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Will Facebook Launch Libra in 2020?

by Pragati Shrivastava

The social media giant, Facebook made an announcement to launch Libra coin in June 2019, and it’s been trending in crypto news since then. On the heels of their announcement, Walmart, Telegram and even the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) announced plans to speed up the development of their own digital currency. But Facebook has been facing a lot of backlash and difficulties since their June announcement as they’ve been called for hearings about this and security concerns before Congress. The world is watching as central banks and other institutions around the world have been developing their own tokens despite the fact that many countries believe Libra is a real threat to their fiat currency and financial system.

In the U.S. congressional hearings, Maxine Waters, the chairwomen of House Financial Services Committee, spoke against Facebook’s crypto project citing concerns of their very large user base, and previous data leaks and security scandal.

Facebook has hired lobbyists to help convince financial regulators that Libra should get a a green signal to launch, however, Jay Clayton, the Chairman of the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), cleared all misconceptions about any change in law for cryptocurrency. Facebook has stated that it wishes to work in parallel with the government and the traditional financial system; not to disrupt it. Despite this statement, Facebook has been pushing the development of its Libra project and on August 28, 2019 launched the Bug Bounty program where a reward of up to $10,000 was offered for finding security vulnerabilities.

As per the current regulations, Facebook’s Libra cannot be issued in the U.S. without the official permission of the concerned authorities. The social media giant is required to confirm technical standards in accordance with the U.S. Treasury Department. It should be stated that not all congressmen are against Libra’s launch. Some believe that the U.S. should lead the world in the crypto space by making effective regulatory policies for crypto and stop pushing innovation overseas.

While Facebook has been transparent in its approach with regulators, there is intense pressure mounting from countries around the world who are both for and against the project. Russia has denied permission to allow Libra’s launch and other European and Asian countries which include England, France, India and South Korea, have expressed disinterest in the project.

There are several factors that may further the delay to launch Libra, but it seems Facebook is determined to move forward for a target launch of Libra and the Calibra wallet in 2020. We will keep you apprised.

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