The pushback that Facebook’s cryptocurrency Libra has faced since it was announced last month is a classic example of a poorly managed product launch.
This was the conclusion drawn by Federal Financial Analytics’ managing partner Karen Petrou when she appeared on CNBC’s Closing Bell show.
Per Petrou, the manner in which Facebook unveiled its cryptocurrency was incompetent at best. This was borne out by the fact that it had unified political rivals such as Republican President Donald Trump and Democrat Maxine Waters, the chair of the U.S. House Financial Services Committee, in opposing Libra:
You’ve got to admit that this is about the world’s worst product launch ever. To bring out President Trump, chairwoman Maxine Waters and now the Treasury Secretary along with the Bank of England, the head of the Federal Reserve Board and many other top policymakers to tell Facebook that they don’t feel good about this is sending a real message.
Only Libra could do this – Donald Trump, Maxine Waters in complete agreement. https://t.co/lYsbPvSUFH
— Karen Petrou (@KarenPetrou) July 12, 2019
‘Move fast and break things’ MO comes back to haunt Facebook
In Petrou’s view, one of the reasons why Libra has faced a backlash is that Facebook had skipped on the groundwork that traditional providers of financial services normally have to undertake. This includes glossing over money laundering and national security concerns.
Petrou also expressed doubts that Facebook would be able to proceed with rolling out Libra in the developing world in the event that countries such as the U.S. and the U.K. shut their doors on it. According to Petrou this is because the global financial system is highly intertwined.
The continuing backlash against Facebook’s planned cryptocurrency comes as the social media giant’s representatives prepare to hold Congressional hearings this week.