In an interview with Swiss newspaper NZZ, David Marcus, the Facebook executive in charge of proposed cryptocurrency Libra, said the project was moving forward and would be released in 2020 despite the global regulatory skepticism, according to a report by Reuters.
Regulators and lawmakers around the world have expressed opposition to Facebook’s plan, especially France and Germany, who have said they would block the use of Libra if it was ever released.
“The goal is still to launch Libra next year,” Marcus said on Friday (Sept. 20). “Until then, we’ll need to address all questions adequately, create a suitable regulatory environment.”
Libra will be a stablecoin, meaning it will be backed by real-world currency like bank deposits and short-term securities. It will also have a 28-member organization made up of financial entities from across the globe.
With the announcement of Libra, Facebook aims to make cryptocurrencies a viable commodity. By teaming up with real-world financial organizations and backing it up, Facebook hopes to avoid the price fluctuations that other cryptocurrencies like bitcoin or Ethereum experience.
Marcus said Libra probably wouldn’t become a way to pay for things in places like France, Germany or Switzerland, but that it could be used for cross-border payments or small transactions.
“It’s unlikely in any case [that] people will pay for an espresso in Switzerland, Germany or France with Libra in the future,” he said.
Marcus expects more blowback from users than from international regulatory organizations.
Many regulators are concerned Libra could destabilize the financial system or that it would be used for unscrupulous purposes like to commit crime or launder money.
Marcus said Libra wouldn’t change or interfere with existing monetary policy because it would not be creating a new currency, and therefore would not have any effect on yields or interest rates. He said that Calibra, the digital wallet that holds Libra, will be available everywhere as regulations permit.