Despite overarching suspicion in the west, Facebook’s Libra ‘cryptocurrency’ does seem to be finding some love in China.
Facebook Launches A Titanic White Elephant
So Facebook’s much-vaunted ‘cryptocurrency, Libra, launched with great fanfare yesterday, but left many feeling decidedly unimpressed. The (rather clumsy) website crashing just moments after launch was just the icing on a well-stacked cake full of concerns. Was it even a cryptocurrency at all?
Questionable claims of decentralisation, and a future transition to Proof-of-Stake did nothing to allay any fears. Nor did a ‘custodial’ wallet, oppressive KYC, and spurious claims as to what gives a cryptocurrency value.
the value of a cryptocurrency depends on the type of blockchain it is built on
Even the mainstream media saw through its, ‘brazen attempt to override national monetary sovereignty by creating a global-scale Federal Reserve’. Many anticipated a negative reaction from governments worldwide.
Meanwhile, In China
The reaction in China, however, has been notably less cynical. Libra showed up in the ‘Hot Searches‘ on China’s biggest crypto-tracking app, MyToken. According to Primitive founder, Dovey Wan, this is the best route to the pulse of the Chinese crypto scene.
Two Chinese crypto exchanges have even claimed to already list Facebook’s Libra. Although, of course, as it is still some way off going ‘live’, this should probably be taken with a pinch of salt at best. In reality it is highly likely to be a scam.
Two Chinese exchanges already claimed to list Libra 😑😑😑 pic.twitter.com/eJhAOBp4j1
— Dovey Wan 🗝 🦖 (@DoveyWan) June 18, 2019
Wang Xiaochuan, CEO of China’s #2 search engine, Sogou, took to microblogging site Weibo, heralding the coming of Internet 3.0.
Facebook has a huge advantage in leading this matter, with a global vision, broad alliance, and the endorsement of its 2.7 billion users. The world has changed and it is a new challenge for China.
So Why Is China Looking To Facebook For Crypto?
As a stablecoin, Libra is certainly not an investment opportunity. Pegged to an (as yet unrevealed) basket of fiat currencies, it will be subject to the same inflationary factors and go down in value over time.
Perhaps the interest from China comes because even Facebook’s strict KYC (know your customer) measures are preferable to the alternative. As Bitcoinist reported in March, Chinese authorities have begun to implement measures whereby fines can be forcibly extracted from WeChat Pay accounts for offences such as jaywalking.
With increasing use of facial recognition, the Chinese government can effectively track and control its citizens’ financial sovereignty.
But is it really better to have Facebook and its motley band of ‘partners‘ in control? Or, you know, perhaps consider the truly decentralised, permissionless, trustless route to self-sovereignty that is Bitcoin?
What do you make of Facebook’s new cryptocurrency? Let us know if you love it or hate it in the comment section below!
Images courtesy of Shutterstock