The Other Side of the Coin: Risks of the Libra Blockchain
38 Pages Posted: 24 Oct 2019 Last revised: 20 Jan 2020
Date Written: January 16, 2020
Libra was presented as a cryptocurrency on June 18, 2019 by Facebook. On the same day, Facebook announced plans for Calibra, a subsidiary in charge of the development of an electronic wallet and financial services. In view of the primary risk of sovereignty posed by the creation of Libra, the Central Banks quickly took very clear positions against the project and adressed a lot of questions to the responsible of the project focusing on regulation aspects and national sovereignty. The purpose of this paper is to provide a holistic analysis of the project to encompass several aspects of its implementation and the issues it raises. We address a set of questions that are part of the cryptocurrency environment and blockchain technology that supports the Libra project. We identify the main risks considering at the same time: political risks, financial risks, economical risks, technological risks and ethics focusing on the governance of the project based on two levels: one for the Association and the other for the Libra Blockchain. We emphazise the difficulty to regulate such a project as soon as it will depend on several countries whose legislations are very different. The future of this kind of project is discussed through the emergence of the Central Bank Digital Currencies.
Keywords: Blockchain Protocol, Central Bank Digital Currency, Cryptocurrency, Governance, Libra, Regulation, Risk
JEL Classification: C88, E5, G28, K2
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