IBM might be open to working the Facebook on its controversial Libra cryptocurrency project. The technology behemoth continues to be one of the leading adopters of blockchain and decentralized ledger technology (DLT) among mainstream corporations.
Meanwhile, despite the level of opposition to the project, the Libra hierarchy say they are moving forward with plans to launch the cryptocurrency in 2020. Several European countries say they will make efforts to block the digital currency due to perceived threats to their monetary sovereignty.
IBM Big on Promoting Tokenization
IBM may be looking to be part of the Libra cryptocurrency project. Speaking to CNBC on Monday (September 23, 2019), Jason Kelley, the general manager of blockchain services at IBM said:
“Blockchain is a team sport. Our clients are ready to work with (Facebook) and we’re ready to work with all of them to bring it together.”
For Kelley, Facebook’s foray into the world of crypto and blockchain technology adds more gravitas to the emerging industry. Such a move could potentially attract more noteworthy names into the business providing a springboard for broader global adoption.
IBM hasn’t released any official statement about joining the Libra Association. However, Kelley says the conversation should focus on tokenization rather than Libra being just another cryptocurrency.
According to Kelley:
“We talk about libra and people say it’s just another crypto. Set crypto aside and talk about tokenization, because that’s what we’re talking about.”
Several corporations and startups around the world are looking into the potential of converting real-world assets into digital tokens. Already there are several projects looking into the issuing of stocks and bonds on distributed ledgers.
Wall Street banks like Goldman Sachs are reportedly carrying research into asset tokenization. The move is one among a few U.S. banks taking steps to adopt blockchain technology.
Like JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo, there is talk that Goldman Sachs may create a stablecoin for payment settlements. JPMorgan’s proposed blockchain settlements layer already has more than 340 banks signed up to use the network.
According to reports, Asian banks make up about 40% of the banks already part of the consortium with Japanese financial institutions totaling 80. Recently, six major banks from Singapore and South Korea announced the membership of JPMorgan’s blockchain project.
Libra is Going to Launch
IBM isn’t the first major corporation t signify interest in joining the Libra Association. Back when the project’s whitepaper hit the news, companies like Visa declared their intentions to run nodes on the network.
As previously reported by Blockonomi, the Libra hierarchy is confident that the project will be a reality. David Marcus, co-creator of Facebook’s cryptocurrency recently declared that the Association is moving forward with plans to launch the digital currency.
For Marcus, adoption and not regulatory scrutiny is the major hurdle faced by the project. Countries like China already has a buoyant electronic payment system, so Libra will have to compete with the behemoths like AliPay and WeChat Pay.
In Europe, the crypto might not find widespread utility in daily transactions. Instead, Marcus expects that Facebook’s cryptocurrency will compete for a share of the cross-border transaction market.
Marcus’ confidence comes amid increasing regulatory scrutiny, especially in Europe. Both Germany and France have declared that they will block the project citing monetary sovereignty concerns.
China’s central bank is rushing to launch its state-issued stablecoin as a way of combating Libra taking root in the country. However, the Association continues to parley with central banks and financial regulators from around the world.