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Is Facebook’s Libra Still In The Pipeline For A 2020 Rollout?

December 19, 2019
Ross Peili


Is Facebook’s Libra Still In The Pipeline For A 2020 Rollout?

Facebook’s long-planned cryptocurrency went rogue for a couple of months since its controversial period during the Summer of 2019, but right before the end of the year, Libra is back to remind us we should pay attention to it, in a paid push notifications fashion.

More specifically, Reuters’ London team announced today that they’ve spoken with one of five board members of the Libra Association, Patrick Ellis, who confirmed that while the initial plan was to roll out the digital stablecoin in early Summer 2020, there is no real solid strategy from Libra’s side, adding that it pretty much depends on financial watchdogs and their respective regulatory scope subjecting Facebook’s fintech venture.

The Geneva-based Libra Association is the organization behind the development, issuance and in general the governing body of the Libra digital currency. The Association was initially filled by top-shelf fintech giants including PayPal and Mastercard, who overtime parted with the project due to the uncertainty generated mostly by local EU regulators.

Ellis who was in Singapore at the time of the interview with Reuters said “At this stage, there is no strategy set in stone for the markets or the product, or how it will actually get rolled out,” through a phone call.

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The Libra Association high-ranking official based his statement on the fact that the project was previously bombed with negative speculations about Libra being a threat to the Eurozone’s financial sovereignty due to its already-established network of over 2,4bn Facebook users which would be essentially ‘forced’ to use Libra they like it or not. 

As previously covered by Cryptos, some EU financiers called Libra a cartel-like operation, while others claimed it should never be deployed on European soil, proposing a European alternative instead in order to secure the Eurozone’s financial stability.

Exessive pressure from the EU tho did not target Libra specifically but any external, from a technopolitical point of view, digital currency, that would prove Europe was not capable of creating and maintaining its own digital financial system. 

As a matter of fact, the European Central Bank (ECB) recently announced that if local fintech firms fail to deliver a fast and secure, cross-border monetary settlement system, the ECB would take the matter on its own hands, revealing that a digital version of Euro was already in research state for quite some time. 

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“We have still got so much to solve with the regulators in order to be able to then refine the strategy for launch.”Patrick Ellis added via his phone call with Reuters

Prior to Reuter’s announcement today, the U.S. Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard said that Libra faces a “core set of legal and regulatory challenges”, doubting its vision to become a widely-used stablecoin. 

The reasoning behind that is the fact that Libra’s current model, which was described by many regulators as intentionally ‘vague’, would be eligible to fix the exchange rate between Libra’s native token and other national fiat and/or digital currencies, eventually giving the Libra Association the role of the FED in the digital realm, something Libra’s CEO David Marcus attempted several times to assure everyone is not going to happen.