As the year, and the decade, draws to a close, 2020 looms as a new year for cryptocurrency. However, that year was meant to be headlined by the launch of Facebook’s cryptocurrency project Libra.
However, as Libra was launched on the world, it was meat with immediate trepidation from some major regulatory bodies and nations – none more so than the USA. Panic spread around the fact that a private entity such as Facebook, with links to 2.1 billion people would try and initiate a private currency.
This quickly scuppered the social media giants plans to become a new innovator in cryptocurrency. More so, the resistance they met from regulators has also shook a few of their founding Libra Association members that threw up red flags as to the inner workings of the project.
Concerns about how regulatory sound Facebook made the project sound arose when the likes of PayPal, Mastercard, Visa and Stripe all pulled out under pressure from US Senators. Of course, all of this is a major blow to the advancement of the project, and even had people at the project admitting it may fail to launch.
Yet, there was confirmation earlier in the year that the 2020 deadline was still on track – however, that could well fall by the way side according to a board member.
Speaking to Reuters, Patrick Ellis, one of the board members of the Switzerland-based Libra Association, has said there is very little concrete plans for launching the project.
“At this stage, there is no strategy set in stone for the markets or the product, or how it will actually get rolled out,” Ellis said.
This is of course concerning for Libra as if it starts missing its deadlines, despite co-creator David Marcus of Facebook, having said regulatory hurdles could see the launch delayed beyond the planned June launch date.
However, the belief is still strong that even without these plans that Libra will launch in 2020.
Asked if the cryptocurrency would launch in 2020, Ellis said: “Yes. Yes, it’ll launch.”
Yet, the regulatory pressure is not easing. The US Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard has jabbed another spike into the project, saying it faced a “core set of legal and regulatory challenges” and that its “stablecoin” concept remained unproven.
This also seems to be the basis that Libra is acknowledging as its core challenges.
“It’s just too early to put a solid strategy in place,” Ellis said. “We have still got so much to solve with the regulators in order to be able to then refine the strategy for launch.”