Does Libra Need IBM’s Backing?


When it comes to the world of enterprise investment in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space, it doesn’t get much bigger than IBM. One of the original computing companies have dived headlong into blockchain as it looks to be a leader in the space. 

Perhaps it is because of this that the company, known for setting up consortiums around blockchain, has identified what Facebook is trying to do with its Libra project, and is willing to help. Libra is currently under huge pressure to meet its 2020 launch date with the world’s regulators baying for blood

Speaking in a CNBC interview, IBM general manager of blockchain services, Jason Kelley, says that they are open to a collaboration to help see Libra to fruition.

“Blockchain is a team sport… Our clients are ready to work with (Facebook) and we’re ready to work with all of them to bring it together,” Kelly said.

IBM has been very successful in its blockchain enterprises, and has not faced too many regulatory hurdles, but that is because of its focus on the base distributed ledger technology rather than the cryptocurrency side of things which has many central bankers with their hackles up.

That being said, Kelley went on to express that Libra is a form of tokenization rather than a true cryptocurrency, and because of this should not be facing such scrutiny. Because Libra will work based on the principle of tokenizing a basket of real-world national currencies. The coin itself will not aim at replacing government-issued fiat – a point made by Calibra head, David Marcus.

This is also perhaps another reason why IBM would be happy to collaborate with Libra. The company has stated plainly that it is “Blockchain over Bitcoin,” and prefers to utilize the ledger technology than the tokenization. Even when delving into tokens, IBM has been pioneering private blockchain solutions rather than decentralized options like Bitcoin. 

In this regard, it would seem that there is a good match between Facebook and its Libra project and IBM. IBM have been setting themselves as the grease between the wheels in much of the development of the blockchain for enterprise use, and this is exactly what Facebook needs to get up and running with Libra. 

IBM would also be a key partner in regards to handling regulatory issues as they are probably the most experienced company outside of the pure blockchain ecosystem to work within the space, and with external regulators. 

Darryn Pollock
Darryn has been interested in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space since he heard about Bitcoin in 2015. He then decided to use his journalism degree to report on this fascinating fintech space in 2016, and has not looked back since.

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