Facebook says Libra needs 'decades' to take hold

Ruben Fields
November 8, 2019

Existing securities rules could apply to "stablecoin" digital currency initiatives such as Facebook's Libra project to help realize its benefits, global securities watchdog IOSCO said on Monday as policymakers examine whether new regulation is needed.

Last month, the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC), the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC), Austrac, and the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission met with the United States executives of Facebook.

The Australian has obtained a briefing note prepared by ASIC which warns that Libra "poses many risks and threats, including the proliferation of scams based on Libra via mobile apps".

"We therefore encourage global collaboration, so the risks relating to stablecoins can be identified and mitigated, and the potential benefits realized", said Alder, who also heads Hong Kong's securities regulator.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was grilled for six hours by the US House Committee on Financial Services last month.

"As a member of the Libra association, we will continue to be a part of dialogue to ensure that this global financial infrastructure is governed in a way that is reflective of the people it serves."
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"At the very least, we need a robust regulatory framework to deal with virtual currencies", said Markus Ferber, a German conservative who leads on financial matters the largest EU Parliament grouping.

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Facebook has 15 million active users in Australia and further penetration through subsidiaries.

Weil told Web Summit attendees that users will have more wallets than just Calibra, the Libra-specific wallet Facebook is creating, to choose from.

Regulators and Facebook executives from the U.S. met in October.

The Office of the Australian Information Commission, one of the regulators looking into Libra, has suggested the agencies investigate independently. Elizabeth Warren: Facebook "too powerful". Facebook says libra's principal use case would be for remittances, where people such as expatriate laborers send money across borders.

A meeting between the watchdogs and Facebook executives in October failed to allay their concerns about Libra.

A spokesperson for the OAIC highlighted concerns that Facebook and Libra have only made statements regarding privacy, omitting to address information about handling practices that will be implemented to "secure and protect personal information".

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