Many legal stakeholders have worried about Facebook’s new cryptocurrency project. However, it is not a Swiss watchdog’s biggest concern.
Mark Branson is the CEO of FINMA, the Swiss independent financial market regulator. Speaking at an event in Zurich, he stated that at least Libra is being launched in the open.
“I am much more nervous about projects which develop in a dark corner in the financial system somewhere, spread themselves out through cyber space and one day are too big to be stopped,” he said, according to Reuters. “Here is something which is being done transparently.”
The Libra Association is based in Switzerland.
Branson added that the cryptocurrency would face the same regulatory anti-money laundering scrutiny that big banks face, but that the FINMA would not add more rules specifically for Libra. He added that it was not the regulator’s job to “make such projects impossible.”
Other legal stakeholders have not been as welcoming. For instance, Bruno le Marie, France’s finance minister, has warned that Libra would put countries’ monetary sovereignty at jeopardy. In mid-September, he argued that Facebook’s bid to privatize how currencies are issued would create a risk of it being abused.
A board member of the European Central Bank made a similar argument in early September.
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