Every now and then folks adjacent to crypto Twitter like to tweet out some version of “Remember Libra?”.
Libra was Facebook’s first effort to get in on the decentralized web, with a bold promise to “bank the unbanked” via blockchain that was revealed in mid-2019. The world’s largest social network caved in to regulatory pressure and gave up on its higher-end ambitions less than a year later.
It remains funny to think of Mark Zuckerberg and his horde of elite engineers flopping. But the truth is that the spirit of the ill-fated Facebookcoin lives on with a new blockchain called 0L that went live today, completely without any support from Menlo Park.
For yield seekers, there’s a chance to get in early by mining its gas token on a Windows or Mac computer with the Carpe app.
According to its documentation, the point of 0L is to stay as close to the codebase from Facebook, now known as Diem, as possible while still hewing to the principles of openness and permissionlessness. The introduction to the project writes:
“The Libra/Diem platform is a spaceship on all accounts. There are engineering breakthroughs throughout the project. The architecture is sensibly designed, and expertly assembled. This is the merit of the Facebook engineering team.”
Zaki Manian, a Cosmos contributor and Sommelier co-founder, has been a contributor to 0L.
“Diem is a very very fast blockchain,” he told The Defiant over Twitter DM. “It’s basically the fair launch mechanism that’s interesting.”
Manian said that they borrowed some ideas from the creator of Dfinity, Dominic Williams, and from Bram Cohen’s Chia project in order to make a Byzantine Fault Tolerant blockchain that users could participate in without expensive gear.
There’s no pre-mine for 0L or other benefits for early entrants. “We wanted all users to be able to participate meaningfully, and on equal footing with a protocol,” the documentation explains. “The Carpe app combines a Wallet with a Light Miner, which allows anyone with a desktop, whether Windows, Ubuntu, or Mac, to “mine” coins for themselves.”
Shortly after Facebook first released the Libra code, an OpenLibra project was announced at Devcon 2019 with similar aims, but that effort was quickly mired in controversy.
Manian says that this project picks up where that one left off.