Despite all the regulatory hurdles and all that hate that has come from both domestic and international lawmakers, Libra, Facebook’s controversial new cryptocurrency, is still proceeding with a 2020 launch.
Libra Is Still Moving Ahead
Libra was first announced in June to widespread criticism. As Facebook was just beginning to relieve itself from its previously embarrassing fiasco involving Cambridge Analytica in 2018, the company unveiled new plans for a cryptocurrency that could be used as a global payment system regardless of one’s living situation or location.
Many U.S. Senators scowled at this idea. They plowed through Facebook’s executive team with questions regarding how Libra was planning to keep people’s financial data safe and in check. Many believed that if the company couldn’t keep people’s personal data safe before, they certainly wouldn’t be able to do so this time.
David Marcus, the head of Facebook’s blockchain division, was grilled hard by members of the U.S. Congress, and vowed to put the plans on hold until they had gotten all their questions answered. Now, it appears Marcus is going back on this word, claiming in a recent interview:
The goal is still to launch Libra next year. Until then, we’ll need to address all questions adequately and create a suitable regulatory environment.
The problem with that is Facebook has yet to go into detail regarding what regulations will be in place. Marcus and his team have discussed regulation in the past, but there aren’t any set laws or statutes that the company is planning… At least none that they’ve made public.
Naturally, legislators are nervous about this, and some countries, such as France and Germany, are vowing to do all they can to prevent Libra from entering their financial scenes altogether. In response, Marcus says that while Libra can be used for cross-border payments for “small sums,” it’s unlikely the coin will be available for spending in these countries or its neighbors. He states:
It’s unlikely in any case that people will pay for an espresso in Switzerland, Germany or France with Libra in the future.
What’s Backing This Cryptocurrency, Anyway?
Libra will be governed by a board of roughly 28 different companies and bodies, which raises concerns regarding its potentially centralized nature. Most cryptocurrencies, except for Ripple or those issued by banks, are intended to be decentralized or in the hands of the people that use them. The fact that it will be directed by “men and women of power” has a lot of people raising an eyebrow or two.
At press time, it has been revealed that Libra will be backed by a wide variety of stable currencies, including the U.S. dollar, the euro, the Japanese yen, the pound, and the Singapore dollar.