“Bitcoin Billionaires” Author Says Bezos Would Be a Better Option for Libra

Ben Mezrich, the author of “Bitcoin Billionaires,” thinks that Libra would have had a much better shot if not Facebook but Amazon was at the wheel.

Photo: Brattle Theatre / Flickr

Photo: Brattle Theatre / Flickr

After all the hearings U.S. Congress held overhead of the Libra team David Marcus, there was only one conclusion left – Mark Zuckerberg has to testify himself. It seems Zuckerberg was pretty reckless about planned Libra rollout thinking that this can pass without him sitting again on this chair.

Because of that, Facebook’s plan to roll Libra in 2020 – maybe everything else but possible.

Ben Mezrich, the author of “Bitcoin Billionaires,” believes that Libra would have had a much better shot if Facebook wasn’t behind it.

He said:

“I think that Amazon could pull this off. Because for whatever reason, we all trust Amazon. We put our credit cards in there every day…Regulators would be on them, but it wouldn’t be like this.”

The thing is, that now – everything becomes the matter of trust.

The overall sentiment of the House hearings was that Facebook needs to be more transparent about its activities and long-term plans for the cryptocurrency play. The distrust is a flow-on from revelations that the social network had allowed its users’ data to be harvested in the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

US regulators have approved a record $5bn fine on Facebook to settle an investigation into data privacy violations. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has been investigating allegations that political consultancy Cambridge Analytica improperly obtained the data of up to 87 million Facebook users.

The settlement is the FTC’s largest financial penalty to date, which was previously a $22.5 million fine against Google in 2012.

Mezrich agrees that this is all about trust.

He said:

“You can’t have a bank, you can’t be a new currency without people trusting it if you’re going to sit in the middle of it, and people don’t trust Facebook.”

While he testified, some members of Congress asked Marcus if he would pause or scale down the project while the federal government figured out how to regulate it.

Representative Carolyn Maloney said she thinks they shouldn’t launch Libra at all, because the creation of a new currency is a core government function. At the very least, she said, they should agree to do this small pilot program first.

Mezrich explained why he thinks Amazon would be better. He says Amazon is subject to less scrutiny than Facebook.

“Regulators would be on them, but it wouldn’t be like this.”

He also characterized Libra as not being a true cryptocurrency because it would involve financial mediators. He said it could, however, serve as an “on ramp” to Bitcoin for people unfamiliar with cryptocurrencies.

It’s interesting that Mezrich speaks about Amazon if it’s known that right after Facebook revealed Libra, everybody started to talk about Amazon as one of the possible competitors.

Even Changpeng Zhao of Binance tweeted that Amazon would need to create its own crypto “sooner or later” — but will the company actually do so?

Even though Amazon is pretty silent on those matters, it is quickly becoming a dominant player in the enterprise blockchain world, thanks to its cloud-based Amazon Web Services, which provides blockchain services for businesses like Zilliqa.

Let’s also not forget that Amazon recently bought three domains dubbed: amazonethereum.com, amazoncryptocurrency.com, amazoncryptocurrencies.com, and that, if you write amazoncoin.com it still will direct you on their main page. So, let’s say that all options are still open.

We welcome comments that advance the story directly or with relevant tangential information. We try to block comments that use offensive language, all capital letters or appear to be spam, and we review comments frequently to ensure they meet our standards. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Coinspeaker Ltd.