Libra Has Got India On Pins and Needles
Libra is designed to be utilized as a means of payments for goods and services through the WeChat app and through merchants’ websites that offer Facebook login options. It’s set for release in 2020 and will potentially turn Facebook into a centralized finance system that has access to individuals’ payment information and additional private data.
This is something that scares a lot of people and nations, including the United States and the United Kingdom. Members of the U.S. Congress, for example, have asked Facebook executives to hold off on their Libra-based plans indefinitely so they can examine the properties of the currency and have all questions answered before it comes to fruition.
The U.K. on the other hand, is now proposing a full ban on all crypto-related products. While the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is citing concerns over price swings and potential volatility, it’s interesting that such fears aren’t becoming known until now. Does the FCA have something against Libra, per chance? Is there some sort of hidden fear the organization isn’t delving into?
Either way, many policymakers don’t like the idea of Facebook potentially becoming a sovereign nation by issuing its own cryptocurrency, and those in India possess similar concerns. To be fair, India has long held an anti-cryptocurrency attitude, first disallowing banks and financial institutions from doing business with crypto companies in 2018. In addition, the country has long been toying with the idea of a full crypto ban in the future, though this has yet to become a reality.
However, India does seem on edge when it comes to Libra’s potential. Subhash Chandra Garg, secretary of the Department of Economic Affairs under the Indian Ministry of Finance, explained in a new report:
Design of the Facebook currency has not been fully explained, but whatever it is, it would be a private cryptocurrency, and that’s not something we have been comfortable with.
Who Wouldn’t Be Worried?
In truth, this is something many legislators are not comfortable with. Facebook is a company that has been riddled with scandals over the past few years, the biggest one being Cambridge Analytica. The company was caught red-handed selling users’ private data to third parties for advertising purposes, and many aren’t happy about the company holding people’s financial data within its fingers.
While the company has commented that it will focus more on privacy in the future, it has never explained how, and has been relatively silent on how Libra will work in the long run. As a result, very few people know what to make of the cryptocurrency and aren’t sure how to react to it. Should they be concerned, or should they just “go with the flow?”