In Libra's defense...?


New member
Jun 22, 2019
We all like to make fun of Libra, and point out is centralized, permissioned etc.

Which is true, but look a little closer. As I understand it, facebook tries to implement compliance on the level of the user apps, not necessarily on the level of the blockchain. Their calibra wallet for instance, is custodial. Users dont get their private keys. So yes, indeed, facebook can do whatever the heck it wants with your facebucks. But it \*has\* to do that if it wants to comply to AML regulations and money transmission laws. So you can mock that, but in concept its exactly the same as having your bitcoin on centralized exchanges. Which Im guessing is how the majority of people here "own" their bitcoin?

Imagine if facebook based libra on bitcoin (or ethereum) and started a fiat/bitcoin exchange but didnt provide a "withdraw" option for your crypto. You could only sell it back for fiat, or send your custodial bitcoin to other facebook users or approved third party apps. Which I believe is more than what robinhood allows you to do with "your" bitcoin. IF facebook had done that, how would you have reacted? I bet you would have cheered.

The point is; their underlying blockchain may well get decentralized over time. And then one of the main things that differentiates it from other blockchains is that users will have to fight for their right for their private keys. A fight bitcoin exchange users may one day need to fight as well if governments really begin to clamp down.


New member
Jun 22, 2019
Do you have any evidence that most people keep their coins on exchanges? Certainly some do but most?

No, but the size of exchange wallets certainly points to a huge number of users.

in a custodial wallet then I wouldn't be using it

Im not saying I would use it either. I would never use robinhood either. I like being in control of my own keys, thank you very much.

Im just trying to make you look a little different to what libra is doing while understanding the constraints they are under. I actually think its clever and surprisingly honest. Like not giving you your private keys? They could have done it differently, by giving you private keys but constraining you completely on the level of consensus rules, which is how many shitcoins do it.

Honestly, libra could be one way to actually build a government sanctioned relatively decentralised infrastructure thats just waiting for someone to "flip the switch" and turn control to its users by handing them their private keys. Im not betting that will ever happen and I'll never advocate anyone actually uses it until that happens though. But its an intriguing thought.

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  • Facebook Libra Coin is built on an open-source blockchain called the Libra Blockchain featuring its own proof-of-stake protocol. Backed by a reserve of various assets designed to give it intrinsic value, it is governed by the independent Libra Association tasked with evolving the ecosystem. Facebook teams played a key role in the creation of the Libra Association and the Libra Blockchain, working with the other Founding Members. While final decision-making authority rests with the association, Facebook is expected to maintain a leadership role through 2019. The Libra mission is to reinvent money and transform the global economy so people everywhere can live better lives.

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