Big Pivot? David Marcus Says Facebook’s Crypto Project Could Change Course
Libra appears to be in the midst of a reversal. After coping with an onslaught of criticism over its controversial cryptocurrency project, Facebook is weighing another path.
Instead of creating an entirely new stablecoin backed by a basket of different currencies, the social media giant is suggesting that it could use cryptocurrencies based on the US dollar and other national currencies, reports Reuters.
Speaking at a banking seminar hosted by the Group of 30 in Washington, David Marcus, head of blockchain at Facebook, says the main purpose of the Libra Association is to create an efficient payments system. As to the type of digital asset that could power such a system, it may not need to be the one that he and his team initially proposed.
“We could do it differently. 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…
We could definitely approach 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.”
Although they may be a viable alternative, he noted that currency-pegged stablecoins were not the preferred option.
The initiative is, however, needing a retool after losing key members of the consortium, including eBay, Stripe, PayPal and Visa, all of which decided to leave the project amidst mounting pressure and pushback from policymakers who have insinuated that any problems with Libra regarding anti-money laundering issues and terrorism financing concerns could become their own.
Last week, in an appearance on CNBC, Morgan Creek Digital partner Anthony Pompliano, who was a former project manager at Facebook, suggested that the Libra initiative drop its ambitions of creating a stablecoin altogether and focus instead on the production and distribution of its proposed crypto wallet Calibra.
While Marcus says Libra plans to launch in June of 2020, he acknowledges that his team may miss the deadline due to regulatory hurdles.
Marcus told Reuters,
“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.”