Appearing on an episode of CNBC’s Squawk Box to discuss the fallout at Facebook over its controversial cryptocurrency project – with founding members eBay, PayPal, Visa, Mastercard, Stripe and Mercado Pago all withdrawing from the Libra Association amid relentless scrutiny from US lawmakers – Bitcoin bull Anthony Pompliano, co-founder of Morgan Creek Digital and a former product manager at Facebook, suggests that the social media giant could try a different tactic: leverage the company’s massive user base to provide a robust distribution network for existing cryptocurrencies and leave behind bold aspirations of creating its own brand new cryptocurrency.
Regulators don’t want it and so far their strategy of issuing threatening letters to rattle Facebook’s corporate partners is working.
“Here’s an idea. If Facebook were to say, ‘Look, we have two products. There’s Libra the association that’s a bunch of corporations and we have Calibra’ – which is the digital wallet they’re building – ‘we’re going to basically sidestep creating a currency and we’re going to launch this digital wallet, and we’re going to embrace Bitcoin and the cryptocurrencies that already exist, I think that that might change the narrative a little bit.”
Gartner analyst Avivah Litan says governments are afraid of both Bitcoin and the Libra project.
“I think governments are threatened by both of them. In the case of Libra, you replace central authority with task force authority and big tech authority.
In the case of Bitcoin, you just replace all central authority. So I think governments are threatened by both equally.”
Co-host Joe Kernen, a crypto-skeptic-turned-Bitcoin-proponent, suggests that the decentralized digital asset is a far better product than Facebook’s stablecoin Libra, which is controlled by a consortium of organizations and corporations.
“Bitcoin would be like actual antiques…With Libra you’ve kind of got Restoration Hardware. They manufacture something that looks like it was old, like from a previous era — it’s not digital gold…
One has actual value, inherent value. It’s decentralized. It exists without a central authority. It’s a distributed ledger. It’s got all these things. Facebook [Libra] was just based on fiat currency.”
Regardless of the naysayers and the regulators who are trying to dismantle Facebook’s consortium, French billionaire Xavier Niel says the stablecoin Libra is unstoppable and will eventually make its way to market.