Facebook to reconsider its Libra cryptocurrency

The social media giant is hoping to save the fledgeling digital coin

Facebook is reportedly planning to reinvent its Libra cryptocurrency, in a bid to seek the good will and favour of previously-sceptical banks and global regulators.

The social media giant announced its own stablecoin in June of last year, following months of speculation. Named after the Ancient Roman unit of weight, Libra was designed to allow the billions of Facebook users to send and receive payments without the need for a banking intermediary.

The news of the cryptocurrency was said to be welcomed by those seeking independence from traditional banking methods, but could also be seen as a life-changing opportunity for the 1.7 billion adults worldwide who do not have access to a bank account.

However, the backlash was swift, with experts pointing out Libra’s fundamental design flaws and Facebook being called to address possible data privacy considerations in front of the US Senate Banking Committee. Moreover, in the months before Libra was supposed to launch, it was reported that the project had failed to receive any funding, despite $10 million being expected from each of the Libra Association's 21 partnering firms.

That is why Bloomberg’s reports that Libra could be redesigned to accept coins issued by central banks should not come as a surprise.

According to two sources who spoke to the publication, Facebook and the Libra Association are currently reimagining the cryptocurrency “as mostly a payments network that could operate with multiple coins”.

According to a statement from Dante Disparte, The Libra Association’s head of policy and communications: “The Libra Association has not altered its goal of building a regulatory compliant global payment network, and the basic design principles that support that goal have not been changed nor has the potential for this network to foster future innovation.”

The news comes after Facebook called off its annual F8 developer conference due to growing concerns over the coronavirus. The virus has had an immense impact on the tech industry, ranging from factory closures and event cancellations to quarterly-revenue losses.

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