Facebook’s announcement that it would create a stablecoin on a blockchain means more as a competitive answer to WeChat and Alipay’s payment services than it does to the crypto industry, according to AngelList co-founder Naval Ravikant.
Ravikant told CoinDesk via email:
“I don’t think it means much for crypto because it’s not really (sovereign-resistant) crypto.”
The immediate question for the crypto industry following the announcement of Facebook’s ambitious Libra project was whether this new token will lead more users into the broader world of cryptocurrency or insulate them from other projects. That is, will someone who becomes a Libra user be more likely to one day hold bitcoin, ether, EOS or other crypto assets?
For his part, Ravikant sees a way Libra could meet a need, noting that it could lower the cost of global payments, but, he added, “I struggle to see why it needs to be on a blockchain other than for PR / Marketing.”
The Asian consumer payments giants Tencent (parent of WeChat) and Alibaba (parent of Alipay) seem to agree: They say they won’t be following Facebook’s lead into cryptocurrency development.
That said, most of the industry sounds upbeat following the news that the fifth largest company in the world by market capitalization, Facebook, is leading a slew of financial giants (such as Visa, PayPal and Stripe) into the blockchain universe.
For example, Fred Wilson, a partner at Union Square Ventures, one of the founding members of the Libra Association, wrote on his blog:
“So as we think about the potential drivers for mainstream crypto adoption, a simple, fully-collateralized,