David Marcus, head of Facebook’s Libra project, said that the payments network could develop a series of stablecoins that are localized to various fiat currencies around the world, according to an October 20th report from Reuters.
“We could do it differently,” he said at a recent banking seminar. “Instead of having a synthetic unit … we could have a series of stablecoins, a dollar stablecoin, a euro stablecoin, a sterling pound stable coin, etc.”
Indeed, Marcus said that Facebook was open to “[approaching] this with having a multitude of stablecoins that represent national currencies in a tokenized digital form. That is one of the options that should be considered.”
Marcus’s comments painted a picture of Libra that looks an awful lot like cryptocurrency exchange Binance’s proposed “Venus” project, which Binance describes as “an initiative to develop localized stablecoins and digital assets pegged to fiat currencies across the globe.”
— Binance (@binance) August 19, 2019
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Could Libra still launch by June 2020?
However, Marcus was sure to add that this approach isn’t necessarily Libra’s preferred option–just one possible approach to launching the project in a more timely and compliant manner: “what we care about is the mission, and there are a number ways to go about this,” Marcus said to Reuters after the panel had concluded. He also said that moving forward, Libra will need to “demonstrate a lot of agility.”
When asked whether or not Libra would be up and running by June 2020, Marcus said, “We’ll see.”
Marcus told Reuters that a launch in the first half of next year is “still the goal,” but that “we’ve always said that we wouldn’t go forward unless we have addressed all legitimate concerns and get proper regulatory approval. So it’s not entirely up to us.”
October: a month of setbacks for Libra
The Libra project suffered a series of blows over the last several weeks as seven companies (representing a quarter of the project’s initial backers)–including Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, and Stripe Inc.–made the decision to drop out of Libra.
Following the exodus of the backers, Libra Association chief operating officer and interim managing director, Bertrand Perez, told CNBC that “there’s only one Visa, one MasterCard, I will not tell you that we have the equivalent, but I will tell you that we have reputable companies that are also very active in the financial and banking space.” He added that he was confident that the Libra Association would reach its 100-member goal.
However, more setbacks may be ahead for Libra. Earlier this month, a new report from the Group of Seven (G7) declared that global stablecoin projects present a threat to the world’s financial system.
The report did not specifically name Libra but did say that “the G7 believes that no stablecoin project should begin operation until the legal, regulatory and oversight challenges and risks are adequately addressed. […] Addressing such risks is not necessarily a guarantee of regulatory approval for a stablecoin arrangement.”