The chance of Facebook’s Libra stablecoin getting off the ground are not that great. If Mark Zuckerberg stands by his promise to not launch the cryptocurrency alternative without support from the U.S. government, then there’s zero chance it will happen. He isn’t giving up though, despite not winning over lawmakers in the U.S. Congress during a hearing this week, and the overall consensus of Libra doesn’t appear to be getting any better.
Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, didn’t hold back when he recently commented on Libra and its place in society. The Libra Association has 21 founding members and “hundreds” of others willing to join, but Twitter isn’t among them. When asked if he would consider letting Twitter become a member, Dorsey’s response wasn’t just no, it was an emphatic “Hell no.” He said that Facebook’s goal of offering financial solutions to people around the world, and especially to those without access to banks, could have been accomplished without having to go the crypto route.
Would Twitter join the Libra project? "Hell no," Jack Dorsey says. "Nothing within Libra had to be a cryptocurrency to do what they wanted to do."
— Alex Weprin (@alexweprin) October 24, 2019
The comments came during a Twitter event held in New York City on Wednesday. He wondered out loud if Libra is a “gimmick,” while showing support for cryptocurrencies that are decentralized—a trait Libra cannot claim with a straight face. He added, “I think the internet is somewhat of an emerging nation-state in almost every way. It almost has a currency now in the form of cryptocurrency and bitcoin.”
Out of the 21 founding members of the Libra Association, there isn’t a single financial company. The group was to initially include 28 entities, among which were Stripe, Visa, MasterCard and others, but they all backed out coming into the final days ahead of the signing of the Libra charter. Visa is still on the fence, though, regarding whether or not it might support the project and could come back at some point.
Visa CEO Alfred F. Kelly explains that digital currencies might be the future and that the company encourages innovation. He adds, “As a curious and open company—and given the leadership we have in the payments ecosystem—we want to engage in everything in the payment space until we reach a point where we believe our engagement is no longer positive.”
If Libra were to receive the positive response by regulators that Facebook wants, it’s possible Visa could get back in and support the stablecoin. However, that appears to be a long way off in a distant future.
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