Facebook will not launch Libra until regulatory concerns put to rest
US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin holds a news conference on cryptocurrency regulation, in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, DC, USA, 15 July 2019. EFE/EPA/MICHAEL REYNOLDS
A person using Facebook on his phone at a cafe in Hanoi, Vietnam, 28 November 2013. EFE/EPA/FILE/LUONG THAI LINH
Washington DC, USA, Jul 16 (efe-epa).- Social media behemoth Facebook will not offer its Libra cryptocurrency services until it had been proven to meet the required standards, one of the co-creators of the digital money service told the United States Senate Tuesday.
David Marcus, the head of Calibra, a digital wallet and subsidiary of Facebook, spoke to a Senate committee meeting in Washington amid rising concerns that the digital money could be put to misuse.
"Facebook will not offer the Libra digital currency until we have fully addressed regulatory concerns and received appropriate approvals," Marcus said.
He added: "Regulatory frameworks for digital assets are beginning to emerge nationally and internationally.
The Libra Association will continue to work with regulators and policymakers to ensure that it complies with all applicable legal and regulatory requirements."
Some 27 companies, including Visa, Mastercard, Uber, Lyft, PayPal, eBay and Spotify have all signed up to the Libra Association with plans to launch the currency in 2020.
Payments will be facilitated on Facebook-owned apps like Messenger and Whatsapp. Facebook has over 2 billion users worldwide.
"The goal for Libra is straightforward: A digital currency built on a secure and stable open-source blockchain, backed by a reserve of real assets, and governed by an independent association," he said. "We recognize that the road to reaching that goal will be long, and it will not be achieved in isolation."
But the ambitious plans from Facebook to wade into the world of cryptocurrency, has raised eyebrows among some regulators.
The US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin warned that the currency could fall into the hands of "money launderers and terrorist financiers."
"Cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin have been exploited to support billions of dollars of illicit activity like cybercrime, tax evasion, extortion, ransomware, illicit drugs and human trafficking,” he told a press conference.
President Donald Trump has also taken aim at cryptocurrencies and, in a series of tweets last week, said Facebook should seek a new Banking Charter if it wanted to become a bank.
Facebook has said it would take an equal stake in the management of Libra.EFE-EFE