Patrick Ellis, a board member of Facebook’s Libra, revealed that there is still no solid plan on the location or the manner in which the launch will be carried out next year, Reuters reported on December 19.
He confirmed that the introduction ceremony due by the end of June 2020 is hinging on the decision of financial and legal watchdogs.
“At this stage, there is no strategy set in stone for the markets or the product, or how it will actually get rolled out,” Ellis said in a telephone interview from Singapore.
The potential of Libra to gain footing among 2.4 billion Facebook users has raised interest among regulators around the globe who are edgy that it could fundamentally change the financial landscape.
David Marcus, co-creator of Libra, together with other officials, have said regulatory snags could see the launch delayed to an unknown time after June.
“It’s just too early to put a solid strategy in place,” said Patrick. “We have still got so much to solve with the regulators in order to be able to then refine the strategy for launch.” However, Ellis confirmed that Libra will launch in 2020.
Libra’s potential to eat into countries’ control over their monetary policy and disrupt financial stability across the world has regulators worried of the outcome.
Criticism expressed by US Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard against the project seals its launch uncertainty. He said it faced a “core set of legal and regulatory challenges” and that its “stablecoin” concept remained untested.
A network of custodians will hold a reserve of assets like bank deposits and government bonds that will be Libra’s backing. The goal is to foster trust in the cryptocurrency and shield it from price volatility.
Ellis said talks between Libra and regulators in Europe, the United States and Southeast Asia were advancing. He refused to give a tentative plan Libra has in place to respond to regulators’ fears.
From a core group of 21 members that included Fintech giants like PayU, PayPal, Stripe, Ribbit Capital, Thrive Capital, Andreseen Horowitz, MasterCard and Visa, the Libra Association now only remains with one member – PayU. The others dropped out before the inaugural meeting in October.
All members have to contribute a minimum of $10 million to be part of the Libra Association. Ellis said none had contributed any money to the project at this point. Contributions are on course to commence in the first or second quarter next year, he said.