Facebook has reportedly set up a fintech company dubbed Libra Networks in Switzerland. The move clearly correlates with the social media giant’s Project Libra. According to Reuters, the focus of the fintech is on the blockchain, payments, data analytics, and investing. Libra Networks, which was registered in Geneva on May 2, will provide financial and technology services. Also in its wheelhouse will be developing related hardware and software.
Another Secret Move
Famed investor Michael Novogratz recently called Project Libra “stunningly important” to the crypto space. Given Facebook’s history of boasting about its projects, you’d think it would be bragging about Project Libra. That’s not the case. The Switzerland move was done with no fanfare such as company press releases or blog posts. This seems to be the way Facebook has chosen to roll out its Project Libra. It’s keeping close to the chest even where the project will be launched. In December, it hinted at plans to set up shop in India. Early reports suggest Zuckerberg’s cryptocurrency will facilitate overseas remittance payments for Indian WhatsApp users.
Facebook launched Project Libra more than a year ago to allow money transfers between WhatsApp users. Over time, however, the scope of the project has expanded. That includes the decision to include e-commerce payments on Facebook and other websites as well as rewards for viewing ads, shopping online, and interacting with content. When all is done, Facebook hopes to have a stablecoin that is pegged to the value of a local currency.
Switzerland has long been recognized as a leading hub of blockchain and cryptocurrency technology, with the Swiss town of Zug referred to as “Crypto Valley” throughout the world.
Privacy Issues Haunt Facebook
As Facebook was making arrangements for this Switzerland fintech, it was facing hiring problems on the domestic front. CCN reported that recruiters are complaining that it is increasingly harder to find talent for Facebook’s engineering jobs. Potential hires don’t like the myriad privacy issues that the social media platform has seemingly failed to get a handle on. They’re taking their talents to other tech giants, like Amazon, Google, and Microsoft. The project has also drawn scrutiny from U.S. lawmakers. They are concerned that Project Libra will be plagued by Facebook’s failure to adequately secure users’ data.