The history book says that the starting point of cyberpunk is Facebook

The discussion caused by Facebook's currency, as well as the disputes and ideological disputes represented by the discussion, have far exceeded the fun of the event itself. [1]


A few years later, people remembered the afternoon when Facebook published the white paper, and would not forget the fear of being dominated by the overbearing president.

Technology giants are starting to mint their own currencies, multinational companies are forming alliances with each other, and people's data and privacy are aggregated into the cloud.

When the dark clouds of the Internet shrouded the world, Zuckerberg held Libra's white paper in his hand, facing the camera, with a tone of no emotion like a robot, and read:

We will use blockchain technology to launch a global currency that serves billions of users, creating a frictionless global financial market…

The people in front of the TV looked blank. Most people don't know what it means.

On the other hand, the password punk has picked up the beer bottle in his hand and smashed the expressionless face on the wall-mounted TV.

The bar is full of roars from blockchain pioneer entrepreneurs. Bitcoin, Ethereum and the third generation of public chains all stood up.

“No one can steal the fruit of the blockchain revolution!”

“Libra is not open! It doesn’t fit the spirit of password punk!”

"go to hell, Libra!"


When FB News was swiping across groups, it was almost the first picture that came to my mind.

Think about it, this is actually quite sci-fi. Some netizens and I have the same feelings on Weibo:


But think about it, what reason does Facebook have to write this way?

Nic Carter said on twitter [2]

Multinational companies have realized this and they are casting their own private currency.

Many of them will fail, but some will succeed.

The state government and the state have always been the most powerful organizations on their borders.

Multinational companies are now waking up the death knell for this idea.

The US government has previously monopolized:

Information dissemination: press + internet finally ended this

Military violence: an asymmetric war is ending this

Coinage: The cryptocurrency is ending this Facebook has better macroeconomic data than the Fed, more credit data than most banks, why can't they design an attractive interest rate + purchasing power currency? (assuming political restrictions are left)

FB will position their monetary projects as “supporting growth, supporting innovation, supporting the United States”, which is very convincing;

"US government regulation will not let Facebook do this." It sounds unconvincing.

Of course, I don't like FB and everything it represents, but I won't deny that FB has a real chance here.

"Look, the government authorities have screwed things up. The asset price inflation has destroyed the purchasing power of the currency. Let real adults and technologists do the job, not the bureaucracy. You don't want WeChat to win, right? Come, click here to support the currency of FB."

People spend 18 hours a day inserting their brains into the nourishment of social networks.

A well-targeted algorithm can subtly change your mood, your point of view, and your thoughts.

FB does not hide anything at all, because there is no law that can prevent FB from "manipulating" the mainstream view of the society on a large scale, and the law is made by representatives elected by people – this is almost an infinite loop.


Of course, maybe everything is not so bad.

Because "this is only a matter of business in the world."

Moreover, even in terms of business, FB's Libra is still struggling to achieve global currency and global financial ambitions.

As the Orange Book analyzed in the article yesterday, FB wants to make Alipay in the United States is difficult, and it is even harder to penetrate the overseas world.

The big economies of Europe and Japan will not give their control over the currency in law and regulation.

The only opportunity that seems “feasible” is only in the pro-American third world countries.

The financial infrastructure in these areas is too poor, and there are more people with mobile phones than those with bank accounts.

At the same time, they are pro-American and do not exclude the circulation of the US dollar, so people can complete the first purchase of Libra in US dollars.

Despite the difficulties, some people are very optimistic about FB's action.

What this person values ​​is actually what Libra stands behind, using a global currency to create a frictionless financial market that allows billions of people to enjoy equal financial services.

Bitcoin has been around for ten years, but the user experience of blockchain products is still very bad.

For outsiders, Crypto is just a small world of self-proclaimed people.

Facebook has a piece of puzzle that Crypto is missing in the small world, and what Crypto is most eager for: the real user. As well as real user assets.

People hope that Facebook will bring more attention to the encryption world, complete the popularization, and inject new vitality.

But password punk and another part of the blockchain entrepreneurs are resolutely opposed or even completely reject Facebook's "goodwill."

In their view, Facebook first violated the first principle of the encryption world: openness, and respect for user data and privacy.

User ownership of the data is still ambiguous in the Facebook white paper.

Libra didn't mention why users generated data. Facebook and Libra have the right to use this data, even if it is used to “create a frictionless financial market”?

Or to put it another way, can Facebook provide financial services without “peeking” user data and invading privacy?

If so, are people still willing to trust Facebook?

People who oppose Facebook believe that Facebook has stolen the fruits of the revolution, and they will continue to steal user data and privacy, ultimately infringing on your financial freedom.

Facebook is still untrustworthy. This is the original sin of Facebook.

This is also the original sin of the Internet.

Today, the Internet has moved away from its original intention and is being shackled by technology giants.

The blockchain is attractive because of its decentralized nature. It is a correction for the Internet that people have been waiting for for a long time.

If Facebook finally wins the market in this way, then we will still return to the plight of the Internet era giant monopoly and users losing their freedom.

This is something that nobody wants to see.


But the reality must be such a black and white?

No, there is a third sound.

This voice believes that technology is only a means to solve real problems. Technology can have different forms for different problems.

Nervos architect Jan had put forward a different view a year ago: the (tech giant's) alliance chain and the (hacker's) public chain are not a distinct dividing line, more like a continuous spectrum. There are other possibilities in the middle.

Different categories of different blockchains can be classified for the two dimensions of "Do you need a license?" and "Do you want to choose a service object?" Jan gives an interesting conclusion:

There is an intersection between the alliance chain and the public chain. A chain of nodes can be licensed, and the objects it serves can also be public users or even anonymous users without any restrictions.

Such a chain is called a public license chain.

Facebook's Libra is clearly a public license chain.

As long as the public license chain can solve the problem, it makes sense, regardless of the ideological battle.

Of course, a completely decentralized public chain has the opportunity to become a native infrastructure in the digital world.

But it is hard to imagine that this decentralized approach can be applied and promoted when it is linked to the real world.

The part that the public chain can't do is the part of the public license chain that has application scenarios and more opportunities in the real world.

For example, the government uses blockchains to streamline administrative agencies and provide services for people.

For example, marriage registration, account management, court judgment, immigration procedures, etc., these institutions originally need to consume a lot of manpower and resources to ensure that no mistakes.

However, if the public license chain is used, the node providing the service needs permission, which is convenient for the government to have control. On the other hand, the object of providing the service is the entire public and does not hinder the free use.

Facebook's Libra is also the same, the nodes in the network need to be licensed, and Facebook joins the world's influential business companies, opening up between different consumer scenarios, and ultimately serving all public users.


When I lamented the sci-fi nature of FB currency, a friend posted a message reminding me:

Facebook also bought Oculus for $1 billion a few years ago.

Yes, VR is definitely an interesting example.

At the time we thought that the future had come. But today VR is quiet.

FB issuance, is it the same?

It is very likely that the future FB currency will gradually fade away and will not be mentioned anymore.

But I think it is still very different from VR.

There was a discussion within the Orange Book editorial office a few days ago: Do ​​you believe Bitcoin will continue to exist in the next 50 years?

The answer is that some people believe that some people do not believe it.

This topic has been extended to talk about another more interesting topic:

Which gold and bitcoin are more difficult to destroy?

If human civilization is disintegrated and ceases to exist, then it is clear that bitcoin does not exist.

But gold is a physical resource on earth, and it can exist independently of human civilization.

From this perspective, gold is harder to destroy.

But if human civilization exists, bitcoin is hard to disappear completely.

Because the core of Bitcoin is a string of code. The essence of code is human thought.

Once someone discovers a certain kind of thought and spreads the idea widely, then this kind of thinking can hardly be completely destroyed.

In theory, you can only kill all the people in the world who have this kind of thinking, and you can completely eliminate Bitcoin.

So, what is the relationship between this topic and FB currency?

Facebook's Libra will eventually fail, I don't know.

Whether we are moving towards the future of Cyberpunk, I have no answer.

But as said at the beginning, the discussion behind Facebook's currency represents different voices and different ideological battles.

In the past, multinational corporations and technology giants only watched the fire from afar, and looked at the development of the blockchain. They restrained the distance from the encrypted world.

If Facebook succeeds, any of these taboos about the currency of a multinational company may fail.

It is not difficult to kill a company.

It is rare that once the window paper in people's minds is broken, the world will be different.


[1] : For the first time in my circle of friends, I saw Li paintings presenting concerns about the different visions and perspectives represented by Libra discussions.


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