Let's read Libra Shrugged


This seems like the next book I (and you too) should read.

Libra Shrugged is a book just published by David Gerald, about “How Facebook Tried to Take Over the Money”, and failed. I only noticed it now, so I have not read it yet. However, from the reviews I have found, it really seems an important book for everybody who has to live with money, and its digital faces and implications. Regardless, and beyond, the Libra project in and by itself.

For your convenience, here is a selection of quotes, from the reviews I have seen so far, that shows why.

Let's read Libra Shrugged /img/libra-shrugged.jpg

From DSHR.org

[The book explains how] “Facebook’s hubris led them to believe that they could, in effect, become a sovereign currency issuer like a government, without any of the responsibilities that governments assume when they control a currency. Actual governments looked at this proposal and responded “you have to be kidding”.

Libra Shrugged also includes “a history of the various failures actual governments have encountered trying to launch Central Bank Digital Currencies”.

From Amazon

“Libra is still a dubious promise of “inclusive, global payment system” with lots of unanswered questions. Probably the main benefit from all this hassle is central banks rethinking their stablecoin strategies, which I would hope to bring faster and safer international payments one day”

“Libra was born in sin – libertarian sin, to be precise. What its creators wanted to do was design a global currency that couldn’t be stopped by government regulators”

“the use of a blockchain – this is what could make Libra a “cryptocurrency” and not just another PayPal – is either wicked or spurious”

“The unbanked in the USA face very different problems than do the unbanked elsewhere. And these aren’t problems you can discern by looking out the window of a Menlo Park office. The unbanked tend not to trust banks, as it turns out. And they don’t trust Facebook either. So the most interesting and beneficent-sounding pitch in the entire Libra deck turns out to misfire”

More reasons, by me

Facebook already influences elections, is a potential source of digital gerrymandering and already behaves like a sovereign state. Even if all that were not a problem, even if Libra did not have all the flaws mentioned above… there would still be no valid reasons to also make of Facebook our main, if not only issuer of money.

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