Joyous July: Facebook’s Libra helps crypto go mainstream, Bitwise

Libra has "changed the nature of conversations that investors are having about crypto around the world"

Facebook’s Libra project has accelerated Bitcoin’s progress by three years, according to Bitwise.

In a letter to investors, it argues that July will go down as one of the most important months in crypto’s history. The space went mainstream and began “its inevitable journey from the fringes of FinTech into the centre of conversations about how both the financial industry and money itself operate”.

By way of example, Bitwise flagged up the US Congress holding two days of consecutive hearings on Bitcoin et al, with both the House and Senate, and the US Treasury Secretary calling an emergency press conference to discuss the status of regulation.

Libra, meanwhile, has “changed the nature of conversations that investors are having about crypto around the world…Thanks to Facebook and the hearings with Congress, people realise they can no longer ignore cryptocurrency. If the government and the largest consumer company in the world are taking it seriously, they have to too. They need to have an (informed) opinion”.

It isn’t all good news, however. Heightened attention from government may have some negative ramifications in the future. “With Libra specifically, Congress seems intent on slowing Facebook’s entry into the markets, and Facebook seems willing to play along,” Bitwise writes.

“It seems likely that, with crypto front-of-mind, the government will also increasingly call for enforcement actions against the shadier parts of the crypto ecosystem, like ICOs and unregulated exchanges,” it adds.

But this scrutiny and attention will ultimately be a good thing in the long-term. “It will give investors the assurance that regulators are involved and will clarify the guidelines under which the mature version of crypto can develop,” Bitwise states.

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