David Marcus, the executive in charge of Facebook’s proposed cryptocurrency, Libra, said if Libra fails, the U.S. could fall behind China in the race for legitimized cryptocurrency, and subsequently in influence around the world.
According to Bloomberg, while Libra is continually criticized and scrutinized around the globe, China is developing its own state-backed cryptocurrency. That would be a real threat to U.S. influence, Marcus said.
“The future in five years, if we don’t have a good answer, is basically China re-wiring [the rest of the world] with a digital renminbi running on their controlled blockchain,” Marcus said. This could mean the potential for “a whole part of the world completely blocked from U.S. sanctions and protected from U.S. sanctions and having a new digital reserve currency.”
The China argument has been used before in other Facebook cases. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said breaking up tech companies would benefit China while testifying before Congress in April 2018.
China has not set a date for the release of its currency.
On Monday (Oct. 14) the Libra Association named its board of directors and formalized the consortium’s executive team.
Members include Calibra, Coinbase, Xapo, Anchorage, Bison Trails, Creative Destruction Lab, Andreessen Horowitz, Thrive Capital, Ribbit Capital, Union Square Ventures, Breakthrough Initiatives, Illiad, Vodafone, Farfetch, Uber, Lyft, Kiva, Mercy Corps, Women’s World Banking, Spotify and PayU.
The board of directors will consist of five people, all with ties to Facebook: lead David Marcus; Katie Haun, a partner with Andreessen Horowitz; Wences Casares, CEO of Xapo; Patrick Ellis, general counsel at PayU; and Matthew Davie, chief strategy officer of Kiva.
The appointed executive team includes two PayPal alums — Bertrand Perez, who will serve as Libra’s CEO; and Kurt Hemecker, who was named to head of business development. Dante Disparte, the founder and CEO of Risk Cooperative, will remain the head of policy and communications.