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Opinion

Is the financial world ready to trust Facebook?

Some big names are lining up to back Zuckerberg’s new cryptocoin, but why? Potential investors should be wary.

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It started on Monday as a trickle. By Wednesday it was a torrent.

Comments arriving in my inbox from crypto enthusiasts cheering Facebook’s new stablecoin mostly predicted speedy and successful mass adoption thanks to the company’s 2.4 billion monthly active users. The only debate was whether the dawning of this new era deserves to be heralded as crypto 2.0 or internet 3.0.

My favourite line about Libra, which Facebook hopes to launch next year, comes from Ribbit Capital, one of the project’s venture capital backers. “We believe the world is ready to be inspired and trusted by Libra.”

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Look. We’ve all had moments when that kind of gobbledygook spills from our lips, usually driving home after an all-nighter, eyes popping as the sun comes up with Orbital playing in the background.

The question is not whether the world is ready to be trusted by Libra but whether Libra and Facebook are fit to be trusted by anybody.

Asked to choose who I trust most from the world’s central banks, its private banks, world governments and Facebook, I would of course say none of them.




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