Facebook may be bad at a lot of things, but it rules in one particular area. Despite not being able to keep track of its users’ data and being the target of multiple breaches over the years, it shines at disrupting the status quo. Never before has a single company commanded the global attention on a subject like Facebook’s Libra stablecoin has, and while it is facing a great deal of resistance around the world, it is also forcing countries to reconsider their stance on digital currencies going forward.
This week saw Libra bounce back after having lost supporters like Visa, MasterCard, Stripe and more. On Monday, 21 entities signed up to be founding members of the Libra Association, although the number had expected to be 28. Notably, of all the founding organizations, not a single one is a financial firm.
Stefan Ingves, the governor of Sweden’s Riksbank central bank, recognizes what Libra has done to global finance. He said this week on Squawk Box that Libra is forcing change, even if it isn’t able to operate, and explained, “It has been an incredibly important catalytic event to sort of shake the tree when Libra showed up out of the blue, and that forced us to think hard about what we do.” This is a reference to more central banks exploring the possibility of introducing their own digital currency.
That sentiment is shared by Benoit Coeure, who is part of the board of the European Central Bank. He said in an interview with Bloomberg recently, “The nature of money will change. We’ve got to adapt so we can reap the benefits of technology.” He added, “Until recently, we’ve taken a sandbox approach to fintech regulation under which we could afford to give projects a chance and see how risks materialize.