Facebook’s Libra Launching as Early as January 2021, Digital Wallet to Hold it Also Ready
Facebook’s stablecoin Libra will finally be here next year. The long-awaited digital currency is preparing to launch as early as January 2021, reported FT citing people involved in the initiative. However, it will be in a limited format. This year, the Libra Association, which has 27 members, said it planned to launch the digital versions of several fiat currencies and one synthetic coin backed by a basket of currencies. This followed concerns from regulators over this plan for a “digital composite” of all its coins; thus, the association will initially be launching a single coin backed by the dollar. The other versions and the composite will be rolled out later. The project's exact launch date depends on its approval as a payment service from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority. The application was initiated in May, which is expected to be obtained in January. First launched in June 2019, over this time, several of the founding members, including PayPal, Mastercard, Vodafone, and eBay, left the association, which was announced in April. Meanwhile, the consortium's significant members, such as Spotify and Uber, have no plan for using the digital currency. Some told the media publication that they would wait and see how it was received after its launch before investing in use cases. Facebook subsidiary Novi, rebranded from Calibra, created a digital wallet to hold Libra is also “ready from a product perspective.” However, it won't be released everywhere simultaneously; the plan is to make it live in those remittance corridors with “half a dozen high-volume,” which includes the US and some Latin American countries. To operate in the US, the wallet would need a license in each US state, and though it has already been granted many of the requests, as many as 10, including a New York Bitlicense, is still pending.