On July29th, we had great honor of interviewing Dr.Omer Ozden and he provided us with a wonderful insight on his thoughts for presenting the Facebook Libra hearing at the House Financial Services Committee.
Dr.Omer Ozden is the Founder & CEO of RockTree LEX，International partner of Zhenfund, Partner of DFund and co-Founder of Wework. He is also the legal consultant of Facebook since 2006.
Q:First question is from the attitude of the U.S. government towards Libra, which point do you think the government worry most about Libra? Does Libra bring great impact and challenge to the traditional financial order, regulatory system and legal boundary?
There are three main attitudes from the government when we talk to them
1. ALL of the US Government is mad at Facebook because of the Privacy Issues....... this has nothing to do with crypto or Libra. It is because of past issues of Facebook. As we all know, Facebook got fined $5,000,000,000 from FTC (US Gov) for Privacy Issues this summer.
2. The second attitude is the US Government....especially the Congress, is very excited and interested in the power of Blockchain.
They know blockchain and cryptocurrencies are important and they have to pay very close attention. And when I speak with Congressmen and Congresswomen, they tell me "Omer, we know Libra is different from cryptocurrencies and blockchain"
These government leaders we talk to in private meetings tell me they support blockchain and crypto!
3. The third attitude is that Some US Government... especially Treasury, is worried about the impact on the financial order of Libra and Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. They are worried about US dollar dominance.
They are worried about power of Investment Banks and Commercial Banks and that technology companies like Facebook are taking this business.
Q: What do you think is the biggest obstacle to Libra's launch? Is it a legal issue related to similar anti-money laundering? How difficult is it for the government to participate in regulation? Or political pressure from other countries?
The biggest obstacle to Facebook's launch is its design, because it’s too complicated and AML & KYC are key parts. I advised Facebook to simplify Libra and made it more like Paxos or Gemini. Because Paxos and Gemini were already approved by the New York DFS.
The US government also has an obstacle for Libra as Facebook has chosen to go to Switzerland with well-established law for crypto currency, which means that the state-level government in New York should be at a faster pace than the federal government of Washington, D.C. And some of the big companies such as Facebook are in the process of carrying out a legal framework overseas.
Q: With your experience as the Founder & CEO of RockTree LEX，International partner of Zhenfund, Partner of DFund and co-Founder of Wework, from the perspective of investment, what are the possible investment opportunities based on Libra in the future?
At RockTree LEX, we say that ”IN BLOCKCHAIN, LAW IS ALSO TECHNOLOGY”.
RockTree and ZhenFund have invested in a lot of projects, and we are currently looking for quality projects around the world, especially in the United States.
Libra is a stable coin and it only cost 10million to be one of the nodes. Obviously, the profit of nodes is very good, and what we are doing now is to select those who are qualified to be nodes, instead of the richer ones.
Q: We’ve noticed that USDT is also the investment target of DFund, what’s your perspective on the its future development?
DGroup is our partner who strongly supports USDT and Bitfinex. Our project RRB will be listing on Bitfinex soon.
Undoubtly, USDT is the most important stable coin, and some new ones are coming which have been approved by US government (NYDFS). More government will approve more stable coins in the future.
Q: We have noticed that your team is cooperating with the U.S government to help them formulate and improve laws related to blockchain. So, may I ask, how fast does the U.S. law promote blockchain? From a legal perspective, how do you think the Chinese government will promote its legal perspectives re blockchain? What is your suggestion? Under what circumstances do you think Libra will be born in China?
RockTree LEX is working on a project now where we have GOLD as the backing for a coin.
In the 1990s, I lived in Beijing, and I helped many enterprises open the Internet road in China. With the VIE architecture invented by my team, I did many cases such as Alibaba, Baidu, NetEase and New Oriental during the past 20 years.It was illegal for foreign investment to enter the Internet in China, which helped REVOLUTIONALIZE China's economy. Back then, we did the first VC deals for Alibaba and Baidu... when Ma Yun was still in a Hangzhou apartment with his team. Today, these are some of the biggest technology companies in China.... and even the world. We also work with Facebook going back to 2006.
As a pioneer in blockchain, I’m doing the same effort to provide more development space for blockchain industry by working with the U. S. government to develop new laws, regulations and frameworks.
For VIE, we need approval of Chinese government and US SEC, together we make this happen!
Q: Based on your observation, does the perception and attitude of the U.S. top officials towards blockchain contribute to the development of Libra project? Throughout the world, which country do you think has relatively sound laws on blockchain? Which countries do you think are most likely to lead the global competition in blockchain?
Japan, Switzerland and Singapore has great laws. Now many other EU countries are coming on.... of course Malta, and UK government is bringing a lot of support for Blockchain. The New York State government is the world leader as well.
I met with AG of New York, NYAG's attitude is: if you are a legal blockchain and crypto project, we can support you. But if not, we will go after you. New York State hand out many licenses.
The Chinese government is one of the smartest governments in the world. They have a strong ability to learn and pay attention to education and science and technology. I believe that the relevant laws and regulations in China can also be issued soon. Chinese people and Chinese government LOVES new technology and GaiGe KaiFang. This requires a collective contribution to turn China into top market for crypto currency and blockchain, just like we did for the Internet. Reform and opening up are important forces of progress.