Even the Republicans had expressed their doubts, with Senator Josh Hawley who had accused Facebook of wanting to expand its monopoly. Concerns that, in the end, several big companies have accepted: 7 have abandoned the Zuckerberg project a few days before the first official meeting.
Despite the false start, however, the Libra Association met as planned and the group elected a board of five, headed by David Marcus. 21 companies have signed the Association's charter, and each has invested 10 million dollars in the plan. But the doubts surrounding the project, after the last-minute defaillance, are heavy. And they could cost dearly, in terms of development times of the cryptomoneta announced by Zuckerberg. The 2020 target, in short, seems really difficult.
Zuck's double card
The CEO of Facebook, however, is not used to losing. And he always plays more tables. For this reason it seems to have the second card ready, to project its empire (Facebook Inc. of Palo Alto) in the world of digital payments: WhatsApp Pay. A beta version of this payment system linked to the most used messaging app in the world has already been launched in India, and has involved about 1 million people in the running-in phase. Facebook plans to launch further tests in Mexico, shortly. "The hope – Zuckerberg said during an internal meeting in July whose details were leaked in these days – is to implement it in many places with currencies existing by the end of this year".
In short, WhatsApp Pay is much more than a future project. The technology already exists, and is linked to the user's bank account (or credit card). It has no major regulatory obstacles in front of it, and has a common denominator with mind-boggling numbers: WhatsApp and its 1.6 billion users.
The WeChat example
Zuckerberg's idea is to make the messaging app also a payment system. And a very concrete example of what could already exist. WhatsApp Pay may look a lot like its Chinese counterpart WeChat. The application owned by the Chinese holding company Tencent is a cut ahead of all others. WeChat in China is synonymous with a resounding digital success. Born as a messaging app (just like WhatsApp), it has been transformed into a platform for all-round business. Through the app it is possible not only to exchange money between individuals (in peer to peer mode), but also financial transactions between users and companies. The Chinese, through WeChat pay their bills, train tickets, fines, purchases they make online and even the restaurant. An example that Zuckerberg seems to want to follow to the end. Especially now that the obstacles on the road to Libra have become more insidious.