Facebook Still Set to Launch Libra despite Supporters Backing Out

Category : Business

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. currency / ˈkɜr ən si / (n) – the specific kind of money used in a certain country or place

    The US dollar, the euro, and the Japanese yen are some of the most popular currencies used in trading.

  2. withdraw / wɪðˈdrɔ / (v) – to move away or pull out from participating in something

    The investors announced their plan to withdraw their shares from the company.

  3. breeding ground / ˈbri dɪŋ graʊnd / (n) – a place or environment that is appropriate for the development of something

    The student council is a breeding ground for competent and politically driven individuals.

  4. stand-alone / ˈstænd əˌloʊn / (adj) – able to operate independently

    A game based on the popular novel will be developed by a small, stand-alone company.

  5. adamant / ˈæd ə mənt / (adj) – determined not to change a decision or an opinion

    Our supervisor is adamant about doing the project his own way.


Read the text below.

Facebook still plans to release its digital currency Libra despite major financial firms backing out.

At the inaugural meeting of the Libra Association­­­, the independent organization tasked to manage the digital currency, only 21 companies out of the original 27 signed in as official members. Some payment gateways including Visa and MasterCard withdrew support after politicians severely criticized Libra.

Government officials expressed concerns over the possibility that Libra might disrupt existing currencies or become a breeding ground for criminal activities. Crimes like money laundering, in which money made from crimes is made to appear legal, could be facilitated because identity checks on the sender or receiver of digital currencies are not required.

Facebook explained that Libra’s main objective is to be a global currency that will make cross-border money transactions convenient because it will be free from the restrictions of real money transactions—like going to the bank. Libra will be a digital currency not controlled by banks, and it will be backed by real assets to stabilize its value.

The currency will be stored in a stand-alone app called Calibra, which can be accessed through smartphones and Facebook-owned apps like Messenger and WhatsApp. Users can exchange real money for Libra, put it in the Calibra app, and use it for financial transactions.

While several countries and organizations remain adamant about preventing Libra from operating until all regulatory and privacy concerns are cleared, Facebook and the Libra Association are currently working hard to meet their target 2020 launch. The organizations have hired several experts to address all issues and help secure approval for the currency’s widespread use.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• In your opinion, should Facebook still continue to launch Libra despite members backing out and operation and regulation issues? Explain.
• Who do you think could benefit from the creation of Libra as a global currency (e.g. cashless and online businesses, people sending money abroad)? Explain.

Discussion B

• What are the common reasons for investors to withdraw their support for new products or innovations (e.g. unpredictable risks, growth issues, unclear business models)?
• In your opinion, what are the risks of a cashless society (e.g. software viruses, technical malfunction)? Discuss.

Category : Business