New reports of a revised Facebook Libra application show that the project is a very different beast from what we heard about several years ago.
It also shows that Zuckerberg and company are not giving up on becoming relevant in the digital asset space.
Facebook’s original intention was to create its own cryptocurrency with major amounts of funding from other private companies.
Legislators in the U.S. and elsewhere quickly became alarmed that a Facebook Libra coin would threaten the dominance of national fiat currencies.
Today Ian Allison at Coindesk notes how the original Facebook application arrogantly questioned the authority of central banks, and how the tone, as well as the form of the project, has changed.
Now, a revised application describes something that purists wouldn’t call Facebook Libra at all.
The new plan is to base a number of stablecoins on fiat currencies, and allow on-ramps for central banks to get their own digital coins working.
In other words, Libra would now be more of a platform then its own decentralized cryptocurrency.
A big reason for Facebook’s pivot involves how governments around the world have started to come closer to unrolling their own CBDCs for a national digital asset that officials might hope would head up decentralized coins. China has indicated it’s about to go all in with a digital yuan, and now, Allison and others describe the resulting sea change as a “space race” to digital coins. Allison’s piece quotes author and digital money expert Dave Birch describing the dynamic this way: “You can be NASA, [Libra is] telling the Federal Reserve, and we’ll be the Space-X of money.”
Allison also notes how Facebook seems to be splitting the baby in ways that don’t fully convince everyone on either side of the issue
Some lawmakers still feel that Facebook Libra would be too much, too soon, and fans of decentralized crypto currency systems simply view it as a watered-down washout.
However, what these new reports show is that Facebook is still working on becoming real in some way shape or form. Watch this space for more.