The likelihood of Libra’s 2020 launch may be getting dimmer than ever before with the current news surrounding the brand that has been labelled by international officials as a power-grab tool by the company in charge, Facebook.
And yes, as much as the Zuckerberg-led company has seemed to be more determined than ever before to bring this digital currency to fruition, the opposition from European countries and the US is surely taking a toll on not just the company responsible but also the ones that had earlier gotten into partnership agreements.
Reports from Financial Times claim that some of Facebook’s early backers are now getting terrified by the regulatory scrutiny that even seems to be increasing as time passes. Although not confirmed, it has been alleged that at least three of the supporters have privately discussed ways to distance themselves from the project that may now be referred to as a ticking time bomb.
During its initial announcement, the independent body in charge of the currency’s development, Libra Association, was boasting of having accrued 28 members which included heavyweights from the financial sector like Mastercard and Visa alongside tech giants like Spotify and Uber as well as Facebook’s subsidiary, Calibra.
This was tied to plans of luring up to 100 companies. At the same time, it was revealed that these founding members had agreed to a non-binding investment pledge of at least $10 million.
Although many never wanted this, it all sounded so positive that Facebook promised to disrupt the global financial system and payment arenas as we know them by bringing in the most affordable money transfer network ever.
But as expected from many, the proposition sparked suspicion everywhere that even reportedly prompted an anti-trust investigation by EU officials.
And as if all that is not enough, it is now reported that another supporter has expressed concerns about publicly supporting the upcoming cryptocurrency as this may attract unwanted attention from regulators tasked with overseeing their own business.
This has then resulted in exhaustion that Facebook is currently experiencing, being almost the only company that is passionate enough to make the development successful.
One of the supporters told Financial Times, “Facebook is tired of being the only people putting their neck out.” However, it should be made clear that according to FT, the founding partners are widely supportive of Libra as a concept and its potential to foster financial inclusion, with two of the companies have apparently discussed what the “right next steps” should be.
“Some of those conversations [about regulation] should have taken place before the launch, to understand how regulators would think about this, so there wasn’t so much pushback,” one partner said.
And with such news, it is almost certain that Facebook is working backwards on Libra’s development and if all this is certain, the chances of Libra ever going live will be getting thinner than ever before. But let’s give them the benefit of doubt and they could probably prove us totally wrong.