Open letters addressed to Mark Zuckerberg haven’t tended to be encouraging pep talks, but Steve Forbes isn’t interested in lecturing the world’s most powerful nerd – he wants him to make the most of Facebook’s planned digital currency, Libra, unveiled last week. Forbes, a media publisher, onetime presidential candidate, and frequent economic and political pundit was writing in Forbes (naturally).
- Libra, or another new digital currency, could revolutionize the world economy in ways not seen since Henry Ford, and might someday replace established currencies – maybe even the U.S. dollar, according to Forbes, striking a somewhat messianic tone.
- Zuckerberg’s vision for a universal digital currency could be a boon to economic growth, digital innovation, social mobility, and global commerce. However to do so Libra must avoid the pitfalls of other digital currencies, including cryptocurrencies, and especially bitcoin.
- As Forbes notes, the current crop of cryptocurrencies are “… great as speculative vehicles, but they’re useless as real money.” To avoid that fate (and fulfill the promise of cryptocurrencies as hedges against inflation in fiat currencies) Forbes advises Zuckerberg to literally re-adopt the gold standard, pegging Libra to a certain fixed amount of the venerable yellow metal.
- Forbes acknowledges this idea will probably go against all the professional advice Zuckerberg receives from the legions of financial consultants doubtless (hopefully?) employed in the project.
- However it would steal a march on every currency in the world in terms of stability and accountability, Forbes notes, while also scaring off well-capitalized copycats.
- Oh, but Zuckerberg might want to choose a different name for the currency. Forbes thinks “Mark,” formerly claimed by Germany, might be a good one.