This past weekend, Peter Todd, a former Bitcoin Core developer and currently an applied cryptography consultant, Changpeng Zhano ("CZ" for short), Co-Founder and CEO of Binance, and Justin Sun, Founder and CEO of the TRON Foundation, expressed their thoughts on the new cryptocurrencies from J.P. Morgan and Facebook.
Peter Todd's comments came while talking to on stage on Day 2 of MIT Bitcoin Expo 2019 ("The Next Ten Years"). Peter Todd and Jamiel Sheikh, Founder & CEO, Chainhaus, were part of a panel being moderated by Rhys Lindmark, Head of Community and Long-Term Societal Impact, MIT DCI:
When Lindmark asked for Todd's thoughts on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's new focus on privacy, Todd replied that this was like being asked "What are your thoughts on letting Hannibal Lecter babysit your children?". He then added:
"I'm sure some of his thoughts in there are genuine, and that's after a long discussion with his lawyers on how to avoid jail time."
More specifically, with regard to Facebook's secret upcoming cryptocurrency (stablecoin) project (that does not a name yet, but commonly referred to by commentators as "Facebook Coin"), this is what Todd had to say:
"I think with JPM Coin [and] ZuckCoin... what you're not seeing is so much technical innovation, what you're actually seeing is political and regulatory innovation, and why I say that is, I think, Bitcoin created the environment where the existence of coins sort of becomes accepted. It has to be accepted. You can't really make it go away. With the tools regulators have available to them, they have been completely ineffective at stopping Bitcoin... which then creates opportunities for companies like JPM to take advantage of that political landscape and start trying to create their own coins.
But when you talk about creating their own coins, that's just another iteration of things that have already been done many times over. The difference between JPM Coin and PayPal isn't that big, and PayPal, when you look at the early history, very clearly wanted to create a coin, but they didn't have the right political environment to do it, so they then called it a payment service, but the tech between PayPal and JPM Coin is roughly the same... What's different is things like Bitcoin, which can exist in spite of regulatory pressure."
As for CZ, the CEO of Binance, on Saturday (March 9th), he expressed the "unpopular opinion" that these two new projects should be welcomed by the crypto community since the more people that adopt crypto, the better it is for everyone:
Unpopular opinion: JPM/FB coins.— CZ Binance (@cz_binance) March 9, 2019
In a decentralized world, anyone can do as they please (within limits, so long as they don't hurt others). The more people adopt #crypto, the better.
Adoption is #adoption. Welcome!
How well will they do? Well, let's wait and see. https://t.co/ke3wYhsexI
The next day, Justin Sun, the TRON Foundation CEO, replied to CZ, saying that he agreed with this view:
Totally agree. The more, the better.— Justin Sun (@justinsuntron) March 10, 2019
The reason that CZ considers his opinion on this subject to be "unpopular" is because most well-known names in the crypto space have come out to criticize these two projects, especially JPM Coin. Here are a few examples:
If JPM Coin is a cryptocurrency, then so is Fortnite V-Bucks.— Jerry Brito (@jerrybrito) February 14, 2019
The most popular token for money laundering this year will be JPM Coin— Pomp 🌪 (@APompliano) February 14, 2019
Correct. JPM Coin and its near-twin the Petro lack the predominant source of value that distinguishes cryptocurrencies from bank money: trust minimization. https://t.co/5Xfq9B5I65— Nick Szabo 🔑 (@NickSzabo4) February 15, 2019
Featured Image Credit: Photo via Pexels.com (Peter Todd's Photo Courtesy of MIT Bitcoin Expo)