On August 1, Bitwise, which calls itself a leading provider of index and beta cryptoasset funds, published a letter to its investors on its website that stated its belief that Libra has indirectly helped Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies advance 3 years ahead of where they would have been otherwise. Libra is a digital currency that Facebook tentatively plans to launch next year.
Matt Hougan, who is the global head of research at Bitwise, indicated in the letter that, because of the introduction of Libra and all the controversy it has caused within the media and the U.S. congress, this has accelerated the growth of cryptocurrencies by 2 to 3 years, by virtue of all the conversations and debates that have taken place about them in the mainstream world. He said that these discussions were not taking place beforehand.
Bitwise further claims that "people realize they can no longer ignore cryptocurrency," and this is the result of both the development of Libra and the hearings the U.S. congress conducted in relation to this. Though the company also says that these events have not all been positive developments for the future of cryptocurrencies, as various negative consequences could happen sometime in the future because government regulators are now taking notice of the currencies.
The company further predicted that the U.S. government would eventually initiate regulations on the some of the more suspect areas of cryptocurrency investment, such as initial coin offerings (ICOs) and certain unregulated exchanges. However, Bitwise believes that this development will ultimately be positive for the industry, as increased government regulation of the industry will likely increase investor confidence. It could further lead to the creation of guidelines that will fundamentally help the industry become more mature.
But it is very possible that Facebook and Libra will not benefit from all the good that they have initiated. At the end of July, it was reported that Facebook has warned its investors that Libra may not actually launch at all.