The coronavirus appears to be taking a toll on Facebook’s Libra project.

Libra Is Now Smaller

Libra was first introduced in June of last year. The project was designed to initiate an entire payment network in which users could potentially pay for goods and services through Facebook utilizing a new cryptocurrency known as Libra. There was just one big problem… At the time, nobody trusted the social media giant.

Facebook’s reputation had been seriously marred by the Cambridge Analytica scandal that occurred in mid-2018. Executives like Mark Zuckerberg were forced to speak before a Senate committee on live television and explain how it was that the company had garnered access to private Facebook customer data allegedly for advertising purposes.

Facebook may have gotten away with a hefty fine and a slap on the wrist, but people arguably never saw the social media company the same, and to this day, it can be said that many are still uncomfortable with the idea of sharing their financial information through Libra.

The project has experienced several delays since its announcement, with many members of Congress requesting more information regarding how it will work, the kind of data it will collect, and how it aims to keep customers safe.

Now, it looks like the project is being scaled back somewhat by COVID-19. The idea was that Libra was originally going to be supported by an entire basket of fiat and stable currencies, only now, it looks like Libra is not going to be its own unique entity. Rather, Libra is a project in which stable coins will be offered for use to customers that will be backed by a single nation’s currency.

The announcement comes amid news that more and more online payments are being processed as fewer people can enter stores and retailers amid the global lockdown. Libra is clearly eager to get things going quickly either to help people during their hours of need or to capitalize on the present circumstances. Given Facebook’s not-so-stellar history, it’s hard to tell what’s up the company’s sleeve.

Co-creator David Marcus explained on Twitter that he thinks Libra can do a lot of good right now, and strived to boost the project’s transparency and reliability by explaining:

I keep on thinking about all the people and small businesses that could benefit from the Libra Network already being operational, especially now during these times of unprecedented hardship.

Making Sure It’s Compliant

Based in Switzerland, Libra is now undergoing a reevaluation process from the Swiss Financial markets Supervisory Authority (FINMA), which claims that the project is completely different and requires an entirely new analysis before it can be unveiled to the public. In a statement, FINMA explains:

FINMA will give special consideration to whether strict national and international standards for payment infrastructures and also for combatting money laundering can be upheld.

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