Source: Economist    2019-07-05  我要投稿   論壇   Favorite  

Technically and financially, Facebook could probably pull off such an ambitious undertaking on its own. But not politically. Its culture is less amoral than it was in its youth, when it aspired to “move fast and break things”—but only a bit. Chary consumers may choose not to entrust their money to a social network which has, until recently, leaked their personal data left and right. Unless users are on board, merchants may be reluctant to embrace the currency, however hassle-free.

Enter the Libra consortium. The association, to be based in Geneva, will take over from Facebook before the first Libra has been spent, and manage the hard-currency reserves. Facebook has enlisted 28 other prospective founding members out of an envisaged 100, each with equal voting rights and operating a node in a decentralised system which issues coins. They include financial firms (Visa, Stripe), online services (Spotify, Uber), cryptocurrency wallets (Anchorage, Coinbase), venture capitalists (Andreessen Horowitz, Union Square Ventures) and charities (Kiva, Mercy Corps)—though, for the time being, no banks. Not a libertarian alternative to the existing financial system, in other words, but a complement.
進入天秤幣聯盟。該協會總部位于日內瓦,將在第一批天秤幣用完之前接管Facebook,并管理硬通貨儲備。Facebook從預計的100名創始成員中招募了28名其他潛在創始成員,每個人都擁有平等的投票權,并在一個發行硬幣的分散化系統中運營一個節點。這些公司包括金融公司(Visa、Stripe)、在線服務公司(Spotify、Uber)、加密貨幣錢包(Anchorage、Coinbase)、風險投資家(安德森•霍洛維茨基金、Union Square Ventures)和慈善機構(Kiva、美慈),不過目前還沒有銀行。換句話說,這不是對現有金融體系的自由主義替代,而是一種補充。

To add credibility to its promise, broken in the past, to keep social and financial data separate, Facebook has created a subsidiary, Calibra, to run Libra services within its apps. It is unlikely to face hurdles to uptake from Apple or Google. It is impossible to imagine them expelling Messenger and WhatsApp—and later other providers Facebook is inviting to the open-source project— from their app stores, as they have done with other cryptocurrency offerings, many of which were scams.

To get Libra going, the consortium will pay merchants to offer discounts to customers who use the new currency, financed by a $10m one-off fee each member pays for a seat at the table. Eventually, Facebook would like anybody, not just the consortium, to be able to generate the currency, transfer it and offer services on top of its “blockchain” (crypto-speak for the database that keeps track of who owns what). At that point, Libra would turn into Bitcoin, minus the kinks and the libertarianism.


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