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Zuckerberg Audio Leaked, Will Libra Launch?
Two Hours of Facebook CEO Leaked, Reveals Thoughts on Libra & U.S. Politics
Facebook's Libra cryptocurrency project drew controversy amongst many in the crypto-community since it's conception. In addition to that, Libra faced legal challenges from both U.S. & foreign regulators. Regulators in both the United States & Europe claimed that Libra can threaten national currencies and therefor should be banned.
Despite the regulatory woes, Facebook seems adamant about releasing Libra.
As originally published by The Verge, two hours of Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg was leaked. In the leaked audio, Zuckerberg shared his thoughts on the U.S. government, Libra, critics, and competitors.
Zuckerberg's Leaked Audio
Zuckerberg seems confident in Libra's eventual release. In the leaked audio, he claimed that private meetings between regulators and the Libra team calms tensions.
"The public things, I think, tend to be a little more dramatic. But a bigger part of it is private engagement with regulators around the world, and those, I think, often, are more substantive and less dramatic. And those meetings aren't being played for the camera, but that's where a lot of the discussions and details get hashed out on things."
Despite this, Zuckerberg has spoken about his personal refusal to speak with foreign regulators and governments. A move that could hypothetically speed up Libra's release.
"I'm not going to go to every single hearing around the world. A lot of different people want to do that. When the issues came up last year around Cambridge Analytica, I did hearings in the US. I did hearings in the EU. It just doesn't really make sense for me to go to hearings in every single country that wants to have me show up."
It seems that 2020 will be a tough year for Facebook and most of "big tech". In the United States both parties seem to have a bone to pick with Facebook. On the right, you have critics claiming that Facebook is censoring conservative opinions. On the left, a leading Democratic Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren promised to break up big tech. Her reasoning being that Google, Facebook & Amazon have become monopolies.
It seems that Facebook & big tech are without many friends in Capitol Hill.
"You have someone like Elizabeth Warren who thinks that the right answer is to break up the companies ... if she gets elected president, then I would bet that we will have a legal challenge, and I would bet that we will win the legal challenge. And does that still suck for us? Yeah. I mean, I don't want to have a major lawsuit against our own government. ... But look, at the end of the day, if someone's going to try to threaten something that existential, you go to the mat and you fight."
Facebook, Libra & What a Warren Presidency Would Mean
If Warren manages to secure the Democratic Presidential nomination, and manages to overcome President Trump, it could mean big changes for big tech. Should she keep her campaign promise and not succumb to "Potomac fever", Google, Facebook & Amazon would be in hot water.
These companies would likely be broken down to several smaller companies each.
This is essentially something that would spell the end for Libra as a project. Seeing that Libra is dependent on both WhatsApp, Instagram, & Facebook users for their client base, any split it could spell trouble.
Any split inside Facebook could hypothetically hurt Libra's usability as the entire ecosystem contributes to Libra. This could lead to a Kin/Kik scenario. Without having an existing app with a large userbase, a specific cryptocurrency would be useless.
Libra is not expected to launch anytime soon, considering Facebook's regulatory struggle one may wonder if it ever will.