Libra co-founder and chief economist of Calibra Wallet Christian Catalini has attempted to clear up misconceptions in relation to the planned digital coin in an interview with CNN’s Julia Chatterley.
The release of the whitepaper on Facebook’s proposed coin back in June prompted massive debate from politicians around the world, most of which vehemently oppose the plan as they feel it poses a threat to the economic sovereignty of nations. Catalini has attempted to allay some of those concerns by saying that Libra is, at its most basic, a payment network that will allow for seamless and cheaper international transactions while also supporting several other services, such as the Calibra wallet.
Catalini also said that the overall aim for Libra is to provide banking services for unbanked and underbanked global citizens while adding that the increased transaction fee associated with the traditional financial system was also a contributing factor. He was also pressed as to whether the massive scrutiny leveled at Libra had deterred those behind the project, but said that he had anticipated such a reaction and that the association expected widespread criticism from regulators.
Despite believing that the majority of the controversy comes from Facebook’s involvement with the project, given the company’s shady history of data gathering, Catalini remained hopeful and said that “regulator’s scrutiny is productive. It helps us to think through about the challenges the project would face if successful in the future.”
Importantly for regulators, when quizzed on the subject of whether or not Libra is competing with traditional fiat currencies, Catalini said that because the project is a payment network, it will simply integrate traditional currencies into the platform so that transactions can be completed with them.
Earlier this month, it was reported that the Libra testnet has surpassed 51,000 transactions since it was reset in September, with 34 projects having already been developed on the network. It remains uncertain as to when the platform will officially be launched, but it is believed that the Libra Association is aiming for a mid-2020 release.