- Facebook launched its own cryptocurrency this week called Libra that aims to be an easily accessible digital monetary system.
- The cryptocurrency shares its name with a horoscope sign that represents balance and fairness, a fact that Libras and astrologists are takingissue with.
- Astrologists tell Business Insider they think the name choice is an intentional move, as Facebook deals with a scandal-riddled past and regulators already questioning Libra.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
After months of Facebook teasing that it’s been working on a digital currency, the powerful tech company unveiled Tuesday that it’s cryptocurrency is called Libra.
There are many questions left unanswered in the wake of Facebook’s announcement, from how the cryptocurrency will be regulated globally to whether a Facebook-run monetary system can even be trusted. But it’s also important to note that Facebook’s decided to name its highly anticipated cryptocurrency Libra, an astrological sign that comes with its own connotations and meanings.
In astrology, Libra is represented by a balanced scale. The sign denotes fairness, justice, and “even distribution,” astrologist Aliza Kelly told Business Insider. The sign also denotes “something that’s going to provide a consistency through whatever is going on,” Kelly said.
Whether you believe in astrology or not, it’s fair to assume that a company like Facebook didn’t take lightly the decision of what to name its cryptocurrency. But whether it was purposeful or coincidental, Libras – including me – have wasted no time taking to social media to say how they don’t appreciate their sign being used by Facebook.
“Libras have a right to be peeved! Facebook is attempting to represent themselves as fair and just, akin to Libra’s most positive qualities,” astrologist Mackenzie Greer told Business Insider. “Given their track record, I’m not so sure they will be able to live up to the Libra name!”
how dare they bestow the sacred name Libra on something foolish and made-up like cryptocurrency
— Callie Beusman (@cal_beu) June 18, 2019
to state the obvious a facebook-mandated cryptocurrency called Libra is a huge affront to libras everywhere
— Helen Holmes (@helenbholmes) June 18, 2019
Now that Facebook has ruined being a Libra for me where can I apply for a new horoscope sign? https://t.co/qWa6QZVwFc
— Piril Akay (@pirilakay) June 18, 2019
Facebook has faced a seemingly endless stream of scandals in the past few years, many of which have raised questions of whether the company can be trusted or whether it keeps its users’ best interests at the forefront of what it does. But Facebook is trying to dispel that narrative with its new cryptocurrency; CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the launch of Libra is a part of the company’s “vision for a privacy-focused social platform.”
So that makes Libra an apt choice to name the cryptocurrency, astrologists told Business Insider.
“[Facebook] is attempting to ride on the back of the positive qualities that Libra as a sign naturally possesses,” Greer said. “Perhaps Facebook is trying to claim this new cryptocurrency will be one that attempts to replicate these Libran standards of morality, fairness, and balance in its use of monetary exchange? Seems like a nice picture to paint of itself.”
The world of astrology and horoscopes has boomed into a billion-dollar industry that has grown exponentially in popularity. Kelly, who hosts a mythological podcast called “Stars Like Us,” says booms in interest in astrology have correlated with “periods of uncertainty,” such as in the wake of the 2016 presidential election.
“When life gets crazy on earth, we look for some answers in the stars,” Kelly said.
For Facebook, whose year has been tumultuous, choosing Libra as the name to turn over a new leaf seems far from coincidence.
“Now is the time for us to be acting with the diplomacy and compassion embodied by Libra … which frankly, I just don’t see with Facebook,” astrologist Claire Goodchild said.
- Read more about Libra, Facebook’s cryptocurrency:
- Facebook just took the wraps off Libra, a new cryptocurrency that will let anyone in the world pay with their smartphone
- Here’s what Facebook’s new cryptocurrency Libra will look like and how it will work
- US lawmakers are demanding scrutiny – and even a freeze – of Facebook’s cryptocurrency project
- Facebook’s facing a bunch of questions about its new cryptocurrency. How it addresses them will make or break the service.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.