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‘Arrogant’ Facebook Sabotaged Itself With Libra Approach, Claims Ripple Chief

Last Updated March 4, 2021 2:39 PM
Mark Emem
Last Updated March 4, 2021 2:39 PM

Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse has stated that the high level of scrutiny that Facebook has invited from regulators and policymakers with regards to the Libra cryptocurrency efforts is of the social media giant’s own making.

Speaking on Bloomberg TV , Garlinghouse suggested that Facebook may have gone too far by stating in its white paper that it was going to create a ‘new currency’:

I think there is a little bit, maybe, more than just ambitious, maybe arrogant to take the approach of ‘hey, we are going to build a, the white paper articulates, a new currency.

Garlinghouse further argued that Facebook’s trying to develop a ‘new currency’ may have been unnecessary. Per the Ripple CEO the U.S. dollar ‘works pretty well’ and the world does not need a new fiat currency. The only exception according to Garlinghouse is in the case of emerging market currencies such as the Argentinian peso which has lost value excessively in the recent past.

Is Libra a bad omen for crypto?

During the same interview, Garlinghouse expressed concerns that Facebook has not done enough to win over regulators. According to Garlinghouse, the social media giant may have failed to do the groundwork necessary to meet anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism financing regulations.

In this respect, the Ripple CEO warned that the backlash Facebook has received with regards to Libra was having a negative effect on legitimate crypto projects. For instance, Garlinghouse cited President Donald Trump’s criticism of Bitcoin earlier this month as an example of the Libra-associated pushback the crypto space was receiving following Facebook’s announcement of its cryptocurrency initiative:

The danger that is happening right now is that legitimate projects working on taking advantage of crypto to solve real problems get caught in the crossfire a little bit. ‘Cause you are seeing even the president came out and tweeted ‘I don’t like cryptocurrencies’.

‘Libra is not a threat to Ripple’

In the same interview, Garlinghouse also denied that Libra could be a threat to Ripple in the event that it succeeds. According to Garlinghouse, Ripple and Facebook are targeting different markets with the former focused on institutions while the latter concentrates on end-consumers.

Earlier this week Ripple wrote an open letter  asking the U.S. Congress not to stereotype the entire blockchain and digital currency industry while pleading for legislation that encourages and supports innovation rather than kill it.

Fears of stifling crypto regulations emerged following the congressional hearings Facebook’s representatives attended earlier this month. During the hearings a significant number of lawmakers expressed their apprehension and reservations regarding cryptocurrencies in general.

Bitcoin and Ethereum attacked

In his Bloomberg interview, Garlinghouse repeated the plea to the U.S. Congress asking that cryptocurrencies not be lumped all in the same general category. Per the Ripple CEO, XRP with its ‘let’s work with system’ approach was more government-friendly and should thus be treated differently from Bitcoin and Ethereum which, according to Garlinghouse, are in the hands of foreigners:

Again I just think we can’t just paint this one big broad brush particularly at the U.S. government level we have technologies like Bitcoin and Ether – they are controlled by Chinese miners.