Facebook and its partners, under pressure from regulators, could include other coins as part of a project to launch a new cryptocurrency called Libra.
Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the matter, reported Tuesday that Libra could become mostly a payments network that incorporates other coins issued by central banks and backed by currencies such as the US dollar and the euro. Facebook initially said it was planning to create a single digital currency. Changes to the project might help the social media giant win over regulators who have raised concerns about ‘s privacy scandals and the use of cryptocurrencies for money laundering and other crimes.
Facebook is part of the Libra Association, a group made up of 21 founding members that include Uber, Spotify, Mercy Corps and others, that are overseeing the proposed cryptocurrency. The social network is also building a digital wallet called Calibra to store Libra coins.
Facebook first unveiledin October and said it planned to launch the new cryptocurrency in the first half of 2020. Company executives said that the new digital currency would make it cheaper and easier — especially for those who don’t have a bank account — to send money. Since then, the company’s plans to create a new coin has faced several setbacks. Major partners such as Visa and Mastercard pulled out of the Libra Association. Facebook has vowed to address regulatory concerns before launching Libra.
The Information reported earlier that Facebook decided not to make the Libra “available on its own services for the time being” and that the rollout of a new digital wallet will be delayed by several months. A spokesperson for Facebook signaled its still moving forward with Libra.
“Reporting that Facebook does not intend to offer the Libra currency in its Calibra wallet is entirely incorrect. Facebook remains fully committed to the project,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement.
The Libra Association didn’t immediately have a comment when asked if Libra will still launch this year.