A consortium of around 30 blockchain organizations and companies are launching a non-corporate version of Facebook’s Libra project called “OpenLibra.”
Housed at OpenLibra.io, the project will offer a permissionless version of the functionality Facebook seeks to create with its federated system that can be used to facilitate payments, as well as identify people, among other purposes.
The plan was announced at Devcon earlier this week. If remotely successful, it will be one of the first community-based efforts at a stablecoin.
Libra will offer a consistent “stablecoin“-like value by collateralizing with a basket of assets, including the US dollar.
Regulators have had serious concerns about Facebook’s Libra project, calling it everything from an attempt at building a shadow economy to an outright subversion of the money system.
Due to its corporate nature, Libra is actually relatively tame as crypto projects go. It will require know-your-customer regulations be enforced — and Facebook, out of anyone, is best equipped to determine identity. The company is host to perhaps the largest repository of personal information ever.
This fact raises the legitimate concern in regulators: what happens if you add people’s financial data to that recipe? The prize for hacking or identity theft gets even higher, that’s what happens.
In Libra We Trust?
OpenLibra gets underway as soon as possible with funding from the Interchain Foundation, an organization created to support development of the Cosmos Network. Additionally, Lucas Geiger, a project founder who spoke about the project at Devcon, will put his own personal funds in the project’s coffers.
A dozen and a half other companies including Chainlink and even the Danish Red Cross are on board with a more transparent, permissionless version of the Libra system.
The moment is not unlike the Bitcoin Cash hardfork away from Bitcoin, which established a different version of Bitcoin once and for all.
The contention in Libra is the issue of centralization and censorship, whereas the issue for Bitcoin was an inability to democratically raise the block size.
Thus, before we’ve even heard tell of a Facebook Libra crypto ATM or even seen the chain go live, we’re hearing about a chain split Libra land.
What’s the future really look like for a proejct that gets so much attention from the government, so little respect from the crypto community, and so little love from the finance world? Geiger reportedly believes that the chances are better for a transparent version of the effort:
“In Libra we trust, in Facebook we don’t.”
We’ll all know soon enough, as both Libra and OpenLibra get off the ground.