Back in the spring and before Libra was formally announced, reports circulated that Facebook’s blockchain team had reached out to unnamed cryptocurrency exchanges to talk about listing the forthcoming stablecoin.
Now, one such platform has come out and confirmed those preliminary discussions: Binance.
That’s per company chief strategy officer Gin Chao, who told Finance Magnates this week at a fintech conference in Tel Aviv that Binance had been involved in “official dialogue with Facebook,” though the discussions remained early on.
Chao noted that Facebook’s negotiators didn’t seem to be looking for “external liqudity” at the moment, as Libra was being set up on a private blockchain for use within the wider Facebook ecosystem. But the CSO said the time would likely come for Libra being spun out to cryptocurrency exchanges:
“However, from what we understand the potential to be, that would lead them to wanting a secondary market. Currencies benefit from a secondary market, so it would be in their best interest to want to be listed.”
If discussions were to eventually advance, and Binance did list the Libra token, it would presumably do so throughout all its platforms, e.g. Binance.com, Binance DEX, and the forthcoming Binance US subsidiary, which was created in response to the exchange phasing out U.S. traders from its main website.
Exchange Chatter Around Libra Growing
Naturally, Binance isn’t the only cryptocurrency exchange that has Libra on the brain.
At the Bitcoin 2019 conference held this week in San Francisco, ShapeShift chief executive officer Erik Voorhees noted he was keen on adding the Libra — which is set to be pegged to a basket of fiat currencies for its price stability —
“I would love to integrate Libra into ShapeShift when it does exist,” the CEO said.
As for the Libra’s “basketcoin” status, the executive hailed that structuring as one of the most interesting elements of the stablecoin’s design. He commented:
“I’m very excited that Libra isn’t just on a 1-on-1 parity with the dollar […] One of the effects is that people — specially Americans — will start to get more comfortable with a coin that is a little bit more powerful versus the dollar.”
Just last week, Voorhees had hailed the arrival of the Libra as a major milestone for the cryptoeconomy — one that showed the cryptocurrency arena was indeed deserving of mainstream attention and worth innovating in.
1/ Thoughts on Libra (and my first tweetstorm!): first, zoom out for a second and realize how far this industry has come. The biggest companies in the world are now launching cryptocurrencies. BOOM.
— Erik Voorhees (@ErikVoorhees) June 18, 2019
Binance to Become a Libra Validator?
Cryptoeconomy natives like Coinbase and Xapo have already signed on to run one of Libra’s 100 validator nodes. The membership fee for doing so? No less than $10 million.
That would be chump change for an exchange powerhose Binance to pay, and apparently the exchange is considering doing so.
The company’s aforementioned CSO Gin Chao told trade publication CryptoPotato this week that Binance was keen on becoming a Libra validator.
“We’re definitely considering it,” Chao said. “And so, we would like to throw our hat in the ring. Whether or not we will become one, we’ll see.”
It’s not the first time in recent days that a crypto-native organization has been put forth as a candidate to join the 100-member Libra Association, either.
On January 24th, SpankChain CEO Ameen Soleimani floated the idea of elements within the Ethereum community combining a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) with a legal organization so that the new body could join the Libra Association and represent Ethereum’s wider interests therein.
What if we created a new org, possibly using @AragonProject, as a hybrid legal org + DAO to join?
— Ameen Soleimani (@ameensol) June 24, 2019
The suggestion proved instantly popular with some and instantly controversial with others.
Proponents hailed the idea as a way to ensure Ethereum will be strengthened by Libra. Detractors argued on principle that no group representing Ethereum had any place joining the Libra Association, it being too tainted by Facebook’s involvement.
However, as Binance is a for-profit company, it’s likely that if it ever did join the association, the embrace wouldn’t prove particularly controversial among the exchange’s backers in kind.