Even as Facebook’s proposed launch of Libra is facing a host of regulatory headwinds, David Marcus, Facebook’s representative spearheading the project, has stated that the Libra Association will gain more members in the near future.
In a recent interview, Marcus said that despite the recent jolts to the Libra Association, he was hopeful the initiative would attract more firms once the haze of regulatory uncertainty becomes clearer.
Recently, some of the founding members including Visa, MasterCard, and Stripe left the project due to fears of regulatory scrutiny by relevant authorities. Despite losing a significant fraction of its founding members and facing strong opposition in Europe, Facebook is still moving full steam ahead with Libra.
It is pertinent to recall here that ever since Facebook announced its intention to launch Libra in 2020, it faced several regulatory headwinds from US financial policymakers and regulators. The issue is far from over. Besides, several EU countries have also been openly expressing their concerns about the threat Libra poses to the financial stability of their countries.
Major EU countries such as France and Germany have also publicly criticized the Libra project, saying it poses risks to EU states’ sovereignty. Last month, France’s Finance Minister said that the EU should create a common set of rules for virtual currencies, currently largely unregulated in the bloc, to counter risks posed by Facebook’s cryptocurrency Libra.
Commenting on the recent departure of a few high-profile companies from the Libra Association including Mastercard, Visa, and Stripe, Marcus said that he completely understands why the companies might’ve wanted to exit the initiative. “I totally respect the fact that those businesses and those leaders have a responsibility to their shareholders,” he said, adding, “We are going to move forward. We are going to add more members.”
Stating that Bitcoin is digital gold, the Libra co-creator said that Bitcoin is clearly a success in its own right, while Libra is a completely different beast that is built for a different purpose – providing a cheap, low-volatility digital asset to help people better manage their money.
The co-creator of Libra reaffirmed that there is still strong interest in Libra. He stated, “We have at the Libra Association about, I think, 1,600 organizations around the world that have expressed an interest in becoming members”.