By many measures, Tuesday was the biggest day for Bitcoin (BTC) and crypto ever. As some quipped on what is affectionately known as “Crypto Twitter”, yesterday was a “turning point” for the entire industry. If you’ve been living under a rock, here’s a recap.
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During the wee hours of Tuesday morning, Facebook, making good on months of rumors and speculation, unveiled Libra, the world’s first Silicon Valley-backed cryptocurrency. True to leaks published over recent months, the project was revealed to be a stablecoin, backed by a basket of assets that includes but isn’t limited to the United States Dollar.
What was also confirmed was that Libra, which quickly occupied the headlines of every mainstream media outlet — from Bloomberg to the New York Times — was backed by corporate giants. Visa, Mastercard, Booking Holdings (Booking.com, Kayak, etc.), Uber, Spotify, Coinbase, and notable venture capitalists.
Interestingly, while Libra appeals to the public more than it does to the Bitcoin-lauding decentralists, most in the cryptocurrency community has begun to embrace this venture. In fact, some state that this project has the potential not only to decimate the need for altcoins but boost BTC to new highs too.
Bitcoin Bulls Welcome Libra With Open Arms
At launch, Libra is expected to be the, as HTC’s Phil Chen puts it, the “antithesis” of Bitcoin. While the development of the blockchain and its in-house programming language “Move” will be open-sourced, nodes are expected to be permissioned at launch.
Yet, many are bullish on the project anyways. In a comment issued via Twitter, Max Keiser, a prominent anti-establishment proponent (that wants to burn fiat at an upcoming Bitcoin conference), explained that Facebook’s cryptocurrency will be instrumental in the success — not downfall — of Bitcoin.
It’s built into the protocol’s genesis block that eventually a heavyweight like $fb would take on BTC. This increased awareness and appeal to would-be potentates will, of course, drive the hashrate to new highs, leading to new ATH for BTC price. Zuck is Satoshi’s useful idiot.
— Max Keiser, tweet poet. (@maxkeiser) June 18, 2019
Keiser remarked that built into Bitcoin’s Genesis Block is code that tacitly awaited the arrival of a “heavyweight” like Facebook into the cryptocurrency ecosystem. He explains that with the increased awareness and appeal of the digital asset class achieved via Libra’s widespread adoption, Bitcoin should directly benefit.
More specifically, the investor, who speculated in 2011 that BTC will eventually surmount the auspicious price point of $100,000, noted that Libra will inherently drive Bitcoin’s hash rate higher. This, due to simple network effects and the capex (capital expenditures) of miners, should be the catalyst that drives BTC to new all-time highs, meaning past $20,000.
The RT contributor, who recently released a series outlining Bitcoin’s history dubbed “To The Moon”, claimed that by virtue of green lighting Libra, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg is now a “BTC drone.”
What Keiser seems to be postulating is that with Libra, Zuckerberg will do everything in his power to push the adoption of his latest venture, leading to a direct inflow of capital and interest to Bitcoin as a result.
Here’s the absolute truth #Bitcoin has turned Mark Zuckerberg out. He’s a BTC drone now. He works for us. His capital, distribution, and ambition will annihilate Congress, regulators, Central Banks and Wall St.
— Max Keiser, tweet poet. (@maxkeiser) June 19, 2019
Fundstrat’s Tom Lee, known for his incessant optimism regarding the cryptocurrency market, agreed with Keiser’s quip. As reported by NewsBTC previously, the Bitcoin-centric markets researcher claimed that the Facebook digital asset is “complementary” to Bitcoin, not anything else.
In fact, Lee went as far as to say that with this recent news regarding the Silicon Valley firm in mind, he would be inclined to suggest that $10,000 is right on the horizon for BTC. And, as this outlet has covered previously, once $10,000 is breached, the analyst believes that $40,000 will follow shortly thereafter.
Bound to Run Into Issues
Libra’s launch hasn’t been cut and dried, however, despite what reports may suggest. Mere hours, maybe minutes after the press embargo broke on Facebook Libra, lawmakers were already commenting scathingly on the news.
Speaking to an audience in Portugal, Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England, pledged to scrutinize the cryptocurrency. First reported by Bloomberg, the regulator said that the Group of Seven (G7), the largest economies on Earth, will ensure that Libra abides by the “highest standards of regulation”.
Carney’s peer over in France, Bruno Le Maire followed suit just after, claiming that he is fearful that Libra could be used to harvest data, launder money, and finance terrorism. Similar terms were used in his comment to those used in anti-Bitcoin regulatory statements. Le Maire explained:
“This money will allow this company to assemble even more data, which only increases our determination to regulate the internet giants.”
Most recently and most notably, United States Representative Maxine Waters has called for Facebook to halt Libra in its tracks. She, like her peers over in Europe, expressed the sentiment that Libra could become a threat about online privacy.
Waters added that she is also concerned about “national security concerns, cybersecurity risks, and trading risks that are posed by cryptocurrencies,” citing Facebook’s “troubled past”.
It is currently unclear how this will (or will not) hamper Libra, and thus Bitcoin. But this will be interesting to watch unfold over the next couple of weeks and months.
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