Facebook might change Libra cryptocurrency project to include other coins

The social network and its partners are facing regulatory scrutiny.

Queenie Wong Former Senior Writer
Queenie Wong was a senior writer for CNET News, focusing on social media companies including Facebook's parent company Meta, Twitter and TikTok. Before joining CNET, she worked for The Mercury News in San Jose and the Statesman Journal in Salem, Oregon. A native of Southern California, she took her first journalism class in middle school.
Expertise I've been writing about social media since 2015 but have previously covered politics, crime and education. I also have a degree in studio art. Credentials
  • 2022 Eddie award for consumer analysis
Queenie Wong
2 min read
Facebook Libra Virtual Currency

Facebook plans to launch a new cryptocurrency called Libra has faced several setbacks. 

Photo by Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images

Facebook and its partners, under pressure from regulators, could include other coins as part of a project to launch a new cryptocurrency called Libra .

Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the matter, reported Tuesday that Libra could become mostly a payments network that incorporates other coins issued by central banks and backed by currencies such as the US dollar and the euro. Facebook initially said it planned to create a single digital currency. Changes to the project might help the social media giant win over regulators who have raised concerns about Facebook's privacy scandals and the use of cryptocurrencies for money laundering and other crimes. 

Facebook is part of the Libra Association, a group made up of 21 founding members that include Uber, Spotify, Mercy Corps and others, that are overseeing the proposed cryptocurrency. The social network is also building a digital wallet called Calibra to store Libra coins. 

Facebook first unveiled Libra in October and said it planned to launch the new cryptocurrency in the first half of 2020. Company executives said that the new digital currency would make it cheaper and easier -- especially for those who don't have a bank account -- to send money. Since then, the company's plan to create a new coin has faced several setbacks. Major partners such as Visa and Mastercard pulled out of the Libra Association. Facebook has vowed to address regulatory concerns before launching Libra. 

The Information reported earlier that Facebook decided not to make the Libra "available on its own services for the time being" and that the rollout of a new digital wallet will be delayed by several months. A spokesperson for Facebook signaled it's still moving forward with Libra. 

"Reporting that Facebook does not intend to offer the Libra currency in its Calibra wallet is entirely incorrect. Facebook remains fully committed to the project," a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. 

The Libra Association didn't immediately have a comment when asked if Libra will still launch this year.