Bertrand Perez, the managing director of the Geneva-based Libra Association, an independent organization meant to oversee Facebook’s proposed digital currency, said that due to regulatory issues, the cryptocurrency might not be released by June of 2020 as proposed.
Reuters is reporting that the currency might have to be pushed back because of concerns from lawmakers and regulators. France and Germany, in particular, have been wholly opposed to the currency, saying that they won’t support it or allow it to operate in Europe.
“When we (made) the announcement in June, that was our North Star,” Perez said. “What is important is that we need to comply with the regulators and … make sure that they are on board with us and fully comfortable with our solutions. We knew that we would have to answer lots of questions coming from regulators on both sides of the Atlantic, and from other parts of the world.”
Libra will be backed by real-world assets, he said, in an effort to give it the stability that cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and Ethereum lack.
David Marcus, the Facebook exec overseeing the project, said 2020 is still the target date. “The goal is still to launch Libra next year,” he told Swiss newspaper NZZ. “Until then, we’ll need to address all questions adequately, create a suitable regulatory environment.”
Perez said it was important to understand that the Libra Association is independent from Facebook and has its own leadership. The Association includes Mastercard, Visa and PayPal, among others, with plans to add more members, like banks.
“It’s known this project was incubated at Facebook and started at Facebook, but at an early stage, there was a decision that this should be a public good not controlled by a single entity,” Perez said. “The Libra Association is clearly an association and not a subsidiary of Facebook.”