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Libra


Fernando Palmer
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Hi Fernando, thanks for the question. 

Libra Association was launched last year as a new global payment system developed by Facebook.

The project faced numerous difficulties so far, including the departure of Visa, Mastercard, eBay, Stripe, and Mercado Pago.

The Libra Association said it amended its whitepaper last month in an attempt to finally receive a green light from the regulators. The project was very present in the media lately after it was announced that the well-respected financial executive Stuart Levey agreed to join the project as the new CEO. His latest role was at the banking giant HSBC, where he acted as a Chief Legal Officer. 

The digital coin project was also boosted after Temasek, one of the world’s largest investment firms in the world, agreed to support the project and therefore become the first state-owned company to join the Libra Association. 

“Temasek’s efforts to support and advance the use of blockchain technology across a range of use cases, asset classes and sectors, reflects its drive to explore, develop and invest in solutions to bring about a better, smarter, and more sustainable world,” the Libra Association said in a statement after Temasek joined the project.

Despite numerous legal and regulatory difficulties, Libra is still aiming to launch the first Libra tokens before the end of this year. 


 

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Hi Fernando,

Upon unveiling its digital coin last year, Facebook termed Libra as a futurist international currency that could be the start of a new financial order. But the coin’s design is becoming less ambitious following regulatory hurdles and withdrawals by partners like PayPal, Stripe, and Visa.
In a recent whitepaper, Facebook announced four measures to survive the regulations. The first one is combining this multi-currency coin with a single-currency stablecoin. The move will not only improve local commerce but also aid cross-border transfers.
Secondly, it will build a compliance framework for the system’s security, therefore, countering money laundering and terrorism financing. It will also abandon the adaptation of a permissionless system. Hence, only approved stakeholders will be able to create infrastructure like wallets. This is unlike Bitcoin’s open architecture that lets anyone develop it.
Lastly, it will increase the coin reserve’s protection. In addition to a capital buffer, the store’s assets will have high liquidity, quick maturity, and minimal credit risk.
 

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Hi Fernando, thanks for coming here.
 

Several weeks ago, Libra changed its whitepaper in a bid to win approval from regulators. 

Former Chief Legal Officer at HSBC Bank, Stuart Levey, agreed to join Libra as the first CEO. Levey is very experienced when it comes to international finance regulations, and that’s of utmost importance to Libra as it struggles to get the green light from regulators.

“Stuart brings to the Libra Association the rare combination of an accomplished leader in both the government, where he enjoyed bipartisan respect and influence and the private sector where he managed teams spread across the globe,” said Katie Haun, a Libra Association board member.

Also, Singapore’s investment behemoth Temasek joined Libra Association as the first state-owned company.

Temasek decided to give support to Libra, in spite of being warned about Facebook’s project from the chief of Singapore’s central bank last year.

In addition, Temasek, crypto investor Paradigm and private equity group Slow Ventures also joined the project, amounting to a total of 27 members. At this time, some of the major names supporting Libra include US venture capital company Andreessen Horowitz, media services provider Spotify, e-commerce platform Shopify and ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft.


Facebook’s Libra was introduced as a new global payment system where each Libra coin would be backed by different traditional currencies. The association amended the whitepaper recently, saying it plans to roll out several stablecoins, each supported by a single country’s currency, in a bid to comply with the regulations. 

After a few notable names like Visa, Mastercard, eBay, Stripe, and Mercado Pago have abandoned the Libra project, many believed the Libra Association’s plan to roll out a global distributed currency was annulled.
 

 

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Hi Fernando,

While the first version of Libra expected to launch this year, some people think that will not happen. Barry Eichengreen, an American economist, and professor at UC Berkley said that Facebook-powered stablecoin is facing too many “insoluble” challenges, and a lot of resistance from authorities to ever emerge.

“Libra is an interesting idea that will never see the light of day,” Eichengreen stated at the Unitize conference on Friday.

He added that the stablecoin sector is very ignorant of monetary economics and history. 

Expressing his opinion on stablecoins, Eichengreen said:

“Stablecoins are either fragile — they are prone to attack and collapse if they are only partially backed or collateralized with actual dollars or dollar bank balances, or they are prohibitively expensive to scale-up if they are, in fact, fully or over-collateralized.”

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