Libra: Friend or Foe? Worst Case Scenario Post-Congressional Hearings
Facebook is in the hot seat this week, as Congress asks burning questions about the companys Libra cryptocurrency. I use quotes, because in the purest sense, a cryptocurrency is decentralized, trustless, and permissionless. Libra is none of these. Instead, Libra is more likely to become a private currency that enables a turnkey totalitarian state with all-encompassing surveillance.
While the Libra Association is purportedly an independent, decentralized entity that governs the project, Libras consensus system is so corporate its offensive to call it a true cryptocurrency. Its effectively a meta-corporate entity, with the likes of Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, Uber and Spotify at the helm.
The term permissionless in the context of blockchains means that no centralized gatekeeper can determine whether or not you can participate in the network. The 27 other founding members of Libra paid a pretty penny to be validator nodes in the network—an initial minimum investment of $10 million worth of Libra Investment Tokens issued by the Association—and had to meet very specific criteria laid out by Facebook. These entities form an elite and centralized group of gatekeepers who will control permission on the Libra network. This is just another central planning committee.
Now Facebook can deplatform you AND your bank account, which is a super powerful tool for whomever is controlling it—whether that is big tech or government, or perhaps both. Considering Facebooks pattern of selectively deplatforming users on the basis of their political beliefs or similar, tightly integrating a payment system with Facebooks existing social media platform is an extremely dangerous proposition.
Worst case scenario: big tech and government in cahoots
Corporatism, the control of a state or organization by large interest groups, sounds like an accurate description for Libra and an evolutionary step towards fascism. Libra espouses the very altruistic mission of empowering billions, especially the unbanked, with a s ...