Since it was announced earlier this year, Facebooks cryptocurrency Libra has been dragged over the coals many times. And now it seems staff at the Big F are also apprehensive about its launch.
Internal interviews between Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook employees were leaked today, by The Verge, and appear to show unease amongst the ranks. Zuck called for staff to rally together against skeptics, critics, and the regulators.
But what about Libra? Indeed, staff made Facebooks plans for a digital currency a point of contention asking Zuck for more information. Herere three things we learned about Libra from the leaked interviews.
we want to work with traditional currencies. So we have a test going in India. Were working in Mexico and a bunch of other countries to have this rolled out broadly. The hope is to get that rolled out in a lot of places with existing currencies before the end of this year, Zuckerberg said to employees.
And we have this bigger, or at least more exotic, project around Libra, which is to try to stand up a new kind of digital money that can work globally, he added.
Libra has come under a lot of scrutiny since it was announced back in July, much of which has assumed it would launch as a token. With this statement it sounds like Libra is two things: a money transfer business and a digital currency. But, according to Zuck, some of us might get part of Libra before the end of the year, but it wont have the Libra token, thatll come later.
TNW has contacted Facebook in India to learn more about the test Zuckerberg mentioned, we will update this piece if we learn more.
But part of what were trying to do overall on these big projects now that touch very socially important aspects of society is have a more consultative approach, Zuckerberg said. So not just show up and say, Alright, here were launching this. Heres a product, your app got updated, now you can start buying Libras and sending them around.'
Indeed, it sounds like Facebook is actually trying to act responsibly we can decide if thats true later. According to Zuck at least, it seems that Libra was announced way ahead of launch on purpose. Letting the project undergo the intense scrutiny that it has and continues to go through, was all part of the plan.
This is going to be a long road. We kind of expected this, Zuckerberg told employees.
Zuckerberg said he wouldnt be surprised if [Facebook] ends up having similar engagements like this on other socially important things that [its] trying to move, like [its] big push to get towards more encryption across [its] messaging apps.
Indeed, when the conversation turned to brain-computer interfaces, which Facebook has been working on for a number of years now, Libra cropped up again.
Were trying to make AR and VR a big thing in the next five years to 10 years I dont know, you think Libra is hard to launch. Facebook wants to perform brain surgery, I dont want to see the congressional hearings on that one, the Facebook CEO said, and I agree with him.
With that in mind, it sounds like Facebook is taking all this Libra regulatory kerfuffle in its stride. If Facebooks resolve is as steely as Zuck makes it sound, it seems Libra isnt going away any time soon, even if we do keep asking it to stop.
If youre enjoying watching Facebook get grilled on an almost daily basis, it sounds like theres going to be plenty more opportunities to grab the popcorn in the future.
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Published October 1, 2019 13:42 UTC
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