This past Monday saw 21 companies, down from the original 28 after several walked away, sign the charter to be founder members of Facebook’s Libra stablecoin project. It was a means for the social media giant to assert that it has no plans of backing down, despite overwhelming opposition to Libra, and support out of Taiwan has given Facebook more optimism and energy to keep pushing forward. Whether or not that push is successful won’t be ascertained until sometime next year.
The Libra Association will reportedly guide the way for the social media’s financial solution but, quizzically, not a single financial institution has signed up to be involved. That’s no big deal, asserts Facebook, as it asserts that it is “confident” another 100 members will join the group. In an interview with CNBC, Libra Association Chief Operating Officer and Interim Managing Director Bertrand Perez said some of those who are interested include “banking and financial institutions,” although no names have been provided.
Perez added that the entities will be disclosed over the next couple of months and that a delay in Libra’s launch is almost a guarantee as the company works to show that it can comply with financial transaction regulations in different countries. He rationalized the delay, stating, “With such a big project and the vision that we’re having, launching a few quarters later or before makes no real change.”
What might make a change is support coming from the richest man in Taiwan. Terry Gou, the founder of the Foxconn manufacturing behemoth, believes in Facebook and in the Libra project. He wants Taiwan to fully embrace the stablecoin and even suggests that it could ultimately be tied to China’s own state-backed digital currency if the two are ever launched.
Earlier this month, Gou appeared at a meeting of Taiwan’s tech leaders where he openly showed his support for Libra. He said at the time, “I know [Facebook CEO Mark] Zuckerberg pretty well, and I hope we can bring Libra to Taiwan in the future. Mainland China has decided not to accept Libra and build its own digital currency. That creates a great opportunity for Taiwan as we can become a place where the two separate systems converge.”
The man who wanted to become Taiwan’s next president in 2020 before dropping out of the race in September has a lot of influence across the globe, thanks to a net worth of $6.7 billion. He has already helped bridge the gap between the country’s tech space and crypto by facilitating several projects, but he still may not have enough pull to change the minds of several world leaders, including those of the U.S., Germany, and France, who are firmly opposed to Libra.
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