On February 1, 2020, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, revealed that his company would stand up for its core principles of free expression and encryption, even if this stance causes a backlash from governmental sources.
Addressing an audience at the Silicon Slopes Tech Summit 2020 in Salt Lake City, Mark Zuckerberg revealed that Facebook would adopt a new approach where it unequivocally stands for its core principles.
Zuckerberg spoke in detail about strong encryption and free speech as the focus of the new Facebook approach. Both of these areas have been hotly debated, with Facebook taking serious heat late last year for its political ad rules and news validation.
The speech, which at face value appeared to be a bold statement for ‘the people’ against the establishment, could lead to some political fallout that may jeopardize Facebook’s chances of launching its digital currency.
Will This New Approach Affect Libra Project?
Libra, the centralized stablecoin built within Facebook, has already faced lots of legislative scrutinies, with many lawmakers calling for a complete denial of the coin, citing the dangers of money laundering and terrorism.
At first, the Facebook CEO had seemed to be wooing congressional decision-makers, seeking their potential approval for his Libra project. However, this new “principles first” approach that moves away from news validation may well derail the Stablecoin process.
For Libra to receive support from government regulators, it must be seen to be increasingly transparent. Without this, few governments will even recognize the coin as an international payment platform, let alone recommend it for use.
However, transparency on the platform requires the CEO to limit secure encryption and to curtail free speech, both of which are completely against Facebook’s purpose and principles. This creates a conundrum that may prove difficult for Facebook to navigate, and it will be interesting to see what happens in the near future regarding Libra.
Where Is Libra Now?
Libra has been running as a testnet token and has invited crypto developers to add new and interesting use cases to the project. According to crypto enthusiast David Marcus, the Libra project’s main goal is to build a new protocol for currency, while still sticking to its initial purpose of giving access to the unbanked.
When it comes to adoption, skepticism about Facebook’s data gathering has created a backlash. The social media giant has spoken multiple times about the company having no direct guidance on the usage of Libra, and has promised it would not gather transaction data.