With Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg set to testify about Libra, the company’s planned digital currency, to the House Financial Services Committee this week, the head of the project revealed a different possible avenue the project could take going forward.
David Marcus, the head of Facebook’s Calibra, reportedly told banking seminar attendees on Sunday that the project is open to having a series of stablecoins pegged to specific government-backed currencies, rather than the single digital token as currently planned. “Stablecoins” are cryptocurrencies whose prices are pegged to real-world assets (like legal tender) to create more stability for e rising digital assets.
“Instead of having a synthetic unit ... we could have a series of stablecoins, a dollar stablecoin, a euro stablecoin, a sterling pound stable coin, etc,” Marcus said at the seminar according to Reuters.
The social media giant's foray into digital currency has been met with skepticism and multiple obstacles since it’s announcement. In recent weeks, partners in the Libra Association such as PayPal, Visa, and Mastercard, announced that they were dropping out, and legislators and regulators have been openly hostile to the concept.
"It kind of sounds like Facebook is just whiteboarding now in the public eye," said Cheddar's Tanaya Macheel regarding Marcus' comments. "They've gotten a lot of hostility, really, from all of the regulators, but they've also made it clear they're not going to move forward on it until their concerns are put to ease."
Marcus did explain that the possibility of shifting to stablecoins that are pegged to currencies was not the preferred option for the project, Reuters reported.
"They get to their end goal of creating this new currency, but at the same time, it does kind of defeat the purpose of what they originally set out to do," Matt Swider, managing editor of TechRadar, told Cheddar regarding the possible move. "But I think they need to do that because of all the partners that are backing away, and their whole mission should be to get something through."