“All warfare is based on deception,” Sun Tzu, The Art of War.
In the midst of a ceremonious battle, it so often happens that two opposing forces find one common ally. An entity that for better or for worse, inextricably ties the two sides together, either giving them a cause to fight for or fight against or in the most unlikely of cases, to unite. We see this trichotomy of warfare playing out before our eyes.
Facebook is on the verge of revolutionizing the way we look at messaging systems altogether. Less from a way to stay socially connected and more to remain financially connected. With their unveiling of Libra, the digital assets project, Facebook put a name on their charge into the payments world. But because of Libra’s operational intricacies, its introduction has been met with less fanfare and more alarm bells.
Libra, as Facebook would have it, would be backed by a basket of fiat currencies and other government securities, built on its own blockchain, and native wallet, Calibra, channelized through the Facebook messaging applications of WhatsApp and Messenger. It will be internally governed by a Switzerland-based 29 member consortium housing the likes of MasterCard, Visa, Uber, and PayPal. This operational and geographical independence, lack of a single government link and a billion-strong customer base, are all elements of a global economic earthquake, and the regulators didn’t like it one bit.
Within days of Facebook’s plan ringing in the regulators’ ears and offices, there were calls to halt its development. Leaving aside the global outrage, what really brought Libra to its knees was the barrage of attacks coming out of Washington D.C. In a week, the Federal Reserve Chairman, the US Treasury Secretary, both houses of Congress and the President himself spoke out against Libra,