The founder of Cardano (ADA) believes that the cryptocurrency still holds an edge over Facebook in emerging markets, despite the hype Libra has been generating over the past month. 

Cryptocurrency Matters in Emerging Markets

Charles Hoskinson, CEO of Input Output Hong Kong (IOHK) and the founder of Cardano threw down the gauntlet to social media giant Facebook for control in developing countries. Hoskinson made his comments in an interview with Finance Magnates published on June 26. 

He highlighted the importance of cryptocurrency in emerging markets, relative to established financial systems, 

“Emerging markets are where cryptocurrencies matter.”

Hoskinson continued, 

“When I look at the developed world, I don’t care. It’s highly regulated and, in many cases, a rigged system. If I decide to compete with a tech company they can just push me out via regulation.”

Hoskinson has become somewhat of a globe-trotter in his efforts to promote cryptocurrency. Earlier in the month, he met with the Georgian Prime Minister to discuss how IOHK can help the country’s progression to innovate in technology. In particular, Hoskinson drew attention to the impact of blockchain technology on infrastructures, such as education and medical records. 

Facebook Gives ‘Nothing in Return’

Ultimately, payments will be the battleground for cryptocurrency dominance in developing and emerging markets. Hoskinson was asked about the impact of Facebook’s Libra entering the digital payments industry, and whether cardano would be able to compete with the giant company. 

“I am not entering a market and looking to extract value from people,” said Hoskinson. “Facebook has to come into countries it doesn’t know a lot about and convinces them to enslave themselves to an economic monopoly and give nothing in return. And their only pitch is that you’ll pay less on fees.”

Update on Shelley

Hoskinson’s interview took place on a trip to Tel Aviv to solicit feedback from cryptographers and developers on Cardano’s latest work-in-progress: Shelley. 

Shelley is designed as the next evolution in the Cardano protocol and will make the public blockchain completely decentralized. Hoskinson demonstrated the features via a testnet during his visit but claimed the actual update would go live later this year. 

“It’ll be this year. But exactly when is hard to say. Delays happen. Unexpected things happen. There may be some things we can accelerate but creating software is hard.”

Hoskinson also took the opportunity to respond to his online critics, 

“I also think the community has been exceedingly unfair with their criticism of our deadlines…There are people saying we’re incompetent, that we don’t know what we’re doing. And there’s a lot of people on Reddit and Twitter and other things who have said things that are just crazy. “

While Hoskinson is facing a lopsided competition against Facebook, Cardano holds the distinction of most GitHub Commits among cryptocurrency projects in 2018–an indicator that the project is drawing serious development interest.