22 May 2020
Recent additions to Libra’s core team might imply a willingness to abide by the current legal and financial guidelines, experts believe.
Adding Temasek could have big implications Many experts believe that Libra gained much legitimacy with the addition of Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, Temasek, ,which may bode very well for Libra's standing in the country, maybe even in the rest of Asia as well. When Temasek invested in Binance, a similar scenario was witnessed, when the launch of Binance Singapore, the crypto-giant’s regulated fiat–crypto exchange, acted as a catalyst for the inclusion and regulation of digital currencies regionally.
The Libra Association might be fully aware that redefining the larger financial ecosystem completely is much more risky than becoming a participant within it, the latter of which it communicated clearly by hiring regulatory and compliance veterans and teaming up with large state-backed entities such as Temasek. The Libra team, with recent changes, might now be at a much better state of readiness for dealing with issues such as aiding or abetting money laundering and other financial crimes before it goes public.
Interestingly enough, the Libra team might be distancing itself from Facebook, in light of Libra's obvious affiliations with the social media giant, while focusing on its latest additions to the team. A member of the Libra Press Association stated:
“We want to be clear that Facebook does not make any hires on behalf of the association and Facebook is just one of 27 members who lead this project. Stuart and Robert should be characterized as the Libra Association's recent hires and the project should be characterized as the Libra Association's, not Facebook’s.”
Is the updated white paper connected to the hirings? The original idea behind Libra’s cryptocurrency might have been disruptive, even though very ambitious : On the back of a basket, or a group of assets, it sought to deploy a stable, independent currency. An attempt of decentralization was made with their stated intention of heading towards a permissionless system. However, those ideas were mostly abandoned and a strong focus on preserving the status quo of fiat currencies was focused on instead, as the Libra’s recent white paper revisions reveal.
Lallouz implied that, with experience from cooperating with regulators around the world, the new white paper discloses new, proactive changes made by the Libra Association. Still, having read the revised white paper, Martino stated that “Libra 2.0” seems to have dulled the project down just enough for it to be in line with the Financial Stability Board’s new global stablecoin guidelines, the purpose of which is to do away with the gray area in which most stablecoins operate now. In addition, he stated:
“Once FSB’s guidance gets adopted, stablecoins must be completely decentralized, which Facebook would never allow, or be completely centralized and regulated, which means that Facebook is just building a credit card.”
He then summarized that Libra 2.0 doesn't have much left of its transparency and decentralization and that it could mostly be equated with the payment services of Google or Apple. He concluded: “Libra 2.0 is Facebook’s Google Plus (G+), a confused overreach into a sector they’ll never understand.”
So, while the TON project, which was backed by Telegram, was abandoned altogether as it tried adopting legal strategies which had lead it towards planning the release of a native digital currency — Gram tokens, Libra's revision of it's white paper and recent team additions might signify that the association has taken a sharp turn from its previous goals in order to adhere to legal compliances and regulations prevalent in the global finance ecosystem of which its now planning to be a part of.