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Ripple Exec Skeptical of Libra’s Decentralization Claims: A “Walled Garden”

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Since Libra was unveiled earlier this year by Facebook, crypto enthusiasts and industry firms have been heavily scrutinizing the project. The fear is that the “cryptocurrency” and “blockchain” won’t sport the tenets of a decentralized network,

Related Reading: CNBC Analyst Slams Facebook Libra, Champions Bitcoin

According to an executive of Ripple Labs, these fears are correct.

Libra a “Walled Garden”; Ripple Isn’t

Speaking to CNBC last week, Marcus Treacher, Ripple’s senior vice president of customer success, said that he believes that one of Libra’s main issues is that it’s a “walled garden” system. In other words, he’s saying that he believes the Facebook-backed cryptocurrency project is a closed system, disallowing easy entry or exit by users or nodes.

Although much of the Internet consists of walled gardens today, the rise of blockchain seeks to disintermediate and get rid of controlling central authorities.

Treacher continued, adding that he believes that Ripple has “no walled garden”, being a network “with no perimter” and “connects with all of the players that want to use the technology”.

Related Reading: Crypto Tidbits: Venezuela Owns Bitcoin, SoFi Adds Cryptocurrency Trading, Libra Launch Unclear

He Isn’t Wrong

While Treacher’s comment regarding the public nature of the Ripple Ledger may be up for debate, he isn’t wrong about Libra — that’s for sure.

At launch — if it launches — the Libra network will be run by a network of nodes run by corporations. These corporations, as long as they don’t pull out of their agreements, will include Visa, PayPal, Uber, Spotify, Coinbase, Mastercard, Booking Holdings, among other corporate giants, investment groups, and pro-cryptocurrency firms.

The Libra Association’s goal is to decentralize the network with time, presumably by slowly converting the consensus model to something like that of Bitcoin or Ethereum, which allows public interaction due to low barriers to entry.

Regardless of what form Libra or one of its successors takes, analysts believe that it will only help to improve the adoption of cryptocurrencies, especially Bitcoin. As reported by NewsBTC previously, Raoul Pal, the former head of Goldman Sachs’s hedge funds sales, said that the implementation of a new monetary system will be “good for Bitcoin and gold”. In a sub-tweet, Pal further explained his thoughts, responding “exactly” to a comment claiming that a fiat digital asset will as an on-ramp for the cryptocurrency market.

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