Libra is a bold idea that has a great capacity to help those that would otherwise not have access to banking—but it’s proving to be a rather prickly project to get it accepted. While it appears well-intentioned, and seemingly deeply thought out, its recent controversy shows that it’s still got a few major flaws. One is how it connects to regulations and governments.
And though certain tech companies (Uber, Airbnb, and, yes, Facebook) are no strangers to controversy and have come up against regulations and laws, Libra just lost a lot of powerful support, to the point this columnist has doubts about it becoming mainstream.
PayPal, Visa, Mastercard, eBay, and others are pulling out from the Libra Association—with some of their representatives saying they will still have their eyes on the project, should it work out its problematic sections. But, with the loss of that many—even if Zuckerberg and co. have the resources to still make the project on the scale they want—that’s not a good vote of confidence.
The other big issue? Governments. Libra would result in a global currency if it worked as its creators intend, and that’s, practically needless to say, something that a lot of countries would have an issue with right now. Even U.S. Senators have shown that they are not in support of Libra as it is.
But does this mean its death? Libra may be an economic idea too far ahead of its time, or simply an attempt to supersede a lot of existing structures. It’s bleeding-edge crypto-involved social innovation, but it may take more general acceptance and integration with our world before it could see a smooth adoption.