In a chat on the Davos Promenade during last month’s World Economic Forum, Dante A. Disparte, vice chair of the Libra Association, made the case for the consortium-managed cryptocurrency project. Shrugging off recent major corporate exits from the Association, Disparte made the case for Libra as a viable open-source platform for products that enhance financial inclusion.
The Libra Association is a consortium of companies working towards the launch of the Libra stablecoin, a cryptocurrency designed by Facebook for the millions of people who don’t have access to banking services. Disparte says things are moving apace, despite the departures of some of the original members, including Mastercard, Visa and Vodaphone.
“So what we’re seeing here is actually quite a lot of engagement. We’ve demonstrated over the last six months that we’re not dogmatic in terms of our project structure and our approach and that we are very much taking on board the type of feedback we’ve heard from regulators and policymakers,” he said. “So, you know, the gap is narrowing, in terms of what would be the types of issues we have to address in order to satisfy getting this project on board and moving ahead.”
Disparte believes the most important part of the platform is its open-source nature.
“The technology standard that we’ve built is open,” he said. “So irrespective of whether an organization is a part of the association or not, there is an opportunity among them to develop on top of this network without having to be a part of the start-up efforts of the project or the governance of the project.”
He added, “And you know, the firms that have left, I think, have left with a door wide open for future opportunities to engage in collaboration. But right now, this is about a hardened core that are mission-aligned and wants to see through the governance and startup challenges that a project of this potential scale represents. So there’s zero love lost and we very much believe that open technology permits future engagement at a later stage.”
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