Libra project should not be led by Facebook, says Ethereum co-founder

Joseph Lubin raises concerns over social media giant’s involvement but insists he is a ‘big fan’ of stablecoins

Facebook should not lead the Libra cryptocurrency project due to trust concerns, according to Joseph Lubin, co-founder of the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain.

“I’m a big fan of projects like Libra,” Lubin told CNBC’s Squawk Box. However, he added that with all the “concerns” around “trust and personal identity”, the social media giant should not be driving the project.

Lubin who also founded blockchain company Consensys, added that Facebook’s past is not helping Libra, claiming that the platform has previously harvested its users’ personal information without their permission and monetised people’s attention.

However, Lubin acknowledged that “stablecoins” would enable easier cross-border commerce and better access to price stability.

Unveiled in June, Project Libra was originally introduced along with a list of prominent corporate backers. At the time, it was stated that Facebook will not have unilateral control over Libra as the cryptocurrency will be governed by its panel of backers, the Libra Association, which includes Facebook as a member.

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When questioned before Congress last month, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that the company “will not be part of launching the libra payments system anywhere in the world until US regulators approve”.

If the Libra Association voted to move ahead without regulatory approval, Zuckerberg said Facebook “would be forced to leave” the project.

In October, payments firms such as Visa, Mastercard, Stripe and PayPal pulled their support for the Libra project.

The price of Ethereum is rising and has broken the key $185 (£143 €167) and $186 resistance levels against the US Dollar. The price tested the $190 resistance area and it is currently correcting lower.

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