KEY POINTS

  • Libra has failed in its current form, according to Swiss president
  • Central banks will not accept the basket of currencies underpinning Libra
  • A multi-country approach would be necessary for Libra to succeed in Africa

More than two months have passed since Congress grilled Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and the cryptocurrency that the social media giant proposed seems to be going nowhere. 

Ostensibly, regulation has been the stable coin's toughest impediment as it gained disapproval from both France and Germany back in September, and an Indian launch is scratched off as early as July since India's regulation restricts currency transactions on a blockchain network. 

Switzerland, where the Association is founded, has not given Facebook and co the green light just yet. And in September, the Swiss Financial Market regulator FINMA offered a statement, "The highest international anti-money laundering standards would need to be ensured throughout the entire ecosystem of the project."

Adding more doubt is Switzerland president Ueli Maurer, who expressed his pessimism on Friday about Libra's prospects in the country.

"I don't think [Libra will succeed], because central banks will not accept the basket of currencies underpinning it," Maurer told Swiss broadcaster SRF.  "The project, in this form, has thus failed."

At its "present form," the Association has already lost some of its key founding members. The extra scrutiny that payment processing companies, including PayPal, Mastercard, Stripe, and Visa (the companies that would have been in charge of converting fiat to Libra and vice versa), would have to face if they continue their involvement with the Association has convinced them to withdraw their membership.

The two other companies that have backed out of Libra are Mercado Pago and Bookings Holdings.

For Libra to succeed globally, specifically in the African content, Elizabeth Rossiello, who wrote an opinion piece for Wired, stated that it has to understand that "American finance isn't universally accepted." She stressed that the neighboring countries in the continent have varying cultures, infrastructure, and incumbent players and that a multi-country approach in signing up partnerships in the project would be necessary to find success in Africa.

However, the mistrust on the Facebook platform -- harking back to the Cambridge Analytica scandal -- is largely the factor why there's extra scrutiny and why Libra is currently in limbo. The almost 6-hour-long hearing in October last year didn't do anything that would definitively set Libra in motion, but one nugget in that inquiry is Zuckerberg explicitly telling Congress that Facebook might drop out of the Association if they couldn't get U.S. approval.