Apple CEO The Latest To Lash Out At Libra

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It is no longer the governments, lawmakers, and regulators who have an issue with Libra and its development as a privately-issued digital currency; Apple CEO Tim Cook has now also weighed in with his thoughts.

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Cook is firm on the opinion that the creation of currency is the job of states, and not privately-owned companies, such as Apple’s FAANG compatriot, Facebook. Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency has faced this narrative a number of times already, from the U.S. Senate, France and Germany, and a bevy of other central bankers, to name a few.

However, while the likes of France’s Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire and Germany’s Finance Minister Olaf Scholz seem to have missed the point on what Libra is, it is surprising that Cook — a fellow techie — is riding this same wave of Libra being a threat to national currency sovereignty.

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Seeking Power

“I deeply believe that money must remain in the hands of states. I am not comfortable with the idea that a private group creates a competing currency. A private company does not have to seek to gain power in this way,” Cook said in an interview with French news publication, Les Echos.

“Money, like defense, must remain in the hands of States, it is at the heart of their mission. We elect our representatives to assume government responsibilities. Companies are not elected, they do not have to go on this ground,” the Apple CEO added.

What many naysayers of Libra seem to be missing is something that the co-creator of Libra, David Marcus, has been at pains to point out — Libra is not a new currency. Libra is a stablecoin that “will be backed 1:1 by a basket of strong currencies. This means that for any unit of Libra to exist, there must be the equivalent value in its reserve,” he tweeted.

“As such, there’s no new money creation, which will strictly remain the province of sovereign Nations,” Marcus concluded in an effort to debunk this notion that Libra is a threat to national currency sovereignty, and as Cook believes, is a new form of currency.

General Sentiments

Cook never expressly mentions Facebook or Libra in his interview with the French publication, however, it is evident that his thoughts are aimed at Facebook, which has become the subject of much scrutiny surrounding this project.

What is surprising is how much of a target Facebook has become for doing something that has already been done before. Even JPMorgan and Wells Fargo have entered the race of tokenizing the dollar —  and the backlash towards their efforts has been relatively non-existent.

Do you agree with Cooks criticisms of Libra? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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Julian has had a long interest in financial technology, especially cryptocurrency and blockchain. He studied to be a journalist and then decided to marry his passion for fintech with his skill in writing to report on this ever-changing and rapidly moving space.

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