Libra coin is a stablecoin announced by Facebook in 2019 and slated for release in 2020. Rumours had been forming for months before the announcement, with multiple media outlets reporting that Facebook was carefully examining how to design a cryptocurrency solution in the remittances space.
The announcement resulted in the cryptocommunity criticizing the project, of which only some code has been released. A majority of the criticism was related to the fact that it would give Facebook, which has drawn a lot of flak for data collection and privacy related issues, more influence. Facebook has tried to alleviate this issue by forming a Libra Association, which is composed of 28 members who will act as validators on the network.
The Libra network is a permissioned one and utilizes a stablecoin pegged to fiat currencies. Facebook has said that the tokens are backed by a basket of assets like currencies and US Treasury securities in order to resist volatility.
The criticism levied against Libra is that it is not decentralized, with the Libra Association essentially acting as a central bank. Regulators in the United States too have shown extreme reservation about the effort, usually citing privacy, financial implications, consumer protection and an increase in Facebook’s influence as reasons. Other nations have had similar reactions to the announcement.
Development still appears to be in the early stages, despite the imminent launch in 2020. Facebook has released a whitepaper for Libra, though very little code has been released. No mining will take place and the plan is to move to a Proof-of-Stake system in 5 years.