• Facebook may launch its cryptocurrency, Libra, as early as January 2021.
  • The digital currency will be very different from what was envisaged initially. 

The social media giant Facebook may launch its contradictory digital coin Libra as early as in January 2021, the Financial Times reports, citing knowledgeable sources. However, the long-awaited project will come to life in a limited format as the company had to downgrade its vision due to high-regulatory pressure.

Libra tries to please regulators

In April 2020, Libra Association changed its initial concept to relieve concerns of the critically-minded regulators. The company ditched the idea of creating one synthetic coin backed by a basket of fiat currencies and instead decided to issue digital versions of several fiat currencies, with a "digital composite" of these coins.

The association plans to launch only one coin pegged to the US dollar, while other currencies will be rolled out later, the sources explained. The team hopes to launch the project in January, provided that the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory approves Libra Association as a payment service. 

New executives helped the project to disconnect from Facebook

Financial Times' sources also note that the appointment of HSBC legal chief and former George W. Bush-era terrorism finance tsar Stuart Levey helped the company to distance itself from Facebook and partially relieve the regulators' concerns. 

Since then, Libra Association members have started building their products, that will be launched and operated on top of Libra's digital network once it goes live. 

Meanwhile, PayPal, the first founding member of the project, left the initiative last month to develop its own cryptocurrency-related initiatives. Thus the payment giant now enables cryptocurrency access to more than 28 million merchants and unlocked cryptocurrency trading features for US citizens.

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