While Facebook's upcoming cryptocurrency Libra struggles to keep partners on board and regulators happy, an alternative called OpenLibra is here to address some of Libra's potential shortcomings.
Announced at Ethereum Foundation's Devcon 5 conference in Osaka, Japan, OpenLibra is described as an "open platform for financial inclusion," with a telling tagline: "Not run by Facebook."
OpenLibra aims to be compatible with Libra in a technical sense, meaning someone building an app on the Libra platform should be able to easily deploy it to OpenLibra as well. OpenLibra's token's value will be pegged to the value of the Libra token.
But while Libra will be a permissioned blockchain (meaning, roughly, that only permitted parties will be able to run a Libra node), OpenLibra will be permissionless from the start. There's an important difference in governance, too. Libra will initially be run by a foundation comprised of up to a 100 corporations and non-profits. It's not entirely clear how OpenLibra will be governed, but the 26-strong "core team" of the project includes people related to cryptocurrency projects such as Ethereum, Cosmos, and Chainlink .
UPDATE: Oct. 9, 2019, 5:21 p.m. CEST I was notified by OpenLibra that Chainlink is not, in fact, involved with OpenLibra. Lucas Geiger, who announced the project's launch at Devcon, mistakenly used a list of potential partners instead of actual partners and put it on the OpenLibra website. The list of partners has since been removed from the website entirely.
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Lucas Geiger, co-founder of crypto startup Wireline (and a member of the core team mentioned above), unveiled the OpenLibra project at Devcon's stage on Tuesday. According to CoinDesk , he said the people and organizations running OpenLibra have "less regulatory exposure than Facebook," and that the members are decentralized "not just geographically but politically and economically.”
As for funding, Geiger says the project's expenses are initially covered by a grant from the Interchain Foundation, which supports Cosmos developers, and that other grants are coming in....