In a recent interview, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse explained why he believes that it will be very difficult for Facebook to launch Libra even by the end of 2022.
Garlinghouse’s comments came during an interview with Jen Wieczner and Robert Hackett, hosts of Fortune’s online show “Balancing the Ledger.”
On June 20, two days after the Facebook-led Libra Association launched its website and released the Libra white paper, the Ripple CEO said during an interview with Clifton Leaf, Editor-in-Chief of Fortune, that Ripple was having such an amazing week that he was going to thank Facebook’s David Marcus—who is a co-creator of the Libra cryptocurrency and the head of the Calibra wallet project—by sending him a case of champagne:
I will also say that I'm going to send a case of champagne to David Marcus, the guy who runs Libra. The Reason is [that] this week will be the best week of signed contracts at Ripple ever. It's been a massive call to action… I think the banks realized that if Facebook is going to be a competitor in this space, they can't depend on a technology like SWIFT to compete in the marketplace.
Now, however, Garlinghouse seems much more skeptical about the future of Libra.
When Wieczner asked Garlinghouse how he currently feels about Libra, this was his reply:
What happens with Libra and their white paper initiative? Hard to predict. I think that would have been better received had Facebook not been the point of the arrow.
He then explained why the backlash against Libra by financial regulators around the world is hardly surprising, with regulators saying ‘whoa, wait a minute… there’s a trust issue over here we’re concerned about and now you want to go into consumer financial services’.
Wieczner then asked if Garlinghouse was bullish on Facebook’s ability to successfully execute the game plan laid out in the Libra white paper.
No… The regulatory headwinds they're facing are substantial… If I were a betting man, I'd take the over-under of the end of 2022 I think that Libra will not have launched.