In episode 0 of our brand new weekly Super Happy Dragon Lucky show, we had a talk about Facebook’s Libra. Danny Luedke our Product Marketing Director, and Founder & CEO Joe Roets sat down for 10 minutes to discuss some of their thoughts on Libra. Facebook’s cryptocurrency or stable coin in the making has been a hot topic in the news and in the global crypto community.
Joe Roets is a software architect interested in software generically for many years, focusing mostly on scaling, security and open source. He came across the Satoshi whitepaper through a colleague in 2010 and found it intriguing because of the software model and the issues it solved with digital value exchange (double spend). He started playing with the code, built some of his own solutions, and soon found himself working at The Walt Disney Company on the blockchain platform open sourced in November of 2016 as Dragonchain.
During the talk on Super Happy Dragon Lucky, Danny mentions some interesting developments and happenings in both the crypto and blockchain industry. Facebook’s Libra crypto and its Calibra wallet particularly caught Danny’s attention. He was curious to know more about it, and excited to talk about it with Joe. What are Joe’s thoughts on Libra? Could Dragonchain potentially play a part in making Libra, Calibra or even Facebook better?
Will Dragonchain Interchain with Libra?
Joe Roets: ‘’It’s Facebook’s stable coin I guess, and I’m not an expert with it yet, but there are a lot of opportunities and interesting developments around it. That is both good and bad. There are some things that I’m concerned with, since it’s Facebook. There has been a sequence of negative events with Facebook leading to this. It is obvious crypto is interesting to businesses and that there is a lot of potential value. If a company can really build something that makes sense, it can be extremely valuable for them. But when you step back and look at what got Facebook there, it seems to be a little less the perception of ‘here is value and let’s harness and use it to solve real problems’. It looks more like they use it as a distraction because they got in trouble for so many privacy issues. They’ve been very cavalier with people’s data, and profited off of people’s data in ways that they weren’t supposed to by their own terms. And then you look at censorship. There is a massive amount of censorship. And there are questions about whether Facebook is an actual platform or something else. They have all these issues and instead of fixing them, they come up with Libra. That is interesting to me. A lot of these issues can be fixed. You can prove the administrators use the same procedure and follow the same rules for every ban. Or take privacy solutions and decentralized identity, or even just some level of self ownership of your own data. They are the ones that could build that, and build the best case for it, but instead they push that whole part aside and double down on all the problems they already have, and adding all of the usual suspects including banks in there. Even some of the positive articles are talking about how this is the perfect ‘Know Your Customer’ opportunity. They know everything about you already, ánd how you spend your money. It’s crazy’’.
Danny jokes they could run KYC without actually having to run KYC. “Trust is built with consistency over time, and when you look at the opposite of that, that is where Facebook is heading. With consistently violating privacy and other pieces”, Danny explains. He finds it hard to imagine Facebook as the root of trust in blockchain systems, but still finds it an interesting opportunity in general. ‘’If we look at what can companies do as fast followers and what other leaders in the industry are doing with blockchain, and how can we replicate some of these things, it’s a nice proof point with Facebook getting together with Stripe, Uber, Spotify, VISA, Mastercard and all these other organizations. Coming together to build more efficiency and streamlining data sharing and other pieces, in a model that could be very interesting, depending on how it’s implemented. So it does give a lot of opportunities to businesses aiming to do similar types of activities, what do you think Joe?”
Facebook and Libra could provide better value to people.
Joe agrees there are opportunities to leverage it and provide better value to people. ‘’I’ve read that there is at least some component of governance where it’s not all Mark Zuckerberg sitting behind his screen and deciding everything. It is stretched to these 10 million dollar partners including banks and Uber. But it’s still not really decentralized. It would be amazing if we could provide some of our solutions to that network, but who knows. It is what it is.”
To both Danny and Joe it is a joke that businesses must buy a node for 10 million dollars, since this is the crypto and blockchain industry. Danny suggests fractionalizing nodes as an interesting opportunity to do pooled nodes. It would be an interesting use case if they could collaborate with the community of people who actually use Facebook. Ideas aside, Danny wonders if Dragonchain will be building on top of Libra. Are we going to Interchain with Libra, and could Dragonchain’s blockchain innovations help in more ways?
New ways to handle consumer data and privacy.
Joe mentions they’ve approached and spoken with different people working on Facebook’s Libra and Calibra about Interchain, to get access to that network. Interchain is interoperability to transfer state between chains, patented by Dragonchain. It has many interesting applications, enabling Dragonchain to leverage other public or private chains, non-chains, tangle, and even traditional systems. Interchain can be used to leverage the utilities and strengths of all these different systems, to glue and integrate them together. ‘’We see state transfers as an extension of REST. Or at least trying to follow that same philosophy, with REST on the internet itself. State transfers between the client server and server servers, you can have stateless services, more flexibility between systems, and yet the interesting thing with blockchain is that you can track that state. You can theoretically have a chain on one side that talks with a chain on the other side and transfers only the state that the chain on the other side cares about. It processes it, it can ship it back, ship it to another chain. And we also have other pieces that fit very well with what you see on the traditional internet, where you have a series of state changes, when you’re going through a process, and if something new comes in like a regulatory thing or something from another department and we need something to happen, you can insert that in the middle of this list of state changes. The rest of the system doesn’t care. You can add another capability, just like you can on the internet.”
“It’s really interesting and we see that very much as the model. It fits really well with Dragonchain because the processing is so much more inexpensive than other chains. You can operate it as a website 10 years ago. A very simple thing, yet you can leverage all the power of blockchain itself and other blockchains at the same time. And how would that work with Libra? With Facebook’s Libra, depending on how and what it is connected to, you can do things with payments and identity. The beauty would be if they would abstract some of the graph info. I could say, I’m going to shut off my account, export all my data, and we are going to build a system that segments it. And break it into as many segments as possible in Dragon Factor. And now theoretically with a new account, or if I reopen that account, assuming they would have deleted the data because GDPR applies, I could use those factors to talk to my friends and make payments. I can still use that full ecosystem, while being in control of my own data. That would be the prime opportunity to look at. It is valuable, future focused, and what people really want’’, Joe concludes.
According to Danny that would change the dynamics of how you handle data and data models such as identity, and who we are. Are we who we say we are? What about who Facebook says we are?