Libra – Facebook’s upcoming cryptocurrency – may never actually see its planned 2020 rollout, the social media giant said in its second-quarter earnings report.
The reasons for FB’s seemingly impossible task are regulatory hurdles and lobbyist blockades that may interfere with its plan to create the first widely adopted version of digital money.
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“Libra has drawn significant scrutiny from governments and regulators in multiple jurisdictions and we expect that scrutiny to continue,” Facebook explains in its filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Libra has already caused quite a stir among regulators and politicians across the world. Along with the difficulties with current regulations, the Federal Reserve expressed concerns about the consequences it would bring, while President Trump and Congress members have asked for a moratorium on development of the cryptocurrency until more is known.
Facebook already abandoned plans to launch in India
Libra’s chance of ever seeing the light of day is also ‘subject to significant uncertainty’ as the possible market rejection of such currency offers no assurance that FB’s coin or other associated products “will be made available in a timely manner, or at all.”
Although developments of Libra are expected to have a major effect on the company’s earnings in the future, the social network acknowledges that it doesn’t possess ‘prior experience with digital currency or blockchain technology.” Facebook expects the lack of its staff expertise to affect their ability to develop and market these products and services, it says in the filing.
Such a scenario isn’t difficult to imagine as Facebook has already abandoned plans to launch its digital wallet, Calibra, in India as current regulations do not permit cryptocurrency transactions. Facebook’s cryptocurrency also will not be available in the social media giant’s largest country audience due to the RBI’s concerns around tax evasion and money laundering.
David Marcus, who’s in charge of Facebook’s crypto initiative, also said earlier this month that Libra will first comply with all US regulations and will not launch until the nation’s lawmakers’ concerns have been answered.