcus’ insistence that Facebook isn’t the only one responsible for the network certainly seems to be the company line, but he also added the possibility that when Libra launches, Calibra would have competing wallets to contend with.
He was proven right in that assertion when ZenGo, and Israeli start-up, announced their open source non-custodial wallet. While that will give customers options, it’s still unclear how a small startup can compete with the first-party developed Calibra, which will certainly get more advertising space in all of Facebook’s apps.
As Zuckerberg will likely move on to his next pet project before too long, get used to hearing from David Marcus on the topic of Libra. It can get exhausting to repeat talking points, but Marcus appears to do it well.
New to Bitcoin? Check out CoinGeek’s Bitcoin for Beginners section, the ultimate resource guide to learn more about Bitcoin—as originally envisioned by Satoshi Nakamoto—and blockchain.