Facebook’s Libra Could Add Japanese Financial Giant Monex to Crypto Kumbaya

Journalist:
July 26, 2019

Monex, the Japanese online brokerage that owns the crypto exchange Coincheck, has applied to join the Facebook Libra stablecoin project.

The Libra Association will make a final decision on Monex’s application by September 30, Reuters Japan reported. The application process involves Monex investing millions of dollars to back Mark Zuckerberg’s vanity project.

If approved, Monex will become the first Japanese partner in Libra, Facebook’s over-hyped “crypto” initiative.

Struggling Monex courts bitcoin to survive

As CCN reported, Monex announced in April that it could soon allow retail investors to buy bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies on its platform.

Monex was once the No. 1 online brokerage in Japan, but it has lost market share to rivals that have embraced crypto. Therefore, it’s no surprise that Monex now wants to hop on Facebook’s foray into crypto.

The Libra Association has a varied list of partners. | Source: Libra

None of Libra’s partners has officially joined

Interestingly, none of Libra’s 27 corporate partners has officially joined the consortium yet. Visa CEO Alfred Kelly made the surprise revelation during a July 23 earnings call.

“We have signed a nonbinding letter of intent to join Libra. We’re one of 27 companies that have expressed that interest. So, no one has yet officially joined.”

As it is, Libra is being assailed from all sides in the United States. Politicians and activists warn that the Facebook cryptocurrency would facilitate money-laundering and undermine the U.S. dollar.

Opposition to Libra has also spread across Europe, including the British Parliament. A top parliamentary official is accusing Facebook of “trying to turn itself into its own country…solely under the oversight of Mark Zuckerberg.”

Consumer groups urge Libra partners to quit

As CCN reported last week, four American consumer-advocacy groups wrote an impassioned letter urging all 27 Libra partners to dump the Facebook project.

“Facebook is eager to present itself as just one voice of many in the Libra Association. No one is fooled by this subterfuge.”

Facebook claims it wants to launch Libra to democratize financial services. However, critics say the social media monopoly is promoting a self-serving project that would enable it to operate as an unregulated nation-state.

So far, the Libra Association has received nonbinding letters of intent from some of the world’s biggest companies, including Visa, Mastercard, eBay, PayPal and Uber.

Despite these deep-pocketed corporate partners, there’s growing concern that Libra could fail before it ever launches, thanks to its ongoing tsunami of data-breach scandals.

Binance CFO: Do not trust Mark Zuckerberg

In April 2019, Binance CFO Wei Zhou warned that Mark Zuckerberg is a megalomaniac who wants to dominate the crypto space and shut down all its competitors once it gets a foothold in the industry.

Zhou — a former Harvard classmate of the Facebook chairman — says Zuckerberg could not care less about promoting the mainstream adoption of crypto.

What Zuck really wants, says Zhou, is to design a closed, centralized crypto-ecosystem that he will assert total control over.

Last modified (UTC): July 26, 2019 11:14

Samantha Chang @Samantha_Chang

Samantha Chang is a New York City-based financial editor who writes about crypto and business at . She is a law school grad and an alum of the University of Pennsylvania. You can reach her on Twitter at Samantha Chang or email her at schang121@juno.com.