Various members of the Facebook-led Libra Association have reportedly started supporting a rival project, called the Celo Alliance for Prosperity.
The project, according to Bloomberg, has over 50 members supporting int. These include some members of the Libra Association, including Bison Trails, Anchorage, Coinbase Venture, and Andreessen Horowitz. Its goal is to “to deliver humanitarian aid, facilitate payments and enable microlending” via a cryptocurrency called the Celo Dollar.
The cryptocurrency is reportedly going to launch next month, and will be pegged to the value of the U.S. dollar. The Celo Dollar is set to be backed by a reserve of other cryptocurrencies, while the Libra will be backed by a basket of fiat currencies and short-term U.S. Treasury bills.+
The new Alliance is launching shortly after it was revealed the Libra Association was going to start looking into adding support for government-issued cryptocurrencies on its network, while maintaining the Libra cryptocurrency would be developed.
Bloomberg reports that by backing another project, Libra’s members are hedging their bets. Chuck Kimble, who heads the Celo Alliance, was quoted as saying:
There are some similarities in terms of mission, which is why there are some people who have joined both alliances.
The Libra project has been a controversial one, and has been facing regulatory and political scrutiny since it was announced, partly because of Facebook’s involvement. While the Celo Alliance won’t include the social media giant, this also means it won’t have access to its over 2 billion monthly active users.
Moreover, a blog post from the Celo Alliance appears to show that its ranks don’t include giants like Uber, Spotify, and Shopify – which are members of the Libra Association. Addressing regulations, Kimble said that the Celo Alliance has met with governments and central banks, and is “continually engaging with governments in the many countries which we hope to serve.”
Diogo Monica, president of Anchorage, a firm that joined both efforts, said:
Celo and Libra each have unique focuses and approaches, but they share a goal that Anchorage strongly believes in: banking the unbanked.
Members of the Libra Association are expected to contribute to the cryptocurrency’s reserves, and are expected to run a node that will help process transactions on its network. It’s unclear whether members of the Celo Alliance will have similar obligations.
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