Facebook changes Libra cryptocurrency plans after intense regulatory pressures – The Verge

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Facebook changes Libra cryptocurrency plans after intense regulatory pressures – The Verge

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Facebook Alters Plans For Libra Cryptocurrency Project After Months Of Severe Regulatory Pressure And Political Repression, New Report information published Tuesday.

Facebook no longer plans to make Libra token, true blockchain-based cryptocurrency it is developing in partnership with nonprofit Libra, the centerpiece, says report of its digital payment strategy. Instead, Facebook’s Libra project would transition to support for both existing government-supported currencies, such as the US dollar and the euro, and the Balance token when it is finally completed and ready to go. be launched.

Aditionellement, information says Facebook is delaying the launch of its separate Calibra digital wallet, which was to be a primary showcase for Libra technology by allowing anyone with a smartphone to acquire and store cryptocurrency and then pay for various goods with it. The wallet will now support multiple currencies, of which Libra will be only one.

Calibra, scheduled to launch this summer, will be released in October, information reports. The wallet, instead of being available around the world at launch, can be limited to all of the government-supported currencies that the Libra project ultimately supports in the app. This could slow the deployment of Calibra. information says that the main storage and money transfer features of Calibra are also planned for Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, although it is unclear what the timing of this process will be compared to the scheduled launch of Calibra in October.

“It is completely incorrect to report that Facebook does not intend to offer the Balance currency in its Calibra wallet. Facebook remains fully committed to the project, “a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement to The edge, SEO informationInitial claim that the company no longer plans to support the Balance token in its digital wallet. information has since corrected his report.

The Libra project was first announced in June of last year as a bold but risky venture to revolutionize money transfer and position Facebook and its partners on the ground floor of a new digital payments industry based on blockchain. It had two parts: a Balance token, designed in much the same way as other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin but with fundamental differences intended to make it more stable and less a speculative asset, and a blockchain network which would be the technical basis of the token and the tool. to verify transactions and token ownership.

Facebook was planning at least close scrutiny, so it created a non-profit organization called the Libra Association, of which Facebook and its new subsidiary Calibra would represent only one member. It included, at launch, 27 other companies and non-profit organizations. This group, based in Zurich, Switzerland, was responsible for overseeing the development of the cryptocurrency, as well as the blockchain network that would support it. The currency was also to be supported by a set of assets, including existing currencies from around the world, contributed by the various participating members, which at launch included big names like Mastercard, PayPal, Stripe and Visa.

Despite these measures, the Libra project encountered a rapid and vocal backlash from all political horizons. Regulators were concerned about the potential excessive influence of Facebook on the project, due to the fact that the company had conceived the idea and had a financial interest in its success, and the unintended consequences of allowing for-profit companies to start issuing currency and injecting itself into the global and geopolitical economy.

There were also concerns about how to classify the Libra token, and how the whole platform would be properly regulated and by whom, especially as it turned towards the supply of services. banking such as loans, which Facebook openly expressed interest in through Calibra when Libra was announced. . The main concern was the ability of money and the technology behind it to allow people to move money undetected and away from the banking system, which could lead to money laundering and other activities. criminal.

The project began to face serious difficulties last fall when regulatory pressure and the lack of firm response from Facebook and its various Libra advocates led Mastercard, PayPal, Stripe and Visa to withdraw from the Association of Libra in rapid succession. Since then, Facebook blockchain chief David Marcus, a former PayPal executive who has run Facebook Messenger for years, has tempered the overall goals of the project by speaking about it publicly. Now, information reports, which ultimately translates into delays in products and measures intended to appease the authorities

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