While the company had more ambitious plans, due to its failure to convince regulators across the world, it has been more than willing to tweak Libra.
The Libra consortium may have had many members, but public imagination associated the cryptocurrency with Facebook almost exclusively. This should have been to Facebook’s advantage given it launched a wallet service and has a user-base of 2 billion worldwide that it could tap into, but its reputation on privacy, data security, etc, has played the spoilsport. Constant run-ins with regulators over data privacy have meant regulatory support has not been forthcoming. No wonder then Facebook announced last week that it would be rolling out a stripped-down, dollar-backed version of Libra early next year.
While the company had more ambitious plans, due to its failure to convince regulators across the world, it has been more than willing to tweak Libra. The watered-down Libra vision that Facebook has to settle on and the exit of companies from the Libra consortium notwithstanding, it won’t be prudent to write off the cryptocurrency as just another blockchain experiment. The company is trying to mend its ways across jurisdictions and is working on bringing governments to the negotiating table. If Facebook is able to convince enough countries for its experiment, it would be able to transition from being a social media giant to a large digital financial services enterprise, which would then give an edge to its marketplace endeavour that has seen small businesses signing up to sell on its platform.