At a time when Libra is losing support left and right, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong is standing his ground in support of the Facebook-led controversial cryptocurrency project.
Last week, Armstrong publicly trashed the US government’s handling of the regulatory concerns surrounding Libra saying it was simply “ridiculous.” Now, he is back at it again by calling out two senators who had previously asked Visa, Stripe, and Mastercard to drop out of the Libra Association.
As reported by BeInCrypto last week, all three of these companies later dropped out of the Libra Association, which they helped create along with 24 other founding members earlier this year.
How Big an Impact Did the Senators’ Letters Make?
For those out of the loop, Senator Brian Schatz and Sherrod Brown wrote three separate letters to the top executives of Visa, Mastercard, and Stripe implying that their association with Libra could cost these companies dearly in the long run.
The letters, one of which can be found here [PDF], were sent on Oct 08, just three days before all three companies almost simultaneously bid adieu to the troubled One of the perceived drawbacks of cryptocurrency is the price volatility, value wildly spikes and falls, discouraging many people from... More.
Speculations were already rife for several weeks that multiple founding members of the Libra Association were considering distancing themselves for the project fearing regulatory repercussions. On that count, the letters by the two senators may have been the proverbial last nail in the coffin, as BeInCrypto had earlier pointed out.
PayPal, another founding member of Libra Association, also scrapped all links to the project earlier this month.
Coinbase CEO Reacts
Reacting to the new development, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong took to Twitter earlier Monday saying that there was something “Un-American” in the way the two Senators acted out.
Something feels very un-american about this. Two senators writing to Visa, Mastercard, and Stripe to ask them to withdraw from Libra. https://t.co/U3Y7zkuCFB
— Brian Armstrong (@brian_armstrong) October 13, 2019
He basically urged policymakers to leave Libra alone on the ground that people are going to dump it anyway if it failed to play the role of a viable financial tool. Armstrong further suggested that the use of intimidation by people in power to dent Libra’s prospects isn’t any different from the much frowned-upon “anti-competitive/monopolistic behavior” by corporates.
The Coinbase CEO argued that “breakthroughs are by definition contrarian ideas,” which is why the emphasis should be on letting new ideas being tried out rather than opposing them.
Armstrong’s made a strong point based on the fundamental principles guiding an innovation-fueled free economy. However, given Facebook’s dubious record on privacy, it is understandable that even many in the broader community are dead against Libra.
They had a point tho, facebook has so many issues, should it be trusted with that much power? Why don't they just create a wallet and an ERC-20 stable token backed by dollars?
— KЯyP70 N☰VVϟ (@sonsofsatoshi) October 13, 2019
My question is how could we back Facebook? They were in front of congress a year ago from privacy… and now they’re trying to create currency? If anything they should had targeting a better system to secure data and privacy for its users to create trust.
— Out of Context Group 🌇 (@OutofContextGRP) October 13, 2019
Worth noting here is that Coinbase is a founding member of the Libra Association and one of the four remaining members tasked with overseeing the blockchain end of the ecosystem, among other responsibilities.
Libra Is Now Left With Only 1 Payments Partner
With the departure of PayPal first, and then Visa, MasterCard, and Stripe, Libra is currently stuck with only one founding member representing the payments industry — PayU. The only brighter side would be that PayU will likely remain a part of the project given its deep, informal ties with Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook.
The link between Facebook and PayU is not very apparent and unquestionably complicated — it may or may not amount to conflict-of-interest in the strict legal sense of the term. For those of you interested, you can read BeInCrypto’s earlier coverage of how the majority of Libra Association members share suspicious Facebook connections.
Meanwhile, let us know in the comments below whether or not you agree with Brian Armstrong’s view that the letters by the two senators were indeed nasty enough to be called “Un-American.”
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