Could the Ethereum community become one of the validators of Facebook’s Libra?
That’s the radical idea proposed by SpankChain CEO Ameen Soleimani—who is well-known for his unique brand of radical ideas. But, curiously enough, his “shower thought” seems to have taken off. The speculative tweet received 300 likes and more than 50 retweets, plus a lively discussion in response.
Soleimani’s rough thinking was that some part of the Ethereum community could come together and raise $10 million to pay the entry fee Facebook requires to become a validator. It would also involve a decentralized organization to participate in governance of Libra. This would bring some of the control over it back into the crypto community, providing a stronger case that it is indeed decentralized—and not wholly Facebook-controlled.
He suggested there would be three benefits for Libra in doing this. First, it would provide legitimacy in the eyes of the crypto cypherpunks—who dismissed Facebook’s blockchain as not-a-blockchain. Second, it would connect Facebook with a talented developer community. Third, it would hedge against a growing barrier between Libra and the Ethereum grassroots community.
However, not all cypherpunks agreed. A bitcoin-favouring cypherpunk known on Twitter as Storms, replied, “A lot of us cypherpunks don’t give a damn about Libra or Ethereum–the former is non-existent noise and the latter is unscalable, centralized tech that’s hardly indistinguishable from vaporware.”
One commentator suggested an even wackier idea—that Libra could add Ethereum to its basket of currencies that it uses to keep the price stable. However, while Facebook maintains Libra is not-a-stablecoin, it has stated is wishes to keep the price more stable than traditional cryptocurrencies, making this idea seem unlikely.
While the idea is in its initial stages, the Ethereum community has decided to give it some thought. Eva Beylin, who has worked on Ethereum and OmiseGo, put together an initial “requests for membership” document to see if there is any interest behind it.
After tagging a bunch of related projects, one of the first responses was not entirely positive. John Light, communications at Aragon One, said, “I personally want no part in giving FB any more money or power, and I would oppose any effort to direct Aragon project funds to this cause.”
Likewise, Virgil Griffith, who works on special projects at the Ethereum Foundation, told Decrypt, “I don’t see us ever joining them. Don’t trust them. Unless they are interested in playing nice with others.” He also pointed out the recent similarities between Libra and Hedera Hashgraph—suggesting this wasn’t a coincidence.
Soleimani’s other, most recent radical idea was for MolochDAO, a funding project that was initially dismissed as simply, too dark. But that was fully funded this year by crypto heavyweights Joe Lubin and Vitalik Buterin. Could lightning strike twice and bring forth the LibraDAO?