Libra is trending in China currently despite the fact that most of the western altcoin news outlets and Facebook itself is banned in the country. The Chinese citizens found themselves closely monitoring the drama about the Libra crypto project which is extremely strange so let’s find out more about this.
The Chinese commentator on cryptocurrency Cn Ledger stated a few days ago that the data from Google Trends suggests that Facebook’s Libra is a popular term in China. He writes that the United States uses on the internet are about 10% interested in the previously mentioned term, unlike the Chinese internet users. What is extremely weird is that Google is technically banned in the country which makes the statistics even more potent.
Libra is trending not only in China and Google searches but also on Weibo too. The crypto venture capitalist and Bitcoin philanthropist Dovey Wan pointed out that Libra is now the second-largest trending topic on the Twitter-like platform. She added that according to the data from Weibo, the topic saw about 220 million views and also thousands of comments. According to Wan, this trend is easily explained. She writes that this attention bomb in China was mainly due to David Marcus’ mention of Alipay and WeChat Pay which are the most straightforward digital payment ecosystems in the country.
During Wednesday’s hearing, the head of the blockchain at Facebook explained that Libra should reach the market and if that happens, it will compete with the two Chinese payment services. However, many Weibo users were quick to react to that trending topic and the comment section mainly outlined that the people don’t expect Libra to succeed let alone steal some of WeChat’s market share.
The people’s Bank of China is also less pessimistic about Libra’s chances and they even revealed plans to launch a central bank digital currency in order to respond to Libra. This could show that the financial authority sees the cryptocurrency as a threat. According to the previous reports, the head of research at the People’s Bank of China Wang Xin stated that Libra could affect international financial stability and also affect the Yuan. What he is fearing the most is that the cryptocurrency will be mostly backed by the US dollar which will give the United States more influence over politics and finance as noted in the latest cryptocurrency news reports.
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.
Australia’s APRA Considers Overlooking Facebook’s Calibra
“The new framework is intended not only to be fit for purpose for the current financial system but also be able to accommodate future developments and technological advances, such as proposals for global stable coin eco-systems that have been subject to significant attention in recent months. Under this proposal, APRA’s role in the framework would be to oversee wallets that are widely used as a means of payment and store of significant value for a reasonable amount of time.”Facebook’s Libra could indeed be a stabelcoin backed by real assets but it is not the only digital payment service that is created by large technological companies. Apple Pay, for example, is another type of digital wallet that has now more mass acceptance while APRA decides whether to support this as well. The report informs that because of apple’s product that is already in works with the existing infrastructure run by banks, it could attract a lot lower level of regulatory scrutiny.In addition, the Reserve Bank of Australia doesn’t really believe that the country will need its own central bank digital currency. As per the recent reports, the institution believes that the Australian people already have well-established and regulated digital payment services so they don’t really need a stabelcoin. With Libra’s continuous regulatory problems before the launch, the question remains whether in any other country they will start adopting Libra as a legal form of payment.
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