Cryptocurrencies are thought to possibly be the future of the way we transact, but for now the likes of Bitcoin are simply a medium in which algorithms and opportunistic miners are trying to make a small fortune on a currency that only offers a perceived value rather than any viable form of value. Facebook was hoping to change all that by offering something that actually has some financial value attached to it, but it seems that overall regulatory pressure from the US government and many of their partners pulling out over privacy concerns has led to a change in plans – at least for now.
The Information has revealed Facebook will no longer focus on the Libra token — the actual blockchain-based cryptocurrency that is the centrepiece of its digital payments strategy. Instead, Facebook will transition the technology to supporting both existing government-backed currencies, like the US dollar and the Euro, and the Libra token when it is eventually completed and ready to launch.
Facebook is delaying the launch of its separate Calibra digital wallet, which was to be a primary showcase for Libra by allowing anyone with a smartphone to acquire and store the cryptocurrency and then pay for various goods with it. The wallet will now support multiple currencies, of which Libra will be just one. The digital wallet was supposed to be released in October, though the new report doesn’t reveal what that future date of release will be.
It will be interesting to see, given this news, if Facebook ever does eventually get their own digital token out the door or if they will eventually abandon the whole idea and just keep the digital wallet a separate thing. Cryptocurrencies have lost a lot of the appeal that people used to have for it and while the technology that drives it is certainly still appealing, there are still too many concerns around its security and regulation to possibly form a viable currency just yet
Last Updated: March 4, 2020