On July 8th I reported that the Indian government are skeptical over Facebook’s proposed cryptocurrency, Libra coin. Within the article I explain that India’s Economic Affairs Secretary, Subhash Garg, expressed discomfort at the project.
Yesterday, July 9th 2019, Bloomberg reported that a ‘spokesman’ from the social media giant had responded to the news.
Bloomberg explain Facebook’s ‘spokesman’ responded via email, informing them Facebook currently have “no plans” to issue Libra coin or Calibra wallet in the asian subcontinent.
The spokesman goes on to state that “local restrictions within India” are the reason for this decision. This news effectively, rules out the possibility of Facebook utilising one of their biggest markets.
Within the same article, Bloomberg quote a second ‘spokesman’, Alexandru Voica, whom they contacted via phone. He states that Facebook will “will respect the legislation”. Although he also explains that Facebook will seek to “work with regulators to see if the legislation can be updated.”.
India’s nation bank (RBI) and government have publicly disapproved cryptocurrencies for some time now. Recently they published a draft bill which would harshly punish anyone dealing in cryptocurrencies.
Regulatory redlines are becoming a regular hurdle for Facebook in their latest attempt at entering the financial market. According to the same report from Bloomberg, Facebook are currently preparing to rollout a Whatsapp payment service in India. This will take the form of a year long ‘pilot’ with a restricted user base.
The report finalises by quoting Voica stating that Facebook are speaking with “potential partners from around the world,”. Continuing to state that blockchain projects have more use than cryptocurrencies: “The blockchain project has multiple uses in smart contracts, supply chain management and so on – it’s not just for cryptocurrencies”.
Love, peace and happiness.