WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Facebook Inc ( FB.O ), facing growing skepticism about the digital currency project Vågen, said Sunday that the initiative could use cryptocurrencies based on national currencies as dollars, instead of the synthetic it originally suggested.
FILE PHOTO: A 3-D printed Facebook logo is seen on US dollar banknotes in this illustration, June 18, 2019. REUTERS / Dado Ruvic / Illustration / File Photo
David Marcus, who leads the Libra project for Facebook told a banking seminar that the main goal of the group was to create a more efficient payment system, but it was open to looking at alternative approaches to 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 stable pound with stable pound, etc.," Marcus told the panel.
"We could definitely approach this by having a multitude of stack coins representing national currencies in a tokenized digital form," he said. "It's one of the options that should be considered."
Marcus said that he did not imply that currency-matched barcoins were the group's new preferred alternative.
"What we care about is the mission, and there are several ways to do this," Marcus told Reuters after the panel, adding that the emphasis had to "demonstrate a lot of agility."
Facebook-led project suffered severe setbacks earlier this month, when major payment companies Mastercard Inc ( MA.N ) and Visa Inc ( VN ) became the last partners to join in the group behind the project.
Other key members who have withdrawn include Stripe, eBay Inc ( EBAY.O ) and Booking Holdings Inc ( BKNG.O ) and PayPal Holdings Inc ( PYPL .O ).
Global policy makers and regulators are also concerned that the creation of a new synthetic global currency could enhance the global economic system, endanger users' privacy and facilitate money laundering.
A group of 20 finance executives on Friday agreed to impose strict cryptocurrency regulations and said that such stack coins should not be issued until various global risks were addressed.
Marcus told Reuters that Facebook was still aiming to launch Libra in June 2020, but acknowledged that it could miss this target because of regulatory barriers.
“We'll see. That's still the goal, "Marcus told Reuters when asked if the recent departure of several major partners from the project would delay the planned launch in 2020.
" We have always said we would not go forward unless we have addressed all legitimate concerns and got proper government approval, so it's not entirely up to us, "he said.
Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Lisa Shumaker