FBs Libra - Freedom for everyone?

Published by gy4tmnzsgene 18 Jun

FBs Libra - Freedom for everyone?

Facebook finally published their whitepaper for their cryptocurrency 'Libra' together with who they work with to bring their asset to a global audience. I will talk about what I like and what I dislike about this project and compare it to Ethereum and EOS.

First, let's talk about who they will work with. Since there are a few names in the list, that really pop out, especially because this is a crypto project and their are a few big 'traditional' financial companies involved. Facebook is working with Mastercard, PayPal, PayU, Stripe, Visa together which is kind of surprise for me since those companies did not react positively on cryptocurrencies in the past. But besides them, coinbase is also partnering with Libra which I guess is not that much of a surprise.

Coming to the tech side of things. Libra, or Libra Blockchain in this case, is very similar to Ethereum when it comes to smart contracts. Execution of code on the blockchain takes gas. This is a major drawback to blockchains like EOSIO or IOST. Also the Libra Association (yes, the blockchain won't be managed by Facebook directly, but more about that later) claims that Libra can reach up to 1000TX/s with 100 active nodes which compared to EOS-Mainnet might not sound a like, but it should be noted that 100 active nodes of course slow the network down. It says they will work on better performence, but we will see. For the consensus algorithm a form of BFT, called LibraBFT, is used. Dan Larimer already said, that he will look into it and see if anything about this algorithm can benefit EOSIO. The reference implementation is written in Rust and is available on Github for anyone to take a look at.

One interesting thing about the Libra Coin, is that it is supposed to be backed by different assets, including different fiat money and government securities. This will be put into a reserve and tokens will be created (or 'printed') according to the value of the reverse. Libra tries to make their token more stable this way. The reserve will be managed by different selected partners, probably VISA/Mastercard/PayPal. It should also be mentioned that event though Libra will be a open blockchain, it won't be permissionless from the beginning. All nodes are selected by facebook. It is planned to move Libra from a permissioned blockchain to a permissionless blockchain at some point though the on-chain government system is not yet implemented and will first be tested on a public testnet.

The Libra Association was put in place, to make Libra freely available. Though they say they will heavily depend on facebook until 2020 before they will be truly independent. We will see if this will work out for them.

Libra makes a lot of claims, they want to bring their global currency to billions of people. I doubt that is possible as they are very limited by how many transactions they can deal with. It is of course better than Bitcoin and Ethereum, tho as a smart contract platform it lacks a lot compared to EOSIO. I don't see Libra reaching up to EOSIOs superiority. Though I am happy if I get proven wrong. In the end, competition only improves every product and I am looking forward to all the improvements and innovations that will come from Libra and EOSIO.

If you are interested in reading the whitepaper, here you go: https://libra.org/en-US/white-paper/

Thanks for reading by post. I am sorry for any misspelling and wrong grammar. I am not a native speaker ;)

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