Blockchain consensus Libra will not rely on cryptocurrency mining. Only members of the Libra Association will be able to process transactions via the permissioned blockchain.
Facebook’s proposal for Libra, a cryptocurrency backed by a basket of real currencies, and controlled by an independent body of partners based in Switzerland, might seem a step or two removed from being under Facebook’s control. But the power of Libra doesn’t lie in control as much as it lies in adoption.
Libra is meant to become the in-house currency for Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp’s combined 2.7 billion users. If that happens, it’ll create, almost overnight, a borderless collection of millions, maybe hundreds of millions, maybe even a billion or more people using the same platform to communicate, the same tools to shop and view ads and play games, and the same monetary system. It’s a network effect with the potential to remake global currency and financial systems.
And whether Libra is controlled by a neutral Switzerland-based consortium or not, if its primary adoption happens on Facebook, it’ll only centralize power with Facebook.