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Libra continues development despite an uncertain launch

Despite significant pushback from lawmakers in several jurisdictions, which has created substantial uncertainty surrounding Facebook’s digital currency, the Libra Association is pushing ahead with development related to the project.

The Libra Association has ratified the establishment of a committee dedicated to overseeing and implementing the technical architecture of the Libra project.

The technical steering committee

Last month, Michael Engle, a lead developer at Libra, announced that the Libra Association held a meeting on December 16, 2019, where they voted to set up a special panel within the organizational architecture of the Libra project.

The panel – dubbed the Technical Steering Committee (TSC) – is composed of five individuals who are tasked to oversee, create, and implement the technical underpinnings of the Libra Project. Additionally, they will design plans for the future development of the blockchain-based venture.

The five individuals who are on the TSC were chosen because they “each contribute a unique perspective and bring valuable domain expertise to the project.” Diogo Monica, George Cabrera III, Joe Lallouz, Nick Grossman, and Ric Shreves were chosen because of their extensive experience within the software and technological innovation space.

Diogo Monica holds the position of co-founder and President at Anchorage, an industry-leading digital asset custodian. He has over 15 years of experience under his belt. George Cabrera currently works as the Libra Core Product Lead at Calibra and has twenty years of experience in software engineering. He has previously worked several roles at Facebook.

Cabrera believes the initiation of the committee task force represents a move in the right direction for the Facebook-backed project. He stated: "The Libra Association’s mission is to be a financial infrastructure that empowers billions of people and having a group to guide the design, building, and ongoing maintenance of that infrastructure is vital to its success. The creation of this committee represents a notable milestone for Libra’s openness and sustainability as we forge ahead towards our mainnet launch."

Joe Lallouz is the CEO and founder at Bison Trails, an industry-leading blockchain infrastructure company dedicated to creating protocol-agnostic solutions that promote democracy within blockchain networks. Nick Grossman is a partner at Union Square Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm that focuses on investing in innovative tech-based solutions. Lastly, Ric Shreves holds the position of Director of Emerging Technology at Mercy Corps, an organization that explores how technology can be implemented in the context of humanitarian development.

Shreves reiterated the founding mission of the Libra project, referencing its oft-discussed inclusion aims. He explained: "Designed from the outset to be transparent by default, and governed with the philosophy of open source participation, the Libra network represents a unique opportunity to build a financially inclusive world."

An independent committee

It is important to note that the TSC is designed to be an independent committee. While Facebook has been clear that the project will be independent in all of its dealings, there have still been significant fears that Libra will be heavily influenced by its parent company. The creation of the independent TSC is likely an attempt to allay these fears.

"Libra has the potential to be a breakthrough project in the digital asset and payments space. To achieve this potential, the project must demonstrate credible independence and be welcoming to potential partners and contributors," Grossman highlighted.

The TSC is tasked with directing the technical roadmap for Libra and creating Technical Working Groups to fast-track research and development for specific issues. Moreover, the committee will guide codebase development and create a good relationship with the developers who will be working on Libra-based applications.

Furthermore, the TSC plans to publish documents that will outline the technical governance framework in Q1/2020. The framework will include details on how the open-source developer community may propose technical changes to the Libra project. It will also detail how the proposal, named Libra Improvement Proposals (LIP) will be evaluated.

While the Libra project continues to face significant challenges – with the exit of Vodafone from the Libra Association being the latest – the project appears committed to moving forward with the launch.

Lallouz concluded: "Our goal is to ensure the Libra network is decentralized, secure, and well-orchestrated, with the infrastructure in place to support billions of transactions. This aligns well with our vision of democratizing access to the decentralized future."


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