Libra’s Impossible Position

Privacy Tech vs Libra

Michael J. Casey, the chairman of CoinDesk’s advisory board and a senior advisor for blockchain research at MIT’s Digital Currency Initiative published an opinion piece on CoinDesk titled, “Libra’s Biggest Problem”.  At Peer, we wanted to digest this article more for our followers and how it fits into our thoughts and goals.

Libra has to know its customers:

“Here’s the catch: if you’re not building on top of a fully decentralized, permissionless system though, it’s impossible to assure users of privacy. –Libra’s Biggest Problem, Michael J. Casey

The article referenced the above tweet to summarize Facebook’s juxtaposed promise to deliver a solution that is only “decentralized enough”, and at the same time, centralized plenty to give Facebook the control it really desires over the consumer data and individuals’ online activities. Facebook is ready and has to “know its customer” intimately in order to satisfy the condition of being a legal crypto exchange – a perfect stance it will leverage to build “traceability” into Libra’s operational design.

How can you deliver what today’s privacy savvy consumers really want: 

Uncharted Privacy Tech Space

“I believe the answer lies in a combination of technologies, system designs and a more creative approach to regulation that, unfortunately, doesn’t exist yet.” – Libra’s Biggest Problem, Michael J. Casey

At Peer, we are developing a privacy technology that gives control back to the consumer through an open privacy design that can be readily inspected and challenged. Much like the AES encryption algorithm, where the control is with the holder of the encryption key (algorithm details are public knowledge), the privacy control principles built into our technology is attempting to make our users the true key holder over their privacy fate. Peer Social hopes to be the tool to reverse the power grip that the social media giants have over their customers.

Control Over Your Digital Identity

“For a very large number of the world’s adults, [2 billion “unbanked” adults], identity is a very real barrier to commerce.”  – Libra’s Biggest Problem, Michael J. Casey

“We can’t simultaneously insist on absolute privacy and the power to intervene in transactions to catch bad guys laundering money. – Libra’s Biggest Problem, Michael J. Casey

In today’s digital landscape, general consumers have lost significant control and claim over their online identity. Let’s face it – Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and the likes have legal, practical and operational ownership of your digital identity. We have no practical means to extract and re-establish our digital footprint without going back to one of the Big Four, let alone be able to fully function online without being tracked.

Facebook is attempting to own the identity of “2 billion unbanked adults” through Libra by baiting users to ‘enjoy’ the convenience of using their electronic cash. For Facebook, Libra is just another means to widen their net. Facebook wants to catch and own more individuals who are outside the reach of their current platform and chain down those who are not yet “stuck enough”..

At Peer, we believe that the core and fundamental barrier to commerce that needs to be solved before those “2 billion unbanked adults” can be fully served, is the issue of ownership and control of one’s digital identity – who has the means to prove your identity and how you can prove your identity to whom. 

We believe this fundamental control must be given back to the consumers for everyone to be comfortable enough to voluntarily provide their identity to corporations and governmental bodies at one’s free will and control. Until such privacy control is guaranteed, we won’t see the next generation of digital identity become widely adopted, and we will not experience the next explosion in commercialization and social media. Peer is developing the “privacy tech” to solve this core requirement.   

So please follow our progress and be part of the change that will reverse the control-power relationship between you and the giants. Be part of the journey to free your digital self and be in control of your privacy.