Ever since Facebook announced its Libra cryptocurrency, it has been a subject of debate around the world. India is also looking for it, as in some of the earliest rumors around it we had heard that Libra will be launched in India before anywhere else. Now when it has finally been announced with a testnet scheduled in 2020, a new report from Economic Times is claiming that Facebook may not launch it in India due to government’s stance on cryptocurrencies. As with other reports of mainstream media this one is also based on information collected from an unknown “person directly in the know”. However, the irony this time is that the same report also states in another statement that Calibra – the wallet that Facebook has announced for storing and transferring Libra – will be available globally!
The first thing that ET’s report claims in its top two paragraphs is that Calibra may not be available in markets where “cryptocurrencies are banned or Facebook is restricted from operating in.” A second person also claimed that “Facebook has not filed any application with RBI (Reserve Bank of India) for its cryptocurrency in India.” However, in the next paragraph ET’s report states that a Facebook representative has told it that he expects Calibra to work on WhatsApp and be available globally. Now we don’t know which of the Facebook representatives cited by ET are to be believed!
We would advise you to take this news with a grain of salt. There’s still a lot of time in testnet launch of Calibra, and Facebook may ask RBI for permission during this time. India is Facebook’s largest market and the company will certainly attempt to launch its new offering here. RBI should also not be too worried about it because it’s a centralized cryptocurrency and Facebook may be held liable under IT act of India. So it’s too early to arrive on any conclusion regarding whether Libra is going to be launched or not going to be launched in our country.