Digital Assets: Facebook’s Libra Rollout Plan Hazy
“No strategy set in stone,” said Patrick Ellis, board member, Libra Association to Reuters.
There is no concrete plan yet for the launch of the Facebook-led Libra digital currency, according to Reuters’ interview with Ellis.
Though Libra will launch by June of 2020, a regulatory backlash has put a cloud on that date. Regulators across the globe have sounded alarm bells on issues such as Facebook’s security practices and the threat by Libra to the independence of central banks. Also of concern is Libra’s potential to upset global financial stability. Facebook has also not addressed concerns surrounding know-your-customer and money laundering regulations.
Ellis confirmed that Libra would launch in 2020. However, he clarified: “At this stage, there is no strategy set in stone for the markets or the product, or how it will actually get rolled out.”
Regulatory roadblocks to Libra’s launch
“It’s just too early to put a solid strategy in place,” Ellis added. “We have still got so much to solve with the regulators in order to be able to then refine the strategy for launch.”
Apart from regulators’ objections, the Libra Association has already suffered from the defections of many of its founding members. These include eBay, Mastercard, Visa, and Paypal.
According to Ellis, Libra is talking with regulators in Europe, the US and Southeast Asia.
Previously, Ellis said, per Fortune, that Libra “is probably the best-known startup without a product that ever existed.”
Will there be a product launch?
Last week, Libra faced flak from U.S. Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard. He lambasted the digital currency, citing legal and regulatory challenges.
“What would set Facebook’s Libra apart, if it was to proceed, is the combination of an active-user network representing more than a third of the global population with the issuance of a private digital currency opaquely tied to a basket of sovereign currencies,” Brainard said. “Without requisite safeguards, stablecoin networks at global scale may put consumers at risk.”
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