Libra, Facebook's bizarre digital currency project, was announced in June this year and has since faced nothing but criticism. In July, lawmakers condemned the idea, arguing that it is delusional to expect people to trust the social network with their money when so little has been done to resolve the multi-billion Facebook Cambridge Analytica lawsuit.
Originally boasting 25 members, Libra has since lost the support of Mastercard, Visa, EBay, Stripe and Mercado Pago.
The exodus followed warnings from politicians and regulators, from the United States to Europe, that Libra risked upsetting global financial stability, undermining users’ privacy and facilitating money laundering.
Despite warnings, the Libra Association is expected to continue moving forward, insisting the loss of the last global member is not a set back. Ironically, the launch date has been pushed back. Clearly, this cashless project will need more than a year to establish a "sustainable, secure and trusted framework underpinning this new system".
The risks posed by cryptocurrencies such as Facebook’s Libra must be addressed before any launch, a senior Bank of France official said on Tuesday, adding to a chorus of regulatory skepticism that threatens to derail the project.
Since Facebook announced its plans for Libra in June, politicians and regulators around the world have voiced concern about the project, saying it risked upsetting global financial stability, undermining users’ privacy and enabling money laundering.
In the latest warning shot, Denis Beau, first deputy governor of the Bank of France, said the widespread use of such cryptocurrencies was fraught with peril.
“If they were to take off, they would raise additional issues in terms of competition, policy, financial stability and monetary policy,”
The Libra Association, a body set up by Facebook to oversee the project, said on Monday that the cryptocurrency’s launch, planned for June 2020, may be delayed because of regulatory hurdles. The comments came after a quarter of Libra’s initial members, including major payments firms Visa and Mastercard, abandoned the project.