Facebook’s Libra targets origins of power

Written by Dr. Hossein Mirazapour

Libra, Facebook’s digital currency released in June for the first time. Facebook sought to form a coalition along with 27 prominent companies to introduce their digital currency on a worldwide scale; digital economy giants such as Uber, Visa, eBay, and MasterCard were said to be among the alliance partners.

 Facebook, based on its announcement, will unveil Libra in mid-2020. So far, it has lost seven of its partners in less than a month after severe rejections of US Congress and the ongoing debate with Federal Reserve: PayPal, Visa, Mastercard, Stripe, Mercado Pago, Booking Holdings and eBay.

But 21 remaining partners, including Uber, Spotify, and Vodafone, still having Zuckerberg’s back in this matter.

Facebook’s Libra is built on the Blockchain, which promises secure, fast, and reliable while completely decentralized payments by removing intermediaries such as banks and payment gateways.

Libra will initially be backed by four valid paper currencies, including USD, Euro, Yen, and Pound sterling.

Yet, by limiting the possibility of creating and approving the Blocks by the given number of companies in its coalition, the stable Libra implements another type of Blockchain in financial transfers upon which the cornerstone of a controllable digital ecosystem would be established.

Worse, ironically the slogan on the home page of the Libra’s site is “Libra for all,” and according to the Libra coalition’s policymaking department: “where ever credit card and Visa card is active, Libra is available”.

Seemingly, Libra’s everyone means everyone they want or at least anyone who affords to use it; since credit card and Visa card services are not yet available to many people worldwide, these allied corporations in the future may enforce such rules for any user or nationality and block or limit their digital currencies.

So, in the most optimistic view, Libra set up to reproduce, if not perpetuate, US-centric domination structures in financial relations, but this time in the form of digital technologies (FinTech).

At the domestic level, Libra’s emergence generated a battle between the traditional regulators and the technological forces of reform; those who rebel against the longstanding order of the things in the most critical way that is: taking the initiative over Dollar.

In this sense, Libra is expected to be another version of Dollar with different power relations and stakeholder arrangements. With this in mind, some analysts inclined toward the idea that Zuckerberg has to seek its market for Libra elsewhere out of America because its primary steps would not be allowed in Dollar territory.

As a result of these defects, only certain people in the community used digital currencies, and it is an unfamiliar and strange concept for most ordinary people.

Facebook intends to use its global reputation and pervasive social influence as a golden opportunity, and by leveraging the successful user interface experience in its current products, assures the community that using Libra would be as simple as using WhatsApp or Facebook.

Finally, despite Libra’s monopolistic and authoritarian features, it can be said that the high technical capability of its coalition to speed up transactions and Facebook’s large number of users, makes it possible to globalize Libra.

It is not exaggerating if we consider Libra as a smart response of the American macro decision-making body to maintain political power and stabilize its superior economic position so that Libra will be a new form, this time globally, of the US Federal Reserve.

منتشر شده در ایران پرس در تاریخ ۱۳ خردادماه ۱۳۹۹