Facebook executives are more determined than ever to see the Libra stablecoin participate in a global economic system. This is going to be difficult for many reasons, but the complete lack of willingness on the part of the U.S. government to accept the project will make it extremely difficult, given that Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has asserted that it won’t be launched without the country’s approval. As the upper echelon of the firm continues to plead its case, trying to drum up more support, it’s not as effective as it would like.
Libra is the most secure way to move money around the world. At least, that’s the claim David Marcus, head of Libra and the accompanying Calibra wallet, made at the Money 20/20 U.S.A. conference recently held in Las Vegas. According to Finextra, Marcus stood before an audience and asserted that Libra has the ability to offer the most stringent anti-money-laundering protocols ever seen in the financial industry.
He added that throughout history, “the most meaningful innovations that have changed the lives of millions across the world in a profound way have always been met with damning headlines.” To support his claim, he pointed to the introduction of electricity, the Internet, smartphone and more, asserting that Libra can “change the direction of the world.”
At least one person believes that Libra will definitely, at some point, become an active platform. However, it might have to do it alone, without Facebook’s help and without access to the U.S. consumer market. A former Facebook product manager and current head of the Bitwise Asset Management firm, Hunter Horsley, is quoted by Forbes as saying, “I do think Libra will launch, but I think it will launch ex-U.S., in a jurisdiction like Switzerland or Singapore, and will not be widely available. I think it’s quite possible it will launch without Facebook’s involvement.”
That would certainly be a way for Zuckerberg to fulfill his promise to U.S. lawmakers. If they don’t approve and Libra launches without participation from Facebook, he can’t be accused of going back on his word.
Part of the reason that many regulators are opposed to Facebook leading the way with a financial solution is the company’s track record. It has been accused of manipulating and losing data, selling information about its user illegally and a myriad of questionable activity that has had global implications. It has shown itself willing to use its power and size in an attempt to alter the course of history on a number of occasions and allowing it to operate a financial system would prove risky to local and international economies. Over 40 states in the U.S. are conducting an antitrust probe of the company, with Arizona being the most recent to join the investigation, according to a report by Tucson Local Media.
Not even banking giant Wells Fargo has come under this level of scrutiny and it certainly has had plenty of reasons to be lambasted by regulators. Still, Facebook’s ambitions to control a global financial network are not subsiding and it continues to try to figure out how to overcome worldwide skepticism.
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