Facebook may launch Libra cryptocurrency in January: report

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Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency could launch in January after going through several changes over the last few years.

As reported by the Financial Times (via TechCrunch), the Libra Association, a consortium of companies tasked with managing the Libra cryptocurrency, could scale back its ambitions once again as the company prepares for the launch.

Libra was initially supposed to be a cryptocurrency tied to several fiat currencies (or currency backed by a government, such as the Canadian dollar). However, several central banks and regulators raised concerns with the plan, and the Libra Association changed course to develop several stablecoins. Stablecoins refer to cryptocurrencies tied to another stable asset, such as a fiat currency, to help reduce volatility.

Although the Libra Association previously planned to launch several stablecoins tied to USD, EUR, GBP or SGD base currencies, the Financial Times reports that it’s pivoted to launching a single dollar-backed coin. The Libra Association reportedly plans to roll out other currencies in the future.

On top of that, Facebook will likely launch its Libra wallet at the same time, but it too has gone through changes. Previously called Calibra, the wallet was rebranded to Novi back in May. There will be a standalone Novi app for sending and receiving Libra tokens, but Facebook plans to let users manage their Novi accounts from both Messenger and WhatsApp.

It remains unclear if other members of the Libra Association plan to launch their own Libra-based service. Members include Uber, Lyft, Shopify and Spotify.

Source: Financial Times, TechCrunch