I am sitting in the airport lounge in Geneva waiting to board an airplane. I am here because yesterday was the inaugural Libra Association member council meeting. The Libra Association is a Swiss organization which will operate the Libra blockchain network and the Libra reserve.
Yesterday was an important milestone for the Libra project. We adopted the initial charter for the Libra Association, we elected the initial five board members, and we set in motion a number of important initiatives. “We” are the twenty-one founding members of the Libra Association.
It is fashionable to be negative about the Libra project right now. And it is equally fashionable to call it “Facebook’s crypto-currency project.” Both are understandable under the circumstances.
But yesterday was the beginning of an independent effort, one that Facebook does not control, one where Facebook is one founding member among many, and one where Facebook has one board seat out of five.
But even more important is Libra’s mission to create a stable cryptocurrency that can operate at sufficient scale such that Facebook and others can use it as a means of exchange/payment system in their applications.
The most meaningful conversations I had yesterday were with the members from Kiva and Women’s World Banking who joined the Libra Association because the people they serve are under-banked and under-provided for by the legacy financial system. Like them, I believe a stable cryptocurrency that is broadly adopted around the world will bring new services to people who don’t have access to the financial system that many of us who read this blog do.
One of the powerful things about being in the venture capital business is that we can support projects that are necessary but unproven, unpopular, and/or misunderstood. Not everyone can do that and so it is even more important that we do.