Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency to be launched in January: Reports

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
  • Follow author on
Facebook Libra Image
Representational Image

Social media giant Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency is preparing to launch as early as next January, reports claim.

Libra is a permissioned blockchain-based payment system. Facebook also plans to include a private currency implemented as a cryptocurrency. The currency and network do not yet exist, and only rudimentary experimental code has been released.

The Libra Association, based in Geneva, said it would issue and regulate Libra’s plans to launch a single dollar-backed digital coin, the reports said. The move would represent an even bigger scaling-back of the project’s ambitions than that proposed in April in response to a regulatory and political backlash against the project.

After regulators and central banks around the world raised worries that it could disrupt financial stability and erode mainstream control over money, Libra, unveiled by Facebook last year, was relaunched in a slimmed-down form.

The Libra Association, of which Facebook is one of 27 members, is seeking the go-ahead from Switzerland’s markets watchdog FINMA, to issue a series of stablecoins backed by individual traditional currencies, as well as a token based on the currency-pegged stablecoins. Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) is the Swiss government body responsible for financial regulation.

Yet under the body’s new plan, other coins backed by traditional currencies, as well as the composite, would be introduced at a later date, the reports said.

Stablecoins are designed to avoid the volatility typical of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, making them, in theory, more suitable for payments and money transfers.