What is Libra?
“Libra is a permissioned blockchain digital currency proposed by the American social media company Facebook, Inc.
The currency and network do not yet exist, and only a rudimentary experimental code has been released. The launch is planned to be in 2020.
The project, currency and transactions are to be managed and cryptographically entrusted to the Libra Association, a membership organization of companies from payment, technology, telecommunication, online marketplace and venture capital, and nonprofits.” – Wikipedia
The Libra project of facebook decides to support existing currencies along with the libra token.
Facebook is modifying its arrangements for its Libra cryptographic money venture following months of severe regulatory pressure and political pushback, according to a new report from The Information distributed on Tuesday.
As indicated by the report, Facebook no longer expects to make the Libra token — the actual blockchain-based cryptocurrency it’s in the process of developing in partnership with the nonprofit Libra Association — the highlight of its digital payment strategy.
Rather, Facebook’s Libra venture will reportedly progress to supporting both existing government-sponsored currencies, similar to the US dollar and the euro, and the Libra token when it is eventually finished and prepared to launch.
Also, The Information says Facebook is postponing the dispatch of its separate Calibra digital wallet, which was to be a primary showcase for the Libra technology by permitting anybody with a smartphone to get and store the cryptocurrency and afterward pay for various merchandise with it.
The wallet will now support multiple currencies, of which Libra will be just one.
Calibra, initially scheduled to launch this mid-year, is now coming out in October, The Information reports. The wallet, rather than becoming available all over the world at launch, may have its accessibility limited to whatever government-backed currencies the Libra project eventually supports within the app. That could slow Calibra’s rollout.
The Information says Calibra’s core money storing and transfer features are as yet booked to come to both Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, as well, even though it’s unclear what the timeline for that process will be relative with Calibra’s planned October launch.
“Reporting that Facebook does not intend to offer the Libra currency in its Calibra wallet is entirely incorrect. Facebook remains fully committed to the project,” a Facebook representative said in a statement given to The Verge, referencing The Information’s initial assertion that the company was no longer intending to help the Libra token in its digital wallet.
The Information has since rectified its report.
The Libra venture was first announced in June of last year as a striking yet risky undertaking to revolutionize money transfer and position Facebook and its partners on the ground floor of another, blockchain-based digitals payment industry.
It had two parts: a Libra token, designed broadly like other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin but with fundamental differences expected to make it more steady and to a less of a speculative asset, and a blockchain network that would be the technical foundation of the token and the tool for checking transactions and token ownership.
Facebook has predicted probably some scrutiny, so it made a nonprofit, called the Libra Association, of which Facebook and its new Calibra subsidiary would represent only one member. It included, at launch, 27 other companies and nonprofits.
That group, based out of Zurich, Switzerland, has been entrusted with directing the cryptocurrency’s development, as well as the blockchain network that would support it.
The currency was likewise to be supported by a pool of assets, including existing currencies from around the globe, contributed by the various participating members, which at the launch included big names like Mastercard, PayPal, Stripe, and Visa.
Regardless of those measures, the Libra venture was met with swift and vocal backlash from across the political spectrum. Regulators were concerned about Facebook’s potential outsize impact on the venture, because of the company having conceived of the idea and having a financial interest for its prosperity, and the unanticipated outcomes of allowing for-profit companies to start giving currencies and infusing themselves into worldwide economics and geopolitics.
There were also concerns over how to group the Libra token, and how the whole platform would be appropriately directed and by whom, particularly as it moved toward offering banking services like loaning, which Facebook openly expressed in via Calibra at the time of Libra’s announcement.
Chief among the worries was the ability of the currency and the technology it sat on to permit individuals to move money around undetected and away from the banking system, potentially leading to money laundries and other crimes.
The project started hitting serious snags the previous fall when regulatory pressure and an absence of a firm response from Facebook and its various Libra defenders prompted Mastercard, PayPal, Stripe, and Visa all quitting the Libra Association one after another.
From that point forward, Facebook’s blockchain Chief David Marcus, a former PayPal executive who ran Facebook Messenger for years, has tempered the venture’s overall objectives when speaking publicly about it. Now, The Information reports, that’s finally translating to product deferrals and measures planned, it appears, to appease regulators.