Doubts grow on the virtual Libra of Facebook

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The planned Libra Facebook virtual unit, already under heavy attack by US president Donald Trump and global regulators, faces skepticism even in the larger cryptocurrency community.

A theme – in addition to Brexit – dominated the discussion between the promoters and shakers of London's financial technology or FinTech industry as they gathered for their annual meeting: the future of virtual currencies.

"Can I ask you to raise your hand if you don't want to use the Libra?" asked the moderator for an event at the recent "FinTech Week" in London.

In the room, full of about 100 experts and media that closely follow the sector, about two thirds of the participants raised their hands to express distrust of the new currency.

Helen Disney, founder and head of Unblocked Events, which promotes the block chain technology that feeds many cryptocurrencies, has recognized growing doubts about who exactly would supervise and regulate Libra's operations.

People are "worried about how governance … it would work," Disney said AFP.

"The cryptocurrency community is very libertine in thinking: empowering people, democratizing finance, staying away from the big banks and companies that control the economy," he said.

Last week's meeting arrived a month after Facebook announced its virtual currency plans to the world.

Libra, which is widely regarded as a challenger to the dominant global player Bitcoin, is expected to be launched in the first half of 2020.

While Bitcoin is decentralized, Libra will be co-managed by 100 partner companies, including the recently created financial services division Calibra of Facebook.

. (tagsToTranslate) facebook (t) virtual unit (t) libra (t) fintech (t) cryptocurrency (t) bitcoin

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