At a dinner last week, The Ledger observed Michael Casey and Paul Vigna, coauthors of The Age of Cryptocurrency and its blockchain sequel The Truth Machine, get into the sort of row that only coauthors (and perhaps long-married spouses) know. Casey downplayed Facebook’s seemingly omnipotent advantage in getting its cryptocurrency adopted and used, saying its incumbent position will not guarantee success. Vigna, smacking his hand on the table, pushed back, arguing that the the media giant’s reach--a stupendous 2.4 billion monthly active users--cannot be so easily dismissed.
The moment exemplified to what extent Facebook’s ambitions have torn asunder the tribe of cryptocurrency enthusiasts. These tech and finance aficionados tend to fall into either one of two camps: Lovers, or haters. Some people can’t stand the thought of Facebook encroaching on their territory, believing it will spell doom for existing cryptocurrency projects, like a kudzu squelching sunlight in its climb. Others believe Facebook’s foray will provide cover for the rest of them and, ultimately, benefit all.