Facebook Exec Takes Fall for Libra Name, Denies Copying Winklevosses

Facebook executive David Marcus is taking the blame for Libra, saying it was him, not his boss Mark Zuckerberg, who named the new digital currency. | Source: Shutterstock

It’s deja vu all over again. Facebook executive David Marcus is taking the blame for Libra, saying it was him, not his boss Mark Zuckerberg, who named the new digital currency. Marcus isn’t apologizing for it, however. On the contrary, he’s insisting that the name Libra had nothing at all to do with Gemini, the cryptocurrency exchange launched by Zuckerberg rivals Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss.

Both Gemini and Libra are astrological signs, but Gemini came on the scene half-a-decade ago. It’s the worst-kept secret that Zuckerberg was trolling Cameron and Tyler with Libra. And now that David Marcus “doth protest too much,” he’s exposed the fact that Zuckerberg is hiding behind his key officer.

While his theory is farfetched, Marcus is either willing to take one for the team or has just been drinking the Facebook Kool-Aid for too long.

Facebook’s Smokescreen

Marcus makes the micro-argument that he was only thinking about the origin of the word Libra. In French, “libre means freedom.” It also refers to a “unit of weight measure,” even for minting coins, which is a perfect smokescreen behind which to hide if you are creating a new digital currency. And while he vehemently denies copying Gemini, Marcus must realize that while crypto is a nascent industry the community wasn’t born yesterday.

By saying “Gemini didn’t even cross my mind for a nanosecond,” Marcus sounds a lot like the “very bad Wizard” in “The Wizard of Oz.” He tells Dorothy and her friends, “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain” when all the while he is the one pulling the strings. In this case, Zuckerberg is the master puppeteer but the only one he is fooling is himself.

Gemini has roots too. In Latin, the word means twins. That alone would be reason enough for identical twins Cameron and Tyler to name their bitcoin exchange Gemini back in 2014 when it was launched.  But they went deeper than that and observe that “it inherently explores the concept of duality.” This duality is akin to “old and new [money] that will intersect on the Gemini platform.” It’s also the name for a NASA project that paved the way for Apollo’s moon landing. Similar to how Gemini is the “bridge to the moon,” the Winklevoss twins said they want Gemini to be “your bridge to the future of money.”

While the battle for Facebook may be in the rearview mirror, the funny part is that the Winklevoss twins appear to have moved on while Zuckerberg is the one who can’t let it go. Even if Libra plays a part in catapulting cryptocurrencies into the mainstream, Zuckerberg will still be stuck with himself.

Last modified: March 4, 2021 2:37 PM

Gerelyn Terzo: Gerelyn is Assistant Editor at CCN. Based in the U.S., she has also covered institutional investing on Wall Street but caught the bitcoin bug soon after. She resides 13 miles outside of New York, close enough but also far enough away to escape it all. Follow her on Twitter or email gerelyn.terzo@ccn.com.