A few months ago, Facebook and its Libra shook the world. Some people saw in it a new, global movement and even a modern financial instrument, while some others called it pretentious and predicted Libra a short life.
Either way, Libra paved the way for many new events. It was, kind of, a Pandora´s box. Although many were scarred by it, it was the time to open it. Today, the question is not what went wrong with rolling out – obviously, regulators were not very touched by it – but why.
WHAT WENT WRONG WITH FACEBOOK´S LIBRA
The major resentment was about Facebook´s arrogance as the Washington Post stated. The energy in the air – or the elephant in the room – was, “How did they dare to even think about a new global currency before talking to us?”
Expected? You bet… Many experts agree that it was not about technical and other issues Libra might face but about not showing respect to current financial institutions.
On the other hand, Facebook faced, maybe for the first time, a “magic mirror on the wall” cruel moment. When people are surveyed regarding inclination to Libra, only 5 percent of the US adults showed any interest. Even more concerning is the fact that 86 percent didn’t bother about it at all. To make the situation worse, people who showed interest in Libra were mainly young adults between 18 and 24 years old, reported CivicScience.
The not-so-shocking answer that followed was that 77 percent of those surveyed don’t trust – Facebook!
This fact could make the situation fairly complicated. If it was about the name, the approach, maybe even about the crypto – all of these could be changed. There are “spin doctors” (public relations specialists) who can make almost everyone look as innocent as a newborn baby.
But if the problem is an issuer, most hands are tied. Changing the proud father… passing the child to foster parent… admitting defeat and leave all the glory to someone else? Hmm.
Have in mind, Libra is not only Facebook. It is a “Libra Association” of 27 partners, including financial giants, venture capital companies, nonprofit organizations, technology and telecommunication service providers, Visa, Ebay, PayPal, Uber, Vodafone, Mastercard, and so on.
That´s why is very hard to predict what the next move of Libra will be. There are a lot of background activities going on. Libra´s people even hired some of the most renowned lobbyists, like a former aide to the chairman of the US Senate Banking Committee, to help to resolve issues and speeding up the process.
BEHIND LIBRA: ARE NEWCOMERS TAKING THE STAGE?
Nevertheless, the most important things started to happen after the Libra´s drama. In the middle of this summer, the Technology Review reported that “People´s Bank of China (PBOC) is paying close attention to Libra” which might inspire the bank to speed up the developing of their own digital currency, said Wang Xia, director of PBOC´s research department.
But they approach the situation with way more realistic standpoint. Wang said that “there would be one boss – the US dollar and the United States”, so he wants to know the role the US dollar will play. “ … it would bring a series of economic, financial, and even international political consequences,” he concluded.
In spite of that, China is not a newcomer when comes to digital currencies. China´s central bank started studying them back in 2014 and published an ongoing report in 2017.
So when can we expect the roll-out of the China digital currency? Not an easy answer, though. On one hand, PBOC official Mu Changchum, Deputy Chief in the Payment and Settlement Division, announced that Central Bank´s Digital Currency (CBDC) prototype is already running on a blockchain infrastructure back-end.
On the other hand, Global Times tweeted that Central Bank described the media reports regarding digital currency progress as “inaccurate speculation.”
But China is not the only one working on their digital currency. Although they started very early, it doesn´t mean that they will cross the finish line as the first.
For example, the German Cabinet and Bundesbank are working on the German´s CBDC as well.
The status of CBDC is momentarily unclear, but it is obvious that Germany is inclined to digital currencies. After all, Bundesbank President and the Governing Council member of the European Central Bank, Jens Weidmann, announced support toward Libra and said that regulators should not suppress the project in that early stage.
PRIVATE INITIATIVES: BINANCE AND PROJECT PHOENIX8
Well, bigger is not always better. While monitoring governmental institutions dealing with the problem of issuing digital currencies, private initiative is making big strides in the background. The biggest cryptocurrency exchange Binance is working on their own, called Venus. They mainly target the Eastern region.
It is hard to believe, but it seemed that they approach the situation way better than Libra did. The co-founder of Binance, He Yi, said in the interview for the Bloomberg that they won´t repeat Libra´s mistake and go blindly toward the regulators, but engage with all of them from the day one. “If we want to launch Venus in a country, we’ll make sure it complies with the regulations,” said Yi.
The other interesting project is Project Phoenix8 from “European Elon Musk”, Roberto Hroval. It is not the digital currency what he is working on but the first industrial coin. Some time ago, Hroval coined the term “cryptangible economy”. It is about a tangible business, processed through blockchain and crypto ecosystem. “This is my answer to fraudulent Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) and Initial Exchange Offerings (IEO). We need tangible projects with hi-added value. I don’t care how you call them, but they have to be based on market demand and backed-up with the team of experts who are capable of executing the project. Why everybody is thinking about startups only?” concluded Hroval.
His Project Phoenix8 is actually a big waste-to-energy factory where you put garbage on one side and get sellable goods, like fuel, carbon black or electricity, on the other. The idea is not a fresh one; there were dozens and dozens of attempts to efficiently transform waste into something good. Some attempts were nature-friendly, some not. Some were more profitable, some less.
But so far, there was no solution that would be totally green and highly efficient – until Project Phoenix8 arrived. After eight years of testing and perfecting, the so-called Product Reincarnation Technology™ was developed.
This breakthrough solution – some even call it revolutionary – is based on zero emissions. But where the technology really shines is its efficiency. Product Reincarnation Technology™ is capable of monetizing 98% of waste with more than 85% of energy efficiency. No wonder why even most prominent businessmen call it “ingenious innovation” with chances to “putting all previously known technologies in the shade”, as announced on a Harvard University blog.
Besides, the technology works at a low temperature. Therefore, the cost of processing is very low and the profits are enormous. “It is a 22-billion-dollar project,” estimated Roberto Hroval, “and after patenting the three major parts of the plant, we will legally be the only one in the world offering Product Reincarnation Technology™.”
So Project Phoenix8 can, with its industrial coin, open the door to many similar projects. “I hope many companies will follow us and issue their own industrial coins. Artificial Intelligence, robotics, transportation, medicine, energetics … These industries can bring freshness, trust, and long-term stability into the crypto ecosystem,” is optimistic the father of project Phoenix8.
So there you have it–digital currencies, one way or another, knocking on the front door. Will the national ones or the private ones enter first? It is not that important really. The first one will help the second one to adopt easier and quicker. Just let it happen.