Libra, Facebook, and greed blindness

Over at BlueSky, Dell Cameron brought up that Facebook’s involvement in crypto, VR, and GenAI aren’t working out because they are only secondary to their main business purpose: surveillance. (link)

I disagreed. Cameron was right in that it failed because their main business is surveillance, but I suspect they screwed it up because it was such a great fit that they got too greedy.

Crypto would have been for them - if Libra had taken off, Meta would have gotten access to their users' transaction information, something they don't necessarily have right now.

They luckily came out the gate too hard and scared everyone off by making it too obvious it was a supranational currency.

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— Ricardo J. Méndez ( Jun 4, 2024 at 9:08

Would it have been different if they’d seen it as a technology investment?

Two projects grew on the compost of Facebook’s Diem open source dump: Sui and Aptos. As of June 4, 2024, their combined fully-diluted valuation is about $10 billion. Facebook could have captured that value if they had spun it out from the start, even as a subsidiary where they control most of the token supply.

But Libra was never a tech investment. You don’t get to have an arms-length independent company and share data.

When all you have is surveillance, everything looks like a data trove.

Published: 2024-06-04