The Libra Association director granted an interview with a French news firm where he gave a bit more insight into the progress made so far including that the Libra will launch by the second half of 2020 with many members as well.
Facebook’s Libra, even with all the regulatory hurdles it currently faces, is still going strong and forging ahead with its plans to launch the digital currency next year. A while back, Libra Exec David Marcus, after enduring several hours of questioning from the United States Congress, promised that the Libra will not be launched until all regulatory concerns have been met and satisfied. The head of the Libra Association, the outfit in charge of the Libra project, has iterated this, given a timeline, and also spoken on several requests received from potential members of the association.
Bertrand Perez, the General Director of the Libra Association, recently granted an interview with French news platform Les Echos, where he revealed a few updates about the Libra. According to Perez, the Libra Association along with all involved parties, are working consistently, to ensure that they are at par with regulators in many locations, before the eventual launch. For example, it was announced a few days ago that the Association had made an official application from Switzerland’s Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA), to license the Libra Association as an official statement. Perez notes that there is still a lot of uncertainty with regulations but approval from FINMA would be a big plus.
Even though he didn’t give any specific date, Perez has also said that the Libra Association has a firm launch schedule to release the digital currency sometime in the second half of next year. This is one of the reasons why the association has already begun reaching out to regulators, hoping that there will be enough clarity to go on with, before then.
At the initial announcement, it was made known that the Libra Association would operate outside the control of Facebook and it was announced that it already had about 28 members including major firms like MasterCard, Uber Technologies Inc., Lyft, PayPal, Spotify, Coinbase and many more, with a plan to increase this number to a hundred, before the launch. Even though a final list has not been completed or revealed, Perez has said that the Libra Association has already received requests from many companies who are looking to join. As a requirement, each will have to contribute a minimum of $10 million.
Perez has also corroborated a letter recently sent to the U.S. Congress about the basket of currencies that will back the Libra. The letter mentioned that the Libra will be fully backed by the U.S. Dollar, Euro, Singapore Dollar, Yen and Pound Sterling, omitting the Chinese Yuan. Perez has now specifically said that the Chinese currency will not be a part of this basket. It is worth mentioning that the People’s Bank of China is much closer to releasing its own digital currency than the Libra Association is.
Furthermore, he added that the U.S. Dollar will likely make up half of the Libra’s backing, while the other currencies will represent the remaining half. However, the association will not hesitate to delist any currencies which experience a crisis before the official launch next year.
Before Libra is released, the association would still need to scale several hurdles as there are still places where the idea isn’t very welcome. France, for example, isn’t very supportive. French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire has said that the Libra should never become a sovereign currency.
Apparently, the Libra Association still has a lot of work to be done.