Despite being announced nearly 1 year ago, Facebook subsidiary, Calibra, and its associated tokens referred to as the ‘Libra Project’, remain malleable in nature.
Due to various criticisms, from countless regulatory bodies and nations, the project has been forged into something very different than initially intended. While the overriding goal remains ‘financial inclusion’, this may need to be achieved in new ways.
A Basket Case
With the most recently announced changes, we have seen Libra, and its on-going identity crisis, shift from a ‘basket token’ to various, more traditional, stablecoins.
The original train of thought – ‘what is more stable than a FIAT pegged token? A token pegged to multiple FIAT currencies’ – was met with heavy scrutiny, as many felt that this resulted in the token being categorized as a security.
This potential categorization recently led to the Libra whitepaper being updated. The result was a move away from a single token pegged to a ‘basket’ of currencies, to various tokens, each backed by one FIAT currency.
While this does not represent the whole of changes made in the recent whitepaper iteration, it is perhaps the biggest one, as it alters the very foundation of what people hoped the project would be.
Despite the need to pivot their approach, and an initial mass departure of ‘founding companies’, Libra has seen a small resurgence in recent months, as multiple high-profile companies have joined the ranks. A timely boon, as the project continues to navigate treacherous waters surrounding regulation.
The most recent addition to the Libra family is Heifer International. While each member within the Libra project will have their own reasons for taking part, Heifer International made their intent very clear – financial inclusion.
“We believe the Libra project has the potential to deliver a lower-cost, more accessible and more connected global financial system. One that will enable people that currently do not have access to the financial system to be connected to a more reliable and cost-effective platform.”
In their announcement, Heifer International elaborated on the following points, in an effort to convey the rationality behind their decision to join Libra.
- Credit remains a major hurdle for farmers, worldwide
- Globally, roughly 1.7 billion adults remain completely unbanked
- In developing nations, access to financial services through cellular devices is a potential solution
As previously indicated, Heifer International is not the only company to join Libra in recent times. The most notable recent addition would be Shopify – the second most valuable company listed on Canadian stock markets.
A Telling Timeline
For those who are interested in, or are new to, the ongoing saga surrounding Libra, the following articles paint a rough timeline of events. While not exhaustive, these shed a light on the origins of the project, the response it initially received, and how they find themselves where they are today.