Libra is under attack from a big name in the tech world, again. Mark Cuban, the billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks and recurring Shark Tank guest, has already called Facebook’s new digital currency “dangerous” and “a big mistake.” Now he’s doubling down on that prediction, suggesting that it could be even worse than he previously imagined.
Libra’s Lethal Potential
He recently went on “The Vergecast” to elaborate on why the project is unsafe.
“When you get a company like Facebook, with the power and leverage and the financial resources that they have, putting their tentacles into — not to pick on Africa, but African countries that have less stable currencies and governments — that can create issues that can lead to people dying.”
He goes on to say that launching the currency in North America or Western Europe would be acceptable. “Fine, go for it. Let’s see what happens,” Mark Cuban said. It’s when they start interfering with less stable countries that “the law of unintended consequences is inevitable.”
“I think people will die as a result because when you start impacting a despot’s currency manipulation opportunities and their ability to tax and control what they can in their countries, that’s when despots tend to take matters into their own hands and people die.”
“You have to consider what happens in the most remote elements of that currency chain if you will. And that’s where problems occur.”
Facebook’s Suspicious Motives
Cuban thinks Facebook is trying to develop Libra so they can monetize their 2.2 billion users. On top of that, they may be seeking “global currency domination.” Otherwise, Mark Cuban says, Facebook could just support the use of bitcoin on its platform.
He joins a chorus of critics who are concerned about Libra.
George McDonaugh, a co-founder of blockchain investment firm KR1, said,
“Don’t be fooled. This move into the murky world of cryptocurrency is about tapping new wells of data, the modern-day oil.”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) recently implied that Libra would be a “corporate-controlled currency.”
Even Donald Trump has criticized the currency.
….Similarly, Facebook Libra’s “virtual currency” will have little standing or dependability. If Facebook and other companies want to become a bank, they must seek a new Banking Charter and become subject to all Banking Regulations, just like other Banks, both National…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 12, 2019
Mark Cuban’s Suspicious Motives
Cuban’s negative stance on Libra could be influenced by several factors. First, he’s joined star DJ, Diplo, to back a banking app called Dave. Libra could potentially hurt this app if it were to replace traditional banks.
Secondly, however justified, Cuban has been known to let fear guide his thinking. The Mark Cuban Foundation recently launched an “AI Bootcamp.” The project is meant to prepare underprivileged youth with the skills to work with artificial intelligence. In 2018, Cuban expressed his concern around the growing technology.
“Let me scare the **it out of you, all right. If you don’t think by the time most of you are in your mid-40s that a Terminator will appear, you’re crazy.”
Whether or not people die from a Terminator or a digital currency remains to be seen. One thing is clear, Facebook has a long way to go before earning our trust back.