That’s the headline from my latest piece in Inside Story, in Libra, Facebook’s newly announced cryptocurrency. Opening and closing paras below
Facebook’s announcement that it is launching a
#cryptocurrency called Libra raises two questions. Will Libra compete with the most famous cryptocurrency, #Bitcoin ? And what is a cryptocurrency anyway?
Ultimately, the crucial part of the name is “crypto.” What Bitcoin and Libra have in common is a desire to avoid the constraints of government regulation of financial markets by burying their operations in layers of technological mystery. These aspirations, brought together in the term “fintech,” reflect the market libertarianism that dominated both the technology and finance worlds in the heady days of the 1990s, and persisted even after the global financial crisis of 2008. It remains to be seen whether such aspirations will flourish in the current, much less favourable environment