Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted a list of predictions for the decade to come on Thursday, and “decentralizing opportunity” was one of the foremost.
Specifically, Zuckerberg said that Facebook seeks to “build the commerce and payments tools so that every small business has easy access to the same technology that previously only big companies have had.”
He said that enabling people to sell products through Instagram, support customers through Messenger, or send money home at low cost through WhatsApp, would create more opportunity, and enable small businesses to “effectively become technology companies.”
Zuckerberg’s idea of decentralization does not exactly tally with that of the crypto and blockchain community. Instead, it has more in common with “democratisation,” a popular concept in Silicon Valley in the 2010s espoused by startups like Uber.
Despite the clear reference to Facebook’s ambitions for digital currency projects, not once in the post—which laid out his “big picture”—did he mention Libra, Facebook’s cryptocurrency.
Libra was announced in 2019 and is slated to launch in 2020, but it has faced fierce backlash from the US Senate and governments around the world.
Instead, Zuckerberg highlighted other initiatives that Facebook is working on, such as virtual reality, new forms of community governance and, intriguingly, “a new private social platform”
Libra, meanwhile, looks to be languishing on the sidelines, with Zuckerberg attempting to disassociate Facebook from the project.
France is one of the main opponents to Libra, and its finance minister, Bruno Le Maire, reiterated concerns against Libra in September, which he said threatened to undermine the “monetary sovereignty” of central banks. Last month, Ueli Maurer, Switzerland’s finance minister, and president called the project in its current form a failure.
Meanwhile, internal strife within the Libra Association has also led several of its high profile members, such as Paypal, Visa, eBay and Mastercard to abandon the project.
But Zuck was never one to miss a good buzzword.