Facebook’s Libra has faced its fair share of roadblocks since it was first announced a few months ago. Regardless, the company seems to slowly be rising out of its problems and has said that its initial plan to have at least 100 members as part of the Libra Association, would be achieved before the asset officially launches.
Speaking during a phone interview with CNBC, the Libra Association’s Chief Operating Officer and provisional Managing Director, Bertrand Perez, has said the that regardless of the institutions who have officially abandoned the Association, there are many more including financial organizations such as banks, who are willing to be a part of the team. This means that Facebook will still be able to pull in the intended number of members, before Libra’s official release.
At the moment, there are 21 official members of the Libra Association after 7 companies including PayPal, MasterCard, Visa, Mercado Pago, Stripe, eBay and Booking Holdings, all exited the project. There is however no bank among them. Not minding the setback, Perez has said he is “confident” that progress will continue as expected. According to him:
“There’s only one Visa, one Mastercard. I will not tell you that we have the equivalent, but I will tell you that we have reputable companies that are also very active in the financial and banking space.”
Facebook had previously confirmed that there are about 1500 companies that have officially indicated their interest in joining the Libra Association. Of this number, at least 180 meet the company’s strict requirements, which is probably why Perez is sure that the team will hit 100 by next year when it launches. At the moment, there is no official word as to what companies have indicated interest and which ones will be allowed to join. However, a vote among the founding members will be used to decide who will be allowed to join, before the Association begins to onboard more members.
Facebook’s progress has been quite interesting to watch since when there were unconfirmed rumors of its plans, all the way to the company’s official announcement and whitepaper release. Not long after the official unveiling, the United States Congress made it quite clear that it was not in support of Facebook’s plans to float its own digital currency, and even asked the company to halt its progress until further notice. As part of the initial announcement, a governing body called the Libra Association was announced as the entity that will oversee the Libra, taking this chore of Facebook’s neck with the hope that regulatory worries would be doused.
Calibra chief David Marcus also promised Congress earlier, that Facebook will do everything it can to make sure all relevant regulatory authorities are properly satisfied before Libra is released to the public. This is he said months ago, after enduring several hours of questioning from the U.S. Congress, about the project.