Facebook has been talking about launching its very own cryptocurrency for a few months now. Mark Zuckerberg has been able to find some pretty big companies and names to back the social media crypto idea, including Mastercard, PayPal, eBay, and Visa. However, this week, many companies and investors have decided to back out of the Facebook Libra.
About the Facebook Libra
If you’re interested in cryptocurrencies, chances are you’ve already heard about the Facebook Libra, also known as GlobalCoin. The social media giant proposed the idea of its own cryptocurrency to combat unbanked individuals around the world. Believe it or not, there are billions of people without bank accounts worldwide.
In Southeast Asia alone, 438 million people (73 percent of the population) are without bank accounts. India’s population has the second largest unbanked population at 190 million. Women make up a majority of the unbanked individuals around the world (55 percent).
The Facebook Libra would help allow people to pay and be paid virtually without a bank account. As smartphones and technology have become more affordable and available around the world, it is making lower cost services available. Just about everyone has a Facebook account, making a Facebook-based cryptocurrency a viable solution.
Why Key Investors Are Backing Out
At first, the Facebook Libra was backed by 28 large companies, including Mastercard, Visa, PayPal, Stripe, eBay, and Mercado Pago. This week, those six “founding” members decided to take a step back from the project. Why?
Well, the Libra has failed to prepare to meet any regulatory standards as far as currency goes. The G7 task force produced a report that helps outline rules for G20 economies. It notes that currency like the Libra that have the potential to scale at a rapid pace could pose potential problems.
Any supporters of global stablecoins, such as the Libra, will need to be legally sound. Additionally, the companies must be able to ensure consumers are protected and any currency is not being used to launder money or fund terrorist organizations.
The report stated, “The G7 believe that no stablecoin project should begin operation until the legal, regulatory and oversight challenges and risks are adequately addressed.” Facebook has already warned investors that regulatory scrutiny may delay or completely stop the launch of the Libra.
On top of that, any loss in confidence where the cryptocurrency is concerned could threaten global economic instability. Because of this, many of the key players have stepped out of supporting the Facebook Libra, along with any other stablecoins.
Now, the Libra has lost approximately $60 million of its initial funding after six key players backed out, leaving the future of the currency uncertain. The social media giant may find comfort in the fact that it hasn’t lost all of its supporters. It has also gained the support of tech leader IBM. But will that be enough to save it?
Readers, what do you think about the Facebook Libra and other stablecoins?