WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Facebook Inc ( FB.O ), facing growing skepticism about its digital currency project Libra, said on Sunday that the initiative could use cryptocurrencies based on national currencies like the dollar instead of it synthetic as it originally suggested.
FILE PHOTO: A 3-D printed Facebook logo is displayed on US dollar banknotes in this illustration, June 18, 2019. REUTERS / Dado Ruvic / Illustration / File Photo
David Marcus, Head of the Wave Project for Facebook told a banking seminar that the group's main goal remained to create a more efficient payment system, but it was open to looking at alternative methods for the currency token it would use.
"We could do it differently," he said. "Instead of having a synthetic unit … we can have a series of stablecoins, a dollar stablecoin, a euro stablecoin, a stable sterling pound coin, etc," Marcus told the panel.
"We can definitely approach this by having a variety of stab lenses representing national currencies in a tokenized digital form," he said. "It is one of the options that should be considered."
Marcus said he did not suggest that currency-linked stab lenses were the group's new preferred alternative.
"What we care about is the assignment and there are several ways to deal with it," Marcus told Reuters after the panel, adding that Libra needed to "show a lot of agility."
Facebook-led project suffered serious hardship earlier this month, as major payment companies Mastercard Inc ( MA.N ) and Visa Inc ( VN ) became the latest partners to leave the group behind the project.
Other important members who have withdrawn included Stripe, eBay Inc ( EBAY.O ) and Booking Holdings Inc ( BKNG.O ) and PayPal Holdings Inc ( PYPL .O ).
Global decision makers and regulators are also concerned that the creation of a new synthetic global currency could increase the global financial system, threaten users' integrity and facilitate money laundering.
A group of 20 finance executives on Friday agreed to lay down strict rules for cryptocurrencies, saying that such stablecoins would not be issued until various global risks were addressed.
Marcus told Reuters that Facebook was still aiming for a launch of Libra in June 2020, but acknowledged that it could miss this goal because of regulatory barriers.
"We'll see. That is still the goal, "Marcus told Reuters when asked if the latest departure from several major partners from the project would delay the planned launch of 2020.
" We have always said we would not go forward unless we have taken solved all legitimate problems and got a proper approval of the legislation. So it's not entirely up to us, he said.
Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Lisa Shumaker