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Is Libra doomed?

ON JUNE 18TH Facebook announced Libra, a new global payments system and currency, to be launched in 2020. Dubbed the “Zuck Buck” by Brad Sherman, an American congressman, the plan was to employ a mix of entrepreneurial daring and the technology underlying cryptocurrencies to shake up the world’s financial systems. Money would move at the speed of a smartphone-swipe, even across borders. Libra would lubricate life in the rich world and revolutionise it in poor countries, where basic financial services are dear and often scarce. After all, as the firm points out, 1.7bn people have no access to a bank account. Besides further expanding Facebook’s empire, Libra would bring them into the financial fold.In the subsequent four months, Libra has had a bruising time. Many of its partner firms have got cold feet. Politicians and regulators around the world have made disapproving noises. On October 23rd Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s boss, spent a lonely few hours in Washington, DC, fielding mostly hostile questions from American politicians on the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee.
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