Facebook’s David Marcus Addresses Libra Trust Issues

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David Marcus, the head of Calibra at Facebook, emphasized that Libra users will not have to put their trust in Facebook, in a post on July 3.

Marcus reiterated that Facebook is not the only member of the Libra Network, and that they are relinquishing control of the network. In the post, he says:

“Facebook will not control the network, the currency, or the reserve backing it. Facebook will only be one among over a hundred members of the Libra Association by launch. We will not have any special rights or privileges.”

Relinquishing control over the infrastructure behind Libra is precisely what Polychain CEO Carlson-Wee said would be the best strategy for Facebook. At the Consensus 2019 blockchain conference in May, Carlson-Wee said:

“I think that the strategic move for Facebook would actually be to build public infrastructure. And that public infrastructure could be incorporated onto all the Facebook platforms, which of course are proprietary. But that public infrastructure, if they don’t try to own it, I think that’s where they will have the most success.”

Marcus also said that, while Facebook does own the crypto wallet company Calibra as a subsidiary, no financial data will be available to Facebook. Moreover, he says that users are free to use a range of custodial and non-custodial wallets from different companies to store and make transactions with Libra.

One non-custodial wallet recently announced is ZenGo, which has provided a proof-of-concept demonstration for Libra support. This wallet reportedly eliminates the need for storing private keys by using a key-like solution that is distributed among multiple parties, rather than existing as one string of characters.

Marcus says that ultimately, users do not have to put their trust in Facebook just to use Libra:

“Bottom line: You won’t have to trust Facebook to get the benefit of Libra. And Facebook won’t have any special responsibility over the Libra Network…. We’ve been clear about our approach to financial data separation and we will live up to our commitments and work hard to deliver real utility.”

The announcement comes just one day after members of the United States Congress requested that Facebook impose a moratorium on Libra’s development until it can be further examined.

Hearings in the Senate and House of Representatives — at which Marcus will ostensibly appear — are scheduled for July 16 and July 17, respectively.