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Facebook Exec: Libra will take decades to roll out

By Lawrence Gash

Weil defends stablecoin’s reputation and attempts to ease regulatory fears

Kevin Weil, Co-creator of Libra and Facebook (FB) executive, has stated that the Libra stablecoin will not go viral like a social network and could take decades to fully roll out.

Speaking at Web Summit, Europe’s largest tech conference, Weil stated: “This is not going to be a thing that spreads like a social network. This is going to be the work not of years but of decades, and it’s worth making.”

Weil’s comments are expected be welcomed by figures in government around the world. Governments are already stepping up regulatory scrutiny of stablecoins after the announcement of Libra as a new method of exchange facilitating cross-border payments available to a ready-made customer base of 2 billion Facebook users was announced earlier this year.

In September the finance ministers of both France and Germany provisionally agreed to block Libra’s introduction, stating: “no private entity can claim monetary power, which is inherent to the sovereignty of nations”.

The proposed stablecoin met with similar opposition in the United States where lawmakers grilled Facebook executives about their motives.

Sherrod Brown, the senior member on the Senate’s banking committee stated: "Facebook's motto is ‘move fast and break things’. They've moved fast and are helping to undermine our democracy. Now they're expecting us to trust them with our paychecks."

Weil, who is also vice-president of Product at Calibra, the main digital wallet associated with Libra, emphasised that Facebook is only one member of the Libra Association which develops the new digital asset. He outlined his belief that the number of association members will grow. However, a number of prominent partners have dropped out of the project since its initial announcement, including EBay, Visa, Mastercard, Stripe and PayPal.

Referring to those put-off by Facebook’s reputation, Weil pointed to the availability of other associated wallets, stating: “You don’t have to use a Facebook product ever to get the greater value of the accessibility and lower cost brought by the Libra ecosystem.”

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