David Marcus, the co-creator of Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency, has clarified the purpose of Libra in a world where the cryptocurrency market is dominated by Bitcoin.
At the outset of an interview with CNBC, David was asked “Do you own any cryptocurrency currently, [..] do you own any Bitcoin yourself?” to which he replied: “I’m a big fan of Bitcoin and what I see as digital gold.” Marcus does not, however, provide a straightforward answer to the question of whether he actually owns any.
Marcus then goes on to state in a roundabout way that while Bitcoin is clearly a success in its own right, Libra is a completely different beast that is built for a different purpose —providing a cheap, low-volatility digital asset to help people better manage their money.
Despite David Marcus’ optimism, the past several weeks have been a tough time for Libra, as several founding members of the Libra Association have pulled out due to a variety of concerns. Most recently, online tourism giant Booking Holdings Inc. silently withdrew support for the project, while Mastercard, eBay, Stripe, and Visa all backed out last week.
Commenting on its withdrawal, a spokesperson for Visa said: “We will continue to evaluate and our ultimate decision will be determined by a number of factors, including the Association’s ability to fully satisfy all requisite regulatory expectations.”
Despite losing a significant fraction of its founding members and facing strong opposition in Europe, Facebook is still moving full steam ahead with the Libra project.
The co-creator of Libra also reaffirmed that there is still a strong interest in Libra, stating: “We have at the Libra Association about, I think, 1,600 organizations around the world that have expressed an interest in becoming members. Out of these I think about 180 meet the high bar” in a recent discussion with CNBC’s Technology Correspondent, Elizabeth Schulze.
Nonetheless, Libra officials appear to be doing a media round to help quell potential regulation concerns and have noted that they are well aware that they will need to run a gauntlet of regulatory hurdles before major financial institutions are likely to get on board.
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