Both USV and a16z betting on Libra 👇
Facebook launched a new subsidiary @calibra to build around the Libra protocol. Interesting move. “Calibra is a new digital wallet for a new global currency. The wallet will be available in Messenger, WhatsApp, and as a standalone app. Available in 2020”
A whitepaper, a language, and a foundation are bLoCKcHain boilerplate at this point. From what I see thus far, Libra is unremarkable — which isn’t a bad thing. Its value is its backers, partners, and scale. A win for true blockchain commercialization.
What interests me is the Calibra strategy. It’s insulated from the deranged quant experiments and growth hacking bureaucracy that have burdened its parent company with ephermal strategy and negligence. It’s focused. And that is the greatest change of character from Facebook yet.
Libra is Phase 1 of Facebook’s sprawling focus on decentralization and encryption, which will soon unify their messengers and engulf News Feed. In February, I wrote about where these efforts stand in our industry, and history. It’s a good day to share it ✨ https://www.dropbox.com/s/lpvosduo4mg6fif/Dark.pdf?dl=0 …
The push away from broadcast (all the way down to the protocol layer) and these currency efforts are intertwined. This really is a big turning point for Facebook.
Great thread that highlights important distinctions between Move and Solidity, and the underlying differences in bytecode & VMs. Wish the industry could hone in on a common language and VM, but it’s increasingly clear that this period will be long.
Interesting details about the incentives of the Libra Investment Token — which is distributed to partners (hoping for 200) who have bought in with at least $10M. Appears low yield, and that helps to frame what a16z and USV want: regulation and adoption.
There are early confirmations that Calibra’s ambitions are encroaching on lending, as a challenger bank more broadly. This may be more threatening to Zelle partners and fintech than it is to the Ethereum ecosystem or Bitcoin.
Here is a good discussion on many of those differences.
Another interesting technical distinction that highlights the lack of decentralization at Libra’s core. Will be interesting to see how this evolves.
One of the more interesting Libra partners to look at it is Spotify. They have long battled Apple over the App Store 30% — and Apple will likely respond to this as Libra begins displacing Apple-managed subscriptions. Follow Apple’s Overton window.
Here is my running list of Congressional responses. They are as reactionary as you would expect from the same Congress that gave us the nightmarish hours of tech neglect on C-span during the Zuckerberg hearings. Most concerning is the trade angle.
Lastly, as this new whitespace unfolds at greater heights, with greater power, we have to understand the broader implication. Sovereignty is entering tech’s verticalization — and we must understand the stakes at play, and worse, the consequences in losing.
This is the best explanation for how the Libra Association became a stacked deck of founding members. Libra is a proxied snowplow to the regulative environment. $10M of legal fees to get a seat at the table to accelerate industry maturation and capture.
aka a "deep pocketed lightning rod for regulators and governments" ⚡️🏦
You can follow @_DanielSinclair.
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