Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg: ‘I actually don’t know if Libra is going to work’ — his doubts are shared by millions of Americans

  • Written by MarketWatch
  • Published in Economics

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg faced a grilling on Capitol Hill on Wednesday. Zuckerberg was questioned by members of the House Financial Services Committee over his proposed cryptocurrency project Libra. He told the committee[1], “I guess I’m not the ideal messenger now.”

When asked if Facebook, which is the subject of investigations by the Federal Trade Commission and 47 state attorneys general for its business practices, should be entrusted with handling financial transactions through Libra, a calm Zuckerberg showed a rare glimpse of self-doubt. He replied, “I actually don’t know if Libra is going to work.”

He is not alone.

Nearly half — 49.4% — of Americans said they would not trust the world’s largest social network to keep their personal information secure when using Libra, a survey conducted right after Facebook announced its cryptocurrency ambitions found. Three in 10 Americans said they “don’t know” if they would trust Facebook and 14% said they would not use Libra for any payments, the June 2019 survey found. Just 3% of Americans said they would be willing to try Libra for payments. Viber, the instant messaging app, polled 2,000 people (1,000 in the U.K. and 1,000 in the U.S.). What’s more, a survey released earlier this month of 140,000 analysts who use the blockchain-analytics company Cindicator found that 49% said they have no intention of using Libra.[2]

Here’s how Libra will work: Unlike bitcoin BTC, -2.65%[3], it will be tied to the value of real-world currencies. A new subsidiary called Calibra will offer the digital wallet for Libra. Calibra will be a founding member of the nonprofit Libra Association, along with two dozen other companies and nonprofits, including including PayPal Holdings PYPL, -2.09%[4], Lyft LYFT, -1.26%[5], Uber UBER, +0.74%[6] and Kiva. Visa V, -0.22%[7], Mastercard MA, -0.72%[8], and eBay EBAY, +0.01%[9]   were originally part of the association, ...

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