It’s been over a month since Head of Calibra, David Marcus faced a grilling at the hands of the Senate Committee. And considering Facebook’s track record on misuse of personal data, many predicted that Marcus would be walking into an inquisition.
But despite that, there’s no denying that Libra jolted lawmakers into finally taking cryptocurrency seriously. And for that, Zuckerberg and Marcus deserve credit. Indeed, with 2.4 billion monthly active users, Facebook’s reach is a game-changer for cryptocurrency. And that is something Gemini founders, the Winklevoss twins, can appreciate.
Dispute Over Facebook Is Water Under The Bridge
Mark Zuckerberg and the Winklevoss twins share a long-running history of rivalry. It begins in 2002, when the twins reached out to Zuckerberg for help in coding their social network platform, HarvardConnection, later renamed ConnectU.
A few weeks following that meeting, Zuckerberg launched thefacebook.com and went on to grow the company to what it is today. Unsurprisingly, the twins felt betrayed and sued Zuckerberg on the grounds that he stole their idea for the social network platform.
The twins were awarded a $65 million settlement from the lawsuit, and used the money to invest in Bitcoin, at a time when it was trading for around $7 a coin.
Although theirs is a story of duplicity, the Winklevoss twins hold no grudges. Indeed, following the panning of Libra by Senate members, the twins were quick to lend words of encouragement. Specifically, in working with regulators, and shaping regulation in a thoughtful manner.
The Winklevoss Twins Want To Work With Zuckerberg
And that’s not all. In a recent CNN interview, and not for the first time, the twins voiced their approval of Libra. Tyler said:
“[Libra] is a product that Gemini could work with. And might actually do so…depending on if it’s open source, it could be traded on the Gemini exchange, for sure.”
At which point, Cameron chimes in to reveal that they are also considering joining the Libra founding membership. Which requires a $10 million payment. And in exchange, members receive a vote on the Libra Association Council and have rights to operate a validator node on the network.
But all of this depends on how Libra, as a final product, shapes up. Cameron said:
“I think we want to learn a little bit more about the actual project. I think they signed up something like 26 nodes so far, they’re planning to launch with 100. So I think we’ll just continue to see how it evolves.”
Is Putting Trust In Zuckerberg a Mistake?
Niceties aside, the hostilities encountered by Marcus, at the Senate hearings, centered around the issue of mistrust. And sadly for Zuckerberg, that is a word synonymous with Facebook.
In fact, during the hearings, it seemed as though senators were lining up to take turns to butcher the idea of a Facebook cryptocurrency. Including Senator Sherrod Brown, of Ohio, who likened the concept to a young child playing with matches by saying:
“It has burned the house down repeatedly and called every attempt a learning experience. Do you really think people should trust you with their bank accounts and their money?”
Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) tears into Facebook, compares company to a toddler playing with matches. Facebook, he says, calls every arson a “learning experience.”
— Matthew de Silva (@matthewde_silva) July 16, 2019
And therein lies the rub, because the twins are popular figures with a solid reputation. Whereas Facebook is seen with disdain. That being so, it seems unusual that the twins would want to associate with Zuckerberg.
But when all has been said and done, for the twins, this is about reaching the masses. And few can rival Facebook as a vehicle for reaching the masses.
On that note, in addressing Facebook’s poor reputation, Cameron pointed out that placing trust in Libra is not the same thing as trusting Facebook. He said:
“I think the way it’s structured, it’s a consortium that’s run by a separate company called Calibra. And then the nodes are going to decide a lot of the governance. So you’re really trusting that group of nodes.”
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