Facebook's Libra launch was 'ridiculously stupid,' blockchain boss says

Mark Zuckerberg

GERARD JULIEN/AFP/Getty Images

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

  • Facebook's unveiling of its proposed Libra cryptocurrency this summer was "ridiculously stupid," according to the boss of a company building its own blockchain ecosystem.
  • "The way they rolled it out … it was just so in your face," R3 CEO David Rutter said at a recent company conference, according to Financial News.
  • Rutter called the social network "really naive" based on some of its ideas, such as underpinning Libra with a weighted basket of currencies.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
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Facebook's unveiling of its proposed Libra cryptocurrency this summer was "ridiculously stupid," according to the boss of a company building its own blockchain ecosystem.

"The way they rolled it out … it was just so in your face," R3 CEO David Rutter said at a recent company conference, according to Financial News. "There's a lack of understanding."
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Facebook underestimated the complexity of building a cryptocurrency ecosystem, Rutter said, according to Financial News. For example, the social-media giant suggested underpinning Libra with a weighted basket of currencies, but translating digital coins back into different currencies is "not simple," he said. "It's really naïve."

R3, which was founded as a consortium of top-tier banks, is working with more than 300 partners to build an open-source blockchain platform called Corda, as well as a paid version for businesses.

Libra has drawn intense scrutiny from government regulators, prompting launch partners including Visa, Mastercard, and PayPal to walk back their support. Lawmakers have grilled Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other executives on whether they can be trusted to protect users' privacy, handle vast amounts of financial data, and other issues.
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