Facebook’s Global Libra Push Involves Many Regulatory Hurdles

Facebook’s Global Libra Push Involves Many Regulatory Hurdles

Despite the obvious regulatory hurdles that Facebook’s recently announced cryptocurrency is facing, the company is moving forward with its plan to provide the world with an accessible global currency, according to reports.

The company has been running into numerous regulatory obstacles as it moves forward with pre-compliance conversations with monetary organizations around the world. Facebook has to organize with financial overseers, enforcement agencies and central banks all over the globe. 

This delicate dance could involve “literally hundreds, perhaps thousands, of licenses from hundreds of different regulators,” said Sean Park, founder and chief investment officer at Anthemis, a venture capital firm that invests in crypto.

Facebook has registered Calibra, the wallet that will hold the currency, as a money service business with the U.S. Financial Crimes and Enforcement Network (FinCEN). It’s also applied for money-transfer licenses and started taking steps toward getting a BitLicense from the Department of Financial Services in New York. 

In addition, Facebook has reached out to Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority, the Bank of England, and Switzerland’s financial regulator, FINMA. As for the Russian Ministry of Finance, it said Libra is going to be treated just like any other digital currency, with the exact same regulations, a statement that Switzerland paralleled. 

Facebook won’t “get a free pass anywhere,” Park said.

Since the Libra announcement, everyone from the United States to India said they would closely scrutinize Facebook’s moves while it prepared to launch the currency. The central bank in Singapore said it needed more information and G7 countries all said they had to reevaluate how the organization’s cryptocurrency task force was put together. 

Barry Lynn, executive director of Open Markets, said Facebook “is a corporation that’s got fires all over the world with regulators. It’s only going to get worse.”

Facebook, for its part, said that it was expecting there to be obstacles in the way of Libra.

“The scrutiny that we’ve seen is something that we expected and welcome,” a Facebook spokesman said. “We announced this early by design in order to have this discourse in the open and gather feedback.”


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