If it wasn’t for Bitcoin there would be no Libra. That much is self-evident, since Satoshi’s creation laid the groundwork for every crypto asset that’s followed. The extent to which Bitcoin was responsible for spawning Facebook’s currency has now been made brutally clear in an interview with Abra’s Bill Barhydt. The investment platform’s CEO claims that Facebook wanted to integrate BTC directly into its billion-strong social network – but was forced to create Libra instead due to Bitcoin’s inability to scale.
How Bitcoin’s Inability to Scale Birthed Project Libra
On last week’s What Bitcoin Did podcast, host Peter McCormack entertained Abra’s Bill Barhydt, who revealed inside knowledge about the development decisions that guided Project Libra. Before Facebook pressed ahead with plans to create a stable currency backed by a basket of assets, it had explored the possibility of integrating Bitcoin, Barhydt claims. The plan had been to enable BTC as a payment option throughout the Facebook ecosystem.
“Ideally, from my discussions, [Facebook] actually would have preferred to use Bitcoin. I think there’s a huge belief in the system,” ventured Barhydt. The notion of Facebook supporting BTC in the world’s largest social network, and potentially its second and seventh largest too (Instagram and Whatsapp) may seem fanciful, and we will likely never know for sure whether this was the original plan. Bill Barhydt is well connected, however, and thus his comments carry some weight. As he recounted to Peter McCormack:
If you want to build a remittance system and you want to build a cross-border commerce system and you have 1.2 billion users today, what would happen to Bitcoin?