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IBM Keen on Working with Libra

September 23, 2019
Ross Peili


IBM Keen on Working with Libra

Jason Kelley, general manager of blockchain services at IBM, said the company is open to working with Facebook’s latest fintech venture Libra in an interview with CNBC today.

The computing behemoth is deeply involved in the distributed ledger sector and even has its own blockchain platform. 

Kelley said that blockchain is a ‘team sport’, and IBM is ready to team up with Facebook to tackle some of the most important problems of the current state of the global economy, for which Facebook seems to already have a solution. 

Whether IBM is too shy or too proud to ask joining the Libra Association, it showcases its interest in blockchain-powered projects that express signs for future success, as observed in Libra’s case.

IBM is bullish with Libra

Unlike most policy-makers and financial regulators, who understood pretty much nothing about how Libra is supposed to work, labeling it as ‘vague’, ‘unclear’, and even as a ‘cartel-like’ operation in some cases, IBM is a company that holds the world record for the most blockchain patent filings, and therefore understanding Libra was not an issue for the tech giant.

Kelley described Libra as a tokenized asset, backed by a basket of physical national currencies and not as a cryptocurrency of the likes of Bitcoin. 

During Libra Association’s meeting in Switzerland with 28 Central Banks last week, David Marcus, CEO of the Libra project was subject to clearing Libra’s position, stating that Libra is not planning to create a new currency that will compete with the already established ones, but instead, it should be a “better payment network and system running on top of existing currencies”, disregarding how most politicians perceive the project.   

Facebook also recently revealed some of the physical currencies that will be backing Libra, with up to 50% being US dollar reserves, while other national and regional currencies such as the Euro, the British pound, the Japanese yen, and the Singapore dollar will be supporting the digital asset. 

It is important to note that the Chinese yuan won’t be included in the list, as US regulators see the currency as a manipulative asset of the People’s Republic of China. 

Well, it depends on which binoculars you’re using to perceive the situation. If you’d ask the European Central Bank, they will tell you that this was predicted and it is just showcasing Facebook’s ability to mute a national currency or manipulate its demand by the public, which makes Libra a ‘cartel-like’ operation as described by Yves Mersch.  

The ECB was not the only one to express its concerns over Facebook’s currency, with France and Germany already thinking of creating their own respective national cryptocurrencies to fight Libra, while stating that Libra should be never deployed in EU soil as it poses a serious threat to the Union’s economic sovereignty. 

IBM is pro-blockchain but not pro-crypto

The mother-of-computing company is directly involved in the blockchain industry, offering DLT solutions for over 500 corporate clients worldwide, mostly focusing on security, IoT architecture, and product identification and tracking purposes, and not monetary use-cases, although it is also involved with the Stellar cryptocurrency. 

IBM has never officially endorsed any coin or token, including Bitcoin, and it tries to focus on the tech that makes such systems possible, and not on speculative pricing predictions. 

The company’s move towards Libra might be an indication that Libra is far more than just a digital exchange medium, whatever that might be. As for now, we only know that it will be a crypto.