Remember Libra? It was on the lips of every cryptocurrency enthusiasts – be it with venom or praise – but it was also being discussed by technologists, traditional investors, even 15-year-old Facebook users who liked the idea of having a new version of ‘V-bucks’.
However, all that talk has seemingly died away. There was a huge build up of anticipation and excitement leading to the announcement, which was a poorly kept secret. Then, when the white paper came out and Facebook paraded their shiny new cryptocurrency for all to see, the internet nearly exploded.
And with that much excitement and rambunctious, the regulators also decided to sit up and take heed. The Senate was quick to call Facebook into the principal’s office, but even the central bankers of the world had their qualms with the private enterprise-issued currency.
So have the regulators stamped their foot down hard enough to send Facebook and David Marcus cowering? It was said by the latter that if they could not make it through all the regulatory hurdles that Libra may be delayed – or just not launch…
People were talking about the potential for Libra to be the gateway drug to ‘proper’ cryptocurrencies and how it would usher in a new era of finance as over two billion people suddenly rub shoulders with this revolutionary technology while posting cat videos on social media.
At the same time, people – and that includes US senators – were also talking about how they can barely trust Facebook with their data, how could they be trusting them with their finances.
Still, for all sides of the coin that Facebook’s Libra showed, it seems strange that the whole thing has gone dark in the past few weeks and months. Undoubtedly, the backlash from regulators has caused Facebook to go back and lick its wounds, but one would hope there would be an update or two from the men in charge.
Facebook know they have to overcome the US regulators, who have been the most vocal, but even once that is done they have to appease hundreds of other countries. One country they might as well call a loss already is India, who are busy with their own ban on cryptocurrencies.
There is no denying that Libra has an uphill battle ahead of it, but because of the fuss and excitement it created, and the promises and potential it has, it seems unfair for everything to just go quiet.
More so, it feels like a huge cop-out from Facebook to potentially bail when the regulations get tough, especially in the faces of startups and one-man operations who have come before and fought the toughest of times for the cryptocurrency space.
Facebook have decided to try and cash in on the cryptocurrency space, they now owe it to the burgeoning ecosystem to use their power and money to fight for the right of cryptocurrencies to have a space in the future.