Blockchain, Not Crypto, Is at Core of Facebook’s Libra, Vice Chair Says


Despite existing concerns that blockchain is not mature enough to bring the new era of payments, the technology is being increasingly explored by global central banks. Blockchain technology meanwhile remains at the core of Facebook’s digital currency Libra, according to a top project executive.

Since Libra’s white paper release in June 2019, the not-yet-launched stablecoin has continued to rely on blockchain architecture, Libra Association’s vice chair Dante Disparte explained.

Blockchain unlocks payment network interoperability

In an April 28 interview with financial publication Central Banking, Disparte outlined a number of structural benefits provided by blockchain implementation. As part of the blockchain-powered advantages, the exec outlined the technology’s potential to drive interoperability of payment technologies. He said:

“We remain very committed to blockchain architecture as a distributed ledger technology for this project. Without it, the project doesn’t achieve many of the efficiencies: the low-cost structure and interoperability that it’s being designed to achieve.”

According to Disparte, the interoperability problem is one of the biggest challenges faced by global payment networks. “Because the technologies don’t speak to each other, it is often years before the units can make payments to each other,” the executive noted.

Disparte continued:

“Without blockchain at the core of libra and that technology being shared among the members of the association, who would run validating nodes, it would be much harder to have a digital wallet environment that doesn’t have lock-in effects, where the user is locked into one provider or another.”

Cointelegraph reached out to the Libra Association to know more about how exactly Libra is planning to tackle the interoperability issues by means of blockchain. The Association had yet to respond as of publication.

“Cryptocurrency aspect is not the key dimension of innovation,” Disparte says

In the interview, Disparte also touched upon a common narrative stipulating that cryptocurrencies are not that crucial for innovation as blockchain technology is.

Disparte said:

“The cryptocurrency aspect is not the key dimension of innovation. The real breakthrough is to create the protocol level for the transfer of value. That’s Libra’s big contribution. Without blockchain at the core, it is very hard to achieve that openness that we’re trying to develop at the wallet level and at the user level.”

According to the executive, the Libra Association expects to launch Libra in Q4 2020. By that time, the project hopes to sort out major issues including regulation, organization and readiness to move from testnet to the main environment, Disparte noted.

Libra is putting more efforts to launch the project

Disparte’s interview comes after Libra put some new efforts to move forward with the project recently. On April 16, the Libra Association applied for a payment system license from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority, also making a bunch of changes to its white paper.

Alongside working on regulatory matters, Libra has continued to grow its members and team. On April 20, the Libra Association added non-profit organization Heifer International. Earlier today, the Association was joined by British payments start-up Facebook’s digital wallet Calibra is also looking to create 50 new roles for its workforce in Ireland.

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