Okay, okay, he didn’t use the word “useless.” But he did say that Bitcoin, essentially, fails to meet the “bottom rung” of “economic mobility,” which is payments.
According to reporting by Coindesk’s Brady Dale, Dante Disparte, vice chairman of the Libra Association, made the comments this week during the Digital Money Forum at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
The Ladder of Economic Mobility
Disparte took the dig at Bitcoin while explaining what had attracted him to the Libra Association, a group of tech firms including Facebook who are working to launch a blockchain-based, international payments platform with a focus on peer-to-peer transactions.
The Association’s Vice Chairman is quoted as saying:
[blockquote] “The bottom rung of the ladder of economic mobility is payment access.”
Disparte defended his group’s efforts.
[blockquote] “How do you drive mass adoption? How do you remove insidious levels of friction that basically make it cost-prohibitive to give people access to payments?”
Crypto Purity Test
Of course, not everyone on the panel agreed.
A strategist from Decred spoke of user “sovereignty,” in the belief that a fully decentralized system will be able to “do money better.”
Disparte pointed out that there has yet to be a project which passes a “crypto purity test” that actually delivers on the promises of cryptocurrency. It’s cumbersome to develop a system that is decentralized, liquid, and attractive to newcomers all at once.
From that perspective, Libra looks like a much more noble effort, which was probably the Vice Chairman’s intention by attending the panel.
Libra has faced criticism from both cryptocurrency enthusiasts and government regulators, who are suspicious of the project’s intent.
Politicians have called multiple Libra and Facebook executives into Washington to answer questions. The same legislators fail to take an interest in the numerous existing blockchain projects, which already allow people to transact in a decentralized, permissionless manner.
Facebook is among the biggest of the Silicon Valley heavyweights to get involved in blockchain, with companies like Google and PayPal still taking their sweet time.