Facebook Libra Gets the First Real Competitor
Facebook has been scrambling to get off the ground a global cryptocurrency payment network and already got competitor which is Metal Pay and its MTL Coin, which received fresh money and a formal kickoff.
The latest competitor is Metal Pay and its MTL Coin, which received fresh money and a formal kickoff on Monday.
“Metal Pay is what Libra should’ve been, could’ve been. But we’re the real deal,” Erik Finman, a crypto entrepreneur told MarketWatch in an interview on Friday.
“This is the first real competitor to Libra,” Finman claimed. “We’re the anti-Libra,” he said.
Finman has said he has invested an undisclosed sum in Metal Pay platform, which is being led by Marshall Hayner, who helped to develop other popular cryptocurrencies including Dogecoin and Stellar.
Metal Pay isn’t new, it was launched last year, but Finman and Hayner envision that platform as a sort of Venmo of cryptocurrency, similar to the concept of Facebook’s FB, +0.32% Libra coin, which was kicked off in June as a secure blockchain payment system backed by hard assets and designed for average users.
The main difference between San Francisco-based Metal Pay and Libra coin, which touts a host of financial services partners including Mastercard MA, +1.57%, PayPal Inc. PYPL, +2.13% (which owns Venmo) and other prominent players, is that it presently operates on a decentralized blockchain, or digitally distributed-ledger system.
That means anyone can verify transactions on its open network and get rewarded via Metal Coin, the underlying currency that runs atop the Metal Pay protocol. For Libra, only a select group of so-called validators, or nodes, are allowed to verify transactions.
Another significant difference between Metal Pay and Libra? Metal Pay is up and running, a point that Finman says is a function of Hayner’s patience in waiting for licenses to operate in more than three dozen U.S. states. Finman said “we have talked with regulators before our big launch and have acquired all legal requirements.”
Facebook has said its Libra coin venture, led by David Marcus, will be available by 2020 on its messenger and WhatsApp platforms.