Facebook’s cryptocurrency project Libra has been criticized from the moment it was announced. The fact that a private company, with involvement in a major data leak scandal, would have access to the financial data of millions of people from all across the globe did not seem right to the regulators and the community.
When Libra first started development, it had a major list of corporate backers that included big names like PayPal, Stripe, Visa, Master Card, and eBay.
As Libra started facing multiple regulatory hurdles along the way, it started losing all its major payment processors. This left Libra with no major US payment processor which a very serious issue for a project of this nature.
A spokesperson from Visa even told The Verge that:
“Visa has decided not to join the Libra Association at this time, we will continue to evaluate and our ultimate decision will be determined by a number of factors, including the Association’s ability to fully satisfy all requisite regulatory expectations.”
The reaction from Wall Street and government bankers were of similar nature. There was skepticism and pushback from both quarters.
Yet, there was confirmation earlier in the year that the 2020 deadline was still on track – however that could well fall by the wayside according to a board member.
The project was also criticized by a lot of big names within the cryptocurrency industry. Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse thinks that Libra may not even launch, and now it looks like things could pretty much go down as he had forecasted:
“I would bet that Libra…let’s say, by the end of 2022, I think Libra will not have launched.”
Recent reports state that even the president of Switzerland, Ueli Maurer, thinks that Facebook’s hyped stablecoin project has failed.
Switzerland, which is one of the quickly emerging crypto heavens courtesy of the country’s banking prowess, low taxes, elite universities, and the Swiss brand, have sheltered multiple blockchain start-ups.
The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) has been really active regarding crypto and has also issued banking and securities dealers’ licenses to two blockchain service providers. It has also issued clear guidelines to businesses in Switzerland looking to issue their own crypto tokens.
And now in an interview with Swiss broadcaster SRF, president Maurer made it quite clear Libra has not lived up to its standards and needs to be reworked to be able to get regulatory approval.
“I don’t think (Libra has a chance in its current form), because central banks will not accept the basket of currencies underpinning it,” Maurer said.
“The project, in this form, has thus failed,” he added.
Set for a 2020 launch, Libra has been at the receiving end of critical comments from investors and economists across the world. Speaking to Reuters, Patrick Ellis, one of the board members of the Switzerland-based Libra Association, has said there are very little concrete plans for launching the project.
The walls are closing in on Libra and the company behind the project needs to devise a solid strategy that would at least let the stablecoin see the light. Even though Libra is the brainchild of a megacorporation, a simple launch of the project seems like a really big feat now.