Marcus Says Libra Could Be Based On Real Currencies

Facebook, Libra, Stablecoins, currency-pegged stablecoins, Group of 20 finance leaders, Calibra, wallet

David Marcus, CEO of Facebook’s wallet service Calibra, said that Libra could use national currency-pegged stablecoins like a dollar stablecoin, rather than the synthetic one it initially proposed, Reuters reported on Sunday (Oct. 20). 

Marcus, who heads the Libra project for Facebook, told a banking panel the group’s main goal remained to create a more efficient payments system, but it was open to looking at alternative approaches for the currency token it would use.

“We could do it differently,” he said. “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 told the panel.

G-20 finance leaders on Friday (Oct. 18) agreed to set strict regulations on cryptocurrencies and said such stablecoins should not be issued until various global risks were addressed.

“We could definitely approach this with having a multitude of stablecoins that represent national currencies in a tokenized digital form,” Marcus said. “That is one of the options that should be considered.”

Marcus said he was not suggesting currency-pegged stablecoins were the group’s new preferred option.

“What we care about is the mission and there are a number ways to go about this,” Marcus told Reuters after the panel, adding that Libra needed to “demonstrate a lot of agility.”

Marcus said last week that if Libra fails, the U.S. could fall behind China in the race for legitimized cryptocurrency, and subsequently in influence around the world.

While Libra is continually criticized and scrutinized around the globe, China is developing its own state-backed cryptocurrency. That would be a real threat to U.S. influence, Marcus said.

Many politicians around the globe are opposed to Libra, saying that it could destabilize the global market and has the potential for money laundering and other illicit uses.

The China argument has been used before in other Facebook cases. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said breaking up tech companies would benefit China while testifying before Congress in April 2018.