The conspicuous absence of even a single bank as a founding member of Facebook’s cryptocurrency project was never “intentional," according to the co-creator of Libra, David Marcus. Facebook, he said, would love to have banks involved. No banks in Libra Association? No worries In an interview with…
The conspicuous absence of even a single bank as a founding member of Facebook’s cryptocurrency project was never “intentional,” according to the co-creator of Libra, David Marcus.
Facebook, he said, would love to have banks involved.
In an interview with Swiss newspaper Neue Zurcher Zeitung, Marcus revealed that banks were put off by the lack of regulatory clarity. This could change when new members are inducted:
“First of all, financial institutions wanted to understand what regulatory consequences membership could have,” he said, according to a rough translation. “As soon as the Libra Association receives new members, there will most likely be a number of banks.”
When it was first announced, the closest the Libra Association had to financial institutions as members were payment networks such as Visa and PayPal.
With the Libra cryptocurrency project having already been criticized for not being a true cryptocurrency owing to being too centralized and too cozy to the legacy financial system, the admission that Facebook is desperate to have banks as partners is only likely to worsen the perception.
During the same interview, the co-creator of Facebook cryptocurrency also refuted the view that the social media giant had picked Switzerland as the base for Libra Association due to the fact that it had relatively weak regulatory standards.
Per Marcus, the only advantage the Central European country offered was that it provided a “degree of flexibility.”
But even as the pushback against the cryptocurrency continues around the world, Facebook still intends to launch Libra next year, according to Marcus.
As for the intense pushback Facebook has received with regards to the crypto project, Marcus expects Libra to “meet with more love” once its goals are properly understood and all the concerns addressed.
Interestingly, this comes at a time when the Libra cryptocurrency project is increasingly turning to fear-mongering as it tries to win over skeptical governments in the West.
Last month, Marcus warned that if governments in the “free world” suppress the creation of digital currencies, the space would be taken over by illiberal nations.
In Switzerland, Marcus repeated this warning that China’s digital renminbi would “replace certain financial networks in the Belt and Road.” The Belt and Road initiative traverses Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Europe.
Additionally, Marcus argued that Libra “could be an instrument of development” which would allow Western countries to maintain their influence on the world.
This article was edited by Josiah Wilmoth.
Last modified: January 10, 2020 3:33 PM UTC