Central bankers have mixed feelings about Facebook's Libra project

25 Jun, 2019
by David Robb
Opinion
Central bankers have mixed feelings about Facebook's Libra project

With the whitepaper for Facebook's new cryptocurrency project finally released last week, many major financial figures have been discussing the impact it could have. At a recent event, one Swiss central banker claimed that Libra is likely not anything for his sector to worry about, although others expressed concerns.

Reuters reports that Thomas Moser, a member of the Swiss National Bank's governing board, was discussing Libra at the Crypto Valley Conference in Zug. He said that he thinks "it’s an interesting development and I’m pretty relaxed about it...They have clearly indicated that they are willing to play according to the rules, they have been contacting the regulators".

Meanwhile, the head of the UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) believes that there could be a number of regulatory hurdles for Zuckerberg's company to jump before Libra can hit the market. Andrew Bailey claimed that "they are not going to walk through authorization without (further information being disclosed)", and has already scheduled a number of meetings with the Libra team. Domenico Gammaldi, the Bank of Italy’s head of market and payment system oversight, also claimed that more information needed to be disclosed.

The whitepaper's launch was received with more concern in the U.S., where both the Senate and the House of Representatives have arranged for hearings to be held about Facebook's latest venture. The company's recent controversies regarding data privacy, as well as allegations of its implication in electoral manipulation, have led many observers both inside and outside the crypto community to panic about the idea of Facebook expanding into the financial sector.

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