Facebook Libra has ‘failed,’ says Swiss president

Facebook Libra has ‘failed,’ says Swiss ex-president

The now former president of Switzerland has said Facebook’s Libra project “failed” in its current form, and will need a substantial overhaul before it can gain the necessary approvals for launch.

Ueli Maurer said the project has failed to win the support of central banks, suggesting it was unlikely to gain regulatory approval for launch as it is currently constituted, Reuters reported. Maurer has served as head of the Federal Department of Finance since 2016, and was also the president of Switzerland until December 31, 2019. 

I don’t think (Libra has a chance in its current form), because central banks will not accept the basket of currencies underpinning it. The project, in this form, has thus failed.

The comments are the latest blow for the stablecoin project, which had been pursuing regulatory approval in Switzerland ahead of a proposed 2020 launch.

However, Libra has been met with strident objections from regulators and central banks in Switzerland and elsewhere, which continues to undermine its proposed timescales to launch.

The project has also lost a number of key supporters, with payment giants Visa, Mastercard and PayPal all withdrawing their support in recent months. The comments from the Swiss president only further underscore the problems facing the stablecoin if it is to stick to its committed launch deadline of June 2020.

Libra is designed to be backed by a basket of different assets, including government debt and bank deposits, designed to ensure the Libra token holds a stable value, rather than fluctuating with demand.

Given Facebook’s huge global user base, regulators and central banks worldwide have flagged concerns about the project, and the implications this could have on mainstream financial systems.

Regulators worldwide have raised opposition to the project in recent months, citing issues such as its possible impact on the global financial system and monetary policy, as well as issues around privacy and stability.

Some, including senior politicians in France and the United States, have appeared firmly opposed to the launch of Libra, with indications they will not support the project in its current form.

Those working on the stablecoin, including senior developers like its co-creator David Marcus, have now suggested that these regulatory issues could postpone the launch date to further in 2020 or beyond.

Libra has yet to comment on the Maurer’s remarks.

Editor’s note: This article has been updated.

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