When Facebook announced its plans to launch its own cryptocurrency, Libra, in June last year, there was a lot of attention focused on the cryptocurrency space as a result, as well as Facebook’s plans for it. There was also a lot of scrutiny from regulators all over the world, and all of that attention has now led to the social media giant revealing a slimmed-down version of its plans for Libra’s launch in January 2021.
According to the earlier plans, Libra was going to be launched with multiple currencies in the libra basket, such as the dollar, euro, and pound, among others. However, the Libra Association is now reportedly only going to launch a single coin, backed by the dollar, for starters, with the other currencies as well as the composite to be launched at a later date. Libra’s application for approval had been submitted in May 2020, and there are expectations that approval could be received as soon as January 2021.
However, confirmation of the launch date can only be made once the project receives approval from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) to operate as a payments service. Of course, regulators had concerns that Libra would threaten privacy, reduce control over monetary policy for central banks, and create instability in financial markets – the regular issues that they have raised against all cryptocurrencies becoming mainstream forms of payment. Some of these are valid, but there is also a sense of central banks trying to protect their domain. Thus, it is encouraging that the project leaders have said that they would have robust policies on anti-money laundering, sanctions compliance, and terrorist financing, among others, in place before the currency was launched.
Of course, Libra is the biggest example of online and social media companies looking to enter the cryptocurrency space. The fact that cryptocurrencies are underpinned by blockchain has been one of the biggest factors behind its popularity for social media companies. This is also the primary reason for more and more online companies and merchants beginning to accept cryptocurrencies as a mode of payment, most notably in the online casino sector.
Cryptocurrency payments are extremely reliable, quick, and safe – they are almost impossible to hack or commit fraud with, which naturally makes it attractive for users to gamble and play at a btc casino i.e a casino offering the option to pay using cryptocurrencies. This phenomenon is only set to continue and become more prevalent in the coming months, as online casino developers invest more and more into their capabilities and features since online gambling has become even more popular due to the pandemic. Thus, providing these options to users will be helpful both in attracting new users as well as keeping existing users, even after land-based casinos begin to open again.
The Libra Association has 27 members currently, which includes David Marcus, who is the head of Facebook subsidiary Novi Financial, which is Facebook’s payments unit, and was earlier known as Calibra. Novi Financial’s first product is set to be the Novi digital wallet, designed for Libra.
Thus, we can already see how the online finance ecosystem is preparing and gearing up to work with Libra when it does get introduced. However, there is still some way to go till then, and it is important that Facebook provides all the information and reassurance needed by the various regulators before it can begin operating Libra in various markets around the world.
In fact, it is interesting that Libra has been renamed as Diem, to try and remove the negative connotations that Libra has with regulators now. Thus, the Libra Association is now the Diem Association.