Facebook is getting ready to launch Libra – its digital coin – as early as January, the Financial Times reported, citing three unidentified persons involved in the project.
The move would represent an even bigger scaling-back of the project’s ambitions than that proposed in April in response to a regulatory and political backlash against the project.
Libra, which was unveiled by Facebook Inc. last year, was relaunched in slimmed-down form.
This was after regulators and central banks across the world raised concerns that it could upset financial stability and escape mainstream power over money.
The Libra Association, of which Facebook is one of 27 members, is seeking the go-ahead from Switzerland’s markets watchdog to issue a series of stablecoins backed by individual traditional currencies, as well as a token based on the currency-pegged stablecoins.
Yet under the body’s new plan, other coins backed by traditional currencies, as well as the composite, would be introduced at a later date, the Financial Times said.
The Libra Association did not immediately reply to a request for comment. FINMA, the Swiss regulator, did not elaborate beyond a statement in April confirming receipt of Libra’s application for a payments licence.
Stablecoins are designed to avoid the volatility typical of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, making them in theory more suitable for payments and money transfers.