The entire hype surrounding the Libra cryptocurrency by Facebook all around the coming altcoin news has produced a lot of comparisons from people and analysts – who are probably expecting a lot from Facebook’s first-ever cryptocurrency. Today, we are listing all the similarities and differnces between Facebook’s stablecoin Libra and VISA – the global payments system. Since they are both payment systems in some terms, we are describing what they share and what they don’t.
First of all, we should note that Libra is not a cryptocurrency. It is a stablecoin that is expected to be pegged to the $1 price point. This is why it is seen as a distributed and decentralized community in the altcoin news. However, Libra is essentially a prepaid digital token which is backed one-to-one with the dollar and offering a transaction verification which is through a competitive process.
So, Libra and Visa do not share as much as many believe. Facebook is proposing (in Libra) a new form of organization – while VISA solves global problems through banking systems. When setting up Visa, it is important for its founder (Dee Hock) that the card would not be owned by self-interested shareholders. Instead, it was the users, banks and credit unions who “owned” Visa as a cooperative membership organization.
The similarities between Libra and Visa start with the big barriers to entry. The Libra Association is definitely a club with very high barriers to entry and an entity that needs to invest more than $10 million USD to have more than $1 billion in market value (among other criteria).
Libra’s white paper also outlines an organization that could become a decentralized and participatory system like Hock envisioned that Visa would become. However, Libra and Visa won’t be the same – if Libra is successful. If that happens, the stablecoin will likely become an undemocratic behemoth – like many best cryptocurrency news sites want to describe it.
At the end of the day, this is why governments have long been suspicious of private currencies. Libra is no exception to that rule – and we must not be distracted by its proposed technical complexity and instead, focus on how the technology is organized, prepared and how it knows that its rewards are distributed.
Mastercard Left Libra Over Regulatory And Viability Concerns: CEO
“It went from this altruistic idea into their own wallet. I’m like: ‘this doesn’t sound right,’" Banga told the news.Mastercard left Libra because of reasons which are now emerging. According to Banga, financial inclusion would mean that a government is able to pay citizens in a certain currency which they must be able to understand how to use and must be usable in day-to-day transactions for items such as food.
"If you get paid in Libra [coin] . . . which go into Calibras, which go back into pounds to buy rice, I don’t understand how that works," he said.The cryptocurrency news today also show that a lack of a clear business model for Libra is what raised another red flag for Mastercard. The Libra coin news before showed that Mastercard was not the only one leaving the stablecoin project - firms like Visa and PayPal did the same at the same period.
"When you don’t understand how money gets made, it gets made in ways you don’t like," the CEO of Mastercard said.Once Mastercard left Libra, the company started investigating the potential use of the project. Banga appeared to have concerns when association members would also not firmly commit to the controls of data management including the know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) legislation. Visa, on the other hand, had pulled out because the project had not been able to "satisfy all requisite regulatory expectations" as a spokesperson later confirmed. Out of the 28 founding members of the Libra project, eight have left. The British telecom conglomerate Vodafone was the last leaving in January 2020 when it decided to focus on its own digital payments service. As Mastercard left Libra, the payments giant adopted a very cautious approach to distributed ledger technology.
CEO Of Facebook Talks About Libra Again And How It Is Being Handled
"We are taking multiple approaches on payments where things like what we are doing with payments and WhatsApp or Facebook Pay are overall built on top of traditional payment infrastructure. The longer-term work that we are proposing around Libra is now being handled by the independent Libra foundation."The CEO of Facebook also stated that the firm is working on creating a digital wallet which will work well with Libra - noting that most companies that make payments are national and based in a country without any incentive to make this work all over the globe.
Vodafone Quits The Facebook Crypto Project Libra Association
‘’We have said from the outset that Vodafone’s desire is to make a genuine contribution to extending financial inclusion. We remain fully committed to that goal and feel we can make the most contribution by focusing our efforts on [mobile payments platform] M-Pesa.’’Vodafone’s reason for leaving Facebook’s Libra crypto project opens up more issues for Libra itself. M-Pesa is now a successful mobile money transmission system that is popular in East and Southern Africa while Safaricom recently signed a deal with California-based global remittance provider Ria money. This deal will enable M-Pesa customers to send payments to more than 20 countries across the globe. Apart from Vodafone, some of the early backers such as PayPal and Mastercard have already quit the Facebook Libra Association and both of the platforms pointed to the growing regulatory pushbacks against the project as the reason for the decision to pull out of the partnership. Back in 2019, the US Senators urged the Libra backers such as Visa and Stripe to leave the project. Despite the criticisms against the project, the Libra Association continued to move forward with the proposed digital currency platform and the developers of the crypto project released a second roadmap with a mainnet testing already underway. Libra is still facing a lot of criticism while countries are moving towards creating their own central bank digital currencies and the banks from Canada, England and Switzerland are now forming a CBDC think tank. The coalition says it will exchange many ideas on how to develop sovereign digital currencies for their respective nations since Australia is also experimenting in the digital payment system that will run on the Ethereum blockchain. China seems to be leading the CBDC race since it has accelerated plans after Libra launched its white paper.
Libra Stimulated Us To Take CBDCs Seriously: Japanese Banking Veteran
“The latest decision is not just about sharing information. It’s also an effort to keep something like Libra in check [...] Major central banks need to appeal that they, too, are making efforts to make settlement more efficient with better use of digital technology.”Yamaoka is confident that Libra stimulated the markets and put some pressure on financial institutions to lower the costs of transactions. With this, a lot of fundamental questions about nation states' control over currency issuance were also raised. However, the banking veteran and ex-BOJ official was in the Libra news for saying that central banks may stifle private-sector innovation by using CBDCs to enhance the effectiveness of central bank measures. As he noted:
“In the world of central bankers, the idea of using CBDCs to enhance the effect of monetary policy seems to have subsided somewhat. There are increasing doubts about the effect of negative interest rates as a policy tool. If so, do you want to issue CBDCs for the sake of deploying a policy with questionable effects?”The expert concluded stating that while Libra stimulated us to see CBDCs in a different light, monetary officials need to be sane in wake of the new changes.
“If you want to make monetary policy effective, you need to ensure people keep using the currency you issue,” he concluded.
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