Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) is overhauling its Libra digital currency in an effort to assuaged skeptical regulators, announcing it will support multiple versions backed by fiat currencies including the U.S. dollar and euro.
Libra's governing body, the Libra Association, said Thursday it hopes to work with regulators, central banks, and financial institutions globally to expand the number of single-currency stablecoins available on the Libra network. The coins would be a digital extension of the currency of the country. The tech group still plans to launch a multi-currency coin that could be used for cross-border payments.
Originally Libra, which launched in June, was intended to be a single digital token backed by government debt and a mixture of different currencies. But regulators worried that Facebook's more than 2.5 billion monthly active users adopting Libra could destabilize monetary policy, and enable money laundering and other nefarious activities. By supporting multiple versions of Libra backed by stablecoins, Facebook is hoping to get the backing of regulators, something it said it needed to launch the digital token.
The Libra Association also announced changes to the Libra blockchain, which was originally going to be open to anyone to participate in running the network. Now anyone who wants to verify transactions on the blockchain will have to gain approval. Libra Association is still working on what the approval process will be.
The group also said that it has started discussions with Swiss regulators to gain a payments license, and that it wants to register with the U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network as a money-services business. That could result in increased reporting and record-keeping for the group. Libra plans to launch sometime between the middle of December and the end of 2020. It originally eyed the end of June as the launch date.