Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency was, finally, announced last week. And whilst the ecosystem and the token will not be fully functioning until the first half of 2020, the whole industry has provided their take in what has been, arguably, one of the biggest developments in cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology in 2019.

The latest expert to provide his insight about Facebook’s coin is Joseph Lubin, known for being a Co-Founder of Ethereum. The crypto analyst stated in a piece published in specialized site Quartz this week that the recently unveiled Libra token is similar to a “centralized wolf in a decentralized sheep’s clothing.”

Libra is still Making Headlines through Opinions

With much fanfare, Libra came to prominence last week at the moment of the announcement of its whitepaper, in which it introduced itself as a blockchain “built from the ground up to prioritize scalability, security, efficiency in storage and throughput, and future adaptability,” according to the mentioned document.

Libra claims to work in the development of a “stable currency built on a secure and stable open-source blockchain and governed by an independent association.” The whitepaper states that it will be a decentralized asset. However, Lubin seems to think otherwise.

Lubin writes, in the article, that Libra’s white paper describes feelings that are not that uncommon among several investors in the crypto family. Libra’s document says that “sending money across the globe should be as simple and inexpensive as sending a message on your phone,” and “financial infrastructure should be globally inclusive and governed as a public good.”

The Need to Trust

Lubin notes that the whitepaper states that “people will increasingly trust decentralized forms of governance,” but Ethereum’s co-founder wrote that users need to trust Libra’s fiat currency and government bond banking, and merchants also needs to fully trust that the network will be administrated and directed in a responsible way.

The expert identifies it as a centralized project:  “Perhaps most importantly, it requires our trust that Libra will eventually transition to a more ‘permissionless,’ decentralized system, whereby anyone can validate the network, rather than the restrictive member evaluation criteria keeping control in the hands of the initial 28 firms.”

Not everything is Negative

However, Lubin also spots some positive elements in Facebook’s Libra project. For example, he identifies that the ecosystem could reach two billion within the next few years, and by then, crypto user experience (UX) could be dramatically improved.

“In one fell swoop, talented UX designers could reduce the current friction of using cryptocurrency. Managing private keys, understanding ‘gas payments,’ and installing crypto browser plugins could be as simple as pressing ‘send’ in WhatsApp, another Facebook-owned entity,” he wrote in his article.

Libra’s announcement marked the end of the year-long speculation about Facebook’s cryptocurrency. The reviews from the industry were mixed, but it should be noted that expectations from most sectors were extremely high. Government regulators are also concerned.

Lubin also noted that ConsenSys developers (a firm closely related to Ethereum) already ran analysis on the code, and identified that there are a lot of borrowed ideas from Ethereum.

By Andres Chavez


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