Libra’s proposed 2020 launch date has been thrown into doubt after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg refused to put a definitive timeframe on the project.
Contradicting Reports on Libra Launch
Speaking to Nikkei, Zuckerberg was asked about the expected launch date of Libra, to which he replied: “Obviously we want to move forward at some point soon [and] not have this take many years to roll out, but right now I’m really focused on making sure that we do this well.” Despite coming in for heavy criticism since being announced in June, Libra had been firm on its intention to launch in 2020, with COO Bertrand Perez saying just days ago, “we are firmly maintaining our launch schedule, between the end of the first half of the year and the end of 2020.”
Facebook Refining Its Approach
In the same interview, Zuckerberg also said that Facebook is taking a much more refined approach to Libra compared with previous projects. He described the project as “sensitive for society” and emphasized his desire to consult with relevant parties regarding fears that Libra may undermine traditional fiat currencies, and take that feedback on board before rolling out the cryptocurrency. Zuckerberg said this was “a very different approach than what we might have taken five years ago. But I think it’s the right way for us to do this at the scale that we operate in.”
EU Ministers Opposition
There has been mounting speculation that Libra may never see the light of day due to the intense level of regulatory scrutiny the proposal has come in for. Earlier this month, the French Finance Miniter said he was opposed to the development of Libra in Europe and would push to block the coin altogether. Representatives from the Libra Association were questioned by officials from 26 central banks at a hearing in Switzerland, chaired by ECB board member Benoit Coeure, who said it may pose a risk to monetary sovereignty.
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