No one was angry when Facebook named products Moments, Poke, Slingshot or Portal. But the name Facebook gave its new cryptocurrency has upset some members of a very specific group: people born between September 23 and October 22.
Libra is the name of the new digital currency Facebook announced on Tuesday. It is also the astrological sign often associated with innovation, leadership and fairness. Some actual Libras — the people, rather than the decentralized, cryptographically-secured digital token — took issue with the scandal-plagued technology company using their sign to market a new product.
“As a Libra who hates Facebook, my response is this: How dare you,” tweeted Lynsay McCaulley.
“As a Libra with Libra rising I’m torn: on the one hand I like being pandered to; on the other hand there will be no one left to pander to me after Facebook destroys the world,” said Megan Campbell.
Most of the unhappy Libras seemed primarily to be upset that it was Facebook using the name. Many cited issues they had with the company, such as concerns about how it handles privacy. However, others were specifically worried about what the name portended for the currency.
“As a libra sun, i am flattered yet horrified that facebook would name its cryptocurrency after the most flighty, fiscally irresponsible of the signs!” tweeted Em Gibson.
The critical nature of the tweets line up with some classic Libra characteristics, according to one expert.
“Libra is the sign of balance, fair play and harmony, and I don’t see a lot of that in Facebook these days,” said astrologer Angel Eyedealism. “The fairness element of Libra is offended by this, it’s the least selfish of the signs … they remember to ask for things and Facebook didn’t ask them.”
Luckily for Facebook, Libras are also known for striving for diplomacy. Some said they were flattered by the company’s choice.
Facebook executive David Marcus told CNN Business the company chose the name because it represents freedom, justice and money. In addition to the astrological sign, the word comes from the Roman unit of measurement that was used to mint coins, said Marcus. The company also took some inspiration from the French word liberté, meaning freedom.
So what does the name augur for Facebook and the coin itself?
“The sign of Libra cuts through the center of our zodiac, marking the Autumnal Equinox symbolizing the balance of light on earth — equal day and equal night,” said astrologer Rebecca Gordon. “This coin likely wants to align itself with the ideals of balanced wealth distribution and blockchain’s power to achieve this.”
Gordon, who frequently does charts for initial coin offerings and startups wondering about the best day to launch, also looked at Facebook’s astrological chart. She said its proposed 2020 launch date for the currency could be “dynamic.”
“It looks like there will be a few unanticipated rules to comply with, though, ultimately a positive outlook. The real power of this coin will likely unleash though in 2021 when power Pluto lands on Facebook’s Mercury,” she said.
Naming a cryptocurrency after an astrological sign is not unheard of, and at least one has a connection with Facebook. The Winklevoss twins, who once accused Mark Zuckerberg of stealing the idea of Facebook from them, have their own digital currency called Gemini.
Clare Duffy, Seth Fiegerman and Sara O’Brien contributed to this report.