Crypto Futures Exchange Taking Bets on Libra Delay

Facebook’s Libra project has been about as smooth sailing as the Titanic’s maiden voyage, and one exchange is offering a way for punters to profit from the myriad problems affecting it. CoinFLEX, a crypto-futures exchange that launched in February, is offering derivatives that pay out based on the probability of Libra being operational by the end of 2020, which given the regulatory hurdles it has to overcome, and the lack of confidence from backers, is by no means a certainty.

Libra Backlash Continues

Facebook has suffered a brutal backlash from regulators over their plans for Libra, and even Apple CEO Tim Cook took a swipe at them last week when he said that money should be created and controlled by states and elected officials, not private companies and their boardrooms. Even worse for Facebook, PayPal, a Libra backer and member of the governing Libra Association, pulled their support over the weekend. This followed rumors in late August that some association members were worried about the negative press Libra was generating and how it was reflecting on them. Speaking to Bloomberg, Mark Lamb, CoinFLEX’s Chief Executive Officer, said that the potential disruption Libra could cause was mirrored in what it would require to get it up and running to the extent Facebook desires:

Facebook has the ability to rival the entire global banking system from day one, but, because of that fact, when that first day will be is far from certain. The political backlash has been brutal, and it’s anyone’s guess if Facebook will get this over the line.

Lamb Praises Facebook’s Ambitions

Those betting against Facebook’s stated aim of launching the product in 2020 now have the chance to put their money where their mouths are, with CoinFLEX offering physically-settled futures based on whether Libra is operational or not by December 30 2020. Despite offering a platform for essentially shorting Libra, Lamb was appreciative of the impact it could have on the ecosystem as a whole, stating that Facebook could genuinely help the “under-banked and under-served” enter the economy which would “change the environment globally for cryptocurrencies” and increase awareness of cryptocurrencies globally.

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