Facebook plans to grow its Calibra team in Dublin, which is creating a digital wallet for the Libra project.
While Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency ambitions have been under scrutiny from regulators and commentators, the company is continuing development. According to The Irish Times, Facebook’s Calibra team will create 50 jobs in Ireland by the end of the year.
This is part of an overall plan to continue hiring for hundreds of Facebook roles in the country. A small Calibra team in Dublin already exists, but the new hires will be across various roles.
Financial services subsidiary Calibra was founded last year to develop a digital wallet for the Libra payment system. The speed at which new roles are filled on the Calibra team depends on further regulatory approval for Libra.
Calibra’s head of operations, Laura Morgan Walsh, said the company is keen to continue its investment in the Dublin team “during this time of global uncertainty”.
“We’re actively hiring experts in fraud, compliance, workforce management and customer care to expand our operations team supporting the Calibra wallet,” she said.
The head of Facebook Ireland, Gareth Lambe, reiterated that Ireland “plays a central role” in the company’s global operations overall.
“We have around 60 teams including engineers, safety and security experts, policy experts, marketing and sales people with a number of global and regional teams run from Ireland,” he said.
‘Wild crypto dreams’
The news comes just days after Facebook said it was pivoting Libra from its original plan as a cryptocurrency challenger to bitcoin and even fiat currencies such as the dollar. Instead of a single currency, Libra will take the form of a number of different digital coins tied to existing physical currencies.
Facebook also scrapped plans to create a ‘permissionless system’ where no single authority could control Libra, and said that any wallet joining the network must now be vetted.
Speaking with the Financial Times, David Gerard, author and historian of digital currencies, said the original version of Libra was never going to work because it was “one with wild crypto dreams of private money, free of regulation”.
“This was never going to fly. Facebook is a real, touchable company. You can abuse people’s private information – but governments take the money very seriously. I can see the new Libra working as an ordinary, regulated payments processor – PayPal, but it’s Facebook.”