Libra: Circle CEO compares Zuckerberg to "Bill Gates in 1995"

20 Jun, 2019
by David Robb
Opinion
Libra: Circle CEO compares Zuckerberg to Bill Gates in 1995

The CEO of payments company Circle has shared his thoughts on Facebook's new Libra cryptocurrency. At a recent conference organized by Fortune, Jeremy Allaire compared the project to moves made by Bill Gates back in 1995.

Speaking on a panel with a number of other industry figures, Allaire questioned financial institutions' scepticism towards blockchain, describing the technology as "the next major infrastructure layer of the Internet...they’re the fundamental new architecture for how data, identity, financial transactions, lots of things are going to happen. You’re going to reconstruct the way services work on the Internet on public blockchains".

The Circle CEO also criticized the pace of regulators regarding blockchain and the crypto market: "Billions of people are going to be able to transmit value with each other instantly, at no cost. I think there’s been a lot of … denial about whether that would happen and it’s very clear that is happening".

Allaire compared Zuckerberg's play with Libra to a "bet" made by Bill Gates back in 1995, staking a big part of Microsoft's value according to his prediction that the open Internet would be the next key social development. He pointed out the "aspirational" elements of Libra, beyond being just a payments system. He claimed that the end goal could well be a more decentralized information exchange system, addressing growing concerns over data protection and privacy.

Libra was described as a "third-generation blockchain", similar to the upcoming Ethereum 2.0. Allaire sees these latest developments as "the broadband moment" of cryptocurrency, hopefully ushering a more scalable and efficient user and developer experience for decentralized projects.

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