Tim Cook Slams Facebook Cryptocurrency Launch for 'Looking to Gain Power'

CEO Tim Cook speaks at an Apple event at their headquarters in Cupertino, California, U.S. September 10, 2019. REUTERS/Stephen Lam
October 4, 2019 Topic: Politics Region: Americas Blog Brand: The Buzz Tags: FacebookAppleBig TechSilicon ValleyCryptocurrency

Tim Cook Slams Facebook Cryptocurrency Launch for 'Looking to Gain Power'

'I really think that a currency should stay in the hands of countries.' the Apple CEO said.

Apple CEO Tim Cook took a shot at Facebook’s cryptocurrency plan, Libra, in an interview with French newspaper Les Echos published Thursday.

Facebook announced in a June whitepaper that it was partnering with 28 companies including Mastercard, Visa, Uber, Spotify, eBay and Paypal in an effort to create a financial system that relies on a cryptocurrency that it hopes to be available by 2020.

Cook said Apple does not plan to do the same to compete with other tech giants.

“A private company shouldn’t be looking to gain power this way,” he said in the Les Echos interview, according to Business Insider.

Apple CEO Tim Cook just took a not-so-subtle shot at Facebook’s decision to create a cryptocurrency, saying companies ‘shouldn’t be looking to gain power this way’ https://t.co/vAupNqY0nd

— Business Insider (@businessinsider) October 4, 2019

“I really think that a currency should stay in the hands of countries. I’m not comfortable with the idea of a private group setting up a competing currency,” he added.

Libra, which defines itself as “a simple global currency and financial infrastructure that empowers billions of people,” will allow Facebook users to send money to their contacts, even those who live in different countries, through a regulated subsidiary called Calibra in a matter of seconds.

Federal currencies will also back Libra so its value will not fluctuate any more than the money used today.

The federal government has yet to regulate cryptocurrency due to its blurry design between being a security and a commodity, but Congress has cracked down on Facebook for putting the privacy of its users at risk by sharing information with advertisers so ads could be targeted. A combination of the two will be an effort neither Congress nor big tech has tackled before.

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Image: Reuters.